Available data from published literature demonstrate low levels of sertraline and its metabolites in human milk [See Data]. There are no data on the effects of sertraline on milk production. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for sertraline hydrochloride and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from the drug or from the underlying maternal condition.
In a published pooled analysis of 53 mother-infant pairs, exclusively human milk-fed infants had an average of 2% (range 0% to 15%) of the sertraline serum levels measured in their mothers. No adverse reactions were observed in these infants.
The safety and efficacy of sertraline hydrochloride have been established in the treatment of OCD in pediatric patients aged 6 to 17
Adverse Reactions (6.1),
Clinical Pharmacology (12.3),
Clinical Studies (14.2)]
. Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients in patients with OCD below the age of 6 have not been established. Safety and effectiveness have not been established in pediatric patients for indications other than OCD. Two placebo-controlled trials were conducted in pediatric patients with MDD, but the data were not sufficient to support an indication for use in pediatric patients.
Monitoring Pediatric Patients Treated with Sertraline Hydrochloride
Monitor all patients being treated with antidepressants for clinical worsening, suicidal thoughts, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of treatment, or at times of dose increases or decreases [See Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] . Decreased appetite and weight loss have been observed with the use of SSRIs. Monitor weight and growth in pediatric patients treated with an SSRI such as sertraline hydrochloride.
Weight Loss in Studies in Pediatric Patients with MDD
In a pooled analysis of two 10-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, flexible dose (50 to 200 mg) outpatient trials for MDD (n=373), there was a difference in weight change between sertraline hydrochloride and placebo of roughly 1 kg, for both children (ages 6 to 11) and adolescents (ages 12 to 17), in both age groups representing a slight weight loss for the sertraline hydrochloride group compared to a slight gain for the placebo group. For children, about 7% of the sertraline hydrochloride-treated patients had a weight loss greater than 7% of body weight compared to 0% of the placebo-treated patients; for adolescents, about 2% of sertraline hydrochloride-treated patients had a weight loss > 7% of body weight compared to about 1% of placebo-treated patients.
A subset of patients who completed the randomized controlled trials in patients with MDD (sertraline hydrochloride n=99, placebo n=122) were continued into a 24-week, flexible-dose, open-label, extension study. Those subjects who completed 34 weeks of sertraline hydrochloride treatment (10 weeks in a placebo-controlled trial + 24 weeks open-label, n=68) had weight gain that was similar to that expected using data from age-adjusted peers. However, there are no studies that directly evaluate the long-term effects of sertraline hydrochloride on the growth, development, and maturation in pediatric patients.
Juvenile Animal Data
A study conducted in juvenile rats at clinically relevant doses showed delay in sexual maturation, but there was no effect on fertility in either males or females.
In this study in which juvenile rats were treated with oral doses of sertraline at 0, 10, 40 or 80 mg/kg/day from postnatal day 21 to 56, a delay in sexual maturation was observed in males treated with 80 mg/kg/day and females treated with doses ≥10 mg/kg/day. There was no effect on male and female reproductive endpoints or neurobehavioral development up to the highest dose tested (80 mg/kg/day), except a decrease in auditory startle response in females at 40 and 80 mg/kg/day at the end of treatment but not at the end of the drug -free period. The highest dose of 80 mg/kg/day produced plasma levels (AUC) of sertraline 5 times those seen in pediatric patients (6 to 17 years of age) receiving the maximum recommended dose of sertraline (200 mg/day).
Of the total number of patients in clinical studies of sertraline hydrochloride in patients with MDD, OCD, PD, PTSD, SAD and PMDD, 797 (17%) were ≥ 65 years old, while 197 (4%) were ≥ 75 years old.
No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be conservative, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
In 354 geriatric subjects treated with sertraline hydrochloride in MDD placebo-controlled trials, the overall profile of adverse reactions was generally similar to that shown in Table 3 [See Adverse Reactions (6.1)], except for tinnitus, arthralgia with an incidence of at least 2% and at a rate greater than placebo in geriatric patients.
SNRIs and SSRIs, including sertraline hydrochloride, have been associated with cases of clinically significant hyponatremia in elderly patients, who may be at greater risk for this adverse reaction [See Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].
The recommended dosage in patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score 5 or 6) is half the recommended dosage due to increased exposure in this patient population. The use of sertraline hydrochloride in patients with moderate (Child-Pugh score 7 to 10) or severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score 10 to 15) is not recommended, because sertraline hydrochloride is extensively metabolized, and the effects of sertraline hydrochloride in patients with moderate and severe hepatic impairment have not been studied [See Dosage and Administration (2.4), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)] .
No dose adjustment is needed in patients with mild to severe renal impairment. Sertraline exposure does not appear to be affected by renal impairment [See Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)] .
Sertraline hydrochloride tablets contain sertraline, which is not a controlled substance.
In a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized study of the comparative abuse liability of sertraline hydrochloride, alprazolam, and d-amphetamine in humans, sertraline hydrochloride did not produce the positive subjective effects indicative of abuse potential, such as euphoria or drug liking, that were observed with the other two drugs.
The following have been reported with sertraline tablet overdosage:
- Seizures, which may be delayed, and altered mental status including coma.
- Cardiovascular toxicity, which may be delayed, including QRS and QTc interval prolongation. Hypertension most commonly seen, but rarely can see hypotension alone or with co-ingestants including alcohol.
- Serotonin syndrome (patients with a multiple drug overdosage with other proserotonergic drugs may have a higher risk).
Gastrointestinal decontamination with activated charcoal should be considered in patients who present early after a sertraline overdose. Consider contacting a Poison Center (1-800-221-2222) or a medical toxicologist for additional overdosage management recommendations.
Sertraline hydrochloride tablets USP contains sertraline hydrochloride, an SSRI. Sertraline hydrochloride has a molecular weight of 342.7 and has the following chemical name: (1S-cis)-4-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-N-methyl-1-naphthalenamine hydrochloride. The empirical formula C 17 H 17 NCl 2 •HCl is represented by the following structural formula:
Sertraline hydrochloride USP is a white crystalline powder that is slightly soluble in water and isopropyl alcohol, and sparingly soluble in ethanol.
Sertraline hydrochloride tablets USP are supplied for oral administration as scored tablets contain 28 mg, 56 mg and 112 mg sertraline hydrochloride USP equivalent to 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg of sertraline and the following inactive ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, hydroxypropyl cellulose, dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, titanium dioxide, polyethylene glycol, and polysorbate 80. Besides, 25 mg contains D&C yellow #10 aluminum lake, FD&C blue #1 aluminum lake, FD&C red #40 aluminum lake; 50 mg contains FD&C blue #2 aluminum lake; and 100 mg contains iron oxide yellow.
Meets USP dissolution test 3.
Sertraline potentiates serotonergic activity in the central nervous system through inhibition of neuronal reuptake of serotonin (5-HT).
Studies at clinically relevant doses have demonstrated that sertraline blocks the uptake of serotonin into human platelets.
In vitro studies in animals also suggest that sertraline is a potent and selective inhibitor of neuronal serotonin reuptake and has only very weak effects on norepinephrine and dopamine neuronal reuptake.
In vitro studies have shown that sertraline has no significant affinity for adrenergic (alpha1, alpha2, beta), cholinergic, GABA, dopaminergic, histaminergic, serotonergic (5HT1A, 5HT1B, 5HT2), or benzodiazepine receptors. The chronic administration of sertraline was found in animals to down regulate brain norepinephrine receptors. Sertraline does not inhibit monoamine oxidase.
In healthy subjects, the acute cognitive and psychomotor effects of alcohol were not potentiated by sertraline hydrochloride.
The effect of sertraline on the QTc interval was evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo- and positive-controlled three-period crossover thorough QTc study in 54 healthy adult subjects. At 2-fold the maximum recommended daily dose (~3-fold the steady-state exposure for sertraline and N-desmethylsertraline), the largest mean ΔΔQTc was 10 ms with upper bound of two-sided 90% confidence interval of 12 ms. The length of the QTc interval was also positively correlated with serum concentrations of sertraline and N-desmethylsertraline concentrations. These concentration-based analyses, however, indicated a lesser effect on QTc at maximally observed concentration than in the primary analysis [See Warnings and Precautions (5), Adverse Reactions (6), Drug Interactions (7), Overdosage (10)] .
Following oral once-daily sertraline hydrochloride dosing over the range of 50 to 200 mg for 14 days, mean peak plasma concentrations (C max ) of sertraline occurred between 4.5 to 8.4 hours post-dosing. The average terminal elimination half-life of plasma sertraline is about 26 hours. Consistent with the terminal elimination half-life, there is an approximately two-fold accumulation up to steady-state concentrations, which are achieved after one week of once-daily dosing. Linear dose-proportional pharmacokinetics were demonstrated in a single dose study in which the C max and area under the plasma concentration time curve (AUC) of sertraline were proportional to dose over a range of 50 to 200 mg. The single dose bioavailability of sertraline hydrochloride tablets is approximately equal to an equivalent dose of sertraline hydrochloride oral solution. Administration with food causes a small increase in C max and AUC.
Sertraline undergoes extensive first pass metabolism. The principal initial pathway of metabolism for sertraline is N-demethylation. N-desmethylsertraline has a plasma terminal elimination half-life of 62 to 104 hours. Both in vitro biochemical and in vivo pharmacological testing have shown N-desmethylsertraline to be substantially less active than sertraline. Both sertraline and N-desmethylsertraline undergo oxidative deamination and subsequent reduction, hydroxylation, and glucuronide conjugation. In a study of radiolabeled sertraline involving two healthy male subjects, sertraline accounted for less than 5% of the plasma radioactivity. About 40 to 45% of the administered radioactivity was recovered in urine in 9 days. Unchanged sertraline was not detectable in the urine. For the same period, about 40 to 45% of the administered radioactivity was accounted for in feces, including 12 to 14% unchanged sertraline.
Desmethylsertraline exhibits time-related, dose dependent increases in AUC (0 to 24-hour), C max and C min , with about a 5- to 9-fold increase in these pharmacokinetic parameters between day 1 and day 14.
In vitro protein binding studies performed with radiolabeled 3H-sertraline showed that sertraline is highly bound to serum proteins (98%) in the range of 20 to 500 ng/mL. However, at up to 300 and 200 ng/mL concentrations, respectively, sertraline and N-desmethylsertraline did not alter the plasma protein binding of two other highly protein bound drugs, warfarin and propranolol.
Studies in Specific Populations
Sertraline pharmacokinetics were evaluated in a group of 61 pediatric patients (29 aged 6 to 12 years, 32 aged 13 to 17 years) including both males (N=28) and females (N=33). Relative to the adults, pediatric patients aged 6 to 12 years and 13 to 17 years showed about 22% lower AUC (0 to 24 hr) and C max values when plasma concentration was adjusted for weight. The half-life was similar to that in adults, and no gender-associated differences were observed [See Dosage and Administration (2.1), Use in Specific Populations (8.4)] .
Sertraline plasma clearance in a group of 16 (8 male, 8 female) elderly patients treated with 100 mg/day of sertraline hydrochloride for 14 days was approximately 40% lower than in a similarly studied group of younger (25 to 32 year old) individuals. Steady-state, therefore, was achieved after 2 to 3 weeks in older patients. The same study showed a decreased clearance of desmethylsertraline in older males, but not in older females [See Use in Specific Populations (8.5)] .
In patients with chronic mild liver impairment (N=10: 8 patients with Child-Pugh scores of 5 to 6; and 2 patients with Child-Pugh scores of 7 to 8) who received 50 mg of sertraline hydrochloride per day for 21 days, sertraline clearance was reduced, resulting in approximately 3-fold greater exposure compared to age-matched volunteers with normal hepatic function (N=10). The exposure to desmethylsertraline was approximately 2-fold greater in patients with mild hepatic impairment compared to age-matched volunteers with normal hepatic function. There were no significant differences in plasma protein binding observed between the two groups. The effects of sertraline hydrochloride in patients with moderate and severe hepatic impairment have not been studied [See Dosage and Administration (2.4), Use in Specific Populations (8.6)] .
Sertraline is extensively metabolized and excretion of unchanged drug in urine is a minor route of elimination. In volunteers with mild to moderate (CLcr=30 to 60 mL/min), moderate to severe (CLcr=10 to 29 mL/min) or severe (receiving hemodialysis) renal impairment (N=10 each group), the pharmacokinetics and protein binding of 200 mg sertraline per day maintained for 21 days were not altered compared to age-matched volunteers (N=12) with no renal impairment. Thus sertraline multiple dose pharmacokinetics appear to be unaffected by renal impairment [See Use in Specific Populations (8.7)] .
Drug Interaction Studies
In a controlled study of a single dose (2 mg) of pimozide, 200 mg sertraline hydrochloride (once daily) co-administration to steady state was associated with a mean increase in pimozide AUC and C max of about 40%, but was not associated with any changes in ECG. The highest recommended pimozide dose (10 mg) has not been evaluated in combination with sertraline hydrochloride. The effect on QTc interval and PK parameters at doses higher than 2 mg of pimozide are not known [See Drug Interactions (7.1)] .
Drugs Metabolized by CYP2D6
Many antidepressant drugs (e.g., SSRIs, including sertraline hydrochloride, and most tricyclic antidepressant drugs) inhibit the biochemical activity of the drug metabolizing isozyme CYP2D6 (debrisoquin hydroxylase), and, thus, may increase the plasma concentrations of co-administered drugs that are metabolized by CYP2D6. The drugs for which this potential interaction is of greatest concern are those metabolized primarily by CYP2D6 and that have a narrow therapeutic index (e.g., tricyclic antidepressant drugs and the Type 1C antiarrhythmics propafenone and flecainide). The extent to which this interaction is an important clinical problem depends on the extent of the inhibition of CYP2D6 by the antidepressant and the therapeutic index of the co-administered drug. There is variability among the drugs effective in the treatment of MDD in the extent of clinically important 2D6 inhibition, and in fact sertraline hydrochloride at lower doses has a less prominent inhibitory effect on 2D6 than some others in the class. Nevertheless, even sertraline hydrochloride has the potential for clinically important 2D6 inhibition [See Drug Interactions (7.1)] .
Clinical trial data suggested that sertraline hydrochloride may increase phenytoin concentrations [See Drug Interactions (7.1)] .
In a study assessing disposition of sertraline hydrochloride (100 mg) on the second of 8 days of cimetidine administration (800 mg daily), there were increases in sertraline hydrochloride mean AUC (50%), C max (24%) and half-life (26%) compared to the placebo group [See Drug Interactions (7.2)] .
In a study comparing the disposition of intravenously administered diazepam before and after 21 days of dosing with either sertraline hydrochloride (50 to 200 mg/day escalating dose) or placebo, there was a 32% decrease relative to baseline in diazepam clearance for the sertraline hydrochloride group compared to a 19% decrease relative to baseline for the placebo group (p<0.03). There was a 23% increase in T max for desmethyldiazepam in the sertraline hydrochloride group compared to a 20% decrease in the placebo group (p<0.03) [See Drug Interactions (7.2)] .
In a placebo-controlled trial in normal volunteers, the administration of two doses of sertraline hydrochloride did not significantly alter steady-state lithium levels or the renal clearance of lithium [See Drug Interactions (7.2)] .
In a placebo-controlled trial in normal volunteers, administration of sertraline hydrochloride for 22 days (including 200 mg/day for the final 13 days) caused a statistically significant 16% decrease from baseline in the clearance of tolbutamide following an intravenous 1000 mg dose. Sertraline hydrochloride administration did not noticeably change either the plasma protein binding or the apparent volume of distribution of tolbutamide, suggesting that the decreased clearance was due to a change in the metabolism of the drug [See Drug Interactions (7.2)] .
Sertraline hydrochloride (100 mg) when administered to 10 healthy male subjects had no effect on the beta-adrenergic blocking ability of atenolol [See Drug Interactions (7.2)] .
In a placebo-controlled trial in normal volunteers, administration of sertraline hydrochloride for 17 days (including 200 mg/day for the last 10 days) did not change serum digoxin levels or digoxin renal clearance [See Drug Interactions (7.2)] .
Drugs Metabolized by CYP3A4
In three separate in vivo interaction studies, sertraline hydrochloride was co-administered with CYP3A4 substrates, terfenadine, carbamazepine, or cisapride under steady-state conditions. The results of these studies indicated that sertraline hydrochloride did not increase plasma concentrations of terfenadine, carbamazepine, or cisapride. These data indicate that sertraline hydrochloride’s extent of inhibition of CYP3A4 activity is not likely to be of clinical significance. Results of the interaction study with cisapride indicate that sertraline hydrochloride 200 mg (once daily) induces the metabolism of cisapride (cisapride AUC and C max were reduced by about 35%) [See Drug Interactions (7.2)] .
Microsomal Enzyme Induction
Preclinical studies have shown sertraline hydrochloride to induce hepatic microsomal enzymes. In clinical studies, sertraline hydrochloride was shown to induce hepatic enzymes minimally as determined by a small (5%) but statistically significant decrease in antipyrine half-life following administration of 200 mg of sertraline hydrochloride per day for 21 days. This small change in antipyrine half-life reflects a clinically insignificant change in hepatic metabolism.
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