Strattera® is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor indicated for the treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The efficacy of Strattera Capsules was established in seven clinical trials in outpatients with ADHD.
STRATTERA- atomoxetine hydrochloride capsule
STRATTERA (atomoxetine) increased the risk of suicidal ideation in short–term studies in children or adolescents with Attention–Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Anyone considering the use of STRATTERA in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Co-morbidities occurring with ADHD may be associated with an increase in the risk of suicidal ideation and/or behavior. Patients who are started on therapy should be monitored closely for suicidality (suicidal thinking and behavior), clinical worsening, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. STRATTERA is approved for ADHD in pediatric and adult patients. STRATTERA is not approved for major depressive disorder.
Pooled analyses of short–term (6 to 18 weeks) placebo–controlled trials of STRATTERA in children and adolescents (a total of 12 trials involving over 2200 patients, including 11 trials in ADHD and 1 trial in enuresis) have revealed a greater risk of suicidal ideation early during treatment in those receiving STRATTERA compared to placebo. The average risk of suicidal ideation in patients receiving STRATTERA was 0.4% (5/1357 patients), compared to none in placebo–treated patients (851 patients). No suicides occurred in these trials [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
STRATTERA is indicated for the treatment of Attention–Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The efficacy of STRATTERA Capsules was established in seven clinical trials in outpatients with ADHD: four 6 to 9-week trials in pediatric patients (ages 6 to 18), two 10-week trial in adults, and one maintenance trial in pediatrics (ages 6 to 15) [see Clinical Studies (14)].
A diagnosis of ADHD (DSM–IV) implies the presence of hyperactive–impulsive or inattentive symptoms that cause impairment and that were present before age 7 years. The symptoms must be persistent, must be more severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development, must cause clinically significant impairment, e.g., in social, academic, or occupational functioning, and must be present in 2 or more settings, e.g., school (or work) and at home. The symptoms must not be better accounted for by another mental disorder.
The specific etiology of ADHD is unknown, and there is no single diagnostic test. Adequate diagnosis requires the use not only of medical but also of special psychological, educational, and social resources. Learning may or may not be impaired. The diagnosis must be based upon a complete history and evaluation of the patient and not solely on the presence of the required number of DSM–IV characteristics.
For the Inattentive Type, at least 6 of the following symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months: lack of attention to details/careless mistakes, lack of sustained attention, poor listener, failure to follow through on tasks, poor organization, avoids tasks requiring sustained mental effort, loses things, easily distracted, forgetful. For the Hyperactive–Impulsive Type, at least 6 of the following symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months: fidgeting/squirming, leaving seat, inappropriate running/climbing, difficulty with quiet activities, “on the go,” excessive talking, blurting answers, can’t wait turn, intrusive. For a Combined Type diagnosis, both inattentive and hyperactive–impulsive criteria must be met.
STRATTERA is indicated as an integral part of a total treatment program for ADHD that may include other measures (psychological, educational, social) for patients with this syndrome. Drug treatment may not be indicated for all patients with this syndrome. Drug treatment is not intended for use in the patient who exhibits symptoms secondary to environmental factors and/or other primary psychiatric disorders, including psychosis. Appropriate educational placement is essential in children and adolescents with this diagnosis and psychosocial intervention is often helpful. When remedial measures alone are insufficient, the decision to prescribe drug treatment medication will depend upon the physician’s assessment of the chronicity and severity of the patient’s symptoms.
Dosing of children and adolescents up to 70 kg body weight — STRATTERA should be initiated at a total daily dose of approximately 0.5 mg/kg and increased after a minimum of 3 days to a target total daily dose of approximately 1.2 mg/kg administered either as a single daily dose in the morning or as evenly divided doses in the morning and late afternoon/early evening. No additional benefit has been demonstrated for doses higher than 1.2 mg/kg/day [see Clinical Studies (14)].
The total daily dose in children and adolescents should not exceed 1.4 mg/kg or 100 mg, whichever is less.
Dosing of children and adolescents over 70 kg body weight and adults — STRATTERA should be initiated at a total daily dose of 40 mg and increased after a minimum of 3 days to a target total daily dose of approximately 80 mg administered either as a single daily dose in the morning or as evenly divided doses in the morning and late afternoon/early evening. After 2 to 4 additional weeks, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 100 mg in patients who have not achieved an optimal response. There are no data that support increased effectiveness at higher doses [see Clinical Studies (14)].
The maximum recommended total daily dose in children and adolescents over 70 kg and adults is 100 mg.
It is generally agreed that pharmacological treatment of ADHD may be needed for extended periods. The benefit of maintaining pediatric patients (ages 6-15 years) with ADHD on STRATTERA after achieving a response in a dose range of 1.2 to 1.8 mg/kg/day was demonstrated in a controlled trial. Patients assigned to STRATTERA in the maintenance phase were generally continued on the same dose used to achieve a response in the open label phase. The physician who elects to use STRATTERA for extended periods should periodically reevaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].
STRATTERA may be taken with or without food.
STRATTERA can be discontinued without being tapered.
STRATTERA capsules are not intended to be opened, they should be taken whole [see Patient Counseling Information (17.6)].
The safety of single doses over 120 mg and total daily doses above 150 mg have not been systematically evaluated.
Dosing adjustment for hepatically impaired patients — For those ADHD patients who have hepatic insufficiency (HI), dosage adjustment is recommended as follows: For patients with moderate HI (Child–Pugh Class B), initial and target doses should be reduced to 50% of the normal dose (for patients without HI). For patients with severe HI (Child–Pugh Class C), initial dose and target doses should be reduced to 25% of normal [see Use In Specific Populations (8.6)].
Dosing adjustment for use with a strong CYP2D6 inhibitor or in patients who are known to be CYP2D6 PMs — In children and adolescents up to 70 kg body weight administered strong CYP2D6 inhibitors, e.g., paroxetine, fluoxetine, and quinidine, or in patients who are known to be CYP2D6 PMs, STRATTERA should be initiated at 0.5 mg/kg/day and only increased to the usual target dose of 1.2 mg/kg/day if symptoms fail to improve after 4 weeks and the initial dose is well tolerated.
In children and adolescents over 70 kg body weight and adults administered strong CYP2D6 inhibitors, e.g., paroxetine, fluoxetine, and quinidine, STRATTERA should be initiated at 40 mg/day and only increased to the usual target dose of 80 mg/day if symptoms fail to improve after 4 weeks and the initial dose is well tolerated.
Each capsule contains atomoxetine HCl equivalent to 10 mg (Opaque White, Opaque White), 18 mg (Gold, Opaque White), 25 mg (Opaque Blue, Opaque White), 40 mg (Opaque Blue, Opaque Blue), 60 mg (Opaque Blue, Gold), 80 mg (Opaque Brown, Opaque White), or 100 mg (Opaque Brown, Opaque Brown) of atomoxetine.
STRATTERA is contraindicated in patients known to be hypersensitive to atomoxetine or other constituents of the product [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].
STRATTERA should not be taken with an MAOI, or within 2 weeks after discontinuing an MAOI. Treatment with an MAOI should not be initiated within 2 weeks after discontinuing STRATTERA. With other drugs that affect brain monoamine concentrations, there have been reports of serious, sometimes fatal reactions (including hyperthermia, rigidity, myoclonus, autonomic instability with possible rapid fluctuations of vital signs, and mental status changes that include extreme agitation progressing to delirium and coma) when taken in combination with an MAOI. Some cases presented with features resembling neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Such reactions may occur when these drugs are given concurrently or in close proximity [see Drug Interactions (7.1)].
In clinical trials, STRATTERA use was associated with an increased risk of mydriasis and therefore its use is not recommended in patients with narrow angle glaucoma.
STRATTERA increased the risk of suicidal ideation in short–term studies in children and adolescents with Attention–Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Pooled analyses of short–term (6 to 18 weeks) placebo–controlled trials of STRATTERA in children and adolescents have revealed a greater risk of suicidal ideation early during treatment in those receiving STRATTERA. There were a total of 12 trials (11 in ADHD and 1 in enuresis) involving over 2200 patients (including 1357 patients receiving STRATTERA and 851 receiving placebo). The average risk of suicidal ideation in patients receiving STRATTERA was 0.4% (5/1357 patients), compared to none in placebo–treated patients. There was 1 suicide attempt among these approximately 2200 patients, occurring in a patient treated with STRATTERA. No suicides occurred in these trials. All reactions occurred in children 12 years of age or younger. All reactions occurred during the first month of treatment. It is unknown whether the risk of suicidal ideation in pediatric patients extends to longer–term use. A similar analysis in adult patients treated with STRATTERA for either ADHD or major depressive disorder (MDD) did not reveal an increased risk of suicidal ideation or behavior in association with the use of STRATTERA.
All pediatric patients being treated with STRATTERA 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 have been reported with STRATTERA: anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania and mania. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is a concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality. Thus, patients being treated with STRATTERA should be observed for the emergence of such symptoms.
Consideration should be given to changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing the medication, in patients who are experiencing emergent suicidality or symptoms that might be precursors to emerging suicidality, especially if these symptoms are severe or abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient’s presenting symptoms.
Families and caregivers of pediatric patients being treated with STRATTERA 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.
Postmarketing reports indicate that STRATTERA can cause severe liver injury. Although no evidence of liver injury was detected in clinical trials of about 6000 patients, there have been rare cases of clinically significant liver injury that were considered probably or possibly related to STRATTERA use in postmarketing experience. Because of probable underreporting, it is impossible to provide an accurate estimate of the true incidence of these reactions. Reported cases of liver injury occurred within 120 days of initiation of atomoxetine in the majority of cases and some patients presented with markedly elevated liver enzymes [>20 X upper limit of normal (ULN)], and jaundice with significantly elevated bilirubin levels (>2 X ULN), followed by recovery upon atomoxetine discontinuation. In one patient, liver injury, manifested by elevated hepatic enzymes up to 40 X upper limit of normal ULN and jaundice with bilirubin up to 12 X ULN, recurred upon rechallenge, and was followed by recovery upon drug discontinuation, providing evidence that STRATTERA likely caused the liver injury. Such reactions may occur several months after therapy is started, but laboratory abnormalities may continue to worsen for several weeks after drug is stopped. The patient described above recovered from his liver injury, and did not require a liver transplant. However, severe liver injury due to any drug may potentially progress to acute liver failure resulting in death or the need for a liver transplant.
STRATTERA should be discontinued in patients with jaundice or laboratory evidence of liver injury, and should not be restarted. Laboratory testing to determine liver enzyme levels should be done upon the first symptom or sign of liver dysfunction (e.g., pruritus, dark urine, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, or unexplained “flu like” symptoms) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12); Patient Counseling Information (17.3)].
Sudden Death and Pre-existing Structural Cardiac Abnormalities or Other Serious Heart Problems
Children and Adolescents — Sudden death has been reported in association with atomoxetine treatment at usual doses in children and adolescents with structural cardiac abnormalities or other serious heart problems. Although some serious heart problems alone carry an increased risk of sudden death, atomoxetine generally should not be used in children or adolescents with known serious structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious heart rhythm abnormalities, or other serious cardiac problems that may place them at increased vulnerability to the noradrenergic effects of atomoxetine.
Adults — Sudden deaths, stroke, and myocardial infarction have been reported in adults taking atomoxetine at usual doses for ADHD. Although the role of atomoxetine in these adult cases is also unknown, adults have a greater likelihood than children of having serious structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious heart rhythm abnormalities, coronary artery disease, or other serious cardiac problems. Consideration should be given to not treating adults with clinically significant cardiac abnormalities.
Assessing Cardiovascular Status in Patients being Treated with Atomoxetine
Children, adolescents, or adults who are being considered for treatment with atomoxetine should have a careful history (including assessment for a family history of sudden death or ventricular arrhythmia) and physical exam to assess for the presence of cardiac disease, and should receive further cardiac evaluation if findings suggest such disease (e.g., electrocardiogram and echocardiogram). Patients who develop symptoms such as exertional chest pain, unexplained syncope, or other symptoms suggestive of cardiac disease during atomoxetine treatment should undergo a prompt cardiac evaluation.
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