"Jan. 1, 2013 -- Antidepressant use during pregnancy, long debated for its safety, is linked with a higher overall risk of stillbirth and newborn death. Now, a new study shows that risk may not be warranted.
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Associated with Discontinuation of Treatment
Approximately 16 percent of the 453 patients who received REMERON® (mirtazapine) Tablets in US 6- week controlled clinical trials discontinued treatment due to an adverse experience, compared to 7 percent of the 361 placebo-treated patients in those studies. The most common events ( ≥ 1%) associated with discontinuation and considered to be drug related (i.e., those events associated with dropout at a rate at least twice that of placebo) included:
Common Adverse Events Associated with Discontinuation of Treatment in 6-Week US REMERON® Trials
|Adverse Event|| Percentage of Patients
Discontinuing with Adverse Event
Commonly Observed Adverse Events in US Controlled Clinical Trials
The most commonly observed adverse events associated with the use of REMERON® (mirtazapine) Tablets (incidence of 5% or greater) and not observed at an equivalent incidence among placebo-treated patients (REMERON® incidence at least twice that for placebo) were:
Common Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events Associated with the Use of REMERON® in 6-Week US Trials
|Adverse Event|| Percentage of Patients
Reporting Adverse Event
Adverse Events Occurring at an Incidence of 1% or More Among REMERON®-Treated Patients
The table that follows enumerates adverse events that occurred at an incidence of 1% or more, and were more frequent than in the placebo group, among REMERON® (mirtazapine) Tablets-treated patients who participated in short-term US placebo-controlled trials in which patients were dosed in a range of 5-60 mg/day. This table shows the percentage of patients in each group who had at least one episode of an event at some time during their treatment. Reported adverse events were classified using a standard COSTART-based dictionary terminology.
The prescriber should be aware that these figures cannot be used to predict the incidence of side effects in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors differ from those which prevailed in the clinical trials. Similarly, the cited frequencies cannot be compared with figures obtained from other investigations involving different treatments, uses and investigators. The cited figures, however, do provide the prescribing physician with some basis for estimating the relative contribution of drug and non-drug factors to the side effect incidence rate in the population studied.
INCIDENCE OF ADVERSE CLINICAL EXPERIENCES1 ( ≥ 1%) IN SHORT-TERM US CONTROLLED STUDIES
| Body System
Adverse Clinical Experience
|Body as a Whole|
|Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders|
1Events reported by at least 1% of patients treated with REMERON® are included, except the following events which had an incidence on placebo ≥ REMERON®: headache, infection, pain, chest pain, palpitation, tachycardia, postural hypotension, nausea, dyspepsia, diarrhea, flatulence, insomnia, nervousness, libido decreased, hypertonia, pharyngitis, rhinitis, sweating, amblyopia, tinnitus, taste perversion.
The electrocardiograms for 338 patients who received REMERON® (mirtazapine) Tablets and 261 patients who received placebo in 6-week, placebo-controlled trials were analyzed. Prolongation in QTc ≥ 500 msec was not observed among mirtazapine-treated patients; mean change in QTc was +1.6 msec for mirtazapine and -3.1 msec for placebo. Mirtazapine was associated with a mean increase in heart rate of 3.4 bpm, compared to 0.8 bpm for placebo. The clinical significance of these changes is unknown.
Other Adverse Events Observed During the Premarketing Evaluation of REMERON®
During its premarketing assessment, multiple doses of REMERON® (mirtazapine) Tablets were administered to 2796 patients in clinical studies. The conditions and duration of exposure to mirtazapine varied greatly, and included (in overlapping categories) open and double-blind studies, uncontrolled and controlled studies, inpatient and outpatient studies, fixed dose and titration studies. Untoward events associated with this exposure were recorded by clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. Consequently, it is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of individuals experiencing adverse events without first grouping similar types of untoward events into a smaller number of standardized event categories.
In the tabulations that follow, reported adverse events were classified using a standard COSTART-based dictionary terminology. The frequencies presented, therefore, represent the proportion of the 2796 patients exposed to multiple doses of REMERON® who experienced an event of the type cited on at least one occasion while receiving REMERON®. All reported events are included except those already listed in the previous table, those adverse experiences subsumed under COSTART terms that are either overly general or excessively specific so as to be uninformative, and those events for which a drug cause was very remote.
It is important to emphasize that, although the events reported occurred during treatment with REMERON®, they were not necessarily caused by it.
Events are further categorized by body system and listed in order of decreasing frequency according to the following definitions: frequent adverse events are those occurring on one or more occasions in at least 1/100 patients; infrequent adverse events are those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1000 patients; rare events are those occurring in fewer than 1/1000 patients. Only those events not already listed in the previous table appear in this listing. Events of major clinical importance are also described in the WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS sections.
Body as a Whole: frequent: malaise, abdominal pain, abdominal syndrome acute; infrequent: chills, fever, face edema, ulcer, photosensitivity reaction, neck rigidity, neck pain, abdomen enlarged; rare: cellulitis, chest pain substernal.
Cardiovascular System: frequent: hypertension, vasodilatation; infrequent: angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, bradycardia, ventricular extrasystoles, syncope, migraine, hypotension; rare: atrial arrhythmia, bigeminy, vascular headache, pulmonary embolus, cerebral ischemia, cardiomegaly, phlebitis, left heart failure.
Digestive System: frequent: vomiting, anorexia; infrequent: eructation, glossitis, cholecystitis, nausea and vomiting, gum hemorrhage, stomatitis, colitis, liver function tests abnormal; rare: tongue discoloration, ulcerative stomatitis, salivary gland enlargement, increased salivation, intestinal obstruction, pancreatitis, aphthous stomatitis, cirrhosis of liver, gastritis, gastroenteritis, oral moniliasis, tongue edema.
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders: frequent: thirst; infrequent: dehydration, weight loss; rare: gout, SGOT increased, healing abnormal, acid phosphatase increased, SGPT increased, diabetes mellitus.
Musculoskeletal System: frequent: myasthenia, arthralgia; infrequent: arthritis, tenosynovitis; rare: pathologic fracture, osteoporosis fracture, bone pain, myositis, tendon rupture, arthosis, bursitis.
Nervous System: frequent: hypesthesia, apathy, depression, hypokinesia, vertigo, twitching, agitation, anxiety, amnesia, hyperkinesia, paresthesia; infrequent: ataxia, delirium, delusions, depersonalization, dyskinesia, extrapyramidal syndrome, libido increased, coordination abnormal, dysarthria, hallucinations, manic reaction, neurosis, dystonia, hostility, reflexes increased, emotional lability, euphoria, paranoid reaction; rare: aphasia, nystagmus, akathisia, stupor, dementia, diplopia, drug dependence, paralysis, grand mal convulsion, hypotonia, myoclonus, psychotic depression, withdrawal syndrome.
Special Senses: infrequent: eye pain, abnormality of accommodation, conjunctivitis, deafness, keratoconjunctivitis, lacrimation disorder, glaucoma, hyperacusis, ear pain; rare: blepharitis, partial transitory deafness, otitis media, taste loss, parosmia.
Urogenital System: frequent: urinary tract infection; infrequent: kidney calculus, cystitis, dysuria, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, vaginitis, hematuria, breast pain, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, leukorrhea, impotence; rare: polyuria, urethritis, metrorrhagia, menorrhagia, abnormal ejaculation, breast engorgement, breast enlargement, urinary urgency.
Other Adverse Events Observed During Postmarketing Evaluation of REMERON®
Adverse events reported since market introduction, which were temporally (but not necessarily causally) related to mirtazapine therapy, include four cases of the ventricular arrhythmia torsades de pointes. In three of the four cases, however, concomitant drugs were implicated. All patients recovered.
Drug Abuse And Dependence
Controlled Substance Class
REMERONSolTab® (mirtazapine) Orally Disintegrating Tablets are not a controlled substance.
Physical and Psychologic Dependence
REMERONSolTab® (mirtazapine) Orally Disintegrating Tablets have not been systematically studied in animals or humans for its potential for abuse, tolerance or physical dependence. While the clinical trials did not reveal any tendency for any drug-seeking behavior, these observations were not systematic and it is not possible to predict on the basis of this limited experience the extent to which a CNS-active drug will be misused, diverted and/or abused once marketed. Consequently, patients should be evaluated carefully for history of drug abuse, and such patients should be observed closely for signs of REMERONSolTab® (mirtazapine) misuse or abuse (e.g., development of tolerance, incrementations of dose, drug- seeking behavior).
Read the Remeron SolTab (mirtazapine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
As with other drugs, the potential for interaction by a variety of mechanisms (e.g., pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic inhibition or enhancement, etc.) is a possibility (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).
Drugs Affecting Hepatic Metabolism
The metabolism and pharmacokinetics of REMERONSolTab® (mirtazapine) Orally Disintegrating Tablets may be affected by the induction or inhibition of drug-metabolizing enzymes.
Drugs that are Metabolized by and/or Inhibit Cytochrome P450 Enzymes
Many drugs are metabolized by and/or inhibit various cytochrome P450 enzymes, e.g., 2D6, 1A2, 3A4, etc.In vitro studies have shown that mirtazapine is a substrate for several of these enzymes, including 2D6, 1A2, and 3A4. While in vitro studies have shown that mirtazapine is not a potent inhibitor of any of these enzymes, an indication that mirtazapine is not likely to have a clinically significant inhibitory effect on the metabolism of other drugs that are substrates for these cytochrome P450 enzymes, the concomitant use of REMERONSolTab® (mirtazapine) with most other drugs metabolized by these enzymes has not been formally studied. Consequently, it is not possible to make any definitive statements about the risks of coadministration of REMERONSolTab® (mirtazapine) with such drugs.
Concomitant administration of alcohol (equivalent to 60 g) had a minimal effect on plasma levels of mirtazapine (15 mg) in 6 healthy male subjects. However, the impairment of cognitive and motor skills produced by REMERON® were shown to be additive with those produced by alcohol. Accordingly, patients should be advised to avoid alcohol while taking REMERONSolTab® (mirtazapine) .
Concomitant administration of diazepam (15 mg) had a minimal effect on plasma levels of mirtazapine (15 mg) in 12 healthy subjects. However, the impairment of motor skills produced by REMERON® has been shown to be additive with those caused by diazepam. Accordingly, patients should be advised to avoid diazepam and other similar drugs while taking REMERONSolTab® (mirtazapine) .
Read the Remeron SolTab Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions
Last reviewed on RxList: 9/28/2007
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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