Ramipril: Package Insert and Label Information

RAMIPRIL- ramipril capsule
Cobalt Laboratories Inc.

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WARNING: AVOID USE IN PREGNANCY

See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning

When used in pregnancy, ACE inhibitors can cause injury and death to the developing fetus. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue ramipril as soon as possible (5.6).

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Hypertension

Ramipril capsules USP are indicated for the treatment of hypertension. It may be used alone or in combination with thiazide diuretics.

1.2 Reduction in the Risk of Myocardial Infarction, Stroke, and Death from Cardiovascular Causes

Ramipril capsules USP are indicated in patients 55 years or older at high risk of developing a major cardiovascular event because of a history of coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, or diabetes that is accompanied by at least one other cardiovascular risk factor (hypertension, elevated total cholesterol levels, low HDL levels, cigarette smoking, or documented microalbuminuria), to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes. Ramipril capsules can be used in addition to other needed treatment (such as antihypertensive, antiplatelet, or lipid-lowering therapy) [see Clinical Studies (14.2) ].

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Hypertension

The recommended initial dose for patients not receiving a diuretic is 2.5 mg once a day. Adjust dose according to blood pressure response. The usual maintenance dosage range is 2.5 mg to 20 mg per day administered as a single dose or in two equally divided doses. In some patients treated once daily, the antihypertensive effect may diminish toward the end of the dosing interval. In such patients, consider an increase in dosage or twice daily administration. If blood pressure is not controlled with ramipril capsules alone, a diuretic can be added.

2.2 Reduction in Risk of Myocardial Infarction, Stroke, and Death from Cardiovascular Causes

Initiate dosing at 2.5 mg once daily for 1 week, 5 mg once daily for the next 3 weeks, and then increase as tolerated, to a maintenance dose of 10 mg once daily. If the patient is hypertensive or recently post-myocardial infarction, ramipril capsules can also be given as a divided dose.

After the initial dose of ramipril capsules, observe the patient under medical supervision for at least two hours and until blood pressure has stabilized for at least an additional hour. If possible, reduce the dose of any concomitant diuretic as this may diminish the likelihood of hypotension. The appearance of hypotension after the initial dose of ramipril capsules does not preclude subsequent careful dose titration with the drug, following effective management of the hypotension [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5), Drug Interactions (7.1)].

2.4 General Dosing Information

Generally, swallow ramipril capsules whole. The ramipril capsule can also be opened and the contents sprinkled on a small amount (about 4 oz.) of applesauce or mixed in 4 oz. (120 mL) of water or apple juice. To be sure that ramipril is not lost when such a mixture is used, consume the mixture in its entirety. The described mixtures can be pre-prepared and stored for up to 24 hours at room temperature or up to 48 hours under refrigeration.

Concomitant administration of ramipril capsules with potassium supplements, potassium salt substitutes, or potassium-sparing diuretics can lead to increases of serum potassium [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8) ].

2.5 Dosage Adjustment

Renal Impairment

Establish baseline renal function in patients initiating ramipril capsules. Usual regimens of therapy with ramipril capsules may be followed in patients with estimated creatinine clearance > 40 mL/min. However, in patients with worse impairment, 25% of the usual dose of ramipril is expected to produce full therapeutic levels of ramiprilat [see Use in Specific Population (8.6) ].

Hypertension

For patients with hypertension and renal impairment, the recommended initial dose is 1.25 mg ramipril capsules once daily. Dosage may be titrated upward until blood pressure is controlled or to a maximum total daily dose of 5 mg.

Volume Depletion or Renal Artery Stenosis

Blood pressure decreases associated with any dose of ramipril capsules depend, in part, on the presence or absence of volume depletion (e.g., past and current diuretic use) or the presence or absence of renal artery stenosis. If such circumstances are suspected to be present, initiate dosing at 1.25 mg once daily. Adjust dosage according to blood pressure response.

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Ramipril is supplied as hard gelatin capsules containing 1.25 mg, 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg of ramipril.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

Ramipril is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to this product or any other ACE inhibitor (e.g., a patient who has experienced angioedema during therapy with any other ACE inhibitor).

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Anaphylactoid and Possibly Related Reactions

Presumably because drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (e.g., ACE inhibitors) affect the metabolism of eicosanoids and polypeptides, including endogenous bradykinin, patients receiving these drugs (including ramipril) may be subject to a variety of adverse reactions, some of them serious.

Angioedema

Head and Neck Angioedema

Patients with a history of angioedema unrelated to ACE inhibitor therapy may be at increased risk of angioedema while receiving an ACE inhibitor.

Angioedema of the face, extremities, lips, tongue, glottis, and larynx has been reported in patients treated with ACE inhibitors. Angioedema associated with laryngeal edema can be fatal. If laryngeal stridor or angioedema of the face, tongue, or glottis occurs, discontinue treatment with ramipril and institute appropriate therapy immediately. Where there is involvement of the tongue, glottis, or larynx likely to cause airway obstruction, administer appropriate therapy (e.g., subcutaneous epinephrine solution 1:1000 [0.3 mL to 0.5 mL]) promptly [see ADVERSE REACTIONS (6) ].

In considering the use of ramipril, note that in controlled clinical trials ACE inhibitors cause a higher rate of angioedema in Black patients than in non-Black patients.

In a large U.S. post-marketing study, angioedema (defined as reports of angio, face, larynx, tongue, or throat edema) was reported in 3/1523 (0.20%) Black patients and in 8/8680 (0.09%) non-Black patients. These rates were not different statistically.

Intestinal Angioedema

Intestinal angioedema has been reported in patients treated with ACE inhibitors. These patients presented with abdominal pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); in some cases there was no prior history of facial angioedema and C-1 esterase levels were normal. The angioedema was diagnosed by procedures including abdominal CT scan or ultrasound, or at surgery, and symptoms resolved after stopping the ACE inhibitor. Include intestinal angioedema in the differential diagnosis of patients on ACE inhibitors presenting with abdominal pain.

Anaphylactoid Reactions During Desensitization

Two patients undergoing desensitizing treatment with hymenoptera venom while receiving ACE inhibitors sustained life-threatening anaphylactoid reactions. In the same patients, these reactions were avoided when ACE inhibitors were temporarily withheld, but they reappeared upon inadvertent rechallenge.

Anaphylactoid Reactions During Membrane Exposure

Anaphylactoid reactions have been reported in patients dialyzed with high-flux membranes and treated concomitantly with an ACE inhibitor. Anaphylactoid reactions have also been reported in patients undergoing low-density lipoprotein apheresis with dextran sulfate absorption.

5.2 Hepatic Failure and Impaired Liver Function

Rarely, ACE inhibitors, including ramipril, have been associated with a syndrome that starts with cholestatic jaundice and progresses to fulminant hepatic necrosis and sometimes death. The mechanism of this syndrome is not understood. Discontinue ramipril if patient develops jaundice or marked elevations of hepatic enzymes.

As ramipril is primarily metabolized by hepatic esterases to its active moiety, ramiprilat, patients with impaired liver function could develop markedly elevated plasma levels of ramipril. No formal pharmacokinetic studies have been carried out in hypertensive patients with impaired liver function.

5.3 Renal Impairment

As a consequence of inhibiting the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, changes in renal function may be anticipated in susceptible individuals. In patients with severe congestive heart failure whose renal function may depend on the activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, treatment with ACE inhibitors, including ramipril, may be associated with oliguria or progressive azotemia and rarely with acute renal failure or death.

In hypertensive patients with unilateral or bilateral renal artery stenosis, increases in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine may occur. Experience with another ACE inhibitor suggests that these increases would be reversible upon discontinuation of ramipril and/or diuretic therapy. In such patients, monitor renal function during the first few weeks of therapy. Some hypertensive patients with no apparent pre-existing renal vascular disease have developed increases in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine, usually minor and transient, especially when ramipril has been given concomitantly with a diuretic. This is more likely to occur in patients with pre-existing renal impairment. Dosage reduction of ramipril and/or discontinuation of the diuretic may be required.

5.4 Neutropenia and Agranulocytosis

In rare instances, treatment with ACE inhibitors may be associated with mild reductions in red blood cell count and hemoglobin content, blood cell or platelet counts. In isolated cases, agranulocytosis, pancytopenia, and bone marrow depression may occur. Hematological reactions to ACE inhibitors are more likely to occur in patients with collagen-vascular disease (e.g., systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma) and renal impairment. Consider monitoring white blood cell counts in patients with collagen-vascular disease, especially if the disease is associated with impaired renal function.

5.5 Hypotension

General Considerations

Ramipril can cause symptomatic hypotension, after either the initial dose or a later dose when the dosage has been increased. Like other ACE inhibitors, ramipril, has been only rarely associated with hypotension in uncomplicated hypertensive patients. Symptomatic hypotension is most likely to occur in patients who have been volume- and/or salt-depleted as a result of prolonged diuretic therapy, dietary salt restriction, dialysis, diarrhea, or vomiting. Correct volume-and salt-depletion before initiating therapy with ramipril.

If excessive hypotension occurs, place the patient in a supine position and, if necessary, treat with intravenous infusion of physiological saline. Ramipril treatment usually can be continued following restoration of blood pressure and volume.

In patients who are currently being treated with a diuretic, symptomatic hypotension occasionally can occur following the initial dose of ramipril. If the initial dose of 2.5 mg ramipril cannot be tolerated, use an initial dose of 1.25 mg ramipril to avoid excessive hypotension. Consider reducing the dose of concomitant diuretic to decrease the incidence of hypotension.

Congestive Heart Failure

In patients with congestive heart failure, with or without associated renal insufficiency, ACE inhibitor therapy may cause excessive hypotension, which may be associated with oliguria or azotemia and rarely, with acute renal failure and death. In such patients, initiate ramipril therapy under close medical supervision and follow patients closely for the first 2 weeks of treatment and whenever the dose of ramipril or diuretic is increased.

Surgery and Anesthesia

In patients undergoing surgery or during anesthesia with agents that produce hypotension, ramipril may block angiotensin II formation that would otherwise occur secondary to compensatory renin release. Hypotension that occurs as a result of this mechanism can be corrected by volume expansion.

5.6 Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality

Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors can cause fetal and neonatal morbidity and death when administered to pregnant women. Several dozen cases have been reported in the world literature. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue ACE inhibitors as soon as possible.

The use of ACE inhibitors during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy has been associated with fetal and neonatal injury, including hypotension, neonatal skull hypoplasia, anuria, reversible or irreversible renal failure, and death. Oligohydramnios has also been reported, presumably resulting from decreased fetal renal function; oligohydramnios in this setting has been associated with fetal limb contractures, craniofacial deformation, and hypoplastic lung development. Prematurity, intrauterine growth retardation, and patent ductus arteriosus have also been reported, although it is not clear whether these occurrences were caused by the ACE inhibitor exposure.

In a published retrospective epidemiological study, infants whose mothers had taken an ACE inhibitor during their first trimester of pregnancy appeared to have an increased risk of major congenital malformations compared with infants whose mothers had not undergone first trimester exposure to ACE inhibitor drugs. The number of cases of birth defects is small and the findings of this study have not yet been confirmed.

Rarely (probably less than once in every thousand pregnancies), no alternative to a drug acting on the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system will be found. In these rare cases, inform mothers about the potential hazards to their fetuses, and perform serial ultrasound examinations to assess the intraamniotic environment.

If oligohydramnios is observed, discontinue ramipril unless it is considered life-saving for the mother. Contraction stress testing, a nonstress test, or biophysical profiling may be appropriate, depending upon the week of pregnancy. Patients and physicians should be aware, however, that oligohydramnios may not appear until after the fetus has sustained irreversible injury.

Closely observe infants with histories of in utero exposure to ACE inhibitors for hypotension, oliguria, and hyperkalemia. If oliguria occurs, direct attention towards support of blood pressure and renal perfusion. Exchange transfusion or dialysis may be required as a means of reversing hypotension and/or substituting for disordered renal function. Ramipril, which crosses the placenta, can be removed from the neonatal circulation by these means, but limited experience has not shown that such removal is central to the treatment of these infants.

5.7 Dual Blockade of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System

Telmisartan

The ONTARGET trial enrolled 25,620 patients >55 years old with atherosclerotic disease or diabetes with end-organ damage, randomized them to telmisartan only, ramipril only, or the combination, and followed them for a median of 56 months. Patients receiving the combination of telmisartan and ramipril did not obtain any benefit in the composite endpoint of cardiovascular death, MI, stroke and heart failure hospitalization compared to monotherapy, but experienced an increased incidence of clinically important renal dysfunction (death, doubling of serum creatinine, or dialysis) compared with groups receiving telmisartan alone or ramipril alone. Concomitant use of telmisartan and ramipril is not recommended.

5.8 Hyperkalemia

In clinical trials with ramipril, hyperkalemia (serum potassium > 5.7 mEq/L) occurred in approximately 1% of hypertensive patients receiving ramipril. In most cases, these were isolated values, which resolved despite continued therapy. None of these patients were discontinued from the trials because of hyperkalemia. Risk factors for the development of hyperkalemia include renal insufficiency, diabetes mellitus, and the concomitant use of potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements, and/or potassium-containing salt substitutes, which should be used cautiously, if at all, with ramipril [see Drug Interactions (7.1) ].

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