"July 25, 2014 -- When the blood-thinner drug Pradaxa (dabigatran) was FDA-approved in 2010 to prevent stroke in people at high risk, a major selling point was that it doesn't require frequent blood tests like the old standby drug, warfarin.
Risk of Bleeding
In ESPS2 the incidence of intracranial hemorrhage was 0.6% in the AGGRENOX group, 0.5% in the extended-release dipyridamole (ER-DP) group, 0.4% in the aspirin (ASA) group and 0.4% in the placebo groups.
Even low doses of aspirin can inhibit platelet function leading to an increase in bleeding time. This can adversely affect patients with inherited or acquired (liver disease or vitamin K deficiency) bleeding disorders [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Gastrointestinal (GI) Side Effects
GI side effects include stomach pain, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and gross GI bleeding. Although minor upper GI symptoms, such as dyspepsia, are common and can occur anytime during therapy, physicians should remain alert for signs of ulceration and bleeding, even in the absence of previous GI symptoms. Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of GI side effects and what steps to take if they occur.
In ESPS2 the incidence of gastrointestinal bleeding was 4.1% in the AGGRENOX group, 2.2% in the extended-release dipyridamole group, 3.2% in the aspirin group, and 2.1% in the placebo groups.
Peptic Ulcer Disease
Avoid using aspirin in patients with a history of active peptic ulcer disease, which can cause gastric mucosal irritation and bleeding.
Because AGGRENOX contains aspirin, counsel patients who consume three or more alcoholic drinks every day about the bleeding risks involved with chronic, heavy alcohol use while taking aspirin.
Avoid aspirin in patients with severe renal failure (glomerular filtration rate less than 10 mL/minute) [see Use in Specific Populations and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Elevations of hepatic enzymes and hepatic failure have been reported in association with dipyridamole administration [see Use in Specific Populations and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Because AGGRENOX contains aspirin, AGGRENOX can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Maternal aspirin use during later stages of pregnancy may cause low birth weight, increased incidence for intracranial hemorrhage in premature infants, stillbirths and neonatal death. Because of the above and because of the known effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on the fetal cardiovascular system (closure of the ductus arteriosus), avoid AGGRENOX in the third trimester of pregnancy [see Use In Specific Populations].
Aspirin has been shown to be teratogenic in rats (spina bifida, exencephaly, microphthalmia and coelosomia) and rabbits (congested fetuses, agenesis of skull and upper jaw, generalized edema with malformation of the head, and diaphanous skin) at oral doses of 330 mg/kg/day and 110 mg/kg/day, respectively. These doses, which also resulted in a high resorption rate in rats (63% of implantations versus 5% in controls), are, on a mg/m² basis, about 66 and 44 times, respectively, the dose of aspirin contained in the maximum recommended daily human dose of AGGRENOX. Reproduction studies with dipyridamole have been performed in mice, rabbits and rats at oral doses of up to 125 mg/kg, 40 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg, respectively (about 1½, 2 and 25 times the maximum recommended daily human oral dose, respectively, on a mg/m² basis) and have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus due to dipyridamole. When 330 mg aspirin/kg/day was combined with 75 mg dipyridamole/kg/day in the rat, the resorption rate approached 100%, indicating potentiation of aspirin-related fetal toxicity. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of the use of AGGRENOX in pregnant women. If AGGRENOX is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking AGGRENOX, inform the patient of the potential hazard to the fetus.
Coronary Artery Disease
Dipyridamole has a vasodilatory effect. Chest pain may be precipitated or aggravated in patients with underlying coronary artery disease who are receiving dipyridamole.
For stroke or TIA patients for whom aspirin is indicated to prevent recurrent myocardial infarction (MI) or angina pectoris, the aspirin in this product may not provide adequate treatment for the cardiac indications.
Dipyridamole produces peripheral vasodilation, which can exacerbate pre-existing hypotension.
AGGRENOX capsules are not interchangeable with the individual components of aspirin and dipyridamole tablets.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-approved Patient Labeling
Risk of Bleeding
Inform patients that as with other antiplatelet agents, there is a general risk of bleeding including intracranial and gastrointestinal bleeding. Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of bleeding, including occult bleeding. Tell patients to notify their physician if they are prescribed any drug which may increase risk of bleeding.
Counsel patients who consume three or more alcoholic drinks daily about the bleeding risks involved with chronic, heavy alcohol use while taking aspirin.
Inform patients that aspirin is known to be harmful to fetuses and ask the patient to notify them if they are or become pregnant.
Some patients may experience headaches upon treatment initiation; these are usually transient. In case of intolerable headaches, tell the patient to contact their physician.
Dosage and Administration
Tell patients that AGGRENOX capsules should be swallowed whole, and not chewed or crushed. If you miss a dose, continue with your next dose on your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose.
Inform patients to protect AGGRENOX from moisture.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
In studies in which dipyridamole was administered in the feed to mice (up to 111 weeks in males and females) and rats (up to 128 weeks in males and up to 142 weeks in females), there was no evidence of drug-related carcinogenesis. The highest dose administered in these studies (75 mg/kg/day) was, on a mg/m² basis, about equivalent to the maximum recommended daily human oral dose (MRHD) in mice and about twice the MRHD in rats.
Combinations of dipyridamole and aspirin (1:5 ratio) tested negative in the Ames test, in vivo chromosome aberration tests (in mice and hamsters), oral micronucleus tests (in mice and hamsters) and oral dominant lethal test (in mice). Aspirin, alone, induced chromosome aberrations in cultured human fibroblasts. Mutagenicity tests of dipyridamole alone with bacterial and mammalian cell systems were negative.
Combinations of dipyridamole and aspirin have not been evaluated for effects on fertility and reproductive performance. There was no evidence of impaired fertility when dipyridamole was administered to male and female rats at oral doses up to 500 mg/kg/day (about 12 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis). A significant reduction in number of corpora lutea with consequent reduction in implantations and live fetuses was, however, observed at 1250 mg/kg (more than 30 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis). Aspirin inhibits ovulation in rats.
Use In Specific Populations
Teratogenic Effects, Pregnancy Category D. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Labor and Delivery
Aspirin can result in excessive blood loss at delivery as well as prolonged gestation and prolonged labor. Because of these effects on the mother and because of adverse fetal effects seen with aspirin during the later stages of pregnancy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS], avoid AGGRENOX in the third trimester of pregnancy and during labor and delivery.
Both dipyridamole and aspirin are excreted in human milk. Exercise caution when AGGRENOX capsules are administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness of AGGRENOX in pediatric patients have not been studied. Due to the aspirin component, use of this product in the pediatric population is not recommended [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Of the total number of subjects in ESPS2, 61 percent were 65 and over, while 27 percent were 75 and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Patients with Severe Hepatic or Severe Renal Dysfunction
AGGRENOX has not been studied in patients with hepatic or renal impairment. Avoid using aspirin containing products, such as Aggrenox in patients with severe hepatic or severe renal (glomerular filtration rate < 10 mL/min) dysfunction [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Last reviewed on RxList: 9/14/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Aggrenox Information
Aggrenox - User Reviews
Aggrenox User Reviews
Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Get breaking medical news.