«Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in ...»
Examination of gender subsets of the population studied did not reveal any differential responsiveness on the basis of gender.
Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia) The efficacy of Effexor XR capsules as a treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder (also known as Social Phobia) was established in four double-blind, parallel-group, 12-week, multicenter, placebo-controlled, flexible-dose studies and one double-blind, parallel-group, 6-month, placebo-controlled, fixed/flexible-dose study in adult outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for Social Anxiety Disorder. Patients received doses in a range of 75 to 225 mg/day. Efficacy was assessed with the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS). In these five trials, Effexor XR was significantly more effective than placebo on change from baseline to endpoint on the LSAS total score. There was no evidence for any greater effectiveness of the 150 to 225 mg/day group compared to the 75 mg/day group in the 6-month study.
5 Reference ID: 3537473 Examination of subsets of the population studied did not reveal any differential responsiveness on the basis of gender. There was insufficient information to determine the effect of age or race on outcome in these studies.
Panic Disorder The efficacy of Effexor XR capsules as a treatment for panic disorder was established in two double-blind, 12-week, multicenter, placebo-controlled studies in adult outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia. Patients received fixed doses of 75 or 150 mg/day in one study and 75 or 225 mg/day in the other study.
Efficacy was assessed on the basis of outcomes in three variables: (1) percentage of patients free of full-symptom panic attacks on the Panic and Anticipatory Anxiety Scale (PAAS); (2) mean change from baseline to endpoint on the Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS) total score; and (3) percentage of patients rated as responders (much improved or very much improved) on the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) Improvement scale. In these two trials, Effexor XR was significantly more effective than placebo in all three variables.
In the two 12-week studies described above, one evaluating Effexor XR doses of 75 and 150 mg/day and the other evaluating Effexor XR doses of 75 and 225 mg/day, efficacy was established for each dose. A dose-response relationship for effectiveness in patients with panic disorder was not clearly established in fixed-dose studies.
Examination of subsets of the population studied did not reveal any differential responsiveness on the basis of gender. There was insufficient information to determine the effect of age or race on outcome in these studies.
In a longer-term study, adult outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for panic disorder who had responded during a 12-week open phase with Effexor XR (75 to 225 mg/day) were randomly assigned to continue the same Effexor XR dose (75, 150, or 225 mg) or switch to placebo for observation for relapse under double-blind conditions. Response during the open phase was defined as ≤ 1 full-symptom panic attack per week during the last 2 weeks of the open phase and a CGI Improvement score of 1 (very much improved) or 2 (much improved). Relapse during the double-blind phase was defined as having 2 or more full-symptom panic attacks per week for 2 consecutive weeks or having discontinued due to loss of effectiveness as determined by the investigators during the study. Randomized patients were in response status for a mean time of 34 days prior to being randomized. In the randomized phase following the 12-week open-label period, patients receiving continued Effexor XR experienced a significantly longer time to relapse.
INDICATIONS AND USAGEMajor Depressive Disorder Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride) extended-release capsules are indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder.
The efficacy of Effexor XR in the treatment of major depressive disorder was established in 8- and 12-week controlled trials of adult outpatients whose diagnoses corresponded most closely to the DSM-III-R or DSM-IV category of major depressive disorder (see Clinical Trials).
6 Reference ID: 3537473 A major depressive episode (DSM-IV) implies a prominent and relatively persistent (nearly every day for at least 2 weeks) depressed mood or the loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities, representing a change from previous functioning, and includes the presence of at least five of the following nine symptoms during the same two-week period: depressed mood, markedly diminished interest or pleasure in usual activities, significant change in weight and/or appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, psychomotor agitation or retardation, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, a suicide attempt or suicidal ideation.
The efficacy of Effexor (immediate release) in the treatment of major depressive disorder in adult inpatients meeting diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder with melancholia was established in a 4-week controlled trial (see Clinical Trials). The safety and efficacy of Effexor XR in hospitalized depressed patients have not been adequately studied.
The efficacy of Effexor XR in maintaining a response in major depressive disorder for up to 26 weeks following 8 weeks of acute treatment was demonstrated in a placebo-controlled trial.
The efficacy of Effexor (immediate release) in maintaining a response in patients with recurrent major depressive disorder who had responded and continued to be improved during an initial 26 weeks of treatment and were then followed for a period of up to 52 weeks was demonstrated in a second placebo-controlled trial (see Clinical Trials). Nevertheless, the physician who elects to use Effexor/Effexor XR for extended periods should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Effexor XR is indicated for the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) as defined in DSM-IV. Anxiety or tension associated with the stress of everyday life usually does not require treatment with an anxiolytic.
The efficacy of Effexor XR in the treatment of GAD was established in 8-week and 6-month placebo-controlled trials in adult outpatients diagnosed with GAD according to DSM-IV criteria (see Clinical Trials).
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (DSM-IV) is characterized by excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation) that is persistent for at least 6 months and which the person finds
difficult to control. It must be associated with at least 3 of the following 6 symptoms:
restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating or mind going blank, irritability, muscle tension, sleep disturbance.
Although the effectiveness of Effexor XR has been demonstrated in 6-month clinical trials in patients with GAD, the physician who elects to use Effexor XR for extended periods should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient (see
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Social Anxiety Disorder Effexor XR is indicated for the treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder, also known as Social Phobia, as defined in DSM-IV (300.23).
7 Reference ID: 3537473 Social Anxiety Disorder (DSM-IV) is characterized by a marked and persistent fear of 1 or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others. Exposure to the feared situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may approach the intensity of a panic attack. The feared situations are avoided or endured with intense anxiety or distress. The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared situation(s) interferes significantly with the person's normal routine, occupational or academic functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is a marked distress about having the phobias. Lesser degrees of performance anxiety or shyness generally do not require psychopharmacological treatment.
The efficacy of Effexor XR in the treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder was established in four 12-week and one 6-month placebo-controlled trials in adult outpatients with Social Anxiety Disorder (DSM-IV) (see Clinical Trials).
Although the effectiveness of Effexor XR has been demonstrated in a 6-month clinical trial in patients with Social Anxiety Disorder, the physician who elects to use Effexor XR for extended periods should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Panic Disorder Effexor XR is indicated for the treatment of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia, as defined in DSM-IV. Panic disorder is characterized by the occurrence of unexpected panic attacks and associated concern about having additional attacks, worry about the implications or consequences of the attacks, and/or a significant change in behavior related to the attacks.
Panic disorder (DSM-IV) is characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks, ie, a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort, in which four (or more) of the following symptoms develop abruptly and reach a peak within 10 minutes: 1) palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate; 2) sweating; 3) trembling or shaking; 4) sensations of shortness of breath or smothering;
5) feeling of choking; 6) chest pain or discomfort; 7) nausea or abdominal distress; 8) feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint; 9) derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself); 10) fear of losing control; 11) fear of dying; 12) paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations); 13) chills or hot flushes.
The efficacy of Effexor XR in the treatment of panic disorder was established in two 12-week placebo-controlled trials in adult outpatients with panic disorder (DSM-IV). The efficacy of Effexor XR in prolonging time to relapse in panic disorder among responders following 12 weeks of open-label acute treatment was demonstrated in a placebo-controlled study (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Clinical Trials). Nevertheless, the physician who elects to use Effexor XR for extended periods should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
CONTRAINDICATIONSHypersensitivity to venlafaxine hydrochloride or to any excipients in the formulation.
The use of MAOIs intended to treat psychiatric disorders with Effexor XR or within 7 days of stopping treatment with Effexor XR is contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin 8 Reference ID: 3537473 syndrome. The use of Effexor XR within 14 days of stopping an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders is also contraindicated (see WARNINGS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Starting Effexor XR in a patient who is being treated with MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue is also contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome (see WARNINGS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
WARNINGS 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 18-24) 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 shortterm trials of 9 antidepressant drugs in over 4400 patients. The pooled analyses of placebocontrolled trials in adults with MDD or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 295 shortterm 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 1.
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.