Symbyax, Page 1

Symbyax® combines olanzapine, an atypical antipsychotic and fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It is indicated for the acute treatment of depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder in adults and for the treatment of treatment resistant depression.

SYMBYAX- olanzapine and fluoxetine hydrochloride capsule
Eli Lilly and Company

WARNING: SUICIDALITY AND ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS AND INCREASED MORTALITY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED PSYCHOSIS

Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs — Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of SYMBYAX or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. 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 in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. SYMBYAX is not approved for use in pediatric patients. [See Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Use in Specific Populations (8.4), and Patient Counseling Information (17.2)].

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. Analyses of seventeen 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. SYMBYAX (olanzapine and fluoxetine HCl) is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.19) and Patient Counseling Information (17.3)].

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Depressive Episodes Associated with Bipolar I Disorder

SYMBYAX® is indicated for the acute treatment of depressive episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder in adults [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].

1.2 Treatment Resistant Depression

SYMBYAX is indicated for the acute treatment of treatment resistant depression (Major Depressive Disorder in adults who do not respond to 2 separate trials of different antidepressants of adequate dose and duration in the current episode) [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Depressive Episodes Associated with Bipolar I Disorder

SYMBYAX should be administered once daily in the evening, generally beginning with the 6-mg/25-mg capsule. While food has no appreciable effect on the absorption of olanzapine and fluoxetine given individually, the effect of food on the absorption of SYMBYAX has not been studied. Dosage adjustments, if indicated, can be made according to efficacy and tolerability. Antidepressant efficacy was demonstrated with SYMBYAX in a dose range of olanzapine 6 to 12 mg and fluoxetine 25 to 50 mg [see Clinical Studies (14.1)]. The safety of doses above 18 mg per 75 mg has not been evaluated in clinical studies.

While there is no body of evidence to answer the question of how long a patient treated with SYMBYAX should remain on it, it is generally accepted that Bipolar I Disorder, including the depressive episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder, is a chronic illness requiring chronic treatment. The physician should periodically reexamine the need for continued pharmacotherapy.

2.2 Treatment Resistant Depression

SYMBYAX should be administered once daily in the evening, generally beginning with the 6-mg/25-mg capsule. While food has no appreciable effect on the absorption of olanzapine and fluoxetine given individually, the effect of food on the absorption of SYMBYAX has not been studied. Dosage adjustments, if indicated, can be made according to efficacy and tolerability. Antidepressant efficacy was demonstrated with SYMBYAX in a dose range of olanzapine 6 to 18 mg and fluoxetine 25 to 50 mg [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]. The safety of doses above 18 mg per 75 mg has not been evaluated in clinical studies.

While there is no body of evidence to answer the question of how long a patient treated with SYMBYAX should remain on it, it is generally accepted that treatment resistant depression (Major Depressive Disorder in adult patients who do not respond to 2 separate trials of different antidepressants of adequate dose and duration in the current episode) is a chronic illness requiring chronic treatment. The physician should periodically reexamine the need for continued pharmacotherapy.

2.3 Specific Populations

The starting dose of SYMBYAX 3 mg/25 mg to 6 mg/25 mg should be used for patients with a predisposition to hypotensive reactions, patients with hepatic impairment, or patients who exhibit a combination of factors that may slow the metabolism of SYMBYAX (female gender, geriatric age, nonsmoking status) or those patients who may be pharmacodynamically sensitive to olanzapine. Dosing modification may be necessary in patients who exhibit a combination of factors that may slow metabolism. When indicated, dose escalation should be performed with caution in these patients. SYMBYAX has not been systematically studied in patients >65 years of age or in patients <18 years of age [see Warnings and Precautions (5.19), Use in Specific Populations (8.5), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3, 12.4)].

Treatment of Pregnant Women During the Third Trimester — When treating pregnant women with fluoxetine, a component of SYMBYAX, during the third trimester, the physician should carefully consider the potential risks and potential benefits of treatment. Neonates exposed to SNRIs or SSRIs late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalizations, respiratory support, and tube feeding. The physician may consider tapering the dose of fluoxetine in the third trimester [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

2.4 Discontinuation of Treatment with SYMBYAX

Symptoms associated with discontinuation of fluoxetine, a component of SYMBYAX, SNRIs, and SSRIs, have been reported [see Warnings and Precautions (5.23)].

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Capsules (mg equivalent olanzapine/mg equivalent fluoxetine):

  • 3 mg/25 mg
  • 6 mg/25 mg
  • 6 mg/50 mg
  • 12 mg/25 mg
  • 12 mg/50 mg

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

The use of SYMBYAX is contraindicated with the following:

  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI) — [see Drug Interactions (7.1)]
  • Pimozide — [see Drug Interactions (7.9)]
  • Thioridazine — [see Drug Interactions (7.9)]

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk

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 versus 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 1.

Table 1: 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
18-24 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 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.

If the decision has been made to discontinue treatment, medication should be tapered, as rapidly as is feasible, but with recognition that abrupt discontinuation can be associated with certain symptoms [see Warnings and Precautions (5.23)].

Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for Major Depressive Disorder or other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric, 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 health care providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers. Prescriptions for SYMBYAX should be written for the smallest quantity of capsules consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

It should be noted that SYMBYAX is not approved for use in treating any indications in the pediatric population [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].

5.2 Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis

Increased Mortality — Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. SYMBYAX is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis[see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.19), and Patient Counseling Information (17.3)].

In olanzapine placebo-controlled clinical trials of elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis, the incidence of death in olanzapine-treated patients was significantly greater than placebo-treated patients (3.5% vs 1.5%, respectively).

Cerebrovascular Adverse Events (CVAE), Including Stroke — Cerebrovascular adverse events (e.g., stroke, transient ischemic attack), including fatalities, were reported in patients in trials of olanzapine in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis. In placebo-controlled trials, there was a significantly higher incidence of cerebrovascular adverse events in patients treated with olanzapine compared to patients treated with placebo. Olanzapine and SYMBYAX are not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see Boxed Warning and Patient Counseling Information (17.3)].

5.3 Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)

A potentially fatal symptom complex sometimes referred to as NMS has been reported in association with administration of antipsychotic drugs, including olanzapine. 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 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 after recovering from NMS, a patient requires treatment with an antipsychotic, the patient should be carefully monitored, since recurrences of NMS have been reported [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7) and Patient Counseling Information (17.4, 17.8)].

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