May 26, 2017
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Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Increased Mortality, Myocardial Infarction, Stroke, and Thromboembolism

  • In controlled clinical trials of other ESAs in patients with CKD comparing higher hemoglobin targets (13 - 14 g/dL) to lower targets (9 - 11.3 g/dL) (see Table 2), increased risk of death, myocardial infarction, stroke, congestive heart failure, thrombosis of hemodialysis vascular access, and other thromboembolic events was observed in the higher target groups.
  • Using ESAs to target a hemoglobin level of greater than 11 g/dL increases the risk of serious adverse cardiovascular reactions and has not been shown to provide additional benefit. Use caution in patients with coexistent cardiovascular disease and stroke [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. Patients with CKD and an insufficient hemoglobin response to ESA therapy may be at even greater risk for cardiovascular reactions and mortality than other patients. A rate of hemoglobin rise of greater than 1 g/dL over 2 weeks may contribute to these risks.
  • In controlled clinical trials of ESAs in patients with cancer, increased risk for death and serious adverse cardiovascular reactions was observed. These adverse reactions included myocardial infarction and stroke.
  • In controlled clinical trials, ESAs increased the risk of death in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) and deep venous thrombosis (DVT) was observed in patients undergoing orthopedic procedures.

The design and overall results of 3 large trials comparing higher and lower hemoglobin targets are shown in Table 2 (Normal Hematocrit Study (NHS), Correction of Hemoglobin Outcomes in Renal Insufficiency (CHOIR) and Trial to Reduce Cardiovascular Events with Aranesp® Therapy (TREAT)).

Table 2 : Adverse Cardiovascular Outcomes in Randomized Controlled Trials Comparing Higher and Lower Hemoglobin Targets in Patients with CKD

(N = 1265)
(N = 1432)
(N = 4038)
Time Period of Trial 1993 to 1996 2003 to 2006 2004 to 2009
Population Patients with CKD on hemodialysis with coexisting CHF or CAD, hematocrit 30 ± 3% on epoetin alfa Patients with CKD not on dialysis with hemoglobin < 11 g/dL not previously administered epoetin alfa Patients with CKD not on dialysis with type II diabetes, hemoglobin ? 11 g/dL
Hemoglobin Target; Higher vs. Lower (g/dL) 14.0 vs. 10.0 13.5 vs. 11.3 13.0 vs. ? 9.0
Median (Q1, Q3) Achieved Hemoglobin level (g/dL) 12.6 (11.6, 13.3) vs. 10.3 (10.0, 10.7) 13.0 (12.2, 13.4) vs. 11.4 (11.1, 11.6) 12.5 (12.0, 12.8) vs. 10.6 (9.9, 11.3)
Primary Endpoint All-cause mortality or non-fatal MI All-cause mortality, MI, hospitalization for CHF, or stroke All-cause mortality, MI, myocardial ischemia, heart failure, and stroke
Hazard Ratio or Relative Risk (95% CI) 1.28 (1.06 – 1.56) 1.34 (1.03 – 1.74) 1.05 (0.94 – 1.17)
Adverse Outcome for Higher Target Group All-cause mortality All-cause mortality Stroke
Hazard Ratio or Relative Risk (95% CI) 1.27 (1.04 – 1.54) 1.48 (0.97 – 2.27) 1.92 (1.38 – 2.68)

Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease Not on Dialysis

OMONTYS is not indicated and is not recommended for the treatment of anemia in patients with CKD who are not on dialysis.

A higher percentage of patients (22%) who received OMONTYS experienced a composite cardiovascular safety endpoint event compared to 17% who received darbepoetin alfa in two randomized, active-controlled, open-label, multi-center trials of 983 patients with anemia due to CKD who were not on dialysis. The trials had a pre-specified, prospective analysis of a composite safety endpoint consisting of death, myocardial infarction, stroke, or serious adverse events of congestive heart failure, unstable angina or arrhythmia (hazard ratio 1.32, 95% CI: 0.97, 1.81).

Increased Mortality and/or Increased Risk of Tumor Progression or Recurrence in Patients with Cancer receiving ESAs

OMONTYS is not indicated and is not recommended for reduction of RBC transfusions in patients receiving treatment for cancer and whose anemia is not due to CKD because ESAs have shown harm in some settings and the benefit-risk factors for OMONTYS in this setting have not been evaluated.

The safety and efficacy of OMONTYS have not been established for use in patients with anemia due to cancer chemotherapy. Results from clinical trials of ESAs in patients with anemia due to cancer therapy showed decreased locoregional control, progression-free survival and/or decreased overall survival. The findings were observed in clinical trials of other ESAs administered to patients with: breast cancer receiving chemotherapy, advanced head and neck cancer receiving radiation therapy, lymphoid malignancy, cervical cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and with various malignancies who were not receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy.


OMONTYS is contraindicated in patients with uncontrolled hypertension.

Appropriately control hypertension prior to initiation of and during treatment with OMONTYS. Reduce or withhold OMONTYS if blood pressure becomes difficult to control. Advise patients of the importance of compliance with antihypertensive therapy and dietary restrictions [see PATIENT INFORMATION].

Serious Allergic Reactions

Serious allergic reactions, including anaphylactic reactions, hypotension, bronchospasm, angioedema and generalized pruritus, may occur in patients treated with OMONTYS. Immediately and permanently discontinue OMONTYS and administer appropriate therapy if a serious allergic reaction occurs.

Lack or Loss of Response to OMONTYS

For lack or loss of hemoglobin response to OMONTYS, initiate a search for causative factors (e.g., iron deficiency, infection, inflammation, bleeding). If typical causes of lack or loss of hemoglobin response are excluded, evaluate the patient for the presence of antibodies to peginesatide. In the absence of antibodies to peginesatide, follow dosing recommendations for management of patients with an insufficient hemoglobin response to OMONTYS therapy [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Contact Affymax, Inc. (1-855-466-6689) to perform assays for binding and neutralizing antibodies.

Dialysis Management

Patients may require adjustments in their dialysis prescriptions after initiation of OMONTYS. Patients receiving OMONTYS may require increased anticoagulation with heparin to prevent clotting of the extracorporeal circuit during hemodialysis.

Laboratory Monitoring

Evaluate transferrin saturation and serum ferritin prior to and during OMONTYS treatment. Administer supplemental iron therapy when serum ferritin is less than 100 mcg/L or when serum transferrin saturation is less than 20% [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. The majority of patients with CKD will require supplemental iron during the course of ESA therapy. Following initiation of therapy and after each dose adjustment, monitor hemoglobin every 2 weeks until the hemoglobin is stable and sufficient to minimize the need for RBC transfusion. Thereafter, hemoglobin should be monitored at least monthly provided hemoglobin levels remain stable.

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide).

Prior to treatment, inform patients of the risks and benefits of OMONTYS.

Inform patients:
  • To read the Medication Guide and to review and discuss any questions or concerns with their healthcare provider before starting OMONTYS and at regular intervals while receiving OMONTYS.
  • Of the increased risks of mortality, serious cardiovascular reactions, thromboembolic reactions, stroke, and tumor progression [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • To undergo regular blood pressure monitoring, adhere to prescribed anti-hypertensive regimen and follow recommended dietary restrictions.
  • To seek medical care immediately if they experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction with use of OMONTYS [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • To contact their healthcare provider for new-onset neurologic symptoms or change in seizure frequency.
  • Of the need to have regular laboratory tests for hemoglobin.

Administer OMONTYS under the direct supervision of a healthcare provider or, in situations where a patient has been trained to administer OMONTYS at home, provide instruction on the proper use of OMONTYS, including instructions to:

  • Carefully review the Medication Guide and the Instructions for Use
  • Avoid the reuse of needles, syringes, or unused portions of the OMONTYS single use vials or single use pre-filled syringes and properly dispose of these items
  • Always keep a puncture-proof disposal container available for the disposal of used syringes and needles.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Peginesatide was not carcinogenic in a 2-year study in rats at doses up to 0.25 mg/kg administered every 3 weeks by intravenous injection. This dose is approximately 14% the human exposure (AUC) at a dose of 0.35 mg/kg in patients on dialysis. Peginesatide was not carcinogenic in a 26-week study in rasH2 transgenic mice when administered by intravenous injection at doses of 0.1, 0.25, or 0.5 mg/kg/dose every 3 weeks.

Peginesatide was not mutagenic or clastogenic in the in vitro Ames assay, in vitro mammalian chromosome aberration assay, and an in vivo mouse erythrocyte micronucleus assay.

When peginesatide was administered intravenously to male and female rats at weekly intervals prior to and during mating, and treated rats mated, fertility was reduced at ≥ 0.1 mg/kg (approximately 5% of the dose of 0.35 mg/kg in patients) and was most evident at doses ≥ 1.0 mg/kg of peginesatide. Adverse effects in males included reduced weight of seminal vesicles and prostate. Decreased viable fetuses at ≥ 0.1 mg/kg in females appeared to be due to pre- and post-implantation losses. There was no apparent drug-related effect on estrous cycles or number of corpora lutea.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category C

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Peginesatide was teratogenic and caused embryofetal lethality when administered to pregnant animals at doses and/or exposures that resulted in polycythemia. OMONTYS should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Administration of peginesatide by intravenous injection to rats and rabbits during organogenesis was associated with embryofetal toxicity and malformations. Dosing was every third day in rats for a total of 5 doses and every fifth day in rabbits for a total of 3 doses (0.01 to 50 mg/kg/dose). In rats and rabbits, adverse embryofetal effects included reduced fetal weight, increased resorption, embryofetal lethality, cleft palate (rats only), sternum anomalies, unossification of sternebrae and metatarsals, and reduced ossification of some bones. Embryofetal toxicity was evident in rats at peginesatide doses of ≥ 1 mg/kg and the malformations (cleft palate and sternoschisis, and variations in blood vessels) were mostly evident at doses of ≥ 10 mg/kg. The dose of 1 mg/kg results in exposures (AUC) comparable to those in humans after intravenous administration at a dose of 0.35 mg/kg in patients on dialysis. In a separate embryofetal developmental study in rats, reduced fetal weight and reduced ossification were seen at a lower dose of 0.25 mg/kg. Reduced fetal weight and delayed ossification in rabbits were observed at ≥ 0.5 mg/kg/dose of peginesatide. In a separate embryofetal developmental study in rabbits, adverse findings were observed at lower doses and included increased incidence of fused sternebrae at 0.25 mg/kg. The effects in rabbits were observed at doses lower (5% - 50%) than the dose of 0.35 mg/kg in patients.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether peginesatide is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted into human milk, caution should be exercised when OMONTYS is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

The safety and efficacy of OMONTYS in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Of the total number of dialysis patients in Phase 3 clinical studies of OMONTYS, 32.5% were age 65 and over, while 13% were age 75 and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/19/2012


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