Bosentan (Page 4 of 8)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

There have been several postmarketing reports of angioedema associated with the use of bosentan. The onset of the reported cases occurred within a range of 8 hours to 21 days after starting therapy. Some patients were treated with an antihistamine and their signs of angioedema resolved without discontinuing bosentan.

The following additional adverse reactions have been reported during the postapproval use of bosentan. Because these adverse reactions are reported from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to bosentan exposure:

Unexplained hepatic cirrhosis [see Boxed Warning]

Liver failure [see Boxed Warning]

Hypersensitivity, DRESS, and anaphylaxis [see Contraindications (4.4)]




Anemia requiring transfusion

Neutropenia and leukopenia

Nasal congestion


7.1 Cytochrome P450 Drug Interactions

Bosentan is metabolized by CYP2C9 and CYP3A. Inhibition of these enzymes may increase the plasma concentration of bosentan [see Pharmacokinetics (12.3)]. Concomitant administration of both a CYP2C9 inhibitor (such as fluconazole or amiodarone) and a strong CYP3A inhibitor (e.g., ketoconazole, itraconazole) or a moderate CYP3A inhibitor (e.g., amprenavir, erythromycin, fluconazole, diltiazem) with bosentan will likely lead to large increases in plasma concentrations of bosentan. Coadministration of such combinations of a CYP2C9 inhibitor plus a strong or moderate CYP3A inhibitor with bosentan is not recommended.

Bosentan is an inducer of CYP3A and CYP2C9. Consequently plasma concentrations of drugs metabolized by these two isozymes will be decreased when bosentan is coadministered. Bosentan had no relevant inhibitory effect on any CYP isozyme in vitro (CYP1A2, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP3A). Consequently, bosentan is not expected to increase the plasma concentrations of drugs metabolized by these enzymes.

(click image for full-size original)

Figure 1. CYP3A induction-mediated effect of bosentan on other drugs

(click image for full-size original)

Figure 2. Effect of other drugs on bosentan

7.2 Hormonal Contraceptives

Hormonal contraceptives, including oral, injectable, transdermal, and implantable forms, may not be reliable when bosentan is coadministered. Females should practice additional methods of contraception and not rely on hormonal contraception alone when taking bosentan [see Use in Specific Populations (8.3)].

An interaction study demonstrated that coadministration of bosentan and a combination oral hormonal contraceptive produced average decreases of norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol levels of 14% and 31%, respectively. However, decreases in exposure were as much as 56% and 66%, respectively, in individual subjects.


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Based on data from animal reproduction studies, bosentan may cause fetal harm, including birth defects and fetal death, when administered to a pregnant female and is contraindicated during pregnancy [see Contraindications (4.1)]. There are limited data on bosentan use in pregnant women. In animal reproduction studies, oral administration of bosentan to pregnant rats at 2-times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) on a mg/m2 basis caused teratogenic effects in rats, including malformations of the head, mouth, face, and large blood vessels [see Animal Data]. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus.

The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.


Animal Data

Bosentan was teratogenic in rats given oral doses two times the MRHD (on a mg/m2 basis). In an embryo-fetal toxicity study in rats, bosentan showed dose-dependent teratogenic effects, including malformations of the head, mouth, face and large blood vessels. Bosentan increased stillbirths and pup mortality at oral doses 2 and 10 times the MRHD (on a mg/m2 basis).

Although birth defects were not observed in rabbits given oral doses of up to the equivalent of 10.5 g/day in a 70 kg person, plasma concentrations of bosentan in rabbits were lower than those reached in the rat. The similarity of malformations induced by bosentan and those observed in endothelin-1 knockout mice and in animals treated with other endothelin receptor antagonists indicates that embryo-fetal toxicity is a class effect of these drugs.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

There are no data on the presence of bosentan in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effect on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions, such as fluid retention and hepatotoxicity, in breastfed infants from bosentan, advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with bosentan.

8.3 Females and Males of Reproductive Potential

Pregnancy Testing

Verify the pregnancy status of females of reproductive potential prior to initiating bosentan, monthly during treatment and one month after stopping treatment with bosentan. The patient should contact her physician immediately for pregnancy testing if onset of menses is delayed or pregnancy is suspected. If the pregnancy test is positive, the physician and patient must discuss the risks to her, the pregnancy, and the fetus.


Drug interaction studies show that bosentan reduces serum levels of the estrogen and progestin in oral contraceptives. Based on these findings, hormonal contraceptives (including oral, injectable, transdermal, and implantable contraceptives) may be less effective for preventing pregnancy in patients using bosentan and should not be used as a patient’s only contraceptive method [see Drug Interactions (7.2)]. Females of reproductive potential using bosentan must use two acceptable methods of contraception during treatment and for 1 month after treatment with bosentan. Patients may choose one highly effective form of contraception (intrauterine devices (IUD) or tubal sterilization) or a combination of methods (hormone method with a barrier method or two barrier methods). If a partner’s vasectomy is the chosen method of contraception, a hormone or barrier method must be used along with this method. Counsel patients on pregnancy planning and prevention, including emergency contraception, or designate counseling by another healthcare provider trained in contraceptive counseling [see Boxed Warning].



Decreased sperm counts have been observed in patients receiving bosentan. Based on these findings and findings in animals, bosentan may impair fertility in males of reproductive potential.

It is not known whether effects on fertility would be reversible [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6), Adverse Reactions (6.1), Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)].

8.4 Pediatric Use

Juvenile Animal Toxicity Data

In a juvenile rat toxicity study, rats were treated from Day 4 postpartum to adulthood (Day 69 postpartum). Decreased body weights, absolute weights of testes and epididymides, and reduced number of sperm in epididymides were observed after weaning. No effect on testis histology or sperm morphology and function was seen. The NOAEL was 4 times (at Day 4 postpartum) and 2 times (Day 69 postpartum) the human therapeutic exposure, respectively.

No effects on general development, sensory, cognitive function and reproductive performance were detected at the highest dose tested in juvenile rats, 7 times the therapeutic exposure in children with PAH.

All resources are included in as near-original form as possible, meaning that the information from the original provider has been rendered here with only typographical or stylistic modifications and not with any substantive alterations of content, meaning or intent.

This site is provided for educational and informational purposes only, in accordance with our Terms of Use, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner or other qualified health professional.

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2021. All Rights Reserved.