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 17 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. LATUDA is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Cerebrovascular Adverse Reactions, Including Stroke in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis:
In placebo-controlled trials with risperidone, aripiprazole, and olanzapine in elderly subjects with dementia, there was a higher incidence of cerebrovascular adverse reactions (cerebrovascular accidents and transient ischemic attacks), including fatalities, compared to placebo-treated subjects. LATUDA is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis (see previous text).
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome:
A potentially fatal symptom complex sometimes referred to as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) has been reported in association with administration of antipsychotic drugs, including LATUDA.
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 creatine phosphokinase, myoglobinuria (rhabdomyolysis), and acute renal failure.
The diagnostic evaluation of patients with this syndrome is complicated. It is important to exclude cases where the clinical presentation includes both serious medical illness (e.g., pneumonia, systemic infection) 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 a patient requires antipsychotic drug treatment after recovery from NMS, the potential reintroduction of drug therapy should be carefully considered. If reintroduced, the patient should be carefully monitored, since recurrences of NMS have been reported.
Tardive dyskinesia is a syndrome consisting of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements that can develop in patients treated with antipsychotic drugs. Although the prevalence of the syndrome appears to be highest among the elderly, especially elderly women, it is impossible to rely upon prevalence estimates to predict, at the inception of antipsychotic treatment, which patients are likely to develop the syndrome. Whether antipsychotic drug products differ in their potential to cause tardive dyskinesia is unknown.
The risk of developing tardive dyskinesia and the likelihood that it will become irreversible are believed to increase as the duration of treatment and the total cumulative dose of antipsychotic drugs administered to the patient increase. However, the syndrome can develop, although much less commonly, after relatively brief treatment periods at low doses.
There is no known treatment for established cases of tardive dyskinesia, although the syndrome may remit, partially or completely, if antipsychotic treatment is withdrawn. Antipsychotic treatment, itself, however, may suppress (or partially suppress) the signs and symptoms of the syndrome and thereby may possibly mask the underlying process. The effect that symptomatic suppression has upon the long-term course of the syndrome is unknown.
Given these considerations, LATUDA should be prescribed in a manner that is most likely to minimize the occurrence of tardive dyskinesia. Chronic antipsychotic treatment should generally be reserved for patients who suffer from a chronic illness that (1) is known to respond to antipsychotic drugs, and (2) for whom alternative, equally effective, but potentially less harmful treatments are not available or appropriate. In patients who do require chronic treatment, the smallest dose and the shortest duration of treatment producing a satisfactory clinical response should be sought. The need for continued treatment should be reassessed periodically.
If signs and symptoms of tardive dyskinesia appear in a patient on LATUDA, drug discontinuation should be considered. However, some patients may require treatment with LATUDA despite the presence of the syndrome.
Atypical antipsychotic drugs have been associated with metabolic changes that may increase cardiovascular/cerebrovascular risk. These metabolic changes include hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and body weight gain. While all of the drugs in the class have been shown to produce some metabolic changes, each drug has its own specific risk profile.
Hyperglycemia and Diabetes Mellitus: Hyperglycemia, in some cases extreme and associated with ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar coma or death, has been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics. Assessment of the relationship between atypical antipsychotic use and glucose abnormalities is complicated by the possibility of an increased background risk of diabetes mellitus in patients with schizophrenia and the increasing incidence of diabetes mellitus in the general population. Given these confounders, the relationship between atypical antipsychotic use and hyperglycemia-related adverse events is not completely understood. However, epidemiological studies suggest an increased risk of treatment-emergent hyperglycemia-related adverse events in patients treated with the atypical antipsychotics. Because LATUDA was not marketed at the time these studies were performed, it is not known if LATUDA is associated with this increased risk.
Patients with an established diagnosis of diabetes mellitus who are started on atypical antipsychotics should be monitored regularly for worsening of glucose control. Patients with risk factors for diabetes mellitus (e.g., obesity, family history of diabetes) who are starting treatment with atypical antipsychotics should undergo fasting blood glucose testing at the beginning of treatment and periodically during treatment. Any patient treated with atypical antipsychotics should be monitored for symptoms of hyperglycemia including polydipsia, polyuria, polyphagia, and weakness. Patients who develop symptoms of hyperglycemia during treatment with atypical antipsychotics should undergo fasting blood glucose testing. In some cases, hyperglycemia has resolved when the atypical antipsychotic was discontinued; however, some patients required continuation of anti-diabetic treatment despite discontinuation of the suspect drug.
Schizophrenia: Pooled data from short-term, placebo-controlled schizophrenia studies are presented in Table 3.
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In the controlled, longer-term schizophrenia studies (primarily open-label extension studies), LATUDA was associated with a mean change in glucose of +1.8 mg/dL at week 24 (n=355), +0.8 mg/dL at week 36 (n=299) and +2.3 mg/dL at week 52 (n=307).
Dyslipidemia: Undesirable alterations in lipids have been observed in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics.
Schizophrenia: Pooled data from short-term, placebo-controlled schizophrenia studies are presented in Table 4.
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In the uncontrolled, longer-term schizophrenia studies (primarily open-label extension studies), LATUDA was associated with a mean change in total cholesterol and triglycerides of -3.8 (n=356) and -15.1 (n=357) mg/dL at week 24, -3.1 (n=303) and -4.8 (n=303) mg/dL at week 36 and -2.5 (n=307) and -6.9 (n=307) mg/dL at week 52, respectively.
Weight Gain: Weight gain has been observed with atypical antipsychotic use. Clinical monitoring of weight is recommended.
Schizophrenia: Pooled data from short-term, placebo-controlled schizophrenia studies are presented in Table 5. The mean weight gain was +0.43 kg for LATUDA-treated patients compared to -0.02 kg for placebo-treated patients. Change in weight from baseline for olanzapine was +4.15 kg and for quetiapine extended-release was +2.09 kg in Studies 3 and 5 (see Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics: Clinical Studies under Actions), respectively. The proportion of patients with a ≥7% increase in body weight (at Endpoint) was 4.8% for LATUDA-treated patients versus 3.3% for placebo-treated patients. (See Table 5.)
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In the uncontrolled, longer-term schizophrenia studies (primarily open-label extension studies), LATUDA was associated with a mean change in weight of -0.69 kg at week 24 (n=755), -0.59 kg at week 36 (n=443) and -0.73 kg at week 52 (n=377).
As with other drugs that antagonize dopamine D2
receptors, LATUDA elevates prolactin levels.
Hyperprolactinemia may suppress hypothalamic GnRH, resulting in reduced pituitary gonadotrophin secretion. This, in turn, may inhibit reproductive function by impairing gonadal steroidogenesis in both female and male patients. Galactorrhea, amenorrhea, gynecomastia, and impotence have been reported with prolactin-elevating compounds. Long-standing hyperprolactinemia, when associated with hypogonadism, may lead to decreased bone density in both female and male patients (see Adverse Reactions).
Tissue culture experiments indicate that approximately one-third of human breast cancers are prolactin-dependent in vitro
, a factor of potential importance if the prescription of these drugs is considered in a patient with previously detected breast cancer. As is common with compounds which increase prolactin release, an increase in mammary gland neoplasia was observed in a LATUDA carcinogenicity study conducted in rats and mice (see Pharmacology: Toxicology under Actions). Neither clinical studies nor epidemiologic studies conducted to date have shown an association between chronic administration of this class of drugs and tumorigenesis in humans, but the available evidence is too limited to be conclusive.
Schizophrenia: In short-term, placebo-controlled schizophrenia studies, the median change from baseline to endpoint in prolactin levels for LATUDA -treated patients was +0.4 ng/mL and was -1.9 ng/mL in the placebo-treated patients. The median change from baseline to endpoint for males was +0.5 ng/mL and for females was -0.2 ng/mL. Median changes for prolactin by dose are shown in Table 6.
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The proportion of patients with prolactin elevations ≥ 5× upper limit of normal (ULN) was 2.8% for LATUDA-treated patients versus 1.0% for placebo-treated patients. The proportion of female patients with prolactin elevations ≥ 5x ULN was 5.7% for LATUDA-treated patients versus 2.0% for placebo-treated female patients. The proportion of male patients with prolactin elevations ≥ 5x ULN was 1.6% versus 0.6% for placebo-treated male patients.
In the uncontrolled, longer-term schizophrenia studies (primarily open-label extension studies), LATUDA was associated with a median change in prolactin of -0.9 ng/mL at week 24 (n=357), -5.3 ng/mL at week 36 (n=190) and -2.2 ng/mL at week 52 (n=307).
Leukopenia, Neutropenia and Agranulocytosis:
Leukopenia/neutropenia has been reported during treatment with antipsychotic agents. Agranulocytosis (including fatal cases) has been reported with other agents in the class.
Possible risk factors for leukopenia/neutropenia include pre-existing low white blood cell count (WBC) and history of drug induced leukopenia/neutropenia. Patients with a pre-existing low WBC or a history of drug induced leukopenia/neutropenia should have their complete blood count (CBC) monitored frequently during the first few months of therapy and LATUDA should be discontinued at the first sign of decline in WBC, in the absence of other causative factors.
Patients with neutropenia should be carefully monitored for fever or other symptoms or signs of infection and treated promptly if such symptoms or signs occur. Patients with severe neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count <1000/mm3
) should discontinue LATUDA and have their WBC followed until recovery.
Orthostatic Hypotension and Syncope:
LATUDA may cause orthostatic hypotension, perhaps due to its α1
-adrenergic receptor antagonism. Associated adverse reactions can include dizziness, lightheadedness, tachycardia, and bradycardia. Generally, these risks are greatest at the beginning of treatment and during dose escalation. Patients at increased risk of these adverse reactions or at increased risk of developing complications from hypotension include those with dehydration, hypovolemia, treatment with antihypertensive medication, history of cardiovascular disease (e.g., heart failure, myocardial infarction, ischemia, or conduction abnormalities), history of cerebrovascular disease, as well as patients who are antipsychotic-naive. In such patients, consider using a lower starting dose and slower titration, and monitor orthostatic vital signs.
Orthostatic hypotension, as assessed by vital sign measurement, was defined by the following vital sign changes: ≥20 mm Hg decrease in systolic blood pressure and ≥10 bpm increase in pulse from sitting to standing or supine to standing position.
Schizophrenia: The incidence of orthostatic hypotension and syncope reported as adverse events from short-term, placebo-controlled schizophrenia studies was (LATUDA incidence, placebo incidence): orthostatic hypotension [0.3% (5/1508), 0.1% (1/708)] and syncope [0.1% (2/1508), 0% (0/708)].
In short-term schizophrenia clinical studies, orthostatic hypotension, as assessed by vital signs, occurred with a frequency of 0.8% with LATUDA 40 mg, 2.1% with LATUDA 80 mg, 1.7% with LATUDA 120 mg and 0.8% with LATUDA 160 mg compared to 0.7% with placebo.
As with other antipsychotic drugs, LATUDA should be used cautiously in patients with a history of seizures or with conditions that lower the seizure threshold, e.g., Alzheimer's dementia. Conditions that lower the seizure threshold may be more prevalent in patients 65 years or older.
Schizophrenia: In short-term, placebo-controlled schizophrenia studies, seizures/convulsions occurred in 0.1% (2/1508) of patients treated with LATUDA compared to 0.1% (1/708) placebo-treated patients.
Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment:
LATUDA, like other antipsychotics, has the potential to impair judgment, thinking or motor skills. Caution patients about operating hazardous machinery, including motor vehicles, until they are reasonably certain that therapy with LATUDA does not affect them adversely.
In clinical studies with LATUDA, somnolence included: hypersomnia, hypersomnolence, sedation and somnolence.
Schizophrenia: In short-term, placebo-controlled schizophrenia studies, somnolence was reported by 17.0% (256/1508) of patients treated with LATUDA (15.5% LATUDA 20 mg, 15.6% LATUDA 40 mg, 15.2% LATUDA 80 mg, 26.5% LATUDA 120 mg and 8.3% LATUDA 160 mg/day) compared to 7.1% (50/708) of placebo patients.
Body Temperature Dysregulation:
Disruption of the body's ability to reduce core body temperature has been attributed to antipsychotic agents. Appropriate care is advised when prescribing LATUDA for patients who will be experiencing conditions that may contribute to an elevation in core body temperature, e.g., exercising strenuously, exposure to extreme heat, receiving concomitant medication with anticholinergic activity, or being subject to dehydration (see Patient Counselling Information).
The possibility of a suicide attempt is inherent in psychotic illness and close supervision of high-risk patients should accompany drug therapy. Prescriptions for LATUDA should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets consistent with good patient management in order to reduce the risk of overdose.
Schizophrenia: In short-term, placebo-controlled schizophrenia studies, the incidence of treatment-emergent suicidal ideation was 0.4% (6/1508) for LATUDA-treated patients compared to 0.8% (6/708) on placebo. No suicide attempts or completed suicides were reported in these studies.
Esophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with antipsychotic drug use. Aspiration pneumonia is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly patients, in particular those with advanced Alzheimer's dementia. LATUDA and other antipsychotic drugs should be used cautiously in patients at risk for aspiration pneumonia.
Neurological Adverse Reactions in Patients with Parkinson's Disease or Dementia with Lewy Bodies:
Patients with Parkinson's Disease or Dementia with Lewy Bodies are reported to have an increased sensitivity to antipsychotic medication. Manifestations of this increased sensitivity include confusion, obtundation, postural instability with frequent falls, extrapyramidal symptoms, and clinical features consistent with the neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
Use in Specific population: Use in Children:
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
Use in Elderly:
Clinical studies with LATUDA did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and older to determine whether or not they respond differently from younger patients. In elderly patients with psychosis (65 to 85), LATUDA concentrations (20 mg/day) were similar to those in young subjects. It is unknown whether dose adjustment is necessary on the basis of age alone.
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with LATUDA are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo. LATUDA is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Other Patient Factors: The effect of intrinsic patient factors on the pharmacokinetics of LATUDA is presented in Figure 1.
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Drug Abuse and Dependence:
LATUDA has not been systematically studied in humans for its potential for abuse or physical dependence or its ability to induce tolerance.While clinical studies with LATUDA did not reveal any tendency for drug-seeking behavior, these observations were not systematic and it is not possible to predict the extent to which a CNS-active drug will be misused, diverted and/or abused once it is marketed. Patients should be evaluated carefully for a history of drug abuse, and such patients should be observed carefully for signs of LATUDA misuse or abuse (e.g., development of tolerance, drug-seeking behavior, increases in dose).