Clonidine Transdermal System: Package Insert and Label Information

CLONIDINE TRANSDERMAL SYSTEM- clonidine patch
Actavis Pharma, Inc.

DESCRIPTION

Clonidine transdermal system, USP is a transdermal system providing continuous systemic delivery of clonidine for 7 days at an approximately constant rate. Clonidine is a centrally acting alpha-agonist hypotensive agent. It is an imidazoline derivative with the chemical name 2, 6-dichloro-N-2-imidazolidinylidenebenzenamine and has the following chemical structure:

The chemical structure for Clonidine.
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System Structure and Components

Clonidine transdermal system, USP is a multi-layered film, 0.2 mm thick, containing clonidine as the active agent. The system areas are 4.1 cm2 (0.1 mg per day for one week), 8.2 cm2 (0.2 mg per day for one week) and 12.3 cm2 (0.3 mg per day for one week) and the amount of drug released is directly proportional to the area (see Release Rate Concept). The composition per unit area is the same for all three doses.

Proceeding from the visible surface towards the surface attached to the skin, there are four consecutive layers: 1) a backing layer of pigmented polyethylene/aluminum/polyester film; 2) a drug reservoir of clonidine, acrylic adhesive; 3) an ethylene vinyl acetate membrane that controls the rate of delivery of clonidine from the system to the skin surface; 4) an adhesive formulation of clonidine and acrylic adhesive. Prior to use, a translucent to clear secondary protective liner card that rests over the pigmented film is removed; also, a protective release liner of silicone coated polyester film that covers the adhesive layer is removed.

Cross Section of the System:

Cross Section of the System:
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Release Rate Concept

Clonidine transdermal system is programmed to release clonidine at an approximately constant rate for 7 days. The energy for drug release is derived from the concentration gradient existing between a saturated solution of drug in the system and the much lower concentration prevailing in the skin. Clonidine flows in the direction of the lower concentration at a constant rate, limited by the rate-controlling membrane, so long as a saturated solution is maintained in the drug reservoir.

Following system application to intact skin, clonidine in the adhesive layer saturates the skin site below the system. Clonidine from the drug reservoir then begins to flow through the rate-controlling membrane and the adhesive layer of the system into the systemic circulation via the capillaries beneath the skin. Therapeutic plasma clonidine levels are achieved 2 to 3 days after initial application of clonidine transdermal system.

The 4.1, 8.2, and 12.3 cm2 systems deliver 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 mg of clonidine per day, respectively. To ensure constant release of drug for 7 days, the total drug content of the system is higher than the total amount of drug delivered. Application of a new system to a fresh skin site at weekly intervals continuously maintains therapeutic plasma concentrations of clonidine. If the clonidine transdermal system is removed and not replaced with a new system, therapeutic plasma clonidine levels will persist for about 8 hours and then decline slowly over several days. Over this time period, blood pressure returns gradually to pretreatment levels.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Clonidine stimulates alpha-adrenoreceptors in the brain stem. This action results in reduced sympathetic outflow from the central nervous system and in decreases in peripheral resistance, renal vascular resistance, heart rate, and blood pressure. Renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate remain essentially unchanged. Normal postural reflexes are intact; therefore, orthostatic symptoms are mild and infrequent.

Acute studies with clonidine hydrochloride in humans have demonstrated a moderate reduction (15% to 20%) of cardiac output in the supine position with no change in the peripheral resistance; at a 45° tilt there is a smaller reduction in cardiac output and a decrease of peripheral resistance.

During long-term therapy, cardiac output tends to return to control values, while peripheral resistance remains decreased. Slowing of the pulse rate has been observed in most patients given clonidine, but the drug does not alter normal hemodynamic responses to exercise.

Tolerance to the antihypertensive effect may develop in some patients, necessitating a reevaluation of therapy.

Other studies in patients have provided evidence of a reduction in plasma renin activity and in the excretion of aldosterone and catecholamines. The exact relationship of these pharmacologic actions to the antihypertensive effect of clonidine has not been fully elucidated.

Clonidine acutely stimulates the release of growth hormone in children as well as adults but does not produce a chronic elevation of growth hormone with long-term use.

Pharmacokinetics

Clonidine transdermal system delivers clonidine at an approximately constant rate for 7 days. The absolute bioavailability of clonidine from the transdermal system dosage form is approximately 60%. Steady-state clonidine plasma levels are obtained within 3 days after transdermal application to the upper outer arm and increase linearly with increasing size of the transdermal patch. Mean steady-state plasma concentrations with the 4.1 cm2 , 8.2 cm2 and 12.3 cm2 systems are approximately 0.4 ng/mL, 0.8 ng/mL, and 1.1 ng/mL, respectively. Similar clonidine steady-state concentrations are reached after application to the chest. Steady-state clonidine plasma levels remain constant after removal of one system and application of a new system of the same size.

Following intravenous administration clonidine displays biphasic disposition with a distribution half-life of about 20 minutes and an elimination half-life ranging from 12 to 16 hours. The half-life increases up to 41 hours in patients with severe impairment of renal function. Clonidine has a total clearance of 177 mL/min and a renal clearance of 102 mL/min. The apparent volume of distribution (Vz) of clonidine is 197 L (2.9 L/kg). Clonidine crosses the placental barrier. It has been shown to cross the blood brain barrier in rats.

Following oral administration, about 40% to 60% of the absorbed dose is recovered in the urine as unchanged drug within 24 hours. About 50% of the absorbed dose is metabolized in the liver.

After removal of the clonidine transdermal system, clonidine plasma concentrations decline slowly with a half-life of approximately 20 hours.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Clonidine transdermal system is indicated in the treatment of hypertension. It may be employed alone or concomitantly with other antihypertensive agents.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Clonidine transdermal system should not be used in patients with known hypersensitivity to clonidine or to any other component of the system.

WARNINGS

Withdrawal

Patients should be instructed not to discontinue therapy without consulting their physician. Sudden cessation of clonidine treatment has, in some cases, resulted in symptoms such as nervousness, agitation, headache, tremor, and confusion accompanied or followed by a rapid rise in blood pressure and elevated catecholamine concentrations in the plasma. The likelihood of such reactions to discontinuation of clonidine therapy appears to be greater after administration of higher doses or continuation of concomitant beta-blocker treatment and special caution is therefore advised in these situations. Rare instances of hypertensive encephalopathy, cerebrovascular accidents and death have been reported after clonidine withdrawal. When discontinuing therapy with clonidine transdermal system, the physician should reduce the dose gradually over 2 to 4 days to avoid withdrawal symptomatology.

An excessive rise in blood pressure following discontinuation of clonidine transdermal system therapy can be reversed by administration of oral clonidine hydrochloride or by intravenous phentolamine. If therapy is to be discontinued in patients receiving a beta-blocker and clonidine concurrently, the beta-blocker should be withdrawn several days before the gradual discontinuation of clonidine transdermal system.

PRECAUTIONS

General

In patients who have developed localized contact sensitization to clonidine transdermal system continuation of clonidine transdermal system or substitution of oral clonidine hydrochloride therapy may be associated with development of a generalized skin rash.

In patients who develop an allergic reaction to clonidine transdermal system, substitution of oral clonidine hydrochloride may also elicit an allergic reaction (including generalized rash, urticaria, or angioedema).

The sympatholytic action of clonidine may worsen sinus node dysfunction and atrioventricular (AV) block, especially in patients taking other sympatholytic drugs. There are post-marketing reports of patients with conduction abnormalities and/or taking other sympatholytic drugs who developed severe bradycardia requiring IV atropine, IV isoproterenol and temporary cardiac pacing while taking clonidine.

In hypertension caused by pheochromocytoma, no therapeutic effect of clonidine transdermal system can be expected.

In rare instances, loss of blood pressure control has been reported in patients using clonidine transdermal system according to the instructions for use.

Perioperative Use

Clonidine transdermal system therapy should not be interrupted during the surgical period. Blood pressure should be carefully monitored during surgery and additional measures to control blood pressure should be available if required. Physicians considering starting clonidine transdermal system therapy during the perioperative period must be aware that therapeutic plasma clonidine levels are not achieved until 2 to 3 days after initial application of clonidine transdermal system (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Defibrillation or Cardioversion

The transdermal clonidine systems should be removed before attempting defibrillation or cardioversion because of the potential for altered electrical conductivity which may increase the risk of arcing, a phenomenon associated with the use of defibrillators.

MRI

Skin burns have been reported at the patch site in several patients wearing an aluminized transdermal system during a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI). Because the clonidine transdermal system patch contains aluminum, it is recommended to remove the system before undergoing an MRI.

Information for Patients

Patients should be cautioned against interruption of clonidine transdermal system therapy without their physician’s advice.

Since patients may experience a possible sedative effect, dizziness, or accommodation disorder with use of clonidine, caution patients about engaging in activities such as driving a vehicle or operating appliances or machinery. Also, inform patients that this sedative effect may be increased by concomitant use of alcohol, barbiturates, or other sedating drugs.

Patients who wear contact lenses should be cautioned that treatment with clonidine transdermal system may cause dryness of eyes.

Patients should be instructed to consult their physicians promptly about the possible need to remove the patch if they observe moderate to severe localized erythema and/or vesicle formation at the site of application or generalized skin rash.

If a patient experiences isolated, mild localized skin irritation before completing 7 days of use, the system may be removed and replaced with a new system applied to a fresh skin site.

If the system should begin to loosen from the skin after application, the patient should be instructed to place the adhesive cover directly over the system to ensure adhesion during its 7-day use.

Used clonidine transdermal system patches contain a substantial amount of their initial drug content which may be harmful to infants and children if accidentally applied or ingested. THEREFORE, PATIENTS SHOULD BE CAUTIONED TO KEEP BOTH USED AND UNUSED CLONIDINE TRANSDERMAL SYSTEM PATCHES OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN. After use, clonidine transdermal system should be folded in half with the adhesive sides together and discarded away from children’s reach.

Instructions for use, storage and disposal of the system are provided at the end of this prescribing information. These instructions are also included in each box of clonidine transdermal system.

Drug Interactions

Clonidine may potentiate the CNS-depressive effects of alcohol, barbiturates or other sedating drugs. If a patient receiving clonidine is also taking tricyclic antidepressants, the hypotensive effect of clonidine may be reduced, necessitating an increase in the clonidine dose. If a patient receiving clonidine is also taking neuroleptics, orthostatic regulation disturbances (e.g., orthostatic hypotension, dizziness, fatigue) may be induced or exacerbated.

Monitor heart rate in patients receiving clonidine concomitantly with agents known to affect sinus node function or AV nodal conduction, e.g.,digitalis, calcium channel blockers, and beta-blockers. Sinus bradycardia resulting in hospitalization and pacemaker insertion has been reported in association with the use of clonidine concomitantly with diltiazem or verapamil.

Amitriptyline in combination with clonidine enhances the manifestation of corneal lesions in rats (see Toxicology).

Toxicology

In several studies with oral clonidine hydrochloride, a dose-dependent increase in the incidence and severity of spontaneous retinal degeneration was seen in albino rats treated for six months or longer. Tissue distribution studies in dogs and monkeys showed a concentration of clonidine in the choroid.

In view of the retinal degeneration seen in rats, eye examinations were performed during clinical trials in 908 patients before, and periodically after, the start of clonidine therapy. In 353 of these 908 patients, the eye examinations were carried out over periods of 24 months or longer. Except for some dryness of the eyes, no drug-related abnormal ophthalmological findings were recorded and, according to specialized tests such as electroretinography and macular dazzle, retinal function was unchanged.

In combination with amitriptyline, clonidine hydrochloride administration led to the development of corneal lesions in rats within 5 days.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Chronic dietary administration of clonidine was not carcinogenic to rats (132 weeks) or mice (78 weeks) dosed, respectively, at up to 46 to 70 times the maximum recommended daily human dose as mg/kg (9 or 6 times the MRDHD on a mg/m2 basis). There was no evidence of genotoxicity in the Ames test for mutagenicity or mouse micronucleus test for clastogenicity.

Fertility of male and female rats was unaffected by clonidine doses as high as 150 mcg/kg (approximately 3 times the MRDHD). In a separate experiment, fertility of female rats appeared to be affected at dose levels of 500 to 2000 mcg/kg (10 to 40 times the oral MRDHD on a mg/kg basis; 2 to 8 times the MRDHD on a mg/m2 basis).

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category C

Reproduction studies performed in rabbits at doses up to approximately 3 times the oral maximum recommended daily human dose (MRDHD) of clonidine hydrochloride produced no evidence of a teratogenic or embryotoxic potential in rabbits. In rats, however, doses as low as 1/3 the oral MRDHD (1/15 the MRDHD on a mg/m2 basis) of clonidine were associated with increased resorptions in a study in which dams were treated continuously from 2 months prior to mating. Increased resorptions were not associated with treatment at the same or at higher dose levels (up to 3 times the oral MRDHD) when the dams were treated on gestation days 6 to 15. Increases in resorption were observed at much higher dose levels (40 times the oral MRDHD on mg/kg basis; 4 to 8 times the MRDHD on a mg/m2 basis) in mice and rats treated on gestation days 1 to 14 (lowest dose employed in the study was 500 mcg/kg).

No adequate well-controlled studies have been conducted in pregnant women.

Clonidine crosses the placental barrier (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Pharmacokinetics). Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

Nursing Mothers

As clonidine is excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when clonidine transdermal system is administered to a nursing woman.

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