6 ADVERSE REACTIONS
The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the label:
- Hypersensitivity [see Contraindications (4.1)]
- Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Children, Adolescents, and Adults [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
- Serotonin Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
- Elevations in Blood Pressure [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
- Abnormal Bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
- Angle Closure Glaucoma [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]
- Activation of Mania/Hypomania [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
- Discontinuation Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]
- Seizure [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]
- Hyponatremia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)]
- Weight and Height changes in Pediatric Patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)]
- Appetite Changes in Pediatric Patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)]
- Interstitial Lung Disease and Eosinophilic Pneumonia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)]
6.1 Clinical Studies Experience
Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
Most Common Adverse Reactions
The most commonly observed adverse reactions in the clinical study database in Effexor XR treated patients in MDD, GAD, SAD, and PD (incidence ≥ 5% and at least twice the rate of placebo) were: nausea (30.0%), somnolence (15.3%), dry mouth (14.8%), sweating (11.4%), abnormal ejaculation (9.9%), anorexia (9.8%), constipation (9.3%), impotence (5.3%) and decreased libido (5.1%).
Adverse Reactions Reported as Reasons for Discontinuation of Treatment
Combined across short-term, placebo-controlled premarketing studies for all indications, 12% of the 3,558 patients who received Effexor XR (37.5–225 mg) discontinued treatment due to an adverse experience, compared with 4% of the 2,197 placebo-treated patients in those studies.
The most common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation in ≥ 1% of the Effexor XR treated patients in the short-term studies (up to 12 weeks) across indications are shown in Table 7.
|Body System |
n = 3,558
n = 2,197
|Body as a whole|
|Skin and appendages||1.5||0.6|
Common Adverse Reactions in Placebo-controlled Studies
The number of patients receiving multiple doses of Effexor XR during the premarketing assessment for each approved indication is shown in Table 8. The conditions and duration of exposure to venlafaxine in all development programs varied greatly, and included (in overlapping categories) open and double-blind studies, uncontrolled and controlled studies, inpatient (Effexor only) and outpatient studies, fixed-dose, and titration studies.
The incidences of common adverse reactions (those that occurred in ≥ 2% of Effexor XR treated patients [357 MDD patients, 1,381 GAD patients, 819 SAD patients, and 1,001 PD patients] and more frequently than placebo) in Effexor XR treated patients in short-term, placebo-controlled, fixed- and flexible-dose clinical studies (doses 37.5 to 225 mg per day) are shown in Table 9.
The adverse reaction profile did not differ substantially between the different patient populations.
|Body System |
n = 3,558
n = 2,197
|Body as a whole|
|Skin and appendages|
|Sweating (including night sweats)||11.4||2.9|
|Abnormal ejaculation/orgasm (men)*||9.9||0.5|
Other Adverse Reactions Observed in Clinical Studies
Body as a whole – Photosensitivity reaction, chills
Cardiovascular system – Postural hypotension, syncope, hypotension, tachycardia
Digestive system – Gastrointestinal hemorrhage [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)], bruxism
Hemic/Lymphatic system – Ecchymosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
Nervous system – Seizures [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)], manic reaction [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)], agitation, confusion, akathisia, hallucinations, hypertonia, myoclonus, depersonalization, apathy
Skin and appendages – Urticaria, pruritus, rash, alopecia
Special senses – Mydriasis, abnormality of accommodation, tinnitus, taste perversion
Urogenital system – Urinary retention, urination impaired, urinary incontinence, urinary frequency increased, menstrual disorders associated with increased bleeding or increased irregular bleeding (e.g., menorrhagia, metrorrhagia)
6.2 Vital Sign Changes
In placebo-controlled premarketing studies, there were increases in mean blood pressure (see Table 10). Across most indications, a dose-related increase in mean supine systolic and diastolic blood pressure was evident in patients treated with Effexor XRs. Across all clinical studies in MDD, GAD, SAD and PD, 1.4% of patients in the Effexor XR groups experienced an increase in SDBP of ≥15 mm Hg along with a blood pressure ≥ 105 mm Hg, compared to 0.9% of patients in the placebo groups. Similarly, 1% of patients in the Effexor XR groups experienced an increase in SSBP of ≥ 20 mm Hg with a blood pressure ≥ 180 mm Hg, compared to 0.3% of patients in the placebo groups.
|Indication||≤ 75 mg per day||> 75 mg per day|
Effexor XR treatment was associated with sustained hypertension (defined as treatment-emergent Supine Diastolic Blood Pressure [SDBP] ≥ 90 mm Hg and ≥ 10 mm Hg above baseline for three consecutive on-therapy visits (see Table 11). An insufficient number of patients received mean doses of Effexor XR over 300 mg per day in clinical studies to fully evaluate the incidence of sustained increases in blood pressure at these higher doses.
|Indication||Dose Range (mg per day)||Incidence (%)|
6.3 Laboratory Changes
Effexor XR was associated with mean final increases in serum cholesterol concentrations compared with mean final decreases for placebo in premarketing MDD, GAD, SAD and PD clinical studies (Table 13).
Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride) extended-release capsules treatment for up to 12 weeks in premarketing placebo-controlled trials for major depressive disorder was associated with a mean final on-therapy increase in serum cholesterol concentration of approximately 1.5 mg/dL compared with a mean final decrease of 7.4 mg/dL for placebo. Effexor XR treatment for up to 8 weeks and up to 6 months in premarketing placebo-controlled GAD trials was associated with mean final on-therapy increases in serum cholesterol concentration of approximately 1.0 mg/dL and 2.3 mg/dL, respectively while placebo subjects experienced mean final decreases of 4.9 mg/dL and 7.7 mg/dL, respectively. Effexor XR treatment for up to 12 weeks and up to 6 months in premarketing placebo-controlled Social Anxiety Disorder trials was associated with mean final on-therapy increases in serum cholesterol concentration of approximately 7.9 mg/dL and 5.6 mg/dL, respectively, compared with mean final decreases of 2.9 and 4.2 mg/dL, respectively, for placebo. Effexor XR treatment for up to 12 weeks in premarketing placebo-controlled panic disorder trials was associated with mean final on-therapy increases in serum cholesterol concentration of approximately 5.8 mg/dL compared with a mean final decrease of 3.7 mg/dL for placebo.
Patients treated with Effexor (immediate release) for at least 3 months in placebo-controlled 12-month extension trials had a mean final on-therapy increase in total cholesterol of 9.1 mg/dL compared with a decrease of 7.1 mg/dL among placebo-treated patients. This increase was duration dependent over the study period and tended to be greater with higher doses. Clinically relevant increases in serum cholesterol, defined as 1) a final on-therapy increase in serum cholesterol ≥50 mg/dL from baseline and to a value ≥261 mg/dL, or 2) an average on-therapy increase in serum cholesterol ≥50 mg/dL from baseline and to a value ≥261 mg/dL, were recorded in 5.3% of venlafaxine-treated patients and 0.0% of placebo-treated patients.
Effexor XR was associated with mean final on-therapy increases in fasting serum triglycerides compared with placebo in premarketing clinical studies of SAD and PD up to 12 weeks (pooled data) and 6 months duration (Table 14).
6.4 Pediatric Patients
In general, the adverse reaction profile of venlafaxine (in placebo-controlled clinical studies) in children and adolescents (ages 6 to 17) was similar to that seen for adults. As with adults, decreased appetite, weight loss, increased blood pressure, and increased serum cholesterol were observed [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3, 5.10, 5.11) and Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].
In pediatric clinical studies, the adverse reaction, suicidal ideation, was observed.
Particularly, the following adverse reactions were observed in pediatric patients: abdominal pain, agitation, dyspepsia, ecchymosis, epistaxis, and myalgia.
6.5 Adverse Reactions Identified During Postapproval Use
The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of Effexor XR. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure:
Body as a whole – Anaphylaxis, angioedema
Cardiovascular system – QT prolongation, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia (including torsade de pointes), takotsubo cardiomyopathy
Digestive system – Pancreatitis
Hemic/Lymphatic system – Mucous membrane bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)], blood dyscrasias (including agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, neutropenia and pancytopenia), prolonged bleeding time, thrombocytopenia
Metabolic/Nutritional – Hyponatremia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)], Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH) secretion [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)], abnormal liver function tests, hepatitis, prolactin increased
Musculoskeletal – Rhabdomyolysis
Nervous system – Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)], serotonergic syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)], delirium, extrapyramidal reactions (including dystonia and dyskinesia), impaired coordination and balance, tardive dyskinesia
Respiratory system – Dyspnea, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary eosinophilia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)]
Skin and appendages – Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme
Special senses – Angle-closure glaucoma [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]