Prescription Drug Information: FENOFIBRIC ACID DELAYED-RELEASE

FENOFIBRIC ACID DELAYED-RELEASE- fenofibric acid capsule, delayed release
Laurus Labs Limited

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Treatment of Severe Hypertriglyceridemia

Fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules are indicated as adjunctive therapy to diet to reduce triglycerides (TG) in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia. Improving glycemic control in diabetic patients showing fasting chylomicronemia will usually obviate the need for pharmacological intervention. Markedly elevated levels of serum triglycerides (e.g. > 2,000 mg/dL) may increase the risk of developing pancreatitis. The effect of fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules therapy on reducing this risk has not been adequately studied.

1.2 Treatment of Primary Hypercholesterolemia or Mixed Dyslipidemia

Fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules are indicated as adjunctive therapy to diet to reduce elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol (Total-C), triglycerides (TG), and apolipoprotein B (Apo B), and to increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in patients with primary hypercholesterolemia or mixed dyslipidemia.

1.3 Limitations of Use

Fenofibrate at a dose equivalent to 135 mg of fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules did not reduce coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality in 2 large, randomized controlled trials of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

1.4 General Considerations for Treatment

Laboratory studies should be performed to establish that lipid levels are abnormal before instituting fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules therapy.

Every reasonable attempt should be made to control serum lipids with non-drug methods including appropriate diet, exercise, weight loss in obese patients, and control of any medical problems such as diabetes mellitus and hypothyroidism that may be contributing to the lipid abnormalities. Medications known to exacerbate hypertriglyceridemia (beta-blockers, thiazides, estrogens) should be discontinued or changed if possible, and excessive alcohol intake should be addressed before triglyceride-lowering drug therapy is considered. If the decision is made to use lipid-altering drugs, the patient should be instructed that this does not reduce the importance of adhering to diet.

Drug therapy is not indicated for patients who have elevations of chylomicrons and plasma triglycerides, but who have normal levels of VLDL.

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 General Considerations

Patients should be placed on an appropriate lipid-lowering diet before receiving fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules and should continue this diet during treatment. Fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules can be taken without regard to meals. Patients should be advised to swallow fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules whole. Do not open, crush, dissolve, or chew capsules. Serum lipids should be monitored periodically.

2.2 Severe Hypertriglyceridemia

The initial dose of fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules are 45 mg to 135 mg once daily. Dosage should be individualized according to patient response, and should be adjusted if necessary following repeat lipid determinations at 4 to 8 week intervals. The maximum dose is 135 mg once daily.

2.3 Primary Hypercholesterolemia or Mixed Dyslipidemia

The dose of fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules are 135 mg once daily.

2.4 Impaired Renal Function

Treatment with fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules should be initiated at a dose of 45 mg once daily in patients with mild to moderate renal impairment and should only be increased after evaluation of the effects on renal function and lipid levels at this dose. The use of fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules should be avoided in patients with severely impaired renal function [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

2.5 Geriatric Patients

Dose selection for the elderly should be made on the basis of renal function [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

  • Fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules 45 mg are the Size ‘3’ Hard gelatin capsules of opaque reddish brown color cap imprinted with ‘167’ in black ink, opaque yellow color body imprinted with ‘167’ in black ink and filled with white to off white round, biconvex coated mini tablets.
  • Fenofibric acid delayed release capsules 135 mg are the Size ‘0’ Hard gelatin capsules of opaque blue color cap imprinted with ‘168’ in black ink, opaque yellow color body imprinted with ‘168’ in black ink and filled with white to off white round, biconvex coated mini tablets.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

Fenofibric acid delayed-release capsules are contraindicated in:

  • patients with severe renal impairment, including those receiving dialysis [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
  • patients with active liver disease, including those with primary biliary cirrhosis and unexplained persistent liver function abnormalities [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
  • patients with preexisting gallbladder disease [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
  • nursing mothers [see Use in Specific Populations (8.2)].
  • patients with hypersensitivity to fenofibric acid or fenofibrate [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Mortality and Coronary Heart Disease Morbidity

The effect of fenofibric acid on coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality and non-cardiovascular mortality has not been established. Because of similarities between fenofibric acid and fenofibrate, clofibrate, and gemfibrozil, the findings in the following large randomized, placebo-controlled clinical studies with these fibrate drugs may also apply to fenofibric acid.

The Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes Lipid (ACCORD Lipid) trial was a randomized placebo-controlled study of 5,518 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus on background statin therapy treated with fenofibrate. The mean duration of follow-up was 4.7 years. Fenofibrate plus statin combination therapy showed a non-significant 8% relative risk reduction in the primary outcome of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), a composite of non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke, and cardiovascular disease death (hazard ratio [HR] 0.92, 95% CI 0.79 to 1.08) (p=0.32) as compared to statin monotherapy. In a gender subgroup analysis, the hazard ratio for MACE in men receiving combination therapy versus statin monotherapy was 0.82 (95% CI 0.69 to 0.99), and the hazard ratio for MACE in women receiving combination therapy versus statin monotherapy was 1.38 (95% CI 0.98 to 1.94) (interaction p=0.01). The clinical significance of this subgroup finding is unclear.

The Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study was a 5-year randomized, placebo-controlled study of 9,795 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus treated with fenofibrate. Fenofibrate demonstrated a non-significant 11% relative reduction in the primary outcome of coronary heart disease events (hazard ratio [HR] 0.89, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.05, p = 0.16) and a significant 11% reduction in the secondary outcome of total cardiovascular disease events (HR 0.89 [0.80 to 0.99], p = 0.04). There was a non-significant 11% (HR 1.11 [0.95, 1.29], p = 0.18) and 19% (HR 1.19 [0.90, 1.57], p = 0.22) increase in total and coronary heart disease mortality, respectively, with fenofibrate as compared to placebo.

In the Coronary Drug Project, a large study of post-myocardial infarction patients treated for 5 years with clofibrate, there was no difference in mortality seen between the clofibrate group and the placebo group. There was, however, a difference in the rate of cholelithiasis and cholecystitis requiring surgery between the two groups (3.0% vs. 1.8%).

In a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), 5,000 subjects without known coronary artery disease were treated with placebo or clofibrate for 5 years and followed for an additional one year. There was a statistically significant, higher age-adjusted all-cause mortality in the clofibrate group compared with the placebo group (5.70% vs. 3.96%, p = < 0.01). Excess mortality was due to a 33% increase in non-cardiovascular causes, including malignancy, post-cholecystectomy complications, and pancreatitis. This appeared to confirm the higher risk of gallbladder disease seen in clofibrate-treated patients studied in the Coronary Drug Project.

The Helsinki Heart Study was a large (N = 4,081) study of middle-aged men without a history of coronary artery disease. Subjects received either placebo or gemfibrozil for 5 years, with a 3.5 year open extension afterward. Total mortality was numerically higher in the gemfibrozil randomization group but did not achieve statistical significance (p = 0.19, 95% confidence interval for relative risk G:P = 0.91 to 1.64). Although cancer deaths trended higher in the gemfibrozil group (p = 0.11), cancers (excluding basal cell carcinoma) were diagnosed with equal frequency in both study groups. Due to the limited size of the study, the relative risk of death from any cause was not shown to be different than that seen in the 9 year follow-up data from WHO study (RR = 1.29). A secondary prevention component of the Helsinki Heart Study enrolled middle-aged men excluded from the primary prevention study because of known or suspected coronary heart disease. Subjects received gemfibrozil or placebo for 5 years. Although cardiac deaths trended higher in the gemfibrozil group, this was not statistically significant (hazard ratio 2.2, 95% confidence interval: 0.94 to 5.05).

5.2 Skeletal Muscle

Fibrates increase the risk of myositis or myopathy and have been associated with rhabdomyolysis. The risk for serious muscle toxicity appears to be increased in elderly patients and in patients with diabetes, renal failure, or hypothyroidism.

Myopathy should be considered in any patient with diffuse myalgias, muscle tenderness or weakness, and/or marked elevations of CPK levels. Patients should promptly report unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever. CPK levels should be assessed in patients reporting these symptoms, and fenofibric acid should be discontinued if markedly elevated CPK levels occur or myopathy or myositis is suspected or diagnosed.

Data from observational studies suggest that the risk for rhabdomyolysis is increased when fibrates are co-administered with a statin.

Cases of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, have been reported with fenofibrates co-administered with colchicine, and caution should be exercised when prescribing fenofibrate with colchicine [see Drug Interactions (7.4)].

5.3 Liver Function

Fenofibric acid at a dose of 135 mg once daily has been associated with increases in serum transaminases [AST (SGOT) or ALT (SGPT)]. In a pooled analysis of three 12-week, double-blind, controlled studies of fenofibric acid, increases in ALT and AST to > 3 times the upper limit of normal on two consecutive occasions occurred in 1.9% and 0.2%, respectively, of patients receiving fenofibric acid without other lipid-altering drugs. Increases in ALT and/or AST were not accompanied by increases in bilirubin or clinically significant increases in alkaline phosphatase.

In a pooled analysis of 10 placebo-controlled trials of fenofibrate, increases to > 3 times the upper limit of normal in ALT occurred in 5.3% of patients taking fenofibrate versus 1.1% of patients treated with placebo. The incidence of increases in transaminases observed with fenofibrate therapy may be dose related. In an 8-week dose-ranging study of fenofibrate in hypertriglyceridemia, the incidence of ALT or AST elevations ≥ 3 times the upper limit of normal was 13% in patients receiving dosages equivalent to 90 mg to 135 mg fenofibric acid once daily and was 0% in those receiving dosages equivalent to 45 mg fenofibric acid once daily or less, or placebo. Hepatocellular, chronic active, and cholestatic hepatitis observed with fenofibrate therapy have been reported after exposures of weeks to several years. In extremely rare cases, cirrhosis has been reported in association with chronic active hepatitis.

Baseline and regular monitoring of liver function, including serum ALT (SGPT) should be performed for the duration of therapy with fenofibric acid, and therapy discontinued if enzyme levels persist above 3 times the upper limit of normal.

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