10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg and 100 mg
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 doxepin 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. Doxepin is not approved for use in pediatric patients. (See WARNINGS: Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk, PRECAUTIONS: Information for Patients and PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric Use.)
Doxepin hydrochloride is one of a class of psychotherapeutic agents known as dibenzoxepin tricyclic compounds. The molecular formula of the compound is C19H21NO • HCl having a molecular weight of 316. It is a white crystalline solid readily soluble in water, lower alcohols and chloroform. It may be represented by the following structural formula:
Chemically, doxepin hydrochloride is a dibenzoxepin derivative and is the first of a family of tricyclic psychotherapeutic agents. Specifically, it is an isomeric mixture of 1-Propanamine, 3-dibenz[b,e]oxepin-11 (6H )ylidene-N,N-dimethyl-hydrochloride.
Each 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg and 100 mg doxepin capsule for oral administration contains doxepin hydrochloride, USP equivalent to 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg and 100 mg of doxepin, respectively and the following inactive ingredients: black iron oxide, colloidal silicon dioxide, D&C Yellow No. 10 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue No. 1 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue No. 2 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Red No. 40 Aluminum Lake, gelatin, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, n-butyl alcohol, pregelatinized starch, propylene glycol, SDA 3A alcohol, SD-45 alcohol, shellac glaze, sodium lauryl sulfate, and titanium dioxide. In addition, the 10 mg, 25 mg, and 50 mg capsules contain FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake and the 75 mg and 100 mg capsules contain FD&C Green No. 3 Aluminum Lake.
The mechanism of action of doxepin is not definitely known. It is not a central nervous system stimulant nor a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. The current hypothesis is that the clinical effects are due, at least in part, to influences on the adrenergic activity at the synapses so that deactivation of norepinephrine by reuptake into the nerve terminals is prevented. Animal studies suggest that doxepin does not appreciably antagonize the antihypertensive action of guanethidine. In animal studies anticholinergic, antiserotonin and antihistamine effects on smooth muscle have been demonstrated. At higher than usual clinical doses norepinephrine response was potentiated in animals. This effect was not demonstrated in humans.
At clinical dosages up to 150 mg per day, doxepin can be given to man concomitantly with guanethidine and related compounds without blocking the antihypertensive effect. At dosages above 150 mg per day blocking of the antihypertensive effect of these compounds has been reported.
Doxepin is virtually devoid of euphoria as a side effect. Characteristic of this type of compound, doxepin has not been demonstrated to produce the physical tolerance or psychological dependence associated with addictive compounds.
Doxepin is recommended for the treatment of:
The target symptoms of psychoneurosis that respond particularly well to doxepin include anxiety, tension, depression, somatic symptoms and concerns, sleep disturbances, guilt, lack of energy, fear, apprehension and worry.
Clinical experience has shown that doxepin is safe and well tolerated even in the elderly patient. Owing to lack of clinical experience in the pediatric population, doxepin is not recommended for use in children under 12 years of age.
Doxepin is contraindicated in individuals who have shown hypersensitivity to the drug. Possibility of cross sensitivity with other dibenzoxepines should be kept in mind.
Doxepin is contraindicated in patients with glaucoma or a tendency to urinary retention. These disorders should be ruled out, particularly in older patients.
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. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatric disorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18 to 24) with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. 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 with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older.
The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescents with MDD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 24 short-term trials of 9 antidepressant drugs in over 4,400 patients. The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in adults with MDD or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 295 short-term trials (median duration of 2 months) of 11 antidepressant drugs in over 77,000 patients. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidality among drugs, but a tendency toward an increase in the younger patients for almost all drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidality across the different indications, with the highest incidence in MDD. The risk differences (drug vs. placebo), however, were relatively stable within age strata and across indications. These risk differences (drug-placebo difference in the number of cases of suicidality per 1,000 patients treated) are provided in Table 1.
|Age Range||Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Cases of Suicidality Per 1,000 Patients Treated|
|Increases Compared to Placebo|
|< 18||14 additional cases|
|18 to 24||5 additional cases|
|Decreases Compared to Placebo|
|25 to 64||1 fewer case|
|≥ 65||6 fewer cases|
No suicides occurred in any of the pediatric trials. There were suicides in the adult trials, but the number was not sufficient to reach any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.
It is unknown whether the suicidality risk extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond several months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance trials in adults with depression that the use of antidepressants can delay the recurrence of depression.
All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and 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.
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.
Families and caregivers of 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 healthcare providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers. Prescriptions for doxepin should be written for the smallest number of capsules consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.
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 doxepin is not approved for use in treating bipolar depression.
It should be noted that doxepin is not approved for use in treating any indications in the pediatric population.
The once a day dosage regimen of doxepin in patients with intercurrent illness or patients taking other medications should be carefully adjusted. This is especially important in patients receiving other medications with anticholinergic effects.
The use of doxepin on a once a day dosage regimen in geriatric patients should be adjusted carefully based on the patient's condition (see PRECAUTIONS: Geriatric Use).
Reproduction studies have been performed in rats, rabbits, monkeys and dogs and there was no evidence of harm to the animal fetus. The relevance to humans is not known. Since there is no experience in pregnant women who have received this drug, safety in pregnancy has not been established. There has been a report of apnea and drowsiness occurring in a nursing infant whose mother was taking doxepin.
The use of doxepin in children under 12 years of age is not recommended because safe conditions for its use have not been established.
Prescribers or other health professionals should inform patients, their families, and their caregivers about the benefits and risks associated with treatment with doxepin and should counsel them in its appropriate use. A patient Medication Guide about "Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and other Serious Mental Illness and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions" is available for doxepin. 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 spans. Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss the spans of the Medication Guide and to obtain answers to any questions they may have. The complete div 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 doxepin.
Since drowsiness may occur with the use of this drug, patients should be warned of the possibility and cautioned against driving a car or operating dangerous machinery while taking the drug. Patients should also be cautioned that their response to alcohol may be potentiated.
Sedating drugs may cause confusion and over sedation in the elderly; elderly patients generally should be started on low doses of doxepin and observed closely (see PRECAUTIONS: Geriatric Use).
Since suicide is an inherent risk in any depressed patient and may remain so until significant improvement has occurred, patients should be closely supervised during the early course of therapy. Prescriptions should be written for the smallest feasible amount.
Should increased symptoms of psychosis or shift to manic symptomatology occur, it may be necessary to reduce dosage or add a major tranquilizer to the dosage regimen.
A determination has not been made whether controlled clinical studies of doxepin included sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to define a difference in response from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
The extent of renal excretion of doxepin has not been determined. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selections.
Sedating drugs may cause confusion and over sedation in the elderly; elderly patients generally should be started on low doses of doxepin and observed closely. (See WARNINGS.)
NOTE: Some of the adverse reactions noted below have not been specifically reported with doxepin use. However, due to the close pharmacological similarities among the tricyclics, the reactions should be considered when prescribing doxepin.
Anticholinergic Effects: Dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation and urinary retention have been reported. If they do not subside with continued therapy or become severe, it may be necessary to reduce the dosage.
Central Nervous System Effects: Drowsiness is the most commonly noticed side effect. This tends to disappear as therapy is continued. Other infrequently reported CNS side effects are confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, numbness, paresthesias, ataxia, extrapyramidal symptoms, seizures, tardive dyskinesia, and tremor.
Cardiovascular: Cardiovascular effects including hypotension, hypertension, and tachycardia have been reported occasionally.
Allergic: Skin rash, edema, photosensitization, and pruritus have occasionally occurred.
Hematologic: Eosinophilia has been reported in a few patients. There have been occasional reports of bone marrow depression manifesting as agranulocytosis, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and purpura.
Gastrointestinal: Nausea, vomiting, indigestion, taste disturbances, diarrhea, anorexia, and aphthous stomatitis have been reported. (See Anticholinergic Effects.)
Endocrine: Raised or lowered libido, testicular swelling, gynecomastia in males, enlargement of breasts and galactorrhea in the female, raising or lowering of blood sugar levels and syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion have been reported with tricyclic administration.
Other: Dizziness, tinnitus, weight gain, sweating, chills, fatigue, weakness, flushing, jaundice, alopecia, headache, exacerbation of asthma, and hyperpyrexia (in association with chlorpromazine) have been occasionally observed as adverse effects.
The possibility of development of withdrawal symptoms upon abrupt cessation of treatment after prolonged doxepin administration should be borne in mind. These are not indicative of addiction and gradual withdrawal of medication should not cause these symptoms.
Deaths may occur from overdosage with this class of drugs. Multiple drug ingestion (including alcohol) is common in deliberate tricyclic antidepressant overdose. As the management is complex and changing, it is recommended that the physician contact a poison control center for current information on treatment. Signs and symptoms of toxicity develop rapidly after tricyclic antidepressant overdose; therefore, hospital monitoring is required as soon as possible.
Critical manifestations of overdose include: cardiac dysrhythmias, severe hypotension, convulsions, and CNS depression, including coma. Changes in the electrocardiogram, particularly in QRS axis or width, are clinically significant indicators of tricyclic antidepressant toxicity.
Other signs of overdose may include: confusion, disturbed concentration, transient visual hallucinations, dilated pupils, agitation, hyperactive reflexes, stupor, drowsiness, muscle rigidity, vomiting, hypothermia, hyperpyrexia, or any of the symptoms uled under ADVERSE REACTIONS.
Deaths have been reported involving overdoses of doxepin.
For most patients with illness of mild to moderate severity, a starting daily dose of 75 mg is recommended. Dosage may subsequently be increased or decreased at appropriate intervals and according to individual response. The usual optimum dose range is 75 mg/day to 150 mg/day.
In more severely ill patients higher doses may be required with subsequent gradual increase to 300 mg/day if necessary. Additional therapeutic effect is rarely to be obtained by exceeding a dose of 300 mg/day.
In patients with very mild symptomatology or emotional symptoms accompanying organic disease, lower doses may suffice. Some of these patients have been controlled on doses as low as 25 to 50 mg/day.
The total daily dosage of doxepin (as the hydrochloride) may be given on a divided or once a day dosage schedule. If the once a day schedule is employed the maximum recommended dose is 150 mg/day. This dose may be given at bedtime. The 150 mg capsule strength is intended for maintenance therapy only and is not recommended for initiation of treatment.
Antianxiety effect is apparent before the antidepressant effect. Optimal antidepressant effect may not be evident for two to three weeks.
Doxepin hydrochloride capsules, USP are available containing doxepin hydrochloride, USP equivalent to 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg or 100 mg of doxepin.
The 10 mg capsule is a hard-shell, gelatin capsule with a buff opaque cap and buff opaque body axially printed with MYLAN over 1049 in black ink on both the cap and the body. They are available as follows:
bottles of 100 capsules
bottles of 1000 capsules
The 25 mg capsule is a hard-shell, gelatin capsule with an ivory opaque cap and white opaque body axially printed with MYLAN over 3125 in black ink on both the cap and the body. They are available as follows:
bottles of 100 capsules
bottles of 1000 capsules
The 50 mg capsule is a hard-shell, gelatin capsule with an ivory opaque cap and ivory opaque body axially printed with MYLAN over 4250 in black ink on both the cap and the body. They are available as follows:
bottles of 100 capsules
bottles of 1000 capsules
The 75 mg capsule is a hard-shell, gelatin capsule with a brite lite green opaque cap and brite lite green body axially printed with MYLAN over 5375 in black ink on both the cap and the body. They are available as follows:
bottles of 100 capsules
bottles of 1000 capsules
The 100 mg capsule is a hard-shell, gelatin capsule with a brite lite green opaque cap and white opaque body axially printed with MYLAN over 6410 in black ink on both the cap and the body. They are available as follows:
bottles of 100 capsules
bottles of 1000 capsules
Store at 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F). [See USP for Controlled Room Temperature.]
Protect from light.
Dispense in a tight, light-resistant container as defined in the USP using a child-resistant closure.
PHARMACIST: Dispense a Medication Guide with each prescription.
Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Morgantown, WV 26505
REVISED OCTOBER 2007
Antidepressant Medicines, Depression and other Serious Mental Illnesses, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions
Read the Medication Guide that comes with you or your family member's antidepressant medicine. This Medication Guide is only about the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions with antidepressant medicines. Talk to your, or your family member's, healthcare provider about:
What is the most important information I should know about antidepressant medicines, depression and other serious mental illnesses, and suicidal thoughts or actions?
Call a healthcare provider right away if you or your family member has any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:
What else do I need to know about antidepressant medicines?
This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for all antidepressants.