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Serious Cardiopulmonary Reactions

Serious cardiopulmonary reactions including fatalities have occurred uncommonly during or shortly following perflutren-containing microsphere administration, typically within 30 minutes of administration. The risk for these reactions may be increased among patients with unstable cardiopulmonary conditions (acute myocardial infarction, acute coronary artery syndromes, worsening or unstable congestive heart failure, or serious ventricular arrhythmias).

The reported reactions to perflutren-containing microspheres include: fatal cardiac or respiratory arrest, shock, syncope, symptomatic arrhythmias (atrial fibrillation, tachycardia, bradycardia, supraventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia), hypertension, hypotension, dyspnea, hypoxia, chest pain, respiratory distress, stridor, wheezing, loss of consciousness and convulsions (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Always have cardiopulmonary resuscitation personnel and equipment readily available prior to OPTISON administration and monitor all patients for acute reactions.

Anaphylactoid Reactions

In postmarketing use, uncommon but serious anaphylactoid reactions were observed during or shortly following perflutren-containing microsphere administration including:

Shock, hypersensitivity, bronchospasm, throat tightness, angioedema, edema (pharyngeal, palatal, mouth, peripheral, localized), swelling (face, eye, lip, tongue upper airway), facial hypoesthesia, rash, urticaria, pruritus, flushing, and erythema have occurred in patients with no prior exposure to perflutren-containing microsphere products (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Systemic Embolization of OPTISON in Patients with Cardiac Shunts

In patients with right-to-left, bi-directional, or transient right-to-left cardiac shunts perflutren-containing microspheres can bypass the pulmonary particle-filtering mechanisms and directly enter the arterial circulation resulting in microvascular occlusion and ischemia. Do not administer OPTISON by intra-arterial injection (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

High Ultrasound Mechanical Index

High ultrasound mechanical index values may cause microsphere cavitation or rupture and lead to ventricular arrhythmias. Additionally, end-systolic triggering with high mechanical indices has been reported to cause ventricular arrhythmias. The safety of OPTISON at mechanical indices greater than 0.8 has not been evaluated. The safety of OPTISON with the use of end-systolic triggering has not been evaluated.



This product contains albumin, a derivative of human blood. Based on effective donor screening and product manufacturing processes, it carries an extremely remote risk for transmission of viral disease. A theoretical risk for transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) also is considered extremely remote. No cases of transmission of viral disease or CJD have ever been identified for albumin.

Laboratory Tests

Immunologic tests of serum immunoglobulins, cytokines, and complement were monitored in a 3 week study of 20 healthy volunteers and 30 patients who received OPTISON or a 1% albumin control. Clinically relevant changes in the measured parameters were not noted. In another study 5 subjects received a skin test with OPTISON one year after receiving OPTISON. One subject had a positive skin test and was not given a repeat dose of OPTISON.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, and Impairment of Fertility

Animal studies were not carried out to determine the carcinogenic potential of OPTISON.

The result of the following genotoxicity studies with OPTISON were negative: 1) Salmonella/Escherichia coli reverse mutation assay, 2) in vitro mammalian chromosome aberration assay using Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO) with and without metabolic activation, 3) CHO/HGPRT forward mutation assay, and 4) in vivo mammalian micronucleus assay.

Pregnancy Category C

OPTISON administered intravenously to rats during organogenesis at doses of 0.25, 5.0 and 10.0 mL/kg/day was fetotoxic at 0.25 and 5.0 mL/kg (approximately 0.2 and 5 times the recommended maximum human dose, respectively, based on body surface area). Fetotoxicity was characterized by an increased incidence of reversible delayed pelvic ossification, the incidence of which was not related to dose. Signs of maternal toxicity at 5 mL/kg included respiratory and motor signs. Maternal death occurred at 10 mL/kg. A no observable adverse effect level (NOAEL) for fetotoxicity was not determined. Teratogenic effects were not observed at doses up to 10 mL/kg/day. The NOAEL for maternal toxicity was 0.25 mL/kg.

OPTISON administered intravenously to rabbits during organogenesis at doses of 0.25, 2.5 and 5.0 mL/kg/day was embryofetal toxic at 2.5 and 5.0 mL/kg (approximately 5 and 10 times the recommended maximum human dose, respectively, based on body surface area). Embryofetal toxicity was characterized by a decrease in fetal body weight and an increase in embryofetal death. Teratogenic effects (cleft palates and dilation of the lateral ventricles of the brain associated with skull abnormalities and compression deformities) were observed at 2.5 mL/kg but not 5 mL/kg. Neither the incidence nor the severity of embryofetal toxicity and teratogenicity exhibited a dose-dependent relationship. Maternal toxicity (significant suppression of body weight gain, abnormal stool) was observed at 2.5 and 5.0 mL/kg with the greatest effect observed at 2.5 mL/kg. The NOAEL for embryofetal and maternal toxicity was 0.25 mL/kg (approximately 0.5 times the recommended maximum human dose).

Adequate or well-controlled studies were not conducted in pregnant women. OPTISON should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk caution should be exercised when OPTISON is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

Safety and efficacy have not been established in pediatric patients, or in patients with congenital heart disease (see WARNINGS).

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

Last reviewed on RxList: 11/21/2016


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