Skip to Content
Could you or a loved one be experiencing depression?

Brexpiprazole

Pronunciation

(breks PIP ray zole)

Index Terms

  • OPC-34712

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Tablet, Oral:

Rexulti: 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg, 4 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Rexulti

Pharmacologic Category

  • Second Generation (Atypical) Antipsychotic

Pharmacology

Brexpiprazole exhibits partial agonist activity for 5-HT1A and D2 receptors and antagonist activity for 5-HT2A receptors.

Distribution

Vd: IV: 1.56 L/kg

Metabolism

Hepatic, primarily by CYP3A4 and CYP2D6; major metabolite, DM-3411 (inactive)

Excretion

Feces (46%, ~14% of the total dose as unchanged drug); urine (25%, <1% of the total dose as unchanged drug)

Time to Peak

Plasma: Within 4 hours

Half-Life Elimination

Terminal: Brexpiprazole: 91 hours; DM-3411: 86 hours

Protein Binding

>99%, primarily to serum albumin and alpha1-acid glycoprotein

Special Populations: Renal Function Impairment

AUC was increased in patients with renal impairment (CrCl <60 mL/minute) compared to patients with normal renal function.

Special Populations: Hepatic Function Impairment

AUC increased in patients with moderate-to-severe hepatic impairment.

Special Populations Note

CYP2D6 poor metabolizers: Increased Cmax is observed in CYP2D6 poor metabolizers compared to normal CYP2D6 metabolizers.

Use: Labeled Indications

Major depressive disorder: Adjunctive treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD)

Schizophrenia: Treatment of schizophrenia

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity (eg, anaphylaxis, facial swelling, rash, urticaria) to brexpiprazole or any component of the formulation

Dosing: Adult

Major Depressive disorder (adjunct to antidepressants): Oral: Initial: 0.5 mg or 1 mg once daily; titrate at weekly intervals based on response and tolerability to 1 mg once daily (if initial dose is 0.5 mg), followed by 2 mg once daily; maximum daily dose: 3 mg

Schizophrenia: Oral: Initial: 1 mg once daily for 4 days, titrate based on response and tolerability to 2 mg once daily for 3 days, followed by 4 mg on day 8; maximum daily dose: 4 mg

Dosage adjustment for CYP2D6 poor metabolizers:

CYP2D6 poor metabolizers: Administer 1/2 of the usual dose

Known CYP2D6 poor metabolizers taking moderate/strong CYP3A4 inhibitors: Administer 1/4 of the usual dose

Dosage adjustment with concomitant therapy: Note: If the coadministered drug is discontinued, adjust brexpiprazole to original dose; if the coadministered CYP3A4 inducer is discontinued, reduce brexpiprazole to original dose over 1 to 2 weeks.

Strong CYP2D6 inhibitors:

Major depressive disorder: Dosage adjustment not necessary.

Schizophrenia: Administer 1/2 of the usual dose

Strong CYP3A4 inhibitors: Administer 1/2 of the usual dose

Moderate/strong CYP2D6 inhibitors in combination with moderate/strong CYP3A4 inhibitors: Administer 1/4 of the usual dose

Strong CYP3A4 inducers: Double the usual dose over 1 to 2 weeks

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing

Dosing: Renal Impairment

CrCl ≥60 mL/minute: No dosage adjustment necessary.

CrCl <60 mL/minute: Maximum dose:

Major depressive disorder: 2 mg once daily

Schizophrenia: 3 mg once daily

Hemodialysis: There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling (has not been studied); however, removal by dialysis unlikely since brexpiprazole is highly protein bound.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

Mild impairment (Child-Pugh class A): There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling.

Moderate to severe impairment (Child-Pugh class B or C): Maximum dose:

Major depressive disorder: 2 mg once daily

Schizophrenia: 3 mg once daily

Administration

Oral: Administer with or without food.

Storage

Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F); excursions permitted to 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F).

Drug Interactions

Abiraterone Acetate: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Management: Avoid concurrent use of abiraterone with CYP2D6 substrates that have a narrow therapeutic index whenever possible. When concurrent use is not avoidable, monitor patients closely for signs/symptoms of toxicity. Consider therapy modification

Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors (Central): May enhance the neurotoxic (central) effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Severe extrapyramidal symptoms have occurred in some patients. Monitor therapy

Ajmaline: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Alcohol (Ethyl): CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Alcohol (Ethyl). Monitor therapy

Amisulpride: Antipsychotic Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Amisulpride. Avoid combination

Amphetamines: Antipsychotic Agents may diminish the stimulatory effect of Amphetamines. Monitor therapy

Antidiabetic Agents: Hyperglycemia-Associated Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Anti-Parkinson Agents (Dopamine Agonist): Antipsychotic Agents (Second Generation [Atypical]) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Anti-Parkinson Agents (Dopamine Agonist). Management: Consider using an alternative antipsychotic agent when possible in patients with Parkinson disease. If an atypical antipsychotic is necessary, consider using clozapine or quetiapine, which may convey the lowest interaction risk. Consider therapy modification

Aprepitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Asunaprevir: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Consider therapy modification

Azelastine (Nasal): CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Azelastine (Nasal). Avoid combination

Blonanserin: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Blonanserin. Consider therapy modification

Blood Pressure Lowering Agents: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Antipsychotic Agents (Second Generation [Atypical]). Monitor therapy

Bosentan: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Brimonidine (Topical): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Buprenorphine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Buprenorphine. Management: Consider reduced doses of other CNS depressants, and avoiding such drugs in patients at high risk of buprenorphine overuse/self-injection. Initiate buprenorphine patches (Butrans brand) at 5 mcg/hr in adults when used with other CNS depressants. Consider therapy modification

Cannabis: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

CNS Depressants: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Conivaptan: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Avoid combination

CYP2D6 Inhibitors (Moderate): May increase the serum concentration of Brexpiprazole. Management: If brexpiprazole is to be used together with both a moderate CYP2D6 inhibitor and a strong or moderate CYP3A4 inhibitor, the brexpiprazole dose should be reduced to 25% of the usual dose. Monitor therapy

CYP2D6 Inhibitors (Strong): May increase the serum concentration of Brexpiprazole. Management: Reduce brexpiprazole dose to 50% of usual with a strong CYP2D6 inhibitor; this recommendation does not apply if treating major depressive disorder. Reduce to 25% of usual if used with both a strong CYP2D6 inhibitor and a CYP3A4 inhibitor. Consider therapy modification

CYP3A4 Inducers (Moderate): May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inducers (Strong): May decrease the serum concentration of Brexpiprazole. Management: If brexpiprazole is used together with a strong CYP3A4 inducer, the brexpiprazole dose should gradually be doubled over the course of 1 to 2 weeks. Consider therapy modification

CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Moderate): May increase the serum concentration of Brexpiprazole. Management: The brexpiprazole dose should be reduced to 25% of usual if used together with both a moderate CYP3A4 inhibitor and a strong or moderate CYP2D6 inhibitor, or if a moderate CYP3A4 inhibitor is used in a CYP2D6 poor metabolizer. Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Strong): May increase the serum concentration of Brexpiprazole. Management: Reduce brexpiprazole dose to 50% of usual with a strong CYP3A4 inhibitor; reduce to 25% of usual if used with both a moderate CYP3A4 inhibitor and a CYP2D6 inhibitor, or if a strong CYP3A4 inhibitor is used in a CYP2D6 poor metabolizer. Consider therapy modification

Dabrafenib: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Management: Seek alternatives to the CYP3A4 substrate when possible. If concomitant therapy cannot be avoided, monitor clinical effects of the substrate closely (particularly therapeutic effects). Consider therapy modification

Dasatinib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Deferasirox: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Dimethindene: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Doxylamine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: The manufacturer of Diclegis (doxylamine/pyridoxine), intended for use in pregnancy, specifically states that use with other CNS depressants is not recommended. Monitor therapy

Dronabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Droperidol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Consider dose reductions of droperidol or of other CNS agents (e.g., opioids, barbiturates) with concomitant use. Consider therapy modification

Enzalutamide: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Management: Concurrent use of enzalutamide with CYP3A4 substrates that have a narrow therapeutic index should be avoided. Use of enzalutamide and any other CYP3A4 substrate should be performed with caution and close monitoring. Consider therapy modification

Flunitrazepam: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Flunitrazepam. Consider therapy modification

Fosaprepitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Fusidic Acid (Systemic): May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Avoid combination

HYDROcodone: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of HYDROcodone. Management: Consider starting with a 20% to 30% lower hydrocodone dose when using together with any other CNS depressant. Dose reductions in the other CNS depressant may also be warranted. Consider therapy modification

HydrOXYzine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Idelalisib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Avoid combination

Imatinib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Ivacaftor: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Kava Kava: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Lithium: May enhance the neurotoxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Lithium may decrease the serum concentration of Antipsychotic Agents. Specifically noted with chlorpromazine. Monitor therapy

Luliconazole: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Lumefantrine: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Magnesium Sulfate: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Mequitazine: Antipsychotic Agents may enhance the arrhythmogenic effect of Mequitazine. Management: Consider alternatives to one of these agents when possible. While this combination is not specifically contraindicated, mequitazine labeling describes this combination as discouraged. Consider therapy modification

Methotrimeprazine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Methotrimeprazine. Methotrimeprazine may enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Reduce adult dose of CNS depressant agents by 50% with initiation of concomitant methotrimeprazine therapy. Further CNS depressant dosage adjustments should be initiated only after clinically effective methotrimeprazine dose is established. Consider therapy modification

Methylphenidate: Antipsychotic Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Methylphenidate. Methylphenidate may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Monitor therapy

Metoclopramide: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Avoid combination

MetyroSINE: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of MetyroSINE. Monitor therapy

MetyroSINE: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Monitor therapy

MiFEPRIStone: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Management: Minimize doses of CYP3A4 substrates, and monitor for increased concentrations/toxicity, during and 2 weeks following treatment with mifepristone. Avoid cyclosporine, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, fentanyl, pimozide, quinidine, sirolimus, and tacrolimus. Consider therapy modification

Minocycline: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Mirtazapine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Mirtazapine. Monitor therapy

Mitotane: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Management: Doses of CYP3A4 substrates may need to be adjusted substantially when used in patients being treated with mitotane. Consider therapy modification

Nabilone: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Netupitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Orphenadrine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Orphenadrine. Avoid combination

OxyCODONE: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of OxyCODONE. Management: When oxycodone is combined with another CNS depressant, a dose reduction of one or both agents should be considered. The extended release oxycodone starting dose should be reduced 50% to 67% when initiated in patients already receiving CNS depressants. Consider therapy modification

Palbociclib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Panobinostat: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Management: Avoid concurrent use of sensitive CYP2D6 substrates when possible, particularly those substrates with a narrow therapeutic index. Consider therapy modification

Paraldehyde: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Paraldehyde. Avoid combination

Peginterferon Alfa-2b: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Peginterferon Alfa-2b may increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Perampanel: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Patients taking perampanel with any other drug that has CNS depressant activities should avoid complex and high-risk activities, particularly those such as driving that require alertness and coordination, until they have experience using the combination. Consider therapy modification

Perhexiline: CYP2D6 Substrates may increase the serum concentration of Perhexiline. Perhexiline may increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Piribedil [INT]: Antipsychotic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Piribedil [INT]. Piribedil [INT] may diminish the therapeutic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Management: Use of piribedil with antiemetic neuroleptics is contraindicated, and use with antipsychotic neuroleptics, except for clozapine, is not recommended. Avoid combination

Quinagolide: Antipsychotic Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Quinagolide. Monitor therapy

QuiNINE: May increase the serum concentration of CYP2D6 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Rufinamide: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Specifically, sleepiness and dizziness may be enhanced. Monitor therapy

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: CNS Depressants may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Specifically, the risk of psychomotor impairment may be enhanced. Monitor therapy

Serotonin Modulators: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Specifically, serotonin modulators may enhance dopamine blockade, possibly increasing the risk for neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Antipsychotic Agents may enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonin Modulators. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Exceptions: Nicergoline. Monitor therapy

Siltuximab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Simeprevir: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Sodium Oxybate: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Consider alternatives to combined use. When combined use is needed, consider minimizing doses of one or more drugs. Use of sodium oxybate with alcohol or sedative hypnotics is contraindicated. Consider therapy modification

St John's Wort: May decrease the serum concentration of Brexpiprazole. Management: If brexpiprazole is used together with St Johns wort, the brexpiprazole dose should gradually be doubled over the course of 1 to 2 weeks. Consider therapy modification

Stiripentol: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Management: Use of stiripentol with CYP3A4 substrates that are considered to have a narrow therapeutic index should be avoided due to the increased risk for adverse effects and toxicity. Any CYP3A4 substrate used with stiripentol requires closer monitoring. Consider therapy modification

Sulpiride: Antipsychotic Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Sulpiride. Avoid combination

Suvorexant: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Suvorexant. Management: Dose reduction of suvorexant and/or any other CNS depressant may be necessary. Use of suvorexant with alcohol is not recommended, and the use of suvorexant with any other drug to treat insomnia is not recommended. Consider therapy modification

Tapentadol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Start tapentadol at a dose of one-third to one-half of the normal dose if being initiated in a patient who is taking another drug with CNS depressant effects. Monitor closely for evidence of excessive CNS depression. Consider therapy modification

Tetrabenazine: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Antipsychotic Agents. Monitor therapy

Tetrahydrocannabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Thalidomide: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Thalidomide. Avoid combination

Tocilizumab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Trimeprazine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Zolpidem: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Zolpidem. Management: Reduce the Intermezzo brand sublingual zolpidem adult dose to 1.75 mg for men who are also receiving other CNS depressants. No such dose change is recommended for women. Avoid use with other CNS depressants at bedtime; avoid use with alcohol. Consider therapy modification

Adverse Reactions

>10%:

Central nervous system: Akathisia (4% to 14%; dose-related)

Endocrine & metabolic: Increased serum triglycerides(<500 mg/dL: 8% to 13%; ≥500 mg/dL: <1%), weight gain (3% to 11%)

1% to 10%:

Central nervous system: Headache (major depressive disorder: 9%), drug-induced extrapyramidal reaction (5% to 6%), drowsiness (4% to 6%), fatigue (major depressive disorder: 3% to 5%), dizziness (major depressive disorder: 2% to 5%), anxiety (major depressive disorder: 2% to 4%), restlessness (major depressive disorder: 2% to 4%; dose-related), sedation (2% to 3%), abnormal dreams (≥1%), insomnia (≥1%)

Dermatologic: Hyperhidrosis (≥1%)

Endocrine & metabolic: Decreased cortisol (major depressive disorder: 3% to 4%), increased serum prolactin (≥1%)

Gastrointestinal: Dyspepsia (schizophrenia: 3% to 6%), increased appetite (major depressive disorder: 3%), constipation (major depressive disorder: 2% to 3%), diarrhea (schizophrenia: 2%), abdominal pain (≥1%), flatulence (≥1%), nausea (≥1%), sialorrhea (≥1%), xerostomia (≥1%)

Genitourinary: Urinary tract infection (≥1%)

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Tremor (2% to 5%), increased creatine phosphokinase (schizophrenia: 2% to 4%), myalgia (≥1%)

Ophthalmic: Blurred vision (≥1%)

Respiratory: Nasopharyngitis (major depressive disorder: 3% to 7%)

<1% (Limited to important or life-threatening): Dystonia (excluding akathisia), orthostatic hypotension, syncope

ALERT: U.S. Boxed Warning

Increased mortality in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis:

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Brexpiprazole is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.

Suicidal thoughts and behaviors:

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in patients aged 24 years and younger in short-term studies. Monitor closely for clinical worsening and for emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The safety and efficacy of brexpiprazole have not been established in pediatric patients.

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse reactions:

• Blood dyscrasias: Leukopenia, neutropenia, and agranulocytosis (sometimes fatal) have been reported in clinical trials and postmarketing reports with antipsychotic use; presence of risk factors (eg, preexisting low WBC/ANC or history of drug-induced leuko-/neutropenia) should prompt periodic blood count assessment. Discontinue therapy at first signs of blood dyscrasias or if absolute neutrophil count <1,000/mm3.

• Cerebrovascular effects: An increased incidence of cerebrovascular effects (eg, transient ischemic attack, stroke), including fatalities, has been reported in placebo-controlled trials of antipsychotics for the unapproved use in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.

• CNS depression: May cause CNS depression, which may impair physical or mental abilities; patients must be cautioned about performing tasks that require mental alertness (eg, operating machinery, driving).

• Dyslipidemia: Has been reported with atypical antipsychotics; risk profile may differ between agents. In clinical trials, the incidence of hypertriglyceridemia observed with brexpiprazole was greater than observed with placebo, while changes in fasting total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL were similar.

• Esophageal dysmotility/aspiration: Antipsychotic use has been associated with esophageal dysmotility and aspiration; use with caution in patients at risk for aspiration pneumonia (eg, Alzheimer dementia) (Maddalena 2004).

• Extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS): May cause extrapyramidal symptoms, including pseudoparkinsonism, acute dystonic reactions, akathisia, and tardive dyskinesia (risk of these reactions is generally much lower relative to typical/conventional antipsychotics). Risk of dystonia (and probably other EPS) may be greater with increased doses, use of conventional antipsychotics, males, and younger patients. Factors associated with greater vulnerability to tardive dyskinesia include older in age, female gender combined with postmenopausal status, Parkinson disease, pseudoparkinsonism symptoms, affective disorders (particularly major depressive disorder), concurrent medical diseases such as diabetes, previous brain damage, alcoholism, poor treatment response, and use of high doses of antipsychotics (APA [Lehman 2004]; Soares-Weiser 2007). Consider therapy discontinuation with signs/symptoms of tardive dyskinesia.

• Hyperglycemia: Atypical antipsychotics have been associated with development of hyperglycemia; in some cases, may be extreme and associated with ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar coma, or death. All patients should be monitored for symptoms of hyperglycemia (eg, polydipsia, polyuria, polyphagia, weakness). Use with caution in patients with diabetes or other disorders of glucose regulation; monitor for worsening of glucose control. Patients with risk factors for diabetes (eg, obesity or family history) should have a baseline fasting blood sugar (FBS) and periodic assessment of glucose regulation. Hyperglycemia may resolve with discontinuation of antipsychotic; some patients may require treatment of diabetes after discontinuation of therapy.

• Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS): Use may be associated with neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS); monitor for mental status changes, fever, muscle rigidity, and/or autonomic instability.

• Orthostatic hypotension: May cause orthostatic hypotension; increased risk at initiation of therapy or during dose escalation. Use with caution in patients at risk of this effect or in those who would not tolerate transient hypotensive episodes (patients who are antipsychotic-naive or have cerebrovascular disease, cardiovascular disease, hypovolemia, dehydration, or are taking concurrent medication use which may predispose to hypotension/bradycardia). Consider using lower starting dosages and slower titrations in these patients.

• Suicidal thinking/behavior: [US Boxed Warning]: Antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults (≤24 years of age). Short-term studies did not show an increased risk in patients >24 years of age and showed a decreased risk in patients ≥65 years. Closely monitor patients for clinical worsening and suicidality particularly during the initial 1 to 2 months of therapy or during periods of dosage adjustments (increases or decreases); the patient’s family or caregiver should be instructed to closely observe the patient and communicate condition with healthcare provider. Safety and efficacy have not been established in pediatric patients.

• Temperature regulation: Antipsychotic use has been associated with impaired core body temperature regulation; caution with strenuous exercise, heat exposure, dehydration, and concomitant medication possessing anticholinergic effects.

• Weight gain: Significant weight gain has been observed with antipsychotic therapy; incidence varies with product. Monitoring of weight is recommended.

Disease-related concerns:

• Dementia: [US Boxed Warning]: Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotics are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo. Most deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (eg, heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (eg, pneumonia) in nature. Use with caution in dementia with Lewy bodies; antipsychotics may worsen dementia symptoms and patients with dementia with Lewy bodies are more sensitive to the extrapyramidal side effects (APA [Rabins 2007]). Brexpiprazole is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis.

• Parkinson disease: Use with caution in patients with Parkinson disease; antipsychotics may aggravate motor disturbances (APA [Lehman 2004; Rabins 2007]).

• Seizures: Use with caution in patients at risk of seizures or with conditions that potentially lower the seizure threshold. Elderly patients may be at increased risk of seizures due to an increased prevalence of predisposing factors.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Drug-drug interactions: Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult drug interactions database for more detailed information.

Special populations:

• Elderly: Use in patients with dementia-related psychosis is associated with an increased risk of mortality and cerebrovascular accidents. Brexpiprazole is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis.

Dosage form specific issues:

• Lactose: Tablets may contain lactose; avoid use in patients with galactose intolerance or glucose-galactose malabsorption.

Monitoring Parameters

Mental status; vital signs (as clinically indicated); blood pressure (baseline; repeat 3 months after antipsychotic initiation, then yearly); weight, height, BMI, waist circumference (baseline; repeat at 4, 8, and 12 weeks after initiating or changing therapy, then quarterly; consider switching to a different antipsychotic for a weight gain ≥5% of initial weight); CBC (as clinically indicated; monitor frequently during the first few months of therapy in patients with preexisting low WBC or history of drug-induced leukopenia/neutropenia); electrolytes and liver function (annually and as clinically indicated); personal and family history of obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease (baseline; repeat annually); fasting plasma glucose level/HbA1c (baseline; repeat 3 months after starting antipsychotic, then yearly); fasting lipid panel (baseline; repeat 3 months after initiation of antipsychotic; if LDL level is normal repeat at 2- to 5-year intervals or more frequently if clinical indicated); changes in menstruation, libido, development of galactorrhea, erectile and ejaculatory function (yearly); abnormal involuntary movements or parkinsonian signs (baseline; repeat weekly until dose stabilized for at least 2 weeks after introduction and for 2 weeks after any significant dose increase); tardive dyskinesia (every 12 months; high-risk patients every 6 months); ocular examination (yearly in patients >40 years; every 2 years in younger patients) (ADA 2004; Lehman 2004; Marder 2004).

Pregnancy Considerations

Adverse events were observed in some animal reproduction studies. Antipsychotic use during the third trimester of pregnancy has a risk for abnormal muscle movements (extrapyramidal symptoms [EPS]) and/or withdrawal symptoms in newborns following delivery. Symptoms in the newborn may include agitation, feeding disorder, hypertonia, hypotonia, respiratory distress, somnolence, and tremor; these effects may be self-limiting or require hospitalization.

Treatment algorithms have been developed by the ACOG and the APA for the management of depression in women prior to conception and during pregnancy (Yonkers 2009). The ACOG recommends that therapy during pregnancy be individualized; treatment with psychiatric medications during pregnancy should incorporate the clinical expertise of the mental health clinician, obstetrician, primary health care provider, and pediatrician. Safety data related to atypical antipsychotics during pregnancy is limited and routine use is not recommended. However, if a woman is inadvertently exposed to an atypical antipsychotic while pregnant, continuing therapy may be preferable to switching to a typical antipsychotic that the fetus has not yet been exposed to; consider risk:benefit (ACOG 2008).

Health care providers are encouraged to enroll women exposed to brexpiprazole during pregnancy in the National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics (866-961-2388 or http: / / www.womensmentalhealth.org / clinical - and - research - programs / pregnancyregistry / ).

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience fatigue, loss of strength and energy, agitation, headache, weight gain, pharyngitis, rhinitis, or tremors. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of depression (suicidal ideation, anxiety, emotional instability, or confusion), signs of infection, signs of high blood sugar (confusion, fatigue, increased thirst, increased hunger, polyuria, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit), abnormal movements, twitching, change in balance, difficulty swallowing, difficulty speaking, severe dizziness, passing out, signs of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, severe headache, confusion, change in thinking, tachycardia, abnormal heartbeat, or sweating a lot), or signs of tardive dyskinesia (unable to control body movements; tongue, face, mouth, or jaw sticking out; mouth puckering; or puffing cheeks) (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.

Hide