Paroxetine: Package Insert and Label Information

PAROXETINE- paroxetine hydrochloride hemihydrate tablet, film coated
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Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs

Antidepressants 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 paroxetine tablets 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. Paroxetine is not approved for use in pediatric patients. (See WARNINGS: Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk, PRECAUTIONS: Information for Patients, and PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric Use.)

DESCRIPTION

Paroxetine hydrochloride is an orally administered psychotropic drug. It is the hydrochloride salt of a phenylpiperidine compound identified chemically as (-)- trans -4 R -(4′-fluorophenyl)-3 S -[(3′,4′-methylenedioxyphenoxy) methyl] piperidine hydrochloride hemihydrate and has the molecular formula of C 19 H 20 FNO 3 •HCl•1/2H 2 O. The molecular weight is 374.8 (329.4 as free base). The structural formula of paroxetine hydrochloride is:

Paroxetine Chemical Structure

Paroxetine hydrochloride USP is an odorless, off-white powder, having a melting point range of 120° to 138°C and a solubility of 5.4 mg/mL in water. Each film-coated tablet contains paroxetine hydrochloride equivalent to paroxetine as follows: 10 mg–yellow (scored); 20 mg–pink (scored); 30 mg–blue, 40 mg–pink. Inactive ingredients consist of dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, lactose monohydrate, sodium starch glycolate, dibasic calcium phosphate anhydrous, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, titanium dioxide, polyethylene glycol and polysorbate 80. In addition to this, 10 mg tablet contains D&C Yellow #10 Aluminum Lake and FD&C Yellow #6 Aluminum Lake. 20 mg and 40 mg tablets contain D&C Red #30 Aluminum Lake. 30 mg tablet contains FD&C Blue #2 Aluminum Lake.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Pharmacodynamics

The efficacy of paroxetine in the treatment of major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder (PD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is presumed to be linked to potentiation of serotonergic activity in the central nervous system resulting from inhibition of neuronal reuptake of serotonin (5-hydroxy-tryptamine, 5-HT). Studies at clinically relevant doses in humans have demonstrated that paroxetine blocks the uptake of serotonin into human platelets. In vitro studies in animals also suggest that paroxetine is a potent and highly selective inhibitor of neuronal serotonin reuptake and has only very weak effects on norepinephrine and dopamine neuronal reuptake. In vitro radioligand binding studies indicate that paroxetine has little affinity for muscarinic, alpha 1 -, alpha 2 -, beta-adrenergic-, dopamine (D 2 )-, 5-HT 1 -, 5-HT 2 -, and histamine (H 1 )-receptors; antagonism of muscarinic, histaminergic, and alpha 1 -adrenergic receptors has been associated with various anticholinergic, sedative, and cardiovascular effects for other psychotropic drugs. Because the relative potencies of paroxetine’s major metabolites are at most 1/50 of the parent compound, they are essentially inactive.

Pharmacokinetics

Paroxetine hydrochloride is completely absorbed after oral dosing of a solution of the hydrochloride salt. The mean elimination half-life is approximately 21 hours (CV 32%) after oral dosing of 30 mg tablets of paroxetine daily for 30 days. Paroxetine is extensively metabolized and the metabolites are considered to be inactive. Nonlinearity in pharmacokinetics is observed with increasing doses. Paroxetine metabolism is mediated in part by CYP2D6, and the metabolites are primarily excreted in the urine and to some extent in the feces. Pharmacokinetic behavior of paroxetine has not been evaluated in subjects who are deficient in CYP2D6 (poor metabolizers). In a meta-analysis of paroxetine from 4 studies done in healthy volunteers following multiple dosing of 20 mg/day to 40 mg/day, males did not exhibit a significantly lower C max or AUC than females.

Absorption and Distribution

Paroxetine hydrochloride is completely absorbed after oral dosing of a solution of the hydrochloride salt. In a study in which normal male subjects (n = 15) received 30 mg tablets daily for 30 days, steady-state paroxetine concentrations were achieved by approximately 10 days for most subjects, although it may take substantially longer in an occasional patient. At steady state, mean values of C max , T max , C min , and T ½ were 61.7 ng/mL (CV 45%), 5.2 hr. (CV 10%), 30.7 ng/mL (CV 67%), and 21 hours (CV 32%), respectively. The steady-state C max and C min values were about 6 and 14 times what would be predicted from single-dose studies. Steady-state drug exposure based on AUC 0-24 was about 8 times greater than would have been predicted from single-dose data in these subjects. The excess accumulation is a consequence of the fact that 1 of the enzymes that metabolizes paroxetine is readily saturable.
The effects of food on the bioavailability of paroxetine were studied in subjects administered a single dose with and without food. AUC was only slightly increased (6%) when drug was administered with food but the C max was 29% greater, while the time to reach peak plasma concentration decreased from 6.4 hours post-dosing to 4.9 hours.
Paroxetine distributes throughout the body, including the CNS, with only 1% remaining in the plasma. Approximately 95% and 93% of paroxetine is bound to plasma protein at 100 ng/mL and 400 ng/mL, respectively. Under clinical conditions, paroxetine concentrations would normally be less than 400 ng/mL. Paroxetine does not alter the in vitro protein binding of phenytoin or warfarin.

Metabolism and Excretion

The mean elimination half-life is approximately 21 hours (CV 32%) after oral dosing of 30 mg tablets daily for 30 days of paroxetine. In steady-state dose proportionality studies involving elderly and nonelderly patients, at doses of 20 mg to 40 mg daily for the elderly and 20 mg to 50 mg daily for the nonelderly, some nonlinearity was observed in both populations, again reflecting a saturable metabolic pathway. In comparison to C min values after 20 mg daily, values after 40 mg daily were only about 2 to 3 times greater than doubled.

Paroxetine is extensively metabolized after oral administration. The principal metabolites are polar and conjugated products of oxidation and methylation, which are readily cleared. Conjugates with glucuronic acid and sulfate predominate, and major metabolites have been isolated and identified. Data indicate that the metabolites have no more than 1/50 the potency of the parent compound at inhibiting serotonin uptake. The metabolism of paroxetine is accomplished in part by CYP2D6. Saturation of this enzyme at clinical doses appears to account for the nonlinearity of paroxetine kinetics with increasing dose and increasing duration of treatment. The role of this enzyme in paroxetine metabolism also suggests potential drug-drug interactions (see PRECAUTIONS: Drugs Metabolized by CYP2D6).

Other Clinical Pharmacology Information

Specific Populations

Renal and Liver Disease: Increased plasma concentrations of paroxetine occur in subjects with renal and hepatic impairment. The mean plasma concentrations in patients with creatinine clearance below 30 mL/min. were approximately 4 times greater than seen in normal volunteers. Patients with creatinine clearance of 30 to 60 mL/min. and patients with hepatic functional impairment had about a 2-fold increase in plasma concentrations (AUC, C max ).

The initial dosage should therefore be reduced in patients with severe renal or hepatic impairment, and upward titration, if necessary, should be at increased intervals (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Elderly Patients:

In a multiple-dose study in the elderly at daily paroxetine doses of 20, 30, and 40 mg, C min concentrations were about 70% to 80% greater than the respective C min concentrations in nonelderly subjects. Therefore the initial dosage in the elderly should be reduced (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Drug-Drug Interactions


In vitro drug interaction studies reveal that paroxetine inhibits CYP2D6. Clinical drug interaction studies have been performed with substrates of CYP2D6 and show that paroxetine can inhibit the metabolism of drugs metabolized by CYP2D6 including desipramine, risperidone, and atomoxetine (see PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions).

Clinical Trials

Major Depressive Disorder


The efficacy of paroxetine as a treatment for major depressive disorder has been established in 6 placebo-controlled studies of patients with major depressive disorder (aged 18 to 73). In these studies, paroxetine was shown to be significantly more effective than placebo in treating major depressive disorder by at least 2 of the following measures: Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), the Hamilton depressed mood item, and the Clinical Global Impression (CGI)-Severity of Illness. Paroxetine was significantly better than placebo in improvement of the HDRS sub-factor scores, including the depressed mood item, sleep disturbance factor, and anxiety factor.
A study of outpatients with major depressive disorder who had responded to paroxetine (HDRS total score <8) during an initial 8-week open-treatment phase and were then randomized to continuation on paroxetine or placebo for 1 year demonstrated a significantly lower relapse rate for patients taking paroxetine (15%) compared to those on placebo (39%). Effectiveness was similar for male and female patients.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The effectiveness of paroxetine in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) was demonstrated in two 12-week multicenter placebo-controlled studies of adult outpatients (Studies 1 and 2). Patients in all studies had moderate to severe OCD (DSM-IIIR) with mean baseline ratings on the Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) total score ranging from 23 to 26. Study 1, a dose-range finding study where patients were treated with fixed doses of 20, 40, or 60 mg of paroxetine/day demonstrated that daily doses of paroxetine 40 and 60 mg are effective in the treatment of OCD. Patients receiving doses of 40 and 60 mg paroxetine experienced a mean reduction of approximately 6 and 7 points, respectively, on the YBOCS total score which was significantly greater than the approximate 4-point reduction at 20 mg and a 3-point reduction in the placebo-treated patients. Study 2 was a flexible-dose study comparing paroxetine (20 to 60 mg daily) with clomipramine (25 to 250 mg daily). In this study, patients receiving paroxetine experienced a mean reduction of approximately 7 points on the YBOCS total score, which was significantly greater than the mean reduction of approximately 4 points in placebo-treated patients. The following table provides the outcome classification by treatment group on Global Improvement items of the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale for Study 1.

Outcome Classification (%) on CGI-Global Improvement Item for Completers in Study 1
Outcome Classification Placebo (n = 74) Paroxetine 20 mg (n = 75) Paroxetine 40 mg (n = 66) Paroxetine 60 mg (n = 66)
Worse 14% 7% 7% 3%
No Change 44% 35% 22% 19%
Minimally Improved 24% 33% 29% 34%
Much Improved 11% 18% 22% 24%
Very Much Improved 7% 7% 20% 20%

Subgroup analyses did not indicate that there were any differences in treatment outcomes as a function of age or gender.
The long-term maintenance effects of paroxetine in OCD were demonstrated in a long-term extension to Study 1. Patients who were responders on paroxetine during the 3-month double-blind phase and a 6-month extension on open-label paroxetine (20 to 60 mg/day) were randomized to either paroxetine or placebo in a 6-month double-blind relapse prevention phase. Patients randomized to paroxetine were significantly less likely to relapse than comparably treated patients who were randomized to placebo.

Panic Disorder

The effectiveness of paroxetine in the treatment of panic disorder was demonstrated in three 10- to 12-week multicenter, placebo-controlled studies of adult outpatients (Studies 1 to 3). Patients in all studies had panic disorder (DSM-IIIR), with or without agoraphobia. In these studies, paroxetine was shown to be significantly more effective than placebo in treating panic disorder by at least 2 out of 3 measures of panic attack frequency and on the Clinical Global Impression Severity of Illness score.
Study 1 was a 10-week dose-range finding study; patients were treated with fixed paroxetine doses of 10, 20, or 40 mg/day or placebo. A significant difference from placebo was observed only for the 40 mg/day group. At endpoint, 76% of patients receiving paroxetine 40 mg/day were free of panic attacks, compared to 44% of placebo-treated patients.

Study 2 was a 12-week flexible-dose study comparing paroxetine (10 to 60 mg daily) and placebo. At endpoint, 51% of paroxetine patients were free of panic attacks compared to 32% of placebo-treated patients.
Study 3 was a 12-week flexible-dose study comparing paroxetine (10 to 60 mg daily) to placebo in patients concurrently receiving standardized cognitive behavioral therapy. At endpoint, 33% of the paroxetine-treated patients showed a reduction to 0 or 1 panic attacks compared to 14% of placebo patients.
In both Studies 2 and 3, the mean paroxetine dose for completers at endpoint was approximately 40 mg/day of paroxetine.
Long-term maintenance effects of paroxetine in panic disorder were demonstrated in an extension to Study 1. Patients who were responders during the 10-week double-blind phase and during a 3-month double-blind extension phase were randomized to either paroxetine (10, 20, or 40 mg/day) or placebo in a 3-month double-blind relapse prevention phase. Patients randomized to paroxetine were significantly less likely to relapse than comparably treated patients who were randomized to placebo.
Subgroup analyses did not indicate that there were any differences in treatment outcomes as a function of age or gender.

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