Omega-3-acid Ethyl Esters (Page 2 of 4)

8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. It is unknown whether omega-3-acid ethyl esters capsules can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproductive capacity. Omega-3-acid ethyl esters capsules should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit to the patient justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Animal Data

Omega-3-acid ethyl esters have been shown to have an embryocidal effect in pregnant rats when given in doses resulting in exposures 7 times the recommended human dose of 4 grams per day based on a body surface area comparison.

In female rats given oral gavage doses of 100, 600, and 2,000 mg per kg per day beginning 2 weeks prior to mating and continuing through gestation and lactation, no adverse effects were observed in the high-dose group (5 times human systemic exposure following an oral dose of 4 grams per day based on body surface area comparison).

In pregnant rats given oral gavage doses of 1,000, 3,000, and 6,000 mg per kg per day from gestation Day 6 through 15, no adverse effects were observed (14 times human systemic exposure following an oral dose of 4 grams per day based on a body surface area comparison).

In pregnant rats given oral gavage doses of 100, 600, and 2,000 mg per kg per day from gestation Day 14 through lactation Day 21, no adverse effects were seen at 2,000 mg per kg per day (5 times the human systemic exposure following an oral dose of 4 grams per day based on a body surface area comparison). However, decreased live births (20% reduction) and decreased survival to postnatal day 4 (40% reduction) were observed in a dose-ranging study using higher doses of 3,000 mg per kg per day (7 times the human systemic exposure following an oral dose of 4 grams per day based on a body surface area comparison).

In pregnant rabbits given oral gavage doses of 375, 750, and 1,500 mg per kg per day from gestation Day 7 through 19, no findings were observed in the fetuses in groups given 375 mg per kg per day (2 times human systemic exposure following an oral dose of 4 grams per day based on a body surface area comparison). However, at higher doses, evidence of maternal toxicity was observed (4 times human systemic exposure following an oral dose of 4 grams per day based on a body surface area comparison).

8.3 Nursing Mothers

Studies with omega-3-acid ethyl esters have demonstrated excretion in human milk. The effect of this excretion on the infant of a nursing mother is unknown; caution should be exercised when omega-3-acid ethyl esters capsules are administered to a nursing mother. An animal study in lactating rats given oral gavage 14 C-ethyl EPA demonstrated that drug levels were 6 to 14 times higher in milk than in plasma.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

8.5 Geriatric Use

A limited number of subjects older than 65 years were enrolled in the clinical trials of omega-3-acid ethyl esters capsules. Safety and efficacy findings in subjects older than 60 years did not appear to differ from those of subjects younger than 60 years.

9 DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE

Omega-3-acid ethyl esters capsules does not have any known drug abuse or withdrawal effects.

11 DESCRIPTION

Omega-3-acid ethyl esters capsules, USP, a lipid-regulating agent, are supplied as a liquid-filled gel capsule for oral administration. Each 1-gram capsule of omega-3-acid ethyl esters capsules, USP contains at least 900 mg of the ethyl esters of omega-3 fatty acids sourced from fish oils. These are predominantly a combination of ethyl esters of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA — approximately 465 mg) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA — approximately 375 mg).

The empirical formula of EPA ethyl ester is C22 H34 O2 , and the molecular weight of EPA ethyl ester is 330.51. The structural formula of EPA ethyl ester is:

structure-1
(click image for full-size original)

The empirical formula of DHA ethyl ester is C24 H36 O2 , and the molecular weight of DHA ethyl ester is 356.55. The structural formula of DHA ethyl ester is:

structure-2

Omega-3-acid ethyl esters capsules, USP also contain the following inactive ingredients: gelatin, glycerin, purified water and opacode white ink (contains shellac glaze, titanium dioxide, purified water, N-butyl alcohol, lecithin and simethicone).

12 CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

12.1 Mechanism of Action

The mechanism of action of omega-3-acid ethyl esters is not completely understood. Potential mechanisms of action include inhibition of acyl-CoA: 1,2-diacylglycerol acyltransferase, increased mitochondrial and peroxisomal β-oxidation in the liver, decreased lipogenesis in the liver, and increased plasma lipoprotein lipase activity. Omega-3-acid ethyl esters may reduce the synthesis of triglycerides in the liver because EPA and DHA are poor substrates for the enzymes responsible for TG synthesis, and EPA and DHA inhibit esterification of other fatty acids.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Absorption

In healthy volunteers and in subjects with hypertriglyceridemia, EPA and DHA were absorbed when administered as ethyl esters orally. Omega-3-acids administered as ethyl esters (omega-3-acid ethyl esters capsules) induced significant, dose-dependent increases in serum phospholipid EPA content, though increases in DHA content were less marked and not dose-dependent when administered as ethyl esters.

Specific Populations

Age: Uptake of EPA and DHA into serum phospholipids in subjects treated with omega-3-acid ethyl esters was independent of age (younger than 49 years versus 49 years and older).

Male and Female Patients: Females tended to have more uptake of EPA into serum phospholipids than males. The clinical significance of this is unknown.

Pediatric Patients: Pharmacokinetics of omega-3-acid ethyl esters have not been studied.

Patients with Renal or Hepatic Impairment: omega-3-acid ethyl esters has not been studied in patients with renal or hepatic impairment.

Drug Interactions Studies

Simvastatin: In a 14-day trial of 24 healthy adult subjects, daily coadministration of simvastatin 80 mg with omega-3-acid ethyl esters 4 grams did not affect the extent (AUC) or rate (Cmax ) of exposure to simvastatin or the major active metabolite, beta-hydroxy simvastatin, at steady state.

Atorvastain: In a 14-day trial of 50 healthy adult subjects, daily coadministration of atorvastatin 80 mg with omega-3-acid ethyl esters 4 grams did not affect AUC or Cmax of exposure to atorvastatin, 2-hydroxyatorvastatin, or 4-hydroxyatorvastatin at steady state.

Rosuvastatin: In a 14-day trial of 48 healthy adult subjects, daily coadministration of rosuvastatin 40 mg with omega-3-acid ethyl esters 4 grams did not affect AUC or Cmax of exposure to rosuvastatin at steady state.

In vitro studies using human liver microsomes indicated that clinically significant cytochrome P450-mediated inhibition by EPA/DHA combinations are not expected in humans.

13 NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY

13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

In a rat carcinogenicity study with oral gavage doses of 100, 600, and 2,000 mg per kg per day, males were treated with omega-3-acid ethyl esters for 101 weeks and females for 89 weeks without an increased incidence of tumors (up to 5 times human systemic exposures following an oral dose of 4 grams per day based on a body surface area comparison). Standard lifetime carcinogenicity bioassays were not conducted in mice.

Omega-3-acid ethyl esters were not mutagenic or clastogenic with or without metabolic activation in the bacterial mutagenesis (Ames) test with Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli or in the chromosomal aberration assay in Chinese hamster V79 lung cells or human lymphocytes. Omega-3-acid ethyl esters were negative in the in vivo mouse micronucleus assay.

In a rat fertility study with oral gavage doses of 100, 600, and 2,000 mg per kg per day, males were treated for 10 weeks prior to mating and females were treated for 2 weeks prior to and throughout mating, gestation, and lactation. No adverse effect on fertility was observed at 2,000 mg per kg per day (5 times human systemic exposure following an oral dose of 4 grams per day based on a body surface area comparison).

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