Pramipexole Dihydrochloride: Package Insert and Label Information

PRAMIPEXOLE DIHYDROCHLORIDE- pramipexole dihydrochloride tablet
Denton Pharma, Inc. dba Northwind Pharmaceuticals

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Parkinson’s Disease

Pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets are indicated for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

1.2 Restless Legs Syndrome

Pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets are indicated for the treatment of moderate-to-severe primary Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 General Dosing Considerations

Pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets are taken orally, with or without food.

If a significant interruption in therapy with pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets has occurred, re-titration of therapy may be warranted.

2.2 Dosing for Parkinson’s Disease

In all clinical studies, dosage was initiated at a subtherapeutic level to avoid intolerable adverse effects and orthostatic hypotension. Pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets should be titrated gradually in all patients. The dose should be increased to achieve a maximum therapeutic effect, balanced against the principal side effects of dyskinesia, hallucinations, somnolence, and dry mouth.

Dosing in Patients with Normal Renal Function

Initial Treatment

Doses should be increased gradually from a starting dose of 0.375 mg/day given in three divided doses and should not be increased more frequently than every 5 to 7 days. A suggested ascending dosage schedule that was used in clinical studies is shown in Table 1:

  1. Table 1 Ascending Dosage Schedule of Pramipexole Dihydrochloride Tablets for Parkinson’s Disease

Week

Dosage (mg)

Total Daily Dose (mg)

1

0.125 three times a day

0.375

2

0.25 three times a day

0.75

3

0.5 three times a day

1.50

4

0.75 three times a day

2.25

5

1 three times a day

3

6

1.25 three times a day

3.75

7

1.5 three times a day

4.50

Maintenance Treatment

Pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets were effective and well tolerated over a dosage range of 1.5 to 4.5 mg/day administered in equally divided doses three times per day with or without concomitant levodopa (approximately 800 mg/day).

In a fixed-dose study in early Parkinson’s disease patients, doses of 3 mg, 4.5 mg, and 6 mg per day of pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets were not shown to provide any significant benefit beyond that achieved at a daily dose of 1.5 mg/day. However, in the same fixed-dose study, the following adverse events were dose related: postural hypotension, nausea, constipation, somnolence, and amnesia. The frequency of these events was generally 2-fold greater than placebo for pramipexole doses greater than 3 mg/day. The incidence of somnolence reported with pramipexole at a dose of 1.5 mg/day was comparable to placebo.

When pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets are used in combination with levodopa, a reduction of the levodopa dosage should be considered. In a controlled study in advanced Parkinson’s disease, the dosage of levodopa was reduced by an average of 27% from baseline.

Dosing in Patients with Renal Impairment

The recommended dosing of pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets in Parkinson’s disease patients with renal impairment is provided in Table 2.

  1. Table 2 Dosing of Pramipexole Dihydrochloride Tablets in Parkinson’s Disease Patients with Renal Impairment

Renal Status

Starting Dose (mg)

Maximum Dose (mg)

Normal to mild impairment (creatinine Cl >50 mL/min)

0.125 three times a day

1.5 three times a day

Moderate impairment (creatinine Cl =30 to 50 mL/min)

0.125 twice a day

0.75 three times a day

Severe impairment (creatinine Cl =15 to <30 mL/min)

0.125 once a day

1.5 once a day

Very severe impairment (creatinine Cl <15 mL/min and hemodialysis patients)

The use of pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets has not been adequately studied in this group of patients.

Discontinuation of Treatment

Pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets may be tapered off at a rate of 0.75 mg per day until the daily dose has been reduced to 0.75 mg. Thereafter, the dose may be reduced by 0.375 mg per day [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.10)].

2.3 Dosing for Restless Legs Syndrome

The recommended starting dose of pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets is 0.125 mg taken once daily 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. For patients requiring additional symptomatic relief, the dose may be increased every 4 to 7 days (Table 3). Although the dose of pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets was increased to 0.75 mg in some patients during long-term open-label treatment, there is no evidence that the 0.75 mg dose provides additional benefit beyond the 0.5 mg dose.

  1. Table 3 Ascending Dosage Schedule of Pramipexole Dihydrochloride Tablets for RLS

Titration Step

Duration

Dose (mg) to be taken once daily, 2 to 3 hours before bedtime

1

4 to 7 days

0.125

2*

4 to 7 days

0.25

3*

4 to 7 days

0.5

*if needed

Dosing in Patients with Renal Impairment

The duration between titration steps should be increased to 14 days in RLS patients with moderate and severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance 20 to 60 mL/min) [ see Clinical Pharmacology ( 12.3) ].

Discontinuation of Treatment

In clinical trials of patients being treated for RLS with doses up to 0.75 mg once daily, pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets were discontinued without a taper. In a 26 week placebo-controlled clinical trial, patients reported a worsening of RLS symptom severity as compared to their untreated baseline when pramipexole dihydrochloride treatment was suddenly withdrawn [ see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.10) ].

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

  • 0.125 mg: circular, white, flat beveled tablets engraved with ‘PX’ on one side and plain on the other side.
  • 0.25 mg: oval, white, flat beveled tablets engraved with ‘PX’ and ‘1’ on either side of a break line on one side and a break line on the other side.
  • 0.5 mg: oval, white, flat beveled tablets engraved with ‘PX’ and ‘2’ on either side of a break line on one side and a break line on the other side.
  • 0.75 mg: oval, white, flat beveled uncoated tablets engraved with ‘PX’ and ‘5’ on one side and plain on the other side.
  • 1 mg: oval, white, flat beveled tablets engraved with ‘PX’ and ‘3’ on either side of a break line on one side and a break line on the other side.
  • 1.5 mg: oval, white, flat beveled tablets engraved with ‘PX’ and ‘4’ on either side of a break line on one side and a break line on the other side.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

None.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Falling Asleep During Activities of Daily Living and Somnolence

Patients treated with pramipexole have reported falling asleep while engaged in activities of daily living, including the operation of motor vehicles which sometimes resulted in accidents. Although many of these patients reported somnolence while on pramipexole tablets, some perceived that they had no warning signs (sleep attack) such as excessive drowsiness, and believed that they were alert immediately prior to the event. Some of these events had been reported as late as one year after the initiation of treatment.

Somnolence is a common occurrence in patients receiving pramipexole at doses above 1.5 mg/day (0.5 mg three times a day) for Parkinson’s disease. In controlled clinical trials in RLS, patients treated with pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets at doses of 0.25 to 0.75 mg once a day, the incidence of somnolence was 6% compared to an incidence of 3% for placebo-treated patients [ see Adverse Reactions ( 6.1) ]. It has been reported that falling asleep while engaged in activities of daily living usually occurs in a setting of pre-existing somnolence, although patients may not give such a history. For this reason, prescribers should reassess patients for drowsiness or sleepiness, especially since some of the events occur well after the start of treatment. Prescribers should also be aware that patients may not acknowledge drowsiness or sleepiness until directly questioned about drowsiness or sleepiness during specific activities.

Before initiating treatment with pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets, advise patients of the potential to develop drowsiness and specifically ask about factors that may increase the risk for somnolence with pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets such as the use of concomitant sedating medications or alcohol, the presence of sleep disorders, and concomitant medications that increase pramipexole plasma levels (e.g., cimetidine) [ see Clinical Pharmacology ( 12.3) ]. If a patient develops significant daytime sleepiness or episodes of falling asleep during activities that require active participation (e.g., conversations, eating, etc.), pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets should ordinarily be discontinued. If a decision is made to continue pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets, advise patients not to drive and to avoid other potentially dangerous activities that might result in harm if the patients become somnolent. While dose reduction reduces the degree of somnolence, there is insufficient information to establish that dose reduction will eliminate episodes of falling asleep while engaged in activities of daily living.

5.2 Symptomatic Orthostatic Hypotension

Dopamine agonists, in clinical studies and clinical experience, appear to impair the systemic regulation of blood pressure, with resulting orthostatic hypotension, especially during dose escalation. Parkinson’s disease patients, in addition, appear to have an impaired capacity to respond to an orthostatic challenge. For these reasons, both Parkinson’s disease patients and RLS patients being treated with dopaminergic agonists ordinarily require careful monitoring for signs and symptoms of orthostatic hypotension, especially during dose escalation, and should be informed of this risk.

In clinical trials of pramipexole, however, and despite clear orthostatic effects in normal volunteers, the reported incidence of clinically significant orthostatic hypotension was not greater among those assigned to pramipexole tablets than among those assigned to placebo. This result, especially with the higher doses used in Parkinson’s disease, is clearly unexpected in light of the previous experience with the risks of dopamine agonist therapy.

While this finding could reflect a unique property of pramipexole, it might also be explained by the conditions of the study and the nature of the population enrolled in the clinical trials. Patients were very carefully titrated, and patients with active cardiovascular disease or significant orthostatic hypotension at baseline were excluded. Also, clinical trials in patients with RLS did not incorporate orthostatic challenges with intensive blood pressure monitoring done in close temporal proximity to dosing.

5.3 Impulse Control/Compulsive Behaviors

Case reports and the results of a cross-sectional study suggest that patients can experience intense urges to gamble, increased sexual urges, intense urges to spend money uncontrollably, binge eating, and/or other intense urges and the inability to control these urges while taking one or more of the medications, including pramipexole dihydrochloride, that increase central dopaminergic tone. In some cases, although not all, these urges were reported to have stopped when the dose was reduced or the medication was discontinued. Because patients may not recognize these behaviors as abnormal, it is important for prescribers to specifically ask patients or their caregivers about the development of new or increased gambling urges, sexual urges, uncontrolled spending or other urges while being treated with pramipexole dihydrochloride for Parkinson’s disease or RLS. Physicians should consider dose reduction or stopping the medication if a patient develops such urges while taking pramipexole dihydrochloride.

5.4 Hallucinations and Psychotic-like Behavior

In the three double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in early Parkinson’s disease, hallucinations were observed in 9% (35 of 388) of patients receiving pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets, compared with 2.6% (6 of 235) of patients receiving placebo. In the four double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in advanced Parkinson’s disease, where patients received pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets and concomitant levodopa, hallucinations were observed in 16.5% (43 of 260) of patients receiving pramipexole dihydrochloride tablets compared with 3.8% (10 of 264) of patients receiving placebo. Hallucinations were of sufficient severity to cause discontinuation of treatment in 3.1% of the early Parkinson’s disease patients and 2.7% of the advanced Parkinson’s disease patients compared with about 0.4% of placebo patients in both populations.

Age appears to increase the risk of hallucinations attributable to pramipexole. In the early Parkinson’s disease patients, the risk of hallucinations was 1.9 times greater than placebo in patients younger than 65 years and 6.8 times greater than placebo in patients older than 65 years. In the advanced Parkinson’s disease patients, the risk of hallucinations was 3.5 times greater than placebo in patients younger than 65 years and 5.2 times greater than placebo in patients older than 65 years.

Postmarketing reports with medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease or RLS, including pramipexole dihydrochloride, indicate that patients may experience new or worsening mental status and behavioral changes, which may be severe, including psychotic-like behavior during treatment with pramipexole dihydrochloride or after starting or increasing the dose of pramipexole dihydrochloride. Other drugs prescribed to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or RLS can have similar effects on thinking and behavior. This abnormal thinking and behavior can consist of one or more of a variety of manifestations including paranoid ideation, delusions, hallucinations, confusion, psychotic-like behavior, symptoms of mania (e.g., insomnia, psychomotor agitation), disorientation, aggressive behavior, agitation, and delirium.

Patients with a major psychotic disorder should ordinarily not be treated with dopamine agonists, including pramipexole dihydrochloride, because of the risk of exacerbating the psychosis. In addition, certain medications used to treat psychosis may exacerbate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and may decrease the effectiveness of pramipexole dihydrochloride [ see Drug Interactions ( 7.1) ].

In the RLS clinical trials, one pramipexole-treated patient (of 889) reported hallucinations; this patient discontinued treatment and the symptoms resolved.

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