In a post-hoc analysis of the Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL) study where atorvastatin 80 mg vs. placebo was administered in 4,731 subjects without CHD who had a stroke or TIA within the preceding 6 months, a higher incidence of hemorrhagic stroke was seen in the atorvastatin 80 mg group compared to placebo (55, 2.3% atorvastatin vs. 33, 1.4% placebo; HR: 1.68, 95% CI: 1.09, 2.59; p=0.0168). The incidence of fatal hemorrhagic stroke was similar across treatment groups (17 vs. 18 for the atorvastatin and placebo groups, respectively). The incidence of nonfatal hemorrhagic stroke was significantly higher in the atorvastatin group (38, 1.6%) as compared to the placebo group (16, 0.7%). Some baseline characteristics, including hemorrhagic and lacunar stroke on study entry, were associated with a higher incidence of hemorrhagic stroke in the atorvastatin group [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the label:
Rhabdomyolysis and myopathy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
Liver enzyme abnormalities [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, the 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 rates observed in clinical practice.
In the atorvastatin placebo-controlled clinical trial database of 16,066 patients (8,755 atorvastatin vs. 7,311 placebo; age range 10 to 93 years, 39% women, 91% Caucasians, 3% Blacks, 2% Asians, 4% other) with a median treatment duration of 53 weeks, 9.7% of patients on atorvastatin and 9.5% of the patients on placebo discontinued due to adverse reactions regardless of causality. The five most common adverse reactions in patients treated with atorvastatin that led to treatment discontinuation and occurred at a rate greater than placebo were: myalgia (0.7%), diarrhea (0.5%), nausea (0.4%), alanine aminotransferase increase (0.4%), and hepatic enzyme increase (0.4%).
The most commonly reported adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 2% and greater than placebo) regardless of causality, in patients treated with atorvastatin in placebo controlled trials (n=8,755) were: nasopharyngitis (8.3%), arthralgia (6.9%), diarrhea (6.8%), pain in extremity (6.0%), and urinary tract infection (5.7%).
Table 3 summarizes the frequency of clinical adverse reactions, regardless of causality, reported in ≥ 2% and at a rate greater than placebo in patients treated with atorvastatin (n=8,755), from seventeen placebo-controlled trials.
|Adverse Reaction *||Any dose N=8,755||10 mg N=3,908||20 mg N=188||40 mg N=604||80 mg N=4,055||Placebo N=7,311|
|Pain in extremity||6.0||8.5||3.7||9.3||3.1||5.9|
|Urinary tract infection||5.7||6.9||6.4||8.0||4.1||5.6|
Other adverse reactions reported in placebo-controlled studies include:
Body as a whole: malaise, pyrexia; Digestive system: abdominal discomfort, eructation, flatulence, hepatitis, cholestasis; Musculoskeletal system: musculoskeletal pain, muscle fatigue, neck pain, joint swelling; Metabolic and nutritional system: transaminases increase, liver function test abnormal, blood alkaline phosphatase increase, creatine phosphokinase increase, hyperglycemia; Nervous system: nightmare; Respiratory system: epistaxis; Skin and appendages: urticaria; Special senses: vision blurred, tinnitus; Urogenital system: white blood cells urine positive.
Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial (ASCOT)
In ASCOT [see Clinical Studies (14.1)] involving 10,305 participants (age range 40 to 80 years, 19% women; 94.6% Caucasians, 2.6% Africans, 1.5% South Asians, 1.3% mixed/other) treated with atorvastatin 10 mg daily (n=5,168) or placebo (n=5,137), the safety and tolerability profile of the group treated with atorvastatin was comparable to that of the group treated with placebo during a median of 3.3 years of follow-up.
Collaborative Atorvastatin Diabetes Study (CARDS)
In CARDS [see Clinical Studies (14.1)] involving 2,838 subjects (age range 39 to 77 years, 32% women; 94.3% Caucasians, 2.4% South Asians, 2.3% Afro-Caribbean, 1.0% other) with type 2 diabetes treated with atorvastatin 10 mg daily (n=1,428) or placebo (n=1,410), there was no difference in the overall frequency of adverse reactions or serious adverse reactions between the treatment groups during a median follow-up of 3.9 years. No cases of rhabdomyolysis were reported.
Treating to New Targets Study (TNT)
In TNT [see Clinical Studies (14.1)] involving 10,001 subjects (age range 29 to 78 years, 19% women; 94.1% Caucasians, 2.9% Blacks, 1.0% Asians, 2.0% other) with clinically evident CHD treated with atorvastatin 10 mg daily (n=5,006) or atorvastatin 80 mg daily (n=4,995), there were more serious adverse reactions and discontinuations due to adverse reactions in the high-dose atorvastatin group (92, 1.8%; 497, 9.9%, respectively) as compared to the low-dose group (69, 1.4%; 404, 8.1%, respectively) during a median follow-up of 4.9 years. Persistent transaminase elevations (≥3 x ULN twice within 4 to 10 days) occurred in 62 (1.3%) individuals with atorvastatin 80 mg and in nine (0.2%) individuals with atorvastatin 10 mg. Elevations of CK (≥ 10 x ULN) were low overall, but were higher in the high-dose atorvastatin treatment group (13, 0.3%) compared to the low-dose atorvastatin group (6, 0.1%).
Incremental Decrease in Endpoints through Aggressive Lipid Lowering Study (IDEAL)
In IDEAL [see Clinical Studies (14.1)] involving 8,888 subjects (age range 26 to 80 years, 19% women; 99.3% Caucasians, 0.4% Asians, 0.3% Blacks, 0.04% other) treated with atorvastatin 80 mg/day (n=4,439) or simvastatin 20 mg to 40 mg daily (n=4,449), there was no difference in the overall frequency of adverse reactions or serious adverse reactions between the treatment groups during a median follow-up of 4.8 years.
Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL)
In SPARCL involving 4,731 subjects (age range 21 to 92 years, 40% women; 93.3% Caucasians, 3.0% Blacks, 0.6% Asians, 3.1% other) without clinically evident CHD but with a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) within the previous 6 months treated with atorvastatin 80 mg (n=2,365) or placebo (n=2,366) for a median follow-up of 4.9 years, there was a higher incidence of persistent hepatic transaminase elevations (≥ 3 x ULN twice within 4 to 10 days) in the atorvastatin group (0.9%) compared to placebo (0.1%). Elevations of CK (>10 x ULN) were rare, but were higher in the atorvastatin group (0.1%) compared to placebo (0.0%). Diabetes was reported as an adverse reaction in 144 subjects (6.1%) in the atorvastatin group and 89 subjects (3.8%) in the placebo group [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
In a post-hoc analysis, atorvastatin 80 mg reduced the incidence of ischemic stroke (218/2,365, 9.2% vs. 274/2,366, 11.6%) and increased the incidence of hemorrhagic stroke (55/2,365, 2.3% vs. 33/2,366, 1.4%) compared to placebo. The incidence of fatal hemorrhagic stroke was similar between groups (17 atorvastatin vs. 18 placebo). The incidence of non-fatal hemorrhagic strokes was significantly greater in the atorvastatin group (38 non-fatal hemorrhagic strokes) as compared to the placebo group (16 non-fatal hemorrhagic strokes). Subjects who entered the study with a hemorrhagic stroke appeared to be at increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke [7 (16%) atorvastatin vs. 2 (4%) placebo].
There were no significant differences between the treatment groups for all-cause mortality: 216 (9.1%) in the atorvastatin 80 mg/day group vs. 211 (8.9%) in the placebo group. The proportions of subjects who experienced cardiovascular death were numerically smaller in the atorvastatin 80 mg group (3.3%) than in the placebo group (4.1%). The proportions of subjects who experienced non-cardiovascular death were numerically larger in the atorvastatin 80 mg group (5.0%) than in the placebo group (4.0%).
Adverse Reactions from Clinical Studies of Atorvastatin in Pediatric Patients
In a 26-week controlled study in boys and postmenarchal girls with HeFH (ages 10 years to 17 years) (n=140, 31% female; 92% Caucasians, 1.6% Blacks, 1.6% Asians, 4.8% other), the safety and tolerability profile of atorvastatin 10 mg to 20 mg daily, as an adjunct to diet to reduce total cholesterol, LDL-C, and apo B levels, was generally similar to that of placebo [see Use in Special Populations (8.4) and Clinical Studies (14.6)].
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of atorvastatin. 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.
Adverse reactions associated with atorvastatin therapy reported since market introduction, that are not listed above, regardless of causality assessment, include the following: anaphylaxis, angioneurotic edema, bullous rashes (including erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis), rhabdomyolysis, myositis, fatigue, tendon rupture, fatal and non-fatal hepatic failure, dizziness, depression, peripheral neuropathy, and pancreatitis and interstitial lung disease.
There have been rare reports of immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy associated with statin use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
There have been rare postmarketing reports of cognitive impairment (e.g., memory loss, forgetfulness, amnesia, memory impairment, confusion) associated with statin use. These cognitive issues have been reported for all statins. The reports are generally nonserious, and reversible upon statin discontinuation, with variable times to symptom onset (one day to years) and symptom resolution (median of 3 weeks).
The risk of myopathy during treatment with statins is increased with concurrent administration of fibric acid derivatives, lipid-modifying doses of niacin, cyclosporine, or strong CYP 3A4 inhibitors (e.g., clarithromycin, HIV and HCV protease inhibitors, and itraconazole) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Atorvastatin is metabolized by cytochrome P450 3A4. Concomitant administration of atorvastatin with strong inhibitors of CYP 3A4 can lead to increases in plasma concentrations of atorvastatin. The extent of interaction and potentiation of effects depend on the variability of effect on CYP 3A4.
Atorvastatin AUC was significantly increased with concomitant administration of atorvastatin 80 mg with clarithromycin (500 mg twice daily) compared to that of atorvastatin alone [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Therefore, in patients taking clarithromycin, caution should be used when the atorvastatin dose exceeds 20 mg [see Dosage and Administration (2.6) and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Combination of Protease Inhibitors
Atorvastatin AUC was significantly increased with concomitant administration of atorvastatin with several combinations of protease inhibitors [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. In patients taking tipranavir plus ritonavir or glecaprevir plus pibrentasvir, concomitant use of atorvastatin should be avoided. In patients taking lopinavir plus ritonavir,or simeprevir, use the lowest necessary atorvastatin dose. In patients taking saquinavir plus ritonavir, darunavir plus ritonavir, fosamprenavir, fosamprenavir plus ritonavir, or elbasvir plus grazoprevir, the dose of atorvastatin should not exceed 20 mg. In patients taking nelfinavir the dose of atorvastatin should not exceed 40 mg and close clinical monitoring is recommended [see Dosage and Administration (2.6) and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Atorvastatin AUC was significantly increased with concomitant administration of atorvastatin 40 mg and itraconazole 200 mg [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Therefore, in patients taking itraconazole, caution should be used when the atorvastatin dose exceeds 20 mg [see Dosage and Administration (2.6) and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
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