Prescription Drug Information: Fenofibrate (Page 2 of 5)

5.5 Cholelithiasis

Fenofibrate, like clofibrate and gemfibrozil, may increase cholesterol excretion into the bile, leading to cholelithiasis. If cholelithiasis is suspected, gallbladder studies are indicated. Fenofibrate therapy should be discontinued if gallstones are found.

5.6 Coumarin Anticoagulants

Caution should be exercised when fenofibrate is given in conjunction with coumarin anticoagulants. Fenofibrate may potentiate the anticoagulant effects of these agents resulting in prolongation of 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)].

5.7 Pancreatitis

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.

5.8 Hematologic Changes

Mild to moderate decreases in 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 is recommended during the first 12 months of fenofibrate administration.

5.9 Hypersensitivity Reactions

Acute Hypersensitivity
Anaphylaxis and angioedema have been reported post-marketing 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.

Delayed Hypersensitivity 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 post-marketing, 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.

5.10 Venothromboembolic Disease

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 9,795 patients enrolled in FIELD, 4,900 in the placebo group and 4,895 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 5 years; p<0.01).

5.11 Paradoxical Decreases in HDL Cholesterol Levels

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.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rate observed in clinical practice.

Adverse reactions reported by 2% or more of patients treated with fenofibrate (and greater than placebo) during the double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, regardless of causality, are listed in Table 1 below. Adverse events 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.

Table 1. Adverse Reactions Reported by 2% or More of Patients Treated with Fenofibrate and Greater than Placebo During the Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trials
* Dosage equivalent to 150 mg fenofibrate ** Significantly different from placebo

BODY SYSTEM Adverse Event

Fenofibrate* (N=439)

Placebo (N=365)

BODY AS A WHOLE

Abdominal Pain

4.6%

4.4%

Back Pain

3.4%

2.5%

Headache

3.2%

2.7%

DIGESTIVE

Abnormal Liver Function Tests

7.5%**

1.4%

Nausea

2.3%

1.9%

Constipation

2.1%

1.4%

METABOLIC AND NUTRITIONAL DISORDERS

Increased ALT

3.0%

1.6%

Creatine Phosphokinase Increased

3.0%

1.4%

Increased AST

3.4%**

0.5%

RESPIRATORY

Respiratory Disorder

6.2%

5.5%

Rhinitis

2.3%

1.1%

Urticaria was seen in 1.1 vs. 0% and rash in 1.4 vs. 0.8% of fenofibrate and placebo patients respectively in controlled trials

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

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, acute renal failure, muscle spasm, hepatitis, cirrhosis, anemia, arthralgia, decreases in hemoglobin, decreases in hematocrit, white blood cell decreases, 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.

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS

7.1 Coumarin Anticoagulants

Potentiation of coumarin-type anticoagulant effect has been observed with prolongation of the PT/INR.

Caution should be exercised when fenofibrate is given in conjunction with coumarin anticoagulants. Fenofibrate may potentiate the anticoagulant effect of these agents resulting in prolongation of the PT/INR. To prevent bleeding complications, frequent monitoring of PT/INR and dose adjustment of the oral anticoagulant as recommended until the PT/INR has stabilized [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].

7.2 Immunosuppressants

Immunosuppressant agents such as cyclosporine and tacrolimus can impair renal function and because renal excretion is the primary elimination route of fibrate drugs including fenofibrate capsules, there is a risk that an interaction will lead to deterioration of renal function. When immunosuppressants and other potentially nephrotoxic agents are co-administered with fenofibrate capsules, the lowest effective dose of fenofibrate capsules should be employed and renal function should be monitored.

7.3 Bile-Acid Binding Resins

Since bile-acid binding resins may bind other drugs given concurrently, patients should take fenofibrate at least 1 hour before or 4 to 6 hours after a bile acid binding resin to avoid impeding its absorption.

7.4 Colchicine

Cases of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, have been reported with fenofibrates co-administered with colchicine, and caution should be exercised when prescribing fenofibrate with colchicine.

8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Limited available data with fenofibrate use in pregnant women are insufficient to determine a drug associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. In animal reproduction studies, no evidence of embryo-fetal toxicity was observed with oral administration of fenofibrate in rats and rabbits during organogenesis at doses less than or equivalent to the maximum recommended clinical dose of 150 mg daily, based on body surface area (mg/m2). Adverse reproductive outcomes occurred at higher doses in the presence of maternal toxicity (see Data). Fenofibrate capsules should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

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 2-4% and 15-20%, respectively.

Data

Animal Data

In pregnant rats given oral dietary doses of 14, 127, and 361 mg/kg/day from gestation day 6-15 during the period of organogenesis, no adverse developmental findings were observed at 14 mg/kg/day (less than the clinical exposure at the maximum recommended human dose [MRHD] of 300 mg fenofibrate daily, equivalent to 150 mg fenofibrate daily, based on body surface area comparisons). Increased fetal skeletal malformations were observed at maternally toxic doses (361 mg/kg/day, corresponding to 12 times the clinical exposure at the MRHD) that significantly suppressed maternal body weight gain.

In pregnant rabbits given oral gavage doses of 15, 150, and 300 mg/kg/day from gestation day 6-18 during the period of organogenesis and allowed to deliver, no adverse developmental findings were observed at 15 mg/kg/day (a dose that approximates the clinical exposure at the MRHD, based on body surface area comparisons). Aborted litters were observed at maternally toxic doses (≥ 150 mg/kg/day, corresponding to ≥ 10 times the clinical exposure at the MRHD) that suppressed maternal body weight gain.

In pregnant rats given oral dietary doses of 15, 75, and 300 mg/kg/day from gestation day 15 through lactation day 21 (weaning), no adverse developmental effects were observed at 15 mg/kg/day (less than the clinical exposure at the MRHD, based on body surface area comparisons), despite maternal toxicity (decreased weight gain). Post-implantation loss was observed at ≥ 75 mg/kg/day (≥ 2 times the clinical exposure at the MRHD) in the presence of maternal toxicity (decreased weight gain). Decreased pup survival was noted at 300 mg/kg/day (10 times the clinical exposure at the MRHD), which was associated with decreased maternal body weight gain/maternal neglect.

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