QUETIAPINE FUMARATE- quetiapine fumarate tablet, film coated
A-S Medication Solutions
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) ].
Quetiapine tablets, USP are indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia. The efficacy of Quetiapine tablets, USP in schizophrenia was established in three 6-week trials in adults and one 6-week trial in adolescents (13-17 years). The effectiveness of Quetiapine tablets, USP for the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia has not been systematically evaluated in controlled clinical trials [see Clinical Studies (14.1) ].
Quetiapine tablets, USP are 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 (10-17 years) [see Clinical Studies (14.2) ].
Quetiapine tablets, USP are 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 tablets, USP are 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 tablets, USP as monotherapy for the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder has not been systematically evaluated in controlled clinical trials [see Clinical Studies (14.2) ].
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.
Quetiapine tablets can be taken with or without food.
The recommended initial dose, titration, dose range and maximum quetiapine tablets 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)].
|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 300-400 mg by Day 4. Further adjustments can be made in increments of 25-50 mg twice a day, in intervals of not less than 2 days.||150-750 mg/day||750 mg/day|
|Schizophrenia — Adolescents (13-17 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.||400-800 mg/day||800 mg/day|
|Schizophrenia — Maintenance||Not applicable||400-800 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.||400-800 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.||400-600 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.||400-800 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) ].
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 tablets 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.
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.
Quetiapine tablets 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 tablets should be increased by 6-fold [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) and Drug Interactions (7.1)].
Quetiapine tablets dose should be increased up to 5-fold of the original dose when used in combination with a chronic treatment (e.g., greater than 7-14 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 tablets should be reduced to the original level within 7-14 days [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) and Drug Interactions (7.1)].
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 tablets for more than one-week, the initial dosing schedule should be followed. When restarting patients who have been off quetiapine tablets for less than one-week, gradual dose escalation may not be required and the maintenance dose may be re-initiated.
There are no systematically collected data to specifically address switching patients with schizophrenia from antipsychotics to quetiapine tablets, 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 tablets therapy in place of the next scheduled injection. The need for continuing existing EPS medication should be re-evaluated periodically.
- 25 mg tablets are peach colored, circular, biconvex, film coated tablets, with “U” debossed on one side and “25″ on the other side.
- 50 mg tablets are white colored, circular, biconvex, film coated tablets, with “U” debossed on one side and “50″ on the other side.
- 100 mg tablets are yellow colored, circular, biconvex, film coated tablets, with “U” debossed on one side and “100″ on the other side.
- 200 mg tablets are white to off-white colored, circular, biconvex, film coated tablets, with “U” debossed on one side and “200″ on the other side.
- 300 mg tablets are white to off-white colored, oblong, film coated tablets, with “U” debossed on one side and “300″ on the other side.
- 400 mg tablets are yellow colored, oblong, film coated tablets, with “U” debossed on one side and “400″ on the other side.
Hypersensitivity to quetiapine or to any excipients in the quetiapine tablets formulation. Anaphylactic reactions have been reported in patients treated with quetiapine tablets.
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 ].
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 18-24) 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.
|Age Range||Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Cases of Suicidality per 1000 Patients Treated|
|Increases Compared to Placebo|
|<18||14 additional cases|
|18-24||5 additional cases|
|Decreases Compared to Placebo|
|25-64||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 non-psychiatric. 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 tablets 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.
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