“Methylphenidate medications, when used as prescribed and in conjunction with behavioral therapy and lifestyle interventions, are one of the preferred first-line treatments for certain patients diagnosed with ADHD,” said Marcelo Bigal, MD, PhD, chief medical officer, Purdue Pharma, and general manager, Adlon Therapeutics. “We are pleased to receive FDA approval for Adhansia XR, a new option for appropriate patients with ADHD who may benefit from a treatment with efficacy demonstrated at one hour and 16 hours post-dose in adults, and we look forward to making it available later this year.”
The Full Prescribing Information for Adhansia XR contains a boxed warning for abuse and dependence. CNS stimulants, including Adhansia XR, other methylphenidate-containing products, and amphetamines have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Healthcare professionals should assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing Adhansia XR and monitor for signs of abuse and dependence while patients are on therapy.
“Some of my patients with ADHD, especially those who are balancing school or work and participating in social or civic activities, require the ability to sustain attention throughout the day,” said Andrew J. Cutler, MD, chief medical officer, Meridien Research, and an investigator on Adhansia XR clinical studies. “The approval of Adhansia XR offers a methylphenidate treatment option with a longer duration of efficacy, which may be appropriate for these patients.”
Adhansia XR is not appropriate for all patients, and healthcare professionals should work with their patients to determine the most appropriate treatment option. Additionally, Adhansia XR is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to methylphenidate or product components, as well as patients receiving concurrent treatment with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or who have used an MAOI within the preceding 14 days.
The Full Prescribing Information for Adhansia XR, including Boxed Warning, is available at this link. Additionally, please see Important Safety Information for Adhansia XR below, including the Boxed Warning, Contraindications, Warnings and Precautions including the potential for abuse and dependence, serious cardiovascular events, blood pressure and heart rate increases, psychiatric adverse reactions, priapism, peripheral vasculopathy, long-term suppression of growth, allergic-type reactions, and Adverse Reactions.
“ADHD affects a significant number of adolescents and adults and, when not optimally treated, can negatively impact various aspects of their lives. A subset of these patients experience impairment throughout the day. While Adhansia XR is not appropriate for all patients, a methylphenidate medication available in a single daily dose that, in adults, demonstrated efficacy at one hour and at 16 hours post-dose, has the potential to address the needs of certain individuals with ADHD,” said Craig Landau, MD, president and CEO, Purdue Pharma. “We are committed to providing information on safe prescribing practices for this medication and initiatives to support the responsible use, storage, and disposal of all medications in this class.”
The FDA approval of Adhansia XR was based on four clinical studies evaluating the efficacy and safety of Adhansia XR in patients who met DSM-5 criteria for ADHD. Eight hundred and eighty-three (883) patients were exposed to Adhansia XR during 1- to 4-week long, controlled treatment periods (434 adult patients and 449 pediatric patients [156 (6 to 12 years); 293 (12 to 17 years)] from two clinical studies in adults, one analog classroom trial over a 13-hour study day in pediatric patients ages 6 to 12 years, and one safety and efficacy study in pediatric patients ages 12 to 17 years). The safety data for adult patients are based on two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in doses of 25 mg to 100 mg per day. The safety data for pediatric patients (6 to 17 years) are based on randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in doses of 25 mg to 85 mg per day.1
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover AWE study evaluated Adhansia XR in adult patients with ADHD. Efficacy assessments were conducted at pre-dose and 1, 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, and 16 hours post-dose. The primary endpoint was the mean Permanent Measure of Performance Total scores (PERMP-T), averaged across all time points compared to placebo. PERMP-T, an objective, validated skill-adjusted math test, is the combined score obtained by adding PERMP-A (number of math problems attempted) and PERMP-C (number of math problems answered correctly).1
While receiving Adhansia XR, adults achieved statistically significant improvement over placebo, achieving greater mean PERMP-T scores averaged across all time points on the AWE days (post-dose score of 281.3 vs. 254.5; difference of 26.80, 95% CI [15.19, 38.41]). The secondary efficacy endpoints were onset and duration of clinical effect, as assessed by the treatment difference in PERMP-T scores at post-dose time points. Adhansia XR demonstrated statistically significant improvement over placebo at 1, 2, 5, 8, 11, and 16 hours post-dose, but not at hour 14 post-dose.1
In this study, 10% of Adhansia XR-treated patients discontinued due to adverse reactions compared to 0% of placebo-treated patients. The following adverse reactions led to discontinuation at a frequency of 2% of Adhansia XR-treated patients: nausea, bronchitis, viral gastroenteritis, viral infection, increased blood pressure, and hypomania.1
Sudden death, stroke and myocardial infarction have occurred in patients treated with CNS stimulants at recommended doses. Additional information about serious cardiovascular risks can be found in the Important Safety Information section below.
Adhansia XR will be available in six capsule strengths (25, 35, 45, 55, 70, and 85 mg), allowing for flexible dosing. The recommended starting dose of Adhansia XR for patients six years or older is 25 mg once daily. Healthcare professionals should titrate the dose in increments of 10 mg to 15 mg at intervals of no less than five days. Adhansia XR should be taken orally once daily in the morning, with or without food. Capsules may be taken whole or, for patients who have difficulty swallowing, capsules may be opened and the entire contents sprinkled onto a tablespoon of applesauce or yogurt. The entire mixture should be consumed without crushing or chewing, immediately or within 10 minutes. If the mixture is not consumed within 10 minutes after mixing, it should be discarded and not stored. The dose of a single capsule should not be divided and patients should not take anything less than one capsule per day. In the event of a missed dose, patients should not take their medication later in the day.1
Prior to initiating treatment with Adhansia XR, healthcare professionals should also assess for the presence of cardiac disease (i.e., perform a careful history, family history of sudden death or ventricular arrhythmia, and physical exam). Healthcare professionals should assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing Adhansia XR and monitor for signs of abuse and dependence while patients are on therapy. After prescribing and while patients are on therapy, healthcare professionals should maintain careful prescription records, educate patients and their families about abuse and proper storage and disposal of CNS stimulants, and periodically re-evaluate the need for Adhansia XR use.1
Dosages above 85 mg daily in adults and 70 mg and above daily in pediatric patients are associated with disproportionate increases in the incidence of certain adverse reactions. If paradoxical aggravation of symptoms or other adverse reactions occur, healthcare professionals should reduce the dosage, or, if necessary, discontinue treatment with Adhansia XR. Treatment with Adhansia XR should also be periodically discontinued to assess the patient’s condition. If improvement is not observed in a patient after appropriate dosage adjustment over a one-month period, healthcare providers should discontinue treatment with Adhansia XR.1 Healthcare professionals should refer to the Full Prescribing Information for additional Dosage and Administration information.
Prescription stimulants, which include methylphenidate, the active ingredient in Adhansia XR, are federally controlled substances (CII) and have a high potential for abuse and dependence.1,2 The selling or giving away of methylphenidate medications may harm others or lead to death, and is against the law.1,3 It is important for healthcare professionals to ask patients if they or a family member have ever misused prescription medicines or abused alcohol or street drugs.1,4 Patients should be counseled that they should not give Adhansia XR to anyone else, and to keep methylphenidate medications in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet, to help prevent accidental exposure, diversion, and abuse.1,5 They should also be advised to dispose of remaining, unused, or expired Adhansia XR by a medicine take-back program at authorized collection sites such as pharmacies or law enforcement locations, if available.1,6 If no take-back program or authorized collector is available, patients should mix Adhansia XR with an undesirable, nontoxic substance to make it less appealing to children and pets, place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag, and discard of it in the household trash.1 Patients should be encouraged to read the Medication Guide that accompanies their stimulant prescription, which contains the most important FDA-approved information that a patient should know about the medication.7
According to the National Institute of Mental Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medications for ADHD should be used as a part of a total treatment program that may include psychotherapy, education or training, or a combination of treatments.8,9 Only a healthcare professional can diagnose ADHD, and diagnosis requires a comprehensive patient evaluation. Diagnostic criteria is provided in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-5).10
Please see Important Safety Information, including Boxed Warning, Warnings & Precautions, and Adverse Reactions below.
WARNING: ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE
CNS stimulants, including ADHANSIA XR, other methylphenidate-containing products, and amphetamines, have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing, and monitor for signs of abuse and dependence while on therapy.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION1
Adhansia XR is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to methylphenidate or other components of Adhansia XR. Hypersensitivity reactions such as angioedema and anaphylactic reactions have been reported in patients treated with other methylphenidate products. Adhansia XR is also contraindicated in patients receiving concomitant treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and also within 14 days following discontinuation of treatment with a MAOI, because of the risk of hypertensive crisis.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Potential for Abuse and Dependence
CNS stimulants, including Adhansia XR, other methylphenidate-containing products, and amphetamines, have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing, and monitor for signs of abuse and dependence while on therapy.
Serious Cardiovascular Events
Sudden death, stroke and myocardial infarction have occurred in adults treated with CNS stimulant treatment at recommended doses. Sudden death has occurred in pediatric patients with structural cardiac abnormalities and other serious cardiac problems taking CNS stimulants at recommended doses for ADHD. Avoid use in patients with known structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious heart arrhythmia, coronary artery disease, and other serious heart problems. Further evaluate patients who develop exertional chest pain, unexplained syncope, or arrhythmias during treatment during Adhansia XR treatment.
Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Increases
CNS stimulants cause an increase in blood pressure (mean increase approximately 2 to 4 mmHg) and heart rate (mean increase approximately 3 to 6 bpm). Individuals may have larger increases. Monitor all patients for hypertension and tachycardia.
Psychiatric Adverse Reactions
CNS stimulants may exacerbate symptoms of behavior disturbance and thought disorder in patients with a pre-existing psychotic disorder.
CNS stimulants may induce a manic or mixed episode in patients. Prior to initiating treatment, screen patients for risk factors for developing a manic episode (e.g., comorbid or history of depressive symptoms or a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, or depression).
CNS stimulants, at recommended doses, may cause psychotic or manic symptoms (e.g., hallucinations, delusional thinking, or mania) in patients without a prior history of psychotic illness or mania. If such symptoms occur, consider discontinuing Adhansia XR. In a pooled analysis of multiple short-term, placebo-controlled studies of CNS stimulants, psychotic or manic symptoms occurred in approximately 0.1% of CNS stimulant-treated patients, compared to 0% in placebo-treated patients.
Prolonged and painful erections, sometimes requiring surgical intervention, have been reported with methylphenidate products, in both pediatric and adult patients. Priapism was not reported with drug initiation but developed after some time on the drug, often subsequent to an increase in dose. Priapism has also appeared during a period of drug withdrawal (drug holidays or during discontinuation). Patients who develop abnormally sustained or frequent and painful erections should seek immediate medical attention.
Peripheral Vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s Phenomenon
CNS stimulants, including Adhansia XR, used to treat ADHD are associated with peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon. Signs and symptoms are usually intermittent and mild; however, very rare sequelae include digital ulceration and/or soft tissue breakdown. Effects of peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon, were observed in post-marketing reports at different times and at therapeutic doses in all age groups throughout the course of treatment. Signs and symptoms generally improve after reduction in dose or discontinuation of drug. Careful observation for digital changes is necessary during treatment with ADHD stimulants. Further clinical evaluation (e.g., rheumatology referral) may be appropriate for certain patients.
Long-Term Suppression of Growth
CNS stimulants have been associated with weight loss and slowing of growth rate in pediatric patients. Careful follow-up of weight and height in pediatric patients ages 7 to 10 years who were randomized to either methylphenidate or non-medication treatment groups over 14 months, as well as in naturalistic subgroups of newly methylphenidate-treated and non-medication treated pediatric patients over 36 months (to the ages of 10 to 13 years), suggests that consistently medicated pediatric patients (i.e., treatment for 7 days per week throughout the year) have a temporary slowing in growth rate (on average, a total of about 2 cm less growth in height and 2.7 kg less growth in weight over 3 years), without evidence of growth rebound during this period of development.
Closely monitor growth (weight and height) in pediatric patients treated with CNS stimulants, including Adhansia XR. Patients who are not growing or gaining height or weight as expected may need to have their treatment interrupted.
Allergic-Type Reactions FD&C Yellow No. 5
Adhansia XR 45 mg capsules contain FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) which may cause allergic-type reactions (including bronchial asthma) in certain susceptible persons. Although the overall incidence of FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) sensitivity in the general population is low, it is frequently seen in patients who also have aspirin hypersensitivity.
The most common (≥5% and twice the rate of placebo) adverse reactions occurring with Adhansia XR in adults are insomnia, dry mouth, and decreased appetite.
The most common (≥5% and twice the rate of placebo) adverse reactions occurring with Adhansia XR in pediatric patients are decreased appetite, insomnia, and decreased weight.
PREGNANCY EXPOSURE REGISTRY
There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to Adhansia XR during pregnancy. Healthcare providers are encouraged to register patients by calling the National Pregnancy Registry for Psychostimulants at 1-866-961-2388.
Please read the Full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning.
To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Purdue Pharma at 1-888-726-7535; or the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Prescription Medications: Risks of Addiction, Misuse, Abuse, and Diversion
For information on addiction, misuse, abuse, and diversion of prescription medications, please visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that can last a lifetime and lead to death, and requires treatment. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) confidential and anonymous Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator can be accessed here, and their free and confidential National Helpline can be reached through 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and 1-800-487-4889 (TTY).
About Adhansia XR
Adhansia XR was developed by Purdue Pharma (Canada). The medication was granted marketing authorization from Health Canada in December 2017 and is currently marketed in Canada as FOQUEST™ for the treatment of ADHD in adults.11
Adhansia XR capsules contain multilayered beads, which are composed of an immediate-release layer which contains approximately 20 percent of the methylphenidate dose, and a controlled-release layer which contains approximately 80 percent of the methylphenidate dose, for oral administration.1 The MLR® (multi-layer release) technology is a controlled-release delivery system patented by Purdue Pharma.
Adhansia XR will be commercialized by Adlon Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Purdue Pharma L.P.
About Adlon Therapeutics L.P.
Adlon Therapeutics L.P. is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and providing treatment options for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and related disorders. Our initial focus is on adults and adolescents who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Adlon is a subsidiary of Purdue Pharma L.P. For more information, please visit www.adlontherapeutics.com.
1 Purdue Pharma L.P. Adhansia XR Full Prescribing Information. Feb 2019. Accessed Mar 1, 2019. Retrieved from http://app.adlontherapeutics.com/adhansia-xr/fpi.pdf.
2 United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Drug Scheduling. Accessed Jan 2, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling.
3 Legal Information Institute. 21 U.S. Code § 829 – Prescriptions. Accessed Jan 4, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/829.
4 National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Drug Abuse. Research Report Series: Prescription Drug Abuse. Revised October 2011. Accessed Jan 11, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/rxreportfinalprint.pdf.
5 Rannazzisi JT and Caverly MW. United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Diversion Control. Practitioner’s manual: an informational outline of the Controlled Substances Act. 2006. Accessed Jan 2, 2019. Accessed Jan 2, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubs/manuals/pract/pract_manual012508.pdf.
6 National Institute on Drug Abuse. Misuse of Prescription Drugs: How can prescription drug misuse be prevented? 2018. Accessed on Jan 4, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/how-can-prescription-drug-misuse-be-prevented.
7 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Medication Guides. Page last updated: August 8, 2018. Accessed Jan 2, 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm.
8 The National Institute of Mental Health Information Resource Center, National Institute of Mental Health. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Page last updated March 2016. Accessed Jan 2, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml.
9 Division of Human Development and Disability, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Page last updated September 2018. Accessed Jan 2, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/treatment.html.
10 American Psychiatric Association. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013.
11 Purdue Pharma (Canada). Foquest Product Monograph. Dec 5, 2017. Accessed Feb 19, 2019. Retrieved from http://purdue.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Foquest-PM-EN.pdf.