ATORVASTATIN CALCIUM

ATORVASTATIN CALCIUM- atorvastatin calcium tablet, film coated
H.J Harkins Company Inc.

Therapy with lipid-altering agents should be only one component of multiple risk factor intervention in individuals at significantly increased risk for atherosclerotic vascular disease due to hypercholesterolemia. Drug therapy is recommended as an adjunct to diet when the response to a diet restricted in saturated fat and cholesterol and other nonpharmacologic measures alone has been inadequate. In patients with CHD or multiple risk factors for CHD, atorvastatin calcium tablets can be started simultaneously with diet.

1.1 Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

In adult patients without clinically evident coronary heart disease, but with multiple risk factors for coronary heart disease such as age, smoking, hypertension, low HDL-C, or a family history of early coronary heart disease, atorvastatin calcium tablets is indicated to:

Reduce the risk of myocardial infarction
Reduce the risk of stroke
Reduce the risk for revascularization procedures and angina

In patients with type 2 diabetes, and without clinically evident coronary heart disease, but with multiple risk factors for coronary heart disease such as retinopathy, albuminuria, smoking, or hypertension, atorvastatin calcium tablets is indicated to:

Reduce the risk of myocardial infarction
Reduce the risk of stroke

In patients with clinically evident coronary heart disease, atorvastatin calcium tablets is indicated to:

Reduce the risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction
Reduce the risk of fatal and non-fatal stroke
Reduce the risk for revascularization procedures
Reduce the risk of hospitalization for CHF
Reduce the risk of angina

1.2 Hyperlipidemia

Atorvastatin calcium tablets is indicated:

As an adjunct to diet to reduce elevated total-C, LDL-C, apo B, and TG levels and to increase HDL-C in patients with primary hypercholesterolemia (heterozygous familial and nonfamilial) and mixed dyslipidemia (Fredrickson Types IIa and IIb);
As an adjunct to diet for the treatment of patients with elevated serum TG levels (Fredrickson Type IV);
For the treatment of patients with primary dysbetalipoproteinemia (Fredrickson Type III) who do not respond adequately to diet;
To reduce total-C and LDL-C in patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia as an adjunct to other lipid-lowering treatments (e.g., LDL apheresis) or if such treatments are unavailable;
As an adjunct to diet to reduce total-C, LDL-C, and apo B levels in boys and postmenarchal girls, 10 to 17 years of age, with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia if after an adequate trial of diet therapy the following findings are present:

a. LDL-C remains ≥ 190 mg/dL or

b. LDL-C remains ≥ 160 mg/dL and:

there is a positive family history of premature cardiovascular disease or
two or more other CVD risk factors are present in the pediatric patient

1.3 Limitations of Use

Atorvastatin calcium tablets has not been studied in conditions where the major lipoprotein abnormality is elevation of chylomicrons (Fredrickson Types I and V).

Dosage and Administration

2.1 Hyperlipidemia (Heterozygous Familial and Nonfamilial) and Mixed Dyslipidemia (FredricksonTypes IIa and IIb)

The recommended starting dose of atorvastatin calcium tablets is 10 or 20 mg once daily. Patients who require a large reduction in LDL-C (more than 45%) may be started at 40 mg once daily. The dosage range of atorvastatin calcium tablets is 10 to 80 mg once daily. Atorvastatin calcium tablets can be administered as a single dose at any time of the day, with or without food. The starting dose and maintenance doses of atorvastatin calcium tablets should be individualized according to patient characteristics such as goal of therapy and response (see current NCEP Guidelines). After initiation and/or upon titration of atorvastatin calcium tablets, lipid levels should be analyzed within 2 to 4 weeks and dosage adjusted accordingly.

2.2 Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia in Pediatric Patients (10-17 years of age)

The recommended starting dose of atorvastatin calcium tablets is 10 mg/day; the maximum recommended dose is 20 mg/day (doses greater than 20 mg have not been studied in this patient population). Doses should be individualized according to the recommended goal of therapy [see current NCEP Pediatric Panel Guidelines, Clinical Pharmacology (12), and Indications and Usage, Hyperlipidemia (1.2)]. Adjustments should be made at intervals of 4 weeks or more.

2.3 Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia

The dosage of atorvastatin calcium tablets in patients with homozygous FH is 10 to 80 mg daily. Atorvastatin calcium tablets should be used as an adjunct to other lipid-lowering treatments (e.g., LDL apheresis) in these patients or if such treatments are unavailable.

2.4 Concomitant Lipid-Lowering Therapy

Atorvastatin calcium tablets may be used with bile acid resins. The combination of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) and fibrates should generally be used with caution [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, SKELETAL MUSCLE (5.1), DRUG INTERACTIONS (7)].

2.5 Dosage in Patients With Renal Impairment

Renal disease does not affect the plasma concentrations nor LDL-C reduction of atorvastatin calcium tablets; thus, dosage adjustment in patients with renal dysfunction is not necessary [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, SKELETAL MUSCLE (5.1), CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, PHARMACOKINETICS (12.3)].

2.6 Dosage in Patients Taking Cyclosporine, Clarithromycin, Itraconazole, or Certain Protease Inhibitors

In patients taking cyclosporine or the HIV protease inhibitors (tipranavir plus ritonavir) or the hepatitis C protease inhibitor (telaprevir), therapy with atorvastatin calcium tablets should be avoided. In patients with HIV taking lopinavir plus ritonavir, caution should be used when prescribing atorvastatin calcium tablets and the lowest dose necessary employed. In patients taking clarithromycin, itraconazole, or in patients with HIV taking a combination of saquinavir plus ritonavir, darunavir plus ritonavir, fosamprenavir, or fosamprenavir plus ritonavir, therapy with atorvastatin calcium tablets should be limited to 20 mg, and appropriate clinical assessment is recommended to ensure that the lowest dose necessary of atorvastatin calcium tablets is employed. In patients taking the HIV protease inhibitor nelfinavir or the hepatitis C protease inhibitor boceprevir, therapy with atorvastatin calcium tablets should be limited to 40 mg, and appropriate clinical assessment is recommended to ensure that the lowest dose necessary of atorvastatin calcium tablets is employed [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, SKELETAL MUSCLE (5.1), DRUG INTERACTIONS (7)].

Dosage Forms and Strengths

White, round, film-coated tablets containing 10, 20, 40, and 80 mg atorvastatin calcium.

Contraindications

4.1 Active liver disease, which may include unexplained persistent elevations in hepatic transaminase levels

4.2 Hypersensitivity to any component of this medication

4.3 Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. Atorvastatin calcium tablets may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Serum cholesterol and triglycerides increase during normal pregnancy, and cholesterol or cholesterol derivatives are essential for fetal development. Atherosclerosis is a chronic process and discontinuation of lipid-lowering drugs during pregnancy should have little impact on the outcome of long-term therapy of primary hypercholesterolemia. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of atorvastatin calcium tablets use during pregnancy; however in rare reports, congenital anomalies were observed following intrauterine exposure to statins. In rat and rabbit animal reproduction studies, atorvastatin revealed no evidence of teratogenicity. ATORVASTATIN CALCIUM TABLETS SHOULD BE ADMINISTERED TO WOMEN OF CHILDBEARING AGE ONLY WHEN SUCH PATIENTS ARE HIGHLY UNLIKELY TO CONCEIVE AND HAVE BEEN INFORMED OF THE POTENTIAL HAZARDS. If the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, atorvastatin calcium tablets should be discontinued immediately and the patient apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus [see Use in Specific Populations, Pregnancy(8.1)].

4.4 Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether atorvastatin is excreted into human milk; however a small amount of another drug in this class does pass into breast milk. Because statins have the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, women who require atorvastatin calcium tablets treatment should not breastfeed their infants [see Use in Specific Populations, Nursing Mothers (8.3)].

Warnings and Precautions

5.1 Skeletal Muscle

Rare cases of rhabdomyolysis with acute renal failure secondary to myoglobinuria have been reported with atorvastatin calcium tablets and with other drugs in this class. A history of renal impairment may be a risk factor for the development of rhabdomyolysis. Such patients merit closer monitoring for skeletal muscle effects.

Atorvastatin, like other statins, occasionally causes myopathy, defined as muscle aches or muscle weakness in conjunction with increases in creatine phosphokinase (CPK) values >10 times ULN. The concomitant use of higher doses of atorvastatin with certain drugs such as cyclosporine and strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., clarithromycin, itraconazole, and HIV protease inhibitors) increases the risk of myopathy/rhabdomyolysis.

There have been rare reports of immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (IMNM), an autoimmune myopathy, associated with statin use. IMNM is characterized by: proximal muscle weakness and elevated serum creatine kinase, which persist despite discontinuation of statin treatment; muscle biopsy showing necrotizing myopathy without significant inflammation; improvement with immunosuppressive agents.

Myopathy should be considered in any patient with diffuse myalgias, muscle tenderness or weakness, and/or marked elevation of CPK. Patients should be advised to report promptly unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever or if muscle signs and symptoms persist after discontinuing atorvastatin calcium tablets. Atorvastatin calcium tablets therapy should be discontinued if markedly elevated CPK levels occur or myopathy is diagnosed or suspected.

The risk of myopathy during treatment with drugs in this class is increased with concurrent administration of cyclosporine, fibric acid derivatives, erythromycin, clarithromycin, the hepatitis C protease inhibitor telaprevir, combinations of HIV protease inhibitors, including saquinavir plus ritonavir, lopinavir plus ritonavir, tipranavir plus ritonavir, darunavir plus ritonavir, fosamprenavir, and fosamprenavir plus ritonavir, niacin, or azole antifungals. Physicians considering combined therapy with atorvastatin calcium tablets and fibric acid derivatives, erythromycin, clarithromycin, a combination of saquinavir plus ritonavir, lopinavir plus ritonavir, darunavir plus ritonavir, fosamprenavir, or fosamprenavir plus ritonavir, azole antifungals, or lipid-modifying doses of niacin should carefully weigh the potential benefits and risks and should carefully monitor patients for any signs or symptoms of muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, particularly during the initial months of therapy and during any periods of upward dosage titration of either drug. Lower starting and maintenance doses of atorvastatin should be considered when taken concomitantly with the aforementioned drugs (see DRUG INTERACTIONS (7)). Periodic creatine phosphokinase (CPK) determinations may be considered in such situations, but there is no assurance that such monitoring will prevent the occurrence of severe myopathy.

Prescribing recommendations for interacting agents are summarized in Table 1 [see also Dosage and Administration,Dosage in Patients Taking Cyclosporine, Clarithromycin, Itraconazole, or Certain Protease Inhibitors (2.6), Drug Interactions (7), Clinical Pharmacology, Pharmacokinetics (12.3)].

Table 1. Drug Interactions Associated with Increased Risk of Myopathy/Rhabdomyolysis
Interacting Agents Prescribing Recommendations

*
Use with caution and with the lowest dose necessary ( 12.3)

Cyclosporine, HIV protease inhibitors (tipranavir plus ritonavir), hepatitis C protease inhibitor (telaprevir) Avoid atorvastatin
HIV protease inhibitor (lopinavir plus ritonavir) Use with caution and lowest dose necessary
Clarithromycin, itraconazole, HIV protease inhibitors (saquinavir plus ritonavir*, darunavir plus ritonavir, fosamprenavir, fosamprenavir plus ritonavir) Do not exceed 20 mg atorvastatin daily
HIV protease inhibitor (nelfinavir)
Hepatitis C protease inhibitor (boceprevir) Do not exceed 40 mg atorvastatin daily

Cases of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, have been reported with atorvastatin co-administered with colchicine, and caution should be exercised when prescribing atorvastatin with colchicine [see Drug Interactions, Colchicine (7.11)].

Atorvastatin calcium tablets therapy should be temporarily withheld or discontinued in any patient with an acute, serious condition suggestive of a myopathy or having a risk factor predisposing to the development of renal failure secondary to rhabdomyolysis (e.g., severe acute infection, hypotension, major surgery, trauma, severe metabolic, endocrine and electrolyte disorders, and uncontrolled seizures).

5.2 Liver Dysfunction

Statins, like some other lipid-lowering therapies, have been associated with biochemical abnormalities of liver function. Persistent elevations (>3 times the upper limit of normal [ULN] occurring on 2 or more occasions) in serum transaminases occurred in 0.7% of patients who received atorvastatin calcium tablets in clinical trials. The incidence of these abnormalities was 0.2%, 0.2%, 0.6%, and 2.3% for 10, 20, 40, and 80 mg, respectively.

One patient in clinical trials developed jaundice. Increases in liver function tests (LFT) in other patients were not associated with jaundice or other clinical signs or symptoms. Upon dose reduction, drug interruption, or discontinuation, transaminase levels returned to or near pretreatment levels without sequelae. Eighteen of 30 patients with persistent LFT elevations continued treatment with a reduced dose of atorvastatin calcium tablets.

It is recommended that liver enzyme tests be obtained prior to initiating therapy with atorvastatin calcium tablets and repeated as clinically indicated. There have been rare postmarketing reports of fatal and non-fatal hepatic failure in patients taking statins, including atorvastatin. If serious liver injury with clinical symptoms and/or hyperbilirubinemia or jaundice occurs during treatment with atorvastatin calcium tablets, promptly interrupt therapy. If an alternate etiology is not found, do not restart atorvastatin calcium tablets.

Atorvastatin calcium tablets should be used with caution in patients who consume substantial quantities of alcohol and/or have a history of liver disease. Active liver disease or unexplained persistent transaminase elevations are contraindications to the use of atorvastatin calcium tablets [see Contraindications, Active liver disease which may include unexplained persistent elevations of hepatic transaminase levels (4.1)].

5.3 Endocrine Function

Increases in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels have been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, including atorvastatin calcium tablets.

Statins interfere with cholesterol synthesis and theoretically might blunt adrenal and/or gonadal steroid production. Clinical studies have shown that atorvastatin calcium tablets does not reduce basal plasma cortisol concentration or impair adrenal reserve. The effects of statins on male fertility have not been studied in adequate numbers of patients. The effects, if any, on the pituitary-gonadal axis in premenopausal women are unknown. Caution should be exercised if a statin is administered concomitantly with drugs that may decrease the levels or activity of endogenous steroid hormones, such as ketoconazole, spironolactone, and cimetidine.

5.4 CNS Toxicity

Brain hemorrhage was seen in a female dog treated for 3 months at 120 mg/kg/day. Brain hemorrhage and optic nerve vacuolation were seen in another female dog that was sacrificed in moribund condition after 11 weeks of escalating doses up to 280 mg/kg/day. The 120 mg/kg dose resulted in a systemic exposure approximately 16 times the human plasma area-under-the-curve (AUC, 0-24 hours) based on the maximum human dose of 80 mg/day. A single tonic convulsion was seen in each of 2 male dogs (one treated at 10 mg/kg/day and one at 120 mg/kg/day) in a 2-year study. No CNS lesions have been observed in mice after chronic treatment for up to 2 years at doses up to 400 mg/kg/day or in rats at doses up to 100 mg/kg/day. These doses were 6 to 11 times (mouse) and 8 to 16 times (rat) the human AUC (0-24) based on the maximum recommended human dose of 80 mg/day.

CNS vascular lesions, characterized by perivascular hemorrhages, edema, and mononuclear cell infiltration of perivascular spaces, have been observed in dogs treated with other members of this class. A chemically similar drug in this class produced optic nerve degeneration (Wallerian degeneration of retinogeniculate fibers) in clinically normal dogs in a dose-dependent fashion at a dose that produced plasma drug levels about 30 times higher than the mean drug level in humans taking the highest recommended dose.

5.5 Use in Patients with Recent Stroke or TIA

In a post-hoc analysis of the Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL) study where atorvastatin calcium tablets 80 mg vs. placebo was administered in 4,731 subjects without CHD who had a stroke or TIA within the preceding 6 months, a higher incidence of hemorrhagic stroke was seen in the atorvastatin calcium tablets 80 mg group compared to placebo (55, 2.3% atorvastatin vs. 33, 1.4% placebo; HR: 1.68, 95% CI: 1.09, 2.59; p=0.0168). The incidence of fatal hemorrhagic stroke was similar across treatment groups (17 vs. 18 for the atorvastatin and placebo groups, respectively). The incidence of nonfatal hemorrhagic stroke was significantly higher in the atorvastatin group (38, 1.6%) as compared to the placebo group (16, 0.7%). Some baseline characteristics, including hemorrhagic and lacunar stroke on study entry, were associated with a higher incidence of hemorrhagic stroke in the atorvastatin group [see Adverse Reactions, Clinical Trial Adverse Experiences (6.1)].

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