Isocarboxazid | Marplan
Marplan is indicated for the treatment of depression. Because of its potentially serious side effects, Marplan is not an antidepressant of first choice in the treatment of newly diagnosed depressed patients. The efficacy of Marplan in the treatment of depression was established in 6-week controlled trials of depressed outpatients. These patients had symptoms that corresponded to the DSM-IV category of major depressive disorder; however, they often also had signs and symptoms of anxiety (anxious mood, panic, and/or phobic symptoms) (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). A major depressive episode (DSM-IV) implies a prominent and relatively persistent (nearly every day for at least 2 weeks) depressed or dysphoric mood that usually interferes with daily functioning, and includes at least five of the following nine symptoms: depressed mood, loss of interest in usual activities, significant change in weight and/or appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, psychomotor agitation or retardation, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, and a suicide attempt or suicidal ideation.
The antidepressant effectiveness of Marplan in hospitalized depressed patients, or in endogenomorphically retarded and delusionally depressed patients, has not been adequately studied. The effectiveness of Marplan in long-term use, that is, for more than 6 weeks, has not been systematically evaluated in controlled trials. Therefore, the physician who elects to use Marplan for extended periods should periodically evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.
Isocarboxazid | Marplan Prescribing Information Highlights
The following points are shortened, highlighted information from prescribing information for this drug. For the full prescribing information PDF, click the button below to be directed to the FDA PDF label for this drug.
—–INDICATIONS AND USAGE—–
- See description above.
—–DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION—–
- See description above.
- Marplan (isocarboxazid) should not be administered in combination with any of the following: MAO inhibitors or dibenzazepine derivatives; sympathomimetics (including amphetamines); some central nervous system depressants (including narcotics and alcohol); antihypertensive, diuretic, antihistaminic, sedative or anesthetic drugs, buproprion HCL, buspirone HCL, dextromethorphan, cheese or other foods with a high tyramine content; or excessive quantities of caffeine. Marplan (isocarboxazid) should not be administered to any patient with a confirmed or suspected cerebrovascular defect or to any patient with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, or history of headache.
- Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk: 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 shortterm 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 18-24) 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 4400 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.
- Information for Patients: Prescribers or other health professionals should inform patients, their families, and their caregivers about the benefits and risks associated with treatment with Marplan and should counsel them in its appropriate use. A patient Medication Guide about “Antidepressant Medications, Depression and Other Serious Mental Illness, and Suicidal Thoughts and Actions” is available for Marplan. 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 contents. Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss the contents of the Medication Guide and to obtain answers to any questions they may have. The complete text 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 Marplan.
- Hypotension: Hypotension has been observed during Marplan therapy. Symptoms of postural hypotension are seen most commonly, but not exclusively, in patients with preexistent hypertension; blood pressure usually returns rapidly to pretreatment levels upon discontinuation of the drug. Dosage increases should be made more gradually in patients showing a tendency toward hypotension at the beginning of therapy. Postural hypotension may be relieved by having the patient lie down until blood pressure returns to normal. When Marplan is combined with phenothiazine derivatives or other compounds known to cause hypotension, the possibility of additive hypotensive effects should be considered.
- Lower Seizure Threshold: Because Marplan lowers the convulsive threshold in some animal experiments, suitable precautions should be taken if epileptic patients are treated. Marplan appears to have varying effects in epileptic patients; while some have a decrease in frequency of seizures, others have more seizures. Drugs that lower the seizure threshold, including MAO inhibitors, should not be used with Amipaque® (metrizamide, Sanofi Winthrop Pharmaceuticals). As with other MAO inhibitors, Marplan should be discontinued at least 48 hours before myelography and should not be resumed for at least 24 hours postprocedure.
- Hepatotoxicity: There is a low incidence of altered liver function or jaundice in patients treated with Marplan. In the past, it was difficult to differentiate most cases of drug-induced hepatocellular jaundice from viral hepatitis although this is no longer true. Periodic liver chemistry tests should be performed during Marplan therapy; use of the drug should be discontinued at the first sign of hepatic dysfunction or jaundice.
- Suicide: In depressed patients, the possibility of suicide should always be considered and adequate precautions taken. Exclusive reliance on drug therapy to prevent suicidal attempts is unwarranted, as there may be a delay in the onset of therapeutic effect or an increase in anxiety or agitation. Also, some patients fail to respond to drug therapy or may respond only temporarily. The strictest supervision, and preferably hospitalization, are required.
- Use in Patients With Concomitant Illness: MAO inhibitors can suppress anginal pain that would otherwise serve as a warning of myocardial ischemia. In patients with impaired renal function, Marplan should be used cautiously to prevent accumulation. Some MAO inhibitors have contributed to hypoglycemic episodes in diabetic patients receiving insulin or glycemic agents. Marplan should therefore be used with caution in diabetics using these drugs. Marplan may aggravate coexisting symptoms in depression, such as anxiety and agitation. Use Marplan with caution in hyperthyroid patients because of their increased sensitivity to pressor amines. Marplan should be used cautiously in hyperactive or agitated patients, as well as in schizophrenic patients, because it may cause excessive stimulation. Activation of mania/hypomania has been reported in a small proportion of patients with major affective disorder who were treated with marketed antidepressants.
- Adverse Findings Observed in Short-Term, Placebo-Controlled Trials Systematically collected data are available from only 86 patients exposed to Marplan, of whom only 52 received doses of ≥50 mg/day, including only 11 who were dosed at ≥60 mg/day. Because of the limited experience with systematically monitored patients receiving Marplan at the higher end of the currently recommended dose range of up to 60 mg/day, caution is indicated in patients for whom a dose of 40 mg/day is exceeded (see WARNINGS). The table that follows enumerates the incidence, rounded to the nearest percent, of treatment emergent adverse events that occurred among 86 depressed patients who received Marplan at doses ranging from 20 to 80 mg/day in placebo-controlled trials of 6 weeks in duration. Events included are those occurring in 1% or more of patients treated with Marplan and for which the incidence in patients treated with Marplan was greater than the incidence in placebo-treated patients. The prescriber should be aware that these figures cannot be used to predict the incidence of adverse events in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors differ from those which prevailed in clinical trials. Similarly, the cited frequencies cannot be compared with figures obtained from other clinical investigations involving different treatments, uses, and investigators. The cited figures, however, do provide the prescribing physician with some basis for estimating the relative contribution of drug and non-drug factors to the adverse event incidence rate in the population studied.
- Isolated cases of akathisia, ataxia, black tongue, coma, dysuria, euphoria, hematologic changes, incontinence, neuritis, photosensitivity, sexual disturbances, spider telangiectases, and urinary retention have been reported. These side effects sometimes necessitate discontinuation of therapy. In rare instances, hallucinations have been reported with high dosages, but they have disappeared upon reduction of dosage or discontinuation of therapy. Toxic amblyopia was reported in one psychiatric patient who had received isocarboxazid for about a year; no causal relationship to isocarboxazid was established. Impaired water excretion compatible with the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) has been reported.