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Medications: BuSpar® – buspirone

MEDICATIONS

BuSpar® – buspirone (View the FDA label)

INDICATION AND USES:

BuSpar is indicated for the management of anxiety disorders or the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety. The efficacy of BuSpar has been demonstrated in controlled clinical trials of outpatients whose diagnosis roughly corresponds to Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

The recommended initial dose is 15 mg daily (7.5 mg b.i.d.). To achieve an optimal therapeutic response, at intervals of 2 to 3 days the dosage may be increased 5 mg per day, as needed. The maximum daily dosage should not exceed 60 mg per day. In clinical trials allowing dose titration, divided doses of 20 mg to 30 mg per day were commonly employed.

SIDE EFFECTS:

  • Cardiovascular: Frequent was nonspecific chest pain; infrequent were syncope, hypotension, and hypertension; rare were cerebrovascular accident, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, and bradycardia.
  • Central Nervous System: Frequent were dream disturbances; infrequent were depersonalization, dysphoria, noise intolerance, euphoria, akathisia, fearfulness, loss of interest, dissociative reaction, hallucinations, involuntary movements, slowed reaction time, suicidal ideation, and seizures; rare were feelings of claustrophobia, cold intolerance, stupor, and slurred speech and psychosis.
  • EENT: Frequent were tinnitus, sore throat, and nasal congestion; infrequent were redness and itching of the eyes, altered taste, altered smell, and conjunctivitis; rare were inner ear abnormality, eye pain, photophobia, and pressure on eyes.
  • Endocrine: Rare were galactorrhea and thyroid abnormality.
  • Gastrointestinal: Infrequent were flatulence, anorexia, increased appetite, salivation, irritable colon, and rectal bleeding; rare was burning of the tongue.
  • Genitourinary: Infrequent were urinary frequency, urinary hesitancy, menstrual irregularity and spotting, and dysuria; rare were amenorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease, enuresis, and nocturia.
  • Musculoskeletal: Infrequent were muscle cramps, muscle spasms, rigid/stiff muscles, and arthralgias; rare was muscle weakness.
  • Respiratory: Infrequent were hyperventilation, shortness of breath, and chest congestion; rare was epistaxis.
  • Sexual Function: Infrequent were decreased or increased libido; rare were delayed ejaculation and impotence.
  • Skin: Infrequent were edema, pruritus, flushing, easy bruising, hair loss, dry skin, facial edema, and blisters; rare were acne and thinning of nails.
  • Clinical Laboratory: Infrequent were increases in hepatic aminotransferases (SGOT, SGPT); rare were eosinophilia, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia.
  • Miscellaneous: Infrequent were weight gain, fever, roaring sensation in the head, weight loss, and malaise; rare were alcohol abuse, bleeding disturbance, loss of voice, and hiccoughs.
  • Postmarketing Experience: Postmarketing experience has shown an adverse experience profile similar to that given above. Voluntary reports since introduction have included rare occurrences of allergic reactions (including urticaria), angioedema, cogwheel rigidity, dizziness (rarely reported as vertigo), dystonic reactions (including dystonia), ataxias, extrapyramidal symptoms, dyskinesias (acute and tardive), ecchymosis, emotional lability, serotonin syndrome, transient difficulty with recall, urinary retention, visual changes (including tunnel vision), parkinsonism, akathisia, restless leg syndrome, and restlessness. Because of the uncontrolled nature of these spontaneous reports, a causal relationship to BuSpar treatment has not been determined.

CONTRAINDICATIONS:

BuSpar is contraindicated in patients hypersensitive to buspirone hydrochloride.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS:

  • The administration of BuSpar to a patient taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) may pose a hazard
  • Because BuSpar has no established antipsychotic activity, it should not be employed in lieu of appropriate antipsychotic treatment.
  • Interference with Cognitive and Motor Performance
  • Potential for Withdrawal Reactions in Sedative/Hypnotic/Anxiolytic Drug Dependent Patients.
  • Possible Concerns Related to Buspirone’s Binding to Dopamine Receptors
  • Inhibitors and Inducers of Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4)
  • Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions
  • Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
  • Pregnancy: Teratogenic Effects (Category B)
  • Nursing Mothers
  • Use in Patients With Impaired Hepatic or Renal Function
  • Psychological Dependence

DRUG INTERACTIONS:

  • MAO inhibitors: It is recommended that BuSpar not be used concomitantly with MAO inhibitors (see WARNINGS).
  • Amitriptyline: After addition of buspirone to the amitriptyline dose regimen, no statistically significant differences in the steady-state pharmacokinetic parameters (Cmax, AUC, and Cmin) of amitriptyline or its metabolite nortriptyline were observed.
  • Diazepam: After addition of buspirone to the diazepam dose regimen, no statistically significant differences in the steady-state pharmacokinetic parameters (Cmax, AUC, and Cmin) were observed for diazepam, but increases of about 15% were seen for nordiazepam, and minor adverse clinical effects (dizziness, headache, and nausea) were observed.
  • Haloperidol: In a study in normal volunteers, concomitant administration of buspirone and haloperidol resulted in increased serum haloperidol concentrations. The clinical significance of this finding is not clear.
  • Nefazodone: (see Inhibitors and Inducers of Cytochrome P450 3A4 [CYP3A4])
  • Trazodone: There is one report suggesting that the concomitant use of Desyrel® (trazodone hydrochloride) and buspirone may have caused 3- to 6-fold elevations on SGPT (ALT) in a few patients. In a similar study attempting to replicate this finding, no interactive effect on hepatic transaminases was identified.
  • Triazolam/Flurazepam: Coadministration of buspirone with either triazolam or flurazepam did not appear to prolong or intensify the sedative effects of either benzodiazepine.
  • Other Psychotropics: Because the effects of concomitant administration of buspirone with most other psychotropic drugs have not been studied, the concomitant use of buspirone with other CNS-active drugs should be approached with caution.
  • Inhibitors and Inducers of Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4)- Buspirone has been shown in vitro to be metabolized by CYP3A4. This finding is consistent with the in vivo interactions observed between buspirone and the following:
    • Diltiazem and Verapamil: In a study of nine healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (10 mg as a single dose) with verapamil (80 mg t.i.d.) or diltiazem (60 mg t.i.d.) increased plasma buspirone concentrations (verapamil increased AUC and Cmax of buspirone 3.4-fold while diltiazem increased AUC and Cmax 5.5-fold and 4-fold, respectively.) Adverse events attributable to buspirone may be more likely during concomitant administration with either diltiazem or verapamil. Subsequent dose adjustment may be necessary and should be based on clinical assessment.
    • Erythromycin: In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (10 mg as a single dose) with erythromycin (1.5 g/day for 4 days) increased plasma buspirone concentrations (5-fold increase in Cmax and 6-fold increase in AUC). These pharmacokinetic interactions were accompanied by an increased incidence of side effects attributable to buspirone. If the two drugs are to be used in combination, a low dose of buspirone (eg, 2.5 mg b.i.d.) is recommended. Subsequent dose adjustment of either drug should be based on clinical assessment.
    • Grapefruit Juice: In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (10 mg as a single dose) with grapefruit juice (200 mL double-strength t.i.d. for 2 days) increased plasma buspirone concentrations (4.3-fold increase in Cmax; 9.2-fold increase in AUC). Patients receiving buspirone should be advised to avoid drinking such large amounts of grapefruit juice.
    • Itraconazole: In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (10 mg as a single dose) with itraconazole (200 mg/day for 4 days) increased plasma buspirone concentrations (13-fold increase in Cmax and 19-fold increase in AUC). These pharmacokinetic interactions were accompanied by an increased incidence of side effects attributable to buspirone. If the two drugs are to be used in combination, a low dose of buspirone (eg, 2.5 mg q.d.) is recommended. Subsequent dose adjustment of either drug should be based on clinical assessment.
    • Nefazodone: In a study of steady-state pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (2.5 or 5 mg b.i.d.) with nefazodone (250 mg b.i.d.) resulted in marked increases in plasma buspirone concentrations (increases up to 20-fold in Cmax and up to 50-fold in AUC) and statistically significant decreases (about 50%) in plasma concentrations of the buspirone metabolite 1-PP. With 5 mg b.i.d. doses of buspirone, slight increases in AUC were observed for nefazodone (23%) and its metabolites hydroxynefazodone (HO-NEF) (17%) and meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (9%). Slight increases in Cmax were observed for nefazodone (8%) and its metabolite HO-NEF (11%). Subjects receiving buspirone 5 mg b.i.d. and nefazodone 250 mg b.i.d experienced lightheadedness, asthenia, dizziness, and somnolence, adverse events also observed with either drug alone. If the two drugs are to be used in combination, a low dose of buspirone (eg, 2.5 mg q.d.) is recommended. Subsequent dose adjustment of either drug should be based on clinical assessment.
    • Rifampin: In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (30 mg as a single dose) with rifampin (600 mg/day for 5 days) decreased the plasma concentrations (83.7% decrease in Cmax; 89.6% decrease in AUC) and pharmacodynamic effects of buspirone. If the two drugs are to be used in combination, the dosage of buspirone may need adjusting to maintain anxiolytic effect.
    • Other Inhibitors and Inducers of CYP3A4: Substances that inhibit CYP3A4, such as ketoconazole or ritonavir, may inhibit buspirone metabolism and increase plasma concentrations of buspirone while substances that induce CYP3A4, such as dexamethasone or certain anticonvulsants (phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine), may increase the rate of buspirone metabolism. If a patient has been titrated to a stable dosage on buspirone, a dose adjustment of buspirone may be necessary to avoid adverse events attributable to buspirone or diminished anxiolytic activity. Consequently, when administered with a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4, a low dose of buspirone used cautiously is recommended. When used in combination with a potent inducer of CYP3A4 the dosage of buspirone may need adjusting to maintain anxiolytic effect.
  • Other Drugs: Cimetidine: Coadministration of buspirone with cimetidine was found to increase Cmax (40%) and Tmax (2-fold), but had minimal effects on the AUC of buspirone.

OVERDOSE:

Signs and Symptoms: In clinical pharmacology trials, doses as high as 375 mg/day were administered to healthy male volunteers. As this dose was approached, the following symptoms were observed: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, miosis, and gastric distress. A few cases of overdosage have been reported, with complete recovery as the usual outcome. No deaths have been reported following overdosage with BuSpar alone. Rare cases of intentional overdosage with a fatal outcome were invariably associated with ingestion of multiple drugs and/or alcohol, and a causal relationship to buspirone could not be determined. Toxicology studies of buspirone yielded the following LD50 values: mice, 655 mg/kg; rats, 196 mg/kg; dogs, 586 mg/kg; and monkeys, 356 mg/kg. These dosages are 160 to 550 times the recommended human daily dose.

Recommended Overdose Treatment: General symptomatic and supportive measures should be used along with immediate gastric lavage. Respiration, pulse, and blood pressure should be monitored as in all cases of drug overdosage. No specific antidote is known to buspirone, and dialyzability of buspirone has not been determined.

Uses

INDICATION AND USES:

BuSpar is indicated for the management of anxiety disorders or the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety. The efficacy of BuSpar has been demonstrated in controlled clinical trials of outpatients whose diagnosis roughly corresponds to Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

The recommended initial dose is 15 mg daily (7.5 mg b.i.d.). To achieve an optimal therapeutic response, at intervals of 2 to 3 days the dosage may be increased 5 mg per day, as needed. The maximum daily dosage should not exceed 60 mg per day. In clinical trials allowing dose titration, divided doses of 20 mg to 30 mg per day were commonly employed.

Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS:

  • Cardiovascular: Frequent was nonspecific chest pain; infrequent were syncope, hypotension, and hypertension; rare were cerebrovascular accident, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, and bradycardia.
  • Central Nervous System: Frequent were dream disturbances; infrequent were depersonalization, dysphoria, noise intolerance, euphoria, akathisia, fearfulness, loss of interest, dissociative reaction, hallucinations, involuntary movements, slowed reaction time, suicidal ideation, and seizures; rare were feelings of claustrophobia, cold intolerance, stupor, and slurred speech and psychosis.
  • EENT: Frequent were tinnitus, sore throat, and nasal congestion; infrequent were redness and itching of the eyes, altered taste, altered smell, and conjunctivitis; rare were inner ear abnormality, eye pain, photophobia, and pressure on eyes.
  • Endocrine: Rare were galactorrhea and thyroid abnormality.
  • Gastrointestinal: Infrequent were flatulence, anorexia, increased appetite, salivation, irritable colon, and rectal bleeding; rare was burning of the tongue.
  • Genitourinary: Infrequent were urinary frequency, urinary hesitancy, menstrual irregularity and spotting, and dysuria; rare were amenorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease, enuresis, and nocturia.
  • Musculoskeletal: Infrequent were muscle cramps, muscle spasms, rigid/stiff muscles, and arthralgias; rare was muscle weakness.
  • Respiratory: Infrequent were hyperventilation, shortness of breath, and chest congestion; rare was epistaxis.
  • Sexual Function: Infrequent were decreased or increased libido; rare were delayed ejaculation and impotence.
  • Skin: Infrequent were edema, pruritus, flushing, easy bruising, hair loss, dry skin, facial edema, and blisters; rare were acne and thinning of nails.
  • Clinical Laboratory: Infrequent were increases in hepatic aminotransferases (SGOT, SGPT); rare were eosinophilia, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia.
  • Miscellaneous: Infrequent were weight gain, fever, roaring sensation in the head, weight loss, and malaise; rare were alcohol abuse, bleeding disturbance, loss of voice, and hiccoughs.
  • Postmarketing Experience: Postmarketing experience has shown an adverse experience profile similar to that given above. Voluntary reports since introduction have included rare occurrences of allergic reactions (including urticaria), angioedema, cogwheel rigidity, dizziness (rarely reported as vertigo), dystonic reactions (including dystonia), ataxias, extrapyramidal symptoms, dyskinesias (acute and tardive), ecchymosis, emotional lability, serotonin syndrome, transient difficulty with recall, urinary retention, visual changes (including tunnel vision), parkinsonism, akathisia, restless leg syndrome, and restlessness. Because of the uncontrolled nature of these spontaneous reports, a causal relationship to BuSpar treatment has not been determined.
Precautions

CONTRAINDICATIONS:

BuSpar is contraindicated in patients hypersensitive to buspirone hydrochloride.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS:

  • The administration of BuSpar to a patient taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) may pose a hazard
  • Because BuSpar has no established antipsychotic activity, it should not be employed in lieu of appropriate antipsychotic treatment.
  • Interference with Cognitive and Motor Performance
  • Potential for Withdrawal Reactions in Sedative/Hypnotic/Anxiolytic Drug Dependent Patients.
  • Possible Concerns Related to Buspirone’s Binding to Dopamine Receptors
  • Inhibitors and Inducers of Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4)
  • Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions
  • Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
  • Pregnancy: Teratogenic Effects (Category B)
  • Nursing Mothers
  • Use in Patients With Impaired Hepatic or Renal Function
  • Psychological Dependence
Interactions

DRUG INTERACTIONS:

  • MAO inhibitors: It is recommended that BuSpar not be used concomitantly with MAO inhibitors (see WARNINGS).
  • Amitriptyline: After addition of buspirone to the amitriptyline dose regimen, no statistically significant differences in the steady-state pharmacokinetic parameters (Cmax, AUC, and Cmin) of amitriptyline or its metabolite nortriptyline were observed.
  • Diazepam: After addition of buspirone to the diazepam dose regimen, no statistically significant differences in the steady-state pharmacokinetic parameters (Cmax, AUC, and Cmin) were observed for diazepam, but increases of about 15% were seen for nordiazepam, and minor adverse clinical effects (dizziness, headache, and nausea) were observed.
  • Haloperidol: In a study in normal volunteers, concomitant administration of buspirone and haloperidol resulted in increased serum haloperidol concentrations. The clinical significance of this finding is not clear.
  • Nefazodone: (see Inhibitors and Inducers of Cytochrome P450 3A4 [CYP3A4])
  • Trazodone: There is one report suggesting that the concomitant use of Desyrel® (trazodone hydrochloride) and buspirone may have caused 3- to 6-fold elevations on SGPT (ALT) in a few patients. In a similar study attempting to replicate this finding, no interactive effect on hepatic transaminases was identified.
  • Triazolam/Flurazepam: Coadministration of buspirone with either triazolam or flurazepam did not appear to prolong or intensify the sedative effects of either benzodiazepine.
  • Other Psychotropics: Because the effects of concomitant administration of buspirone with most other psychotropic drugs have not been studied, the concomitant use of buspirone with other CNS-active drugs should be approached with caution.
  • Inhibitors and Inducers of Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4)- Buspirone has been shown in vitro to be metabolized by CYP3A4. This finding is consistent with the in vivo interactions observed between buspirone and the following:
    • Diltiazem and Verapamil: In a study of nine healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (10 mg as a single dose) with verapamil (80 mg t.i.d.) or diltiazem (60 mg t.i.d.) increased plasma buspirone concentrations (verapamil increased AUC and Cmax of buspirone 3.4-fold while diltiazem increased AUC and Cmax 5.5-fold and 4-fold, respectively.) Adverse events attributable to buspirone may be more likely during concomitant administration with either diltiazem or verapamil. Subsequent dose adjustment may be necessary and should be based on clinical assessment.
    • Erythromycin: In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (10 mg as a single dose) with erythromycin (1.5 g/day for 4 days) increased plasma buspirone concentrations (5-fold increase in Cmax and 6-fold increase in AUC). These pharmacokinetic interactions were accompanied by an increased incidence of side effects attributable to buspirone. If the two drugs are to be used in combination, a low dose of buspirone (eg, 2.5 mg b.i.d.) is recommended. Subsequent dose adjustment of either drug should be based on clinical assessment.
    • Grapefruit Juice: In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (10 mg as a single dose) with grapefruit juice (200 mL double-strength t.i.d. for 2 days) increased plasma buspirone concentrations (4.3-fold increase in Cmax; 9.2-fold increase in AUC). Patients receiving buspirone should be advised to avoid drinking such large amounts of grapefruit juice.
    • Itraconazole: In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (10 mg as a single dose) with itraconazole (200 mg/day for 4 days) increased plasma buspirone concentrations (13-fold increase in Cmax and 19-fold increase in AUC). These pharmacokinetic interactions were accompanied by an increased incidence of side effects attributable to buspirone. If the two drugs are to be used in combination, a low dose of buspirone (eg, 2.5 mg q.d.) is recommended. Subsequent dose adjustment of either drug should be based on clinical assessment.
    • Nefazodone: In a study of steady-state pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (2.5 or 5 mg b.i.d.) with nefazodone (250 mg b.i.d.) resulted in marked increases in plasma buspirone concentrations (increases up to 20-fold in Cmax and up to 50-fold in AUC) and statistically significant decreases (about 50%) in plasma concentrations of the buspirone metabolite 1-PP. With 5 mg b.i.d. doses of buspirone, slight increases in AUC were observed for nefazodone (23%) and its metabolites hydroxynefazodone (HO-NEF) (17%) and meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (9%). Slight increases in Cmax were observed for nefazodone (8%) and its metabolite HO-NEF (11%). Subjects receiving buspirone 5 mg b.i.d. and nefazodone 250 mg b.i.d experienced lightheadedness, asthenia, dizziness, and somnolence, adverse events also observed with either drug alone. If the two drugs are to be used in combination, a low dose of buspirone (eg, 2.5 mg q.d.) is recommended. Subsequent dose adjustment of either drug should be based on clinical assessment.
    • Rifampin: In a study in healthy volunteers, coadministration of buspirone (30 mg as a single dose) with rifampin (600 mg/day for 5 days) decreased the plasma concentrations (83.7% decrease in Cmax; 89.6% decrease in AUC) and pharmacodynamic effects of buspirone. If the two drugs are to be used in combination, the dosage of buspirone may need adjusting to maintain anxiolytic effect.
    • Other Inhibitors and Inducers of CYP3A4: Substances that inhibit CYP3A4, such as ketoconazole or ritonavir, may inhibit buspirone metabolism and increase plasma concentrations of buspirone while substances that induce CYP3A4, such as dexamethasone or certain anticonvulsants (phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine), may increase the rate of buspirone metabolism. If a patient has been titrated to a stable dosage on buspirone, a dose adjustment of buspirone may be necessary to avoid adverse events attributable to buspirone or diminished anxiolytic activity. Consequently, when administered with a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4, a low dose of buspirone used cautiously is recommended. When used in combination with a potent inducer of CYP3A4 the dosage of buspirone may need adjusting to maintain anxiolytic effect.
  • Other Drugs: Cimetidine: Coadministration of buspirone with cimetidine was found to increase Cmax (40%) and Tmax (2-fold), but had minimal effects on the AUC of buspirone.
Overdose

OVERDOSE:

Signs and Symptoms: In clinical pharmacology trials, doses as high as 375 mg/day were administered to healthy male volunteers. As this dose was approached, the following symptoms were observed: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, miosis, and gastric distress. A few cases of overdosage have been reported, with complete recovery as the usual outcome. No deaths have been reported following overdosage with BuSpar alone. Rare cases of intentional overdosage with a fatal outcome were invariably associated with ingestion of multiple drugs and/or alcohol, and a causal relationship to buspirone could not be determined. Toxicology studies of buspirone yielded the following LD50 values: mice, 655 mg/kg; rats, 196 mg/kg; dogs, 586 mg/kg; and monkeys, 356 mg/kg. These dosages are 160 to 550 times the recommended human daily dose.

Recommended Overdose Treatment: General symptomatic and supportive measures should be used along with immediate gastric lavage. Respiration, pulse, and blood pressure should be monitored as in all cases of drug overdosage. No specific antidote is known to buspirone, and dialyzability of buspirone has not been determined.

Interpreting the GeneSight® Test:
Gene-Drug Interaction Chart

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