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Wyeth's Pristiq, a New Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder in Adults, Now Available in U.S. Pharmacies

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa., May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE: WYE), announced today that PRISTIQ(TM) (desvenlafaxine), a new serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) approved to treat adult patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), is now available in U.S. retail pharmacies nationwide. The recommended dose of PRISTIQ is 50 milligrams (mg) once daily. The Company begins full-scale selling and educational efforts regarding PRISTIQ for physicians this week.

"We are proud to make PRISTIQ available as a new treatment option for the millions of American adults who struggle with depression," comments Philip Ninan, M.D., Vice President, Wyeth Medical Affairs, Neuroscience. "The recommended therapeutic dose of PRISTIQ is 50 mg once daily. Titration is not required to reach the recommended therapeutic dose." Dosage adjustment (50 mg every other day) is necessary, however, in patients with severe renal impairment or end-stage renal disease.


PRISTIQ, an SNRI approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on February 29, 2008, is an important new treatment option for the millions of adults in the United States who have MDD. Discovered and developed by Wyeth, PRISTIQ demonstrates the Company's significant and continued commitment to developing new therapies in the field of neuroscience.

At the recommended dose of 50 mg, the discontinuation rate due to an adverse experience for PRISTIQ (4.1 percent) was similar to the rate for placebo (3.8 percent) in clinical studies. The most commonly observed adverse reactions in patients taking PRISTIQ for MDD in short-term, fixed-dose studies (incidence greater than or equal to 5 percent and at least twice the rate of placebo in the 50 mg dose groups) were nausea, dizziness, hyperhidrosis, constipation and decreased appetite.

About Major Depressive Disorder

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common mental disorder, affecting about 121 million people worldwide. In the United States, MDD affects approximately 15 million adults, or 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. In fact, depression is among the leading causes of disability and the fourth leading contributor to the global burden of disease. Further, a research study estimated that the total economic burden of depression was $83.1 billion in 2000, including direct treatment costs and suicide- and work-related costs.

Important Treatment Considerations


* Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal

thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young

adults in short-term studies of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and

other psychiatric disorders.

* Anyone considering the use of PRISTIQ or any other antidepressant in a

child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the

clinical need.

* 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 in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in

adults aged 65 and older.

* Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves

associated with increases in the risk of suicide.

* Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be

monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening,

suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers

should be advised of the need for close observation and communication

with the prescriber.

* PRISTIQ is not approved for use in pediatric patients.


* PRISTIQ is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to

PRISTIQ or venlafaxine.

* PRISTIQ must not be used concomitantly with an MAOI or within 14 days of

stopping an MAOI. Allow 7 days after stopping PRISTIQ before starting

an MAOI.

Warnings and Precautions

* All patients treated with antidepressants should be monitored

appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality,

and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the first few months

of treatment and when changing the dose. Consider changing the

therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing the medication, in

patients whose depression is persistently worse or includes symptoms of

anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility,

aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia, hypomania, mania, or suicidality

that are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient's

presenting symptoms. Families and caregivers of patients being treated

with antidepressants should be alerted about the need to monitor


* Development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome may

occur with SNRIs and SSRIs, including PRISTIQ, particularly with

concomitant use of serotonergic drugs, including triptans, and with

drugs that impair the metabolism of serotonin (including MAOIs). If

concomitant use is clinically warranted, careful observation of the

patient is advised, particularly during treatment initiation and dose

increases. Concomitant use of PRISTIQ with serotonin precursors is not


* Patients receiving PRISTIQ should have regular monitoring of blood

pressure since sustained increases in blood pressure were observed in

clinical studies. Pre-existing hypertension should be controlled before

starting PRISTIQ. Caution should be exercised in treating patients with

pre-existing hypertension or other underlying conditions that might be

compromised by increases in blood pressure. Cases of elevated blood

pressure requiring immediate treatment have been reported. For patients

who experience a sustained increase in blood pressure, either dose

reduction or discontinuation should be considered.

* SSRIs and SNRIs, including PRISTIQ, may increase the risk of bleeding

events. Concomitant use of aspirin, NSAIDs, warfarin, and other

anticoagulants may add to this risk.

* Mydriasis has been reported in association with PRISTIQ; therefore,

patients with raised intraocular pressure or those at risk of acute

narrow-angle glaucoma (angle-closure glaucoma) should be monitored.

* PRISTIQ is not approved for use in bipolar depression. Prior to

initiating treatment with an antidepressant, patients should be

adequately screened to determine the risk of bipolar disorder.

* As with all antidepressants, PRISTIQ should be used cautiously in

patients with a history or family history of mania or hypomania, or with

a history of seizure disorder.

* Caution is advised in administering PRISTIQ to patients with

cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, or lipid metabolism disorders.

Increases in blood pressure and small increases in heart rate were

observed in clinical studies with PRISTIQ. PRISTIQ has not been

evaluated systematically in patients with a recent history of myocardial

infarction, unstable heart disease, uncontrolled hypertension, or

cerebrovascular disease.

* Dose-related elevations in fasting serum total cholesterol, LDL (low

density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and triglycerides were observed in

clinical studies. Measurement of serum lipids should be considered

during PRISTIQ treatment.

* On discontinuation, adverse events, some of which may be serious, have

been reported with PRISTIQ and other SSRIs and SNRIs. Abrupt

discontinuation of PRISTIQ has been associated with the appearance of

new symptoms. Patients should be monitored for symptoms when

discontinuing treatment. A gradual reduction in dose (by giving 50 mg

of PRISTIQ less frequently) rather than abrupt cessation is recommended

whenever possible.

* Dosage adjustment (50 mg every other day) is necessary in patients with

severe renal impairment or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The dose

should not be escalated in patients with moderate or severe renal

impairment or ESRD.

* Products containing desvenlafaxine and products containing venlafaxine

should not be used concomitantly with PRISTIQ.

* Hyponatremia may occur as a result of treatment with SSRIs and SNRIs,

including PRISTIQ. Discontinuation of PRISTIQ should be considered in

patients with symptomatic hyponatremia.

* Interstitial lung disease and eosinophilic pneumonia associated with

venlafaxine (the parent drug of PRISTIQ) therapy have been rarely


Adverse Reactions

* The most commonly observed adverse reactions in patients taking PRISTIQ

vs placebo for MDD in short-term fixed-dose premarketing studies

(incidence greater than or equal to 5% and twice the rate of placebo in

the 50-mg dose group) were nausea (22% vs 10%), dizziness (13% vs 5%),

hyperhidrosis (10% vs 4%), constipation (9% vs 4%), and decreased

appetite (5% vs 2%).

For full prescribing information for PRISTIQ, please go to

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, has leading products in the areas of women's health care, infectious disease, gastrointestinal health, central nervous system, inflammation, transplantation, hemophilia, oncology, vaccines and nutritional products.

Wyeth is one of the world's largest research-driven pharmaceutical and health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products, nutritionals and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life for people worldwide. The Company's major divisions include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Fort Dodge Animal Health.

The statements in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. In particular, there can be no assurance that PRISTIQ will be commercially successful in the highly competitive market for antidepressants in the United States, or that PRISTIQ will be approved in the future for other indications (including treatment of vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause) and/or in other countries. Other risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the inherent uncertainty of the timing and success of, and expense associated with, research, development, regulatory approval and commercialization of our products and pipeline products; government cost-containment initiatives; restrictions on third-party payments for our products; substantial competition in our industry, including from branded and generic products; emerging data on our products and pipeline products; the importance of strong performance from our principal products and our anticipated new product introductions; the highly regulated nature of our business; product liability, intellectual property and other litigation risks and environmental liabilities; uncertainty regarding our intellectual property rights and those of others; difficulties associated with, and regulatory compliance with respect to, manufacturing of our products; risks associated with our strategic relationships; economic conditions including interest and currency exchange rate fluctuations; changes in generally accepted accounting principles; trade buying patterns; the impact of legislation and regulatory compliance; risks and uncertainties associated with global operations and sales; and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed from time to time in our periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our current reports on Form 8-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and annual report on Form 10-K, particularly the discussion under the caption "Item 1A, Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 29, 2008. The forward-looking statements in this press release are qualified by these risk factors. We assume no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

SOURCE Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
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