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PRISTIQ (desvenlafaxine succinate) Overdosage

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Human Experience

There is limited clinical experience with desvenlafaxine succinate overdosage in humans. In pre-marketing clinical trials, no cases of fatal acute overdose of desvenlafaxine succinate were reported.

Among the patients included in the pre-marketing major depressive disorder trials of desvenlafaxine succinate, there were four adults who ingested doses over 800 mg of desvenlafaxine (4000 mg [desvenlafaxine alone], 900, 1800 and 5200 mg [in combination with other drugs]); all patients recovered. In addition, a patient’s 11 month-old child accidentally ingested 600 mg of desvenlafaxine, was treated and recovered.

The adverse reactions reported within 5 days of an overdose > 600 mg that were possibly related to desvenlafaxine included: headache, vomiting, agitation, dizziness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, paresthesia, and tachycardia.

Desvenlafaxine is the major active metabolite of venlafaxine. Overdose experience reported with venlafaxine (the parent drug of desvenlafaxine) is presented below; the identical information can be found in the Overdosage section of the venlafaxine Product Monograph.

Postmarketing Experience with EFFEXOR
In postmarketing experience, overdose with venlafaxine was reported predominantly in combination with alcohol and/or other drugs. The most commonly reported events in overdose include tachycardia, changes in level of consciousness (ranging from somnolence to coma), mydriasis, convulsion, and vomiting. Electrocardiographic changes (e.g., prolongation of QT interval, bundle branch block, QRS prolongation), ventricular tachycardia, bradycardia, hypotension, delayed rise in plasma creatine kinase levels, rhabdomyolysis, liver necrosis, serotonin syndrome, vertigo, and death have been reported. Muscle enzymes should be monitored in patients with venlafaxine overdose to detect development of rhabdomyolysis at an early stage and to initiate appropriate treatment. According to post-marketing overdose reports with venlafaxine (where overdose amounts were provided) fatal acute overdoses have been reported with venlafaxine alone at doses as low as approximately 1 gram.

Published retrospective studies report that venlafaxine overdosage may be associated with an increased risk of fatal outcomes compared to that observed with SSRI antidepressant products, but lower than that for tricyclic antidepressants. Epidemiological studies have shown that venlafaxine-treated patients have a higher burden of suicide risk factors than SSRI patients. The extent to which the finding of an increased risk of fatal outcomes can be attributed to the toxicity of venlafaxine in overdosage as opposed to some characteristics of venlafaxine-treated patients is not clear.

Prescriptions for PRISTIQ should be written for the smallest quantity of drug consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

Management of Overdosage

Treatment should consist of those general measures employed in the management of overdosage with any SSRI/SNRI.

Induction of emesis is not recommended. Because of the moderate volume of distribution of this drug, forced diuresis, dialysis, hemoperfusion, and exchange transfusion are unlikely to be of benefit. No specific antidotes for desvenlafaxine are known.

Ensure an adequate airway, oxygenation, and ventilation. Monitor cardiac rhythm and vital signs. General supportive and symptomatic measures are also recommended. Gastric lavage with a large-bore orogastric tube with appropriate airway protection, if needed, may be indicated if performed soon after ingestion or in symptomatic patients. Activated charcoal should be administered.

In managing an overdose, consider the possibility of multiple drug involvement. The physician should consider contacting a poison control center for additional information on the treatment of any overdose.

For the management of suspected drug overdose, contact your regional Poison Control Centre.

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