Prescription Drug Information: PRADAXA

PRADAXA- dabigatran etexilate mesylate capsule
Rebel Distributors Corp

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

PRADAXA is indicated to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1  Recommended Dose

For patients with creatinine clearance (CrCl) >30 mL/min, the recommended dose of PRADAXA is 150 mg taken orally, twice daily, with or without food. For patients with CrCl 15-30 mL/min, the recommended dose is 75 mg twice daily [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Dosing recommendations for patients with a CrCL <15 mL/min or on dialysis cannot be provided.

Instruct patients to swallow the capsules whole. Breaking, chewing, or emptying the contents of the capsule can result in increased exposure [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

If a dose of PRADAXA is not taken at the scheduled time, the dose should be taken as soon as possible on the same day; the missed dose should be skipped if it cannot be taken at least 6 hours before the next scheduled dose. The dose of PRADAXA should not be doubled to make up for a missed dose.

2.2  Converting from or to Warfarin

When converting patients from warfarin therapy to PRADAXA, discontinue warfarin and start PRADAXA when the international normalized ratio (INR) is below 2.0.

When converting from PRADAXA to warfarin, adjust the starting time of warfarin based on creatinine clearance as follows:

  • For CrCl >50 mL/min, start warfarin 3 days before discontinuing PRADAXA.
  • For CrCl 31-50 mL/min, start warfarin 2 days before discontinuing PRADAXA.
  • For CrCl 15-30 mL/min, start warfarin 1 day before discontinuing PRADAXA.
  • For CrCl <15 mL/min, no recommendations can be made.

Because PRADAXA can contribute to an elevated INR, the INR will better reflect warfarin’s effect after PRADAXA has been stopped for at least 2 days.

2.3  Converting from or to Parenteral Anticoagulants

For patients currently receiving a parenteral anticoagulant, start PRADAXA 0 to 2 hours before the time that the next dose of the parenteral drug was to have been administered or at the time of discontinuation of a continuously administered parenteral drug (e.g., intravenous unfractionated heparin).

For patients currently taking PRADAXA, wait 12 hours (CrCl ≥30 mL/min) or 24 hours (CrCl <30 mL/min) after the last dose of PRADAXA before initiating treatment with a parenteral anticoagulant [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

2.4  Surgery and Interventions

If possible, discontinue PRADAXA 1 to 2 days (CrCl ≥50 mL/min) or 3 to 5 days (CrCl <50 mL/min) before invasive or surgical procedures because of the increased risk of bleeding. Consider longer times for patients undergoing major surgery, spinal puncture, or placement of a spinal or epidural catheter or port, in whom complete hemostasis may be required [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

If surgery cannot be delayed, there is an increased risk of bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. This risk of bleeding should be weighed against the urgency of intervention [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Bleeding risk can be assessed by the ecarin clotting time (ECT). This test is a better marker of the anticoagulant activity of dabigatran than activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), prothrombin time (PT)/INR, or thrombin time (TT). If ECT is not available, the aPTT test provides an approximation of PRADAXA’s anticoagulant activity [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Capsules with a light blue opaque cap imprinted in black with the Boehringer Ingelheim company symbol and a cream-colored opaque body imprinted in black with “R150″ (150 mg) or “R75″ (75 mg).

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

PRADAXA is contraindicated in patients with:

  • Active pathological bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
  • History of a serious hypersensitivity reaction to PRADAXA (e.g., anaphylactic reaction or anaphylactic shock) [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1  Risk of Bleeding

PRADAXA increases the risk of bleeding and can cause significant and, sometimes, fatal bleeding. Risk factors for bleeding include the use of drugs that increase the risk of bleeding in general (e.g., anti-platelet agents, heparin, fibrinolytic therapy, and chronic use of NSAIDs) and labor and delivery. Promptly evaluate any signs or symptoms of blood loss (e.g., a drop in hemoglobin and/or hematocrit or hypotension). Discontinue PRADAXA in patients with active pathological bleeding.

In the RE-LY (Randomized Evaluation of Long-term Anticoagulant Therapy) study, a life-threatening bleed (bleeding that met one or more of the following criteria: fatal, symptomatic intracranial, reduction in hemoglobin of at least 5 grams per deciliter, transfusion of at least 4 units of blood, associated with hypotension requiring the use of intravenous inotropic agents, or necessitating surgical intervention) occurred at an annualized rate of 1.5% and 1.8% for PRADAXA 150 mg and warfarin, respectively [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

5.2  Temporary Discontinuation of PRADAXA

Discontinuing anticoagulants, including PRADAXA, for active bleeding, elective surgery, or invasive procedures places patients at an increased risk of stroke. Lapses in therapy should be avoided, and if anticoagulation with PRADAXA must be temporarily discontinued for any reason, therapy should be restarted as soon as possible.

5.3  Effect of P-gp Inducers and Inhibitors on Dabigatran Exposure

The concomitant use of PRADAXA with P-gp inducers (e.g., rifampin) reduces exposure to dabigatran and should generally be avoided [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

P-gp inhibitors ketoconazole, verapamil, amiodarone, quinidine, and clarithromycin do not require dose adjustments. These results should not be extrapolated to other P-gp inhibitors [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

6.1  Clinical Trials Experience

The RE-LY study provided safety information on the use of two doses of PRADAXA and warfarin [see Clinical Studies (14)]. The numbers of patients and their exposures are described in Table 1. Limited information is presented on the 110 mg dosing arm because this dose is not approved.

Table 1 Summary of Treatment Exposure in RE-LY
PRADAXA 110 mg twice daily PRADAXA 150 mg twice daily Warfarin
Total number treated 5983 6059 5998
Exposure
> 12 months 4936 4939 5193
> 24 months 2387 2405 2470
Mean exposure (months) 20.5 20.3 21.3
Total patient-years 10,242 10,261 10,659

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions and over varying lengths of time, 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 the rates observed in practice.

Drug Discontinuation in RE-LY

The rates of adverse reactions leading to treatment discontinuation were 21% for PRADAXA 150 mg and 16% for warfarin. The most frequent adverse reactions leading to discontinuation of PRADAXA were bleeding and gastrointestinal events (i.e., dyspepsia, nausea, upper abdominal pain, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and diarrhea).

Bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]

Table 2 shows the number of patients experiencing serious bleeding during the treatment period in the RE-LY study, with the bleeding rate per 100 patient-years (%). Major bleeds fulfilled one or more of the following criteria: bleeding associated with a reduction in hemoglobin of at least 2 grams per deciliter or leading to a transfusion of at least 2 units of blood, or symptomatic bleeding in a critical area or organ (intraocular, intracranial, intraspinal or intramuscular with compartment syndrome, retroperitoneal bleeding, intra-articular bleeding, or pericardial bleeding). A life-threatening bleed met one or more of the following criteria: fatal, symptomatic intracranial bleed, reduction in hemoglobin of at least 5 grams per deciliter, transfusion of at least 4 units of blood, associated with hypotension requiring the use of intravenous inotropic agents, or necessitating surgical intervention. Intracranial hemorrhage included intracerebral (hemorrhagic stroke), subarachnoid, and subdural bleeds.

Table 2 Bleeding Events* (per 100 Patient-Years)
PRADAXA 150 mg twice daily N (%) Warfarin N (%) Hazard Ratio (95% CI**)
* Patients contributed multiple events and events were counted in multiple categories. ** Confidence interval
Randomized patients 6076 6022
Patient-years 12,033 11,794
Intracranial hemorrhage 38 (0.3) 90 (0.8) 0.41 (0.28, 0.60)
Life-threatening bleed 179 (1.5) 218 (1.9) 0.80 (0.66, 0.98)
Major bleed 399 (3.3) 421 (3.6) 0.93 (0.81, 1.07)
Any bleed 1993 (16.6) 2166 (18.4) 0.91 (0.85, 0.96)

The risk of major bleeds was similar with PRADAXA 150 mg and warfarin across major subgroups defined by baseline characteristics, with the exception of age, where there was a trend towards a higher incidence of major bleeding on PRADAXA (hazard ratio 1.2, 95% CI: 1.0 to 1.4) for patients ≥75 years of age.

There was a higher rate of major gastrointestinal bleeds in patients receiving PRADAXA 150 mg than in patients receiving warfarin (1.6% vs. 1.1%, respectively, with a hazard ratio vs. warfarin of 1.5, 95% CI, 1.2 to 1.9), and a higher rate of any gastrointestinal bleeds (6.1% vs. 4.0%, respectively).

Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions

Patients on PRADAXA 150 mg had an increased incidence of gastrointestinal adverse reactions (35% vs. 24% on warfarin). These were commonly dyspepsia (including abdominal pain upper, abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort, and epigastric discomfort) and gastritis-like symptoms (including GERD, esophagitis, erosive gastritis, gastric hemorrhage, hemorrhagic gastritis, hemorrhagic erosive gastritis, and gastrointestinal ulcer).

Hypersensitivity Reactions

In the RE-LY study, drug hypersensitivity (including urticaria, rash, and pruritus), allergic edema, anaphylactic reaction, and anaphylactic shock were reported in <0.1% of patients receiving PRADAXA.

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