Fenofibrate (Page 5 of 6)

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether fenofibrate is excreted into milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from fenofibrate, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or administration of fenofibrate taking into account the importance of the drug to the lactating woman.

Pediatric Use

Safety and efficacy in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Fenofibric acid is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of adverse reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Fenofibric acid exposure is not influenced by age. However, elderly patients have a higher incidence of renal impairment, such that dose selection for the elderly should be made on the basis of renal function (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Special Populations, Renal Insufficiency). Elderly patients with normal renal function should require no dose modifications.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Adverse events reported by 2% or more of patients treated with fenofibrate (and greater than placebo) during the double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, regardless of causality, are listed in Table 3 below. Adverse events led to discontinuation of treatment in 5.0% of patients treated with fenofibrate and in 3.0% treated with placebo. Increases in liver function tests were the most frequent events, causing discontinuation of fenofibrate treatment in 1.6% of patients in double-blind trials.

Table 3. Adverse Reactions Reported by 2% or More of Patients Treated with Fenofibrate and Greater than Placebo During the Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trials
*
Dosage equivalent to 145 mg fenofibrate.
Significantly different from Placebo.

BODY SYSTEM

Fenofibrate *

PLACEBO

Adverse Reaction

(N = 439)

(N = 365)

BODY AS A WHOLE

Abdominal Pain

4.6%

4.4%

Back Pain

3.4%

2.5%

Headache

3.2%

2.7%

DIGESTIVE

Abnormal Liver Function Tests

7.5%

1.4%

Nausea

2.3%

1.9%

Constipation

2.1%

1.4%

METABOLIC AND NUTRITIONAL DISORDERS

Increased ALT

3%

1.6%

Increased CPK

3%

1.4%

Increased AST

3.4%

0.5%

RESPIRATORY

Respiratory Disorder

6.2%

5.5%

Rhinitis

2.3%

1.1%

Post-Marketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of fenofibrate:myalgia, rhabdomyolysis, pancreatitis, acute renal failure, muscle spasm, hepatitis, cirrhosis,anemia, arthralgia, decreases in hemoglobin, decreases in hematocrit, white blood cell decreases, asthenia and interstitial lung diseases. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Photosensitivity reactions have occurred days to months after initiation; in some of these cases, patients reported a prior photosensitivity reaction to ketoprofen.

OVERDOSAGE

There is no specific treatment for overdose with fenofibrate. General supportive care of the patient is indicated, including monitoring of vital signs and observation of clinical status, should an overdose occur. If indicated, elimination of unabsorbed drug should be achieved by emesis or gastric lavage; usual precautions should be observed to maintain the airway. Because fenofibrate is highly bound to plasma proteins, hemodialysis should not be considered.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Patients should be placed on an appropriate lipid-lowering diet before receiving fenofibrate capsules, and should continue this diet during treatment with fenofibrate capsules. Fenofibrate capsules should be given with meals, thereby optimizing the bioavailability of the medication.

For the treatment of adult patients with primary hypercholesterolemia or mixed hyperlipidemia, the initial dose of fenofibrate capsules is 200 mg per day.

For adult patients with hypertriglyceridemia, the initial dose is 67 to 200 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 200 mg per day.

Treatment with fenofibrate capsules should be initiated at a dose of 67 mg/day in patients having impaired renal function, and increased only after evaluation of the effects on renal function and lipid levels at this dose. In the elderly, the initial dose should likewise be limited to 67 mg/day.

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

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