Daliresp, Otezla and Belsomra Side Effects May Cause Suicidal Behaviors: ISMP Warns

A new drug safety report suggests that Daliresp, Otezla and Belsomra have each been linked to reports of problems with depression, suicidal thoughts and suicidal behaviors, according to adverse event data submitted to federal regulators over the past year. 

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) released its QuarterWatch report (PDF) on April 19, which outlines incidents submitted through the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) during the 12 months ending on September 30, 2016.

The group highlights a safety signal that suggest side effects of the three newer medications may be associated with a risk of suicidal behavior, urging the manufacturers to update the prescribing and patient information to better disclose the risk.

Did You Know?

AT&T Data Breach Impacts Millions of Customers

More than 73 million customers of AT&T may have had their names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other information released on the dark web due to a massive AT&T data breach. Lawsuits are being pursued to obtain financial compensation.

Learn More

Daliresp (roflumilast) was approved in 2011, for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and it was the first member of a new class of drugs known as phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) inhibitors. Otezla (apremilast) was approved in 2014 for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, and is similar to Daliresp in that it is also a PDE4 inhibitor.

Belsomra (suvorexant), however, was approved in 2014 for the treatment of insomnia and belongs to a different class of drugs that blocks neurotransmitters called orexins.

In some cases, there were signs that these drugs may increase suicidal behavior as early as the clinical trials, particularly for PDE4 inhibitors. However, those incidents were few, and the post-approval adverse event reports now coming in suggest that the links may have been stronger than first anticipated.

Daliresp received 176 adverse reports during the time period observed by the ISMP, during which there was a mean of 62,000 patients who were prescribed the drug per month. Of those, 11 cases of suicide and self-injurious behavior were reported, including seven cases of suicidal ideation, 3 suicide attempts and one case where the patient actually died committing suicide.

“To compare roflumilast with other drugs, we focused on reports of suicidal ideation; despite the small total number of reports, we found that roflumilast accounted for 7.8 times the number of suicidal ideation reports that would have been expected based on the results for all other drugs combined,” the ISMP report noted. “In addition, we identified 5 cases of depressive disorders, but this small number could have occurred by chance.”

The findings for Otezla included even stronger indications, including 631 reports specifically for depressed mood disorders, which is 6.3 times the number one would expect out of the 13,601 adverse event reports for Otezla during that time period. In addition, there were 68 cases of suicidal and self-injurious behavior reported, 61 of which involved suicidal ideation, four involving suicidal behavior or attempts, and three completes suicides. The rate of suicidal ideation was 1.6 times higher than expected.

The 2,290 adverse event reports for Belsomra included 40 cases of suicidal or self-injurious behavior, including 19 cases of suicidal ideation, 11 cases of attempted suicide and eight instances where patients died committing suicide. There were also 38 cases of depressed mood disorders.

The ISMP report suggested that there were 3.1 times as many cases of Belsomra suicidal ideation as should be expected.

The group found that, for all three drugs, the FDA had included warnings to physicians for suicide risks and depression. However, Otezla did not contain a warning for patients and none of the three had been updated with postmarketing data since they were released.

Daliresp has the clearest warning of the three, according the group. However, Otezla only warns about an increased risk of depression, and the only warning for Belsomra was “buried” deep in the medication guide, according to the report.

The ISMP called for all three to have Medication Guide warnings for patients that were similar to Daliresp.

4 Comments

  • ClaribelAugust 7, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    I took Otezla for 3 years, after 5 months I was diagnosed with a pseudo tumor celebro, the intense headaches and the brain pressure have been intense. I had to stop the medicine of my own decision because my doctor didn't want me to leave it. It causes me a lot of depression and negative thoughts. At the moment I have chronic headaches and brain pressure and I have not been able to have a nor[Show More]I took Otezla for 3 years, after 5 months I was diagnosed with a pseudo tumor celebro, the intense headaches and the brain pressure have been intense. I had to stop the medicine of my own decision because my doctor didn't want me to leave it. It causes me a lot of depression and negative thoughts. At the moment I have chronic headaches and brain pressure and I have not been able to have a normal life for 3 years. After leave the Otezla I can handle my pain.

  • MaryNovember 5, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I believe that Otezla has caused the worse break out of psoriasis of my body. It has developed in places of my skin that never were there. I took Otezla for 4 months. I told my doctor I experienced headaches with nausea. He told me to cut the Otezla pill in half, which I did. I didn't help. I remained with headaches and nausea and lost appetite. After I stopped Otezla, the out breaks were horrib[Show More]I believe that Otezla has caused the worse break out of psoriasis of my body. It has developed in places of my skin that never were there. I took Otezla for 4 months. I told my doctor I experienced headaches with nausea. He told me to cut the Otezla pill in half, which I did. I didn't help. I remained with headaches and nausea and lost appetite. After I stopped Otezla, the out breaks were horrible. I'm going two visits to be treated by use of UV rays. It's painful. I believe Otezla has caused these outbreaks and depression.

  • GenniJuly 7, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Yes, on Otezla for 3 months, started to feel agitated...then felt great sadness. I ran 2 miles which usually is a great brain pep, but, instead felt anger and wanted to mow my grass down to a nub. Seriously!!! Luckily, I was aware of the depression side affect. I think I may chuck it all..(the meds that is) I was in pain and had psoriasis...but I was happy...now I am not in pain...and no psoriasi[Show More]Yes, on Otezla for 3 months, started to feel agitated...then felt great sadness. I ran 2 miles which usually is a great brain pep, but, instead felt anger and wanted to mow my grass down to a nub. Seriously!!! Luckily, I was aware of the depression side affect. I think I may chuck it all..(the meds that is) I was in pain and had psoriasis...but I was happy...now I am not in pain...and no psoriasis...but I am pissed off and sad...have a good one kids.

  • JacquelynJune 27, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    I was prescribed Otezla for psoriasis. I read through all the warnings and side effects. After taking Otezla for 4 months, I had two kidney stone attacks about a month apart. I started thinking maybe it was my Otezla. I found the FDA website and deep into the many pages I found that kidney stones were a side effect in studies and most frequent in women 50-59 years old. Thats me. Why was Otezla not[Show More]I was prescribed Otezla for psoriasis. I read through all the warnings and side effects. After taking Otezla for 4 months, I had two kidney stone attacks about a month apart. I started thinking maybe it was my Otezla. I found the FDA website and deep into the many pages I found that kidney stones were a side effect in studies and most frequent in women 50-59 years old. Thats me. Why was Otezla not required to disclose this and neither my doctor or Emergency room or doctors I was treated by in hospital knew this information. My mother died of kidney cancer and I feel like I should have been given this information Before I started on Otezla.

Share Your Comments

I authorize the above comments be posted on this page*

Want your comments reviewed by a lawyer?

To have an attorney review your comments and contact you about a potential case, provide your contact information below. This will not be published.

NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More Top Stories

Johnson & Johnson Faces Medical Monitoring Lawsuit Over Future Baby Powder Cancer Risks
Johnson & Johnson Faces Medical Monitoring Lawsuit Over Future Baby Powder Cancer Risks (Posted yesterday)

Women who used Johnson's Baby Powder around their genitals for feminine hygiene purposes now live in fear of developing ovarian cancer, according to the class action lawsuit seeking medical monitoring for future diagnoses

More Than 9,600 Join Suboxone Lawsuit Over Tooth Decay in MDL Filing
More Than 9,600 Join Suboxone Lawsuit Over Tooth Decay in MDL Filing (Posted 2 days ago)

A bundled complaint of about 9,600 Suboxone lawsuits were filed in federal court on Friday, ahead of the two-year anniversary of the FDA requiring tooth decay label warnings on the opioid treatment film strips, which is also a deadline for filing a civil complaint in many states.