"May 4, 2011 -- The osteoporosis drugs known as bisphosphonates increase the risk of getting unusual thigh bone fractures, as experts have suspected, according to a new Swedish study.
But these fractures are infrequent and the risk is "...
Drug Products with the Same Active Ingredient
Actonel contains the same active ingredient found in Atelvia®. A patient being treated with Atelvia should not receive Actonel.
Upper Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions
Actonel, like other bisphosphonates administered orally, may cause local irritation of the upper gastrointestinal mucosa. Because of these possible irritant effects and a potential for worsening of the underlying disease, caution should be used when Actonel is given to patients with active upper gastrointestinal problems (such as known Barrett's esophagus, dysphagia, other esophageal diseases, gastritis, duodenitis or ulcers) [see CONTRAINDICATIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS, PATIENT INFORMATION].
Esophageal adverse experiences, such as esophagitis, esophageal ulcers and esophageal erosions, occasionally with bleeding and rarely followed by esophageal stricture or perforation, have been reported in patients receiving treatment with oral bisphosphonates. In some cases, these have been severe and required hospitalization. Physicians should therefore be alert to any signs or symptoms signaling a possible esophageal reaction and patients should be instructed to discontinue Actonel and seek medical attention if they develop dysphagia, odynophagia, retrosternal pain or new or worsening heartburn.
The risk of severe esophageal adverse experiences appears to be greater in patients who lie down after taking oral bisphosphonates and/or who fail to swallow it with the recommended full glass (6 to 8 ounces) of water, and/or who continue to take oral bisphosphonates after developing symptoms suggestive of esophageal irritation. Therefore, it is very important that the full dosing instructions are provided to, and understood by, the patient [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. In patients who cannot comply with dosing instructions due to mental disability, therapy with Actonel should be used under appropriate supervision.
There have been post-marketing reports of gastric and duodenal ulcers with oral bisphosphonate use, some severe and with complications, although no increased risk was observed in controlled clinical trials.
Hypocalcemia has been reported in patients taking Actonel. Treat hypocalcemia and other disturbances of bone and mineral metabolism before starting Actonel therapy. Instruct patients to take supplemental calcium and vitamin D if their dietary intake is inadequate. Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D is important in all patients, especially in patients with Paget's disease in whom bone turnover is significantly elevated [see CONTRAINDICATIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS, PATIENT INFORMATION].
Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), which can occur spontaneously, is generally associated with tooth extraction and/or local infection with delayed healing, and has been reported in patients taking bisphosphonates, including Actonel. Known risk factors for osteonecrosis of the jaw include invasive dental procedures (for example, tooth extraction, dental implants, boney surgery), diagnosis of cancer, concomitant therapies (for example, chemotherapy, corticosteroids), poor oral hygiene, and co-morbid disorders (for example, periodontal and/or other pre-existing dental disease, anemia, coagulopathy, infection, ill-fitting dentures). The risk of ONJ may increase with duration of exposure to bisphosphonates.
For patients requiring invasive dental procedures, discontinuation of bisphosphonate treatment may reduce the risk for ONJ. Clinical judgment of the treating physician and/or oral surgeon should guide the management plan of each patient based on individual benefit/risk assessment.
Patients who develop osteonecrosis of the jaw while on bisphosphonate therapy should receive care by an oral surgeon. In these patients, extensive dental surgery to treat ONJ may exacerbate the condition. Discontinuation of bisphosphonate therapy should be considered based on individual benefit/risk assessment [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
In postmarketing experience, there have been reports of severe and occasionally incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle pain in patients taking bisphosphonates [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. The time to onset of symptoms varied from one day to several months after starting the drug. Most patients had relief of symptoms after stopping medication. A subset had recurrence of symptoms when rechallenged with the same drug or another bisphosphonate. Consider discontinuing use if severe symptoms develop.
Atypical Subtrochanteric and Diaphyseal Femoral Fractures
Atypical, low-energy, or low trauma fractures of the femoral shaft have been reported in bisphosphonate-treated patients. These fractures can occur anywhere in the femoral shaft from just below the lesser trochanter to above the supracondylar flare and are traverse or short oblique in orientation without evidence of comminution. Causality has not been established as these fractures also occur in osteoporotic patients who have not been treated with bisphosphonates.
Atypical femur fractures most commonly occur with minimal or no trauma to the affected area. They may be bilateral and many patients report prodromal pain in the affected area, usually presenting as dull, aching thigh pain, weeks to months before a complete fracture occurs. A number of reports note that patients were also receiving treatment with glucocorticoids (for example, prednisone) at the time of fracture.
Any patient with a history of bisphosphonate exposure who presents with thigh or groin pain should be suspected of having an atypical fracture and should be evaluated to rule out an incomplete femur fracture. Patients presenting with an atypical fracture should also be assessed for symptoms and signs of fracture in the contralateral limb. Interruption of bisphosphonate therapy should be considered, pending a risk/benefit assessment, on an individual basis.
Actonel is not recommended for use in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/min).
Before initiating Actonel treatment for the treatment and prevention of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis, the sex steroid hormonal status of both men and women should be ascertained and appropriate replacement considered.
Laboratory Test Interactions
Bisphosphonates are known to interfere with the use of bone-imaging agents. Specific studies with Actonel have not been performed.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide)
Instruct patients to read the Medication Guide before starting therapy with Actonel and to reread it each time the prescription is renewed.
Instruct patients that Atelvia and Actonel contain the same active ingredient and if they are taking Atelvia, they should not take Actonel [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Instruct patients to pay particular attention to the dosing instructions as clinical benefits may be compromised by failure to take the drug according to instructions. Specifically, Actonel should be taken at least 30 minutes before the first food or drink of the day other than water.
Instruct patients to take Actonel while in an upright position (sitting or standing) with a full glass of plain water (6 to 8 ounces) to facilitate delivery to the stomach, and thus reduce the potential for esophageal irritation.
Instruct patients not lie down for 30 minutes after taking the medication [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Instruct patients not chew or suck on the tablet because of a potential for oropharyngeal irritation.
Instruct patients that if they develop symptoms of esophageal disease (such as difficulty or pain upon swallowing, retrosternal pain or severe persistent or worsening heartburn) they should consult their physician before continuing Actonel.
Instruct patients about missing Actonel doses as follows:
- If a dose of Actonel 35 mg once-a-week is missed, they should take 1 tablet on the morning after they remember and return to taking 1 tablet once-a-week, as originally scheduled on their chosen day. Patients should not take 2 tablets on the same day.
- If one or both tablets of Actonel 75 mg on two
consecutive days per month are missed, and the next month's scheduled doses are
more than 7 days away, the patient should be instructed as follows:
- If both tablets are missed, take one Actonel 75 mg tablet in the morning after the day it is remembered and then the other tablet on the next consecutive morning.
- If only one Actonel 75 mg tablet is missed, take the missed tablet in the morning after the day it is remembered
- Patients should then return to taking their Actonel 75 mg on two consecutive days per month as originally scheduled. Patients should not take more than two 75 mg tablets within 7 days.
- If one or both tablets of Actonel 75 mg on two consecutive days per month are missed, and the next month's scheduled doses are within 7 days, patients should wait until their next month's scheduled doses and then continue taking Actonel 75 mg on two consecutive days per month as originally scheduled.
- If the dose of Actonel 150 mg once-a-month is missed, and the next month's scheduled dose is more than 7 days away, the patient should be instructed to take the missed tablet in the morning after the day it is remembered. Patients should then return to taking their Actonel 150 mg once-a-month as originally scheduled. Patients should not take more than one 150 mg tablet within 7 days.
- If the dose of Actonel 150 mg once-a-month is missed, and the next month's scheduled dose is within 7 days, patients should wait until their next month's scheduled dose and then continue taking Actonel 150 mg once-a-month as originally scheduled.
Instruct patients to take supplemental calcium and vitamin D if dietary intake is inadequate [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Weight-bearing exercise should be considered along with the modification of certain behavioral factors, such as excessive cigarette smoking, and/or alcohol consumption, if these factors exist.
Instruct patients to take calcium supplements or calcium-, aluminum-, and magnesium-containing medications at a different time of the day than Actonel as these medicatiosn may interfere with the absorption of Actonel.
Remind patients to give all of their healthcare providers an accurate medication history. Instruct patients to tell all of their healthcare providers that they are taking Actonel. Patients should be instructed that any time they have a medical problem they think may be from Actonel, they should talk to their doctor.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
In a 104-week carcinogenicity study, rats were administered daily oral doses up to approximately 8 times the maximum recommended human daily dose. There were no significant drug-induced tumor findings in male or female rats. The high dose male group was terminated early in the study (Week 93) due to excessive toxicity, and data from this group were not included in the statistical evaluation of the study results. In an 80-week carcinogenicity study, mice were administered daily oral doses approximately 6.5 times the human dose. There were no significant drug-induced tumor findings in male or female mice.
Risedronate did not exhibit genetic toxicity in the following assays: In vitro bacterial mutagenesis in Salmonella and E. coli (Ames assay), mammalian cell mutagenesis in CHO/HGPRT assay, unscheduled DNA synthesis in rat hepatocytes and an assessment of chromosomal aberrations in vivo in rat bone marrow. Risedronate was positive in a chromosomal aberration assay in CHO cells at highly cytotoxic concentrations (greater than 675 mcg/mL, survival of 6% to 7%). When the assay was repeated at doses exhibiting appropriate cell survival (29%), there was no evidence of chromosomal damage.
Impairment of Fertility
In female rats, ovulation was inhibited at an oral dose approximately 5 times the human dose. Decreased implantation was noted in female rats treated with doses approximately 2.5 times the human dose. In male rats, testicular and epididymal atrophy and inflammation were noted at approximately 13 times the human dose. Testicular atrophy was also noted in male rats after 13 weeks of treatment at oral doses approximately 5 times the human dose. There was moderate-tosevere spermatid maturation block after 13 weeks in male dogs at an oral dose approximately 8 times the human dose. These findings tended to increase in severity with increased dose and exposure time.
Dosing multiples provided above are based on the recommended human dose of 30 mg/day and normalized using body surface area (mg/m² ). Actual doses were 24 mg/kg/day in rats, 32 mg/kg/day in mice, and 8, 16 and 40 mg/kg/day in dogs.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of Actonel in pregnant women. Actonel should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the mother and fetus.
Bisphosphonates are incorporated into the bone matrix, from which they are gradually released over periods of weeks to years. The amount of bisphosphonate incorporation into adult bone, and hence, the amount available for release back into the systemic circulation, is directly related to the dose and duration of bisphosphonate use. There are no data on fetal risk in humans. However, there is a theoretical risk of fetal harm, predominantly skeletal, if a woman becomes pregnant after completing a course of bisphosphonate therapy. The impact of variables such as time between cessation of bisphosphonate therapy to conception, the particular bisphosphonate used, and the route of administration (intravenous versus oral) on this risk has not been studied.
In animal studies, pregnant rats received risedronate sodium during organogenesis at doses 1 to 26 times the human dose of 30 mg/day. Survival of neonates was decreased in rats treated during gestation with oral doses approximately 5 times the human dose and body weight was decreased in neonates from dams treated with approximately 26 times the human dose. The number of fetuses exhibiting incomplete ossification of sternebrae or skull from dams treated with approximately 2.5 times the human dose was significantly increased compared to controls. Both incomplete ossification and unossified sternebrae were increased in rats treated with oral doses approximately 5 times the human dose. A low incidence of cleft palate was observed in fetuses from female rats treated with oral doses approximately equal to the human dose. The relevance of this finding to human use of Actonel is unclear.
No significant fetal ossification effects were seen in rabbits treated with oral doses approximately 7 times the human dose (the highest dose tested). However, 1 of 14 litters were aborted and 1 of 14 litters were delivered prematurely.
Similar to other bisphosphonates, treatment during mating and gestation with doses of risedronate sodium approximately the same as the 30 mg/day human dose resulted in periparturient hypocalcemia and mortality in pregnant rats allowed to deliver.
Dosing multiples provided above are based on the recommended human dose of 30 mg/day and normalized using body surface area (mg/m² ). Actual animal doses were 3.2, 7.1 and 16 mg/kg/day in the rat and 10 mg/kg/day in the rabbit.
Risedronate was detected in feeding pups exposed to lactating rats for a 24-hour period post-dosing, indicating a small degree of lacteal transfer. It is not known whether Actonel is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Actonel, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Actonel is not indicated for use in pediatric patients.
The safety and effectiveness of risedronate was assessed in a one-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study of 143 pediatric patients (94 received risedronate) with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). The enrolled population was predominantly patients with mild osteogenesis imperfecta (85% Type-I), aged 4 to less than16 years, 50% male and 82% Caucasian, with a mean lumbar spine BMD Z-score of -2.08 (2.08 standard deviations below the mean for age-matched controls). Patients received either a 2.5 mg (less than or equal to 30 kg body weight) or 5 mg (greater than 30 kg body weight) daily oral dose. After one year, an increase in lumbar spine BMD in the risedronate group compared to the placebo group was observed. However, treatment with risedronate did not result in a reduction in the risk of fracture in pediatric patients with osteogenesis imperfecta. In Actonel-treated subjects, no mineralization defects were noted in paired bone biopsy specimens obtained at baseline and month 12.
The overall safety profile of risedronate in OI patients treated for up to 12 months was generally similar to that of adults with osteoporosis. However, there was an increased incidence of vomiting compared to placebo. In this study, vomiting was observed in 15% of children treated with risedronate and 6% of patients treated with placebo. Other adverse events reported in greater than or equal to 10% of patients treated with risedronate and with a higher frequency than placebo were: pain in the extremity (21% with risedronate versus 16% with placebo), headache (20% versus 8%), back pain (17% versus 10%), pain (15% versus 10%), upper abdominal pain (11% versus 8%), and bone pain (10% versus 4%).
Of the patients receiving Actonel in postmenopausal osteoporosis studies [see Clinical Studies], 47% were between 65 and 75 years of age, and 17% were over 75. The corresponding proportions were 26% and 11% in glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis trials, and 40% and 26% in Paget's disease trials. No overall differences in efficacy between geriatric and younger patients were observed in these studies. In the male osteoporosis trial, 28% of patients receiving Actonel were between 65 and 75 years of age and 9% were over 75. The lumbar spine BMD response for Actonel compared to placebo was 5.6% for subjects less than 65 years and 2.9% for subjects greater than or equal to 65 years. No overall differences in safety between geriatric and younger patients were observed in the Actonel trials, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Actonel is not recommended for use in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/min) because of lack of clinical experience. No dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with a creatinine clearance greater than or equal to 30 mL/min.
No studies have been performed to assess risedronate's safety or efficacy in patients with hepatic impairment. Risedronate is not metabolized in human liver preparations. Dosage adjustment is unlikely to be needed in patients with hepatic impairment.
Last reviewed on RxList: 5/28/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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