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Welchol

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Welchol

WARNINGS

Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.

PRECAUTIONS

General

The effect of WELCHOL on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been determined.

Serum Triglycerides

WELCHOL, like other bile acid sequestrants, can increase serum TG concentrations.

WELCHOL had small effects on serum TG (median increase 5% compared to placebo) in trials of patients with primary hyperlipidemia [See ADVERSE REACTIONS and Clinical Studies].

In clinical trials in patients with type 2 diabetes, greater increases in TG levels occurred when WELCHOL was used as monotherapy (median increase 9.7% compared to placebo) and when WELCHOL was used in combination with pioglitazone (median increase 11% compared to placebo in combination with pioglitazone), sulfonylureas (median increase 18% compared to placebo in combination with sulfonylureas), and insulin (median increase 22% compared to placebo in combination with insulin) [See ADVERSE REACTIONS and Clinical Studies]. Hypertriglyceridemia of sufficient severity can cause acute pancreatitis. The long-term effect of hypertriglyceridemia on the risk of coronary artery disease is uncertain. In patients with type 2 diabetes, the effect of WELCHOL on LDL-C levels may be attenuated by WELCHOL's effects on TG levels and a smaller reduction in non-HDL-C compared to the reduction in LDL-C. Caution should be exercised when treating patients with TG levels greater than 300 mg/dL. Because most patients in the WELCHOL clinical trials had baseline TG < 300 mg/dL, it is unknown whether patients with more uncontrolled baseline hypertriglyceridemia would have greater increases in serum TG levels with WELCHOL. In addition, the use of WELCHOL is contraindicated in patients with TG levels > 500 mg/dL [See CONTRAINDICATIONS]. Lipid parameters, including TG levels and non-HDL-C, should be obtained before starting WELCHOL and periodically thereafter. WELCHOL should be discontinued if TG levels exceed 500 mg/dL or if the patient develops hypertriglyceridemia-induced pancreatitis [See ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Vitamin K Or Fat-Soluble Vitamin Deficiencies Precautions

Bile acid sequestrants may decrease the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. No specific clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects of WELCHOL on the absorption of co-administered dietary or supplemental vitamin therapy. In non-clinical safety studies, rats administered colesevelam hydrochloride at doses greater than 30-fold the projected human clinical dose experienced hemorrhage from vitamin K deficiency. Patients on oral vitamin supplementation should take their vitamins at least 4 hours prior to WELCHOL. Caution should be exercised when treating patients with a susceptibility to deficiencies of vitamin K (e.g., patients on warfarin, patients with malabsorption syndromes) or other fat-soluble vitamins.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Because of its constipating effects, WELCHOL is not recommended in patients with gastroparesis, other gastrointestinal motility disorders, and in those who have had major gastrointestinal tract surgery and who may be at risk for bowel obstruction. Because of the tablet size, WELCHOL Tablets can cause dysphagia or esophageal obstruction and should be used with caution in patients with dysphagia or swallowing disorders. To avoid esophageal distress, WELCHOL for Oral Suspension should not be taken in its dry form. Always mix WELCHOL for Oral Suspension with water, fruit juice, or diet soft drinks before ingesting.

Drug Interactions

WELCHOL reduces gastrointestinal absorption of some drugs. Drugs with a known interaction with colesevelam should be administered at least 4 hours prior to WELCHOL. Drugs that have not been tested for interaction with colesevelam, especially those with a narrow therapeutic index, should also be administered at least 4 hours prior to WELCHOL. Alternatively, the physician should monitor drug levels of the co-administered drug [See DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Phenylketonurics

WELCHOL for Oral Suspension contains 13.5 mg phenylalanine per 1.875 gram packet and 27 mg phenylalanine per 3.75 gram packet [See DESCRIPTION].

Macrovascular Outcomes

There have been no clinical studies establishing conclusive evidence of macrovascular disease risk reduction with WELCHOL or any other antidiabetic drugs.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Carcinogenesis

A 104-week carcinogenicity study with colesevelam hydrochloride was conducted in CD-1 mice, at oral dietary doses up to 3 g/kg/day. This dose was approximately 50 times the maximum recommended human dose of 4.5 g/day, based on body weight, mg/kg. There were no significant drug-induced tumor findings in male or female mice. In a 104-week carcinogenicity study with colesevelam hydrochloride in Harlan Sprague-Dawley rats, a statistically significant increase in the incidence of pancreatic acinar cell adenoma was seen in male rats at doses > 1.2 g/kg/day (approximately 20 times the maximum human dose, based on body weight, mg/kg) (trend test only). A statistically significant increase in thyroid C-cell adenoma was seen in female rats at 2.4 g/kg/day (approximately 40 times the maximum human dose, based on body weight, mg/kg).

Mutagenesis

Colesevelam hydrochloride and 4 degradants present in the drug substance have been evaluated for mutagenicity in the Ames test and a mammalian chromosomal aberration test. The 4 degradants and an extract of the parent compound did not exhibit genetic toxicity in an in vitro bacterial mutagenesis assay in S. typhimurium and E. coli (Ames assay) with or without rat liver metabolic activation. An extract of the parent compound was positive in the Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell chromosomal aberration assay in the presence of metabolic activation and negative in the absence of metabolic activation. The results of the CHO cell chromosomal aberration assay with 2 of the 4 degradants, decylamine HCl and aminohexyltrimethyl ammonium chloride HCl, were equivocal in the absence of metabolic activation and negative in the presence of metabolic activation. The other 2 degradants, didecylamine HCl and 6-decylamino-hexyltrimethyl ammonium chloride HCl, were negative in the presence and absence of metabolic activation.

Impairment of Fertility

Colesevelam hydrochloride did not impair fertility in rats at doses up to 3 g/kg/day (approximately 50 times the maximum human dose, based on body weight, mg/kg).

Use In Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category B

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of colesevelam use in pregnant women. Animal reproduction studies in rats and rabbits revealed no evidence of fetal harm. Requirements for vitamins and other nutrients are increased in pregnancy. However, the effect of colesevelam on the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins has not been studied in pregnant women. This drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

In animal reproduction studies, colesevelam revealed no evidence of fetal harm when administered to rats and rabbits at doses 50 and 17 times the maximum human dose, respectively. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used in pregnancy only if clearly needed.

Nursing Mothers

Colesevelam hydrochloride is not expected to be excreted in human milk because colesevelam hydrochloride is not absorbed systemically from the gastrointestinal tract.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of WELCHOL as monotherapy or in combination with a statin were evaluated in children, 10 to 17 years of age with heFH [See Clinical Studies ]. The adverse reaction profile was similar to that of patients treated with placebo. In this limited controlled study, there were no significant effects on growth, sexual maturation, fat-soluble vitamin levels or clotting factors in the adolescent boys or girls relative to placebo [See ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Due to tablet size, WELCHOL for Oral Suspension is recommended for use in the pediatric population. Dose adjustments are not required when WELCHOL is administered to children 10 to 17 years of age.

WELCHOL has not been studied in children younger than 10 years of age or in pre-menarchal girls.

Geriatric Use

Primary Hyperlipidemia: Of the 1350 patients enrolled in the hyperlipidemia clinical studies, 349 (26%) were ≥ 65 years old, and 58 (4%) 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.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Of the 2048 patients enrolled in the six diabetes studies, 397 (19%) were ≥ 65 years old, and 36 (2%) were ≥ 75 years old. In these trials, WELCHOL 3.8 g/day or placebo was added onto background anti-diabetic therapy. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Hepatic Impairment

No special considerations or dosage adjustments are recommended when WELCHOL is administered to patients with hepatic impairment.

Renal Impairment

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Of the 2048 patients enrolled in the six diabetes studies, 807 (39%) had mild renal insufficiency (creatinine clearance [CrCl] 50- < 80 mL/min), 61 (3%) had moderate renal insufficiency (CrCl 30- < 50 mL/min), and none had severe renal insufficiency (CrCl < 30 mL/min), as estimated from baseline serum creatinine using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) equation. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between patients with CrCl < 50 mL/min (n=53) and those with a CrCl ≥ 50 mL/min (n=1075) in the add-on to metformin, sulfonylureas, and insulin diabetes studies. In the monotherapy study and add-on to pioglitazone study only 3 and 5 patients respectively had moderate renal insufficiency

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/3/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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