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All about: Cymbalta

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Generic Name: duloxetine hydrochloride
Dosage Form: Delayed-release capsules

Warning

Suicidality in Children and Adolescents — Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in short-term studies in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of Cymbalta or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be 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. Cymbalta is not approved for use in pediatric patients. (See WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS, Pediatric Use.)

Pooled analyses of short-term (4 to 16 weeks) placebo-controlled trials of 9 antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or other psychiatric disorders (a total of 24 trials involving over 4400 patients) have revealed a greater risk of adverse events representing suicidal thinking or behavior (suicidality) during the first few months of treatment in those receiving antidepressants. The average risk of such events in patients receiving antidepressants was 4%, twice the placebo risk of 2%. No suicides occurred in these trials.

Cymbalta Description

Cymbalta® (duloxetine hydrochloride) is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI) for oral administration. Its chemical designation is (+)-(S)-N-methyl-γ-(1-naphthyloxy)-2-thiophenepropylamine hydrochloride. The empirical formula is C18H19NOS•HCl, which corresponds to a molecular weight of 333.88. The structural formula is:

Duloxetine hydrochloride is a white to slightly brownish white solid, which is slightly soluble in water.

Each capsule contains enteric-coated pellets of 22.4, 33.7, or 67.3 mg of duloxetine hydrochloride equivalent to 20, 30, or 60 mg of duloxetine, respectively. These enteric-coated pellets are designed to prevent degradation of the drug in the acidic environment of the stomach. Inactive ingredients include FD&C Blue No. 2, gelatin, hypromellose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose acetate succinate, sodium lauryl sulfate, sucrose, sugar spheres, talc, titanium dioxide, and triethyl citrate. The 20 and 60 mg capsules also contain iron oxide yellow.

Cymbalta - Clinical Pharmacology

Pharmacodynamics

Although the exact mechanisms of the antidepressant and central pain inhibitory action of duloxetine in humans are unknown, the antidepressant and pain inhibitory actions are believed to be related to its potentiation of serotonergic and noradrenergic activity in the CNS. Preclinical studies have shown that duloxetine is a potent inhibitor of neuronal serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake and a less potent inhibitor of dopamine reuptake. Duloxetine has no significant affinity for dopaminergic, adrenergic, cholinergic, histaminergic, opioid, glutamate, and GABA receptors in vitro. Duloxetine does not inhibit monoamine oxidase (MAO). Duloxetine undergoes extensive metabolism, but the major circulating metabolites have not been shown to contribute significantly to the pharmacologic activity of duloxetine.

Pharmacokinetics

Duloxetine has an elimination half-life of about 12 hours (range 8 to 17 hours) and its pharmacokinetics are dose proportional over the therapeutic range. Steady-state plasma concentrations are typically achieved after 3 days of dosing. Elimination of duloxetine is mainly through hepatic metabolism involving two P450 isozymes, CYP2D6 and CYP1A2.

Absorption and Distribution

Orally administered duloxetine hydrochloride is well absorbed. There is a median 2-hour lag until absorption begins (Tlag), with maximal plasma concentrations (Cmax) of duloxetine occurring 6 hours post dose. Food does not affect the Cmax of duloxetine, but delays the time to reach peak concentration from 6 to 10 hours and it marginally decreases the extent of absorption (AUC) by about 10%. There is a 3-hour delay in absorption and a one-third increase in apparent clearance of duloxetine after an evening dose as compared to a morning dose.

The apparent volume of distribution averages about 1640 L. Duloxetine is highly bound (>90%) to proteins in human plasma, binding primarily to albumin and α1-acid glycoprotein. The interaction between duloxetine and other highly protein bound drugs has not been fully evaluated. Plasma protein binding of duloxetine is not affected by renal or hepatic impairment.

Metabolism and Elimination

Biotransformation and disposition of duloxetine in humans have been determined following oral administration of 14C-labeled duloxetine. Duloxetine comprises about 3% of the total radiolabeled material in the plasma, indicating that it undergoes extensive metabolism to numerous metabolites. The major biotransformation pathways for duloxetine involve oxidation of the naphthyl ring followed by conjugation and further oxidation. Both CYP2D6 and CYP1A2 catalyze the oxidation of the naphthyl ring in vitro. Metabolites found in plasma include 4-hydroxy duloxetine glucuronide and 5-hydroxy, 6-methoxy duloxetine sulfate. Many additional metabolites have been identified in urine, some representing only minor pathways of elimination. Only trace (<1% of the dose) amounts of unchanged duloxetine are present in the urine. Most (about 70%) of the duloxetine dose appears in the urine as metabolites of duloxetine; about 20% is excreted in the feces.

Special Populations

Gender

Duloxetine's half-life is similar in men and women. Dosage adjustment based on gender is not necessary.

Age

The pharmacokinetics of duloxetine after a single dose of 40 mg were compared in healthy elderly females (65 to 77 years) and healthy middle-age females (32 to 50 years). There was no difference in the Cmax, but the AUC of duloxetine was somewhat (about 25%) higher and the half-life about 4 hours longer in the elderly females. Population pharmacokinetic analyses suggest that the typical values for clearance decrease by approximately 1% for each year of age between 25 to 75 years of age; but age as a predictive factor only accounts for a small percentage of between-patient variability. Dosage adjustment based on the age of the patient is not necessary (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Smoking Status

Duloxetine bioavailability (AUC) appears to be reduced by about one-third in smokers. Dosage modifications are not recommended for smokers.

Race

No specific pharmacokinetic study was conducted to investigate the effects of race.

Renal Insufficiency

Limited data are available on the effects of duloxetine in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). After a single 60-mg dose of duloxetine, Cmax and AUC values were approximately 100% greater in patients with end-stage renal disease receiving chronic intermittent hemodialysis than in subjects with normal renal function. The elimination half-life, however, was similar in both groups. The AUCs of the major circulating metabolites, 4-hydroxy duloxetine glucuronide and 5-hydroxy, 6-methoxy duloxetine sulfate, largely excreted in urine, were approximately 7- to 9-fold higher and would be expected to increase further with multiple dosing. For this reason, Cymbalta is not recommended for patients with end-stage renal disease (requiring dialysis) or severe renal impairment (estimated creatinine clearance [CrCl]<30 mL/min) (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Population PK analyses suggest that mild to moderate degrees of renal dysfunction (estimated CrCl 30-80 mL/min) have no significant effect on duloxetine apparent clearance.

Hepatic Insufficiency

Patients with clinically evident hepatic insufficiency have decreased duloxetine metabolism and elimination. After a single 20-mg dose of Cymbalta, 6 cirrhotic patients with moderate liver impairment (Child-Pugh Class B) had a mean plasma duloxetine clearance about 15% that of age- and gender-matched healthy subjects, with a 5-fold increase in mean exposure (AUC). Although Cmax was similar to normals in the cirrhotic patients, the half-life was about 3 times longer (see PRECAUTIONS). It is recommended that duloxetine not be administered to patients with any hepatic insufficiency (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Nursing Mothers

The disposition of duloxetine was studied in 6 lactating women who were at least 12-weeks postpartum. Duloxetine 40 mg BID was given for 3.5 days. Like many other drugs, duloxetine is detected in breast milk, and steady-state concentrations in breast milk are about one-fourth those in plasma. The amount of duloxetine in breast milk is approximately 7 μg/day while on 40 mg BID dosing. Lactation did not influence duloxetine pharmacokinetics. Because the safety of duloxetine in infants is not known, nursing while on Cymbalta is not recommended. However, if the physician determines that the benefit of duloxetine therapy for the mother outweighs any potential risk to the infant, no dosage adjustment is required as lactation did not influence duloxetine pharmacokinetics (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Drug-Drug Interactions (also see PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions)

Potential for Other Drugs to Affect Duloxetine

Both CYP1A2 and CYP2D6 are responsible for duloxetine metabolism.

Inhibitors of CYP1A2— When duloxetine was co-administered with fluvoxamine, a potent CYP1A2 inhibitor, to male subjects (n=14) the AUC was increased approximately 6-fold, the Cmax was increased about 2.5-fold, and duloxetine t1/2 was increased approximately 3-fold. Other drugs that inhibit CYP1A2 metabolism include cimetidine and quinolone antimicrobials such as ciprofloxacin and enoxacin.

Inhibitors of CYP2D6— Because CYP2D6 is involved in duloxetine metabolism, concomitant use of duloxetine with potent inhibitors of CYP2D6 would be expected to, and does, result in higher concentrations of duloxetine (see PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions).

Studies with Benzodiazepines

Lorazepam— Under steady-state conditions for duloxetine (60 mg Q 12 hours) and lorazepam (2 mg Q 12 hours), the pharmacokinetics of duloxetine were not affected by co-administration.

Temazepam— Under steady-state conditions for duloxetine (20 mg qhs) and temazepam (30 mg qhs), the pharmacokinetics of duloxetine were not affected by co-administration.

Potential for Duloxetine to Affect Other Drugs

Drugs Metabolized by CYP1A2—In vitro drug interaction studies demonstrate that duloxetine does not induce CYP1A2 activity. Therefore, an increase in the metabolism of CYP1A2 substrates (e.g., theophylline, caffeine) resulting from induction is not anticipated, although clinical studies of induction have not been performed. Although duloxetine is an inhibitor of the CYP1A2 isoform in in vitro studies, the pharmacokinetics of theophylline, a CYP1A2 substrate, were not significantly affected by co-administration with duloxetine (60 mg BID). Duloxetine is thus unlikely to have a clinically significant effect on the metabolism of CYP1A2 substrates.

Drugs Metabolized by CYP2D6— Duloxetine is a moderate inhibitor of CYP2D6 and increases the AUC and Cmax of drugs metabolized by CYP2D6 (see PRECAUTIONS). Therefore, co-administration of Cymbalta with other drugs that are extensively metabolized by this isozyme and that have a narrow therapeutic index should be approached with caution (see PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions).

Drugs Metabolized by CYP2C9— Duloxetine does not inhibit the in vitro enzyme activity of CYP2C9. Inhibition of the metabolism of CYP2C9 substrates is therefore not anticipated, although clinical studies have not been performed.

Drugs Metabolized by CYP3A— Results of in vitro studies demonstrate that duloxetine does not inhibit or induce CYP3A activity. Therefore, an increase or decrease in the metabolism of CYP3A substrates (e.g., oral contraceptives and other steroidal agents) resulting from induction or inhibition is not anticipated, although clinical studies have not been performed.

Drugs Metabolized by CYP2C19— Results of in vitro studies demonstrate that duloxetine does not inhibit CYP2C19 activity at therapeutic concentrations. Inhibition of the metabolism of CYP2C19 substrates is therefore not anticipated, although clinical studies have not been performed.

Studies with Benzodiazepines

Lorazepam— Under steady-state conditions for duloxetine (60 mg Q 12 hours) and lorazepam (2 mg Q 12 hours), the pharmacokinetics of lorazepam were not affected by co-administration.

Temazepam— Under steady-state conditions for duloxetine (20 mg qhs) and temazepam (30 mg qhs), the pharmacokinetics of temazepam were not affected by co-administration.

Drugs Highly Bound to Plasma Protein— Because duloxetine is highly bound to plasma protein, administration of Cymbalta to a patient taking another drug that is highly protein bound may cause increased free concentrations of the other drug, potentially resulting in adverse events.

Clinical Studies

Major Depressive Disorder

The efficacy of Cymbalta as a treatment for depression was established in 4 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, fixed-dose studies in adult outpatients (18 to 83 years) meeting DSM-IV criteria for major depression. In 2 studies, patients were randomized to Cymbalta 60 mg once daily (N=123 and N=128, respectively) or placebo (N=122 and N=139, respectively) for 9 weeks; in the third study, patients were randomized to Cymbalta 20 or 40 mg twice daily (N=86 and N=91, respectively) or placebo (N=89) for 8 weeks; in the fourth study, patients were randomized to Cymbalta 40 or 60 mg twice daily (N=95 and N=93, respectively) or placebo (N=93) for 8 weeks. There is no evidence that doses greater than 60 mg/day confer any additional benefit.

In all 4 studies, Cymbalta demonstrated superiority over placebo as measured by improvement in the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD-17) total score.

Analyses of the relationship between treatment outcome and age, gender, and race did not suggest any differential responsiveness on the basis of these patient characteristics.

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain

The efficacy of Cymbalta for the management of neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) was established in 2 randomized, 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, fixed-dose studies in adult patients having diabetic peripheral neuropathy for at least 6 months. Study 1 and 2 enrolled a total of 791 patients of whom 592 (75%) completed the studies. Patients enrolled had Type I or II diabetes mellitus with a diagnosis of painful distal symmetrical sensorimotor polyneuropathy for at least 6 months. The patients had a baseline pain score of ≥4 on an 11-point scale ranging from 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst possible pain). Patients were permitted up to 4 g of acetaminophen per day as needed for pain, in addition to Cymbalta. Patients recorded their pain daily in a diary.

Both studies compared Cymbalta 60 mg once daily or 60 mg twice daily with placebo. Study 1 additionally compared Cymbalta 20 mg with placebo. A total of 457 patients (342 Cymbalta, 115 placebo) were enrolled in Study 1 and a total of 334 patients (226 Cymbalta, 108 placebo) were enrolled in Study 2. Treatment with Cymbalta 60 mg one or two times a day statistically significantly improved the endpoint mean pain scores from baseline and increased the proportion of patients with at least a 50% reduction in pain score from baseline. For various degrees of improvement in pain from baseline to study endpoint, Figures 1 and 2 show the fraction of patients achieving that degree of improvement. The figures are cumulative, so that patients whose change from baseline is, for example, 50%, are also included at every level of improvement below 50%. Patients who did not complete the study were assigned 0% improvement. Some patients experienced a decrease in pain as early as Week 1, which persisted throughout the study.

Figure 1: Percentage of Patients Achieving Various Levels of Pain Relief as Measured by 24-Hour Average Pain Severity - Study 1

Figure 2: Percentage of Patients Achieving Various Levels of Pain Relief as Measured by 24-Hour Average Pain Severity - Study 2

Indications and Usage for Cymbalta

Major Depressive Disorder

Cymbalta is indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).

The efficacy of Cymbalta has been established in 8- and 9-week placebo-controlled trials of outpatients who met DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder (see CLINICAL STUDIES).

A major depressive episode (DSM-IV) implies a prominent and relatively persistent (nearly every day for at least 2 weeks) depressed or dysphoric mood that usually interferes with daily functioning, and includes at least 5 of the following 9 symptoms: depressed mood, loss of interest 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, or a suicide attempt or suicidal ideation.

The effectiveness of Cymbalta in hospitalized patients with major depressive disorder has not been studied.

The effectiveness of Cymbalta in long-term use for major depressive disorder, that is, for more than 9 weeks, has not been systematically evaluated in controlled trials. The physician who elects to use Cymbalta for extended periods should periodically evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain

Cymbalta is indicated for the management of neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (see CLINICAL STUDIES).

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity

Cymbalta is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to duloxetine or any of the inactive ingredients.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

Concomitant use in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) is contraindicated (see WARNINGS).

Uncontrolled Narrow-Angle Glaucoma

In clinical trials, Cymbalta use was associated with an increased risk of mydriasis; therefore, its use should be avoided in patients with uncontrolled narrow-angle glaucoma.

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. There has been a long-standing concern that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients. Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in short-term studies in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders.

Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of 9 antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) in children and adolescents with MDD, OCD, or other psychiatric disorders (a total of 24 trials involving over 4400 patients) have revealed a greater risk of adverse events representing suicidal behavior or thinking (suicidality) during the first few months of treatment in those receiving antidepressants. The average risk of such events in patients receiving antidepressants was 4%, twice the placebo risk of 2%. There was considerable variation in risk among drugs, but a tendency toward an increase for almost all drugs studied. The risk of suicidality was most consistently observed in the MDD trials, but there were signals of risk arising from some trials in other psychiatric indications (obsessive compulsive disorder and social anxiety disorder) as well. No suicides occurred in any of these trials. It is unknown whether the suicidality risk in pediatric patients extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond several months. It is also unknown whether the suicidality risk extends to adults.

All pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be 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. Such observation would generally include at least weekly face-to-face contact with patients or their family members or caregivers during the first 4 weeks of treatment, then every other week visits for the next 4 weeks, then at 12 weeks, and as clinically indicated beyond 12 weeks. Additional contact by telephone may be appropriate between face-to-face visits.

Adults with MDD or co-morbid depression in the setting of other psychiatric illness being treated with antidepressants should be observed similarly for clinical worsening and suicidality, 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 PRECAUTIONS and  DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Discontinuing Cymbalta, for a description of the risks of discontinuation of Cymbalta).

Families and caregivers of pediatric 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 Cymbalta should be written for the smallest quantity of capsules consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose. Families and caregivers of adults being treated for depression should be similarly advised.

Screening Patients for Bipolar Disorder— A major depressive episode may be the initial presentation of bipolar disorder. It is generally believed (though not established in controlled trials) that treating such an episode with an antidepressant alone may increase the likelihood of precipitation of a mixed/manic episode in patients at risk for bipolar disorder. Whether any of the symptoms described above represent such a conversion is unknown. However, prior to initiating treatment with an antidepressant, patients with depressive symptoms should be adequately screened to determine if they are at risk for bipolar disorder; such screening should include a detailed psychiatric history, including a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, and depression. It should be noted that Cymbalta is not approved for use in treating bipolar depression.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI) — In patients receiving a serotonin reuptake inhibitor in combination with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, 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. These reactions have also been reported in patients who have recently discontinued serotonin reuptake inhibitors and are then started on an MAOI. Some cases presented with features resembling neuroleptic malignant syndrome. The effects of combined use of Cymbalta and MAOIs have not been evaluated in humans or animals. Therefore, because Cymbalta is an inhibitor of both serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake, it is recommended that Cymbalta not be used in combination with an MAOI, or within at least 14 days of discontinuing treatment with an MAOI. Based on the half-life of Cymbalta, at least 5 days should be allowed after stopping Cymbalta before starting an MAOI.

Precautions

General

Hepatotoxicity— Cymbalta increases the risk of elevation of serum transaminase levels. Liver transaminase elevations resulted in the discontinuation of 0.4% (31/8454) of Cymbalta-treated patients. In these patients, the median time to detection of the transaminase elevation was about two months. In controlled trials in MDD, elevations of alanine transaminase (ALT) to >3 times the upper limit of normal occurred in 0.9% (8/930) of Cymbalta-treated patients and in 0.3% (2/652) of placebo-treated patients. In controlled trials in DPN, elevations of ALT to >3 times the upper limit of normal occurred in 1.68% (8/477) of Cymbalta-treated patients and in 0% (0/187) of placebo-treated patients. In the full cohort of placebo-controlled trials in any indication, 1% (39/3732) of Cymbalta-treated patients had a >3 times the upper limit of normal elevation of ALT compared to 0.2% (6/2568) of placebo-treated patients. In placebo-controlled studies using a fixed-dose design, there was evidence of a dose-response relationship for ALT and AST elevation of >3 times the upper limit of normal and >5 times the upper limit of normal, respectively. Postmarketing reports have described cases of hepatitis with abdominal pain, hepatomegaly and elevation of transaminase levels to more than twenty times the upper limit of normal with or without jaundice, reflecting a mixed or hepatocellular pattern of liver injury. Cases of cholestatic jaundice with minimal elevation of transaminase levels have also been reported.

The combination of transaminase elevations and elevated bilirubin, without evidence of obstruction, is generally recognized as an important predictor of severe liver injury. In clinical trials, three Cymbalta patients had elevations of transaminases and bilirubin, but also had elevation of alkaline phosphatase, suggesting an obstructive process; in these patients, there was evidence of heavy alcohol use and this may have contributed to the abnormalities seen. Two placebo-treated patients also had transaminase elevations with elevated bilirubin. Postmarketing reports indicate that elevated transaminases, bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase have occurred in patients with chronic liver disease or cirrhosis. Because it is possible that duloxetine and alcohol may interact to cause liver injury or that duloxetine may aggravate pre-existing liver disease, Cymbalta should ordinarily not be prescribed to patients with substantial alcohol use or evidence of chronic liver disease.

Effect on Blood Pressure— In MDD clinical trials, Cymbalta treatment was associated with mean increases in blood pressure, averaging 2 mm Hg systolic and 0.5 mm Hg diastolic and an increase in the incidence of at least one measurement of systolic blood pressure over 140 mm Hg compared to placebo.

Blood pressure should be measured prior to initiating treatment and periodically measured throughout treatment (see ADVERSE REACTIONS, Vital Sign Changes).

Activation of Mania/Hypomania— In placebo-controlled trials in patients with major depressive disorder, activation of mania or hypomania was reported in 0.1% (1/1139) of Cymbalta-treated patients and 0.1% (1/777) of placebo-treated patients. Activation of mania/hypomania has been reported in a small proportion of patients with mood disorders who were treated with other marketed drugs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder. As with these other agents, Cymbalta should be used cautiously in patients with a history of mania.

Seizures— Cymbalta has not been systematically evaluated in patients with a seizure disorder, and such patients were excluded from clinical studies. In placebo-controlled clinical trials in patients with major depressive disorder, seizures occurred in 0.1% (1/1139) of patients treated with Cymbalta and 0% (0/777) of patients treated with placebo. In placebo-controlled clinical trials in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, seizures did not occur in any patients treated with either Cymbalta or placebo. Cymbalta should be prescribed with care in patients with a history of a seizure disorder.

Controlled Narrow-Angle Glaucoma— In clinical trials, Cymbalta was associated with an increased risk of mydriasis; therefore, it should be used cautiously in patients with controlled narrow-angle glaucoma (see CONTRAINDICATIONS, Uncontrolled Narrow-Angle Glaucoma).

Discontinuation of Treatment with Cymbalta— Discontinuation symptoms have been systematically evaluated in patients taking Cymbalta. Following abrupt discontinuation in MDD placebo-controlled clinical trials of up to 9-weeks duration, the following symptoms occurred at a rate greater than or equal to 2% and at a significantly higher rate in Cymbalta-treated patients compared to those discontinuing from placebo: dizziness; nausea; headache; paresthesia; vomiting; irritability; and nightmare.

During marketing of other SSRIs and SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), there have been spontaneous reports of adverse events occurring upon discontinuation of these drugs, particularly when abrupt, including the following: dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g., paresthesias such as electric shock sensations), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, and seizures. Although these events are generally self-limiting, some have been reported to be severe.

Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing treatment with Cymbalta. A gradual reduction in the dose rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician may continue decreasing the dose but at a more gradual rate (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Use in Patients with Concomitant Illness— Clinical experience with Cymbalta in patients with concomitant systemic illnesses is limited. There is no information on the effect that alterations in gastric motility may have on the stability of Cymbalta's enteric coating. As duloxetine is rapidly hydrolyzed in acidic media to naphthol, caution is advised in using Cymbalta in patients with conditions that may slow gastric emptying (e.g., some diabetics).

Cymbalta has not been systematically evaluated in patients with a recent history of myocardial infarction or unstable coronary artery disease. Patients with these diagnoses were generally excluded from clinical studies during the product's premarketing testing. However, the electrocardiograms of 321 patients who received Cymbalta in MDD placebo-controlled clinical trials and had qualitatively normal ECGs at baseline were evaluated; Cymbalta was not associated with the development of clinically significant ECG abnormalities (see ADVERSE REACTIONS, Electrocardiogram Changes).

In DPN placebo-controlled clinical trials, Cymbalta-treated patients did not develop abnormal ECGs at a rate different from that in placebo-treated patients (see ADVERSE REACTIONS, Electrocardiogram Changes).

In three clinical trials of Cymbalta for the management of neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, the mean duration of diabetes was approximately 12 years, the mean baseline fasting blood glucose was 176 mg/dL, and the mean baseline hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) was 7.8%. In the 12-week acute treatment phase of these studies, small increases in fasting blood glucose were observed in Cymbalta-treated patients. HbA1c was stable in both Cymbalta-treated and placebo-treated patients. In the extension phase of these studies, which lasted up to 52 weeks, there was an increase in HbA1c in both the Cymbalta and the routine care groups, but the mean increase was 0.3% greater in the Cymbalta-treated group. There was also a small increase in fasting blood glucose in the Cymbalta-treated group. Total cholesterol was increased in Cymbalta-treated patients (2 mg/dL) and decreased in the routine care group (6 mg/dL).

Increased plasma concentrations of duloxetine, and especially of its metabolites, occur in patients with end-stage renal disease (requiring dialysis). For this reason, Cymbalta is not recommended for patients with end-stage renal disease or severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance <30 mL/min) (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGYand  DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Markedly increased exposure to duloxetine occurs in patients with hepatic insufficiency and Cymbalta should not be administered to these patients (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGYand  DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Information for Patients

Prescribers or other health professionals should inform patients, their families, and their caregivers about the benefits and risks associated with treatment with Cymbalta and should counsel them in its appropriate use. A patient Medication Guide About Using Antidepressants in Children and Teenagers is available for Cymbalta. The prescriber or health professional should instruct patients, their families, and their caregivers to read the Medication Guide and should assist them in understanding its contents. Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss the contents of the Medication Guide and to obtain answers to any questions they may have. The complete text of the Medication Guide is reprinted at the end of this document.

Patients should be advised of the following issues and asked to alert their prescriber if these occur while taking Cymbalta.

Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk— Patients, their families, and their caregivers should be encouraged to be alert to the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression, and suicidal ideation, especially early during antidepressant treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down. Families and caregivers of patients should be advised to observe for the emergence of such symptoms on a day-to-day basis, since changes may be abrupt. Such symptoms should be reported to the patient's prescriber or health professional, especially if they are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient's presenting symptoms. Symptoms such as these may be associated with an increased risk for suicidal thinking and behavior and indicate a need for very close monitoring and possibly changes in the medication.

Cymbalta should be swallowed whole and should not be chewed or crushed, nor should the contents be sprinkled on food or mixed with liquids. All of these might affect the enteric coating.

Any psychoactive drug may impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills. Although in controlled studies Cymbalta has not been shown to impair psychomotor performance, cognitive function, or memory, it may be associated with sedation and dizziness. Therefore, patients should be cautioned about operating hazardous machinery including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that Cymbalta therapy does not affect their ability to engage in such activities.

Patients should be advised to inform their physicians if they are taking, or plan to take, any prescription or over-the-counter medications, since there is a potential for interactions.

Although Cymbalta does not increase the impairment of mental and motor skills caused by alcohol, use of Cymbalta concomitantly with heavy alcohol intake may be associated with severe liver injury. For this reason, Cymbalta should ordinarily not be prescribed for patients with substantial alcohol use.

Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during therapy.

Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they are breast-feeding.

While patients with MDD may notice improvement with Cymbalta therapy in 1 to 4 weeks, they should be advised to continue therapy as directed.

Laboratory Tests

No specific laboratory tests are recommended.

Drug Interactions (also see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Drug-Drug Interactions)

Potential for Other Drugs to Affect Cymbalta

Both CYP1A2 and CYP2D6 are responsible for duloxetine metabolism.

Inhibitors of CYP1A2— Concomitant use of duloxetine with fluvoxamine, an inhibitor of CYP1A2, results in approximately a 6-fold increase in AUC and about a 2.5-fold increase in Cmax of duloxetine. Some quinolone antibiotics would be expected to have similar effects and these combinations should be avoided.

Inhibitors of CYP2D6— Because CYP2D6 is involved in duloxetine metabolism, concomitant use of duloxetine with potent inhibitors of CYP2D6 may result in higher concentrations of duloxetine. Paroxetine (20 mg QD) increased the concentration of duloxetine (40 mg QD) by about 60%, and greater degrees of inhibition are expected with higher doses of paroxetine. Similar effects would be expected with other potent CYP2D6 inhibitors (e.g., fluoxetine, quinidine).

Potential for Duloxetine to Affect Other Drugs

Drugs Metabolized by CYP1A2—In vitro drug interaction studies demonstrate that duloxetine does not induce CYP1A2 activity, and it is unlikely to have a clinically significant effect on the metabolism of CYP1A2 substrates (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Drug Interactions).

Drugs Metabolized by CYP2D6— Duloxetine is a moderate inhibitor of CYP2D6. When duloxetine was administered (at a dose of 60 mg BID) in conjunction with a single 50-mg dose of desipramine, a CYP2D6 substrate, the AUC of desipramine increased 3-fold. Therefore, co-administration of Cymbalta with other drugs that are extensively metabolized by this isozyme and which have a narrow therapeutic index, including certain antidepressants (tricyclic antidepressants [TCAs], such as nortriptyline, amitriptyline, and imipramine), phenothiazines and Type 1C antiarrhythmics (e.g., propafenone, flecainide), should be approached with caution. Plasma TCA concentrations may need to be monitored and the dose of the TCA may need to be reduced if a TCA is co-administered with Cymbalta. Because of the risk of serious ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death potentially associated with elevated plasma levels of thioridazine, Cymbalta and thioridazine should not be co-administered.

Drugs Metabolized by CYP3A— Results of in vitro studies demonstrate that duloxetine does not inhibit or induce CYP3A activity (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Drug Interactions).

Cymbalta May Have a Clinically Important Interaction with the Following Other Drugs:

Alcohol— When Cymbalta and ethanol were administered several hours apart so that peak concentrations of each would coincide, Cymbalta did not increase the impairment of mental and motor skills caused by alcohol.

In the Cymbalta clinical trials database, three Cymbalta-treated patients had liver injury as manifested by ALT and total bilirubin elevations, with evidence of obstruction. Substantial intercurrent ethanol use was present in each of these cases, and this may have contributed to the abnormalities seen (see PRECAUTIONS, Hepatotoxicity).

CNS Acting Drugs— Given the primary CNS effects of Cymbalta, it should be used with caution when it is taken in combination with or substituted for other centrally acting drugs, including those with a similar mechanism of action.

Potential for Interaction with Drugs that Affect Gastric Acidity— Cymbalta has an enteric coating that resists dissolution until reaching a segment of the gastrointestinal tract where the pH exceeds 5.5. In extremely acidic conditions, Cymbalta, unprotected by the enteric coating, may undergo hydrolysis to form naphthol. Caution is advised in using Cymbalta in patients with conditions that may slow gastric emptying (e.g., some diabetics). Drugs that raise the gastrointestinal pH may lead to an earlier release of duloxetine. However, co-administration of Cymbalta with aluminum- and magnesium-containing antacids (51 mEq) or Cymbalta with famotidine, had no significant effect on the rate or extent of duloxetine absorption after administration of a 40-mg oral dose. It is unknown whether the concomitant administration of proton pump inhibitors affects duloxetine absorption.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors—See CONTRAINDICATIONSand  WARNINGS.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Carcinogenesis— Duloxetine was administered in the diet to mice and rats for 2 years.

In female mice receiving duloxetine at 140 mg/kg/day (11 times the maximum recommended human dose [MRHD, 60 mg/day] and 6 times the human dose of 120 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis), there was an increased incidence of hepatocellular adenomas and carcinomas. The no-effect dose was 50 mg/kg/day (4 times the MRHD and 2 times the human dose of 120 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis). Tumor incidence was not increased in male mice receiving duloxetine at doses up to 100 mg/kg/day (8 times the MRHD and 4 times the human dose of 120 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis).

In rats, dietary doses of duloxetine up to 27 mg/kg/day in females (4 times the MRHD and 2 times the human dose of 120 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis) and up to 36 mg/kg/day in males (6 times the MRHD and 3 times the human dose of 120 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis) did not increase the incidence of tumors.

Mutagenesis— Duloxetine was not mutagenic in the in vitro bacterial reverse mutation assay (Ames test) and was not clastogenic in an in vivo chromosomal aberration test in mouse bone marrow cells. Additionally, duloxetine was not genotoxic in an in vitro mammalian forward gene mutation assay in mouse lymphoma cells or in an in vitro unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) assay in primary rat hepatocytes, and did not induce sister chromatid exchange in Chinese hamster bone marrow in vivo.

Impairment of Fertility— Duloxetine administered orally to either male or female rats prior to and throughout mating at doses up to 45 mg/kg/day (7 times the maximum recommended human dose of 60 mg/day and 4 times the human dose of 120 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis) did not alter mating or fertility.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C

In animal reproduction studies, duloxetine has been shown to have adverse effects on embryo/fetal and postnatal development.

When duloxetine was administered orally to pregnant rats and rabbits during the period of organogenesis, there was no evidence of teratogenicity at doses up to 45 mg/kg/day (7 times the maximum recommended human dose [MRHD, 60 mg/day] and 4 times the human dose of 120 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis, in rat; 15 times the MRHD and 7 times the human dose of 120 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis in rabbit). However, fetal weights were decreased at this dose, with a no-effect dose of 10 mg/kg/day (2 times the MRHD and ≈1 times the human dose of 120 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis in rat; 3 times the MRHD and 2 times the human dose of 120 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis in rabbits).

When duloxetine was administered orally to pregnant rats throughout gestation and lactation, the survival of pups to 1 day postpartum and pup body weights at birth and during the lactation period were decreased at a dose of 30 mg/kg/day (5 times the MRHD and 2 times the human dose of 120 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis); the no-effect dose was 10 mg/kg/day. Furthermore, behaviors consistent with increased reactivity, such as increased startle response to noise and decreased habituation of locomotor activity, were observed in pups following maternal exposure to 30 mg/kg/day. Post-weaning growth and reproductive performance of the progeny were not affected adversely by maternal duloxetine treatment.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women; therefore, duloxetine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nonteratogenic Effects

Neonates exposed to SSRIs or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), 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, Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors). When treating a pregnant woman with Cymbalta during the third trimester, the physician should carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of treatment (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Labor and Delivery

The effect of duloxetine on labor and delivery in humans is unknown. Duloxetine should be used during labor and delivery only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nursing Mothers

Duloxetine is excreted into the milk of lactating women. The estimated daily infant dose on a mg/kg basis is approximately 0.14% of the maternal dose. Because the safety of duloxetine in infants is not known, nursing while on Cymbalta is not recommended. However, if the physician determines that the benefit of duloxetine therapy for the mother outweighs any potential risk to the infant, no dosage adjustment is required as lactation did not influence duloxetine pharmacokinetics.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in the pediatric population have not been established (see BOX WARNINGand  WARNINGS, Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk). Anyone considering the use of Cymbalta in a child or adolescent must balance the potential risks with the clinical need.

Geriatric Use

Of the 2418 patients in clinical studies of Cymbalta for MDD, 5.9% (143) were 65 years of age or over. Of the 1074 patients in the DPN studies, 33% (357) were 65 years of age or over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Adverse Reactions

Cymbalta has been evaluated for safety in 2418 patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder who participated in multiple-dose premarketing trials, representing 1099 patient-years of exposure. Among these 2418 Cymbalta-treated patients, 1139 patients participated in eight 8- or 9-week, placebo-controlled trials at doses ranging from 40 to 120 mg/day, while the remaining 1279 patients were followed for up to 1 year in an open-label safety study using flexible doses from 80 to 120 mg/day. Two placebo-controlled studies with doses of 80 and 120 mg/day had 6-month maintenance extensions. Of these 2418 patients, 993 Cymbalta-treated patients were exposed for at least 180 days and 445 Cymbalta-treated patients were exposed for at least 1 year.

Cymbalta has also been evaluated for safety in 1074 patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy representing 472 patient-years of exposure. Among these 1074 Cymbalta-treated patients, 568 patients participated in two 12- to 13-week, placebo-controlled trials at doses ranging from 20 to 120 mg/day. An additional 449 patients were enrolled in an open-label safety study using 120 mg/day for a duration of 6 months. Another 57 

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