Generic name: Equinorm 25mg
Dosage form: capsule
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The treatment regimens described below are based on those used in controlled clinical trials of Equinorm in 520 adults, and 91 children and adolescents with OCD. During initial titration, Equinorm should be given in divided doses with meals to reduce gastrointestinal side effects. The goal of this initial titration phase is to minimize side effects by permitting tolerance to side effects to develop or allowing the patient time to adapt if tolerance does not develop.
Because both CMI and its active metabolite, DMI, have long elimination half-lives, the prescriber should take into consideration the fact that steady-state plasma levels may not be achieved until 2 to 3 weeks after dosage change. Therefore, after initial titration, it may be appropriate to wait 2 to 3 weeks between further dosage adjustments.
Treatment with Equinorm should be initiated at a dosage of 25 mg daily and gradually increased, as tolerated, to approximately 100 mg during the first 2 weeks. During initial titration, Equinorm should be given in divided doses with meals to reduce gastrointestinal side effects. Thereafter, the dosage may be increased gradually over the next several weeks, up to a maximum of 250 mg daily. After titration, the total daily dose may be given once daily at bedtime to minimize daytime sedation.
As with adults, the starting dose is 25 mg daily and should be gradually increased (also given in divided doses with meals to reduce gastrointestinal side effects) during the first 2 weeks, as tolerated, up to a daily maximum of 3 mg/kg or 100 mg, whichever is smaller. Thereafter, the dosage may be increased gradually over the next several weeks up to a daily maximum of 3 mg/kg or 200 mg, whichever is smaller. As with adults, after titration, the total daily dose may be given once daily at bedtime to minimize daytime sedation.
While there are no systematic studies that answer the question of how long to continue Equinorm, OCD is a chronic condition and it is reasonable to consider continuation for a responding patient. Although the efficacy of Equinorm after 10 weeks has not been documented in controlled trials, patients have been continued in therapy under double-blind conditions for up to 1 year without loss of benefit. However, dosage adjustments should be made to maintain the patient on the lowest effective dosage, and patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for treatment. During maintenance, the total daily dose may be given once daily at bedtime.
At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders and initiation of therapy with Equinorm. Conversely, at least 14 days should be allowed after stopping Equinorm before starting an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders.
Do not start Equinorm in a patient who is being treated with linezolid or intravenous methylene blue because there is increased risk of serotonin syndrome. In a patient who requires more urgent treatment of a psychiatric condition, other interventions, including hospitalization, should be considered.
In some cases, a patient already receiving Equinorm therapy may require urgent treatment with linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. If acceptable alternatives to linezolid or intravenous methylene blue treatment are not available and the potential benefits of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue treatment are judged to outweigh the risks of serotonin syndrome in a particular patient, Equinorm should be stopped promptly, and linezolid or intravenous methylene blue can be administered. The patient should be monitored for symptoms of serotonin syndrome for two weeks or until
24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue, whichever comes first. Therapy with Equinorm may be resumed 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue.
The risk of administering methylene blue by non-intravenous routes (such as oral tablets or by local injection) or in intravenous doses much lower than 1 mg/kg with Equinorm is unclear. The clinician should, nevertheless, be aware of the possibility of emergent symptoms of serotonin syndrome with such use.
Taking Equinorm with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can increase these effects. Ask your doctor before taking Equinorm with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Before taking Equinorm, tell your doctor if you have used an "SSRI" antidepressant in the past 5 weeks, such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Rapiflux, Sarafem, Selfemra, Symbyax), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone (Desyrel, Oleptro), or vilazodone (Viibryd).
Many drugs can interact with Equinorm. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with Equinorm, especially:
This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with Equinorm. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.
The risks of using Equinorm in combination with other drugs have not been systematically evaluated. Given the primary CNS effects of Equinorm, caution is advised in using it concomitantly with other CNS-active drugs. Equinorm should not be used with MAO inhibitors.
Close supervision and careful adjustment of dosage are required when Equinorm is administered with anticholinergic or sympathomimetic drugs.
Several tricyclic antidepressants have been reported to block the pharmacologic effects of guanethidine, clonidine, or similar agents, and such an effect may be anticipated with CMI because of its structural similarity to other tricyclic antidepressants.
The plasma concentration of CMI has been reported to be increased by the concomitant administration of haloperidol; plasma levels of several closely related tricyclic antidepressants have been reported to be increased by the concomitant administration of methylphenidate or hepatic enzyme inhibitors (e.g., cimetidine, fluoxetine) and decreased by the concomitant administration of hepatic enzyme inducers (e.g., barbiturates, phenytoin), and such an effect may be anticipated with CMI as well. Administration of CMI has been reported to increase the plasma levels of phenobarbital, if given concomitantly.
The biochemical activity of the drug metabolizing isozyme cytochrome P450 2D6 (debrisoquin hydroxylase) is reduced in a subset of the Caucasian population (about 7% to 10% of Caucasians are so-called “poor metabolizers”); reliable estimates of the prevalence of reduced P450 2D6 isozyme activity among Asian, African and other populations are not yet available. Poor metabolizers have higher than expected plasma concentrations of tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) when given usual doses. Depending on the fraction of drug metabolized by P450 2D6, the increase in plasma concentration may be small, or quite large (8 fold increase in plasma AUC of the TCA). In addition, certain drugs inhibit the activity of this isozyme and make normal metabolizers resemble poor metabolizers. An individual who is stable on a given dose of TCA may become abruptly toxic when given one of these inhibiting drugs as concomitant therapy. The drugs that inhibit cytochrome P450 2D6 include some that are not metabolized by the enzyme (quinidine; cimetidine) and many that are substrates for P450 2D6 (many other antidepressants, phenothiazines, and the Type 1C antiarrhythmics propafenone and flecainide). While all the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), e.g., fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, and fluvoxamine, inhibit P450 2D6, they may vary in the extent of inhibition. Fluvoxamine has also been shown to inhibit P450 1A2, an isoform also involved in TCA metabolism. The extent to which SSRI-TCA interactions may pose clinical problems will depend on the degree of inhibition and the pharmacokinetics of the SSRI involved. Nevertheless, caution is indicated in the co-administration of TCAs with any of the SSRIs and also in switching from one class to the other. Of particular importance, sufficient time must elapse before initiating TCA treatment in a patient being withdrawn from fluoxetine, given the long half-life of the parent and active metabolite (at least 5 weeks may be necessary). Concomitant use of agents in the tricyclic antidepressant class (which includes Equinorm) with drugs that can inhibit cytochrome P450 2D6 may require lower doses than usually prescribed for either the tricyclic antidepressant agent or the other drug. Furthermore, whenever one of these drugs is withdrawn from co-therapy, an increased dose of tricyclic antidepressant agent may be required. It is desirable to monitor TCA plasma levels whenever an agent of the tricyclic antidepressant class including Equinorm is going to be co-administered with another drug known to be an inhibitor of P450 2D6 (and/or P450 1A2).
Because Equinorm is highly bound to serum protein, the administration of Equinorm to patients taking other drugs that are highly bound to protein (e.g., warfarin, digoxin) may cause an increase in plasma concentrations of these drugs, potentially resulting in adverse effects. Conversely, adverse effects may result from displacement of protein-bound Equinorm by other highly bound drugs.
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Information checked by Dr. Sachin Kumar, MD Pharmacology