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Pregnancy Category D
Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity and death. Resulting oligohydramnios can be associated with fetal lung hypoplasia and skeletal deformations. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure, and death. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue TWYNSTA as soon as possible [see Use in Specific Populations].
In patients with an activated renin-angiotensin system, such as volume- or salt-depleted patients (e.g., those being treated with high doses of diuretics), symptomatic hypotension may occur after initiation of therapy with TWYNSTA tablets. Either correct this condition prior to administration of TWYNSTA tablets, or start treatment under close medical supervision with a reduced dose.
If hypotension does occur, place the patient in the supine position and, if necessary, give an intravenous infusion of normal saline. A transient hypotensive response is not a contraindication to further treatment, which usually can be continued without difficulty once the blood pressure has stabilized.
Symptomatic hypotension is possible, particularly in patients with severe aortic stenosis. Because of the gradual onset of action, acute hypotension is unlikely.
Hyperkalemia may occur in patients on ARBs, particularly in patients with advanced renal impairment, heart failure, on renal replacement therapy, or on potassium supplements, potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium-containing salt substitutes or other drugs that increase potassium levels. Consider periodic determinations of serum electrolytes to detect possible electrolyte imbalances, particularly in patients at risk.
Patients with Impaired Hepatic Function
As the majority of telmisartan is eliminated by biliary excretion, patients with biliary obstructive disorders or hepatic insufficiency can be expected to have reduced clearance. Initiate telmisartan at low doses and titrate slowly in these patients [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Use In Specific Populations, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Amlodipine is extensively metabolized by the liver and the plasma elimination half-life (t1/2) is 56 hours in patients with impaired hepatic function. Since patients with hepatic impairment have decreased clearance of amlodipine, start amlodipine or add amlodipine at 2.5 mg in patients with hepatic impairment. The lowest dose of TWYNSTA is 40/5 mg; therefore, initial therapy with TWYNSTA tablets is not recommended in hepatically impaired patients [see Use in Specific Populations].
Renal Function Impairment
As a consequence of inhibiting the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, anticipate changes in renal function in susceptible individuals. In patients whose renal function may depend on the activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (e.g., patients with severe congestive heart failure or renal dysfunction), treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor antagonists has been associated with oliguria and/or progressive azotemia and (rarely) with acute renal failure and/or death. Similar results may be anticipated in patients treated with telmisartan [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
In studies of ACE inhibitors in patients with unilateral or bilateral renal artery stenosis, increases in serum creatinine or blood urea nitrogen were observed. There has been no long term use of telmisartan in patients with unilateral or bilateral renal artery stenosis, but anticipate an effect similar to that seen with ACE inhibitors.
Dual Blockade of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System
As a consequence of inhibiting the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, changes in renal function (including acute renal failure) have been reported. Dual blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (e.g., by adding an ACE-inhibitor to an angiotensin II receptor antagonist) should include close monitoring of renal function.
The ONTARGET trial enrolled 25,620 patients ≥ 55 years old with atherosclerotic disease or diabetes with end-organ damage, randomized them to telmisartan only, ramipril only, or the combination, and followed them for a median of 56 months. Patients receiving the combination of telmisartan and ramipril did not obtain any additional benefit compared to monotherapy, but experienced an increased incidence of renal dysfunction (e.g., acute renal failure) compared with groups receiving telmisartan alone or ramipril alone. Concomitant use of telmisartan and ramipril is not recommended.
Risk of Myocardial Infarction or Increased Angina
Worsening angina and acute myocardial infarction can develop after starting or increasing the dose of TWYNSTA, particularly in patients with severe obstructive coronary artery disease.
Closely monitor patients with heart failure.
Amlodipine (5 to 10 mg per day) has been studied in a placebo-controlled trial of 1153 patients with NYHA Class III or IV heart failure on stable doses of ACE inhibitor, digoxin, and diuretics. Follow-up was at least 6 months, with a mean of about 14 months. There was no overall adverse effect on survival or cardiac morbidity (as defined by life-threatening arrhythmia, acute myocardial infarction, or hospitalization for worsened heart failure). Amlodipine has been compared to placebo in four 8 to 12 week studies of patients with NYHA class II/III heart failure, involving a total of 697 patients. In these studies, there was no evidence of worsening of heart failure based on measures of exercise tolerance, NYHA classification, symptoms, or LVEF. In the PRAISE-2 study, 1654 patients with NYHA class III (80%) or IV (20%) heart failure without evidence of underlying ischemic disease, on stable doses of ACE inhibitor (99%), digitalis (99%), and diuretics (99%) were randomized 1:1 to receive placebo or amlodipine and followed for a mean of 33 months. While there was no statistically significant difference between amlodipine and placebo in the primary endpoint of all cause mortality (95% confidence limits from 8% reduction to 29% increase on amlodipine), there were more reports of pulmonary edema in the patients on amlodipine.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-Approved Patient Labeling.
Female patients of childbearing age should be told about the consequences of exposure to TWYNSTA during pregnancy. Discuss treatment options with women planning to become pregnant. Patients should be asked to report pregnancies to their physicians as soon as possible [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
There was no evidence of carcinogenicity when telmisartan was administered in the diet to mice and rats for up to 2 years. The highest doses administered to mice (1000 mg/kg/day) and rats (100 mg/kg/day) are, on a mg/m2 basis, about 59 and 13 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of telmisartan. These same doses have been shown to provide average systemic exposures to telmisartan > 100 times and > 25 times, respectively, the systemic exposure in humans receiving the MRHD (80 mg/day).
Genotoxicity assays did not reveal any telmisartan-related effects at either the gene or chromosome level. These assays included bacterial mutagenicity tests with Salmonella and E. coli (Ames), a gene mutation test with Chinese hamster V79 cells, a cytogenetic test with human lymphocytes, and a mouse micronucleus test.
No drug-related effects on the reproductive performance of male and female rats were noted at 100 mg/kg/day (the highest dose administered), about 13 times, on a mg/m2 basis, the MRHD of telmisartan. This dose in the rat resulted in an average systemic exposure (telmisartan AUC as determined on day 6 of pregnancy) at least 50 times the average systemic exposure in humans at the MRHD (80 mg/day).
Rats and mice treated with amlodipine maleate in the diet for up to two years, at concentrations calculated to provide daily dosage levels of 0.5, 1.25, and 2.5 mg amlodipine/kg/day, showed no evidence of a carcinogenic effect of the drug. For the mouse, the highest dose was, on mg/m2 basis, similar to the maximum recommended human dose [MRHD] of 10 mg amlodipine/day. For the rat, the highest dose was, on a mg/m2 basis, about two and a half times the MRHD. (Calculations based on a 60 kg patient.)
Mutagenicity studies conducted with amlodipine maleate revealed no drug-related effects at either the gene or chromosome level.
There was no effect on the fertility of rats treated orally with amlodipine maleate (males for 64 days and females for 14 days prior to mating) at doses of up to 10 mg amlodipine/kg/day (about 10 times the MRHD of 10 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis).
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category D
[See WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity and death. Resulting oligohydramnios can be associated with fetal lung hypoplasia and skeletal deformations. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure, and death. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue TWYNSTA as soon as possible. These adverse outcomes are usually associated with use of these drugs in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Most epidemiologic studies examining fetal abnormalities after exposure to antihypertensive use in the first trimester have not distinguished drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system from other antihypertensive agents. Appropriate management of maternal hypertension during pregnancy is important to optimize outcomes for both mother and fetus.
In the unusual case that there is no appropriate alternative to therapy with drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system for a particular patient, apprise the mother of the potential risk to the fetus. Perform serial ultrasound examinations to assess the intra-amniotic environment. If oligohydramnios is observed, discontinue TWYNSTA, unless it is considered lifesaving for the mother. Fetal testing may be appropriate, based on the week of pregnancy. Patients and physicians should be aware, however, that oligohydramnios may not appear until after the fetus has sustained irreversible injury. Closely observe infants with histories of in utero exposure to TWYNSTA for hypotension, oliguria, and hyperkalemia [see Use In Specific Populations].
It is not known whether telmisartan is excreted in human milk, but telmisartan was shown to be present in the milk of lactating rats. Because of the potential for adverse effects on the nursing infant, decide whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
It is not known whether amlodipine is excreted in human milk. In the absence of this information, it is recommended to discontinue nursing while amlodipine is administered.
Neonates with a history of in utero exposure to TWYNSTA: If oliguria or hypotension occurs, direct attention toward support of blood pressure and renal perfusion. Exchange transfusions or dialysis may be required as a means of reversing hypotension and/or substituting for disordered renal function.
Safety and effectiveness of TWYNSTA in pediatric patients have not been established.
Of the total number of 3282 hypertensive patients receiving a telmisartan/amlodipine combination in clinical studies, 605 (18%) patients were 65 years of age or older and of these, 88 (3%) patients were 75 years and older. No overall differences in efficacy or safety of TWYNSTA tablets were observed in this patient population.
Of the total number of patients receiving telmisartan in clinical studies, 551 (18.6%) were 65 to 74 years of age and 130 (4.4%) were 75 years and older. No overall differences in effectiveness and safety were observed in these patients compared to younger patients and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Clinical studies of amlodipine besylate tablets 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, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy. Elderly patients have decreased clearance of amlodipine with a resulting increase of AUC of approximately 40% to 60%, and a lower initial dose may be required. Since patients age 75 and older have decreased clearance of amlodipine, start amlodipine or add amlodipine 2.5 mg to telmisartan. The lowest dose of TWYNSTA is 40/5 mg; therefore, initial therapy with TWYNSTA tablets is not recommended in patients 75 years of age and older [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Monitor carefully and uptitrate slowly in patients with biliary obstructive disorders or hepatic insufficiency [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Since patients with hepatic impairment have decreased clearance of amlodipine, start amlodipine or add amlodipine 2.5 mg to telmisartan. The lowest dose of TWYNSTA is 40/5 mg; therefore, initial therapy with TWYNSTA tablets is not recommended in hepatically impaired patients [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
The magnitude of blood pressure lowering in black patients approached that observed in non-black patients but the number of black patients was limited (237 of 1461 patients).
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/30/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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