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venlafaxine hydrochloride capsule, extended release
----------Venlafaxine Hydrochloride Extended-Release Capsules
Suicidality and Antidepressant DrugsAntidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsule is not approved for use in pediatric patients. (See WARNINGS: Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk, PRECAUTIONS: Information for Patients, and PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric Use)
DESCRIPTIONVenlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsule is for oral administration and contains venlafaxine hydrochloride, a structurally novel antidepressant. It is designated (R/S)-1-[2-(dimethylamino)-1-(4-methoxyphenyl)ethyl] cyclohexanol hydrochloride or (±)-1-[α- [(dimethylamino)methyl]-p-methoxybenzyl] cyclohexanol hydrochloride and has the molecular formula of C17H27NO2 HCl. Its molecular weight is 313.87. The structural formula is shown below.
Venlafaxine hydrochloride is a white to off-white powder, freely soluble in water and in methanol, soluble in anhydrous ethanol and practically insoluble in acetone.
Venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsule is formulated as an extended-release capsule for once-a-day oral administration. Drug release is controlled by diffusion through the coating membrane on the spheroids and is not pH dependent. Capsules contain venlafaxine hydrochloride equivalent to 37.5 mg, 75 mg, or 150 mg venlafaxine. Inactive ingredients consist of black iron oxide, colloidal anhydrous silica, ethyl cellulose, gelatin, methacrylic acid copolymer type C, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone K-30, sodium bicarbonate, sodium lauryl sulfate, talc, titanium dioxide and triethyl citrate.
The 37.5 mg and 75 mg capsules also contain D & C red # 28, FD & C blue # 1, and FD & C yellow # 6.
The 150 mg capsule also contains D & C red # 28, FD & C blue # 1, and FD & C yellow # 6.
PharmacodynamicsThe mechanism of the antidepressant action of venlafaxine in humans is believed to be associated with its potentiation of neurotransmitter activity in the CNS. Preclinical studies have shown that venlafaxine and its active metabolite, O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV), are potent inhibitors of neuronal serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake and weak inhibitors of dopamine reuptake. Venlafaxine and ODV have no significant affinity for muscarinic cholinergic, H1-histaminergic, or α1-adrenergic receptors in vitro. Pharmacologic activity at these receptors is hypothesized to be associated with the various anticholinergic, sedative, and cardiovascular effects seen with other psychotropic drugs. Venlafaxine and ODV do not possess monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitory activity.
PharmacokineticsSteady-state concentrations of venlafaxine and ODV in plasma are attained within 3 days of oral multiple dose therapy. Venlafaxine and ODV exhibited linear kinetics over the dose range of 75 to 450 mg/day. Mean±SD steady-state plasma clearance of venlafaxine and ODV is 1.3±0.6 and 0.4±0.2 L/h/kg, respectively; apparent elimination half-life is 5±2 and 11±2 hours, respectively; and apparent (steady-state) volume of distribution is 7.5±3.7 and 5.7±1.8 L/kg, respectively. Venlafaxine and ODV are minimally bound at therapeutic concentrations to plasma proteins (27% and 30%, respectively).
Venlafaxine is well absorbed and extensively metabolized in the liver. O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV) is the only major active metabolite. On the basis of mass balance studies, at least 92% of a single oral dose of venlafaxine is absorbed. The absolute bioavailability of venlafaxine is about 45%.
Administration of venlafaxine extended-release capsules (150 mg q24 hours) generally resulted in lower Cmax (150 ng/mL for venlafaxine and 260 ng/mL for ODV) and later Tmax (5.5 hours for venlafaxine and 9 hours for ODV) than for venlafaxine immediate release tablets [Cmax's for immediate release 75 mg q12 hours were 225 ng/mL for venlafaxine and 290 ng/mL for ODV; Tmax's were 2 hours for venlafaxine and 3 hours for ODV]. When equal daily doses of venlafaxine were administered as either an immediate release tablet or the extended-release capsule, the exposure to both venlafaxine and ODV was similar for the two treatments, and the fluctuation in plasma concentrations was slightly lower with the venlafaxine extended-release capsule. Venlafaxine extended-release capsule, therefore, provides a slower rate of absorption, but the same extent of absorption compared with the immediate release tablet.
Food did not affect the bioavailability of venlafaxine or its active metabolite, ODV. Time of administration (AM vs PM) did not affect the pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine and ODV from the 75 mg venlafaxine extended-release capsule.
Metabolism and Excretion
Following absorption, venlafaxine undergoes extensive presystemic metabolism in the liver, primarily to ODV, but also to N-desmethylvenlafaxine, N,O-didesmethylvenlafaxine, and other minor metabolites. In vitro studies indicate that the formation of ODV is catalyzed by CYP2D6; this has been confirmed in a clinical study showing that patients with low CYP2D6 levels (“poor metabolizers”) had increased levels of venlafaxine and reduced levels of ODV compared to people with normal CYP2D6 (“extensive metabolizers”). The differences between the CYP2D6 poor and extensive metabolizers, however, are not expected to be clinically important because the sum of venlafaxine and ODV is similar in the two groups and venlafaxine and ODV are pharmacologically approximately equiactive and equipotent.
Approximately 87% of a venlafaxine dose is recovered in the urine within 48 hours as unchanged venlafaxine (5%), unconjugated ODV (29%), conjugated ODV (26%), or other minor inactive metabolites (27%). Renal elimination of venlafaxine and its metabolites is thus the primary route of excretion.
Age and Gender: A population pharmacokinetic analysis of 404 venlafaxine-treated patients from two studies involving both b.i.d. and t.i.d. regimens showed that dose-normalized trough plasma levels of either venlafaxine or ODV were unaltered by age or gender differences. Dosage adjustment based on the age or gender of a patient is generally not necessary (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Extensive/Poor Metabolizers: Plasma concentrations of venlafaxine were higher in CYP2D6 poor metabolizers than extensive metabolizers. Because the total exposure (AUC) of venlafaxine and ODV was similar in poor and extensive metabolizer groups, however, there is no need for different venlafaxine dosing regimens for these two groups.
Liver Disease: In 9 subjects with hepatic cirrhosis, the pharmacokinetic disposition of both venlafaxine and ODV was significantly altered after oral administration of venlafaxine. Venlafaxine elimination half-life was prolonged by about 30%, and clearance decreased by about 50% in cirrhotic subjects compared to normal subjects. ODV elimination half-life was prolonged by about 60%, and clearance decreased by about 30% in cirrhotic subjects compared to normal subjects. A large degree of intersubject variability was noted. Three patients with more severe cirrhosis had a more substantial decrease in venlafaxine clearance (about 90%) compared to normal subjects.
In a second study, venlafaxine was administered orally and intravenously in normal (n = 21) subjects, and in Child-Pugh A (n = 8) and Child-Pugh B (n = 11) subjects (mildly and moderately impaired, respectively). Venlafaxine oral bioavailability was increased 2 to 3 fold, oral elimination half-life was approximately twice as long and oral clearance was reduced by more than half, compared to normal subjects. In hepatically impaired subjects, ODV oral elimination half-life was prolonged by about 40%, while oral clearance for ODV was similar to that for normal subjects. A large degree of intersubject variability was noted.
Dosage adjustment is necessary in these hepatically impaired patients (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Renal Disease: In a renal impairment study, venlafaxine elimination half-life after oral administration was prolonged by about 50% and clearance was reduced by about 24% in renally impaired patients (GFR=10 to 70 mL/min), compared to normal subjects. In dialysis patients, venlafaxine elimination half-life was prolonged by about 180% and clearance was reduced by about 57% compared to normal subjects. Similarly, ODV elimination half-life was prolonged by about 40% although clearance was unchanged in patients with renal impairment (GFR=10 to 70 mL/min) compared to normal subjects. In dialysis patients, ODV elimination half-life was prolonged by about 142% and clearance was reduced by about 56% compared to normal subjects. A large degree of intersubject variability was noted. Dosage adjustment is necessary in these patients (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Clinical TrialsMajor Depressive Disorder
The efficacy of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules as a treatment for major depressive disorder was established in two placebo-controlled, short-term, flexible-dose studies in adult outpatients meeting DSM-III-R or DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder.
A 12-week study utilizing venlafaxine doses extended-release capsules in a range 75 to 150 mg/day (mean dose for completers was 136 mg/day) and an 8-week study utilizing venlafaxine extended-release capsules doses in a range 75 to 225 mg/day (mean dose for completers was 177 mg/day) both demonstrated superiority of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules over placebo on the HAM-D total score, HAM-D Depressed Mood Item, the MADRS total score, the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) Severity of Illness item, and the CGI Global Improvement item. In both studies, venlafaxine extended-release capsules was also significantly better than placebo for certain factors of the HAM-D, including the anxiety/somatization factor, the cognitive disturbance factor, and the retardation factor, as well as for the psychic anxiety score.
A 4-week study of inpatients meeting DSM-III-R criteria for major depressive disorder with melancholia utilizing venlafaxine immediate release tablets in a range of 150 to 375 mg/day (t.i.d. schedule) demonstrated superiority of venlafaxine immediate release tablets over placebo. The mean dose in completers was 350 mg/day.
Examination of gender subsets of the population studied did not reveal any differential responsiveness on the basis of gender.
In one longer-term study, adult outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder who had responded during an 8-week open trial on venlafaxine (75, 150, or 225 mg, qAM) were randomized to continuation of their same venlafaxine dose or to placebo, for up to 26 weeks of observation for relapse. Response during the open phase was defined as a CGI Severity of Illness item score of ≤3 and a HAM-D-21 total score of ≤10 at the day 56 evaluation. Relapse during the double-blind phase was defined as follows: (1) a reappearance of major depressive disorder as defined by DSM-IV criteria and a CGI Severity of Illness item score of ≥4 (moderately ill), (2) 2 consecutive CGI Severity of Illness item scores of ≥4, or (3) a final CGI Severity of Illness item score of ≥4 for any patient who withdrew from the study for any reason. Patients receiving continued venlafaxine extended-release capsules treatment experienced significantly lower relapse rates over the subsequent 26 weeks compared with those receiving placebo.
In a second longer-term trial, adult outpatients meeting DSM-III-R criteria for major depressive disorder, recurrent type, who had responded (HAM-D-21 total score ≤12 at the day 56 evaluation) and continued to be improved [defined as the following criteria being met for days 56 through 180: (1) no HAM-D-21 total score ≥20; (2) no more than 2 HAM-D-21 total scores >10, and (3) no single CGI Severity of Illness item score ≥4 (moderately ill)] during an initial 26 weeks of treatment on venlafaxine immediate release tablets [100 to 200 mg/day, on a b.i.d. schedule] were randomized to continuation of their same venlafaxine immediate release tablets dose or to placebo. The follow-up period to observe patients for relapse, defined as a CGI Severity of Illness item score ≥4, was for up to 52 weeks. Patients receiving continued venlafaxine immediate release tablets treatment experienced significantly lower relapse rates over the subsequent 52 weeks compared with those receiving placebo.
INDICATIONS AND USAGEMajor Depressive Disorder
Venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules are indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder.
The efficacy of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in the treatment of major depressive disorder was established in 8- and 12-week controlled trials of adult outpatients whose diagnoses corresponded most closely to the DSM-III-R or DSM-IV category of major depressive disorder (see Clinical Trials).
A major depressive episode (DSM-IV) implies a prominent and relatively persistent (nearly every day for at least 2 weeks) depressed mood or the loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities, representing a change from previous functioning, and includes the presence of at least five of the following nine symptoms during the same two-week period: depressed mood, markedly diminished interest or pleasure in usual activities, significant change in weight and/or appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, psychomotor agitation or retardation, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, a suicide attempt or suicidal ideation.
The efficacy of venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets (immediate release) in the treatment of major depressive disorder in adult inpatients meeting diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder with melancholia was established in a 4-week controlled trial (see Clinical Trials). The safety and efficacy of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in hospitalized depressed patients have not been adequately studied.
The efficacy of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in maintaining a response in major depressive disorder for up to 26 weeks following 8 weeks of acute treatment was demonstrated in a placebo-controlled trial. The efficacy of venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets (immediate release) in maintaining a response in patients with recurrent major depressive disorder who had responded and continued to be improved during an initial 26 weeks of treatment and were then followed for a period of up to 52 weeks was demonstrated in a second placebo-controlled trial (see Clinical Trials). Nevertheless, the physician who elects to use venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets / venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules for extended periods should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
CONTRAINDICATIONSHypersensitivity to venlafaxine hydrochloride or to any excipients in the formulation.
Concomitant use in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) is contraindicated (see WARNINGS).
Clinical Worsening and Suicide RiskPatients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of certain other psychiatric disorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18 to 24) with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older.
The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescents with MDD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 24 short-term trials of 9 antidepressant drugs in over 4400 patients. The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in adults with MDD or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 295 short-term trials (median duration of 2 months) of 11 antidepressant drugs in over 77,000 patients. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidality among drugs, but a tendency toward an increase in the younger patients for almost all drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidality across the different indications, with the highest incidence in MDD. The risk differences (drug vs placebo), however, were relatively stable within age strata and across indications. These risk differences (drug-placebo difference in the number of cases of suicidality per 1000 patients treated) are provided in Table 1.
It is unknown whether the suicidality risk extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond several months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance trials in adults with depression that the use of antidepressants can delay the recurrence of depression.
All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases.
The following symptoms, agitation, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and/or the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality.
Consideration should be given to changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing the medication, in patients who are experiencing emergent suicidality or symptoms that might be precursors to suicidality, especially if these symptoms are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient's presenting symptoms.
If the decision has been made to discontinue treatment, medication should be tapered, as rapidly as is feasible, but with recognition that abrupt discontinuation can be associated with certain symptoms (see PRECAUTIONS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Discontinuation of Treatment with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, for a description of the risks of discontinuation of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules).
Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder or other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric, should be alerted about the need to monitor patients for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior, and the other symptoms described above, as well as the emergence of suicidality, and to report such symptoms immediately to health care providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers. Prescriptions for venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules should be written for the smallest quantity of capsules consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.
Screening Patients for Bipolar Disorder
A major depressive episode may be the initial presentation of bipolar disorder. It is generally believed (though not established in controlled trials) that treating such an episode with an antidepressant alone may increase the likelihood of precipitation of a mixed/manic episode in patients at risk for bipolar disorder. Whether any of the symptoms described above represent such a conversion is unknown. However, prior to initiating treatment with an antidepressant, patients with depressive symptoms should be adequately screened to determine if they are at risk for bipolar disorder; such screening should include a detailed psychiatric history, including a family history of suicide, and bipolar disorder. It should be noted that venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules are not approved for use in treating bipolar depression.
MDD = major depressive disorder
In premarketing major depressive disorder studies, 0.7% (5/705) of the venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules-treated patients discontinued treatment because of elevated blood pressure. Among these patients, most of the blood pressure increases were in a modest range (12 to 16 mm Hg, SDBP).
1 Supine Systolic Blood Pressure
GeneralDiscontinuation of Treatment with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules
Discontinuation symptoms have been systematically evaluated in patients taking venlafaxine, to include retrospective surveys of trials in major depressive disorder. Abrupt discontinuation or dose reduction of venlafaxine at various doses has been found to be associated with the appearance of new symptoms, the frequency of which increased with increased dose level and with longer duration of treatment. Reported symptoms include agitation, anorexia, anxiety, confusion, impaired coordination and balance, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, dysphoric mood, fasciculation, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, headaches, hypomania, insomnia, nausea, nervousness, nightmares, sensory disturbances (including shock-like electrical sensations), somnolence, sweating, tremor, vertigo, and vomiting.
During marketing of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, other SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors), and SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), there have been spontaneous reports of adverse events occurring upon discontinuation of these drugs, particularly when abrupt, including the following: dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g. paresthesias such as electric shock sensations), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, and seizures. While these events are generally self-limiting, there have been reports of serious discontinuation symptoms.
Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing treatment with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules. A gradual reduction in the dose rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician may continue decreasing the dose but at a more gradual rate (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Insomnia and Nervousness
Treatment-emergent insomnia and nervousness were more commonly reported for patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules than with placebo in pooled analyses of short-term major depressive disorder as shown in Table 5.
Changes in Weight
Adult Patients: A loss of 5% or more of body weight occurred in 7% of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules-treated and 2% of placebo-treated patients in the short-term placebo-controlled major depressive disorder trials. The discontinuation rate for weight loss associated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules was 0.1% in major depressive disorder studies.
The safety and efficacy of venlafaxine therapy in combination with weight loss agents, including phentermine, have not been established. Co-administration of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and weight loss agents is not recommended. Venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules are not indicated for weight loss alone or in combination with other products.
Pediatric Patients: Weight loss has been observed in pediatric patients (ages 6 to 17) receiving venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsule. In a pooled analysis of four eight-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, flexible dose outpatient trials for major depressive disorder (MDD), venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules-treated patients lost an average of 0.45 kg (n = 333), while placebo-treated patients gained an average of 0.77 kg (n = 333). More patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules than with placebo experienced a weight loss of at least 3.5% in the MDD studies (18% of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules-treated patients vs. 3.6% of placebo-treated patients; p<0.001).
The risks associated with longer-term venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules use were assessed in an open-label MDD study of children and adolescents who received venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsule for up to six months. The children and adolescents in the study had increases in weight that were less than expected based on data from age- and sex-matched peers. The difference between observed weight gain and expected weight gain was larger for children (<12 years old) than for adolescents (≥12 years old).
Changes in Height
Pediatric Patients: During the eight-week placebo-controlled MDD studies, venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules-treated patients grew an average of 0.8 cm (n = 146), while placebo-treated patients grew an average of 0.7 cm (n = 147). In the six-month, open-label MDD study, children and adolescents had height increases that were less than expected based on data from age- and sex-matched peers. The difference between observed growth rates and expected growth rates was larger for children (<12 years old) than for adolescents (≥12 years old).
Changes in Appetite
Adult Patients: Treatment-emergent anorexia was more commonly reported for venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules-treated (8%) than placebo-treated patients (4%) in the pool of short-term, double-blind, placebo-controlled major depressive disorder studies. The discontinuation rate for anorexia associated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules was 1.0% in major depressive disorder studies.
Pediatric Patients: Decreased appetite has been observed in pediatric patients receiving venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules. In the placebo-controlled trials for MDD, 10% of patients aged 6 to 17 treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules for up to eight weeks and 3% of patients treated with placebo reported treatment-emergent anorexia (decreased appetite). None of the patients receiving venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules discontinued for anorexia or weight loss. The discontinuation rates for anorexia were 0.7% and 0.0% for patients receiving venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsule and placebo, respectively; the discontinuation rates for weight loss were 0.7% for patients receiving either venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules or placebo.
Activation of Mania/Hypomania
During premarketing major depressive disorder studies, mania or hypomania occurred in 0.3% of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules-treated patients and no placebo patients. In all premarketing major depressive disorder trials with venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets (immediate release), mania or hypomania occurred in 0.5% of venlafaxine-treated patients compared with no placebo patients. Mania/hypomania has also been reported in a small proportion of patients with mood disorders who were treated with other marketed drugs to treat major depressive disorder. As with all drugs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder, venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules should be used cautiously in patients with a history of mania.
Hyponatremia may occur as a result of treatment with SSRIs and SNRIs, including venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules. In many cases, this hyponatremia appears to be the result of the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH). Cases with serum sodium lower than 110 mmol/L have been reported. Elderly patients may be at greater risk of developing hyponatremia with SSRIs and SNRIs. Also, patients taking diuretics or who are otherwise volume depleted may be at greater risk (see PRECAUTIONS, Geriatric Use). Discontinuation of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules should be considered in patients with symptomatic hyponatremia and appropriate medical intervention should be instituted.
Signs and symptoms of hyponatremia include headache, difficulty concentrating, memory impairment, confusion, weakness, and unsteadiness, which may lead to falls. Signs and symptoms associated with more severe and/or acute cases have included hallucination, syncope, seizure, coma, respiratory arrest, and death.
During premarketing experience, no seizures occurred among 705 venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules-treated patients in the major depressive disorder studies. In all premarketing major depressive disorder trials with venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets (immediate release), seizures were reported at various doses in 0.3% (8/3082) of venlafaxine-treated patients. Venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, like many antidepressants, should be used cautiously in patients with a history of seizures and should be discontinued in any patient who develops seizures.
SSRIs and SNRIs, including venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, may increase the risk of bleeding events. Concomitant use of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, warfarin, and other anti-coagulants may add to this risk. Case reports and epidemiological studies (case-control and cohort design) have demonstrated an association between use of drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and the occurrence of gastrointestinal bleeding. Bleeding events related to SSRIs and SNRIs use have ranged from ecchymoses, hematomas, epistaxis, and petechiae to life-threatening hemorrhages.
Patients should be cautioned about the risk of bleeding associated with the concomitant use of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and NSAIDs, aspirin, or other drugs that affect coagulation.
Serum Cholesterol Elevation
Clinically relevant increases in serum cholesterol were recorded in 5.3% of venlafaxine-treated patients and 0.0% of placebo-treated patients treated for at least 3 months in placebo-controlled trials (see ADVERSE REACTIONS-Laboratory Changes). Measurement of serum cholesterol levels should be considered during long-term treatment.
Interstitial Lung Disease and Eosinophilic Pneumonia
Interstitial lung disease and eosinophilic pneumonia associated with venlafaxine therapy have been rarely reported. The possibility of these adverse events should be considered in venlafaxine-treated patients who present with progressive dyspnea, cough or chest discomfort. Such patients should undergo a prompt medical evaluation, and discontinuation of venlafaxine therapy should be considered.
Use in Patients With Concomitant Illness
Premarketing experience with venlafaxine in patients with concomitant systemic illness is limited. Caution is advised in administering venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules to patients with diseases or conditions that could affect hemodynamic responses or metabolism.
Venlafaxine has not been evaluated or used to any appreciable extent in patients with a recent history of myocardial infarction or unstable heart disease. Patients with these diagnoses were systematically excluded from many clinical studies during venlafaxine's premarketing testing. The electrocardiograms were analyzed for 275 patients who received venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and 220 patients who received placebo in 8- to 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in major depressive disorder.
In these same trials, the mean change from baseline in heart rate for venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules-treated patients in the major depressive disorder studies was significantly higher than that for placebo (a mean increase of 4 beats per minute for venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and 1 beat per minute for placebo).
In a flexible-dose study, with venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets (immediate release) doses in the range of 200 to 375 mg/day and mean dose greater than 300 mg/day, venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets-treated patients had a mean increase in heart rate of 8.5 beats per minute compared with 1.7 beats per minute in the placebo group.
As increases in heart rate were observed, caution should be exercised in patients whose underlying medical conditions might be compromised by increases in heart rate (eg, patients with hyperthyroidism, heart failure, or recent myocardial infarction).
Evaluation of the electrocardiograms for 769 patients who received venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets (immediate release) in 4- to 6-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trials showed that the incidence of trial- emergent conduction abnormalities did not differ from that with placebo.
In patients with renal impairment (GFR = 10 to 70 mL/min) or cirrhosis of the liver, the clearances of venlafaxine and its active metabolites were decreased, thus prolonging the elimination half-lives of these substances. A lower dose may be necessary (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, like all drugs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder, should be used with caution in such patients.
Information for PatientsPrescribers or other health professionals should inform patients, their families, and their caregivers about the benefits and risks associated with treatment with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and should counsel them in its appropriate use. A patient Medication Guide about “Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and Other Serious Mental Illness, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions” is available for venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules. The prescriber or health professional should instruct patients, their families, and their caregivers to read the Medication Guide and should assist them in understanding its contents. Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss the contents of the Medication Guide and to obtain answers to any questions they may have. The complete text of the Medication Guide is reprinted at the end of this document.
Patients should be advised of the following issues and asked to alert their prescriber if these occur while taking venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules.
Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk: Patients, their families, and their caregivers should be encouraged to be alert to the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression, and suicidal ideation, especially early during antidepressant treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down. Families and caregivers of patients should be advised to look for the emergence of such symptoms on a day to-day basis, since changes may be abrupt. Such symptoms should be reported to the patient's prescriber or health professional, especially if they are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient's presenting symptoms. Symptoms such as these may be associated with an increased risk for suicidal thinking and behavior and indicate a need for very close monitoring and possibly changes in the medication.
Interference with Cognitive and Motor Performance
Clinical studies were performed to examine the effects of venlafaxine on behavioral performance of healthy individuals. The results revealed no clinically significant impairment of psychomotor, cognitive, or complex behavior performance. However, since any psychoactive drug may impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills, patients should be cautioned about operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that venlafaxine therapy does not adversely affect their ability to engage in such activities.
Patients should be advised to inform their physicians if they are taking, or plan to take, any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, including herbal preparations and nutritional supplements, since there is a potential for interactions.
Patients should be cautioned about the risk of serotonin syndrome with the concomitant use of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and triptans, tramadol, tryptophan supplements or other serotonergic agents (see WARNINGS, Serotonin Syndrome and PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions, CNS-Active Drugs).
Patients should be cautioned about the concomitant use of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and NSAIDs, aspirin, warfarin, or other drugs that affect coagulation since combined use of psychotropic drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and these agents has been associated with an increased risk of bleeding (see PRECAUTIONS, Abnormal Bleeding).
Although venlafaxine has not been shown to increase the impairment of mental and motor skills caused by alcohol, patients should be advised to avoid alcohol while taking venlafaxine.
Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they develop a rash, hives, or a related allergic phenomenon.
Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during therapy.
Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they are breast-feeding an infant.
Mydriasis (prolonged dilation of the pupils of the eye) has been reported with venlafaxine. Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they have a history of glaucoma or a history of increased intraocular pressure (see WARNINGS).
Drug InteractionsAs with all drugs, the potential for interaction by a variety of mechanisms is a possibility.
A single dose of ethanol (0.5 g/kg) had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine or O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV) when venlafaxine was administered at 150 mg/day in 15 healthy male subjects. Additionally, administration of venlafaxine in a stable regimen did not exaggerate the psychomotor and psychometric effects induced by ethanol in these same subjects when they were not receiving venlafaxine.
Concomitant administration of cimetidine and venlafaxine in a steady-state study for both drugs resulted in inhibition of first-pass metabolism of venlafaxine in 18 healthy subjects. The oral clearance of venlafaxine was reduced by about 43%, and the exposure (AUC) and maximum concentration (Cmax) of the drug were increased by about 60%. However, coadministration of cimetidine had no apparent effect on the pharmacokinetics of ODV, which is present in much greater quantity in the circulation than venlafaxine. The overall pharmacological activity of venlafaxine plus ODV is expected to increase only slightly, and no dosage adjustment should be necessary for most normal adults. However, for patients with pre-existing hypertension, and for elderly patients or patients with hepatic dysfunction, the interaction associated with the concomitant use of venlafaxine and cimetidine is not known and potentially could be more pronounced. Therefore, caution is advised with such patients.
Under steady-state conditions for venlafaxine administered at 150 mg/day, a single 10 mg dose of diazepam did not appear to affect the pharmacokinetics of either venlafaxine or ODV in 18 healthy male subjects. Venlafaxine also did not have any effect on the pharmacokinetics of diazepam or its active metabolite, desmethyldiazepam, or affect the psychomotor and psychometric effects induced by diazepam.
Venlafaxine administered under steady-state conditions at 150 mg/day in 24 healthy subjects decreased total oral-dose clearance (Cl/F) of a single 2 mg dose of haloperidol by 42%, which resulted in a 70% increase in haloperidol AUC. In addition, the haloperidol Cmax increased 88% when coadministered with venlafaxine, but the haloperidol elimination half-life (t1/2) was unchanged. The mechanism explaining this finding is unknown.
The steady-state pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine administered at 150 mg/day were not affected when a single 600 mg oral dose of lithium was administered to 12 healthy male subjects. ODV also was unaffected. Venlafaxine had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of lithium (see also CNS-Active Drugs, below).
Drugs Highly Bound to Plasma Proteins
Venlafaxine is not highly bound to plasma proteins; therefore, administration of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules to a patient taking another drug that is highly protein bound should not cause increased free concentrations of the other drug.
Drugs that Interfere with Hemostasis (e.g., NSAIDs, Aspirin, and Warfarin)
Serotonin release by platelets plays an important role in hemostasis. Epidemiological studies of the case-control and cohort design that have demonstrated an association between use of psychotropic drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and the occurrence of upper gastrointestinal bleeding have also shown that concurrent use of an NSAID or aspirin may potentiate this risk of bleeding. Altered anticoagulant effects, including increased bleeding, have been reported when SSRIs and SNRIs are coadministered with warfarin. Patients receiving warfarin therapy should be carefully monitored when venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules are initiated or discontinued.
Drugs that Inhibit Cytochrome P450 Isoenzymes
CYP2D6 Inhibitors: In vitro and in vivo studies indicate that venlafaxine is metabolized to its active metabolite, ODV, by CYP2D6, the isoenzyme that is responsible for the genetic polymorphism seen in the metabolism of many antidepressants. Therefore, the potential exists for a drug interaction between drugs that inhibit CYP2D6-mediated metabolism of venlafaxine, reducing the metabolism of venlafaxine to ODV, resulting in increased plasma concentrations of venlafaxine and decreased concentrations of the active metabolite. CYP2D6 inhibitors such as quinidine would be expected to do this, but the effect would be similar to what is seen in patients who are genetically CYP2D6 poor metabolizers (see Metabolism and Excretion under CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Therefore, no dosage adjustment is required when venlafaxine is coadministered with a CYP2D6 inhibitor.
Ketoconazole: A pharmacokinetic study with ketoconazole 100 mg b.i.d. with a single dose of venlafaxine 50 mg in extensive metabolizers (EM; n=14) and 25 mg in poor metabolizers (PM; n=6) of CYP2D6 resulted in higher plasma concentrations of both venlafaxine and O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV) in most subjects following administration of ketoconazole. Venlafaxine Cmax increased by 26% in EM subjects and 48% in PM subjects. Cmax values for ODV increased by 14% and 29% in EM and PM subjects, respectively.
Venlafaxine AUC increased by 21% in EM subjects and 70% in PM subjects (range in PMs -2% to 206%), and AUC values for ODV increased by 23% and 33% in EM and PM (range in PMs - 38% to 105%) subjects, respectively. Combine AUCs of venlafaxine and ODV increased on average by approximately 23% in EMs and 53% in PMs, (range in PMs 4% to 134%)
Concomitant use of CYP3A4 inhibitors and venlafaxine may increase levels of venlafaxine and ODV. Therefore, caution is advised if a patient's therapy includes a CYP3A4 inhibitor and venlafaxine concomitantly.
Drugs Metabolized by Cytochrome P450 Isoenzymes
CYP2D6: In vitro studies indicate that venlafaxine is a relatively weak inhibitor of CYP2D6. These findings have been confirmed in a clinical drug interaction study comparing the effect of venlafaxine with that of fluoxetine on the CYP2D6-mediated metabolism of dextromethorphan to dextrorphan.
Imipramine - Venlafaxine did not affect the pharmacokinetics of imipramine and 2-OH-imipramine. However, desipramine AUC, Cmax, and Cmin increased by about 35% in the presence of venlafaxine. The 2-OH-desipramine AUC's increased by at least 2.5 fold (with venlafaxine 37.5 mg q12h) and by 4.5 fold (with venlafaxine 75 mg q12h). Imipramine did not affect the pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine and ODV. The clinical significance of elevated 2-OH-desipramine levels is unknown.
Metoprolol - Concomitant administration of venlafaxine (50 mg every 8 hours for 5 days) and metoprolol (100 mg every 24 hours for 5 days) to 18 healthy male subjects in a pharmacokinetic interaction study for both drugs resulted in an increase of plasma concentrations of metoprolol by approximately 30 to 40% without altering the plasma concentrations of its active metabolite, α-hydroxymetoprolol. Metoprolol did not alter the pharmacokinetic profile of venlafaxine or its active metabolite, O-desmethylvenlafaxine.
Venlafaxine appeared to reduce the blood pressure lowering effect of metoprolol in this study. The clinical relevance of this finding for hypertensive patients is unknown. Caution should be exercised with co-administration of venlafaxine and metoprolol.
Venlafaxine treatment has been associated with dose-related increases in blood pressure in some patients. It is recommended that patients receiving venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules have regular monitoring of blood pressure (see WARNINGS).
Risperidone - Venlafaxine administered under steady-state conditions at 150 mg/day slightly inhibited the CYP2D6-mediated metabolism of risperidone (administered as a single 1 mg oral dose) to its active metabolite, 9-hydroxyrisperidone, resulting in an approximate 32% increase in risperidone AUC. However, venlafaxine coadministration did not significantly alter the pharmacokinetic profile of the total active moiety (risperidone plus 9-hydroxyrisperidone).
CYP3A4: Venlafaxine did not inhibit CYP3A4 in vitro. This finding was confirmed in vivo by clinical drug interaction studies in which venlafaxine did not inhibit the metabolism of several CYP3A4 substrates, including alprazolam, diazepam, and terfenadine.
Indinavir - In a study of 9 healthy volunteers, venlafaxine administered under steady-state conditions at 150 mg/day resulted in a 28% decrease in the AUC of a single 800 mg oral dose of indinavir and a 36% decrease in indinavir Cmax. Indinavir did not affect the pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine and ODV. The clinical significance of this finding is unknown.
CYP1A2: Venlafaxine did not inhibit CYP1A2 in vitro. This finding was confirmed in vivo by a clinical drug interaction study in which venlafaxine did not inhibit the metabolism of caffeine, a CYP1A2 substrate.
CYP2C9: Venlafaxine did not inhibit CYP2C9 in vitro. In vivo, venlafaxine 75 mg by mouth every 12 hours did not alter the pharmacokinetics of a single 500 mg dose of tolbutamide or the CYP2C9 mediated formation of 4-hydroxy-tolbutamide.
CYP2C19: Venlafaxine did not inhibit the metabolism of diazepam, which is partially metabolized by CYP2C19 (see Diazepam above).
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
See CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS.
The risk of using venlafaxine in combination with other CNS-active drugs has not been systematically evaluated (except in the case of those CNS-active drugs noted above). Consequently, caution is advised if the concomitant administration of venlafaxine and such drugs is required.
Serotonergic Drugs: Based on the mechanism of action of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and the potential for serotonin syndrome, caution is advised when venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules are co-administered with other drugs that may affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter systems, such as triptans, SSRIs, other SNRIs, linezolid (an antibiotic which is a reversible non-selective MAOI), lithium, tramadol, or St. John's Wort (see WARNINGS, Serotonin Syndrome). If concomitant treatment of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules with these drugs is clinically warranted, careful observation of the patient is advised, particularly during treatment initiation and dose increases (see WARNINGS, Serotonin Syndrome). The concomitant use of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules with tryptophan supplements is not recommended (see WARNINGS, Serotonin Syndrome).
Triptans: There have been rare postmarketing reports of serotonin syndrome with use of an SSRI and a triptan. If concomitant treatment of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules with a triptan is clinically warranted, careful observation of the patient is advised, particularly during treatment initiation and dose increases (see WARNINGS, Serotonin Syndrome).
There are no clinical data establishing the benefit of electroconvulsive therapy combined with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules treatment.
Postmarketing Spontaneous Drug Interaction Reports
See ADVERSE REACTIONS, Postmarketing Reports.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of FertilityCarcinogenesis
Venlafaxine was given by oral gavage to mice for 18 months at doses up to 120 mg/kg per day, which was 1.7 times the maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis. Venlafaxine was also given to rats by oral gavage for 24 months at doses up to 120 mg/kg per day. In rats receiving the 120 mg/kg dose, plasma concentrations of venlafaxine at necropsy were 1 times (male rats) and 6 times (female rats) the plasma concentrations of patients receiving the maximum recommended human dose. Plasma levels of the O-desmethyl metabolite were lower in rats than in patients receiving the maximum recommended dose. Tumors were not increased by venlafaxine treatment in mice or rats.
Venlafaxine and the major human metabolite, O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV), were not mutagenic in the Ames reverse mutation assay in Salmonella bacteria or the Chinese hamster ovary/HGPRT mammalian cell forward gene mutation assay. Venlafaxine was also not mutagenic or clastogenic in the in vitro BALB/c-3T3 mouse cell transformation assay, the sister chromatid exchange assay in cultured Chinese hamster ovary cells, or in the in vivo chromosomal aberration assay in rat bone marrow. ODV was not clastogenic in the in vitro Chinese hamster ovary cell chromosomal aberration assay, but elicited a clastogenic response in the in vivo chromosomal aberration assay in rat bone marrow.
Impairment of Fertility
Reproduction and fertility studies in rats showed no effects on male or female fertility at oral doses of up to 2 times the maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis.
PregnancyTeratogenic Effects - Pregnancy Category C
Venlafaxine did not cause malformations in offspring of rats or rabbits given doses up to 2.5 times (rat) or 4 times (rabbit) the maximum recommended human daily dose on a mg/m2 basis. However, in rats, there was a decrease in pup weight, an increase in stillborn pups, and an increase in pup deaths during the first 5 days of lactation, when dosing began during pregnancy and continued until weaning. The cause of these deaths is not known. These effects occurred at 2.5 times (mg/m2) the maximum human daily dose. The no effect dose for rat pup mortality was 0.25 times the human dose on a mg/m2 basis. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Neonates exposed to venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, other SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors), or SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding. Such complications can arise immediately upon delivery. Reported clinical findings have included respiratory distress, cyanosis, apnea, seizures, temperature instability, feeding difficulty, vomiting, hypoglycemia, hypotonia, hypertonia, hyperreflexia, tremor, jitteriness, irritability, and constant crying. These features are consistent with either a direct toxic effect of SSRIs and SNRIs or, possibly, a drug discontinuation syndrome. It should be noted that, in some cases, the clinical picture is consistent with serotonin syndrome (see PRECAUTIONS-Drug Interactions-CNS-Active Drugs). When treating a pregnant woman with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules during the third trimester, the physician should carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of treatment (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Labor and Delivery
The effect of venlafaxine on labor and delivery in humans is unknown.
Venlafaxine and ODV have been reported to be excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Safety and effectiveness in the pediatric population have not been established (see BOX WARNING and WARNINGS, Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk). Two placebo-controlled trials in 766 pediatric patients with MDD have been conducted with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, and the data were not sufficient to support a claim for use in pediatric patients.
Anyone considering the use of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in a child or adolescent must balance the potential risks with the clinical need.
Although no studies have been designed to primarily assess venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules impact on the growth, development, and maturation of children and adolescents, the studies that have been done suggest that venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules may adversely affect weight and height (see PRECAUTIONS, General, Changes in Height and Changes in Weight). Should the decision be made to treat a pediatric patient with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, regular monitoring of weight and height is recommended during treatment, particularly if it is to be continued long term. The safety of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules treatment for pediatric patients has not been systematically assessed for chronic treatment longer than six months in duration.
In the studies conducted in pediatric patients (ages 6 to 17), the occurrence of blood pressure and cholesterol increases considered to be clinically relevant in pediatric patients was similar to that observed in adult patients. Consequently, the precautions for adults apply to pediatric patients (see WARNINGS, Sustained Hypertension, and PRECAUTIONS, General, Serum Cholesterol Elevation).
Approximately 4% (14/357) of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules-treated patients in placebo-controlled premarketing major depressive disorder were 65 years of age or over. Of 2,897 venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets-treated (immediate release) patients in premarketing phase major depressive disorder studies, 12% (357) were 65 years of age or over. No overall differences in effectiveness or safety were observed between geriatric patients and younger patients, and other reported clinical experience generally has not identified differences in response between the elderly and younger patients. However, greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out. SSRIs and SNRIs, including venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules have been associated with cases of clinically significant hyponatremia in elderly patients, who may be at greater risk for this adverse event (see PRECAUTIONS,Hyponatremia).
The pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine and ODV are not substantially altered in the elderly (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). No dose adjustment is recommended for the elderly on the basis of age alone, although other clinical circumstances, some of which may be more common in the elderly, such as renal or hepatic impairment, may warrant a dose reduction (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
ADVERSE REACTIONSThe information included in the Adverse Findings Observed in Short-Term, Placebo-Controlled Studies with Venlafaxine Hydrochloride Extended-Release Capsules subsection is based on data from a pool of three 8- and 12-week controlled clinical trials in major depressive disorder (includes two U.S. trials and one European trial). Information on additional adverse events associated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in the entire development program for the formulation and with venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets (immediate release) is included in the Other Adverse Events Observed During the Premarketing Evaluation of Venlafaxine Hydrochloride Tablets and Venlafaxine Hydrochloride Extended-Release Capsules subsection (see also WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS).
Adverse Findings Observed in Short-Term, Placebo-Controlled Studies with Venlafaxine Hydrochloride Extended-Release Capsules
Adverse Events Associated with Discontinuation of Treatment Approximately 11% of the 357 patients who received venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in placebo-controlled clinical trials for major depressive disorder discontinued treatment due to an adverse experience, compared with 6% of the 285 placebo-treated patients in those studies. The most common events leading to discontinuation and considered to be drug-related (ie, leading to discontinuation in at least 1% of the venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules-treated patients at a rate at least twice that of placebo for any indication) are shown in Table 6.
1 Two of the major depressive disorder studies were flexible dose and one was fixed dose.
Adverse Events Occurring at an Incidence of 2% or More Among Venlafaxine Hydrochloride Extended-Release Capsules-Treated Patients Tables 7, enumerate the incidence, rounded to the nearest percent, of treatment-emergent adverse events that occurred during acute therapy of major depressive disorder (up to 12 weeks; dose range of 75 to 225 mg/day), in 2% or more of patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride where the incidence in patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules was greater than the incidence for the respective placebo-treated patients. The table shows the percentage of patients in each group who had at least one episode of an event at some time during their treatment. Reported adverse events were classified using a standard COSTART-based Dictionary terminology.
The prescriber should be aware that these figures cannot be used to predict the incidence of side effects in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors differ from those which prevailed in the clinical trials. Similarly, the cited frequencies cannot be compared with figures obtained from other clinical investigations involving different treatments, uses and investigators. The cited figures, however, do provide the prescribing physician with some basis for estimating the relative contribution of drug and nondrug factors to the side effect incidence rate in the population studied.
Commonly Observed Adverse Events from Table 7.
Major Depressive Disorder
Note in particular the following adverse events that occurred in at least 5% of the venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules patients and at a rate at least twice that of the placebo group for all placebo-controlled trials for the major depressive disorder indication (Table 7): Abnormal ejaculation, gastrointestinal complaints (nausea, dry mouth, and anorexia), CNS complaints (dizziness, somnolence, and abnormal dreams), and sweating. In the two U.S. placebo-controlled trials, the following additional events occurred in at least 5% of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules-treated patients (n = 192) and at a rate at least twice that of the placebo group: Abnormalities of sexual function (impotence in men, anorgasmia in women, and libido decreased), gastrointestinal complaints (constipation and flatulence), CNS complaints (insomnia, nervousness, and tremor), problems of special senses (abnormal vision), cardiovascular effects (hypertension and vasodilatation), and yawning.
2 <1% indicates an incidence greater than zero but less than 1%.
3 Mostly “hot flashes.”
4 Mostly “vivid dreams,” “nightmares,” and “increased dreaming.”
5 Mostly “blurred vision” and “difficulty focusing eyes.”
6 Mostly “delayed ejaculation.”
7 Incidence is based on the number of male patients.
8 Mostly “delayed orgasm” or “anorgasmia.”
9 Incidence is based on the number of female patients.
Vital Sign Changes
Venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules treatment for up to 12 weeks in premarketing placebo-controlled major depressive disorder trials was associated with a mean final on-therapy increase in pulse rate of approximately 2 beats per minute, compared with 1 beat per minute for placebo.
In a flexible-dose study, with venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets (immediate release) doses in the range of 200 to 375 mg/day and mean dose greater than 300 mg/day, the mean pulse was increased by about 2 beats per minute compared with a decrease of about 1 beat per minute for placebo.
Venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules treatment for up to 12 weeks in premarketing placebo-controlled trials for major depressive disorder was associated with a mean final on-therapy increase in serum cholesterol concentration of approximately 1.5 mg/dL compared with a mean final decrease of 7.4 mg/dL for placebo.
Patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets (immediate release) for at least 3 months in placebo-controlled 12-month extension trials had a mean final on-therapy increase in total cholesterol of 9.1 mg/dL compared with a decrease of 7.1 mg/dL among placebo-treated patients. This increase was duration dependent over the study period and tended to be greater with higher doses. Clinically relevant increases in serum cholesterol, defined as 1) a final on-therapy increase in serum cholesterol ≥50 mg/dL from baseline and to a value ≥261 mg/dL, or 2) an average on-therapy increase in serum cholesterol ≥50 mg/dL from baseline and to a value ≥261 mg/dL, were recorded in 5.3% of venlafaxine-treated patients and 0.0% of placebo-treated patients (see PRECAUTIONS-General-Serum Cholesterol Elevation).
In a flexible-dose study, with venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets (immediate release) doses in the range of 200 to 375 mg/day and mean dose greater than 300 mg/day, the mean change in heart rate was 8.5 beats per minute compared with 1.7 beats per minute for placebo.
(See the Use in Patients with Concomitant Illness section of PRECAUTIONS.)
Other Adverse Events Observed During the Premarketing Evaluation of Venlafaxine Hydrochloride Tablets and Venlafaxine Hydrochloride Extended-Release Capsules
During its premarketing assessment, multiple doses of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules were administered to 705 patients in Phase 3 major depressive disorder studies and venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets were administered to 96 patients. In addition, in premarketing assessment of venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets, multiple doses were administered to 2897 patients in Phase 2 to Phase 3 studies for major depressive disorder. The conditions and duration of exposure to venlafaxine in both development programs varied greatly, and included (in overlapping categories) open and double-blind studies, uncontrolled and controlled studies, inpatient (venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets only) and outpatient studies, fixed-dose, and titration studies. Untoward events associated with this exposure were recorded by clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. Consequently, it is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of individuals experiencing adverse events without first grouping similar types of untoward events into a smaller number of standardized event categories.
In the tabulations that follow, reported adverse events were classified using a standard COSTART-based Dictionary terminology. The frequencies presented, therefore, represent the proportion of the 7212 patients exposed to multiple doses of either formulation of venlafaxine who experienced an event of the type cited on at least one occasion while receiving venlafaxine. All reported events are included except those already listed in Table 7 and those events for which a drug cause was remote. If the COSTART term for an event was so general as to be uninformative, it was replaced with a more informative term. It is important to emphasize that, although the events reported occurred during treatment with venlafaxine, they were not necessarily caused by it.
Events are further categorized by body system and listed in order of decreasing frequency using the following definitions: frequent adverse events are defined as those occurring on one or more occasions in at least 1/100 patients; infrequent adverse events are those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1000 patients; rare events are those occurring in fewer than 1/1000 patients.
Body as a whole - Frequent: chest pain substernal, chills, fever, neck pain; Infrequent: face edema, intentional injury, malaise, moniliasis, neck rigidity, pelvic pain, photosensitivity reaction, suicide attempt, withdrawal syndrome; Rare: appendicitis, bacteremia, carcinoma, cellulitis, granuloma.
Cardiovascular system - Frequent: migraine, tachycardia; Infrequent: angina pectoris, arrhythmia, bradycardia, extrasystoles, hypotension, peripheral vascular disorder (mainly cold feet and/or cold hands), postural hypotension, syncope; Rare: aortic aneurysm, arteritis, first-degree atrioventricular block, bigeminy, bundle branch block, capillary fragility, cerebral ischemia, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, heart arrest, hematoma, cardiovascular disorder (mitral valve and circulatory disturbance), mucocutaneous hemorrhage, myocardial infarct, pallor, sinus arrhythmia, thrombophlebitis.
Digestive system - Frequent: increased appetite; Infrequent: bruxism, colitis, dysphagia, tongue edema, eructation, esophagitis, gastritis, gastroenteritis, gastrointestinal ulcer, gingivitis, glossitis, rectal hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, melena, oral moniliasis, stomatitis, mouth ulceration; Rare: abdominal distension, biliary pain, cheilitis, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, esophageal spasms, duodenitis, hematemesis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, gum hemorrhage, hepatitis, ileitis, jaundice, intestinal obstruction, liver tenderness, parotitis, periodontitis, proctitis, rectal disorder, salivary gland enlargement, increased salivation, soft stools, tongue discoloration.
Endocrine system - Rare: galactorrhoea, goiter, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid nodule, thyroiditis.
Hemic and lymphatic system - Frequent: ecchymosis; Infrequent: anemia, leukocytosis, leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, thrombocythemia; Rare: basophilia, bleeding time increased, cyanosis, eosinophilia, lymphocytosis, multiple myeloma, purpura, thrombocytopenia.
Metabolic and nutritional - Frequent: edema, weight gain; Infrequent: alkaline phosphatase increased, dehydration, hypercholesteremia, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, hypokalemia, SGOT (AST) increased, SGPT (ALT) increased, thirst; Rare: alcohol intolerance, bilirubinemia, BUN increased, creatinine increased, diabetes mellitus, glycosuria, gout, healing abnormal, hemochromatosis, hypercalcinuria, hyperkalemia, hyperphosphatemia, hyperuricemia, hypocholesteremia, hypoglycemia, hyponatremia, hypophosphatemia, hypoproteinemia, uremia.
Musculoskeletal system - Infrequent: arthritis, arthrosis, bone spurs, bursitis, leg cramps, myasthenia, tenosynovitis; Rare: bone pain, pathological fracture, muscle cramp, muscle spasms, musculoskeletal stiffness, myopathy, osteoporosis, osteosclerosis, plantar fasciitis, rheumatoid arthritis, tendon rupture.
Nervous system - Frequent: amnesia, confusion, depersonalization, hypesthesia, thinking abnormal, trismus, vertigo; Infrequent: akathisia, apathy, ataxia, circumoral paresthesia, CNS stimulation, emotional lability, euphoria, hallucinations, hostility, hyperesthesia, hyperkinesia, hypotonia, incoordination, libido increased, manic reaction, myoclonus, neuralgia, neuropathy, psychosis, seizure, abnormal speech, stupor, suicidal ideation; Rare: abnormal/changed behavior, adjustment disorder, akinesia, alcohol abuse, aphasia, bradykinesia, buccoglossal syndrome, cerebrovascular accident, feeling drunk, loss of consciousness, delusions, dementia, dystonia, energy increased, facial paralysis, abnormal gait, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, homicidal ideation, hyperchlorhydria, hypokinesia, hysteria, impulse control difficulties, motion sickness, neuritis, nystagmus, paranoid reaction, paresis, psychotic depression, reflexes decreased, reflexes increased, torticollis.
Respiratory system - Frequent: cough increased, dyspnea; Infrequent: asthma, chest congestion, epistaxis, hyperventilation, laryngismus, laryngitis, pneumonia, voice alteration; Rare: atelectasis, hemoptysis, hypoventilation, hypoxia, larynx edema, pleurisy, pulmonary embolus, sleep apnea.
Skin and appendages - Frequent: pruritus; Infrequent: acne, alopecia, contact dermatitis, dry skin, eczema, maculopapular rash, psoriasis, urticaria; Rare: brittle nails, erythema nodosum, exfoliative dermatitis, lichenoid dermatitis, hair discoloration, skin discoloration, furunculosis, hirsutism, leukoderma, miliaria, petechial rash, pruritic rash, pustular rash, vesiculobullous rash, seborrhea, skin atrophy, skin hypertrophy, skin striae, sweating decreased.
Special senses - Frequent: abnormality of accommodation, mydriasis, taste perversion; Infrequent: conjunctivitis, diplopia, dry eyes, eye pain, otitis media, parosmia, photophobia, taste loss; Rare: blepharitis, cataract, chromatopsia, conjunctival edema, corneal lesion, deafness, exophthalmos, eye hemorrhage, glaucoma, retinal hemorrhage, subconjunctival hemorrhage, hyperacusis, keratitis, labyrinthitis, miosis, papilledema, decreased pupillary reflex, otitis externa, scleritis, uveitis, visual field defect.
Urogenital system - Frequent: albuminuria, urination impaired; Infrequent: amenorrhea,* cystitis, dysuria, hematuria, kidney calculus, kidney pain, leukorrhea,* menorrhagia,* metrorrhagia,* nocturia, breast pain, polyuria, pyuria, prostatic disorder (prostatitis, enlarged prostate, and prostate irritability,* urinary incontinence, urinary retention, urinary urgency, vaginal hemorrhage,* vaginitis*; Rare: abortion,* anuria, breast discharge, breast engorgement, balanitis,* breast enlargement, endometriosis,* female lactation,* fibrocystic breast, calcium crystalluria, cervicitis,* orchitis,* ovarian cyst,* bladder pain, prolonged erection,* gynecomastia (male),* hypomenorrhea,* kidney function abnormal, mastitis, menopause,* pyelonephritis, oliguria, salpingitis,* urolithiasis, uterine hemorrhage,* uterine spasm,* vaginal dryness.*
* Based on the number of men and women as appropriate.
Voluntary reports of other adverse events temporally associated with the use of venlafaxine that have been received since market introduction and that may have no causal relationship with the use of venlafaxine include the following: agranulocytosis, anaphylaxis, angioedema, aplastic anemia, catatonia, congenital anomalies, impaired coordination and balance, CPK increased, deep vein thrombophlebitis, delirium, EKG abnormalities such as QT prolongation; cardiac arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, ventricular extrasystoles, and rare reports of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia, including torsade de pointes; toxic epidermal necrolysis/Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, erythema multiforme, extrapyramidal symptoms (including dyskinesia and tardive dyskinesia), angle-closure glaucoma, hemorrhage (including eye and gastrointestinal bleeding), hepatic events (including GGT elevation; abnormalities of unspecified liver function tests; liver damage, necrosis, or failure; and fatty liver), interstitial lung disease, involuntary movements, LDH increased, neutropenia, night sweats, pancreatitis, pancytopenia, prolactin increased, renal failure, rhabdomyolysis, shock-like electrical sensations or tinnitus (in some cases, subsequent to the discontinuation of venlafaxine or tapering of dose), and syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (usually in the elderly).
There have been reports of elevated clozapine levels that were temporally associated with adverse events, including seizures, following the addition of venlafaxine. There have been reports of increases in prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, or INR when venlafaxine was given to patients receiving warfarin therapy.
DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCEControlled Substance Class
Venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsule is not a controlled substance.
Physical and Psychological Dependence
In vitro studies revealed that venlafaxine has virtually no affinity for opiate, benzodiazepine, phencyclidine (PCP), or N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors.
Venlafaxine was not found to have any significant CNS stimulant activity in rodents. In primate drug discrimination studies, venlafaxine showed no significant stimulant or depressant abuse liability.
Discontinuation effects have been reported in patients receiving venlafaxine (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
While venlafaxine has not been systematically studied in clinical trials for its potential for abuse, there was no indication of drug-seeking behavior in the clinical trials. However, it is not possible to predict on the basis of premarketing experience the extent to which a CNS active drug will be misused, diverted, and/or abused once marketed. Consequently, physicians should carefully evaluate patients for history of drug abuse and follow such patients closely, observing them for signs of misuse or abuse of venlafaxine (eg, development of tolerance, incrementation of dose, drug-seeking behavior).
Among the patients included in the premarketing evaluation of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, there were 2 reports of acute overdosage with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in major depressive disorder trials, either alone or in combination with other drugs. One patient took a combination of 6 g of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and 2.5 mg of lorazepam. This patient was hospitalized, treated symptomatically, and recovered without any untoward effects. The other patient took 2.85 g of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules. This patient reported paresthesia of all four limbs but recovered without sequelae.
Among the patients included in the premarketing evaluation with venlafaxine hydrochloride tablets (immediate release), there were 14 reports of acute overdose with venlafaxine, either alone or in combination with other drugs and/or alcohol. The majority of the reports involved ingestion in which the total dose of venlafaxine taken was estimated to be no more than several-fold higher than the usual therapeutic dose. The 3 patients who took the highest doses were estimated to have ingested approximately 6.75 g, 2.75 g, and 2.5 g. The resultant peak plasma levels of venlafaxine for the latter 2 patients were 6.24 and 2.35 µg/mL, respectively, and the peak plasma levels of O-desmethylvenlafaxine were 3.37 and 1.30 µg/mL, respectively. Plasma venlafaxine levels were not obtained for the patient who ingested 6.75 g of venlafaxine. All 14 patients recovered without sequelae. Most patients reported no symptoms. Among the remaining patients, somnolence was the most commonly reported symptom. The patient who ingested 2.75 g of venlafaxine was observed to have 2 generalized convulsions and a prolongation of QTc to 500 msec, compared with 405 msec at baseline. Mild sinus tachycardia was reported in 2 of the other patients.
In postmarketing experience, overdose with venlafaxine has occurred predominantly in combination with alcohol and/or other drugs. The most commonly reported events in overdosage include tachycardia, changes in level of consciousness (ranging from somnolence to coma), mydriasis, seizures, and vomiting. Electrocardiogram changes (eg, prolongation of QT interval, bundle branch block, QRS prolongation), ventricular tachycardia, bradycardia, hypotension, rhabdomyolysis, vertigo, liver necrosis, serotonin syndrome, and death have been reported.
Published retrospective studies report that venlafaxine overdosage may be associated with an increased risk of fatal outcomes compared to that observed with SSRI antidepressant products, but lower than that for tricyclic antidepressants. Epidemiological studies have shown that venlafaxine-treated patients have a higher pre-existing burden of suicide risk factors than SSRI-treated patients. The extent to which the finding of an increased risk of fatal outcomes can be attributed to the toxicity of venlafaxine in overdosage as opposed to some characteristic(s) of venlafaxine-treated patients is not clear. Prescriptions for venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules should be written for the smallest quantity of capsules consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.
Management of Overdosage
Treatment should consist of those general measures employed in the management of overdosage with any antidepressant.
Ensure an adequate airway, oxygenation, and ventilation. Monitor cardiac rhythm and vital signs. General supportive and symptomatic measures are also recommended. Induction of emesis is not recommended. Gastric lavage with a large bore orogastric tube with appropriate airway protection, if needed, may be indicated if performed soon after ingestion or in symptomatic patients.
Activated charcoal should be administered. Due to the large volume of distribution of this drug, forced diuresis, dialysis, hemoperfusion, and exchange transfusion are unlikely to be of benefit. No specific antidotes for venlafaxine are known.
In managing overdosage, consider the possibility of multiple drug involvement. The physician should consider contacting a poison control center for additional information on the treatment of any overdose. Telephone numbers for certified poison control centers are listed in the Physicians' Desk Reference® (PDR).
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATIONVenlafaxine extended-release capsules should be administered in a single dose with food either in the morning or in the evening at approximately the same time each day. Each capsule should be swallowed whole with fluid and not divided, crushed, chewed, or placed in water, or it may be administered by carefully opening the capsule and sprinkling the entire contents on a spoonful of applesauce. This drug/food mixture should be swallowed immediately without chewing and followed with a glass of water to ensure complete swallowing of the pellets.
Major Depressive Disorder
For most patients, the recommended starting dose for venlafaxine extended-release capsule is 75 mg/day, administered in a single dose. In the clinical trials establishing the efficacy of venlafaxine extended-release capsules in moderately depressed outpatients, the initial dose of venlafaxine was 75 mg/day. For some patients, it may be desirable to start at 37.5 mg/day for 4 to 7 days, to allow new patients to adjust to the medication before increasing to 75 mg/day. While the relationship between dose and antidepressant response for venlafaxine extended-release capsules has not been adequately explored, patients not responding to the initial 75 mg/day dose may benefit from dose increases to a maximum of approximately 225 mg/day. Dose increases should be in increments of up to 75 mg/day, as needed, and should be made at intervals of not less than 4 days, since steady state plasma levels of venlafaxine and its major metabolites are achieved in most patients by day 4. In the clinical trials establishing efficacy, upward titration was permitted at intervals of 2 weeks or more; the average doses were about 140 to 180 mg/day (see Clinical Trials under CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).
It should be noted that, while the maximum recommended dose for moderately depressed outpatients is also 225 mg/day for venlafaxine immediate release tablets, more severely depressed inpatients in one study of the development program for that product responded to a mean dose of 350 mg/day (range of 150 to 375 mg/day). Whether or not higher doses of venlafaxine extended-release capsules are needed for more severely depressed patients is unknown; however, the experience with venlafaxine extended-release capsules doses higher than 225 mg/day is very limited. (See PRECAUTIONS-General-Use in Patients with Concomitant Illness.)
Switching Patients from Venlafaxine Immediate Release Tablets
Depressed patients who are currently being treated at a therapeutic dose with venlafaxine immediate release tablets may be switched to venlafaxine extended-release capsules at the nearest equivalent dose (mg/day), eg, 37.5 mg venlafaxine two-times-a-day to 75 mg venlafaxine extended-release capsules once daily. However, individual dosage adjustments may be necessary.
Treatment of Pregnant Women During the Third Trimester Neonates exposed to venlafaxine extended-release capsules, other SNRIs, or SSRIs, late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding (see PRECAUTIONS). When treating pregnant women with venlafaxine extended-release capsules during the third trimester, the physician should carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of treatment. The physician may consider tapering venlafaxine extended-release capsules in the third trimester.
Patients with Hepatic Impairment
Given the decrease in clearance and increase in elimination half-life for both venlafaxine and ODV that is observed in patients with hepatic cirrhosis and mild and moderate hepatic impairment compared with normal subjects (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY), it is recommended that the total daily dose be reduced by 50% in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment. Since there was much individual variability in clearance between subjects with cirrhosis, it may be necessary to reduce the dose even more than 50%, and individualization of dosing may be desirable in some patients.
Patients with Renal Impairment
Given the decrease in clearance for venlafaxine and the increase in elimination half-life for both venlafaxine and ODV that is observed in patients with renal impairment (GFR = 10 to 70 mL/min) compared with normal subjects (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY), it is recommended that the total daily dose be reduced by 25% to 50%. In patients undergoing hemodialysis, it is recommended that the total daily dose be reduced by 50%. Because there was much individual variability in clearance between patients with renal impairment, individualization of dosage may be desirable in some patients.
No dose adjustment is recommended for elderly patients solely on the basis of age. As with any drug for the treatment of major depressive disorder, caution should be exercised in treating the elderly. When individualizing the dosage, extra care should be taken when increasing the dose.
There is no body of evidence available from controlled trials to indicate how long patients with major depressive disorder should be treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules.
It is generally agreed that acute episodes of major depressive disorder require several months or longer of sustained pharmacological therapy beyond response to the acute episode. In one study, in which patients responding during 8 weeks of acute treatment with venlafaxine extended-release capsules were assigned randomly to placebo or to the same dose of venlafaxine extended-release capsules (75, 150, or 225 mg/day, qAM) during 26 weeks of maintenance treatment as they had received during the acute stabilization phase, longer-term efficacy was demonstrated. A second longer-term study has demonstrated the efficacy of venlafaxine immediate release tablets in maintaining a response in patients with recurrent major depressive disorder who had responded and continued to be improved during an initial 26 weeks of treatment and were then randomly assigned to placebo or venlafaxine immediate release tablets for periods of up to 52 weeks on the same dose (100 to 200 mg/day, on a b.i.d. schedule) (see Clinical Trials under CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Based on these limited data, it is not known whether or not the dose of venlafaxine immediate release tablets / venlafaxine extended-release capsules needed for maintenance treatment is identical to the dose needed to achieve an initial response. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for maintenance treatment and the appropriate dose for such treatment.
Discontinuing Venlafaxine Hydrochloride Extended-Release Capsules
Symptoms associated with discontinuation of venlafaxine extended-release capsules, other SNRIs, and SSRIs, have been reported (see PRECAUTIONS). Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing treatment. A gradual reduction in the dose rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician may continue decreasing the dose but at a more gradual rate. In clinical trials with venlafaxine extended-release capsules, tapering was achieved by reducing the daily dose by 75 mg at 1 week intervals. Individualization of tapering may be necessary.
Switching Patients To or From a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor
At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI and initiation of therapy with venlafaxine extended-release capsules. In addition, at least 7 days should be allowed after stopping venlafaxine extended-release capsules before starting an MAOI (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS).
HOW SUPPLIEDVenlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules are available as follows:
37.5 mg (base), size '2', hard gelatin capsule with grey opaque cap and cream opaque body filled with white to off-white pellets, imprinted with “W” on cap in red color. 716
NDC 64679-716-01, bottle of 30 capsules
NDC 64679-716-04, bottle of 90 capsules
NDC 64679-716-05, bottle of 500 capsules
NDC 64679-716-02, bottle of 1000 capsules
NDC 64679-716-03, Unit dose blister pack of 2 x 8 capsules
75 mg (base), size '1', hard gelatin capsule with cream opaque cap and cream opaque body filled with white to off-white pellets, imprinted with “W” on cap in red color. 717
NDC 64679-717-01, bottle of 30 capsules
NDC 64679-717-04, bottle of 90 capsules
NDC 64679-717-05, bottle of 500 capsules
NDC 64679-717-02, bottle of 1000 capsules
NDC 64679-717-03, Unit dose blister pack of 2 x 8 capsules
150 mg (base), size '0', hard gelatin capsule with light brown opaque cap and light brown opaque body filled with white to off-white pellets, imprinted with “W” on cap in white color. 718
NDC 64679-718-01, bottle of 30 capsules
NDC 64679-718-04, bottle of 90 capsules
NDC 64679-718-05, bottle of 500 capsules
NDC 64679-718-02, bottle of 1000 capsules.
NDC 64679-718-03 Unit dose blister pack of 2 x 8 capsules
Store at 20°-25°C (68°-77°F), [See USP Controlled Room Temperature].
Wockhardt USA LLC.
20 Waterveiw Blvd.
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Medication GuideAntidepressant Medicines, Depression and Other Serious Mental Illnesses, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions
Read the Medication Guide that comes with you or your family member's antidepressant medicine. This Medication Guide is only about the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions with antidepressant medicines.
Talk to your, or your family member's, healthcare provider about:
1. Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults within the first few months of treatment.
2. Depression and Other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions. These include people who have (or have a family history of) bipolar illness (also called manic-depressive illness) or suicidal thoughts or actions.
3. How can I watch for and try to prevent suicidal thoughts and actions in myself or a family member?
What else do I need to know about antidepressant medicines?
Wockhardt USA LLC.
20 Waterveiw Blvd.
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Revised: 04/2011 WOCKHARDT LIMITED
Reproduced with permission of U.S. National Library of Medicine
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