When multiple doses of atorvastatin calcium and digoxin were co-administered, steady state plasma digoxin concentrations increased [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) ]. Patients taking digoxin should be monitored appropriately.
Co-administration of atorvastatin calcium and an oral contraceptive increased AUC values for norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. These increases should be considered when selecting an oral contraceptive for a woman taking atorvastatin calcium.
Atorvastatin calcium had no clinically significant effect on prothrombin time when administered to patients receiving chronic warfarin treatment.
Cases of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, have been reported with atorvastatin co-administered with colchicine, and caution should be exercised when prescribing atorvastatin with colchicine.
Atorvastatin calcium is contraindicated for use in pregnant women since safety in pregnant women has not been established and there is no apparent benefit of lipid lowering drugs during pregnancy. Because HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors decrease cholesterol synthesis and possibly the synthesis of other biologically active substances derived from cholesterol, atorvastatin calcium may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Atorvastatin calcium should be discontinued as soon as pregnancy is recognized [see Contraindications (4)]. Limited published data on the use of atorvastatin are insufficient to determine a drug-associated risk of major congenital malformations or miscarriage. In animal reproduction studies in rats and rabbits there was no evidence of embryo-fetal toxicity or congenital malformations at doses up to 30 and 20 times, respectively, the human exposure at the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 80 mg, based on body surface area (mg/m2). In rats administered atorvastatin during gestation and lactation, decreased postnatal growth and development was observed at doses ≥ 6 times the MRHD (see Data).
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.
Limited published data on atorvastatin calcium from observational studies, meta-analyses and case reports have not shown an increased risk of major congenital malformations or miscarriage. Rare reports of congenital anomalies have been received following intrauterine exposure to other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. In a review of approximately 100 prospectively followed pregnancies in women exposed to simvastatin or lovastatin, the incidences of congenital anomalies, spontaneous abortions, and fetal deaths/stillbirths did not exceed what would be expected in the general population. The number of cases is adequate to exclude a ≥3 to 4-fold increase in congenital anomalies over the background incidence. In 89% of the prospectively followed pregnancies, drug treatment was initiated prior to pregnancy and was discontinued at some point in the first trimester when pregnancy was identified.
Atorvastatin crosses the rat placenta and reaches a level in fetal liver equivalent to that of maternal plasma. Atorvastatin was administered to pregnant rats and rabbits during organogenesis at oral doses up to 300 mg/kg/day and 100 mg/kg/day, respectively. Atorvastatin was not teratogenic in rats at doses up to 300 mg/kg/day or in rabbits at doses up to 100 mg/kg/day. These doses resulted in multiples of about 30 times (rat) or 20 times (rabbit) the human exposure at the MRHD based on surface area (mg/m2). In rats, the maternally toxic dose of 300 mg/kg resulted in increased post-implantation loss and decreased fetal body weight. At the maternally toxic doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg/day in rabbits, there was increased post-implantation loss, and at 100 mg/kg/day fetal body weights were decreased.
In a study in pregnant rats administered 20, 100, or 225 mg/kg/day from gestation day 7 through to lactation day 20 (weaning), there was decreased survival at birth, postnatal day 4, weaning, and post-weaning in pups of mothers dosed with 225 mg/kg/day, a dose at which maternal toxicity was observed. Pup body weight was decreased through postnatal day 21 at 100 mg/kg/day, and through postnatal day 91 at 225 mg/kg/day. Pup development was delayed (rotorod performance at 100 mg/kg/day and acoustic startle at 225 mg/kg/day; pinnae detachment and eye-opening at 225 mg/kg/day). These doses correspond to 6 times (100 mg/kg) and 22 times (225 mg/kg) the human exposure at the MRHD, based on AUC.
Atorvastatin calcium use is contraindicated during breastfeeding [see Contraindications (4)]. There is no available information on the effects of the drug on the breastfed infant or the effects of the drug on milk production. It is not known whether atorvastatin is present in human milk, but it has been shown that another drug in this class passes into human milk and atorvastatin is present in rat milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in a breastfed infant, advise women that breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with atorvastatin calcium.
Atorvastatin calcium may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with atorvastatin calcium [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].
Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (HeFH)
The safety and effectiveness of atorvastatin calcium have been established in pediatric patients, 10 years to 17 years of age, with HeFH as an adjunct to diet to reduce total cholesterol, LDL-C, and apo B levels when, after an adequate trial of diet therapy, the following are present:
• LDL-C ≥ 190 mg/dL, or
• LDL-C ≥ 160 mg/dL, and
o a positive family history of FH, or premature CVD in a first, or second-degreerelative, or
o two or more other CVD risk factors are present.
Use of atorvastatin calcium for this indication is supported by evidence from [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Adverse Reactions (6.1), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3), and Clinical Studies (14.6)]:
• A placebo-controlled clinical trial of 6 months duration in 187 boys and postmenarchal girls, 10 years to 17 years of age. Patients treated with 10 mg or 20 mg daily atorvastatin calcium had an adverse reaction profile generally similar to that of patients treated with placebo. In this limited controlled study, there was no significant effect on growth or sexual maturation in boys or on menstrual cycle length in girls.
• A three year open-label uncontrolled trial that included 163 pediatric patients 10 to 15 years of age with HeFH who were titrated to achieve a target LDL-C < 130 mg/dL. The safety and efficacy of atorvastatin calcium in lowering LDL-C appeared generally consistent with that observed for adult patients, despite limitations of the uncontrolled study design.
The long-term efficacy of atorvastatin calcium therapy initiated in childhood to reduce morbidity and mortality in adulthood has not been established.
The safety and efficacy of atorvastatin calcium have not been established in pediatric patients younger than 10 years of age with HeFH.
Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (HoFH)
Clinical efficacy of atorvastatin calcium with dosages up to 80 mg/day for 1 year was evaluated in an uncontrolled study of patients with HoFH including 8 pediatric patients [see Clinical Studies (14.5)].
Of the 39,828 patients who received atorvastatin calcium in clinical studies, 15,813 (40%) were ≥65 years old and 2,800 (7%) were ≥75 years old. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older adults cannot be ruled out. Since advanced age (≥65 years) is a predisposing factor for myopathy, atorvastatin calcium should be prescribed with caution in the elderly.
Atorvastatin calcium is contraindicated in patients with active liver disease which may include unexplained persistent elevations in hepatic transaminase levels [see Contraindications (4)and Pharmacokinetics (12.3)].
There is no specific treatment for atorvastatin calcium overdosage. In the event of an overdose, the patient should be treated symptomatically, and supportive measures instituted as required. Due to extensive drug binding to plasma proteins, hemodialysis is not expected to significantly enhance atorvastatin calcium clearance.
Atorvastatin calcium is a synthetic lipid-lowering agent. Atorvastatin is an inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate, an early and rate-limiting step in cholesterol biosynthesis.
Atorvastatin calcium is [R-(R*, R*)]-2-(4-fluorophenyl)-ß, δ-dihydroxy-5-(1-methylethyl)-3-phenyl-4-[(phenylamino) carbonyl]-1H-pyrrole-1-heptanoic acid, calcium salt (2:1). The molecular formula of atorvastatin calcium is C66 H68 CaF2 N4 O10 and its molecular weight is 1155.36. Its structural formula is:
Atorvastatin calcium is a white to off-white colored powder free from visible extraneous matter. Atorvastatin calcium is soluble in dimethyl sulphoxide, slightly soluble in alcohol, very slightly soluble in water, in pH 7.4 phosphate buffer and in acetonitrile and practically insoluble in aqueous solutions of pH 4 and below.
Atorvastatin calcium tablets USP, for oral administration contain 10, 20 and 40 mg atorvastatin and the following inactive ingredients: Basic butylated methacrylate copolymer, crospovidone, hydroxy propyl cellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, methanol, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium bicarbonate and sodium lauryl sulphate. The tablet coating contains isopropyl alcohol, methylene chloride and coloring agent opadry OY-58900 white contains polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide and hypromellose.
Atorvastatin calcium is a selective, competitive inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme that converts 3-hydroxy-3methylglutaryl-coenzyme A to mevalonate, a precursor of sterols, including cholesterol. In animal models, atorvastatin calcium lowers plasma cholesterol and lipoprotein levels by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase and cholesterol synthesis in the liver and by increasing the number of hepatic LDL receptors on the cell surface to enhance uptake and catabolism of LDL; atorvastatin calcium also reduces LDL production and the number of LDL particles.
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