Voluntary reports of other adverse reactions temporally associated with the use of venlafaxine have been received since market introduction. Because these reactions are reported from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. These reports include the following reactions: agranulocytosis, anaphylaxis, aplastic anemia, catatonia, congenital anomalies, impaired coordination and balance, CPK increased, deep vein thrombophlebitis, delirium, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, EKG abnormalities such as QT prolongation; cardiac arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, ventricular extrasystoles, and rare reports of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia, including torsade de pointes; toxic epidermal necrolysis/Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, erythema multiforme, extrapyramidal symptoms (including dyskinesia and tardive dyskinesia), angle-closure glaucoma, hemorrhage (including eye and gastrointestinal bleeding), hepatic reactions (including GGT elevation; abnormalities of unspecified liver function tests; liver damage, necrosis, or failure; and fatty liver), interstitial lung disease, involuntary movements, LDH increased, neuroleptic malignant syndrome-like reactions (including a case of a 10-year-old who may have been taking methylphenidate, was treated and recovered), neutropenia, night sweats, pancreatitis, pancytopenia, panic, prolactin increased, renal failure, rhabdomyolysis, serotonin syndrome, shock-like electrical sensations or tinnitus (in some cases, subsequent to the discontinuation of venlafaxine or tapering of dose), and syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (usually in the elderly).
A single dose of ethanol (0.5 g/kg) had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine or O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV) when venlafaxine was administered at 150 mg/day in 15 healthy male subjects. Additionally, administration of venlafaxine in a stable regimen did not exaggerate the psychomotor and psychometric effects induced by ethanol in these same subjects when they were not receiving venlafaxine.
Concomitant administration of cimetidine and venlafaxine in a steady-state study for both drugs resulted in inhibition of first-pass metabolism of venlafaxine in 18 healthy subjects. The oral clearance of venlafaxine was reduced by about 43%, and the exposure (AUC) and maximum concentration (C max ) of the drug were increased by about 60%. However, coadministration of cimetidine had no apparent effect on the pharmacokinetics of ODV, which is present in much greater quantity in the circulation than venlafaxine. The overall pharmacological activity of venlafaxine plus ODV is expected to increase only slightly, and no dosage adjustment should be necessary for most normal adults. However, for patients with pre-existing hypertension, and for elderly patients or patients with hepatic dysfunction, the interaction associated with the concomitant use of venlafaxine and cimetidine is not known and potentially could be more pronounced. Therefore, caution is advised with such patients.
Under steady-state conditions for venlafaxine administered at 150 mg/day, a single 10 mg dose of diazepam did not appear to affect the pharmacokinetics of either venlafaxine or ODV in 18 healthy male subjects. Venlafaxine also did not have any effect on the pharmacokinetics of diazepam or its active metabolite, desmethyldiazepam, or affect the psychomotor and psychometric effects induced by diazepam.
Venlafaxine administered under steady-state conditions at 150 mg/day in 24 healthy subjects decreased total oral-dose clearance (Cl/F) of a single 2 mg dose of haloperidol by 42%, which resulted in a 70% increase in haloperidol AUC. In addition, the haloperidol C max increased 88% when coadministered with venlafaxine, but the haloperidol elimination half-life (t 1/2 ) was unchanged. The mechanism explaining this finding is unknown.
The steady-state pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine administered at 150 mg/day were not affected when a single 600 mg oral dose of lithium was administered to 12 healthy male subjects. ODV also was unaffected. Venlafaxine had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of lithium (see also CNS-Active Drugs, below).
Venlafaxine is not highly bound to plasma proteins; therefore, administration of venlafaxine extended-release tablets to a patient taking another drug that is highly protein bound should not cause increased free concentrations of the other drug.
CYP2D6 Inhibitors: In vitro and in vivo studies indicate that venlafaxine is metabolized to its active metabolite, ODV, by CYP2D6, the isoenzyme that is responsible for the genetic polymorphism seen in the metabolism of many antidepressants. Therefore, the potential exists for a drug interaction between drugs that inhibit CYP2D6-mediated metabolism of venlafaxine, reducing the metabolism of venlafaxine to ODV, resulting in increased plasma concentrations of venlafaxine and decreased concentrations of the active metabolite. CYP2D6 inhibitors such as quinidine would be expected to do this, but the effect would be similar to what is seen in patients who are genetically CYP2D6 poor metabolizers [ see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) ]. Therefore, no dosage adjustment is required when venlafaxine is coadministered with a CYP2D6 inhibitor.
Ketoconazole: A pharmacokinetic study with ketoconazole 100 mg b.i.d. with a single dose of venlafaxine 50 mg in extensive metabolizers (EM; n=14) and 25 mg in poor metabolizers (PM;n=6) of CYP2D6 resulted in higher plasma concentrations of both venlafaxine and O-desmethylvenlafaxine (ODV) in most subjects following administration of ketoconazole. Venlafaxine C max increased by 26% in EM subjects and 48% in PM subjects. C max values for ODV increased by 14% and 29% in EM and PM subjects, respectively.
Venlafaxine AUC increased by 21% in EM subjects and 70% in PM subjects (range in PM’s -2% to 206%), and AUC values for ODV increased by 23% and 33% in EM and PM (range in PM’s -38% to 105%) subjects, respectively. Combined AUC’s of venlafaxine and ODV increased on average by approximately 23% in EM’s and 53% in PM’s, (range in PM’s 4% -134%).
Concomitant use of CYP3A4 inhibitors and venlafaxine may increase levels of venlafaxine and ODV. Therefore, caution is advised if a patient’s therapy includes a CYP3A4 inhibitor and venlafaxine concomitantly.
In vitro studies indicate that venlafaxine is a relatively weak inhibitor of CYP2D6. These findings have been confirmed in a clinical drug interaction study comparing the effect of venlafaxine with that of fluoxetine on the CYP2D6-mediated metabolism of dextromethorphan to dextrorphan.
Imipramine — Venlafaxine did not affect the pharmacokinetics of imipramine and 2-OH-imipramine. However, desipramine AUC, C max , and C min increased by about 35% in the presence of venlafaxine. The 2-OH-desipramine AUC’s increased by at least 2.5 fold (with venlafaxine 37.5 mg q12h) and by 4.5 fold (with venlafaxine 75 mg q12h). Imipramine did not affect the pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine and ODV. The clinical significance of elevated 2-OH-desipramine levels is unknown.
Metoprolol — Concomitant administration of venlafaxine (50 mg every 8 hours for 5 days) and metoprolol (100 mg every 24 hours for 5 days) to 18 healthy male subjects in a pharmacokinetic interaction study for both drugs resulted in an increase of plasma concentrations of metoprolol by approximately 30-40% without altering the plasma concentrations of its active metabolite, α-hydroxymetoprolol. Metoprolol did not alter the pharmacokinetic profile of venlafaxine or its active metabolite, O-desmethylvenlafaxine.
Venlafaxine appeared to reduce the blood pressure lowering effect of metoprolol in this study. The clinical relevance of this finding for hypertensive patients is unknown. Caution should be exercised with co-administration of venlafaxine and metoprolol.
Venlafaxine treatment has been associated with dose-related increases in blood pressure in some patients. It is recommended that patients receiving venlafaxine extended-release tablets have regular monitoring of blood pressure [ see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) ].
Risperidone — Venlafaxine administered under steady-state conditions at 150 mg/day slightly inhibited the CYP2D6-mediated metabolism of risperidone (administered as a single 1 mg oral dose) to its active metabolite, 9-hydroxyrisperidone, resulting in an approximate 32% increase in risperidone AUC. However, venlafaxine coadministration did not significantly alter the pharmacokinetic profile of the total active moiety (risperidone plus 9-hydroxyrisperidone).
Venlafaxine did not inhibit CYP3A4 in vitro. This finding was confirmed in vivo by clinical drug interaction studies in which venlafaxine did not inhibit the metabolism of several CYP3A4 substrates, including alprazolam, diazepam, and terfenadine.
Indinavir — In a study of 9 healthy volunteers, venlafaxine administered under steady-state conditions at 150 mg/day resulted in a 28% decrease in the AUC of a single 800 mg oral dose of indinavir and a 36% decrease in indinavir C max . Indinavir did not affect the pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine and ODV. The clinical significance of this finding is unknown.
Venlafaxine did not inhibit CYP1A2 in vitro. This finding was confirmed in vivo by a clinical drug interaction study in which venlafaxine did not inhibit the metabolism of caffeine, a CYP1A2 substrate.
Venlafaxine did not inhibit CYP2C9 in vitro. In vivo , venlafaxine 75 mg by mouth every 12 hours did not alter the pharmacokinetics of a single 500 mg dose of tolbutamide or the CYP2C9 mediated formation of 4-hydroxy-tolbutamide.
Venlafaxine did not inhibit the metabolism of diazepam, which is partially metabolized by CYP2C19 (see Diazepam above).
[See Dosage and Administration (2.6 and 2.7), Contraindications (4.1), and Warnings and Precautions (5.2).]
[See Dosage and Administration (2.6 and 2.7), Contraindications (4.1), and Warnings and Precautions (5.2).]
Serotonin release by platelets plays an important role in hemostasis. Epidemiological studies of the case-control and cohort design that have demonstrated an association between use of psychotropic drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and the occurrence of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. These studies have also shown that concurrent use of an NSAID or aspirin may potentiate this risk of bleeding. Altered anticoagulant effects, including increased bleeding, have been reported when SSRI’s and SNRI’s are coadministered with warfarin. Patients receiving warfarin therapy should be carefully monitored when venlafaxine extended-release tablets are initiated or discontinued. [ See Warnings and Precautions (5.13).]
There are no clinical data establishing the benefit of electroconvulsive therapy combined with venlafaxine extended-release tablets treatment.
There have been reports of elevated clozapine levels that were temporally associated with adverse reactions, including seizures, following the addition of venlafaxine.
There have been reports of increases in prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, or INR when venlafaxine was given to patients receiving warfarin therapy.
False-positive urine immunoassay screening tests for phencyclidine (PCP) and amphetamine have been reported in patients taking venlafaxine. This is due to lack of specificity of the screening tests. False positive test results may be expected for several days following discontinuation of venlafaxine therapy. Confirmatory tests, such as gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, will distinguish venlafaxine from PCP and amphetamine.
Pregnancy Category C
Venlafaxine did not cause malformations in offspring of rats or rabbits given doses up to 2.5 times (rat) or 4 times (rabbit) the maximum recommended human daily dose on a mg/m 2 basis.
However, in rats, there was a decrease in pup weight, an increase in stillborn pups, and an increase in pup deaths during the first 5 days of lactation, when dosing began during pregnancy and continued until weaning. The cause of these deaths is not known. These effects occurred at 2.5 times (mg/m 2) the maximum human daily dose. The no effect dose for rat pup mortality was 0.25 times the human dose on a mg/m 2 basis. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Neonates exposed to venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, other SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors), or SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding. Such complications can arise immediately upon delivery. Reported clinical findings have included respiratory distress, cyanosis, apnea, seizures, temperature instability, feeding difficulty, vomiting, hypoglycemia, hypotonia, hypertonia, hyperreflexia, tremor, jitteriness, irritability, and constant crying. These features are consistent with either a direct toxic effect of SSRIs and SNRIs or, possibly, a drug discontinuation syndrome. It should be noted that, in some cases, the clinical picture is consistent with serotonin syndrome [ see Warnings and Precautions (5.2) ]. When treating a pregnant woman with venlafaxine extended-release tablets during the third trimester, the physician should carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of treatment [ see Dosage and Administration (2) ].
The effect of venlafaxine on labor and delivery in humans is unknown.
Venlafaxine and ODV have been reported to be excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from venlafaxine extended-release tablets, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Safety and effectiveness in the pediatric population have not been established [ see BOXED WARNING and Warnings and Precautions (5.1) ]. Two placebo-controlled trials in 766 pediatric patients with MDD and two placebo-controlled trials in another disorder in 793 pediatric patients have been conducted with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, and the data were not sufficient to support a claim for use in pediatric patients.
Anyone considering the use of venlafaxine extended-release tablets in a child or adolescent must balance the potential risks with the clinical need.
Although no studies have been designed to primarily assess impact of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules on the growth, development, and maturation of children and adolescents, the studies that have been done suggest that venlafaxine extended-release tablets may adversely affect weight and height [ see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.8, and 5.9) ]. Should the decision be made to treat a pediatric patient with venlafaxine extended-release tablets, regular monitoring of weight and height is recommended during treatment, particularly if it is to be continued long term. The safety of venlafaxine extended-release tablets treatment for pediatric patients has not been systematically assessed for chronic treatment longer than six months in duration.
In the studies conducted in pediatric patients (ages 6-17), the occurrence of blood pressure and cholesterol increases considered to be clinically relevant in pediatric patients was similar to that observed in adult patients. Consequently, the precautions for adults apply to pediatric patients [ see Warnings and Precautions (5.3 and 5.14) ].
Approximately 4% (14/357) and 2% (6/277) of patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in placebo-controlled premarketing major depressive disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder trials, respectively, were 65 years of age or over. Of 2,897 patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride immediate-release tablets in premarketing phase major depressive disorder studies, 12% (357) were 65 years of age or over. No overall differences in effectiveness or safety were observed between geriatric patients and younger patients, and other reported clinical experience generally has not identified differences in response between the elderly and younger patients. However, greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out. SSRIs and SNRIs, including venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules 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 (5.11) ].
The pharmacokinetics of venlafaxine and ODV are not substantially altered in the elderly [ see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) ]. No dose adjustment is recommended for the elderly on the basis of age alone, although other clinical circumstances, some of which may be more common in the elderly, such as renal or hepatic impairment, may warrant a dose reduction [ see Dosage and Administration (2.3) ].
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