July 24, 2016
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Included as part of the "PRECAUTIONS" Section


Anaphylactoid Reactions

Anaphylactoid reactions (mild influenza-like symptoms, bradycardia, tachycardia, bronchospasm, non-cardiac pulmonary edema) have been reported with solutions containing hydroxyethyl starch. If a hypersensitivity reaction occurs, administration of the drug should be discontinued immediately and the appropriate treatment and supportive measures should be undertaken until symptoms have resolved. [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]

Renal Dysfunction

Avoid use in patients with pre-existing renal dysfunction.

Discontinue use of Voluven® at the first sign of renal injury.

Continue to monitor renal function in hospitalized patients for at least 90 days as use of RRT has been reported up to 90 days after administration of HES products.


Monitor the coagulation status of patients undergoing open heart surgery in association with cardiopulmonary bypass as excess bleeding has been reported with HES solutions in this population. Discontinue use of Voluven® at the first sign of coagulopathy.

Fluid Equilibrium

Avoid fluid overload; adjust dosage in patients with cardiac or renal dysfunction.

Fluid status and rate of infusion should be assessed regularly during treatment, especially in patients with cardiac insufficiency or severe kidney dysfunction.

In cases of severe dehydration, a crystalloid solution should be given first. Generally, sufficient fluid should be administered in order to avoid dehydration.

Monitoring: Laboratory Tests

Clinical evaluation and periodic laboratory determinations are necessary to monitor fluid balance, serum electrolyte concentrations, kidney function, acid-base balance, and coagulation parameters during prolonged parenteral therapy or whenever the patient’s condition warrants such evaluation. Monitor liver function in patients receiving HES products, including Voluven®.

Interference With Laboratory Tests

Elevated serum amylase levels may be observed temporarily following administration of the product and can interfere with the diagnosis of pancreatitis.

At high dosages the dilutional effects may result in decreased levels of coagulation factors and other plasma proteins and a decrease in hematocrit.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Long-term studies in animals to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of Voluven® have not been performed. No mutagenic effects were observed with hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4 10% solution in the following tests on mutagenic activity: Salmonella typhimurium reverse mutation assay (in vitro), mammalian cells in the in vitro gene mutation assay, assessment of the clastogenic activity in cultured human peripheral lymphocytes (in vitro), bone marrow cytogenetic test in Sprague-Dawley rats.

Fertility studies on directly exposed animals have not been performed.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category C. Voluven® has been shown to cause embryocidal or other adverse effects in rats and rabbits when given in doses 1.7 times the human dose.

The type of hydroxyethyl starch present in Voluven® had no teratogenic properties in rats or rabbits. At 5 g/kg of body weight per day, administered as a bolus injection, fetal retardations and embryolethal effects were observed in rats and rabbits, respectively. In rats, a bolus injection of this dose during pregnancy and lactation reduced body weight of offspring and induced developmental delays. All adverse effects were seen exclusively at maternal toxic doses due to fluid overload. [see Animal Pharmacology and/or Toxicology, Toxicology]

Fertility studies on directly exposed animals have not been conducted.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Voluven® should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Labor And Delivery

Information on the use of Voluven® during labor or delivery is unknown. Use if clearly needed.

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 Voluven® is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

In one trial, newborns and infants < 2 years of age undergoing elective surgery were randomized to receive Voluven® (N=41) or 5% albumin (N=41). The mean dose of Voluven® administered was 16 ± 9 mL/kg.

In an additional trial, children from 2 – 12 years of age undergoing cardiac surgery were randomized to receive Voluven® (N=31) or 5% albumin (N=30). The mean dose administered was 36 ± 11 mL/kg.

Use of Voluven® in adolescents > 12 years is supported by evidence from adequate and wellcontrolled studies of Voluven® in adults.

Dosage in children should be adapted to individual patient colloid needs, taking into account underlying disease, hemodynamics and hydration status. [see Pediatric Dose]

Geriatric Use

Of the total number of subjects in clinical studies of Voluven® (N= 471), 32% were ≥ 65 years old while 7% were ≥ 75 years old. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, 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.

Renal Impairment

Voluven® is mainly excreted by the kidneys, and the risk of adverse reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Volume status, infusion rate, and urine output should be closely monitored. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection. [see Pharmacokinetics]

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

Last reviewed on RxList: 7/13/2016


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