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FDA Approves Symbyax(R) as First Medication for Treatment-Resistant Depression
Date:3/23/2009

t an increased risk of death.

In addition, compared to elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis taking a placebo, there was a significantly higher incidence of cerebrovascular adverse events in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with olanzapine, a component of Symbyax.

Symbyax should not be used with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or within at least 14 days of discontinuing an MAOI. At least five weeks should be allowed after stopping Symbyax before starting an MAOI. Thioridazine should not be given with Symbyax or within at least five weeks after stopping Symbyax. Concomitant use of Symbyax in patients taking pimozide is contraindicated. Symbyax is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to the product or any component of the product.

As with all antipsychotic medications, a potentially fatal condition known as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) has been reported with olanzapine. If signs and symptoms appear, immediate discontinuation is recommended. Clinical manifestations of NMS are hyperpyrexia, muscle rigidity, altered mental status and evidence of autonomic instability (irregular pulse or blood pressure, tachycardia, diaphoresis and cardiac dysrhythmia). Additional signs may include elevated creatinine phosphokinase, myoglobinuria (rhabdomyolysis) and acute renal failure.

Hyperglycemia, in some cases associated with ketoacidosis, coma, or death, has been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics, including olanzapine alone, as well as olanzapine taken concomitantly with fluoxetine. While relative risk estimates are inconsistent, the association between atypical antipsychotics and increases in glucose levels appears to fall on a continuum and olanzapine appears to have a greater association than some other atypical antipsychotics. Physicians should consider the risks and benefits when prescribing Symbyax to patients w
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