Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo. INVEGA™ (paliperidone) Extended-Release Tablets is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis (see Boxed Warning).
Paliperidone causes a modest increase in the corrected QT (QTc) interval. The use of paliperidone should be avoided in combination with other drugs that are known to prolong QTc including Class 1A (e.g., quinidine, procainamide) or Class III (e.g., amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmic medications, antipsychotic medications (e.g., chlorpromazine, thioridazine), antibiotics (e.g., gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin), or any other class of medications known to prolong the QTc interval. Paliperidone should also be avoided in patients with congenital long QT syndrome and in patients with a history of cardiac arrhythmias.
Certain circumstances may increase the risk of the occurrence of torsade de pointes and/or sudden death in association with the use of drugs that prolong the QTc interval, including (1) bradycardia; (2) hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia; (3) concomitant use of other drugs that prolong the QTc interval; and (4) presence of congenital prolongation of the QT interval.
The effects of paliperidone on the QT interval were evaluated in a double-blind, active-controlled (moxifloxacin 400 mg single dose), multicenter QT study in adults with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, and in three placebo- and active-controlled 6-week, fixed-dose efficacy trials in adults with schizophrenia.
In the QT study (n = 141), the 8 mg dose of immediate-release oral paliperidone (n=44) showed a mean placebo-subtracted increase from baseline in QTcLD of 12.3 msec (90% CI: 8.9; 15.6) on day 8 at 1.5 hours post-dose. The mean steady-state peak plasma concentration for this 8 mg dose of paliperidone immediate-release was more than twice the exposure observed with the maximum recommended 12 mg dose of INVEGA™ (Cmax ss = 113 and 45 ng/mL, respectively, when administered with a standard breakfast). In this same study, a 4 mg dose of the immediate-release oral formulation of paliperidone, for which Cmax ss = 35 ng/mL, showed an increased placebo-subtracted QTcLD of 6.8 msec (90% CI: 3.6; 10.1) on day 2 at 1.5 hours post-dose. None of the subjects had a change exceeding 60 msec or a QTcLD exceeding 500 msec at any time during this study.
For the three fixed-dose efficacy studies, electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements taken at various time points showed only one subject in the INVEGA™12 mg group had a change exceeding 60 msec at one time-point on Day 6 (increase of 62 msec). No subject receiving INVEGA™ had a QTcLD exceeding 500 msec at any time in any of these three studies.
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
A potentially fatal symptom complex sometimes referred to as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) has been reported in association with antipsychotic drugs, including paliperidone. 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. In arriving at a diagnosis, it is important to identify cases in which 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 uncomplicated NMS.
If a patient appears to require antipsychotic drug treatment after recovery from NMS, reintroduction of drug therapy should be closely monitored, since recurrences of NMS have been reported.
A syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements may 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 predict which patients will 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 appear to increase as the duration of treatment and the total cumulative dose of antipsychotic drugs administered to the patient increase, but the syndrome can develop after relatively brief treatment periods at low doses, although this is uncommon.
There is no known treatment for established tardive dyskinesia, although the syndrome may remit, partially or completely, if antipsychotic treatment is withdrawn. Antipsychotic treatment itself may suppress (or partially suppress) the signs and symptoms of the syndrome and may thus mask the underlying process. The effect of symptomatic suppression on the long-term course of the syndrome is unknown.
Given these considerations, INVEGA™ 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 is known to respond to antipsychotic drugs. 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 treated with INVEGA™, drug discontinuation should be considered. However, some patients may require treatment with INVEGA™ despite the presence of the syndrome.
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 all atypical antipsychotics. These cases were, for the most part, seen in post-marketing clinical use and epidemiologic studies, not in clinical trials, and there have been few reports of hyperglycemia or diabetes in trial subjects treated with INVEGA™. 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 INVEGA™ was not marketed at the time these studies were performed, it is not known if INVEGA™ 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.
Because the INVEGA™ tablet is non-deformable and does not appreciably change in shape in the gastrointestinal tract, INVEGA™ should ordinarily not be administered to patients with pre-existing severe gastrointestinal narrowing (pathologic or iatrogenic, for example: esophageal motility disorders, small bowel inflammatory disease, "short gut" syndrome due to adhesions or decreased transit time, past history of peritonitis, cystic fibrosis, chronic intestinal pseudoobstruction, or Meckel's diverticulum). There have been rare reports of obstructive symptoms in patients with known strictures in association with the ingestion of drugs in non-deformable controlled-release formulations. Because of the controlled-release design of the tablet, INVEGA™ should only be used in patients who are able to swallow the tablet whole (see PRECAUTIONS: Information for Patients).
A decrease in transit time, e.g., as seen with diarrhea, would be expected to decrease bioavailability and an increase in transit time, e.g., as seen with gastrointestinal neuropathy, diabetic gastroparesis, or other causes, would be expected to increase bioavailability. These changes in bioavailability are more likely when the changes in transit time occur in the upper GI tract.
Cerebrovascular Adverse Events, 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 events (cerebrovascular accidents and transient ischemic attacks) including fatalities compared to placebo-treated subjects. INVEGA™ was not marketed at the time these studies were performed. INVEGA™ is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis (see also Boxed WARNING, WARNINGS: Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis).
Orthostatic Hypotension and Syncope
Paliperidone can induce orthostatic hypotension and syncope in some patients because of its alpha-blocking activity. In pooled results of the three placebo-controlled, 6-week, fixed-dose trials, syncope was reported in 0.8% (7/850) of subjects treated with INVEGA™ (3, 6, 9, 12 mg) compared to 0.3% (1/355) of subjects treated with placebo. INVEGA™ should be used with caution in patients with known cardiovascular disease (e.g., heart failure, history of myocardial infarction or ischemia, conduction abnormalities), cerebrovascular disease, or conditions that predispose the patient to hypotension (dehydration, hypovolemia, and treatment with antihypertensive medications). Monitoring of orthostatic vital signs should be considered in patients who are vulnerable to hypotension.
During premarketing clinical trials (the three placebo-controlled, 6-week, fixed-dose studies and a study conducted in elderly schizophrenic subjects), seizures occurred in 0.22% of subjects treated with INVEGA™ (3, 6, 9, 12 mg) and 0.25% of subjects treated with placebo. Like other antipsychotic drugs, INVEGA™ should be used cautiously in patients with a history of seizures or other conditions that potentially lower the seizure threshold. Conditions that lower the seizure threshold may be more prevalent in patients 65 years or older.
Like other drugs that antagonize dopamine D2 receptors, paliperidone elevates prolactin levels and the elevation persists during chronic administration. Paliperidone has a prolactin-elevating effect similar to that seen with risperidone, a drug that is associated with higher levels of prolactin than other antipsychotic drugs.
Hyperprolactinemia, regardless of etiology, 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 in patients receiving prolactin-elevating compounds. Long-standing hyperprolactinemia when associated with hypogonadism may lead to decreased bone density in both female and male subjects.
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. An increase in the incidence of pituitary gland, mammary gland, and pancreatic islet cell neoplasia (mammary adenocarcinomas, pituitary and pancreatic adenomas) was observed in the risperidone carcinogenicity studies conducted in mice and rats (see PRECAUTIONS: Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility). 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.
Esophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with antipsychotic drug use. Aspiration pneumonia is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with advanced Alzheimer's dementia. INVEGA™ and other antipsychotic drugs should be used cautiously in patients at risk for aspiration pneumonia.
The possibility of suicide attempt is inherent in psychotic illnesses, and close supervision of high-risk patients should accompany drug therapy. Prescriptions for INVEGA™ should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets consistent with good patient management in order to reduce the risk of overdose.
Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment
Somnolence and sedation were reported in subjects treated with INVEGA™ (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Antipsychotics, including INVEGA™, have the potential to impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills. Patients should be cautioned about performing activities requiring mental alertness, such as operating hazardous machinery or operating a motor vehicle, until they are reasonably certain that paliperidone therapy does not adversely affect them.
Drugs with alpha-adrenergic blocking effects have been reported to induce priapism. Although no cases of priapism have been reported in clinical trials with INVEGA™, paliperidone shares this pharmacologic activity and, therefore, may be associated with this risk. Severe priapism may require surgical intervention.
Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (TTP)
No cases of TTP were observed during clinical studies with paliperidone. Although cases of TTP have been reported in association with risperidone administration, the relationship to risperidone therapy is unknown.
Body Temperature Regulation
Disruption of the body's ability to reduce core body temperature has been attributed to antipsychotic agents. Appropriate care is advised when prescribing INVEGA™ to patients who will be experiencing conditions which 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.
An antiemetic effect was observed in preclinical studies with paliperidone. This effect, if it occurs in humans, may mask the signs and symptoms of overdosage with certain drugs or of conditions such as intestinal obstruction, Reye's syndrome, and brain tumor.
Use in Patients with Concomitant Illness
Clinical experience with INVEGA™ in patients with certain concomitant illnesses is limited (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Pharmacokinetics: Special Populations: Hepatic Impairment and Renal Impairment).
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.
INVEGA™ has not been evaluated or used to any appreciable extent in patients with a recent history of myocardial infarction or unstable heart disease. Patients with these diagnoses were excluded from premarketing clinical trials. Because of the risk of orthostatic hypotension with INVEGA™, caution should be observed in patients with known cardiovascular disease (see PRECAUTIONS: General: Orthostatic Hypotension and Syncope).
Information for Patients
Physicians are advised to discuss the following issues with patients for whom they prescribe INVEGA™.
Patients should be advised that there is risk of orthostatic hypotension, particularly at the time of initiating treatment, re-initiating treatment, or increasing the dose.
Interference With Cognitive and Motor Performance
As INVEGA™ has the potential to impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills, patients should be cautioned about operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that INVEGA™ therapy does not affect them adversely.
Patients should be advised to notify their physician if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during treatment with INVEGA™.
Patients should be advised not to breast-feed an infant if they are taking INVEGA™.
Patients should be advised to inform their physicians if they are taking, or plan to take, any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, as there is a potential for interactions.
Patients should be advised to avoid alcohol while taking INVEGA™.
Heat Exposure and Dehydration
Patients should be advised regarding appropriate care in avoiding overheating and dehydration.
Patients should be informed that INVEGA™ should be swallowed whole with the aid of liquids. Tablets should not be chewed, divided, or crushed. The medication is contained within a nonabsorbable shell designed to release the drug at a controlled rate. The tablet shell, along with insoluble core components, is eliminated from the body; patients should not be concerned if they occasionally notice something that looks like a tablet in their stool.
No specific laboratory tests are recommended.
Potential for INVEGA™ to Affect Other Drugs
Paliperidone is not expected to cause clinically important pharmacokinetic interactions with drugs that are metabolized by cytochrome P450 isozymes. In vitro studies in human liver microsomes showed that paliperidone does not substantially inhibit the metabolism of drugs metabolized by cytochrome P450 isozymes, including CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2C8/9/10, CYP2D6, CYP2E1, CYP3A4, and CYP3A5. Therefore, paliperidone is not expected to inhibit clearance of drugs that are metabolized by these metabolic pathways in a clinically relevant manner. Paliperidone is also not expected to have enzyme inducing properties.
At therapeutic concentrations, paliperidone did not inhibit P-glycoprotein. Paliperidone is therefore not expected to inhibit P-glycoprotein-mediated transport of other drugs in a clinically relevant manner.
Given the primary CNS effects of paliperidone (see ADVERSE REACTIONS), INVEGA™ should be used with caution in combination with other centrally acting drugs and alcohol. Paliperidone may antagonize the effect of levodopa and other dopamine agonists.
Because of its potential for inducing orthostatic hypotension,an additive effect may be observed when INVEGA™ is administered with other therapeutic agents that have this potential (see PRECAUTIONS: General: Orthostatic Hypotension and Syncope).
Potential for Other Drugs to Affect INVEGA™
Paliperidone is not a substrate of CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2C9, and CYP2C19, so that an interaction with inhibitors or inducers of these isozymes is unlikely. While in vitro studies indicate that CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 may be minimally involved in paliperidone metabolism, in vivo studies do not show decreased elimination by these isozymes and they contribute to only a small fraction of total body clearance.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Carcinogenicity studies of paliperidone have not been performed.
Carcinogenicity studies of risperidone, which is extensively converted to paliperidone in rats, mice, and humans, were conducted in Swiss albino mice and Wistar rats. Risperidone was administered in the diet at daily doses of 0.63, 2.5, and 10 mg/kg for 18 months to mice and for 25 months to rats. A maximum tolerated dose was not achieved in male mice. There were statistically significant increases in pituitary gland adenomas, endocrine pancreas adenomas, and mammary gland adenocarcinomas. The no-effect dose for these tumors was less than or equal to the maximum recommended human dose of risperidone on a mg/m2 basis (see risperidone package insert). An increase in mammary, pituitary, and endocrine pancreas neoplasms has been found in rodents after chronic administration of other antipsychotic drugs and is considered to be mediated by prolonged dopamine D2 antagonism and hyperprolactinemia. The relevance of these tumor findings in rodents in terms of human risk is unknown (see PRECAUTIONS: General: Hyperprolactinemia).
No evidence of genotoxic potential for paliperidone was found in the Ames reverse mutation test, the mouse lymphoma assay, or the in vivo rat micronucleus test.
Impairment of Fertility
In a study of fertility, the percentage of treated female rats that became pregnant was not affected at oral doses of paliperidone of up to 2.5 mg/kg/day. However, pre- and post-implantation loss was increased, and the number of live embryos was slightly decreased, at 2.5 mg/kg, a dose that also caused slight maternal toxicity. These parameters were not affected at a dose of 0.63 mg/kg, which is half of the maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis.
The fertility of male rats was not affected at oral doses of paliperidone of up to 2.5 mg/kg/day, although sperm count and sperm viability studies were not conducted with paliperidone. In a subchronic study in Beagle dogs with risperidone, which is extensively converted to paliperidone in dogs and humans, all doses tested (0.31–5.0 mg/kg) resulted in decreases in serum testosterone and in sperm motility and concentration. Serum testosterone and sperm parameters partially recovered, but remained decreased after the last observation (two months after treatment was discontinued).
Pregnancy Category C
In studies in rats and rabbits in which paliperidone was given orally during the period of organogenesis, there were no increases in fetal abnormalities up to the highest doses tested (10 mg/kg/day in rats and 5 mg/kg/day in rabbits, which are 8 times the maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis).
In rat reproduction studies with risperidone, which is extensively converted to paliperidone in rats and humans, increases in pup deaths were seen at oral doses which are less than the maximum recommended human dose of risperidone on a mg/m2 basis (see risperidone package insert).
Use of first generation antipsychotic drugs during the last trimester of pregnancy has been associated with extrapyramidal symptoms in the neonate. These symptoms are usually self-limited. It is not known whether paliperidone, when taken near the end of pregnancy, will lead to similar neonatal signs and symptoms.
There are no adequate and well controlled studies of INVEGA™ in pregnant women. INVEGA™ should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Labor and Delivery
The effect of INVEGA™ on labor and delivery in humans is unknown.
In animal studies with paliperidone and in human studies with risperidone, paliperidone was excreted in the milk.Therefore, women receiving INVEGA™ should not breast-feed infants.
Safety and effectiveness of INVEGA™ in patients< 18 years of age have not been established.
The safety, tolerability, and efficacy of INVEGA™ were evaluated in a 6-week placebo-controlled study of 114 elderly subjects with schizophrenia (65 years of age and older, of whom 21 were 75 years of age and older). In this study, subjects received flexible doses of INVEGA™ (3 to 12 mg once daily). In addition, a small number of subjects 65 years of age and older were included in the 6-week placebo-controlled studies in which adult schizophrenic subjects received fixed doses of INVEGA™ (3 to 15 mg once daily, see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Clinical Trials).
Overall, of the total number of subjects in clinical studies of INVEGA™ (n = 1796), including those who received INVEGA™ or placebo, 125 (7.0%) were 65 years of age and older and 22 (1.2%) were 75 years of age and older. 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 response between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
This drug is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney and clearance is decreased in patients with moderate to severe renal impairment (see CLINICAL PPHARMACOLOGY: Pharmacokinetics: Special Populations: Renal Impairment), who should be given reduced doses. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION: Dosing in Special Populations).