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Perphenazine and Amitriptyline (Perphenazine / Amitriptyline Hydrochloride) - Description and Clinical Pharmacology



Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Analyses of seventeen placebo-controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks), largely in patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, revealed a risk of death in drug-treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times the risk of death in placebo-treated patients. Over the course of a typical 10-week controlled trial, the rate of death in drug-treated patients was about 4.5%, compared to a rate of about 2.6% in the placebo group. Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (e.g., heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g., pneumonia) in nature. Observational studies suggest that, similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs, treatment with conventional antipsychotic drugs may increase mortality. The extent to which the findings of increased mortality in observational studies may be attributed to the antipsychotic drug as opposed to some characteristic(s) of the patients is not clear. Perphenazine and amitriptyline hydrochloride is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis (see WARNINGS).

Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs

Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of perphenazine and amitriptyline or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Perphenazine and amitriptyline hydrochloride is not approved for use in pediatric patients. (See WARNINGS: Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk, PRECAUTIONS: Information for Patients and PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric Use.)


Perphenazine and amitriptyline hydrochloride, a broad spectrum psychotherapeutic agent for the management of outpatients and hospitalized patients with psychoses or neuroses characterized by mixtures of anxiety or agitation with symptoms of depression, is a combination of perphenazine and amitriptyline hydrochloride. Since such mixed syndromes can occur in patients with various degrees of intensity of mental illness, perphenazine and amitriptyline hydrochloride tablets are provided in multiple combinations to afford dosage flexibility for optimum management.

Perphenazine is a phenothiazine derivative. The formula is 4-[3-(2-chloro-10 H -phenothiazin-10yl) propyl]-piperazineethanol. Perphenazine, USP is a white, odorless, bitter tasting powder that is insoluble in water. The molecular weight is 403.97. Its structural formula is:

Amitriptyline is a dibenzocycloheptadiene derivative. The formula is 10,11-dihydro- N, N -dimethyl-5 H -dibenzo[a,d]cycloheptene-∆5,γ -propylamine hydrochloride. Amitriptyline hydrochloride, USP is a white, odorless, crystalline compound which is freely soluble in water. The molecular weight is 313.87. Its structural formula is:

Each tablet for oral administration contains the following inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, pregelatinized starch (corn), sodium lauryl sulfate and titanium dioxide.

The following additional product specific inactive ingredients are employed:

2 mg/10 mg - hydroxypropyl cellulose
2 mg/25 mg - hydroxypropyl cellulose
4 mg/10 mg - polysorbate 80
4 mg/25 mg - hydroxypropyl cellulose
4 mg/50 mg - hydroxypropyl cellulose

The following product specific coloring agents are employed:

2 mg/10 mg - calcium sulfate, talc
2 mg/25 mg - D&C Red No. 7 Calcium Lake, FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake
4 mg/10 mg - FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake
4 mg/25 mg - FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake
4 mg/50 mg - D&C Red No. 7 Calcium Lake, FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake



In common with all members of the piperazine group of phenothiazine derivatives, perphenazine has greater behavioral potency than phenothiazine derivatives of other groups without a corresponding increase in autonomic, hematologic, or hepatic side effects.

Extrapyramidal effects, however, may occur more frequently. These effects are interpreted as neuropharmacologic. They usually regress after discontinuation of the drug.

Perphenazine is a potent tranquilizer and also a potent antiemetic. Orally, its milligram potency is about 5 or 6 times that of chlorpromazine with respect to behavioral effects. It is capable of alleviating symptoms of anxiety, tension, psychomotor excitement, and other manifestations of emotional stress without apparent dulling of mental acuity.

Amitriptyline Hydrochloride

Amitriptyline hydrochloride is an antidepressant with sedative effects. Its mechanism of action in man is not known. It is not a monoamine oxidase inhibitor and it does not act primarily by stimulation of the central nervous system.

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