May 24, 2017
Recommended Topic Related To:


"The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received multiple adverse event reports associated with the use of the Vascu-Guard Peripheral Vascular Patch (Baxter International Inc) during carotid endarterectomy (CEA).






Bleeding Events

Abciximab has the potential to increase the risk of bleeding events, rarely including those with a fatal outcome, particularly in the presence of anticoagulation, e.g., from heparin, other anticoagulants, or thrombolytics (see ADVERSE REACTIONS: Bleeding).

The risk of major bleeds due to Abciximab therapy is increased in patients receiving thrombolytics and should be weighed against the anticipated benefits.

Should serious bleeding occur that is not controllable with pressure, the infusion of Abciximab and any concomitant heparin should be stopped.

Allergic Reactions (including anaphylaxis)

Allergic reactions, some of which were anaphylaxis (sometimes fatal), have been reported rarely in patients treated with ReoPro. Patients with allergic reactions should receive appropriate treatment. Treatment of anaphylaxis should include immediate discontinuation of ReoPro administration and initiation of resuscitative measures.


Bleeding Precautions

To minimize the risk of bleeding with Abciximab, it is important to use a low-dose, weight-adjusted heparin regimen, a weight-adjusted Abciximab bolus and infusion, strict anticoagulation guidelines, careful vascular access site management, discontinuation of heparin after the procedure and early femoral arterial sheath removal.

Therapy with Abciximab requires careful attention to all potential bleeding sites including catheter insertion sites, arterial and venous puncture sites, cutdown sites, needle puncture sites, and gastrointestinal, genitourinary, pulmonary (alveolar), and retroperitoneal sites.

Arterial and venous punctures, intramuscular injections, and use of urinary catheters, nasotracheal intubation, nasogastric tubes and automatic blood pressure cuffs should be minimized. When obtaining intravenous access, non-compressible sites (e.g., subclavian or jugular veins) should be avoided. Saline or heparin locks should be considered for blood drawing. Vascular puncture sites should be documented and monitored. Gentle care should be provided when removing dressings.

Femoral artery access site

Arterial access site care is important to prevent bleeding. Care should be taken when attempting vascular access that only the anterior wall of the femoral artery is punctured, avoiding a Seldinger (through and through) technique for obtaining sheath access. Femoral vein sheath placement should be avoided unless needed. While the vascular sheath is in place, patients should be maintained on complete bed rest with the head of the bed ≤ 30° and the affected limb restrained in a straight position. Patients may be medicated for back/groin pain as necessary.

Discontinuation of heparin immediately upon completion of the procedure and removal of the arterial sheath within six hours is strongly recommended if APTT ≤ 50 sec or ACT ≤ 175 sec (see PRECAUTIONS: Laboratory Tests). In all circumstances, heparin should be discontinued at least two hours prior to arterial sheath removal.

Following sheath removal, pressure should be applied to the femoral artery for at least 30 minutes using either manual compression or a mechanical device for hemostasis. A pressure dressing should be applied following hemostasis. The patient should be maintained on bed rest for six to eight hours following sheath removal or discontinuation of Abciximab, or four hours following discontinuation of heparin, whichever is later. The pressure dressing should be removed prior to ambulation. The sheath insertion site and distal pulses of affected leg(s) should be frequently checked while the femoral artery sheath is in place and for six hours after femoral artery sheath removal. Any hematoma should be measured and monitored for enlargement.

The following conditions have been associated with an increased risk of bleeding and may be additive with the effect of Abciximab in the angioplasty setting: PCI within 12 hours of the onset of symptoms for acute myocardial infarction, prolonged PCI (lasting more than 70 minutes) and failed PCI.

Use Of Thrombolytics, Anticoagulants And Other Antiplatelet Agents

In the EPIC, EPILOG, CAPTURE, and EPISTENT trials, Abciximab was used concomitantly with heparin and aspirin. For details of the anticoagulation algorithms used in these clinical trials, see Clinical Studies: Anticoagulation. Because Abciximab inhibits platelet aggregation, caution should be employed when it is used with other drugs that affect hemostasis, including thrombolytics, oral anticoagulants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, dipyridamole, and ticlopidine.

In the EPIC trial, there was limited experience with the administration of Abciximab with low molecular weight dextran. Low molecular weight dextran was usually given for the deployment of a coronary stent, for which oral anticoagulants were also given. In the 11 patients who received low molecular weight dextran with Abciximab, five had major bleeding events and four had minor bleeding events. None of the five placebo patients treated with low molecular weight dextran had a major or minor bleeding event (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

Because of observed synergistic effects on bleeding, Abciximab therapy should be used judiciously in patients who have received systemic thrombolytic therapy. The GUSTO V trial randomized patients with acute myocardial infarction to treatment with combined Abciximab and half-dose Reteplase, or full-dose Reteplase alone (15). In this trial, the incidence of moderate or severe nonintracranial bleeding was increased in those patients receiving Abciximab and half-dose Reteplase versus those receiving Reteplase alone (4.6% versus 2.3%, respectively).


Thrombocytopenia, including severe thrombocytopenia, has been observed with Abciximab administration (see ADVERSE REACTIONS: Thrombocytopenia). Platelet counts should be monitored prior to, during, and after treatment with Abciximab. Acute decreases in platelet count should be differentiated between true thrombocytopenia and pseudothrombocytopenia (see PRECAUTIONS: Laboratory Tests). If true thrombocytopenia is verified, Abciximab should be immediately discontinued and the condition appropriately monitored and treated.

In clinical trials, patients who developed thrombocytopenia were followed with daily platelet counts until their platelet count returned to normal. Heparin and aspirin were discontinued for platelet counts below 60,000 cells/μL and platelets were transfused for a platelet count below 50,000 cells/μL. Most cases of severe thrombocytopenia ( < 50,000 cells/μL) occurred within the first 24 hours of Abciximab administration.

In a registry study of Abciximab readministration, a history of thrombocytopenia associated with prior use of Abciximab was predictive of an increased risk of recurrent thrombocytopenia (see ADVERSE REACTIONS: Thrombocytopenia). Readministration within 30 days was associated with an increased incidence and severity of thrombocytopenia, as was a positive human anti-chimeric antibody (HACA) test at baseline, compared to the rates seen in studies with first administration.

Restoration Of Platelet Function

In the event of serious uncontrolled bleeding or the need for emergency surgery, Abciximab should be discontinued. If platelet function does not return to normal, it may be restored, at least in part, with platelet transfusions.

Laboratory Tests

Before infusion of Abciximab, prothrombin time, ACT, APTT, and platelet count should be measured to identify pre-existing hemostatic abnormalities.

Based on an integrated analysis of data from all studies, the following guidelines may be utilized to minimize the risk for bleeding:

When Abciximab is initiated 18 to 24 hours before PCI, the APTT should be maintained between 60 and 85 seconds during the Abciximab and heparin infusion period.

During PCI the ACT should be maintained between 200 and 300 seconds.

If anticoagulation is continued in these patients following PCI, the APTT should be maintained between 55 and 75 seconds.

The APTT or ACT should be checked prior to arterial sheath removal. The sheath should not be removed unless APTT ≤ 50 seconds or ACT ≤ 175 seconds.

Platelet counts should be monitored prior to treatment, two to four hours following the bolus dose of Abciximab and at 24 hours or prior to discharge, whichever is first. If a patient experiences an acute platelet decrease (e.g., a platelet decrease to less than 100,000 cells/μL and a decrease of at least 25% from pre-treatment value), additional platelet counts should be determined. Platelet monitoring should continue until platelet counts return to normal.

To exclude pseudothrombocytopenia, a laboratory artifact due to in vitro anticoagulant interaction, blood samples should be drawn in three separate tubes containing ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), citrate and heparin, respectively. A low platelet count in EDTA but not in heparin and/or citrate is supportive of a diagnosis of pseudothrombocytopenia.


Administration of Abciximab may result in the formation of HACA that could potentially cause allergic or hypersensitivity reactions (including anaphylaxis), thrombocytopenia or diminished benefit upon readministration of Abciximab (see WARNINGS: Allergic Reactions; see ADVERSE REACTIONS: Immunogenicity).

Readministration of Abciximab to patients undergoing PCI was assessed in a registry that included 1342 treatments in 1286 patients. Most patients were receiving their second Abciximab exposure; 15% were receiving the third or subsequent exposure. The overall rate of HACA positivity prior to the readministration was 6% and increased to 27% postreadministration. There were no reports of serious allergic reactions or anaphylaxis (see WARNINGS: Allergic Reactions). Thrombocytopenia was observed at higher rates in the readministration study than in the phase 3 studies of first-time administration (see PRECAUTIONS: Thrombocytopenia and ADVERSE REACTIONS: Thrombocytopenia), suggesting that readministration may be associated with an increased incidence and severity of thrombocytopenia.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis And Impairment Of Fertility

In vitro and in vivo mutagenicity studies have not demonstrated any mutagenic effect. Long-term studies in animals have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential or effects on fertility in male or female animals.

Pregnancy Category C

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Abciximab. It is also not known whether Abciximab can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Abciximab should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk or absorbed systemically after ingestion. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Abciximab is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been studied.

Geriatric Use

Of the total number of 7860 patients in the four Phase 3 trials, 2933 (37%) were 65 and over, while 653 (8%) were 75 and over. No overall differences in safety or efficacy were observed between patients of age 65 to less than 75 as compared to younger patients. The clinical experience is not adequate to determine whether patients of age 75 or greater respond differently than younger patients.


15. Data on file.

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

Last reviewed on RxList: 4/3/2017


Additional ReoPro Information

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.

Heart Health

Get the latest treatment options.

Atrial Fibrillation Quiz