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Rare cases of rhabdomyolysis with acute renal failure secondary to myoglobinuria have been reported with atorvastatin and with other drugs in this class. A history of renal impairment may be a risk factor for the development of rhabdomyolysis. Such patients merit closer monitoring for skeletal muscle effects.
Atorvastatin, like other statins, occasionally causes myopathy, defined as muscle aches or muscle weakness in conjunction with increases in creatine phosphokinase (CPK) values > 10 times upper limit of normal (ULN). The concomitant use of higher doses of atorvastatin with certain drugs such as cyclosporine and strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., clarithromycin, itraconazole, and HIV protease inhibitors) increases the risk of myopathy/rhabdomyolysis.
There have been rare reports of immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (IMNM), an autoimmune myopathy, associated with statin use. IMNM is characterized by: proximal muscle weakness and elevated serum creatinine kinase, which persist despite discontinuation of statin treatment; muscle biopsy showing necrotizing myopathy without significant inflammation; improvement with immunosuppressive agents.
Myopathy should be considered in any patient with diffuse myalgias, muscle tenderness or weakness, and/or marked elevation of CPK. Patients should be advised to report promptly unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever or if muscle signs and symptoms persist after discontinuing LIPTRUZET. LIPTRUZET therapy should be discontinued if markedly elevated CPK levels occur or myopathy is diagnosed or suspected.
The risk of myopathy during treatment with statins is increased with concurrent administration of cyclosporine, fibric acid derivatives, erythromycin, clarithromycin, the hepatitis C protease inhibitor telaprevir, combinations of HIV protease inhibitors, including saquinavir plus ritonavir, lopinavir plus ritonavir, tipranavir plus ritonavir, darunavir plus ritonavir, fosamprenavir, and fosamprenavir plus ritonavir, niacin, or azole antifungals. Physicians considering combined therapy with LIPTRUZET and fibric acid derivatives, erythromycin, clarithromycin, a combination of saquinavir plus ritonavir, lopinavir plus ritonavir, darunavir plus ritonavir, fosamprenavir, or fosamprenavir plus ritonavir, azole antifungals, or lipid-modifying doses of niacin should carefully weigh the potential benefits and risks and should carefully monitor patients for any signs or symptoms of muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, particularly during the initial months of therapy and during any periods of upward dosage titration of either drug. Lower starting and maintenance doses of LIPTRUZET should be considered when taken concomitantly with the aforementioned drugs. [See DRUG INTERACTIONS.] Periodic CPK determinations may be considered in such situations, but there is no assurance that such monitoring will prevent the occurrence of severe myopathy.
Table 1: Drug Interactions Associated with Increased
Risk of Myopathy/Rhabdomyolysis with Atorvastatin
|Interacting Agents||Prescribing Recommendations for LIPTRUZET|
|Cyclosporine, HIV protease inhibitors (tipranavir plus ritonavir), hepatitis C protease inhibitor (telaprevir), gemfibrozil||Avoid LIPTRUZET.|
|HIV protease inhibitor (lopinavir plus ritonavir)||Use with caution and lowest dose necessary.|
|Clarithromycin, itraconazole, HIV protease inhibitors (saquinavir plus ritonavir*, darunavir plus ritonavir, fosamprenavir, fosamprenavir plus ritonavir)||Do not exceed 10/20 mg LIPTRUZET daily.|
|HIV protease inhibitor (nelfinavir), hepatitis C protease inhibitor (boceprevir)||Do not exceed 10/40 mg LIPTRUZET daily.|
|*Use with caution and with the lowest dose necessary [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]|
Cases of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, have been reported with atorvastatin coadministered with colchicine, and caution should be exercised when prescribing LIPTRUZET with colchicine [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
LIPTRUZET therapy should be temporarily withheld or discontinued in any patient with an acute, serious condition suggestive of a myopathy or having a risk factor predisposing to the development of renal failure secondary to rhabdomyolysis (e.g., severe acute infection, hypotension, major surgery, trauma, severe metabolic, endocrine and electrolyte disorders, and uncontrolled seizures).
In clinical trials, there was no excess of myopathy or rhabdomyolysis associated with ezetimibe compared with the relevant control arm (placebo or statin alone). However, myopathy and rhabdomyolysis are known adverse reactions to statins and other lipid-lowering drugs. In clinical trials, the incidence of creatine phosphokinase (CPK) > 10 times ULN was 0.2% for ezetimibe vs. 0.1% for placebo, and 0.1% for ezetimibe coadministered with a statin vs. 0.4% for statins alone. Risk for skeletal muscle toxicity increases with higher doses of statin, advanced age ( > 65), hypothyroidism, renal impairment, and depending on the statin used, concomitant use of other drugs.
In post-marketing experience with ezetimibe, cases of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis have been reported. Most patients who developed rhabdomyolysis were taking a statin prior to initiating ezetimibe. However, rhabdomyolysis has been reported with ezetimibe monotherapy and with the addition of ezetimibe to agents known to be associated with increased risk of rhabdomyolysis, such as fibric acid derivatives. LIPTRUZET and a fenofibrate, if taking concomitantly, should both be immediately discontinued if myopathy is diagnosed or suspected. The presence of muscle symptoms and a CPK level > 10 times the ULN indicates myopathy.
Statins, like some other lipid-lowering therapies, have been associated with biochemical abnormalities of liver function. Persistent elevations ( > 3 times ULN occurring on 2 or more occasions) in serum transaminases occurred in 0.7% of patients who received atorvastatin in clinical trials. The incidence of these abnormalities was 0.2%, 0.2%, 0.6%, and 2.3% for 10, 20, 40, and 80 mg atorvastatin, respectively.
One patient in clinical trials of atorvastatin developed jaundice. Increases in liver function tests (LFT) in other patients were not associated with jaundice or other clinical signs or symptoms. Upon dose reduction, drug interruption, or discontinuation, transaminase levels returned to or near pretreatment levels without sequelae. Eighteen of 30 patients with persistent LFT elevations continued treatment with a reduced dose of atorvastatin.
In controlled clinical studies, the incidence of consecutive elevations ( ≥ 3 times ULN) in hepatic transaminase levels was similar between ezetimibe (0.5%) and placebo (0.3%).
In controlled clinical combination studies of ezetimibe coadministered with atorvastatin, the incidence of consecutive elevations ( ≥ 3 times ULN) in hepatic transaminase levels was 0.6% for patients treated with ezetimibe administered with atorvastatin. These elevations in transaminases were generally asymptomatic, not associated with cholestasis, and returned to baseline after discontinuation of therapy or with continued treatment.
It is recommended that liver enzyme tests be obtained prior to initiating therapy with LIPTRUZET and repeated as clinically indicated. There have been rare postmarketing reports of fatal and non-fatal hepatic failure in patients taking statins, including atorvastatin. If serious liver injury with clinical symptoms and/or hyperbilirubinemia or jaundice occurs during treatment with LIPTRUZET, promptly interrupt therapy. If an alternate etiology is not found, do not restart LIPTRUZET.
LIPTRUZET should be used with caution in patients who consume substantial quantities of alcohol and/or have a history of liver disease. Active liver disease or unexplained persistent transaminase elevations are contraindications to the use of LIPTRUZET [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Increases in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose levels have been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, including atorvastatin.
Statins interfere with cholesterol synthesis and theoretically might blunt adrenal and/or gonadal steroid production. Clinical studies have shown that atorvastatin does not reduce basal plasma cortisol concentration or impair adrenal reserve and that ezetimibe did not impair adrenocortical steroid hormone production. The effects of statins on male fertility have not been studied in adequate numbers of patients. The effects, if any, on the pituitary-gonadal axis in premenopausal women are unknown. Caution should be exercised if LIPTRUZET is administered concomitantly with drugs that may decrease the levels or activity of endogenous steroid hormones, such as ketoconazole, spironolactone, and cimetidine.
Use in Patients with Recent Stroke or TIA
In a post-hoc analysis of the Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL) study where atorvastatin 80 mg vs. placebo was administered in 4,731 subjects without CHD who had a stroke or TIA within the preceding 6 months, a higher incidence of hemorrhagic stroke was seen in the atorvastatin 80 mg group compared to placebo (55, 2.3% atorvastatin vs. 33, 1.4% placebo; HR: 1.68, 95% CI: 1.09, 2.59; p=0.0168). The incidence of fatal hemorrhagic stroke was similar across treatment groups (17 vs. 18 for the atorvastatin and placebo groups, respectively). The incidence of nonfatal hemorrhagic stroke was significantly higher in the atorvastatin (38, 1.6%) group as compared to the placebo group (16, 0.7%). Some baseline characteristics, including hemorrhagic and lacunar stroke on study entry, were associated with a higher incidence of hemorrhagic stroke in the atorvastatin group.
Brain hemorrhage was seen in a female dog treated for 3 months at 120 mg/kg/day. Brain hemorrhage and optic nerve vacuolation were seen in another female dog that was sacrificed in moribund condition after 11 weeks of escalating doses up to 280 mg/kg/day. The 120 mg/kg dose resulted in a systemic exposure approximately 16 times the human plasma area-under-the-curve (AUC, 0-24 hours) based on the maximum human dose of 80 mg/day. A single tonic convulsion was seen in each of 2 male dogs (one treated at 10 mg/kg/day and one at 120 mg/kg/day) in a 2-year study. No CNS lesions have been observed in mice after chronic treatment for up to 2 years at doses up to 400 mg/kg/day or in rats at doses up to 100 mg/kg/day. These doses were 6 to 11 times (mouse) and 8 to 16 times (rat) the human AUC(0-24) based on the maximum recommended human dose of 80 mg/day.
CNS vascular lesions, characterized by perivascular hemorrhages, edema, and mononuclear cell infiltration of perivascular spaces, have been observed in dogs treated with other members of this class. A chemically similar drug in this class produced optic nerve degeneration (Wallerian degeneration of retinogeniculate fibers) in clinically normal dogs in a dose-dependent fashion at a dose that produced plasma drug levels about 30 times higher than the mean drug level in humans taking the highest recommended dose.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-Approved Patient Labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION).
Patients should be advised to adhere to their National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP)-recommended diet, a regular exercise program, and periodic testing of a fasting lipid panel.
All patients starting therapy with LIPTRUZET should be advised of the risk of myopathy and told to report promptly any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever or if these muscle signs or symptoms persist after discontinuing LIPTRUZET. The risk of this occurring is increased when taking certain types of medication or consuming larger quantities ( > 1 liter) of grapefruit juice. Patients should discuss all medication, both prescription and over-the-counter, with their physician.
It is recommended that liver enzyme tests be performed before the initiation of LIPTRUZET and if signs or symptoms of liver injury occur. All patients treated with LIPTRUZET should be advised to report promptly any symptoms that may indicate liver injury, including fatigue, anorexia, right upper abdominal discomfort, dark urine, or jaundice.
Women of childbearing age should be advised to use an effective method of birth control to prevent pregnancy while using LIPTRUZET. Discuss future pregnancy plans with your patients, and discuss when to stop taking LIPTRUZET if they are trying to conceive. Patients should be advised that if they become pregnant they should stop taking LIPTRUZET and call their healthcare professional.
Women who are breast-feeding should be advised to not use LIPTRUZET. Patients who have a lipid disorder and are breast-feeding should be advised to discuss the options with their healthcare professionals.
Important Storage and Administration Instructions
Patients should be advised to store LIPTRUZET at room temperature, 20-25°C (68-77°F). They should also be advised:
- not to open a pouch until they are ready to use LIPTRUZET
- that after the foil pouch is opened, LIPTRUZET should be protected from moisture and light, and stored in a dry place
- that for packages containing a plastic case (unit of use packages of 30 and 90), once they remove a tablet from the blister card, they should slide the blister card back into the plastic case
- to discard any unused tablets 30 days after the pouch is opened
Tablets should be swallowed whole. Do not crush, dissolve, or chew tablets.
If a dose is missed, the patient should not take an extra dose. Just resume the usual schedule.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
No animal carcinogenicity or fertility studies have been conducted with the combination of ezetimibe and atorvastatin. The combination of ezetimibe with atorvastatin did not show evidence of mutagenicity in vitro in a microbial mutagenicity (Ames) test with Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli with or without metabolic activation. No evidence of clastogenicity was observed in vitro in a chromosomal aberration assay in human peripheral blood lymphocytes with ezetimibe and atorvastatin with or without metabolic activation. There was no evidence of genotoxicity at doses up to 250 mg/kg with the combination of ezetimibe and atorvastatin (1:1) in the in vivo mouse micronucleus test.
A 104-week dietary carcinogenicity study with ezetimibe was conducted in rats at doses up to 1500 mg/kg/day (males) and 500 mg/kg/day (females) (~20 times the human exposure at 10 mg daily based on AUC0-24hr for total ezetimibe). A 104-week dietary carcinogenicity study with ezetimibe was also conducted in mice at doses up to 500 mg/kg/day ( > 150 times the human exposure at 10 mg daily based on AUC0-24hr for total ezetimibe). There were no statistically significant increases in tumor incidences in drug-treated rats or mice.
No evidence of mutagenicity was observed in vitro in a microbial mutagenicity (Ames) test with Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli with or without metabolic activation. No evidence of clastogenicity was observed in vitro in a chromosomal aberration assay in human peripheral blood lymphocytes with or without metabolic activation. In addition, there was no evidence of genotoxicity in the in vivo mouse micronucleus test.
In oral (gavage) fertility studies of ezetimibe conducted in rats, there was no evidence of reproductive toxicity at doses up to 1000 mg/kg/day in male or female rats (~7 times the human exposure at 10 mg daily based on AUC0-24hr for total ezetimibe).
In a 2-year carcinogenicity study in rats at dose levels of 10, 30, and 100 mg/kg/day, 2 rare tumors were found in muscle in high-dose females: in one, there was a rhabdomyosarcoma and, in another, there was a fibrosarcoma. This dose represents a plasma AUC0-24hr value of approximately 16 times the mean human plasma drug exposure after an 80-mg oral dose.
A 2-year carcinogenicity study in mice given 100, 200, or 400 mg/kg/day resulted in a significant increase in liver adenomas in high-dose males and liver carcinomas in high-dose females. These findings occurred at plasma AUC0-24hr values of approximately 6 times the mean human plasma drug exposure after an 80-mg oral dose.
In vitro, atorvastatin was not mutagenic or clastogenic in the following tests with and without metabolic activation: the Ames test with Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli, the HGPRT forward mutation assay in Chinese hamster lung cells, and the chromosomal aberration assay in Chinese hamster lung cells. Atorvastatin was negative in the in vivo mouse micronucleus test.
Studies in rats performed at doses up to 175 mg/kg (15 times the human exposure) produced no changes in fertility. There was aplasia and aspermia in the epididymis of 2 of 10 rats treated with 100 mg/kg/day of atorvastatin for 3 months (16 times the human AUC at the 80-mg dose); testis weights were significantly lower at 30 and 100 mg/kg and epididymal weight was lower at 100 mg/kg. Male rats given 100 mg/kg/day for 11 weeks prior to mating had decreased sperm motility, spermatid head concentration, and increased abnormal sperm. Atorvastatin caused no adverse effects on semen parameters, or reproductive organ histopathology in dogs given doses of 10, 40, or 120 mg/kg for two years.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category X
LIPTRUZET is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant. Serum cholesterol and triglycerides increase during normal pregnancy. Lipid-lowering drugs offer no benefit during pregnancy, because cholesterol and cholesterol derivatives are needed for normal fetal development. Atherosclerosis is a chronic process, and discontinuation of lipid-lowering drugs during pregnancy should have little impact on long-term outcomes of primary hypercholesterolemia therapy.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of LIPTRUZET use during pregnancy. There have been rare reports of congenital anomalies following intrauterine exposure to statins. In a review of about 100 prospectively followed pregnancies in women exposed to other statins, the incidences of congenital anomalies, spontaneous abortions, and fetal deaths/stillbirths did not exceed the rate expected in the general population. However, this study was only able to exclude a three-to-four-fold increased risk of congenital anomalies over background incidence. In 89% of these cases, drug treatment started before pregnancy and stopped during the first trimester when pregnancy was identified.
Statins may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Because LIPTRUZET contains atorvastatin, LIPTRUZET should be administered to women of childbearing potential only when such patients are highly unlikely to conceive and have been informed of the potential hazards. If the woman becomes pregnant while taking LIPTRUZET, it should be discontinued immediately and the patient advised again as to the potential hazards to the fetus and the lack of known clinical benefit with continued use during pregnancy.
In oral (gavage) embryo-fetal development studies of ezetimibe conducted in rats and rabbits during organogenesis, there was no evidence of embryolethal effects at the doses tested (250, 500, 1000 mg/kg/day). In rats, increased incidences of common fetal skeletal findings (extra pair of thoracic ribs, unossified cervical vertebral centra, shortened ribs) were observed at 1000 mg/kg/day (~10 times the human exposure at 10 mg daily based on AUC0-24hr for total ezetimibe). In rabbits treated with ezetimibe, an increased incidence of extra thoracic ribs was observed at 1000 mg/kg/day (150 times the human exposure at 10 mg daily based on AUC0-24hr for total ezetimibe). Ezetimibe crossed the placenta when pregnant rats and rabbits were given multiple oral doses.
Multiple-dose studies of ezetimibe given in combination with statins in rats and rabbits during organogenesis result in higher ezetimibe and statin exposures. Reproductive findings occur at lower doses in combination therapy compared to monotherapy.
Atorvastatin crosses the rat placenta and reaches a level in fetal liver equivalent to that of maternal plasma. Atorvastatin was not teratogenic in rats at doses up to 300 mg/kg/day or in rabbits at doses up to 100 mg/kg/day. These doses resulted in multiples of about 30 times (rat) or 20 times (rabbit) the human exposure based on surface area (mg/m²).
In a study in rats given 20, 100, or 225 mg/kg/day, from gestation Day 7 through to lactation Day 21 (weaning), there was decreased pup survival at birth, neonate, weaning, and maturity in pups of mothers dosed with 225 mg/kg/day. Body weight was decreased on Days 4 and 21 in pups of mothers dosed at 100 mg/kg/day; pup body weight was decreased at birth and at Days 4, 21, and 91 at 225 mg/kg/day. Pup development was delayed (rotorod performance at 100 mg/kg/day and acoustic startle at 225 mg/kg/day; pinnae detachment and eye opening at 225 mg/kg/day). These doses correspond to 6 times (100 mg/kg) and 22 times (225 mg/kg) the human AUC at 80 mg/day. Rare reports of congenital anomalies have been received following intrauterine exposure to statin reductase inhibitors.
In rat studies, exposure to total ezetimibe in nursing pups was up to half of that observed in maternal plasma. It is not known whether ezetimibe is excreted into human breast milk.
It is not known whether atorvastatin is excreted in human milk, but a small amount of another drug in this class does pass into breast milk. Nursing rat pups had plasma and liver atorvastatin levels of 50% and 40%, respectively, of that in their mother's milk. Because of the potential for adverse reactions in nursing infants, women taking LIPTRUZET should not breast-feed [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Safety and effectiveness have not been established in pediatric patients.
Based on total ezetimibe (ezetimibe + ezetimibe-glucuronide) there are no pharmacokinetic differences between adolescents and adults. Pharmacokinetic data in the pediatric population < 10 years of age are not available.
Pharmacokinetic data in the pediatric population are not available.
Of the patients who received ezetimibe coadministered with atorvastatin in clinical studies, 1166 were 65 and older (this included 291 who were 75 and older). The effectiveness and safety of LIPTRUZET were similar between these patients and younger subjects. Greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out. Since advanced age ( ≥ 65 years) is a predisposing factor for myopathy, LIPTRUZET should be prescribed with caution in the elderly. [See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]
In geriatric patients, no dosage adjustment of LIPTRUZET is necessary.
LIPTRUZET is contraindicated in patients with active liver disease or unexplained persistent elevations in hepatic transaminase levels [see CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
A history of renal impairment may be a risk factor for statin-associated myopathy. These patients merit closer monitoring for skeletal muscle effects [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
In patients with renal impairment, no dosage adjustment of LIPTRUZET is necessary.
Last reviewed on RxList: 5/17/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Liptruzet Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
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