Prescription Drug Information: Pioglitazone Hydrochloride and Metformin Hydrochloride

PIOGLITAZONE HYDROCHLORIDE AND METFORMIN HYDROCHLORIDE — pioglitazone hydrochloride and metformin hydrochloride tablet, film coated
Aurobindo Pharma Limited

WARNING: CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE AND LACTIC ACIDOSIS

Congestive Heart Failure

  • Thiazolidinediones, including pioglitazone, which is a component of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride, cause or exacerbate congestive heart failure in some patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
  • After initiation of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride, and after dose increases, monitor patients carefully for signs and symptoms of heart failure (e.g., excessive, rapid weight gain, dyspnea, and/or edema). If heart failure develops, it should be managed according to current standards of care and discontinuation or dose reduction of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride must be considered [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
  • Pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride is not recommended in patients with symptomatic heart failure [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
  • Initiation of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride in patients with established New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III or IV heart failure is contraindicated [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Lactic Acidosis

  • Post-marketing cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis have resulted in death, hypothermia, hypotension, and resistant bradyarrhythmias. The onset of metformin-associated lactic acidosis is often subtle, accompanied only by nonspecific symptoms such as malaise, myalgias, respiratory distress, somnolence, and abdominal pain. Metformin-associated lactic acidosis was characterized by elevated blood lactate levels (greater than 5 mmol/L), anion gap acidosis (without evidence of ketonuria or ketonemia), an increased lactate:pyruvate ratio; and metformin plasma levels generally greater than 5 mcg/mL [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
  • Risk factors for metformin-associated lactic acidosis include renal impairment, concomitant use of certain drugs (e.g., carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as topiramate), age 65 years old or greater, having a radiological study with contrast, surgery and other procedures, hypoxic states (e.g., acute congestive heart failure), excessive alcohol intake, and hepatic impairment.
  • Steps to reduce the risk of and manage metformin-associated lactic acidosis in these high risk groups are provided in the Full Prescribing Information [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Contraindications (4), Warnings and Precautions (5.2), Drug Interactions (7), and Use in Specific Populations (8.6, 8.7)].
  • If metformin-associated lactic acidosis is suspected, immediately discontinue pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride and institute general supportive measures in a hospital setting. Prompt hemodialysis is recommended [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets are indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus when treatment with both pioglitazone and metformin is appropriate [see Clinical Studies (14)].

Important Limitations of Use
Pioglitazone exerts its antihyperglycemic effect only in the presence of endogenous insulin. Pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis, as they would not be effective in these settings. Use caution in patients with liver disease [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Recommendations for All Patients

Pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets should be taken with meals to reduce the gastrointestinal side effects associated with metformin.
If therapy with a combination tablet containing pioglitazone and metformin is considered appropriate the recommended starting dose is:

  • 15 mg/500 mg twice daily or 15 mg/850 mg once daily and gradually titrated, as needed, after assessing adequacy of therapeutic response and tolerability,
  • for patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class I or Class II congestive heart failure: 15 mg/500 mg or 15 mg/850 mg once daily and gradually titrated, as needed, after assessing adequacy of therapeutic response and tolerability,
  • for patients inadequately controlled on metformin monotherapy: 15 mg/500 mg twice daily or 15 mg/850 mg once or twice daily (depending on the dose of metformin already being taken) and gradually titrated, as needed, after assessing adequacy of therapeutic response and tolerability,
  • for patients inadequately controlled on pioglitazone monotherapy: 15 mg/500 mg twice daily or 15 mg/850 mg once daily and gradually titrated, as needed, after assessing adequacy of therapeutic response and tolerability,
  • for patients who are changing from combination therapy of pioglitazone plus metformin as separate tablets: pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets should be taken at doses that are as close as possible to the dose of pioglitazone and metformin already being taken.

Pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets may be titrated up to a maximum daily dose of 45 mg of pioglitazone and 2550 mg of metformin.
Metformin doses above 2000 mg may be better tolerated given three times a day.
After initiation of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets or with dose increase, monitor patients carefully for adverse reactions related to fluid retention such as weight gain, edema, and signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Liver tests (serum alanine and aspartate aminotransferases, alkaline phosphatase, and total bilirubin) should be obtained prior to initiating pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets. Routine periodic monitoring of liver tests during treatment with pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets are not recommended in patients without liver disease. Patients who have liver test abnormalities prior to initiation of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets or who are found to have abnormal liver tests while taking pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets should be managed as described under Warnings and Precautions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

2.2 Recommendations for Use in Renal Impairment

Assess renal function prior to initiation of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets and periodically thereafter.
Pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets are contraindicated in patients with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) below 30 mL/min/1.73 m2.
Initiation of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets in patients with an eGFR between 30 to 45 mL/min/1.73 m2 is not recommended.
In patients taking pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets whose eGFR later falls below 45 mL/min/1.73 m2 , assess the benefit risk of continuing therapy. Discontinue pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets if the patient’s eGFR later falls below 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

2.3 Concomitant Use with Strong CYP2C8 Inhibitors

Coadministration of pioglitazone (one of the ingredients in pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets) and gemfibrozil, a strong CYP2C8 inhibitor, increases pioglitazone exposure approximately 3-fold. Therefore, the maximum recommended dose of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets is 15 mg/850 mg daily when used in combination with gemfibrozil or other strong CYP2C8 inhibitors [see Drug Interactions (7.1) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

2.4 Discontinuation for Iodinated Contrast Imaging Procedures

Discontinue pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets at the time of, or prior to, an iodinated contrast imaging procedure in patients with an eGFR between 30 and 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 ; in patients with a history of liver disease, alcoholism or heart failure; or in patients who will be administered intra-arterial iodinated contrast. Re-evaluate eGFR 48 hours after the imaging procedure; restart pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets if renal function is stable [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

  • 15 mg/500 mg tablets: White to off-white, oblong, biconvex film-coated tablets, debossed with ‘H’ on one side and ‘92’ on other side.
  • 15 mg/850 mg tablets: White to off-white, oblong, biconvex film-coated tablets, debossed with ‘H’ on one side and ‘93’ on other side.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Initiation in patients with established NYHA Class III or IV heart failure [see Boxed Warning].
  • Severe renal impairment (eGFR below 30 mL/min/1.73 m2) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
  • Use in patients with known hypersensitivity to pioglitazone, metformin, or any other component of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride tablets.
  • Metabolic acidosis, including diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis should be treated with insulin.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Congestive Heart Failure

Pioglitazone
Pioglitazone, like other thiazolidinediones, can cause dose-related fluid retention when used alone or in combination with other antidiabetic medications and is most common when pioglitazone is used in combination with insulin. Fluid retention may lead to or exacerbate congestive heart failure. Patients treated with pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride should be observed for signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure. If congestive heart failure develops, it should be managed according to current standards of care and discontinuation or dose reduction of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride must be considered [see Boxed Warning , Contraindications (4), and Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

5.2 Lactic Acidosis

Metformin hydrochloride

Lactic Acidosis

There have been post-marketing cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis, including fatal cases. These cases had a subtle onset and were accompanied by nonspecific symptoms such as malaise, myalgias, abdominal pain, respiratory distress, or increased somnolence; however, hypothermia, hypotension and resistant bradyarrhythmias have occurred with severe acidosis. Metformin-associated lactic acidosis was characterized by elevated blood lactate concentrations (greater than 5 mmol/L), anion gap acidosis (without evidence of ketonuria or ketonemia), and an increased lactate:pyruvate ratio;metformin plasma levels generally greater than 5 mcg/mL. Metformin decreases liver uptake of lactate increasing lactate blood levels which may increase the risk of lactic acidosis, especially in patients at risk.
If metformin-associated lactic acidosis is suspected, general supportive measures should be instituted promptly in a hospital setting, along with immediate discontinuation of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride. In pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride-treated patients with a diagnosis or strong suspicion of lactic acidosis, prompt hemodialysis is recommended to correct the acidosis and remove accumulated metformin (metformin hydrochloride is dialyzable, with a clearance of up to 170 mL/min under good hemodynamic conditions). Hemodialysis has often resulted in reversal of symptoms and recovery.
Educate patients and their families about the symptoms of lactic acidosis and if these symptoms occur instruct them to discontinue pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride and report these symptoms to their healthcare provider.
For each of the known and possible risk factors for metformin-associated lactic acidosis, recommendations to reduce the risk of and manage metformin-associated lactic acidosis are provided below:

Renal Impairment

The postmarketing metformin-associated lactic acidosis cases primarily occurred in patients with significant renal impairment. The risk of metformin accumulation and metformin-associated lactic acidosis increases with the severity of renal impairment because metformin is substantially excreted by the kidney. Clinical recommendations based upon the patient’s renal function include [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

  • Before initiating pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride, obtain an eGFR.
  • Pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride is contraindicated in patients with an eGFR less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m2. Initiation of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride is not recommended in patients with eGFR between 30 to 45 mL/min/1.73 m2 [see Contraindications (4)].
  • Obtain an eGFR at least annually in all patients taking pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride. In patients at increased risk for the development of renal impairment (e.g., the elderly), renal function should be assessed more frequently.
  • In patients taking pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride whose eGFR later falls below 45 mL/min/1.73 m2 , assess the benefit and risk of continuing therapy.

Drug Interactions

The concomitant use of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride with specific drugs may increase the risk of metformin-associated lactic acidosis: those that impair renal function, result in significant hemodynamic change, interfere with acid-base balance or increase metformin accumulation (e.g., cationic drugs) [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Therefore, consider more frequent monitoring of patients.

Age 65 or Greater

The risk of metformin-associated lactic acidosis increases with the patient’s age because elderly patients have a greater likelihood of having hepatic, renal, or cardiac impairment than younger patients. Assess renal function more frequently in elderly patients [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].

Radiological Studies with Contrast

Administration of intravascular iodinated contrast agents in metformin-treated patients has led to an acute decrease in renal function and the occurrence of lactic acidosis. Stop pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride at the time of, or prior to, an iodinated contrast imaging procedure in patients with an eGFR between 30 and 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 ; in patients with a history of hepatic impairment, alcoholism, or heart failure; or in patients who will be administered intra-arterial iodinated contrast. Re-evaluate eGFR 48 hours after the imaging procedure, and restart pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride if renal function is stable.

Surgery and Other Procedures

Withholding of food and fluids during surgical or other procedures may increase the risk for volume depletion, hypotension and renal impairment. Pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride should be temporarily discontinued while patients have restricted food and fluid intake.

Hypoxic States

Several of the postmarketing cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis occurred in the setting of acute congestive heart failure (particularly when accompanied by hypoperfusion and hypoxemia). Cardiovascular collapse (shock), acute myocardial infarction, sepsis, and other conditions associated with hypoxemia have been associated with lactic acidosis and may also cause prerenal azotemia. When such events occur, discontinue pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride.

Excessive Alcohol Intake

Alcohol potentiates the effect of metformin on lactate metabolism and this may increase the risk of metformin-associated lactic acidosis. Warn patients against excessive alcohol intake while receiving pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride.

Hepatic Impairment
Patients with hepatic impairment have developed with cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis. This may be due to impaired lactate clearance resulting in higher lactate blood levels. Therefore, avoid use of pioglitazone and metformin hydrochloride in patients with clinical or laboratory evidence of hepatic disease.

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