Eptifibatide: Package Insert and Label Information (Page 3 of 4)


7.1 Use of Thrombolytics, Anticoagulants, and Other Antiplatelet Agents

Coadministration of antiplatelet agents, thrombolytics, heparin, aspirin, and chronic NSAID use increases the risk of bleeding. Concomitant treatment with other inhibitors of platelet receptor GP IIb/IIIa should be avoided.


8.1 Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category B

Teratology studies have been performed by continuous intravenous infusion of eptifibatide in pregnant rats at total daily doses of up to 72 mg/kg/day (about 4 times the recommended maximum daily human dose on a body surface area basis) and in pregnant rabbits at total daily doses of up to 36 mg/kg/day (also about 4 times the recommended maximum daily human dose on a body surface area basis). These studies revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus due to eptifibatide. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women with eptifibatide injection. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, eptifibatide injection should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether eptifibatide is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when eptifibatide injection is administered to a nursing mother.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of eptifibatide injection in pediatric patients have not been studied.

8.5 Geriatric Use

The PURSUIT and IMPACT II clinical studies enrolled patients up to the age of 94 years (45% were age 65 and over; 12% were age 75 and older). There was no apparent difference in efficacy between older and younger patients treated with eptifibatide injection. The incidence of bleeding complications was higher in the elderly in both placebo and eptifibatide injection groups, and the incremental risk of eptifibatide-associated bleeding was greater in the older patients. No dose adjustment was made for elderly patients, but patients over 75 years of age had to weigh at least 50 kg to be enrolled in the PURSUIT study; no such limitation was stipulated in the ESPRIT study [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

8.6 Renal Impairment

Approximately 50% of eptifibatide is cleared by the kidney in patients with normal renal function. Total drug clearance is decreased by approximately 50% and steady-state plasma eptifibatide injection concentrations are doubled in patients with an estimated CrCl <50 mL/min (using the Cockcroft-Gault equation). Therefore, the infusion dose should be reduced to 1 mcg/kg/min in such patients [see Dosage and Administration (2)]. The safety and efficacy of eptifibatide injection in patients dependent on dialysis has not been established.


There has been only limited experience with overdosage of eptifibatide injection. There were 8 patients in the IMPACT II study, 9 patients in the PURSUIT study, and no patients in the ESPRIT study who received bolus doses and/or infusion doses more than double those called for in the protocols. None of these patients experienced an intracranial bleed or other major bleeding.

Eptifibatide was not lethal to rats, rabbits, or monkeys when administered by continuous intravenous infusion for 90 minutes at a total dose of 45 mg/kg (about 2 to 5 times the recommended maximum daily human dose on a body surface area basis). Symptoms of acute toxicity were loss of righting reflex, dyspnea, ptosis, and decreased muscle tone in rabbits and petechial hemorrhages in the femoral and abdominal areas of monkeys.

From in vitro studies, eptifibatide is not extensively bound to plasma proteins and thus may be cleared from plasma by dialysis.


Eptifibatide is a cyclic heptapeptide containing 6 amino acids and 1 mercaptopropionyl (des-amino cysteinyl) residue. An interchain disulfide bridge is formed between the cysteine amide and the mercaptopropionyl moieties. Chemically it is N 6 -(aminoiminomethyl)-N2 -(3-mercapto-1-oxopropyl)-L-lysylglycyl-L-α-aspartyl-L-tryptophyl-L-prolyl-L-cysteinamide, cyclic (1→6)-disulfide. Eptifibatide binds to the platelet receptor glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa of human platelets and inhibits platelet aggregation.

The eptifibatide peptide is produced by solution-phase peptide synthesis, and is purified by preparative reverse-phase liquid chromatography and lyophilized. The structural formula is:

structural formula
(click image for full-size original)

Eptifibatide Injection is a clear, colorless, sterile, non-pyrogenic solution for intravenous (IV) use with an empirical formula of C35 H49 N11 O9 S2 and a molecular weight of 831.96. Each 10 mL vial contains 2 mg/mL of eptifibatide injection and each 100 mL vial contains 0.75 mg/mL of eptifibatide injection. Each vial of either size also contains 5.25 mg/mL citric acid and sodium hydroxide to adjust the pH to 5.35.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Eptifibatide reversibly inhibits platelet aggregation by preventing the binding of fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor, and other adhesive ligands to GP IIb/IIIa. When administered intravenously, eptifibatide inhibits ex vivo platelet aggregation in a dose- and concentration-dependent manner. Platelet aggregation inhibition is reversible following cessation of the eptifibatide infusion; this is thought to result from dissociation of eptifibatide from the platelet.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Infusion of eptifibatide into baboons caused a dose-dependent inhibition of ex vivo platelet aggregation, with complete inhibition of aggregation achieved at infusion rates greater than 5 mcg/kg/min. In a baboon model that is refractory to aspirin and heparin, doses of eptifibatide that inhibit aggregation prevented acute thrombosis with only a modest prolongation (2- to 3-fold) of the bleeding time. Platelet aggregation in dogs was also inhibited by infusions of eptifibatide, with complete inhibition at 2 mcg/kg/min. This infusion dose completely inhibited canine coronary thrombosis induced by coronary artery injury (Folts model).

Human pharmacodynamic data were obtained in healthy subjects and in patients presenting with UA or NSTEMI and/or undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. Studies in healthy subjects enrolled only males; patient studies enrolled approximately one-third women. In these studies, eptifibatide injection inhibited ex vivo platelet aggregation induced by adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and other agonists in a dose- and concentration-dependent manner. The effect of eptifibatide injection was observed immediately after administration of a 180 mcg/kg intravenous bolus. Table 4 shows the effects of dosing regimens of eptifibatide injection used in the IMPACT II and PURSUIT studies on ex vivo platelet aggregation induced by 20 µM ADP in PPACK-anticoagulated platelet-rich plasma and on bleeding time. The effects of the dosing regimen used in ESPRIT on platelet aggregation have not been studied.

Table 4. Platelet Inhibition and Bleeding Time
* 180 mcg/kg bolus followed by a continuous infusion of 2 mcg/kg/min.



Inhibition of platelet aggregation 15 min after bolus


Inhibition of platelet aggregation at steady state


Bleeding-time prolongation at steady state


Inhibition of platelet aggregation 4h after infusion discontinuation


Bleeding-time prolongation 6h after infusion discontinuation


The eptifibatide injection dosing regimen used in the ESPRIT study included two 180 mcg/kg bolus doses given 10 minutes apart combined with a continuous 2 mcg/kg/min infusion.

When administered alone, eptifibatide injection has no measurable effect on PT or aPTT.

There were no important differences between men and women or between age groups in the pharmacodynamic properties of eptifibatide. Differences among ethnic groups have not been assessed.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

The pharmacokinetics of eptifibatide are linear and dose-proportional for bolus doses ranging from 90 to 250 mcg/kg and infusion rates from 0.5 to 3 mcg/kg/min. Plasma elimination half-life is approximately 2.5 hours. Administration of a single 180 mcg/kg bolus combined with an infusion produces an early peak level, followed by a small decline prior to attaining steady state (within 4-6 hours). This decline can be prevented by administering a second 180 mcg/kg bolus 10 minutes after the first. The extent of eptifibatide binding to human plasma protein is about 25%. Clearance in patients with coronary artery disease is about 55 mL/kg/h. In healthy subjects, renal clearance accounts for approximately 50% of total body clearance, with the majority of the drug excreted in the urine as eptifibatide, deaminated eptifibatide, and other, more polar metabolites. No major metabolites have been detected in human plasma.

Special Populations


Patients in clinical studies were older (range: 20-94 years) than those in the clinical pharmacology studies. Elderly patients with coronary artery disease demonstrated higher plasma levels and lower total body clearance of eptifibatide when given the same dose as younger patients. Limited data are available on lighter weight (<50 kg) patients over 75 years of age.

Renal Impairment

In patients with moderate to severe renal insufficiency (CrCl <50 mL/min using the Cockcroft-Gault equation), the clearance of eptifibatide is reduced by approximately 50% and steady-state plasma levels approximately doubled [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6) and Dosage and Administration (2)].

Hepatic Impairment

No studies have been conducted in patients with hepatic impairment.


Males and females have not demonstrated any clinically significant differences in the pharmacokinetics of eptifibatide.


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No long-term studies in animals have been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of eptifibatide. Eptifibatide was not genotoxic in the Ames test, the mouse lymphoma cell (L 5178Y, TK+/-) forward mutation test, the human lymphocyte chromosome aberration test, or the mouse micronucleus test. Administered by continuous intravenous infusion at total daily doses up to 72 mg/kg/day (about 4 times the recommended maximum daily human dose on a body surface area basis), eptifibatide had no effect on fertility and reproductive performance of male and female rats.


Eptifibatide injection was studied in 3 placebo-controlled, randomized studies. PURSUIT evaluated patients with acute coronary syndromes: UA or NSTEMI. Two other studies, ESPRIT and IMPACT II, evaluated patients about to undergo a PCI. Patients underwent primarily balloon angioplasty in IMPACT II and intracoronary stent placement, with or without angioplasty, in ESPRIT.

14.1 Non-ST-Segment Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome

Non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome is defined as prolonged (≥10 minutes) symptoms of cardiac ischemia within the previous 24 hours associated with either ST-segment changes (elevations between 0.6 mm and 1 mm or depression >0.5 mm), T-wave inversion (>1 mm), or positive CK-MB. This definition includes “unstable angina” and “NSTEMI” but excludes MI that is associated with Q waves or greater degrees of ST-segment elevation.

PURSUIT (Platelet Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa in Unstable Angina: Receptor Suppression Using Eptifibatide Injection Therapy)

PURSUIT was a 726-center, 27-country, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study in 10,948 patients presenting with UA or NSTEMI. Patients could be enrolled only if they had experienced cardiac ischemia at rest (≥10 minutes) within the previous 24 hours and had either ST-segment changes (elevations between 0.6 mm and 1 mm or depression >0.5 mm), T-wave inversion (>1 mm), or increased CK-MB. Important exclusion criteria included a history of bleeding diathesis, evidence of abnormal bleeding within the previous 30 days, uncontrolled hypertension, major surgery within the previous 6 weeks, stroke within the previous 30 days, any history of hemorrhagic stroke, serum creatinine >2 mg/dL, dependency on renal dialysis, or platelet count <100,000/mm3.

Patients were randomized to placebo, to eptifibatide injection 180 mcg/kg bolus followed by a 2 mcg/kg/min infusion (180/2), or to eptifibatide injection 180 mcg/kg bolus followed by a 1.3 mcg/kg/min infusion (180/1.3). The infusion was continued for 72 hours, until hospital discharge, or until the time of CABG, whichever occurred first, except that if PCI was performed, the eptifibatide infusion was continued for 24 hours after the procedure, allowing for a duration of infusion up to 96 hours.

The lower-infusion-rate arm was stopped after the first interim analysis when the 2 active-treatment arms appeared to have the same incidence of bleeding.

Patient age ranged from 20 to 94 (mean 63) years, and 65% were male. The patients were 89% Caucasian, 6% Hispanic, and 5% Black, recruited in the United States and Canada (40%), Western Europe (39%), Eastern Europe (16%), and Latin America (5%).

This was a “real world” study; each patient was managed according to the usual standards of the investigational site; frequencies of angiography, PCI, and CABG therefore differed widely from site to site and from country to country. Of the patients in PURSUIT, 13% were managed with PCI during drug infusion, of whom 50% received intracoronary stents; 87% were managed medically (without PCI during drug infusion).

The majority of patients received aspirin (75-325 mg once daily). Heparin was administered intravenously or subcutaneously, at the physician’s discretion, most commonly as an intravenous bolus of 5000 units followed by a continuous infusion of 1000 units/h. For patients weighing less than 70 kg, the recommended heparin bolus dose was 60 units/kg followed by a continuous infusion of 12 units/kg/h. A target aPTT of 50 to 70 seconds was recommended. A total of 1250 patients underwent PCI within 72 hours after randomization, in which case they received intravenous heparin to maintain an ACT of 300 to 350 seconds.

The primary endpoint of the study was the occurrence of death from any cause or new MI (evaluated by a blinded Clinical Endpoints Committee) within 30 days of randomization.

Compared to placebo, eptifibatide injection administered as a 180 mcg/kg bolus followed by a 2 mcg/kg/min infusion significantly (p=0.042) reduced the incidence of endpoint events (see Table 6). The reduction in the incidence of endpoint events in patients receiving eptifibatide injection was evident early during treatment, and this reduction was maintained through at least 30 days (see Figure 1). Table 5 also shows the incidence of the components of the primary endpoint, death (whether or not preceded by an MI) and new MI in surviving patients at 30 days.

Table 5. Clinical Events in the PURSUIT Study

Death or MI



n (%)

Eptifibatide Injection

(180 mcg/kg bolus then 2 mcg/kg/min infusion)


n (%)


3 days

359 (7.6%)

279 (5.9%)


7 days

552 (11.6%)

477 (10.1%)


30 days

Death or MI (primary endpoint)

745 (15.7%)

672 (14.2%)



177 (3.7%)

165 (3.5%)

Nonfatal MI

568 (12%)

507 (10.7%)

figure 1
(click image for full-size original)

Treatment with eptifibatide injection prior to determination of patient management strategy reduced clinical events regardless of whether patients ultimately underwent diagnostic catheterization, revascularization (i.e., PCI or CABG surgery) or continued to receive medical management alone. Table 6 shows the incidence of death or MI within 72 hours.

Table 6. Clinical Events (Death or MI) in the PURSUIT Study Within 72 Hours of Randomization


Eptifibatide Injection

(180 mcg/kg bolus then 2 mcg/kg/min infusion)

Overall patient population



– At 72 hours



Patients undergoing early PCI



– Pre-procedure (nonfatal MI only)



– At 72 hours



Patients not undergoing early PCI



– At 72 hours



All of the effect of eptifibatide injection was established within 72 hours (during the period of drug infusion), regardless of management strategy. Moreover, for patients undergoing early PCI, a reduction in events was evident prior to the procedure.

An analysis of the results by sex suggests that women who would not routinely be expected to undergo PCI receive less benefit from eptifibatide injection (95% confidence limits for relative risk of 0.94 — 1.28) than do men (0.72 — 0.9). This difference may be a true treatment difference, the effect of other differences in these subgroups, or a statistical anomaly. No differential outcomes were seen between male and female patients undergoing PCI (see results for ESPRIT).

Follow-up data were available through 165 days for 10,611 patients enrolled in the PURSUIT trial (96.9% of the initial enrollment). This follow-up included 4566 patients who received eptifibatide injection at the 180/2 dose. As reported by the investigators, the occurrence of death from any cause or new MI for patients followed for at least 165 days was reduced from 13.6% with placebo to 12.1% with eptifibatide injection 180/2.

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