Quetiapine Fumarate: Package Insert and Label Information

QUETIAPINE FUMARATE- quetiapine fumarate tablet
Advanced Rx Pharmacy of Tennessee, LLC

Boxed Warning

WARNING: INCREASED MORTALITY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED PSYCHOSIS; AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS

Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.1)]. Quetiapine is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.1)].

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies. These studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with antidepressant use in patients over age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressant use in patients aged 65 and older [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.2)].

In patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy, monitor closely for worsening, and for emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Advise families and caregivers of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.2)].

Quetiapine is not approved for use in pediatric patients under ten years of age [see USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS (8.4)].

1. Indications and Usage

1.1 Schizophrenia

Quetiapine is indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia. The efficacy of quetiapine in schizophrenia was established in three 6-week trials in adults and one 6-week trial in adolescents (13 to 17 years). The effectiveness of quetiapine for the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia has not been systematically evaluated in controlled clinical trials [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.1)].

1.2 Bipolar Disorder

Quetiapine is indicated for the acute treatment of manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, both as monotherapy and as an adjunct to lithium or divalproex. Efficacy was established in two 12-week monotherapy trials in adults, in one 3-week adjunctive trial in adults, and in one 3-week monotherapy trial in pediatric patients (10 to 17 years) [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.2)].

Quetiapine is indicated as monotherapy for the acute treatment of depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder. Efficacy was established in two 8-week monotherapy trials in adult patients with bipolar I and bipolar II disorder [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.2)].

Quetiapine is indicated for the maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder, as an adjunct to lithium or divalproex. Efficacy was established in two maintenance trials in adults. The effectiveness of quetiapine as monotherapy for the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder has not been systematically evaluated in controlled clinical trials [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.2)].

1.3 Special Considerations in Treating Pediatric Schizophrenia and Bipolar I Disorder

Pediatric schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder are serious mental disorders, however, diagnosis can be challenging. For pediatric schizophrenia, symptom profiles can be variable, and for bipolar I disorder, patients may have variable patterns of periodicity of manic or mixed symptoms. It is recommended that medication therapy for pediatric schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder be initiated only after a thorough diagnostic evaluation has been performed and careful consideration given to the risks associated with medication treatment. Medication treatment for both pediatric schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder is indicated as part of a total treatment program that often includes psychological, educational and social interventions.

2. Dosage and Administration

2.1 Important Administration Instructions

Quetiapine tablets, USP can be taken with or without food.

2.2 Recommended Dosing

The recommended initial dose, titration, dose range and maximum quetiapine dose for each approved indication is displayed in Table 1. After initial dosing, adjustments can be made upwards or downwards, if necessary, depending upon the clinical response and tolerability of the patient [see Clinical Studies (14.1 and 14.2)].

Table 1: Recommended Dosing for quetiapine

Indication Initial Dose and Titration Recommended Dose Maximum Dose
Schizophrenia-Adults Day 1: 25 mg twice daily. Increase in increments of 25 mg-50 mg divided two or three times on Days 2 and 3 to range of 300 to 400 mg by Day 4 Further adjustments can be made in increments of 25 to 50 mg twice a day, in intervals of not less than 2 days. 150 to 750 mg/day 750 mg/day
Schizophrenia- Adolescents (13 to 17 years) Day 1: 25 mg twice daily. Day 2: Twice daily dosing totaling 100 mg. Day 3: Twice daily dosing totaling 200 mg. Day 4: Twice daily dosing totaling 300 mg. Day 5: Twice daily dosing totaling 400 mg. Further adjustments should be in increments no greater than 100 mg/day within the recommended dose range of 400-800 mg/day. Based on response and tolerability, may be administered three times daily. 400 to 800 mg/day 800 mg/day
Schizophrenia-Maintenance Not applicable 400 to 800 mg/day 800 mg/day
Bipolar Mania- Adults Monotherapy or as an adjunct to lithium or divalproex Day 1: Twice daily dosing totaling 100 mg. Day 2: Twice daily dosing totaling 200 mg. Day 3: Twice daily dosing totaling 300 mg. Day 4: Twice daily dosing totaling 400 mg. Further dosage adjustments up to 800 mg/day by Day 6 should be in increments of no greater than 200 mg/day. 400 to 800 mg/day 800 mg/day
Bipolar Mania- Children and Adolescents (10 to 17 years), Monotherapy Day 1: 25 mg twice daily. Day 2: Twice daily dosing totaling 100 mg. Day 3: Twice daily dosing totaling 200 mg. Day 4: Twice daily dosing totaling 300 mg. Day 5: Twice daily dosing totaling 400 mg. Further adjustments should be in increments no greater than 100 mg/day within the recommended dose range of 400-600 mg/day. Based on response and tolerability, may be administered three times daily. 400 to 600 mg/day 600 mg/day
Bipolar Depression- Adults Administer once daily at bedtime. Day 1: 50 mg Day 2: 100 mg Day 3: 200 mg Day 4: 300 mg 300 mg/day 300 mg/day
Bipolar I Disorder Maintenance Therapy- Adults Administer twice daily totaling 400-800 mg/day as adjunct to lithium or divalproex. Generally, in the maintenance phase, patients continued on the same dose on which they were stabilized. 400 to 800 mg/day 800 mg/day

Maintenance Treatment for Schizophrenia and Bipolar I Disorder

Maintenance Treatment–Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for maintenance treatment and the appropriate dose for such treatment [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.2)].

2.3 Dose Modifications in Elderly Patients

Consideration should be given to a slower rate of dose titration and a lower target dose in the elderly and in patients who are debilitated or who have a predisposition to hypotensive reactions [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY (12.3)]. When indicated, dose escalation should be performed with caution in these patients.

Elderly patients should be started on quetiapine 50 mg/day and the dose can be increased in increments of 50 mg/day depending on the clinical response and tolerability of the individual patient.

2.4 Dose Modifications in Hepatically Impaired Patients

Patients with hepatic impairment should be started on 25 mg/day. The dose should be increased daily in increments of 25 mg/day — 50 mg/day to an effective dose, depending on the clinical response and tolerability of the patient.

2.5 Dose Modifications when used with CYP3A4 Inhibitors

Quetiapine dose should be reduced to one sixth of original dose when co-medicated with a potent CYP3A4 inhibitor (e.g., ketoconazole, itraconazole, indinavir, ritonavir, nefazodone, etc.). When the CYP3A4 inhibitor is discontinued, the dose of quetiapine should be increased by 6-fold [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY (12.3) and DRUG INTERACTIONS (7.1)].

2.6 Dose Modifications when used with CYP3A4 Inducers

Quetiapine dose should be increased up to 5-fold of the original dose when used in combination with a chronic treatment (e.g., greater than 7 to 14 days) of a potent CYP3A4 inducer (e.g., phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin, avasimibe, St. John’s wort etc.). The dose should be titrated based on the clinical response and tolerability of the individual patient. When the CYP3A4 inducer is discontinued, the dose of quetiapine should be reduced to the original level within 7-14 days [seeCLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY (12.3) and DRUG INTERACTIONS (7.1)].

2.7 Re-initiation of Treatment in Patients Previously Discontinued

Although there are no data to specifically address re-initiation of treatment, it is recommended that when restarting therapy of patients who have been off quetiapine for more than one- week, the initial dosing schedule should be followed. When restarting patients who have been off quetiapine for less than one-week, gradual dose escalation may not be required and the maintenance dose may be re-initiated.

2.8 Switching from Antipsychotics

There are no systematically collected data to specifically address switching patients with schizophrenia from antipsychotics to quetiapine, or concerning concomitant administration with antipsychotics. While immediate discontinuation of the previous antipsychotic treatment may be acceptable for some patients with schizophrenia, more gradual discontinuation may be most appropriate for others. In all cases, the period of overlapping antipsychotic administration should be minimized. When switching patients with schizophrenia from depot antipsychotics, if medically appropriate, initiate quetiapine therapy in place of the next scheduled injection. The need for continuing existing EPS medication should be re-evaluated periodically.

3. Dosage Forms and Strengths

  • 25 mg tablets are Peach coloured, film coated, round shape, biconvex tablets, debossed with “262” on other side and plain on other side
  • 50 mg tablets are White coloured, film coated, round shape, biconvex tablets, debossed with”337″ on one side and plain on other side
  • 100 mg tablets are Yellow coloured film coated, round shape, biconvex tablets, debossed with “261” on one side and plain on other side
  • 150 mg tablets are Off white to light yellow coloured, film coated, round shape, biconvex tablets, debossed with “353” on one side and plain on other side
  • 200 mg tablets are White coloured, film coated, round shape, biconvex tablets, debossed with “260” on one side and plain on other side
  • 300 mg tablets are White coloured, film coated, capsule shaped, biconvex tablets, debossed with “259” on one side and plain on other side
  • 400 mg tablets are Yellow coloured, film coated, capsule shaped, biconvex tablets, debossed with ”336” on one side and plain on other side

4. Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to quetiapine or to any excipients in the quetiapine formulation. Anaphylactic reactions have been reported in patients treated with quetiapine.

5. Warnings and Precautions

5.1 Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Analysis of 17 placebo-controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks), largely in patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, revealed a risk of death in drug-treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times the risk of death in placebo-treated patients. Over the course of a typical 10-week controlled trial, the rate of death in drug-treated patients was about 4.5%, compared to a rate of about 2.6% in the placebo group. Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (e.g., heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g., pneumonia) in nature. Observational studies suggest that, similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs, treatment with conventional antipsychotic drugs may increase mortality. The extent to which the findings of increased mortality in observational studies may be attributed to the antipsychotic drug as opposed to some characteristic(s) of the patients is not clear. quetiapine is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see BOXED WARNING].

5.2 Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Adolescents and Young Adults

Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or 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 depression and 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 worsening of depression and 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 2.

Table 2: Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Cases of Suicidality per 1000 Patients Treated

Age Range Drug — Placebo Difference in Number of Cases of Suicidality per 1000 Patients Treated
Increases Compared to Placebo
<18 14 additional cases
18 to 24 5 additional cases
Decreases Compared to Placebo
25 to 64 1 fewer case
≥65 6 fewer cases

No suicides occurred in any of the pediatric trials. There were suicides in the adult trials, but the number was not sufficient to reach any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

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, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, 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 either the worsening of depression 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 whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidality or symptoms that might be precursors to worsening depression or suicidality, especially if these symptoms are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient’s presenting symptoms.

Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder or other indications, both psychiatric and non-psychiatric, 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 healthcare providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers. Prescriptions for quetiapine should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets 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, including quetiapine, 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, bipolar disorder, and depression.

5.3 Cerebrovascular Adverse Reactions, Including Stroke, in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis

In placebo-controlled trials with risperidone, aripiprazole, and olanzapine in elderly subjects with dementia, there was a higher incidence of cerebrovascular adverse reactions (cerebrovascular accidents and transient ischemic attacks) including fatalities compared to placebo-treated subjects. Quetiapine is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia- related psychosis [see also Boxed Warning and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.1)].

5.4 Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome(NMS)

A potentially fatal symptom complex sometimes referred to as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) has been reported in association with administration of antipsychotic drugs, including quetiapine. Rare cases of NMS have been reported with quetiapine. Clinical manifestations of NMS are hyperpyrexia, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, and evidence of autonomic instability (irregular pulse or blood pressure, tachycardia, diaphoresis, and cardiac dysrhythmia). Additional signs may include elevated creatinine phosphokinase, myoglobinuria (rhabdomyolysis) and acute renal failure.

The diagnostic evaluation of patients with this syndrome is complicated. In arriving at a diagnosis, it is important to exclude cases where the clinical presentation includes both serious medical illness (e.g., pneumonia, systemic infection, etc.) and untreated or inadequately treated extrapyramidal signs and symptoms (EPS). Other important considerations in the differential diagnosis include central anticholinergic toxicity, heat stroke, drug fever, and primary central nervous system (CNS) pathology.

The management of NMS should include: 1) immediate discontinuation of antipsychotic drugs and other drugs not essential to concurrent therapy; 2) intensive symptomatic treatment and medical monitoring; and 3) treatment of any concomitant serious medical problems for which specific treatments are available. There is no general agreement about specific pharmacological treatment regimens for NMS.

If a patient requires antipsychotic drug treatment after recovery from NMS, the potential reintroduction of drug therapy should be carefully considered. The patient should be carefully monitored since recurrences of NMS have been reported.

5.5 Metabolic Changes

Atypical antipsychotic drugs have been associated with metabolic changes that include hyperglycemia/diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and body weight gain. While all of the drugs in the class have been shown to produce some metabolic changes, each drug has its own specific risk profile. In some patients, a worsening of more than one of the metabolic parameters of weight, blood glucose, and lipids was observed in clinical studies. Changes in these metabolic profiles should be managed as clinically appropriate.

Hyperglycemia and Diabetes Mellitus

Hyperglycemia, in some cases extreme and associated with ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar coma or death, has been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics, including quetiapine. Assessment of the relationship between atypical antipsychotic use and glucose abnormalities is complicated by the possibility of an increased background risk of diabetes mellitus in patients with schizophrenia and the increasing incidence of diabetes mellitus in the general population. Given these confounders, the relationship between atypical antipsychotic use and hyperglycemia-related adverse reactions is not completely understood. However, epidemiological studies suggest an increased risk of hyperglycemia-related adverse reactions in patients treated with the atypical antipsychotics. Precise risk estimates for hyperglycemia-related adverse reactions in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics are not available.

Patients with an established diagnosis of diabetes mellitus who are started on atypical antipsychotics should be monitored regularly for worsening of glucose control. Patients with risk factors for diabetes mellitus (e.g., obesity, family history of diabetes) who are starting treatment with atypical antipsychotics should undergo fasting blood glucose testing at the beginning of treatment and periodically during treatment. Any patient treated with atypical antipsychotics should be monitored for symptoms of hyperglycemia including polydipsia, polyuria, polyphagia, and weakness. Patients who develop symptoms of hyperglycemia during treatment with atypical antipsychotics should undergo fasting blood glucose testing. In some cases, hyperglycemia has resolved when the atypical antipsychotic was discontinued; however, some patients required continuation of anti-diabetic treatment despite discontinuation of the suspect drug.

Adults:

Table 3: Fasting Glucose – Proportion of Patients Shifting to ≥ 126 mg/dL in Short-Term (≤12 weeks) Placebo-Controlled Studies1

Laboratory Analyte Category Change ( At Least Once) from Baseline Treatment Arm N Patients n (%)
Fasting Glucose Normal to High (<100 mg /dL to ≥126 mg/dL/) Quetiapine 2907 71 (2.4%)
Placebo 1346 19 (1.4%)
Borderline to High (≥ 100 mg/dL) and <126 mg /dL to ≥126 mg/dL) Quetiapine 572 67 (11.7%)
Placebo 279 33 (11.8%)

1. Includes quetiapine tablets and quetiapine extended-release tablets data.

In a 24-week trial (active-controlled, 115 patients treated with quetiapine) designed to evaluate glycemic status with oral glucose tolerance testing of all patients, at week 24 the incidence of a post-glucose challenge glucose level ≥ 200 mg/dL was 1.7% and the incidence of a fasting blood glucose level ≥126 mg/dL was 2.6%. The mean change in fasting glucose from baseline was 3.2 mg/dL and mean change in 2-hour glucose from baseline was -1.8 mg/dL for quetiapine.

In 2 long-term placebo-controlled randomized withdrawal clinical trials for bipolar I disorder maintenance, mean exposure of 213 days for quetiapine (646 patients) and 152 days for placebo (680 patients), the mean change in glucose from baseline was +5.0 mg/dL for quetiapine and –0.05 mg/dL for placebo. The exposure-adjusted rate of any increased blood glucose level (≥ 126 mg/dL) for patients more than 8 hours since a meal (however, some patients may not have been precluded from calorie intake from fluids during fasting period) was 18.0 per 100 patient years for quetiapine (10.7% of patients; n=556) and 9.5 for placebo per 100 patient years (4.6% of patients; n=581).

Children and Adolescents:

In a placebo-controlled quetiapine monotherapy study of adolescent patients (13 to 17 years of age) with schizophrenia (6 weeks duration), the mean change in fasting glucose levels for quetiapine (n=138) compared to placebo (n=67) was – 0.75 mg/dL versus –1.70 mg/dL. In a placebo-controlled quetiapine monotherapy study of children and adolescent patients (10–17 years of age) with bipolar mania (3 weeks duration), the mean change in fasting glucose level for quetiapine (n=170) compared to placebo (n=81) was 3.62 mg/dL versus –1.17 mg/dL. No patient in either study with a baseline normal fasting glucose level (<100 mg/dL) or a baseline borderline fasting glucose level (≥ 100 mg/dL and <126mg/dL) had a blood glucose level of ≥ 126mg/dL.

In a placebo-controlled quetiapine extended-release tablets monotherapy study (8 weeks duration) of children and adolescent patients (10 to 17 years of age) with bipolar depression, in which efficacy was not established, the mean change in fasting glucose levels for quetiapine extended-release tablets (n = 60) compared to placebo (n = 62) was 1.8 mg/dL versus 1.6 mg/dL. In this study, there were no patients in the quetiapine extended-release tablets or placebo-treated groups with a baseline normal fasting glucose level (< 100 mg/dL) that had an increase in blood glucose level > 126 mg/dL. There was one patient in the quetiapine extended-release tablets group with a baseline borderline fasting glucose level (> 100 mg/dL) and (< 126 mg/dL) who had an increase in blood glucose level of > 126 mg/dL compared to zero patients in the placebo group.

Dyslipidemia

Adults:

Table 4 shows the percentage of adult patients with changes in total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol and HDL- cholesterol from baseline by indication in clinical trials with Quetiapine.

Table 4: Percentage of Adult Patients with Shifts in Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, LDL-Cholesterol and HDL-Cholesterol from Baseline to Clinically Significant Levels by Indication

Laboratory Analyte Indication Treatment Arm N Patients n (%)
Total Cholesterol ≥240 mg/dL Schizophrenia1 Quetiapine 137 24 (18 %)
Placebo 92 6 (7%)
Bipolar Depression2 Quetiapine 463 41 (9 %)
Placebo 250 15 (6%)
Triglycerides ≥200 mg/dL Schizophrenia1 Quetiapine 120 26 (22 %)
Placebo 70 11 (16 %)
Bipolar Depression2 Quetiapine 436 59 (14 %)
Placebo 232 20 (9%)
LDL-Cholesterol ≥ 160 mg/dL Schizophrenia1 Quetiapine na3 na3
Placebo na3 na3
Bipolar Depression2 Quetiapine 465 29 (6 %)
Placebo 256 12 (5%)
HDL-Cholesterol ≤ 40 mg/dL Schizophrenia1 Quetiapine na3 na3
Placebo na3 na3
Bipolar Depression2 Quetiapine 393 56 (14 %)
Placebo 214

29 (14 %)

1. 6 weeks duration

2. 8 weeks duration

3. Parameters not measured in the quetiapine registration studies for schizophrenia. Children and Adolescents:

Table 5 shows the percentage of children and adolescents with changes in total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol from baseline in clinical trials with quetiapine.

Table 5: Percentage of Children and Adolescents with Shifts in Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, LDL- Cholesterol and HDL-Cholesterol from Baseline to Clinically Significant Levels

Laboratory Analyte Indication Treatment Arm N Patients n (%)
Total Cholesterol ≥200 mg/dL Schizophrenia1 Quetiapine 107 13 (12%)
Placebo 56 1 (2%)
Bipolar Mania2 Quetiapine 159 16 (10%)
Placebo 66 2 (3%)
Triglycerides ≥150 mg/dL Schizophrenia1 Quetiapine 103 17 (17%)
Placebo 51 4 (8%)
Bipolar Mania2 Quetiapine 149 32 (22%)
Placebo 60 8 (13%)
LDL-Cholesterol ≥ 130 mg/dL Schizophrenia1 Quetiapine 112 4 (4%)
Placebo 60 1 (2%)
Bipolar Mania2 Quetiapine 169 13 (8%)
Placebo 74 4 (5%)
HDL-Cholesterol ≤ 40 mg/dL Schizophrenia1 Quetiapine 104 16 (15%)
Placebo 54 10 (19%)
Bipolar Mania2 Quetiapine 154 16 (10%)
Placebo 61 4 (7%)

1. 13 to 17 years, 6 weeks duration

2. 10 to 17 years, 3 weeks duration

In a placebo-controlled quetiapine extended-release tablets monotherapy study (8 weeks duration) of children and adolescent patients (10 to 17 years of age) with bipolar depression, in which efficacy was not established, the percentage of children and adolescents with shifts in total cholesterol (≥200 mg/dL), triglycerides (≥150 mg/dL), LDL-cholesterol (≥130 mg/dL) and HDL-cholesterol (≤ 40 mg/dL) from baseline to clinically significant levels were: total cholesterol 8% (7/83) for quetiapine extended-release tablets vs. 6% (5/84) for placebo; triglycerides 28% (22/80) for quetiapine extended-release tablets vs. 9% (7/82) for placebo; LDL-cholesterol 2% (2/86) for quetiapine extended-release tablets vs. 4% (3/85) for placebo and HDL-cholesterol 20% (13/65) for quetiapine extended-release tablets vs. 15% (11/74) for placebo.

Weight Gain

Increases in weight have been observed in clinical trials. Patients receiving quetiapine should receive regular monitoring of weight.

Adults:

In clinical trials with quetiapine the following increases in weight have been reported.

Table 6:Proportion of Patients with Weight Gain ≥ 7% of Body Weight (Adults)

Vital Sign Indication Treatment Arm N Patients n (%)
Weight Gain ≥7 % of Body Weight Schizophrenia1 Quetiapine 391 89 (23%)
Placebo 206 11 (6%)
Bipolar Mania ( monotherapy)2 Quetiapine 209 44 (21%)
Placebo 198 13 (7%)
Bipolar Mania (adjunct therapy)3 Quetiapine 196 25 (13%)
Placebo 203 8 (4%)
Bipolar Depression4 Quetiapine 554 47 (8%)
Placebo 295 7 (2%)

1. up to 6 weeks duration

2. up to 12 weeks duration

3. up to 3 weeks duration

4. up to 8 weeks duration

Children and Adolescents:

In two clinical trials with quetiapine, one in bipolar mania and one in schizophrenia, reported increases in weight are included in table 7.

Table 7: Proportion of Patients with Weight Gain ≥ 7% of Body Weight (Children and Adolescents)

Vital Sign Indication Treatment Arm N Patients n (%)
Weight Gain ≥7 % of Body Weight Schizophrenia1 Quetiapine 111 23 (2 1%)
Placebo 44 3 (7%)
Bipolar Mania2 Quetiapine 157 18 (12%)
Placebo 68 0 (0%)

1. 6 weeks duration

2. 3 weeks duration

The mean change in body weight in the schizophrenia trial, was 2.0 kg in the quetiapine group and -0.4 kg in the placebo group and in the bipolar mania trial it was 1.7 kg in the quetiapine group and 0.4 kg in the placebo group.

In an open-label study that enrolled patients from the above two pediatric trials, 63% of patients (241/380) completed 26 weeks of therapy with quetiapine. After 26 weeks of treatment, the mean increase in body weight was 4.4 kg. Forty-five percent of the patients gained ≥ 7% of their body weight, not adjusted for normal growth. In order to adjust for normal growth over 26 weeks an increase of at least 0.5 standard deviation from baseline in BMI was used as a measure of a clinically significant change; 18.3% of patients on quetiapine met this criterion after 26 weeks, of treatment.

In a clinical trials for quetiapine extended-release tablets in children and adolescents (10 to 17 years of age) with bipolar depression, in which efficacy was not established, the percentage of patients with weight gain ≥ 7% of body weight at any time was 15% (14/92) for quetiapine extended-release tablets vs. 10% (10/100) for placebo. The mean change in body weight was 1.4 kg in the quetiapine extended-release tablets group vs. 0.6 kg in the placeo group.

When treating pediatric patients with quetiapine for any indication, weight gain should be assessed against that expected for normal growth.

5.6 Tardive Dyskinesia

A syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements may develop in patients treated with antipsychotic drugs, including quetiapine. Although the prevalence of the syndrome appears to be highest among the elderly, especially elderly women, it is impossible to rely upon prevalence estimates to predict, at the inception of antipsychotic treatment, which patients are likely to develop the syndrome. Whether antipsychotic drug products differ in their potential to cause tardive dyskinesia is unknown.

The risk of developing tardive dyskinesia and the likelihood that it will become irreversible are believed to increase as the duration of treatment and the total cumulative dose of antipsychotic drugs administered to the patient increase. However, the syndrome can develop, although much less commonly, after relatively brief treatment periods at low doses or may even arise after discontinuation of treatment.


Tardive dyskinesia may remit, partially or completely, if antipsychotic treatment is withdrawn. Antipsychotic treatment, itself, however, may suppress (or partially suppress) the signs and symptoms of the syndrome and thereby may possibly mask the underlying process. The effect that symptomatic suppression has upon the long-term course of the syndrome is unknown.

Given these considerations, quetiapine should be prescribed in a manner that is most likely to minimize the occurrence of tardive dyskinesia. Chronic antipsychotic treatment should generally be reserved for patients who appear to suffer from a chronic illness that (1) is known to respond to antipsychotic drugs, and (2) for whom alternative, equally effective, but potentially less harmful treatments are not available or appropriate. In patients who do require chronic treatment, the smallest dose and the shortest duration of treatment producing a satisfactory clinical response should be sought. The need for continued treatment should be reassessed periodically.

If signs and symptoms of tardive dyskinesia appear in a patient on quetiapine, drug discontinuation should be considered. However, some patients may require treatment with quetiapine despite the presence of the syndrome.

5.7 Hypotension

Quetiapine may induce orthostatic hypotension associated with dizziness, tachycardia and, in some patients, syncope, especially during the initial dose-titration period, probably reflecting its α1 -adrenergic antagonist properties. Syncope was reported in 1% (28/3265) of the patients treated with quetiapine, compared with 0.2% (2/954) on placebo and about 0.4% (2/527) on active control drugs. Orthostatic hypotension, dizziness, and syncope may lead to falls.

Quetiapine should be used with particular caution in patients with known cardiovascular disease (history of myocardial infarction or ischemic heart disease, heart failure, or conduction abnormalities), cerebrovascular disease or conditions which would predispose patients to hypotension (dehydration, hypovolemia, and treatment with antihypertensive medications). The risk of orthostatic hypotension and syncope may be minimized by limiting the initial dose to 25 mg twice daily [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION (2.2)]. If hypotension occurs during titration to the target dose, a return to the previous dose in the titration schedule is appropriate.

5.8 Falls

Atypical antipsychotic drugs, including quetiapine, may cause somnolence, postural hypotension, motor, and sensory instability, which may lead to falls and, consequently, fractures or other injuries. For patients with diseases, conditions, or medications that could exacerbate these effects, complete fall risk assessments when initiating antipsychotic treatment and recurrently for patients on long-term antipsychotic therapy.

5.9 Increases in Blood Pressure(Children and Adolescents)

In placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescents with schizophrenia (6-week duration) or bipolar mania (3-week duration), the incidence of increases at any time in systolic blood pressure (≥20 mm Hg) was 15.2% (51/335) for quetiapine and 5.5% (9./163) for placebo; the incidence of increases at any time in diastolic blood pressure (≥10 mmHg) was 40.6% (136/335) for quetiapine and 24.5% (40/163) for placebo. In the 26-week open-label clinical trial, one child with a reported history of hypertension experienced a hypertensive crisis. Blood pressure in children and adolescents should be measured at the beginning of, and periodically during treatment.

In a placebo-controlled quetiapine extended-release tablets clinical trial (8 weeks duration) in children and adolescents (10 to 17 years of age) with bipolar depression, in which efficacy was not established, the incidence of increases at any time in systolic blood pressure (≥ 20 mmHg) was 6.5% (6/92) for quetiapine extended-release tablets and 6.0% (6/100) for placebo; the incidence of increases at any time in diastolic blood pressure (≥ 10 mmHg) was 46.7% (43/92) for quetiapine extended-release tablets and 36.0% (36/100) for placebo.

5.10 Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Agranulocytosis

In clinical trial and postmarketing experience, events of leukopenia/neutropenia have been reported temporally related to atypical antipsychotic agents, including quetiapine. Agranulocytosis has been reported.

Agranulocytosis (defined as absolute neutrophil count <500/mm3) has been reported with quetiapine, including fatal cases and cases in patients without pre-existing risk factors. Neutropenia should be considered in patients presenting with infection, particularly in the absence of obvious predisposing factor(s), or in patients with unexplained fever, and should be managed as clinically appropriate.

Possible risk factors for leukopenia/neutropenia include pre-existing low white cell count (WBC) and history of drug induced leukopenia/neutropenia. Patients with a pre-existing low WBC or a history of drug induced leukopenia/neutropenia should have their complete blood count (CBC) monitored frequently during the first few months of therapy and should discontinue quetiapine at the first sign of a decline in WBC in absence of other causative factors.

Patients with neutropenia should be carefully monitored for fever or other symptoms or signs of infection and treated promptly if such symptoms or signs occur. Patients with severe neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count <1000/mm3) should discontinue quetiapine and have their WBC followed until recovery.

5.11 Cataracts

The development of cataracts was observed in association with quetiapine treatment in chronic dog studies [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.2)]. Lens changes have also been observed in adults, children, and adolescents during long- term quetiapine treatment, but a causal relationship to quetiapine use has not been established. Nevertheless, the possibility of lenticular changes cannot be excluded at this time. Therefore, examination of the lens by methods adequate to detect cataract formation, such as slit lamp exam or other appropriately sensitive methods, is recommended at initiation of treatment or shortly thereafter, and at 6-month intervals during chronic treatment.

5.12 QT Prolongation

In clinical trials, quetiapine was not associated with a persistent increase in QT intervals. However, the QT effect was not systematically evaluated in a thorough QT study. In post marketing experience, there were cases reported of QT prolongation in patients who overdosed on quetiapine [see OVERDOSAGE (10.1)], in patients with concomitant illness, and in patients taking medicines known to cause electrolyte imbalance or increase QT interval [see DRUG INTERACTIONS (7.1)].

The use of quetiapine should be avoided in combination with other drugs that are known to prolong QTc including Class 1A antiarrythmics (e.g., quinidine, procainamide) or Class III antiarrythmics (e.g., amiodarone, sotalol), antipsychotic medications (e.g., ziprasidone, chlorpromazine, thioridazine), antibiotics (e.g., gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin), or any other class of medications known to prolong the QTc interval (e.g., pentamidine, levomethadyl acetate, methadone).

Quetiapine should also be avoided in circumstances that may increase the risk of occurrence of torsade de pointes and/or sudden death including (1) a history of cardiac arrhythmias such as bradycardia; (2) hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia; (3) concomitant use of other drugs that prolong the QTc interval; and (4) presence of congenital prolongation of the QT interval.

Caution should also be exercised when quetiapine is prescribed in patients with increased risk of QT prolongation (e.g., cardiovascular disease, family history of QT prolongation, the elderly, congestive heart failure, and heart hypertrophy).

5.13 Seizures

During clinical trials, seizures occurred in 0.5% (20/3490) of patients treated with quetiapine compared to 0.2% (2/954) on placebo and 0.7% (4/527) on active control drugs. As with other antipsychotics, quetiapine should be used cautiously in patients with a history of seizures or with conditions that potentially lower the seizure threshold, e.g., Alzheimer’s dementia. Conditions that lower the seizure threshold may be more prevalent in a population of 65 years or older.

5.14 Hypothyroidism

Adults: Clinical trials with quetiapine demonstrated dose-related decreases in thyroid hormone levels. The reduction in total and free thyroxine (T4) of approximately 20% at the higher end of the therapeutic dose range was maximal in the first six weeks of treatment and maintained without adaptation or progression during more chronic therapy. In nearly all cases, cessation of quetiapine treatment was associated with a reversal of the effects on total and free T4, irrespective of the duration of treatment. The mechanism by which quetiapine effects the thyroid axis is unclear. If there is an effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, measurement of TSH alone may not accurately reflect a patient’s thyroid status. Therefore, both TSH and free T4, in addition to clinical assessment, should be measured at baseline and at follow-up.

In the mania adjunct studies, where quetiapine was added to lithium or divalproex, 12% (24/196) of quetiapine treated patients compared to 7% (15/203) of placebo-treated patients had elevated TSH levels. Of the quetiapine treated patients with elevated TSH levels, 3 had simultaneous low free T4 levels (free T4 <0.8 LLN).

About 0.7% (26/3489) of quetiapine patients did experience TSH increases in monotherapy studies. Some patients with TSH increases needed replacement thyroid treatment. In all quetiapine trials, the incidence of shifts in thyroid hormones and TSH were1: decrease in free T4 (<0.8 LLN), 2.0% (357/17513); decrease in total T4 (<0.8 LLN), 4.0% (75/1861); decrease in free T3(<0.8 LLN), 0.4% (53/13766); decrease in total T3 (<0.8 LLN), 2.0% (26/1312), and increase in TSH (>5mIU/L), 4.9% (956/19412). In eight patients, where TBG was measured, levels of TBG were unchanged.

Table 8 shows the incidence of these shifts in short term placebo-controlled clinical trials.

Table 8: Incidence Of Shifts In Thyroid Hormone Levels And TSH In Short-Term Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials 1,2

Total T4 Free T4 Total T3 Free T3 TSH
Quetiapine Placebo Quetiapine Placebo Quetiapine Placebo Quetiapine Placebo Quetiapine Placebo
3.4 % (37/1097) 0.6% (4/651) 0.7% (52/7218) 0.1% (4/3668) 0. 5% (2/369) 0. 0% (0/113) 0. 2% (11/5673) 0. 0% (1/2679) 3. 2% (240/7587) 2. 7% (105/3912)

1. Based on shifts from normal baseline to potentially clinically important value at anytime post-baseline. Shifts in total T4, free T4, total T3 and free T3 are defined as <0.8 x LLN (pmol/L) and shift in TSH is >5 mlU/L at any time. 2. Includes quetiapine and quetiapine extended-release data.

In short-term placebo-controlled monotherapy trials, the incidence of reciprocal, shifts in T3 and TSH was 0.0 % for both quetiapine (1/4800) and placebo (0/2190) and for T4 and TSH the shifts were 0.1% (7/6154) for quetiapine versus 0.0% (1/3007) for placebo

Children and Adolescents:

In acute placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescent patients with schizophrenia (6-week duration) or bipolar mania (3-week duration), the incidence of shifts for thyroid function values at any time for Quetiapine treated patients and placebo-treated patients for elevated TSH was 2.9% (8/280) vs. 0.7% (1/138), respectively, and for decreased total thyroxine was 2.8% (8/289) vs. 0% (0/145, respectively). Of the Quetiapine treated patients with elevated TSH levels, 1 had simultaneous low free T4 level at end of treatment.

5.15 Hyperprolactinemia

Adults: During clinical trials with quetiapine, the incidence of shifts in prolactin levels to a clinically significant value occurred in 3.6% (158/4416) of patients treated with quetiapine compared to 2.6% (51/1968) on placebo.

Children and Adolescents:

In acute placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescent patients with bipolar mania (3-week duration) or schizophrenia (6-week duration), the incidence of shifts in prolactin levels to a value (>20 μg/L males; > 26 μg/L females at any time) was 13.4% (18/134) for quetiapine compared to 4% (3/75) for placebo in males and 8.7% (9/104) for quetiapine compared to 0% (0/39) for placebo in females.

Like other drugs that antagonize dopamine D2 receptors, quetiapine elevates prolactin levels in some patients and the elevation may persist during chronic administration. Hyperprolactinemia, regardless of etiology, may suppress hypothalamic GnRH, resulting in reduced pituitary gonadotrophin secretion. This, in turn, may inhibit reproductive function by impairing gonadal steroidogenesis in both female and male patients. Galactorrhea, amenorrhea, gynecomastia, and impotence have been reported in patients receiving prolactin-elevating compounds. Long-standing hyperprolactinemia when associated with hypogonadism may lead to decreased bone density in both female and male subjects.

Tissue culture experiments indicate that approximately one-third of human breast cancers are prolactin dependent in vitro, a factor of potential importance if the prescription of these drugs is considered in a patient with previously detected breast cancer. As is common with compounds which increase prolactin release, mammary gland, and pancreatic islet cell neoplasia (mammary adenocarcinomas, pituitary, and pancreatic adenomas) was observed in carcinogenicity studies conducted in mice and rats. Neither clinical studies nor epidemiologic studies conducted to date have shown an association between chronic administration of this class of drugs and tumorigenesis in humans, but the available evidence is too limited to be conclusive [see NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY (13.1)].

5.16 Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment

Somnolence was a commonly reported adverse event reported in patients treated with quetiapine especially during the 3-5 day period of initial dose-titration. In schizophrenia trials, somnolence was reported in 18% (89/510) of patients on quetiapine compared to 11% (22/206) of placebo patients. In acute bipolar mania trials using quetiapine as monotherapy, somnolence was reported in 16% (34/209) of patients on quetiapine compared to 4% of placebo patients. In acute bipolar mania trials using quetiapine as adjunct therapy, somnolence was reported in 34% (66/196) of patients on quetiapine compared to 9% (19/203) of placebo patients. In bipolar depression trials, somnolence was reported in 57% (398/698) of patients on quetiapine compared to 15% (51/347) of placebo patients. Since quetiapine has the potential to impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills, patients should be cautioned about performing activities requiring mental alertness, such as operating a motor vehicle (including automobiles) or operating hazardous machinery until they are reasonably certain that quetiapine therapy does not affect them adversely. Somnolence may lead to falls.

5.17 Body Temperature Regulation

Although not reported with quetiapine, disruption of the body’s ability to reduce core body temperature has been attributed to antipsychotic agents. Appropriate care is advised when prescribing quetiapine for patients who will be experiencing conditions which may contribute to an elevation in core body temperature, e.g., exercising strenuously, exposure to extreme heat, receiving concomitant medication with anticholinergic activity, or being subject to dehydration.

5.18 Dysphagia

Esophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with antipsychotic drug use. Aspiration pneumonia is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly patients, in particular those with advanced Alzheimer’s dementia. Quetiapine and other antipsychotic drugs should be used cautiously in patients at risk for aspiration pneumonia.

5.19 Discontinuation Syndrome

Acute withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, nausea, and vomiting have been described after abrupt cessation of atypical antipsychotic drugs, including quetiapine.

In short-term placebo-controlled, monotherapy clinical trials with quetiapine extended-release that included a discontinuation phase which evaluated discontinuation symptoms, the aggregated incidence of patients experiencing one or more discontinuation symptoms after abrupt cessation was 12.1% (241/1993) for quetiapine extended-release and 6.7% (71/1065) for placebo.

The incidence of the individual adverse reactions (i.e., insomnia, nausea, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness and irritability) did not exceed 5.3% in any treatment group and usually resolved after 1 week post-discontinuation. Gradual withdrawal is advised.[see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)]

5.20 Anticholinergic (antimuscarinic) Effects

Norquetiapine, an active metabolite of quetiapine, has moderate to strong affinity for several muscarinic receptor subtypes. This contributes to anticholinergic adverse reactions when quetiapine is used at therapeutic doses, taken concomitantly with other anticholinergic medications, or taken in overdose. Quetiapine should be used with caution in patients receiving medications having anticholinergic (antimuscarinic) effects [see Drug Interactions (7.1), Overdosage (10.1), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.1)].

Constipation was a commonly reported adverse event in patients treated with quetiapine and represents a risk factor for intestinal obstruction. Intestinal obstruction has been reported with quetiapine, including fatal reports in patients who were receiving multiple concomitant medications that decrease intestinal motility.

Quetiapine tablets should be used with caution in patients with a current diagnosis or prior history of urinary retention, clinically significant prostatic hypertrophy or constipation.

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