Fenofibrate: Package Insert and Label Information

FENOFIBRATE- fenofibrate tablet, film coated
NuCare Pharmaceuticals,Inc.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Primary Hypercholesterolemia or Mixed Dyslipidemia

Fenofibrate tablets are indicated as adjunctive therapy to diet to reduce elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol (Total-C), Triglycerides and apolipoprotein B (Apo B), and to increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in adult patients with primary hypercholesterolemia or mixed dyslipidemia.

1.2 Severe Hypertriglyceridemia

Fenofibrate tablets are also indicated as adjunctive therapy to diet for treatment of adult patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia. Improving glycemic control in diabetic patients showing fasting chylomicronemia will usually obviate the need for pharmacologic intervention.

Markedly elevated levels of serum triglycerides (e.g., > 2,000 mg/dL) may increase the risk of developing pancreatitis. The effect of fenofibrate therapy on reducing this risk has not been adequately studied.

1.3 Important Limitations of Use

Fenofibrate at a dose equivalent to 145 mg of fenofibrate tablets was not shown to reduce coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality in a large, randomized controlled trial of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] .

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 General Considerations

Patients should be placed on an appropriate lipid-lowering diet before receiving fenofibrate tablets, and should continue this diet during treatment with fenofibrate tablets. Fenofibrate tablets can be given without regard to meals.

The initial treatment for dyslipidemia is dietary therapy specific for the type of lipoprotein abnormality. Excess body weight and excess alcoholic intake may be important factors in hypertriglyceridemia and should be addressed prior to any drug therapy. Physical exercise can be an important ancillary measure. Diseases contributory to hyperlipidemia, such as hypothyroidism or diabetes mellitus should be looked for and adequately treated. Estrogen therapy, thiazide diuretics and beta-blockers, are sometimes associated with massive rises in plasma triglycerides, especially in subjects with familial hypertriglyceridemia. In such cases, discontinuation of the specific etiologic agent may obviate the need for specific drug therapy of hypertriglyceridemia.

Lipid levels should be monitored periodically and consideration should be given to reducing the dosage of fenofibrate tablets if lipid levels fall significantly below the targeted range.

Therapy should be withdrawn in patients who do not have an adequate response after two months of treatment with the maximum recommended dose of 145 mg once daily.

2.2 Primary Hypercholesterolemia or Mixed Dyslipidemia

The initial dose of fenofibrate tablets is 145 mg once daily.

2.3 Severe Hypertriglyceridemia

The initial dose is 48 to 145 mg per day. Dosage should be individualized according to patient response, and should be adjusted if necessary following repeat lipid determinations at 4 to 8 week intervals. The maximum dose is 145 mg once daily.

2.4 Impaired Renal Function

Treatment with fenofibrate tablets should be initiated at a dose of 48 mg per day in patients having mild to moderately impaired renal function, and increased only after evaluation of the effects on renal function and lipid levels at this dose. The use of fenofibrate tablets should be avoided in patients with severe renal impairment [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

2.5 Geriatric Patients

Dose selection for the elderly should be made on the basis of renal function [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Fenofibrate Tablets, USP are available containing 48 mg or 145 mg of fenofibrate, USP.

  • The 48 mg tablets are white, film-coated, oval, unscored tablets debossed with M on one side of the tablet and FE3 on the other side.
  • The 145 mg tablets are white, film-coated, oval, unscored tablets debossed with M on one side of the tablet and FE4 on the other side.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

Fenofibrate tablets are contraindicated in:

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Mortality and Coronary Heart Disease Morbidity

The effect of fenofibrate tablets on coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality and non-cardiovascular mortality has not been established.

The Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes Lipid (ACCORD Lipid) trial was a randomized placebo-controlled study of 5518 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus on background statin therapy treated with fenofibrate. The mean duration of follow-up was 4.7 years. Fenofibrate plus statin combination therapy showed a non-significant 8% relative risk reduction in the primary outcome of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), a composite of non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke, and cardiovascular disease death (hazard ratio [HR] 0.92, 95% CI 0.79-1.08) (p = 0.32) as compared to statin monotherapy. In a gender subgroup analysis, the hazard ratio for MACE in men receiving combination therapy versus statin monotherapy was 0.82 (95% CI 0.69-0.99), and the hazard ratio for MACE in women receiving combination therapy versus statin monotherapy was 1.38 (95% CI 0.98-1.94) (interaction p = 0.01). The clinical significance of this subgroup finding is unclear.

The Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study was a 5-year randomized, placebo-controlled study of 9795 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus treated with fenofibrate. Fenofibrate demonstrated a non-significant 11% relative reduction in the primary outcome of coronary heart disease events (hazard ratio [HR] 0.89, 95% CI 0.75-1.05, p = 0.16) and a significant 11% reduction in the secondary outcome of total cardiovascular disease events (HR 0.89 [0.80-0.99], p = 0.04). There was a non-significant 11% (HR 1.11 [0.95, 1.29], p = 0.18) and 19% (HR 1.19 [0.90, 1.57], p = 0.22) increase in total and coronary heart disease mortality, respectively, with fenofibrate as compared to placebo.

Because of chemical, pharmacological, and clinical similarities between fenofibrate tablets, clofibrate, and gemfibrozil, the adverse findings in 4 large randomized, placebo-controlled clinical studies with these other fibrate drugs may also apply to fenofibrate tablets.

In the Coronary Drug Project, a large study of post myocardial infarction of patients treated for 5 years with clofibrate, there was no difference in mortality seen between the clofibrate group and the placebo group. There was however, a difference in the rate of cholelithiasis and cholecystitis requiring surgery between the two groups (3.0% vs. 1.8%).

In a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), 5000 subjects without known coronary artery disease were treated with placebo or clofibrate for 5 years and followed for an additional one year. There was a statistically significant, higher age – adjusted all-cause mortality in the clofibrate group compared with the placebo group (5.70% vs. 3.96%, p = < 0.01). Excess mortality was due to a 33% increase in non-cardiovascular causes, including malignancy, post-cholecystectomy complications, and pancreatitis. This appeared to confirm the higher risk of gallbladder disease seen in clofibrate-treated patients studied in the Coronary Drug Project.

The Helsinki Heart Study was a large (n = 4081) study of middle-aged men without a history of coronary artery disease. Subjects received either placebo or gemfibrozil for 5 years, with a 3.5 year open extension afterward. Total mortality was numerically higher in the gemfibrozil randomization group but did not achieve statistical significance (p = 0.19, 95% confidence interval for relative risk G:P = .91-1.64). Although cancer deaths trended higher in the gemfibrozil group (p = 0.11), cancers (excluding basal cell carcinoma) were diagnosed with equal frequency in both study groups. Due to the limited size of the study, the relative risk of death from any cause was not shown to be different than that seen in the 9 year follow-up data from World Health Organization study (RR = 1.29).

A secondary prevention component of the Helsinki Heart Study enrolled middle-aged men excluded from the primary prevention study because of known or suspected coronary heart disease. Subjects received gemfibrozil or placebo for 5 years. Although cardiac deaths trended higher in the gemfibrozil group, this was not statistically significant (hazard ratio 2.2, 95% confidence interval: 0.94-5.05). The rate of gallbladder surgery was not statistically significant between study groups, but did trend higher in the gemfibrozil group, (1.9% vs. 0.3%, p = 0.07).

5.2 Hepatotoxicity

Serious drug-induced liver injury (DILI), including liver transplantation and death, have been reported postmarketing with fenofibrate tablets. DILI has been reported within the first few weeks of treatment or after several months of therapy and in some cases has reversed with discontinuation of fenofibrate tablets treatment. Patients with DILI have experienced signs and symptoms including dark urine, abnormal stool, jaundice, malaise, abdominal pain, myalgia, weight loss, pruritus, and nausea. Many patients had concurrent elevations of total bilirubin, serum alanine transaminase (ALT), and aspartate transaminase (AST). DILI has been characterized as hepatocellular, chronic active, and cholestatic hepatitis, and cirrhosis has occurred in association with chronic active hepatitis.

In clinical trials, fenofibrate at doses equivalent to 96 mg to 145 mg fenofibrate tablets daily has been associated with increases in serum AST or ALT. The incidence of increases in transaminases may be dose related [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)] .

Fenofibrate tablets are contraindicated in patients with active liver disease, including those with primary biliary cirrhosis and unexplained persistent liver function abnormalities [see Contraindications (4)]. Monitor patient’s liver function, including serum ALT, AST, and total bilirubin, at baseline and periodically for the duration of therapy with fenofibrate tablets. Discontinue fenofibrate tablets if signs or symptoms of liver injury develop or if elevated enzyme levels persist (ALT or AST > 3 times the upper limit of normal, or if accompanied by elevation of bilirubin). Do not restart fenofibrate tablets in these patients if there is no alternative explanation for the liver injury.

5.3 Myopathy and Rhabdomyolysis

Fibrates increase the risk for myopathy and have been associated with rhabdomyolysis. The risk for serious muscle toxicity appears to be increased in elderly patients and in patients with diabetes, renal insufficiency, or hypothyroidism.

Myopathy should be considered in any patient with diffuse myalgias, muscle tenderness or weakness, and/or marked elevations of creatine phosphokinase (CPK) levels.

Patients should be advised to report promptly unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever. CPK levels should be assessed in patients reporting these symptoms, and fenofibrate tablets therapy should be discontinued if markedly elevated CPK levels occur or myopathy/myositis is suspected or diagnosed.

Data from observational studies indicate that the risk for rhabdomyolysis is increased when fibrates, in particular gemfibrozil, are co-administered with a statin. The combination should be avoided unless the benefit of further alterations in lipid levels is likely to outweigh the increased risk of this drug combination [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Cases of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, have been reported with fenofibrates co-administered with colchicine, and caution should be exercised when prescribing fenofibrate with colchicine [see Drug Interactions (7.4)] .

5.4 Serum Creatinine

Elevations in serum creatinine have been reported in patients on fenofibrate. These elevations tend to return to baseline following discontinuation of fenofibrate. The clinical significance of these observations is unknown. Monitor renal function in patients with renal impairment taking fenofibrate tablets. Renal monitoring should also be considered for patients taking fenofibrate tablets at risk for renal insufficiency such as the elderly and patients with diabetes.

5.5 Cholelithiasis

Fenofibrate, like clofibrate and gemfibrozil, may increase cholesterol excretion into the bile, leading to cholelithiasis. If cholelithiasis is suspected, gallbladder studies are indicated. Fenofibrate tablets therapy should be discontinued if gallstones are found.

5.6 Coumarin Anticoagulants

Caution should be exercised when coumarin anticoagulants are given in conjunction with fenofibrate tablets because of the potentiation of coumarin-type anticoagulant effects in prolonging the Prothrombin Time/International Normalized Ratio (PT/INR). To prevent bleeding complications, frequent monitoring of PT/INR and dose adjustment of the anticoagulant are recommended until PT/INR has stabilized [see Drug Interactions (7.1)].

5.7 Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis has been reported in patients taking fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, and clofibrate. This occurrence may represent a failure of efficacy in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia, a direct drug effect, or a secondary phenomenon mediated through biliary tract stone or sludge formation with obstruction of the common bile duct.

5.8 Hematologic Changes

Mild to moderate hemoglobin, hematocrit, and white blood cell decreases have been observed in patients following initiation of fenofibrate therapy. However, these levels stabilize during long-term administration. Thrombocytopenia and agranulocytosis have been reported in individuals treated with fenofibrate. Periodic monitoring of red and white blood cell counts is recommended during the first 12 months of fenofibrate tablets administration.

5.9 Hypersensitivity Reactions

Acute Hypersensitivity

Anaphylaxis and angioedema have been reported postmarketing with fenofibrate. In some cases, reactions were life-threatening and required emergency treatment. If a patient develops signs or symptoms of an acute hypersensitivity reaction, advise them to seek immediate medical attention and discontinue fenofibrate.

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