Acifix tablets are indicated for the treatment of:
- Active duodenal ulcer
- Active benign gastric ulcer
- Symptomatic erosive or ulcerative gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
- Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease Long-term Management (GORD Maintenance).
- Symptomatic treatment of moderate to very severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (symptomatic GORD).
- Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome.
- In combination with appropriate antibacterial therapeutic regimens for the eradication of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) in patients with peptic ulcer disease.
Adults /older people
Active Duodenal Ulcer and Active Benign Gastric Ulcer: The recommended oral dose for both active duodenal ulcer and active benign gastric ulcer is 20 mg to be taken once daily in the morning.
Most patients with active duodenal ulcer heal within four weeks. However a few patients may require an additional four weeks of therapy to achieve healing. Most patients with active benign gastric ulcer heal within six weeks. However again a few patients may require an additional six weeks of therapy to achieve healing.
Erosive or Ulcerative Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD): The recommended oral dose for this condition is 20 mg to be taken once daily for four to eight weeks.
Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease Long-term Management (GORD Maintenance): For long-term management, a maintenance dose of Acifix 20 mg or 10 mg once daily can be used depending upon patient response.
Symptomatic treatment of moderate to very severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (symptomatic GORD): 10 mg once daily in patients without oesophagitis. If symptom control has not been achieved during four weeks, the patient should be further investigated. Once symptoms have resolved, subsequent symptom control can be achieved using an on-demand regimen taking 10 mg once daily when needed.
Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome: The recommended adult starting dose is 60 mg once a day. The dose may be titrated upwards to 120 mg/day based on individual patient needs. Single daily doses up to 100 mg/day may be given. 120 mg dose may require divided doses, 60 mg twice daily. Treatment should continue for as long as clinically indicated.
Eradication of H. pylori: Patients with H. pylori infection should be treated with eradication therapy. The following combination given for 7 days is recommended.
Acifix 20 mg twice daily + clarithromycin 500 mg twice daily and amoxicillin 1 g twice daily.
For indications requiring once daily treatment Acifix tablets should be taken in the morning, before eating; and although neither the time of day nor food intake was shown to have any effect on rabeprazole sodium activity, this regimen will facilitate treatment compliance.
Renal and hepatic impairment
No dosage adjustment is necessary for patients with renal or hepatic impairment.
Acifix is not recommended for use in children, as there is no experience of its use in this group.
Method of administration
Patients should be cautioned that the Acifix tablets should not be chewed or crushed, but should be swallowed whole.
Acifix is contra-indicated in pregnancy and during breast feeding.
Symptomatic response to therapy with rabeprazole sodium does not preclude the presence of gastric or oesophageal malignancy, therefore the possibility of malignancy should be excluded prior to commencing treatment with Acifix.
Patients on long-term treatment (particularly those treated for more than a year) should be kept under regular surveillance.
A risk of cross-hypersensitivity reactions with other proton pump inhibitor (PPI) or substituted benzimidazoles cannot be excluded.
Patients should be cautioned that Acifix tablets should not be chewed or crushed, but should be swallowed whole.
Acifix is not recommended for use in children, as there is no experience of its use in this group.
There have been post marketing reports of blood dyscrasias (thrombocytopenia and neutropenia). In the majority of cases where an alternative aetiology cannot be identified, the events were uncomplicated and resolved on discontinuation of rabeprazole.
Hepatic enzyme abnormalities have been seen in clinical trials and have also been reported since market authorisation. In the majority of cases where an alternative aetiology cannot be identified, the events were uncomplicated and resolved on discontinuation of rabeprazole.
No evidence of significant drug related safety problems was seen in a study of patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment versus normal age and sex matched controls. However because there are no clinical data on the use of Acifix in the treatment of patients with severe hepatic dysfunction the prescriber is advised to exercise caution when treatment with Acifix is first initiated in such patients.
Co-administration of atazanavir with Acifix is not recommended.
Treatment with PPIs, including Acifix, may possibly increase the risk of gastrointestinal infections such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and Clostridium difficile.
PPIs, especially if used in high doses and over long durations (>1 year), may modestly increase the risk of hip, wrist and spine fracture, predominantly in older people or in presence of other recognised risk factors. Observational studies suggest that PPIs may increase the overall risk of fracture by 10-40%. Some of this increase may be due to other risk factors. Patients at risk of osteoporosis should receive care according to current clinical guidelines and they should have an adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium.
Severe hypomagnesaemia has been reported in patients treated with PPIs like Acifix for at least three months, and in most cases for a year. Serious manifestations of hypomagnesaemia such as fatigue, tetany, delirium, convulsions, dizziness and ventricular arrhythmia can occur but they may begin insidiously and be overlooked. In most affected patients, hypomagnesaemia improved after magnesium replacement and discontinuation of the PPI.
For patients expected to be on prolonged treatment or who take PPIs with digoxin or drugs that may cause hypomagnesaemia (e.g., diuretics), health care professionals should consider measuring magnesium levels before starting PPI treatment and periodically during treatment.
Concomitant use of rabeprazole with methotrexate
Literature suggests that concomitant use of PPIs with methotrexate (primarily at high dose; see methotrexate prescribing information) may elevate and prolong serum levels of methotrexate and/or its metabolite, possibly leading to methotrexate toxicities. In high-dose methotrexate administration, a temporary withdrawal of the PPI may be considered in some patients.
Influence on vitamin B12 absorption
Rabeprazole sodium, as all acid-blocking medicines, may reduce the absorption of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) due to hypo- or a- chlorhydria. This should be considered in patients with reduced body stores or risk factors for reduced vitamin B12 absorption on long-term therapy or if respective clinical symptoms are observed.
Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE)
PPIs are associated with very infrequent cases of SCLE. If lesions occur, especially in sun-exposed areas of the skin, and if accompanied by arthralgia, the patient should seek medical help promptly and the health care professional should consider stopping Acifix. SCLE after previous treatment with a PPI may increase the risk of SCLE with other PPIs.
Interference with laboratory tests
Increased Chromogranin A (CgA) level may interfere with investigations for neuroendocrine tumours. To avoid this interference, Acifix treatment should be stopped for at least 5 days before CgA measurements. If CgA and gastrin levels have not returned to reference range after initial measurement, measurements should be repeated 14 days after cessation of PPI treatment.
Based on the pharmacodynamic properties and the adverse events profile, it is unlikely that Acifix would cause an impairment of driving performance or compromise the ability to use machinery. If however, alertness is impaired due to somnolence, it is recommended that driving and operating complex machinery be avoided.
The most commonly reported adverse drug reactions, during controlled clinical trials with rabeprazole were headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, asthenia, flatulence, rash and dry mouth. The majority of adverse events experienced during clinical studies were mild or moderate in severity, and transient in nature.
The following adverse events have been reported from clinical trial and post-marketing experience.
Frequencies are defined as: common (> 1/100, < 1/10), uncommon (> 1/1,000, < 1/100), rare (>1/10,000, <1/1000) very rare (<1/10,000), not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).
System Organ Class
Infections and infestations
Blood and the lymphatic system disorders
Immune system disorders
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
Nervous system disorders
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders
Fundic Gland Polyps (Benign)
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Erythema multiforme, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS)
Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus4
Musculoskeletal connective tissue and bone disorders
Fracture of the hip, wrist or spine4
Renal and urinary disorders
Urinary tract infection
Reproductive system and breast disorders
General disorders and administration site conditions
Influenza like illness
Increased hepatic enzymes3
1: Includes facial swelling, hypotension and dyspnoea
2: Erythema, bullous reactions and hypersensitivity reactions have usually resolved after discontinuation of therapy.
3: Rare reports of hepatic encephalopathy have been received in patients with underlying cirrhosis. In treatment of patients with severe hepatic dysfunction the prescriber is advised to exercise caution when treatment with Acifix is first initiated in such patients.
4: See Special warnings and precautions for use (4.4)
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme (www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard).
Experience to date with deliberate or accidental overdose is limited. The maximum established exposure has not exceeded 60 mg twice daily, or 160 mg once daily. Effects are generally minimal, representative of the known adverse event profile and reversible without further medical intervention. No specific antidote is known. Rabeprazole sodium is extensively protein bound and is, therefore, not dialysable. As in any case of overdose, treatment should be symptomatic and general supportive measures should be utilised.
Pharmacotherapeutic group: Alimentary tract and metabolism, Drugs for peptic ulcer and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), PPIs, ATC code: A02B C04
Mechanism of action
Rabeprazole sodium belongs to the class of anti-secretory compounds, the substituted benzimidazoles, that do not exhibit anticholinergic or H2 histamine antagonist properties, but suppress gastric acid secretion by the specific inhibition of the H+/K+-ATPase enzyme (the acid or proton pump) The effect is dose-related and leads to inhibition of both basal and stimulated acid secretion irrespective of the stimulus. Animal studies indicate that after administration, rabeprazole sodium rapidly disappears from both the plasma and gastric mucosa. As a weak base, rabeprazole is rapidly absorbed following all doses and is concentrated in the acid environment of the Acifixal cells. Rabeprazole is converted to the active sulphenamide form through protonation and it subsequently reacts with the available cysteines on the proton pump.
After oral administration of a 20 mg dose of rabeprazole sodium the onset of the anti-secretory effect occurs within one hour, with the maximum effect occurring within two to four hours. Inhibition of basal and food stimulated acid secretion 23 hours after the first dose of rabeprazole sodium are 69% and 82% respectively and the duration of inhibition lasts up to 48 hours. The inhibitory effect of rabeprazole sodium on acid secretion increases slightly with repeated once-daily dosing, achieving steady state inhibition after three days. When the drug is discontinued, secretory activity normalises over 2 to 3 days.
Decreased gastric acidity due to any means, including PPIs such as rabeprazole, increases counts of bacteria normally present in the gastrointestinal tract. Treatment with PPIs may possibly increase the risk of gastrointestinal infections such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and Clostridium difficile.
Serum gastrin effects
In clinical studies patients were treated once daily with 10 or 20 mg rabeprazole sodium, for up to 43 months duration. Serum gastrin levels increased during the first 2 to 8 weeks reflecting the inhibitory effects on acid secretion and remained stable while treatment was continued. Gastrin values returned to pre-treatment levels, usually within 1 to 2 weeks after discontinuation of therapy.
Human gastric biopsy specimens from the antrum and the fundus from over 500 patients receiving rabeprazole or comparator treatment for up to 8 weeks have not detected changes in ECL cell histology, degree of gastritis, incidence of atrophic gastritis, intestinal metaplasia or distribution of H. pylori infection. In over 250 patients followed for 36 months of continuous therapy, no significant change in findings present at baseline was observed.
Systemic effects of rabeprazole sodium in the CNS, cardiovascular and respiratory systems have not been found to date. Rabeprazole sodium, given in oral doses of 20 mg for 2 weeks, had no effect on thyroid function, carbohydrate metabolism, or circulating levels of parathyroid hormone, cortisol, oestrogen, testosterone, prolactin, cholecystokinin, secretin, glucagon, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinising hormone (LH), renin, aldosterone or somatotrophic hormone.
Studies in healthy subjects have shown that rabeprazole sodium does not have clinically significant interactions with amoxicillin. Rabeprazole does not adversely influence plasma concentrations of amoxicillin or clarithromycin when co-administered for the purpose of eradicating upper gastrointestinal H. pylori infection.
During treatment with antisecretory medicinal products, serum gastrin increases in response to the decreased acid secretion. Also CgA increases due to decreased gastric acidity. The increased CgA level may interfere with investigations for neuroendocrine tumours.
Available published evidence suggests that PPIs should be discontinued between 5 days and 2 weeks prior to CgA measurements. This is to allow CgA levels that might be spuriously elevated following PPI treatment to return to reference range.
Acifix is an enteric-coated (gastro-resistant) tablet formulation of rabeprazole sodium. This presentation is necessary because rabeprazole is acid-labile.
Absorption of rabeprazole therefore begins only after the tablet leaves the stomach. Absorption is rapid, with peak plasma levels of rabeprazole occurring approximately 3.5 hours after a 20 mg dose. Peak plasma concentrations (Cmax) of rabeprazole and AUC are linear over the dose range of 10 mg to 40 mg. Absolute bioavailability of an oral 20 mg dose (compared to intravenous administration) is about 52% due in large part to pre-systemic metabolism. Additionally the bioavailability does not appear to increase with repeat administration. In healthy subjects the plasma half-life is approximately one hour (range 0.7 to 1.5 hours), and the total body clearance is estimated to be 283 Â± 98 ml/min. There was no clinically relevant interaction with food. Neither food nor the time of day of administration of the treatment affect the absorption of rabeprazole sodium.
Rabeprazole is approximately 97% bound to human plasma proteins.
Metabolism and excretion
Rabeprazole sodium, as is the case with other members of the PPI class of compounds, is metabolised through the cytochrome P450 (CYP450) hepatic drug metabolising system. In vitro studies with human liver microsomes indicated that rabeprazole sodium is metabolised by isoenzymes of CYP450 (CYP2C19 and CYP3A4). In these studies, at expected human plasma concentrations rabeprazole neither induces nor inhibits CYP3A4; and although in vitro studies may not always be predictive of in vivo status these findings indicate that no interaction is expected between rabeprazole and cyclosporin. In humans the thioether (M1) and carboxylic acid (M6) are the main plasma metabolites with the sulphone (M2), desmethyl-thioether (M4) and mercapturic acid conjugate (M5) minor metabolites observed at lower levels. Only the desmethyl metabolite (M3) has a small amount of anti-secretory activity, but it is not present in plasma.
Following a single 20 mg 14C labelled oral dose of rabeprazole sodium, no unchanged drug was excreted in the urine. Approximately 90% of the dose was eliminated in urine mainly as the two metabolites: a mercapturic acid conjugate (M5) and a carboxylic acid (M6), plus two unknown metabolites. The remainder of the dose was recovered in faeces.
Adjusted for body mass and height, there are no significant gender differences in pharmacokinetic parameters following a single 20 mg dose of rabeprazole.
In patients with stable, end-stage, renal failure requiring maintenance haemodialysis (creatinine clearance â‰¤5ml/min/1.73 m2), the disposition of rabeprazole was very similar to that in healthy volunteers. The AUC and the Cmax in these patients was about 35% lower than the corresponding parameters in healthy volunteers. The mean half-life of rabeprazole was 0.82 hours in healthy volunteers, 0.95 hours in patients during haemodialysis and 3.6 hours post dialysis. The clearance of the drug in patients with renal disease requiring maintenance haemodialysis was approximately twice that in healthy volunteers.
Following a single 20 mg dose of rabeprazole to patients with chronic mild to moderate hepatic impairment the AUC doubled and there was a 2-3 fold increase in half-life of rabeprazole compared to the healthy volunteers. However, following a 20 mg dose daily for 7 days the AUC had increased to only 1.5-fold and the Cmax to only 1.2-fold. The half-life of rabeprazole in patients with hepatic impairment was 12.3 hours compared to 2.1 hours in healthy volunteers. The pharmacodynamic response (gastric pH control) in the two groups was clinically comparable.
Elimination of rabeprazole was somewhat decreased in older people. Following 7 days of daily dosing with 20 mg of rabeprazole sodium, the AUC approximately doubled, the Cmax increased by 60% and tÂ½ increased by approximately 30% as compared to young healthy volunteers. However there was no evidence of rabeprazole accumulation.
Following a 20 mg daily dose of rabeprazole for 7 days, CYP2C19 slow metabolisers, had AUC and tÂ½ which were approximately 1.9 and 1.6 times the corresponding parameters in extensive metabolisers whilst Cmax had increased by only 40%.
Non-clinical effects were observed only at exposures sufficiently in excess of the maximum human exposure that make concerns for human safety negligible in respect of animal data.
Studies on mutagenicity gave equivocal results. Tests in mouse lymphoma cell line were positive, but in vivo micronucleus and in vivo and in vitro DNA repair tests were negative. Carcinogenicity studies revealed no special hazard for humans.
No special requirements.
Any unused medicinal product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.