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Side Effects


Clinical Trials Experience

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


In 6010 patients undergoing PCI treated in the REPLACE-2 trial, Angiomax patients exhibited statistically significantly lower rates of bleeding, transfusions, and thrombocytopenia as noted in Table 2.

Table 2: Major Hematologic Outcomes REPLACE-2 Study (Safety Population)

  Angiomax with “provisional” GPI1
( n=2914)
Protocol defined major hemorrhage2 (%) 2.30% 4.00% < 0.001
Protocol defined minor hemorrhage3 (%) 13.60% 25.80% < 0.001
TIMI defined bleeding4
-Major 0.60% 0.90% 0.259
-Minor 1.30% 2.9 < 0.001
Non-access site bleeding
-Retroperitoneal bleeding 0.20% 0.50% 0.069
-Intracranial bleeding < 0.1% 0.10% 1
Access site bleeding
-Sheath site bleeding 0.90% 2.40% < 0.001
<100,000 0.70% 1.70% < 0.001
<50,000 0.30% 0.60% 0.039
-RBC 1.30% 1.90% 0.08
-Platelets 0.30% 0.60% 0.095
1GPIs were administered to 7.2% of patients in the Angiomax with provisional GPI group
2Defined as the occurence of any of the following: intracranial bleeding, retroperitoneal bleeding, a transfusion of ≥ 2 units of blood/blood products, a fall in hemoglobin > 4g/dL, whether of not bleeding site is identified, spontaneous or non-spontaneous blood loss with a decrease in hemoglobin > 3g/Dl
3Defined as observed bleeding that does not meet the criteria for major hemorrhage
4TIMI major bleeding is defined as intracranial, or a fall in adjusted Hgb > 5g/dL or Hct of > 15%: TIMI minor bleeding is defined as a fall in adjusted Hgb of 3 to < 5 g/dL or a fall in adjusted Hct of 9 to < 15%, with a bleeding site such as hematuria, hematemesis, hematomas, retroperitoneal bleeding or a decrease in Hgb of > 4 g/dL with no bleeding site
5If < 100,000 and > 25% reduction from baseline, or < 50,000

In 4312 patients undergoing PTCA for treatment of unstable angina in 2 randomized, double-blind studies comparing Angiomax to heparin, Angiomax patients exhibited lower rates of major bleeding and lower requirements for blood transfusions. The incidence of major bleeding is presented in Table 3. The incidence of major bleeding was lower in the Angiomax group than in the heparin group.

Table 3: Major Bleeding and Transfusions in BAT Trial (all patients) 1

No. (%) Patients with Major hemorrhage2 79 (3.7) 199 (9.3)
-with ≥ 3 g/dL fall in Hgb 41 (1.9) 124 (5.8)
-with ≥ 5 g/dL fall in Hgb 14 (0.6) 47 (2.2)
-retroperitoneal bleeding 5 (0.2) 15 (0.7)
-intracranial bleeding 1 ( < 0.1) 2 (0.1)
Required transfusions 43 (2.0) 123 (5.7)
1No monitoring of ACT (or PTT) was done after a target ACT was achieved.
2Major hemorrhage was defined as the occurence of any of the following, intracranial bleeding, retroperitoneal bleeding, clinically overt bleeding with a decrease in hemoglobin > 3 g/dL or leading to a transfusion of > 2 units of blood. This table includes data from the entire hospitalization period.

In the AT-BAT study, of the 51 patients with HIT/HITTS, 1 patient who did not undergo PCI had major bleeding during CABG on the day following angiography. Nine patients had minor bleeding (mostly due to access site bleeding), and 2 patients developed thrombocytopenia.

Other Adverse Reactions

Adverse reactions, other than bleeding, observed in clinical trials were similar between the Angiomax treated patients and the control groups.

Adverse reactions (related adverse events ) seen in clinical studies in patients undergoing PCI and PTCA are shown in Tables 4 and 5.

Table 4 : Most frequent ( ≥ 0.2%) treatment-related adverse events (reactions) (through 30 days) in the REPLACE-2 Safety population

  Angiomax with “provisional” GPI1
(N = 2914)
(N = 2987)
n (%) n (%)
Patients with at least one treatment-related AE 78 (2.7) 115 (3.9)
Thrombocytopenia 9 (0.3) 30 (1)
Nausea 15 (0.5) 7 (0.2)
Hypotension 7 (0.2) 11 (0.4)
Angina pectoris 5 (0.2) 12 (0.4)
Headache 6 (0.2) 5 (0.2)
Injection site pain 3 (0.1) 8 (0.3)
Nausea and vomiting 2 (0.1) 6 (0.2)
Vomiting 3 (0.1) 5 (0.2)
Note: A patient could have more than one event in any category. Abbreviation: AE = adverse event.

Table 5: Adverse Events Other Than Bleeding Occurring In ≥ 5% Of Patients In Either Treatment Group In BAT Trial

EVENT Treatment Group
Number of Patients (%)
  Hypotension 262 (12) 371 (17)
  Hypertension 135 (6) 115 (5)
  Bradycardia 118 (5) 164 (8)
  Nausea 318 (15) 347 (16)
  Vomiting 138 (6) 169 (8)
  Dyspepsia 100 (5) 111 (5)
  Urinary retention 89 (4) 98 (5)
  Back pain 916 (42) 944 (44)
  Pain 330 (15) 358 (17)
  Headache 264 (12) 225 (10)
  Injection site pain 174 (8) 274 (13)
  Insomnia 142 (7) 139 (6)
  Pelvic pain 130 (6) 169 (8)
  Anxiety 127 (6) 140 (7)
  Abdominal pain 103 (5) 104 (5)
  Fever 103 (5) 108 (5)
  Nervousness 102 (5) 87 (4)

Serious, non-bleeding adverse events were experienced in 2% of 2161 Angiomax-treated patients and 2% of 2151 heparin-treated patients. The following individual serious non-bleeding adverse events were rare ( > 0.1% to < 1%) and similar in incidence between Angiomax-and heparin-treated patients. These events are listed by body system: Body as a Whole: fever, infection, sepsis; Cardiovascular: hypotension, syncope, vascular anomaly, ventricular fibrillation; Nervous: cerebral ischemia, confusion, facial paralysis; Respiratory: lung edema; Urogenital: kidney failure, oliguria. In the BAT trial, there was no causality assessment for adverse events.


In in vitro studies, Angiomax exhibited no platelet aggregation response against sera from patients with a history of HIT/HITTS.

Among 494 subjects who received Angiomax in clinical trials and were tested for antibodies, 2 subjects had treatment-emergent positive bivalirudin antibody tests. Neither subject demonstrated clinical evidence of allergic or anaphylactic reactions and repeat testing was not performed. Nine additional patients who had initial positive tests were negative on repeat testing.

Postmarketing Experience

Because postmarketing adverse 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.

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of Angiomax: fatal bleeding; hypersensitivity and allergic reactions including reports of anaphylaxis; lack of anticoagulant effect; thrombus formation during PCI with and without intracoronary brachytherapy, including reports of fatal outcomes.

Read the Angiomax (bivalirudin) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


In clinical trials in patients undergoing PCI/PTCA, co-administration of Angiomax with heparin, warfarin, thrombolytics, or GPIs was associated with increased risks of major bleeding events compared to patients not receiving these concomitant medications.

There is no experience with co-administration of Angiomax and plasma expanders such as dextran.

Read the Angiomax Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/3/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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