Gabapentin: Package Insert and Label Information

GABAPENTIN- gabapentin capsule
MSM Repackaging

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Gabapentin Capsules, USP are indicated for:

  • Management of postherpetic neuralgia in adults
  • Adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial onset seizures, with and without secondary generalization, in adults and pediatric patients 3 years and older with epilepsy

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Administration Information

Administer gabapentin capsules orally with or without food.

Gabapentin capsules should be swallowed whole with water.

If gabapentin capsules dose is reduced, discontinued, or substituted with an alternative medication, this should be done gradually over a minimum of 1 week (a longer period may be needed at the discretion of the prescriber).

2.2 Dosage for Postherpetic Neuralgia

In adults with postherpetic neuralgia, gabapentin capsules therapy may be initiated on Day 1 as a single 300 mg dose, on Day 2 as 600 mg/day (300 mg two times a day), and on Day 3 as 900 mg/day (300 mg three times a day). The dose can subsequently be titrated up as needed for pain relief to a dose of 1800 mg/day (600 mg three times a day). In clinical studies, efficacy was demonstrated over a range of doses from 1800 mg/day to 3600 mg/day with comparable effects across the dose range; however, in these clinical studies, the additional benefit of using doses greater than 1800 mg/day was not demonstrated.

2.3 Dosage for Epilepsy with Partial Onset Seizures

Patients 12 years of age and above

The starting dose is 300 mg three times a day. The recommended maintenance dose of gabapentin capsules is 300 mg to 600 mg three times a day. Dosages up to 2400 mg/day have been well tolerated in long-term clinical studies. Doses of 3600 mg/day have also been administered to a small number of patients for a relatively short duration, and have been well tolerated. Administer gabapentin capsules three times a day using 300 mg or 400 mg capsules, or 600 mg or 800 mg tablets. The maximum time between doses should not exceed 12 hours

Pediatric Patients Age 3 to 11 years

The starting dose range is 10 mg/kg/day to 15 mg/kg/day, given in three divided doses, and the recommended maintenance dose reached by upward titration over a period of approximately 3 days. The recommended maintenance dose of gabapentin in patients 3 to 4 years of age is 40 mg/kg/day, given in three divided doses. The recommended maintenance dose of gabapentin in patients 5 to 11 years of age is 25 mg/kg/day to 35 mg/kg/day, given in three divided doses. Gabapentin may be administered as the oral solution, capsule, or tablet, or using combinations of these formulations. Dosages up to 50 mg/kg/day have been well tolerated in a long-term clinical study. The maximum time interval between doses should not exceed 12 hours.

2.4 Dosage Adjustment in Patients with Renal Impairment

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2.5 Dosage in Elderly

Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and dose should be adjusted based on creatinine clearance values in these patients.

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Capsules:

  • 100 mg: white/white coloured size ‘3’ hard gelatin capsules printed with “103” on body of capsule containing white to off white granular powder
  • 300 mg: yellow/yellow coloured size ‘1’ hard gelatin capsules printed with “104” on body of capsule containing white to off white granular powder
  • 400 mg: orange/orange coloured size ‘0’ hard gelatin capsules printed with “105” on body of capsule containing white to off white granular powder

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

Gabapentin capsules are contraindicated in patients who have demonstrated hypersensitivity to the drug or its ingredients.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)/Multiorgan Hypersensitivity

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), also known as multiorgan hypersensitivity, has occurred with gabapentin. Some of these reactions have been fatal or lifethreatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, and/or lymphadenopathy, in association with other organ system involvement, such as hepatitis, nephritis, hematological abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis sometimes resembling an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. This disorder is variable in its expression, and other organ systems not noted here may be involved.
It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity, such as fever or lymphadenopathy, may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, the patient should be evaluated immediately. Gabapentin capsules should be discontinued if an alternative etiology for the signs or symptoms cannot be established.

5.2 Effects on Driving and Operating Heavy Machinery

Patients taking gabapentin should not drive until they have gained sufficient experience to assess whether gabapentin impairs their ability to drive. Driving performance studies conducted with a prodrug of gabapentin (gabapentin enacarbil tablet, extended release) indicate that gabapentin may cause significant driving impairment. Prescribers and patients should be aware that patients’ ability to assess their own driving competence, as well as their ability to assess the degree of somnolence caused by gabapentin, can be imperfect. The duration of driving impairment after starting therapy with gabapentin is unknown. Whether the impairment is related to somnolence [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3)] or other effects of gabapentin is unknown.

Moreover, because gabapentin causes somnolence and dizziness [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)], patients should be advised not to operate complex machinery until they have gained sufficient experience on gabapentin to assess whether gabapentin impairs their ability to perform such tasks.

5.3 Somnolence/Sedation and Dizziness

During the controlled epilepsy trials in patients older than 12 years of age receiving doses of gabapentin up to 1800 mg daily, somnolence, dizziness, and ataxia were reported at a greater rate in patients receiving gabapentin compared to placebo: i.e., 19% in drug versus 9% in placebo for somnolence, 17% in drug versus 7% in placebo for dizziness, and 13% in drug versus 6% in placebo for ataxia. In these trials somnolence, ataxia and fatigue were common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation of gabapentin in patients older than 12 years of age, with 1.2%, 0.8% and 0.6% discontinuing for these events, respectively.During the controlled trials in patients with post-herpetic neuralgia, somnolence and dizziness were reported at a greater rate compared to placebo in patients receiving gabapentin capsules, in dosages up to 3600 mg per day: i.e., 21% in gabapentin-treated patients versus 5% in placebo-treated patients for somnolence and 28% in gabapentin-treated patients versus 8% in placebo-treated patients for dizziness. Dizziness and somnolence were among the most common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation of gabapentin.

5.4 Withdrawal Precipitated Seizure, Status Epilepticus

Antiepileptic drugs should not be abruptly discontinued because of the possibility of increasing seizure frequency.

In the placebo-controlled epilepsy studies in patients >12 years of age, the incidence of status epilepticus in patients receiving gabapentin was 0.6% (3 of 543) vs. 0.5% in patients receiving placebo (2 of 378). Among the 2074 patients >12 years of age treated with gabapentin across all epilepsy studies (controlled and uncontrolled), 31 (1.5%) had status epilepticus. Of these, 14 patients had no prior history of status epilepticus either before treatment or while on other medications. Because adequate historical data are not available, it is impossible to say whether or not treatment with gabapentin is associated with a higher or lower rate of status epilepticus than would be expected to occur in a similar population not treated with gabapentin.

5.5 Suicidal Behavior and Ideation

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including gabapentin, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.

Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono-and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI:1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as one week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed.

The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5-100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed. Table 2 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs.

TABLE 2 Risk by Indication for Antiepileptic Drugs in the Pooled Analysis
Indication Placebo Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Relative Risk: Incidence of Events in Drug Patients/Incidence in Placebo Patients Risk Difference: Additional Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients
Epilepsy 1.0 3.4 3.5 2.4
Psychiatric 5.7 8.5 1.5 2.9
Other 1.0 1.8 1.9 0.9
Total 2.4 4.3 1.8 1.9

The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications.

Anyone considering prescribing gabapentin or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, the prescriber needs to consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated.

Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.

5.6 Neuropsychiatric Adverse Reactions (Pediatric Patients 3-12 Years of Age)

Gabapentin use in pediatric patients with epilepsy 3–12 years of age is associated with the occurrence of central nervous system related adverse reactions. The most significant of these can be classified into the following categories: 1) emotional lability (primarily behavioral problems), 2) hostility, including aggressive behaviors, 3) thought disorder, including concentration problems and change in school performance, and 4) hyperkinesia (primarily restlessness and hyperactivity). Among the gabapentintreated patients, most of the reactions were mild to moderate in intensity.

In controlled clinical epilepsy trials in pediatric patients 3–12 years of age, the incidence of these adverse reactions was: emotional lability 6% (gabapentin-treated patients) vs. 1.3% (placebo-treated patients); hostility 5.2% vs. 1.3%; hyperkinesia 4.7% vs. 2.9%; and thought disorder 1.7% vs. 0%. One of these reactions, a report of hostility, was considered serious. Discontinuation of gabapentin treatment occurred in 1.3% of patients reporting emotional lability and hyperkinesia and 0.9% of gabapentin-treated patients reporting hostility and thought disorder. One placebo-treated patient (0.4%) withdrew due to emotional lability.

5.7 Tumorigenic Potential

In an oral carcinogenicity study, gabapentin increased the incidence of pancreatic acinar cell tumors in rats [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)]. The clinical significance of this finding is unknown. Clinical experience during gabapentin’s premarketing development provides no direct means to assess its potential for inducing tumors in humans.

In clinical studies in adjunctive therapy in epilepsy comprising 2085 patient-years of exposure in patients >12 years of age, new tumors were reported in 10 patients (2 breast, 3 brain, 2 lung, 1 adrenal, 1 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, 1 endometrial carcinoma in situ), and preexisting tumors worsened in 11 patients (9 brain, 1 breast, 1 prostate) during or up to 2 years following discontinuation of gabapentin. Without knowledge of the background incidence and recurrence in a similar population not treated with gabapentin, it is impossible to know whether the incidence seen in this cohort is or is not affected by treatment.

5.8 Sudden and Unexplained Death in Patients with Epilepsy

During the course of premarketing development of gabapentin, 8 sudden and unexplained deaths were recorded among a cohort of 2203 epilepsy patients treated (2103 patient-years of exposure) with gabapentin.

Some of these could represent seizure-related deaths in which the seizure was not observed, e.g., at night. This represents an incidence of 0.0038 deaths per patient-year. Although this rate exceeds that expected in a healthy population matched for age and sex, it is within the range of estimates for the incidence of sudden unexplained deaths in patients with epilepsy not receiving gabapentin (ranging from 0.0005 for the general population of epileptics to 0.003 for a clinical trial population similar to that in the gabapentin program, to 0.005 for patients with refractory epilepsy). Consequently, whether these figures are reassuring or raise further concern depends on comparability of the populations reported upon to the gabapentin cohort and the accuracy of the estimates provided.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Postherpetic Neuralgia

The most common adverse reactions associated with the use of gabapentin in adults, not seen at an equivalent frequency among placebo-treated patients, were dizziness, somnolence, and peripheral edema.

In the 2 controlled studies in postherpetic neuralgia, 16% of the 336 patients who received gabapentin and 9% of the 227 patients who received placebo discontinued treatment because of an adverse reaction. The adverse reactions that most frequently led to withdrawal in gabapentin-treated patients were dizziness, somnolence, and nausea.

Table 3 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1% of gabapentin capsules-treated patients with postherpetic neuralgia participating in placebo-controlled trials and that were numerically more frequent in the gabapentin group than in the placebo group.

TABLE 3. Adverse Reactions in Placebo-Controlled Trials in Postherpetic Neuralgia
Body System/ Adverse Reaction GabapentinN=336% PlaceboN=227%
*
Reported as blurred vision
Body as a Whole
Asthenia 6 5
Infection 5 4
Accidental injury 3 1
Digestive System
Diarrhea 6 3
Dry mouth 5 1
Constipation 4 2
Nausea 4 3
Vomiting 3 2
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders
Peripheral edema 8 2
Weight gain 2 0
Hyperglycemia 1 0
Nervous System
Dizziness 28 8
Somnolence 21 5
Ataxia 3 0
Abnormal thinking 3 0
Abnormal gait 2 0
Incoordination 2 0
Respiratory System
Pharyngitis 1 0
Special Senses
Amblyopia * 3 1
Conjunctivitis 1 0
Diplopia 1 0
Otitis media 1 0

Other reactions in more than 1% of patients but equally or more frequent in the placebo group included pain, tremor, neuralgia, back pain, dyspepsia, dyspnea, and flu syndrome.

There were no clinically important differences between men and women in the types and incidence of adverse reactions. Because there were few patients whose race was reported as other than white, there are insufficient data to support a statement regarding the distribution of adverse reactions by race.

Epilepsy with Partial Onset Seizures (Adjunctive Therapy)

The most common adverse reactions associated with the use of gabapentin in combination with other antiepileptic drugs in patients >12 years of age, not seen at an equivalent frequency among placebo-treated patients, were somnolence, dizziness, ataxia, fatigue, and nystagmus.

The most common adverse reactions reported with the use of gabapentin in combination with other antiepileptic drugs in pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age, not seen at an equal frequency among placebo-treated patients, were viral infection, fever, nausea and/or vomiting, somnolence, and hostility [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Approximately 7% of the 2074 patients >12 years of age and approximately 7% of the 449 pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age who received gabapentin in premarketing clinical trials discontinued treatment because of an adverse reaction. The adverse reactions most commonly associated with withdrawal in patients >12 years of age were somnolence (1.2%), ataxia (0.8%), fatigue (0.6%), nausea and/or vomiting (0.6%), and dizziness (0.6%). The adverse reactions most commonly associated with withdrawal in pediatric patients were emotional lability (1.6%), hostility (1.3%), and hyperkinesia (1.1%).

Table 4 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1% of gabapentin-treated patients >12 years of age with epilepsy participating in placebo-controlled trials and were numerically more common in the gabapentin group. In these studies, either gabapentin or placebo was added to the patient’s current antiepileptic drug therapy.

TABLE 4. Adverse Reactions in Pooled Placebo-Controlled Add-On Trials In Epilepsy Patients >12 years of age
Body System/ Adverse Reaction Gabapentin *N=543% Placebo *N=378%
*
Plus background antiepileptic drug therapy
Amblyopia was often described as blurred vision.
Body As A Whole
Fatigue 11 5
Weight gain 3 2
Back Pain 2 1
Peripheral Edema 2 1
Cardiovascular
Vasodilatation 1 0
Digestive System
Dyspepsia 2 1
Dry Mouth or Throat 2 1
Constipation 2 1
Dental Abnormalities 2 0
Nervous System
Somnolence 19 9
Dizziness 17 7
Ataxia 13 6
Nystagmus 8 4
Tremor 7 3
Dysarthria 2 1
Amnesia 2 0
Depression 2 1
Abnormal thinking 2 1
Abnormal coordination 1 0
Respiratory System
Pharyngitis 3 2
Coughing 2 1
Skin and Appendages
Abrasion 1 0
Urogenital System
Impotence 2 1
Special Senses
Diplopia 6 2
Amblyopia 4 1

Among the adverse reactions occurring at an incidence of at least 10% in gabapentin-treated patients, somnolence and ataxia appeared to exhibit a positive dose-response relationship.

The overall incidence of adverse reactions and the types of adverse reactions seen were similar among men and women treated with gabapentin. The incidence of adverse reactions increased slightly with increasing age in patients treated with either gabapentin or placebo. Because only 3% of patients (28/921) in placebo-controlled studies were identified as nonwhite (black or other), there are insufficient data to support a statement regarding the distribution of adverse reactions by race.

Table 5 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 2% of gabapentin capsules-treated patients, age 3 to 12 years of age with epilepsy participating in placebo-controlled trials, and which were numerically more common in the gabapentin group.

TABLE 5. Adverse Reactions in a Placebo-Controlled Add-On Trial in Pediatric Epilepsy Patients Age 3 to 12 Years
Body System/ Adverse Reaction Gabapentin *N=119% Placebo *N=128%
*
Plus background antiepileptic drug therapy
Body As A Whole
Viral Infection 11 3
Fever 10 3
Weight gain 3 1
Fatigue 3 2
Digestive System
Nausea and/or Vomiting 8 7
Nervous System
Somnolence 8 5
Hostility 8 2
Emotional Lability 4 2
Dizziness 3 2
Hyperkinesia 3 1
Respiratory System
Bronchitis 3 1
Respiratory Infection 3 1

Other reactions in more than 2% of pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age but equally or more frequent in the placebo group included: pharyngitis, upper respiratory infection, headache, rhinitis, convulsions, diarrhea, anorexia, coughing, and otitis media.

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