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RISKS OF HEPATOTOXICITY and TERATOGENICITY
Because of the risks of hepatotoxicity and birth defects, Tracleer is available only through a restricted program called the Tracleer Access Program (T.A.P.). T.A.P. is a component of the Tracleer Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). Under the Tracleer REMS, prescribers, patients, and pharmacies must enroll in the program. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
In clinical studies, Tracleer caused at least 3-fold upper limit of normal (ULN) elevation of liver aminotransferases (ALT and AST) in about 11% of patients, accompanied by elevated bilirubin in a small number of cases. Because these changes are a marker for potential serious hepatotoxicity, serum aminotransferase levels must be measured prior to initiation of treatment and then monthly [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. In the postmarketing period, in the setting of close monitoring, rare cases of unexplained hepatic cirrhosis were reported after prolonged ( > 12 months) therapy with Tracleer in patients with multiple comorbidities and drug therapies. There have also been reports of liver failure. The contribution of Tracleer in these cases could not be excluded.
In at least one case, the initial presentation (after > 20 months of treatment) included pronounced elevations in aminotransferases and bilirubin levels accompanied by non-specific symptoms, all of which resolved slowly over time after discontinuation of Tracleer. This case reinforces the importance of strict adherence to the monthly monitoring schedule for the duration of treatment and the treatment algorithm, which includes stopping Tracleer with a rise of aminotransferases accompanied by signs or symptoms of liver dysfunction [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Elevations in aminotransferases require close attention [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. Tracleer should generally be avoided in patients with elevated aminotransferases ( > 3 x ULN) at baseline because monitoring for hepatotoxicity may be more difficult. If liver aminotransferase elevations are accompanied by clinical symptoms of hepatotoxicity (such as nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, jaundice, or unusual lethargy or fatigue) or increases in bilirubin ≥ 2 x ULN, treatment with Tracleer should be stopped. There is no experience with the reintroduction of Tracleer in these circumstances.
Tracleer is likely to cause major birth defects if used by pregnant females based on animal data [see Use in Specific Populations]. Therefore, pregnancy must be excluded before the start of treatment with Tracleer. Throughout treatment and for one month after stopping Tracleer, females of childbearing potential must use two reliable methods of contraception unless the patient has a tubal sterilization or Copper T 380A IUD or LNg 20 IUS inserted, in which case no other contraception is needed. Hormonal contraceptives, including oral, injectable, transdermal, and implantable contraceptives should not be used as the sole means of contraception because these may not be effective in patients receiving Tracleer [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Obtain monthly pregnancy tests.
Tracleer is the proprietary name for bosentan, an endothelin receptor antagonist that belongs to a class of highly substituted pyrimidine derivatives, with no chiral centers. It is designated chemically as 4-tert-butyl-N-[6-(2-hydroxy-ethoxy)-5-(2-methoxy-phenoxy)[2,2´]-bipyrimidin-4-yl]- benzenesulfonamide monohydrate and has the following structural formula:
Bosentan has a molecular weight of 569.64 and a molecular formula of C27H29N5O6S•H2O. Bosentan is a white to yellowish powder. It is poorly soluble in water (1.0 mg/100 mL) and in aqueous solutions at low pH (0.1 mg/100 mL at pH 1.1 and 4.0; 0.2 mg/100 mL at pH 5.0). Solubility increases at higher pH values (43 mg/100 mL at pH 7.5). In the solid state, bosentan is very stable, is not hygroscopic and is not light sensitive.
Tracleer is available as 62.5 mg and 125 mg film-coated tablets for oral administration, and contains the following excipients: corn starch, pregelatinized starch, sodium starch glycolate, povidone, glyceryl behenate, magnesium stearate, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose, triacetin, talc, titanium dioxide, iron oxide yellow, iron oxide red, and ethylcellulose. Each Tracleer 62.5 mg tablet contains 64.541 mg of bosentan, equivalent to 62.5 mg of anhydrous bosentan. Each Tracleer 125 mg tablet contains 129.082 mg of bosentan, equivalent to 125 mg of anhydrous bosentan.
What are the possible side effects of bosentan (Tracleer)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
- dark urine, clay-colored stools; or
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may include:
- swelling of the feet, ankles, or legs;
- upset stomach;
What are the precautions when taking bosentan (Tracleer)?
Before taking bosentan, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, anemia.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages since they can increase the effects of dizziness and also increase the risk of serious liver problems.
This medication must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant or...
Last reviewed on RxList: 7/12/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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