"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Opsumit (macitentan), a new drug to treat adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a chronic, progressive and debilitating disease that can lead to death or the need for lung transpla"...
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Mortality with Pediatric Use
In a long-term trial in pediatric patients with PAH, an increase in mortality with increasing REVATIO dose was observed. Deaths were first observed after about 1 year and causes of death were typical of patients with PAH. Use of REVATIO, particularly chronic use, is not recommended in children, [see Use in Specific Populations].
REVATIO has vasodilatory properties, resulting in mild and transient decreases in blood pressure. Before prescribing REVATIO, carefully consider whether patients with certain underlying conditions could be adversely affected by such vasodilatory effects (e.g., patients on antihypertensive therapy or with resting hypotension [BP less than 90/50], fluid depletion, severe left ventricular outflow obstruction, or autonomic dysfunction). Monitor blood pressure when co-administering blood pressure lowering drugs with REVATIO.
Worsening Pulmonary Vascular Occlusive Disease
Pulmonary vasodilators may significantly worsen the cardiovascular status of patients with pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD). Since there are no clinical data on administration of REVATIO to patients with veno-occlusive disease, administration of REVATIO to such patients is not recommended. Should signs of pulmonary edema occur when REVATIO is administered, consider the possibility of associated PVOD.
The incidence of epistaxis was 13% in patients taking REVATIO with PAH secondary to CTD. This effect was not seen in idiopathic PAH (REVATIO 3%, placebo 2%) patients. The incidence of epistaxis was also higher in REVATIO-treated patients with a concomitant oral vitamin K antagonist (9% versus 2% in those not treated with concomitant vitamin K antagonist).
The safety of REVATIO is unknown in patients with bleeding disorders or active peptic ulceration.
When used to treat erectile dysfunction, non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), a cause of decreased vision including permanent loss of vision, has been reported postmarketing in temporal association with the use of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors, including sildenafil. Most, but not all, of these patients had underlying anatomic or vascular risk factors for developing NAION, including but not necessarily limited to: low cup to disc ratio ("crowded disc"), age over 50, diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, hyperlipidemia and smoking. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to the use of PDE-5 inhibitors, to the patient's underlying vascular risk factors or anatomical defects, to a combination of these factors, or to other factors.
Advise patients to seek immediate medical attention in the event of a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes while taking PDE-5 inhibitors, including REVATIO. Physicians should also discuss the increased risk of NAION with patients who have already experienced NAION in one eye, including whether such individuals could be adversely affected by use of vasodilators, such as PDE-5 inhibitors.
There are no controlled clinical data on the safety or efficacy of REVATIO in patients with retinitis pigmentosa, a minority whom have genetic disorders of retinal phosphodiesterases. Prescribe REVATIO with caution in these patients.
Cases of sudden decrease or loss of hearing, which may be accompanied by tinnitus and dizziness, have been reported in temporal association with the use of PDE-5 inhibitors, including REVATIO. In some of the cases, medical conditions and other factors were reported that may have played a role. In many cases, medical follow-up information was limited. It is not possible to determine whether these reported events are related directly to the use of REVATIO, to the patient's underlying risk factors for hearing loss, a combination of these factors, or to other factors.
Advise patients to seek prompt medical attention in the event of sudden decrease or loss of hearing while taking PDE-5 inhibitors, including REVATIO.
Combination with other PDE-5 inhibitors
Sildenafil is also marketed as VIAGRA®. The safety and efficacy of combinations of REVATIO with VIAGRA or other PDE-5 inhibitors have not been studied. Inform patients taking REVATIO not to take VIAGRA or other PDE-5 inhibitors.
Use REVATIO with caution in patients with anatomical deformation of the penis (e.g., angulation, cavernosal fibrosis, or Peyronie's disease) or in patients who have conditions, which may predispose them to priapism (e.g., sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or leukemia). In the event of an erection that persists longer than 4 hours, the patient should seek immediate medical assistance. If priapism (painful erection greater than 6 hours in duration) is not treated immediately, penile tissue damage and permanent loss of potency could result.
Vaso-occlusive Crisis in Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension Secondary to Sickle Cell Anemia
In a small, prematurely terminated study of patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) secondary to sickle cell disease, vaso-occlusive crises requiring hospitalization were more commonly reported by patients who received REVATIO than by those randomized to placebo. The effectiveness and safety of REVATIO in the treatment of PAH secondary to sickle cell anemia has not been established.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION).
- Inform patients of contraindication of REVATIO with regular and/or intermittent use of organic nitrates.
- Inform patients that sildenafil is also marketed as VIAGRA for erectile dysfunction. Advise patients taking REVATIO not to take VIAGRA or other PDE-5 inhibitors.
- Advise patients to seek immediate medical attention for a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes while taking REVATIO. Such an event may be a sign of NAION.
- Advise patients to seek prompt medical attention in the event of sudden decrease or loss of hearing while taking REVATIO. These events may be accompanied by tinnitus and dizziness.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Sildenafil was not carcinogenic when administered to rats for up to 24 months at 60 mg/kg/day, a dose resulting in total systemic exposure (AUC) to unbound sildenafil and its major metabolite 33 and 37 times, for male and female rats respectively, the human exposure at the RHD of 20 mg TID. Sildenafil was not carcinogenic when administered to male and female mice for up to 21 and 18 months, respectively, at doses up to a maximally tolerated level of 10 mg/kg/day, a dose equivalent to the RHD on a mg/m2 basis.
Sildenafil was negative in in vitro bacterial and Chinese hamster ovary cell assays to detect mutagenicity, and in vitro human lymphocytes and in vivo mouse micronucleus assays to detect clastogenicity.
There was no impairment of fertility in male or female rats given up to 60 mg sildenafil/kg/day, a dose producing a total systemic exposure (AUC) to unbound sildenafil and its major metabolite of 19 and 38 times for males and females, respectively, the human exposure at the RHD of 20 mg TID.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category B
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of sildenafil in pregnant women. No evidence of teratogenicity, embryotoxicity, or fetotoxicity was observed in pregnant rats or rabbits dosed with sildenafil 200 mg/kg/day during organogenesis, a level that is, on a mg/m2 basis, 32- and 68-times, respectively, the recommended human dose (RHD) of 20 mg TID. In a rat pre- and postnatal development study, the no-observed-adverse-effect dose was 30 mg/kg/day (equivalent to 5-times the RHD on a mg/m2 basis). Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, REVATIO should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Labor and Delivery
The safety and efficacy of REVATIO during labor and delivery has not been studied.
It is not known if sildenafil or its metabolites are excreted in human breast milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when REVATIO is administered to a nursing woman.
In a randomized, double-blind, multi-center, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, dose-ranging study, 234 patients with PAH, aged 1 to 17 years, body weight greater than or equal to 8 kg, were randomized, on the basis of body weight, to three dose levels of REVATIO, or placebo, for 16 weeks of treatment. Most patients had mild to moderate symptoms at baseline: WHO Functional Class I (32%), II (51%), III (15%), or IV (0.4%). One-third of patients had primary PAH; two-thirds had secondary PAH (systemic-to-pulmonary shunt in 36%; surgical repair in 30%). Sixty-two percent of patients were female. Drug or placebo was administered TID.
The primary objective of the study was to assess the effect of REVATIO on exercise capacity as measured by cardiopulmonary exercise testing in pediatric patients developmentally able to perform the test (n =115). Administration of REVATIO did not result in a statistically significant improvement in exercise capacity in those patients. No patients died during the 16-week controlled study.
After completing the 16-week controlled study, a patient originally randomized to REVATIO remained on his/her dose of REVATIO or, if originally randomized to placebo, was randomized to low-, medium-, or high-dose REVATIO. After all patients completed 16 weeks of follow-up in the controlled study, the blind was broken and doses were adjusted as clinically indicated. Patients were followed for a median of 4 years (range 0.3 years to 7.0 years). Mortality during the long-term study, by originally assigned dose, is shown in Figure 6:
Figure 6: Kaplan-Meier Plot of Mortality by REVATIO Dose
An increase in mortality was observed with increasing REVATIO doses. The hazard ratio for high dose compared to low dose was 3.5, p=0.015. Causes of death were typical of patients with PAH. Use of REVATIO, particularly chronic use, is not recommended in children.
Clinical studies of REVATIO did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Patients with Hepatic Impairment
No dose adjustment for mild to moderate impairment is required. Severe impairment has not been studied [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Patients with Renal Impairment
No dose adjustment is required (including severe impairment CLcr < 30 mL/min) [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Last reviewed on RxList: 9/17/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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