In addition to adverse reactions reported from clinical trials, there have been rare reports of hypoglycemia reported during ALTACE therapy when given to patients concomitantly taking oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin. The causal relationship is unknown.
Creatinine and Blood Urea Nitrogen: Increases in creatinine levels occurred in 1.2% of patients receiving ALTACE alone, and in 1.5% of patients receiving ALTACE and a diuretic. Increases in blood urea nitrogen levels occurred in 0.5% of patients receiving ALTACE alone and in 3% of patients receiving ALTACE with a diuretic. None of these increases required discontinuation of treatment. Increases in these laboratory values are more likely to occur in patients with renal insufficiency or those pretreated with a diuretic and, based on experience with other ACE inhibitors, would be expected to be especially likely in patients with renal artery stenosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]. As ramipril decreases aldosterone secretion, elevation of serum potassium can occur. Use potassium supplements and potassium sparing diuretics with caution, and monitor the patient’s serum potassium frequently [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].
Hemoglobin and Hematocrit: Decreases in hemoglobin or hematocrit (a low value and a decrease of 5 g/dL or 5%, respectively) were rare, occurring in 0.4% of patients receiving ALTACE alone and in 1.5% of patients receiving ALTACE plus a diuretic. No US patients discontinued treatment because of decreases in hemoglobin or hematocrit.
Other (causal relationships unknown): Clinically important changes in standard laboratory tests were rarely associated with ALTACE administration. Elevations of liver enzymes, serum bilirubin, uric acid, and blood glucose have been reported, as have cases of hyponatremia and scattered incidents of leucopenia, eosinophilia, and proteinuria. In US trials, less than 0.2% of patients discontinued treatment for laboratory abnormalities; all of these were cases of proteinuria or abnormal liver-function tests.
Patients on diuretics, especially those in whom diuretic therapy was recently instituted, may occasionally experience an excessive reduction of blood pressure after initiation of therapy with ALTACE. The possibility of hypotensive effects with ALTACE can be minimized by either decreasing or discontinuing the diuretic or increasing the salt intake prior to initiation of treatment with ALTACE. If this is not possible, reduce the starting dose [see Dosage and Administration (2)].
Coadministration of ALTACE with other drugs that raise serum potassium levels may result in hyperkalemia. Monitor serum potassium in such patients.
Increased serum lithium levels and symptoms of lithium toxicity have been reported in patients receiving ACE inhibitors during therapy with lithium; therefore, frequent monitoring of serum lithium levels is recommended. If a diuretic is also used, the risk of lithium toxicity may be increased.
Nitritoid reactions (symptoms include facial flushing, nausea, vomiting and hypotension) have been reported rarely in patients on therapy with injectable gold (sodium aurothiomalate) and concomitant ACE inhibitor therapy including ALTACE.
7.6 Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents including Selective Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitors (COX-2 Inhibitors)
In patients who are elderly, volume-depleted (including those on diuretic therapy), or with compromised renal function, co-administration of NSAIDs, including selective COX-2 inhibitors, with ACE inhibitors, including ramipril, may result in deterioration of renal function, including possible acute renal failure. These effects are usually reversible. Monitor renal function periodically in patients receiving ramipril and NSAID therapy.
The antihypertensive effect of ACE inhibitors, including ramipril, may be attenuated by NSAIDs.
Patients taking concomitant mTOR inhibitor (e.g. temsirolimus) therapy or a neprilysin inhibitor may be at increased risk for angioedema [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity and death. Resulting oligohydramnios can be associated with fetal lung hypoplasia and skeletal deformations. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure, and death. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue ALTACE as soon as possible. These adverse outcomes are usually associated with use of these drugs in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Most epidemiologic studies examining fetal abnormalities after exposure to antihypertensive use in the first trimester have not distinguished drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system from other antihypertensive agents. Appropriate management of maternal hypertension during pregnancy is important to optimize outcomes for both mother and fetus.
In the unusual case that there is no appropriate alternative to therapy with drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system for a particular patient, apprise the mother of the potential risk to the fetus. Perform serial ultrasound examinations to assess the intra-amniotic environment. If oligohydramnios is observed, discontinue ALTACE unless it is considered life-saving for the mother. Fetal testing may be appropriate, based on 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 ALTACE for hypotension, oliguria, and hyperkalemia [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].
Ingestion of a single 10 mg oral dose of ALTACE resulted in undetectable amounts of ramipril and its metabolites in breast milk. However, because multiple doses may produce low milk concentrations that are not predictable from a single dose, do not use ALTACE in nursing mothers.
Neonates with a history of in utero exposure to ALTACE:
If oliguria or hypotension occurs, direct attention toward support of blood pressure and renal perfusion. Exchange transfusions 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.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established. Irreversible kidney damage has been observed in very young rats given a single dose of ALTACE.
Of the total number of patients who received ALTACE in U.S. clinical studies of ALTACE, 11.0% were ≥65 years of age while 0.2% were ≥75 years of age. No overall differences in effectiveness or safety were observed between these patients and younger patients, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but a greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
One pharmacokinetic study conducted in hospitalized elderly patients indicated that peak ramiprilat levels and area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) for ramiprilat are higher in older patients.
A single-dose pharmacokinetic study was conducted in hypertensive patients with varying degrees of renal impairment who received a single 10 mg dose of ramipril. Patients were stratified into four groups based on initial estimates of creatinine clearance: normal (>80 mL/min), mild impairment (40–80 mL/min), moderate impairment (15–40 mL/min), and severe impairment (<15 mL/min). On average, the AUC0–24h for ramiprilat was approximately 1.7-fold higher, 3.0-fold higher, and 3.2-fold higher in the groups with mild, moderate, and severe renal impairment, respectively, compared to the group with normal renal function. Overall, the results suggest that the starting dose of ramipril should be adjusted downward in patients with moderate-to-severe renal impairment.
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