Elevations in serum creatinine have been reported in patients on fenofibrate. These elevations tend to return to baseline following discontinuation of fenofibrate. The clinical significance of these observations is unknown. Monitor renal function in patients with renal impairment taking Antara. Renal monitoring should also be considered for patients taking Antara at risk for renal insufficiency such as the elderly and patients with diabetes.
Fenofibrate, like clofibrate and gemfibrozil, may increase cholesterol excretion into the bile, leading to cholelithiasis. If cholelithiasis is suspected, gallbladder studies are indicated. Antara therapy should be discontinued if gallstones are found.
Caution should be exercised when anticoagulants are given in conjunction with Antara because of the potentiation of coumarin-type anti-coagulants in prolonging the prothrombin time/International Normalized Ratio (PT/INR). To prevent bleeding complications, frequent monitoring of PT/INR and dose adjustment of the anticoagulant are recommended until PT/INR has stabilized [see Drug Interactions (7.1) ].
Pancreatitis has been reported in patients taking fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, and clofibrate. This occurrence may represent a failure of efficacy in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia, a direct drug effect, or a secondary phenomenon mediated through biliary tract stone or sludge formation with obstruction of the common bile duct.
Mild to moderate hemoglobin, hematocrit, and white blood cell decreases have been observed in patients following initiation of fenofibrate therapy. However, these levels stabilize during long-term administration. Thrombocytopenia and agranulocytosis have been reported in individuals treated with fenofibrate. Periodic monitoring of red and white blood cell counts are recommended during the first 12 months of Antara administration.
Anaphylaxis and angioedema have been reported postmarketing with fenofibrate. In some cases, reactions were life-threatening and required emergency treatment. If a patient develops signs or symptoms of an acute hypersensitivity reaction, advise them to seek immediate medical attention and discontinue fenofibrate.
Severe cutaneous adverse drug reactions (SCAR), including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, and Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), have been reported postmarketing, occurring days to weeks after initiation of fenofibrate. The cases of DRESS were associated with cutaneous reactions (such as rash or exfoliative dermatitis) and a combination of eosinophilia, fever, systemic organ involvement (renal, hepatic, or respiratory). Discontinue fenofibrate and treat patients appropriately if SCAR is suspected.
In the FIELD trial, pulmonary embolus (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) were observed at higher rates in the fenofibrate than the placebo-treated group. Of 9795 patients enrolled in FIELD, there were 4900 in the placebo group and 4895 in the fenofibrate group. For DVT, there were 48 events (1%) in the placebo group and 67 (1%) in the fenofibrate group (p = 0.074); and for PE, there were 32 (0.7%) events in the placebo group and 53 (1%) in the fenofibrate group (p = 0.022).
In the Coronary Drug Project, a higher proportion of the clofibrate group experienced definite or suspected fatal or nonfatal pulmonary embolism or thrombophlebitis than the placebo group (5.2% vs. 3.3% at five years; p < 0.01).
There have been postmarketing and clinical trial reports of severe decreases in HDL cholesterol levels (as low as 2 mg/dL) occurring in diabetic and non-diabetic patients initiated on fibrate therapy. The decrease in HDL-C is mirrored by a decrease in apolipoprotein A1. This decrease has been reported to occur within 2 weeks to years after initiation of fibrate therapy. The HDL-C levels remain depressed until fibrate therapy has been withdrawn; the response to withdrawal of fibrate therapy is rapid and sustained. The clinical significance of this decrease in HDL-C is unknown. It is recommended that HDL-C levels be checked within the first few months after initiation of fibrate therapy. If a severely depressed HDL-C level is detected, fibrate therapy should be withdrawn, and the HDL-C level monitored until it has returned to baseline, and fibrate therapy should not be re-initiated.
- Mortality and coronary heart disease morbidity [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
- Hepatoxicity [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
- Pancreatitis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]
- Hypersensitivity reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)]
- Venothromboembolic disease [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)]
Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect rates observed in clinical practice.
Adverse events reported by 2% or more of patients treated with fenofibrate and greater than placebo during double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, regardless of causality, are listed in Table 1. Adverse reactions led to discontinuation of treatment in 5.0% of patients treated with fenofibrate and in 3.0% treated with placebo. Increases in liver function tests were the most frequent events, causing discontinuation of fenofibrate treatment in 1.6% of patients in double-blind trials.
|Body System Adverse Reaction||Fenofibrate * (N=439)||Placebo (N=365)|
|Body As A Whole|
|Abnormal Liver Function Tests||7.5%†||1.4%|
|Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders|
|Increased Creatine Phosphokinase||3.0%||1.4%|
Increases in Liver Enzymes
In a pooled analysis of 10 placebo-controlled trials, increases to >3 times the upper limit of normal in ALT occurred in 5.3% of patients taking fenofibrate at doses equivalent to 90 mg Antara daily versus 1.1% of patients treated with placebo.
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of fenofibrate. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure: myalgia, rhabdomyolysis, pancreatitis, renal failure, muscle spasms, acute renal failure, hepatitis, cirrhosis, increased total bilirubin, anemia, arthralgia, asthenia, severely depressed HDL-cholesterol levels, and interstitial lung disease. Photosensitivity reactions have occurred days to months after initiation; in some of these cases, patients reported a prior photosensitivity reaction to ketoprofen.
Caution should be exercised when coumarin anticoagulants are given in conjunction with Antara. The dosage of the anticoagulants should be reduced to maintain the PT/INR at the desired level to prevent bleeding complications. Frequent PT/INR determinations are advisable until it has been definitely determined that the PT/INR has stabilized [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6) ].
Immunosuppressants such as cyclosporine and tacrolimus can produce nephrotoxicity with decrease in creatinine clearance and because renal excretion is the primary elimination route of fibrate drugs including Antara, there is a risk that an interaction will lead to deterioration of renal function. The benefits and risks of using Antara with immunosuppressants and other potentially nephrotoxic agents should be carefully considered, and the lowest effective dose employed.
Since bile acid binding resins may bind other drugs given concurrently, patients should take Antara at least 1 hour before or 4 to 6 hours after a bile acid binding resin to avoid impeding its absorption.
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