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Components:
Fenofibrate
Method of action:
Hypocholesterolemic, Lipid Modifying Agents, Lipid-Lowering
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Medically reviewed by Oliinyk Elizabeth Ivanovna, Pharmacy. Last updated on 2020.02.22

Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

SIDE EFFECTS

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect rates observed in clinical practice.

Adverse events reported by 2% or more of patients treated with fenofibrate and greater than placebo during double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, regardless of causality, are listed in Table 1. Adverse reactions led to discontinuation of treatment in 5.0% of patients treated with fenofibrate and in 3.0% treated with placebo. Increases in liver function tests were the most frequent events, causing discontinuation of fenofibrate treatment in 1.6% of patients in double-blind trials.

Table 1 : Adverse Reactions Reported by 2% or More of Patients Treated with Fenofibrate and Greater than Placebo During the Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trials

Body System Adverse Reaction Fenofibrate*
(N=439)
Placebo
(N=365)
Body As A Whole
  Abdominal Pain 4.6% 4.4%
  Back Pain 3.4% 2.5%
  Headache 3.2% 2.7%
Digestive
  Abnormal Liver Function Tests 7.5%** 1.4%
  Nausea 2.3% 1.9%
  Constipation 2.1% 1.4%
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders
  Increased AST 3.4%** 0.5%
  Increased ALT 3.0% 1.6%
  Increased Creatine Phosphokinase 3.0% 1.4%
Respiratory
  Respiratory Disorder 6.2% 5.5%
  Rhinitis 2.3% 1.1%
* Dosage equivalent to 90 mg fenofibrate
**Significantly different from placebo

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of fenofibrate: myalgia, rhabdomyolysis, pancreatitis, renal failure, muscle spasms, acute renal failure, hepatitis, cirrhosis, anemia, arthralgia, asthenia and severely depressed HDL-cholesterol levels. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a casual relationship to drug exposure.

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Coumarin Anticoagulants

Potentiation of coumarin-type anticoagulant effects has been observed with prolongation of the PT/INR.

Caution should be exercised when coumarin anticoagulants are given in conjunction with Antara. The dosage of the anticoagulants should be reduced to maintain the PT/INR at the desired level to prevent bleeding complications. Frequent PT/INR determinations are advisable until it has been definitely determined that the PT/INR has stabilized.

Immunosuppressants

Immunosuppressants such as cyclosporine and tacrolimus can produce nephrotoxicity with decrease in creatinine clearance and because renal excretion is the primary elimination route of fibrate drugs including Antara, there is a risk that an interaction will lead to deterioration of renal function. The benefits and risks of using Antara with immunosuppressants and other potentially nephrotoxic agents should be carefully considered, and the lowest effective dose employed.

Bile-Acid Binding Resins

Since bile acid binding resins may bind other drugs given concurrently, patients should take Antara at least 1 hour before or 4 to 6 hours after a bile acid binding resin to avoid impeding its absorption.

Colchicine

Cases of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, have been reported with fenofibrates coadministered with colchicine, and caution should be exercised when prescribing fenofibrate with colchicine.

Fertility, pregnancy and lactation

Pregnancy Category C

Safety in pregnant women has not been established. There are no adequate and well controlled studies of fenofibrate in pregnant women. Fenofibrate should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

In female rats given oral dietary doses of 15, 75, and 300 mg/kg/day of fenofibrate from 15 days prior to mating through weaning, maternal toxicity was observed at 0.3 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD), based on body surface area comparisons; mg/m².

In pregnant rats given oral dietary doses of 14, 127, and 361 mg/kg/day from gestation day 615 during the period of organogenesis, adverse developmental findings were not observed at 14 mg/kg/day (less than 1 times the MRHD, based on body surface area comparisons; mg/m²). At higher multiples of human doses, evidence of maternal toxicity was observed.

In pregnant rabbits given oral gavage doses of 15, 150, and 300 mg/kg/day from gestation day 6 to 18 during the period of organogenesis and allowed to deliver, aborted litters were observed at 150 mg/kg/day (10 times the MRHD, based on body surface area comparisons: mg/m²). No developmental findings were observed at 15 mg/kg/day (at less than 1 times the MRHD, based on body surface area comparisons; mg/m²).

In pregnant rats given oral dietary doses of 15, 75, and 300 mg/kg/day from gestation day 15 through lactation day 21 (weaning), maternal toxicity was observed at less than 1 times the MRHD, based on body surface area comparisons; mg/m².

Undesirable effects

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect rates observed in clinical practice.

Adverse events reported by 2% or more of patients treated with fenofibrate and greater than placebo during double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, regardless of causality, are listed in Table 1. Adverse reactions led to discontinuation of treatment in 5.0% of patients treated with fenofibrate and in 3.0% treated with placebo. Increases in liver function tests were the most frequent events, causing discontinuation of fenofibrate treatment in 1.6% of patients in double-blind trials.

Table 1 : Adverse Reactions Reported by 2% or More of Patients Treated with Fenofibrate and Greater than Placebo During the Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trials

Body System Adverse Reaction Fenofibrate*
(N=439)
Placebo
(N=365)
Body As A Whole
  Abdominal Pain 4.6% 4.4%
  Back Pain 3.4% 2.5%
  Headache 3.2% 2.7%
Digestive
  Abnormal Liver Function Tests 7.5%** 1.4%
  Nausea 2.3% 1.9%
  Constipation 2.1% 1.4%
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders
  Increased AST 3.4%** 0.5%
  Increased ALT 3.0% 1.6%
  Increased Creatine Phosphokinase 3.0% 1.4%
Respiratory
  Respiratory Disorder 6.2% 5.5%
  Rhinitis 2.3% 1.1%
* Dosage equivalent to 90 mg fenofibrate
**Significantly different from placebo

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of fenofibrate: myalgia, rhabdomyolysis, pancreatitis, renal failure, muscle spasms, acute renal failure, hepatitis, cirrhosis, anemia, arthralgia, asthenia and severely depressed HDL-cholesterol levels. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a casual relationship to drug exposure.

Overdose

There is no specific treatment for overdose with Antara. General supportive care of the patient is indicated, including monitoring of vital signs and observation of clinical status, should an overdose occur. If indicated, elimination of unabsorbed drug should be achieved by emesis or gastric lavage; usual precautions should be observed to maintain the airway. Because fenofibrate is highly bound to plasma proteins, hemodialysis should not be considered.

Pharmacodynamic properties

A variety of clinical studies have demonstrated that elevated levels of total-C, DL-C, and Apo B, an LDL membrane complex, are associated with human atherosclerosis. Similarly, decreased levels of HDL-C and its transport complex, apolipoprotein A (Apo AI and Apo AII) are associated with the development of atherosclerosis. Epidemiologic investigations have established that cardiovascular morbidity and mortality vary directly with the level of total-C, LDL-C, and triglycerides, and inversely with the level of HDL-C. The independent effect of raising HDL-C or lowering TG on the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been determined.

Fenofibric acid, the active metabolite of fenofibrate, produces reductions in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, total triglycerides, and triglyceride-rich lipoprotein in treated patients. In addition, treatment with fenofibrate results in increases in high density lipoprotein (HDL) and apoproteins Apo AI and Apo AII.

Pharmacokinetic properties

Fenofibrate is a pro-drug of the active chemical moiety fenofibric acid. Fenofibrate is converted by ester hydrolysis in the body to fenofibric acid which is the active constituent measurable in the circulation.

Absorption

The absolute bioavailability of fenofibrate cannot be determined as the compound is virtually insoluble in aqueous media suitable for injection. However, fenofibrate is well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Following oral administration in healthy volunteers, approximately 60% of a single dose of radiolabelled fenofibrate appeared in urine, primarily as fenofibric acid and its glucuronate conjugate, and 25% was excreted in the feces. Peak plasma levels of fenofibric acid from Antara capsules 90 mg occur within 2 to 6 hours after administration.

In the presence of a high-fat meal, there was a 26.7% increase in AUC and 15.35% increase in Cmax of fenofibric acid from Antara capsule 30mg relative to fasting state.

Distribution

In healthy volunteers, steady-state plasma levels of fenofibric acid were shown to be achieved within a week of dosing and did not demonstrate accumulation across time following multiple dose administration. Serum protein binding was approximately 99% in normal and hyperlipidemic subjects.

Metabolism

Following oral administration, fenofibrate is rapidly hydrolyzed by esterases to the active metabolite, fenofibric acid; no unchanged fenofibrate is detected in plasma.

Fenofibric acid is primarily conjugated with glucuronic acid and then excreted in urine. A small amount of fenofibric acid is reduced at the carbonyl moiety to a benzhydrol metabolite which is, in turn, conjugated with glucuronic acid and excreted in urine.

In vivo metabolism data indicate that neither fenofibrate nor fenofibric acid undergo oxidative metabolism (e.g., cytochrome P450) to a significant extent.

Elimination

After absorption, fenofibrate is mainly excreted in the urine in the form of metabolites, primarily fenofibric acid and fenofibric acid glucuronide. After administration of radiolabeled fenofibrate, approximately 60% of the dose appeared in the urine and 25% was excreted in the feces.

Fenofibrate acid from Antara is eliminated with a half-life of 23 hours, allowing once daily dosing.

Geriatrics

In elderly volunteers 77 to 87 years of age, the oral clearance of fenofibric acid following a single oral dose of fenofibrate was 1.2 L/h, which compares to 1.1 L/h in young adults. This indicates that a similar dosage regimen can be used in the elderly with normal renal function, without increasing accumulation of the drug or metabolites.

Pediatrics

The pharmacokinetics of Antara has not been studied in pediatric populations.

Gender

No pharmacokinetic difference between males and females has been observed for fenofibrate.

Race

The influence of race on the pharmacokinetics of fenofibrate has not been studied; however, fenofibrate is not metabolized by enzymes known for exhibiting inter-ethnic variability.

Renal Impairment

The pharmacokinetics of fenofibric acid was examined in patients with mild, moderate, and severe renal impairment. Patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance [CrCl] ≤ 30 mL/min or estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] < 30 mL/min/1.73m²) showed 2.7fold increase in exposure for fenofibric acid and increased accumulation of fenofibric acid during chronic dosing compared to that of healthy subjects. Patients with mild to moderate (CrCl 30-80 mL/min or eGFR 30-59 mL/min/1.73m²) renal impairment had similar exposure but an increase in the half-life for fenofibric acid compared to that of healthy subjects. Based on these findings, the use of Antara should be avoided in patients who have severe renal impairment and dose reduction is required in patients having mild to moderate renal impairment.

Hepatic Impairment

No pharmacokinetic studies have been conducted in patients having hepatic impairement.

Date of revision of the text

August 2015
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