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Zyprexa (Olanzapine) - Warnings and Precautions

 
 



BOXED WARNING

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. ZYPREXA (olanzapine) is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.14) and Patient Counseling Information].

When using ZYPREXA and fluoxetine in combination, also refer to the Boxed Warning section of the package insert for Symbyax.

 

 

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

When using ZYPREXA and fluoxetine in combination, also refer to the Warnings and Precautions section of the package insert for Symbyax.

 

Increased Mortality — Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. ZYPREXA is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions and Patient Counseling Information].

In placebo-controlled clinical trials of elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis, the incidence of death in olanzapine-treated patients was significantly greater than placebo-treated patients (3.5% vs 1.5%, respectively).

 

Cerebrovascular Adverse Events (CVAE), Including Stroke — Cerebrovascular adverse events (e.g., stroke, transient ischemic attack), including fatalities, were reported in patients in trials of olanzapine in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis. In placebo-controlled trials, there was a significantly higher incidence of cerebrovascular adverse events in patients treated with olanzapine compared to patients treated with placebo. Olanzapine is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see Boxed Warning and Patient Counseling Information ].

 

The possibility of a suicide attempt is inherent in schizophrenia and in bipolar I disorder, and close supervision of high-risk patients should accompany drug therapy. Prescriptions for olanzapine should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

 

A potentially fatal symptom complex sometimes referred to as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) has been reported in association with administration of antipsychotic drugs, including olanzapine. 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 creatinine 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 exclude cases where 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 NMS.

If a patient requires antipsychotic drug treatment after recovery from NMS, the potential reintroduction of drug therapy should be carefully considered. The patient should be carefully monitored, since recurrences of NMS have been reported [see Patient Counseling Information].

 

Physicians should consider the risks and benefits when prescribing olanzapine to patients with an established diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, or having borderline increased blood glucose level (fasting 100-126 mg/dL, nonfasting 140-200 mg/dL). Patients taking olanzapine should be monitored regularly for worsening of glucose control. Patients starting treatment with olanzapine 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 [see Patient Counseling Information ].

Hyperglycemia, in some cases extreme and associated with ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar coma or death, has been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics including olanzapine. 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. Epidemiological studies suggest an increased risk of treatment-emergent hyperglycemia-related adverse reactions in patients treated with the atypical antipsychotics. While relative risk estimates are inconsistent, the association between atypical antipsychotics and increases in glucose levels appears to fall on a continuum and olanzapine appears to have a greater association than some other atypical antipsychotics.

Mean increases in blood glucose have been observed in patients treated (median exposure of 9.2 months) with olanzapine in phase 1 of the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE). The mean increase of serum glucose (fasting and nonfasting samples) from baseline to the average of the 2 highest serum concentrations was 15.0 mg/dL.

In a study of healthy volunteers, subjects who received olanzapine (N=22) for 3 weeks had a mean increase compared to baseline in fasting blood glucose of 2.3 mg/dL. Placebo-treated subjects (N=19) had a mean increase in fasting blood glucose compared to baseline of 0.34 mg/dL.

 

Olanzapine Monotherapy in Adults — In an analysis of 5 placebo-controlled adult olanzapine monotherapy studies with a median treatment duration of approximately 3 weeks, olanzapine was associated with a greater mean change in fasting glucose levels compared to placebo (2.76 mg/dL versus 0.17 mg/dL). The difference in mean changes between olanzapine and placebo was greater in patients with evidence of glucose dysregulation at baseline (patients diagnosed with diabetes mellitus or related adverse reactions, patients treated with anti-diabetic agents, patients with a baseline random glucose level ≥200 mg/dL, and/or a baseline fasting glucose level ≥126 mg/dL). Olanzapine-treated patients had a greater mean HbA1c increase from baseline of 0.04% (median exposure 21 days), compared to a mean HbA1c decrease of 0.06% in placebo-treated subjects (median exposure 17 days).

In an analysis of 8 placebo-controlled studies (median treatment exposure 4-5 weeks), 6.1% of olanzapine-treated subjects (N=855) had treatment-emergent glycosuria compared to 2.8% of placebo-treated subjects (N=599). Table 2 shows short-term and long-term changes in fasting glucose levels from adult olanzapine monotherapy studies.

Table 2: Changes in Fasting Glucose Levels from Adult Olanzapine Monotherapy Studies
  Up to 12 weeks exposure At least 48 weeks exposure
Laboratory Analyte Category Change (at least once)
from Baseline
Treatment Arm N Patients N Patients
Fasting
Glucose
Normal to High
(<100 mg/dL to ≥126 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 543 2.2% 345 12.8%
Placebo 293 3.4% NAa NAa
Borderline to High
(≥100 mg/dL and <126 mg/dL to ≥126 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 178 17.4% 127 26.0%
Placebo 96 11.5% NAa NAa

a Not Applicable.

The mean change in fasting glucose for patients exposed at least 48 weeks was 4.2 mg/dL (N=487). In analyses of patients who completed 9-12 months of olanzapine therapy, mean change in fasting and nonfasting glucose levels continued to increase over time.

 

Olanzapine Monotherapy in Adolescents — The safety and efficacy of olanzapine have not been established in patients under the age of 13 years. In an analysis of 3 placebo-controlled olanzapine monotherapy studies of adolescent patients, including those with schizophrenia (6 weeks) or bipolar I disorder (manic or mixed episodes) (3 weeks), olanzapine was associated with a greater mean change from baseline in fasting glucose levels compared to placebo (2.68 mg/dL versus -2.59 mg/dL). The mean change in fasting glucose for adolescents exposed at least 24 weeks was 3.1 mg/dL (N=121). Table 3 shows short-term and long-term changes in fasting blood glucose from adolescent olanzapine monotherapy studies.

Table 3: Changes in Fasting Glucose Levels from Adolescent Olanzapine Monotherapy Studies
  Up to 12 weeks exposure At least 24 weeks exposure
Laboratory Analyte Category Change (at least once)
from Baseline
Treatment Arm N Patients N Patients
Fasting
Glucose
Normal to High
(<100 mg/dL to ≥126 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 124 0% 108 0.9%
Placebo 53 1.9% NAa NAa
Borderline to High
(≥100 mg/dL and <126 mg/dL to ≥126 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 14 14.3% 13 23.1%
Placebo 13 0% NAa NAa

a Not Applicable.

Undesirable alterations in lipids have been observed with olanzapine use. Clinical monitoring, including baseline and periodic follow-up lipid evaluations in patients using olanzapine, is recommended [see Patient Counseling Information].

Clinically significant, and sometimes very high (>500 mg/dL), elevations in triglyceride levels have been observed with olanzapine use. Modest mean increases in total cholesterol have also been seen with olanzapine use.

 

Olanzapine Monotherapy in Adults — In an analysis of 5 placebo-controlled olanzapine monotherapy studies with treatment duration up to 12 weeks, olanzapine-treated patients had increases from baseline in mean fasting total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides of 5.3 mg/dL, 3.0 mg/dL, and 20.8 mg/dL respectively compared to decreases from baseline in mean fasting total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides of 6.1 mg/dL, 4.3 mg/dL, and 10.7 mg/dL for placebo-treated patients. For fasting HDL cholesterol, no clinically meaningful differences were observed between olanzapine-treated patients and placebo-treated patients. Mean increases in fasting lipid values (total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides) were greater in patients without evidence of lipid dysregulation at baseline, where lipid dysregulation was defined as patients diagnosed with dyslipidemia or related adverse reactions, patients treated with lipid lowering agents, or patients with high baseline lipid levels.

In long-term studies (at least 48 weeks), patients had increases from baseline in mean fasting total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides of 5.6 mg/dL, 2.5 mg/dL, and 18.7 mg/dL, respectively, and a mean decrease in fasting HDL cholesterol of 0.16 mg/dL. In an analysis of patients who completed 12 months of therapy, the mean nonfasting total cholesterol did not increase further after approximately 4-6 months.

The proportion of patients who had changes (at least once) in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol or triglycerides from normal or borderline to high, or changes in HDL cholesterol from normal or borderline to low, was greater in long-term studies (at least 48 weeks) as compared with short-term studies. Table 4 shows categorical changes in fasting lipids values.

Table 4: Changes in Fasting Lipids Values from Adult Olanzapine Monotherapy Studies
  Up to 12 weeks exposure At least 48 weeks exposure
Laboratory Analyte Category Change (at least once)
from Baseline
Treatment Arm
N

Patients

N

Patients
Fasting
Triglycerides
Increase by ≥50 mg/dL Olanzapine 745 39.6% 487 61.4%
Placebo 402 26.1% NAa NAa
Normal to High
(<150 mg/dL to ≥200 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 457 9.2% 293 32.4%
Placebo 251 4.4% NAa NAa
Borderline to High
(≥150 mg/dL and <200 mg/dL to ≥200 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 135 39.3% 75 70.7%
Placebo 65 20.0% NAa NAa
 
Fasting Total
Cholesterol
Increase by ≥40 mg/dL Olanzapine 745 21.6% 489 32.9%
Placebo 402 9.5% NAa NAa
Normal to High
(<200 mg/dL to ≥240 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 392 2.8% 283 14.8%
Placebo 207 2.4% NAa NAa
Borderline to High
(≥200 mg/dL and <240 mg/dL to ≥240 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 222 23.0% 125 55.2%
Placebo 112 12.5% NAa NAa
 
Fasting LDL
Cholesterol
Increase by ≥30 mg/dL Olanzapine 536 23.7% 483 39.8%
Placebo 304 14.1% NAa NAa
Normal to High
(<100 mg/dL to ≥160 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 154 0% 123 7.3%
Placebo 82 1.2% NAa NAa
Borderline to High
(≥100 mg/dL and <160 mg/dL to ≥160 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 302 10.6% 284 31.0%
Placebo 173 8.1% NAa NAa

a Not Applicable.

In phase 1 of the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE), over a median exposure of 9.2 months, the mean increase in triglycerides in patients taking olanzapine was 40.5 mg/dL. In phase 1 of CATIE, the mean increase in total cholesterol was 9.4 mg/dL.

 

Olanzapine Monotherapy in Adolescents — The safety and efficacy of olanzapine have not been established in patients under the age of 13 years. In an analysis of 3 placebo-controlled olanzapine monotherapy studies of adolescents, including those with schizophrenia (6 weeks) or bipolar I disorder (manic or mixed episodes) (3 weeks), olanzapine-treated adolescents had increases from baseline in mean fasting total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides of 12.9 mg/dL, 6.5 mg/dL, and 28.4 mg/dL, respectively, compared to increases from baseline in mean fasting total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol of 1.3 mg/dL and 1.0 mg/dL, and a decrease in triglycerides of 1.1 mg/dL for placebo-treated adolescents. For fasting HDL cholesterol, no clinically meaningful differences were observed between olanzapine-treated adolescents and placebo-treated adolescents.

In long-term studies (at least 24 weeks), adolescents had increases from baseline in mean fasting total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides of 5.5 mg/dL, 5.4 mg/dL, and 20.5 mg/dL, respectively, and a mean decrease in fasting HDL cholesterol of 4.5 mg/dL. Table 5 shows categorical changes in fasting lipids values in adolescents.

Table 5: Changes in Fasting Lipids Values from Adolescent Olanzapine Monotherapy Studies
  Up to 6 weeks exposure At least 24 weeks exposure
Laboratory Analyte Category Change (at least once)
from Baseline
Treatment Arm
N

Patients

N

Patients
Fasting
Triglycerides
Increase by ≥50 mg/dL Olanzapine 138 37.0% 122 45.9%
Placebo 66 15.2% NAa NAa
Normal to High
(<90 mg/dL to >130 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 67 26.9% 66 36.4%
Placebo 28 10.7% NAa NAa
Borderline to High
(≥90 mg/dL and ≤130 mg/dL to >130 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 37 59.5% 31 64.5%
Placebo 17 35.3% NAa NAa
 
Fasting Total
Cholesterol
Increase by ≥40 mg/dL Olanzapine 138 14.5% 122 14.8%
Placebo 66 4.5% NAa NAa
Normal to High
(<170 mg/dL to ≥200 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 87 6.9% 78 7.7%
Placebo 43 2.3% NAa NAa
Borderline to High
(≥170 mg/dL and <200 mg/dL to ≥200 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 36 38.9% 33 57.6%
Placebo 13 7.7% NAa NAa
 
Fasting LDL
Cholesterol
Increase by ≥30 mg/dL Olanzapine 137 17.5% 121 22.3%
Placebo 63 11.1% NAa NAa
Normal to High
(<110 mg/dL to ≥130 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 98 5.1% 92 10.9%
Placebo 44 4.5% NAa NAa
Borderline to High
(≥110 mg/dL and <130 mg/dL to ≥130 mg/dL)
Olanzapine 29 48.3% 21 47.6%
Placebo 9 0% NAa NAa

a Not Applicable.

Potential consequences of weight gain should be considered prior to starting olanzapine. Patients receiving olanzapine should receive regular monitoring of weight [see Patient Counseling Information ].

 

Olanzapine Monotherapy in Adults — In an analysis of 13 placebo-controlled olanzapine monotherapy studies, olanzapine-treated patients gained an average of 2.6 kg (5.7 lb) compared to an average 0.3 kg (0.6 lb) weight loss in placebo-treated patients with a median exposure of 6 weeks; 22.2% of olanzapine-treated patients gained at least 7% of their baseline weight, compared to 3% of placebo-treated patients, with a median exposure to event of 8 weeks; 4.2% of olanzapine-treated patients gained at least 15% of their baseline weight, compared to 0.3% of placebo-treated patients, with a median exposure to event of 12 weeks. Clinically significant weight gain was observed across all baseline Body Mass Index (BMI) categories. Discontinuation due to weight gain occurred in 0.2% of olanzapine-treated patients and in 0% of placebo-treated patients.

In long-term studies (at least 48 weeks), the mean weight gain was 5.6 kg (12.3 lb) (median exposure of 573 days, N=2021). The percentages of patients who gained at least 7%, 15%, or 25% of their baseline body weight with long-term exposure were 64%, 32%, and 12%, respectively. Discontinuation due to weight gain occurred in 0.4% of olanzapine-treated patients following at least 48 weeks of exposure.

Table 6 includes data on adult weight gain with olanzapine pooled from 86 clinical trials. The data in each column represent data for those patients who completed treatment periods of the durations specified.

Table 6: Weight Gain with Olanzapine Use in Adults
Amount Gained
kg (lb)
6 Weeks
(N=7465)
(%)
6 Months
(N=4162)
(%)
12 Months
(N=1345)
(%)
24 Months
(N=474)
(%)
36 Months
(N=147)
(%)
≤0 26.2 24.3 20.8 23.2 17.0
0 to ≤5 (0-11 lb) 57.0 36.0 26.0 23.4 25.2
>5 to ≤10 (11-22 lb) 14.9 24.6 24.2 24.1 18.4
>10 to ≤15 (22-33 lb) 1.8 10.9 14.9 11.4 17.0
>15 to ≤20 (33-44 lb) 0.1 3.1 8.6 9.3 11.6
>20 to ≤25 (44-55 lb) 0 0.9 3.3 5.1 4.1
>25 to ≤30 (55-66 lb) 0 0.2 1.4 2.3 4.8
>30 (>66 lb) 0 0.1 0.8 1.2 2

Olanzapine Monotherapy in Adolescents — The safety and efficacy of olanzapine have not been established in patients under the age of 13 years. Mean increase in weight in adolescents was greater than in adults. In 4 placebo-controlled trials, discontinuation due to weight gain occurred in 1% of olanzapine-treated patients, compared to 0% of placebo-treated patients.

Table 7: Weight Gain with Olanzapine Use in Adolescents from 4 Placebo-Controlled Trials
Olanzapine-treated patients Placebo-treated patients
Mean change in body weight from baseline (median exposure = 3 weeks) 4.6 kg (10.1 lb) 0.3 kg (0.7 lb)
Percentage of patients who gained at least 7% of baseline body weight 40.6% 9.8%
(median exposure to 7% = 4 weeks) (median exposure to 7% = 8 weeks)
Percentage of patients who gained at least 15% of baseline body weight 7.1% 2.7%
(median exposure to 15% = 19 weeks) (median exposure to 15% = 8 weeks)

In long-term studies (at least 24 weeks), the mean weight gain was 11.2 kg (24.6 lb); (median exposure of 201 days, N=179). The percentages of adolescents who gained at least 7%, 15%, or 25% of their baseline body weight with long-term exposure were 89%, 55%, and 29%, respectively. Among adolescent patients, mean weight gain by baseline BMI category was 11.5 kg (25.3 lb), 12.1 kg (26.6 lb), and 12.7 kg (27.9 lb), respectively, for normal (N=106), overweight (N=26) and obese (N=17). Discontinuation due to weight gain occurred in 2.2% of olanzapine-treated patients following at least 24 weeks of exposure.

Table 8 shows data on adolescent weight gain with olanzapine pooled from 6 clinical trials. The data in each column represent data for those patients who completed treatment periods of the durations specified. Little clinical trial data is available on weight gain in adolescents with olanzapine beyond 6 months of treatment.

Table 8: Weight Gain with Olanzapine Use in Adolescents
Amount Gained
kg (lb)
6 Weeks
(N=243)
(%)
6 Months
(N=191)
(%)
≤0 2.9 2.1
0 to ≤5 (0-11 lb) 47.3 24.6
>5 to ≤10 (11-22 lb) 42.4 26.7
>10 to ≤15 (22-33 lb) 5.8 22.0
>15 to ≤20 (33-44 lb) 0.8 12.6
>20 to ≤25 (44-55 lb) 0.8 9.4
>25 to ≤30 (55-66 lb) 0 2.1
>30 to ≤35 (66-77 lb) 0 0
>35 to ≤40 (77-88 lb) 0 0
>40 (>88 lb) 0 0.5

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 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 or may even arise after discontinuation of treatment.

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, olanzapine 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 (1) who suffer from a chronic illness that 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 olanzapine, drug discontinuation should be considered. However, some patients may require treatment with olanzapine despite the presence of the syndrome.

For specific information about the warnings of lithium or valproate, refer to the Warnings section of the package inserts for these other products.

 

Olanzapine may induce orthostatic hypotension associated with dizziness, tachycardia, bradycardia and, in some patients, syncope, especially during the initial dose-titration period, probably reflecting its α1-adrenergic antagonistic properties [see Patient Counseling Information].

For oral olanzapine therapy, the risk of orthostatic hypotension and syncope may be minimized by initiating therapy with 5 mg QD [see Dosage and Administration (2)]. A more gradual titration to the target dose should be considered if hypotension occurs.

Hypotension, bradycardia with or without hypotension, tachycardia, and syncope were also reported during the clinical trials with intramuscular olanzapine for injection. In an open-label clinical pharmacology study in nonagitated patients with schizophrenia in which the safety and tolerability of intramuscular olanzapine were evaluated under a maximal dosing regimen (three 10 mg doses administered 4 hours apart), approximately one-third of these patients experienced a significant orthostatic decrease in systolic blood pressure (i.e., decrease ≥30 mmHg) [see Dosage and Administration ]. Syncope was reported in 0.6% (15/2500) of olanzapine-treated patients in phase 2-3 oral olanzapine studies and in 0.3% (2/722) of olanzapine-treated patients with agitation in the intramuscular olanzapine for injection studies. Three normal volunteers in phase 1 studies with intramuscular olanzapine experienced hypotension, bradycardia, and sinus pauses of up to 6 seconds that spontaneously resolved (in 2 cases the reactions occurred on intramuscular olanzapine, and in 1 case, on oral olanzapine). The risk for this sequence of hypotension, bradycardia, and sinus pause may be greater in nonpsychiatric patients compared to psychiatric patients who are possibly more adapted to certain effects of psychotropic drugs. For intramuscular olanzapine for injection therapy, patients should remain recumbent if drowsy or dizzy after injection until examination has indicated that they are not experiencing postural hypotension, bradycardia, and/or hypoventilation.

Olanzapine should be used with particular caution in patients with known cardiovascular disease (history of myocardial infarction or ischemia, heart failure, or conduction abnormalities), cerebrovascular disease, and conditions which would predispose patients to hypotension (dehydration, hypovolemia, and treatment with antihypertensive medications) where the occurrence of syncope, or hypotension and/or bradycardia might put the patient at increased medical risk.

Caution is necessary in patients who receive treatment with other drugs having effects that can induce hypotension, bradycardia, respiratory or central nervous system depression [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Concomitant administration of intramuscular olanzapine and parenteral benzodiazepine is not recommended due to the potential for excessive sedation and cardiorespiratory depression.

 

Class Effect — In clinical trial and/or postmarketing experience, events of leukopenia/neutropenia have been reported temporally related to antipsychotic agents, including ZYPREXA. Agranulocytosis has also been reported.

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 history of a clinically significant low WBC or drug induced leukopenia/neutropenia should have their complete blood count (CBC) monitored frequently during the first few months of therapy and discontinuation of ZYPREXA should be considered at the first sign of a clinically significant decline in WBC in the absence of other causative factors.

Patients with clinically significant 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 ZYPREXA and have their WBC followed until recovery.

 

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 disease. Olanzapine is not approved for the treatment of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

 

During premarketing testing, seizures occurred in 0.9% (22/2500) of olanzapine-treated patients. There were confounding factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of seizures in many of these cases. Olanzapine should be used cautiously in patients with a history of seizures or with conditions that potentially lower the seizure threshold, e.g., Alzheimer's dementia. Olanzapine is not approved for the treatment of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Conditions that lower the seizure threshold may be more prevalent in a population of 65 years or older.

 

Somnolence was a commonly reported adverse reaction associated with olanzapine treatment, occurring at an incidence of 26% in olanzapine patients compared to 15% in placebo patients. This adverse reaction was also dose related. Somnolence led to discontinuation in 0.4% (9/2500) of patients in the premarketing database.

Since olanzapine 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 olanzapine therapy does not affect them adversely [see Patient Counseling Information ].

 

Disruption of the body's ability to reduce core body temperature has been attributed to antipsychotic agents. Appropriate care is advised when prescribing olanzapine for 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 [see Patient Counseling Information].

 

Clinical experience with olanzapine in patients with certain concomitant systemic illnesses is limited [see Clinical Pharmacology ].

Olanzapine exhibits in vitro muscarinic receptor affinity. In premarketing clinical trials with olanzapine, olanzapine was associated with constipation, dry mouth, and tachycardia, all adverse reactions possibly related to cholinergic antagonism. Such adverse reactions were not often the basis for discontinuations from olanzapine, but olanzapine should be used with caution in patients with clinically significant prostatic hypertrophy, narrow angle glaucoma, or a history of paralytic ileus or related conditions.

In 5 placebo-controlled studies of olanzapine in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis (n=1184), the following treatment-emergent adverse reactions were reported in olanzapine-treated patients at an incidence of at least 2% and significantly greater than placebo-treated patients: falls, somnolence, peripheral edema, abnormal gait, urinary incontinence, lethargy, increased weight, asthenia, pyrexia, pneumonia, dry mouth and visual hallucinations. The rate of discontinuation due to adverse reactions was greater with olanzapine than placebo (13% vs 7%). Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with olanzapine are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo. Olanzapine is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.1), and Patient Counseling Information].

Olanzapine 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 studies. Because of the risk of orthostatic hypotension with olanzapine, caution should be observed in cardiac patients [see Warnings and Precautions ].

 

As with other drugs that antagonize dopamine D2 receptors, olanzapine elevates prolactin levels, and the elevation persists during chronic administration. Hyperprolactinemia may suppress hypothalamic GnRH, resulting in reduced pituitary gonadotropin 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 contemplated 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 the olanzapine carcinogenicity studies conducted in mice and rats [see Nonclinical Toxicology]. 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; the available evidence is considered too limited to be conclusive at this time.

In placebo-controlled olanzapine clinical studies (up to 12 weeks), changes from normal to high in prolactin concentrations were observed in 30% of adults treated with olanzapine as compared to 10.5% of adults treated with placebo. In a pooled analysis from clinical studies including 8136 adults treated with olanzapine, potentially associated clinical manifestations included menstrual-related events1 (2% [49/3240] of females), sexual function-related events2 (2% [150/8136] of females and males), and breast-related events3 (0.7% [23/3240] of females, 0.2% [9/4896] of males).

In placebo-controlled olanzapine monotherapy studies in adolescent patients (up to 6 weeks) with schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder (manic or mixed episodes), changes from normal to high in prolactin concentrations were observed in 47% of olanzapine-treated patients compared to 7% of placebo-treated patients. In a pooled analysis from clinical trials including 454 adolescents treated with olanzapine, potentially associated clinical manifestations included menstrual-related events1 (1% [2/168] of females), sexual function-related events2 (0.7% [3/454] of females and males), and breast-related events3 (2% [3/168] of females, 2% [7/286] of males) [see Use in Specific Populations ].

1 Based on a search of the following terms: amenorrhea, hypomenorrhea, menstruation delayed, and oligomenorrhea.
2 Based on a search of the following terms: anorgasmia, delayed ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, loss of libido, abnormal orgasm, and sexual dysfunction.
3 Based on a search of the following terms: breast discharge, enlargement or swelling, galactorrhea, gynecomastia, and lactation disorder.

 

When using ZYPREXA and fluoxetine in combination, the prescriber should also refer to the Warnings and Precautions section of the package insert for Symbyax. When using ZYPREXA in combination with lithium or valproate, the prescriber should refer to the Warnings and Precautions sections of the package inserts for lithium or valproate [see Drug Interactions (7)].

 

Fasting blood glucose testing and lipid profile at the beginning of, and periodically during, treatment is recommended [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4, 5.5) and Patient Counseling Information (17.4, 17.5)].

 

USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

When using ZYPREXA and fluoxetine in combination, also refer to the Use in Specific Populations section of the package insert for Symbyax.

 

Teratogenic Effects, Pregnancy Category C — In oral reproduction studies in rats at doses up to 18 mg/kg/day and in rabbits at doses up to 30 mg/kg/day (9 and 30 times the maximum recommended human daily oral dose on a mg/m2 basis, respectively) no evidence of teratogenicity was observed. In an oral rat teratology study, early resorptions and increased numbers of nonviable fetuses were observed at a dose of 18 mg/kg/day (9 times the maximum recommended human daily oral dose on a mg/m2 basis). Gestation was prolonged at 10 mg/kg/day (5 times the maximum recommended human daily oral dose on a mg/m2 basis). In an oral rabbit teratology study, fetal toxicity (manifested as increased resorptions and decreased fetal weight) occurred at a maternally toxic dose of 30 mg/kg/day (30 times the maximum recommended human daily oral dose on a mg/m2 basis). Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Placental transfer of olanzapine occurs in rat pups.

There are no adequate and well-controlled trials with olanzapine in pregnant females. Seven pregnancies were observed during clinical trials with olanzapine, including 2 resulting in normal births, 1 resulting in neonatal death due to a cardiovascular defect, 3 therapeutic abortions, and 1 spontaneous abortion.

 

Nonteratogenic Effects — Neonates exposed to antipsychotic drugs (including ZYPREXA), during the third trimester of pregnancy are at risk for extrapyramidal and/or withdrawal symptoms following delivery. There have been reports of agitation, hypertonia, hypotonia, tremor, somnolence, respiratory distress and feeding disorder in these neonates. These complications have varied in severity; while in some cases symptoms have been self-limited, in other cases neonates have required intensive care unit support and prolonged hospitalization.

ZYPREXA should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

 

The effect of olanzapine on labor and delivery in humans is unknown. Parturition in rats was not affected by olanzapine.

 

In a study in lactating, healthy women, olanzapine was excreted in breast milk. Mean infant dose at steady state was estimated to be 1.8% of the maternal olanzapine dose. It is recommended that women receiving olanzapine should not breast-feed.

 

The safety and effectiveness of oral ZYPREXA in the treatment of schizophrenia and manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder were established in short-term studies in adolescents (ages 13 to 17 years). Use of ZYPREXA in adolescents is supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies of ZYPREXA in which 268 adolescents received ZYPREXA in a range of 2.5 to 20 mg/day [see Clinical Studies (14.1, 14.2)]. Recommended starting dose for adolescents is lower than that for adults [see Dosage and Administration (2.1, 2.2)]. Compared to patients from adult clinical trials, adolescents were likely to gain more weight, experience increased sedation, and have greater increases in total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, prolactin and hepatic aminotransferase levels [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5, 5.6, 5.15, 5.17) and Adverse Reactions ]. When deciding among the alternative treatments available for adolescents, clinicians should consider the increased potential (in adolescents as compared with adults) for weight gain and hyperlipidemia. Clinicians should consider the potential long-term risks when prescribing to adolescents, and in many cases this may lead them to consider prescribing other drugs first in adolescents [see Indications and Usage (1.1, 1.2)].

Safety and effectiveness of olanzapine in children <13 years of age have not been established [see Patient Counseling Information ].

Safety and effectiveness of ZYPREXA and fluoxetine in combination in children and adolescents <18 years of age have not been established.

 

Of the 2500 patients in premarketing clinical studies with oral olanzapine, 11% were 65 years of age or over. In patients with schizophrenia, there was no indication of any different tolerability of olanzapine in the elderly compared to younger patients. Studies in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis have suggested that there may be a different tolerability profile in this population compared to younger patients with schizophrenia. Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with olanzapine are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo. In placebo-controlled studies of olanzapine in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis, there was a higher incidence of cerebrovascular adverse events (e.g., stroke, transient ischemic attack) in patients treated with olanzapine compared to patients treated with placebo. Olanzapine is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis. Also, the presence of factors that might decrease pharmacokinetic clearance or increase the pharmacodynamic response to olanzapine should lead to consideration of a lower starting dose for any geriatric patient [see Boxed Warning, Dosage and Administration (2.1), and Warnings and Precautions].

Clinical studies of ZYPREXA and fluoxetine in combination did not include sufficient numbers of patients ≥65 years of age to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients.

 

Page last updated: 2013-05-14

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