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Bristol-Myers Squibb-Pfizer

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Summary of Product Characteristics last updated on the eMC: 01/10/2013
SPC Eliquis 5 mg film-coated tablets
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This medicinal product is subject to additional monitoring. This will allow quick identification of new safety information. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions. See section 4.8 for how to report adverse reactions.



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1. Name of the medicinal product

Eliquis 5 mg film-coated tablets


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2. Qualitative and quantitative composition

Each film-coated tablet contains 5.0 mg apixaban.

Excipients with known effect:

Each 5 mg film-coated tablet contains 102.86 mg lactose (see section 4.4).

For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.


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3. Pharmaceutical form

Film-coated tablet (tablet)

Pink, oval tablets debossed with 894 on one side and 5 on the other side.


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4. Clinical particulars

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4.1 Therapeutic indications

Prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in adult patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), with one or more risk factors, such as prior stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA); age≥ 75 years; hypertension; diabetes mellitus; symptomatic heart failure (NYHA Class ≥ II).


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4.2 Posology and method of administration

Posology

The recommended dose of Eliquis is 5 mg taken orally twice daily.

Dose reduction

The recommended dose of Eliquis is 2.5 mg taken orally twice daily in patients with NVAF and at least two of the following characteristics: age ≥ 80 years, body weight ≤ 60 kg, or serum creatinine ≥ 1.5 mg/dl (133 micromole/l).

Therapy should be continued long term.

Missed Dose

If a dose is missed, the patient should take Eliquis immediately and then continue with twice daily intake as before.

Switching

Switching treatment from parenteral anticoagulants to Eliquis (and vice versa) can be done at the next scheduled dose (see section 4.5).

Switching from Vitamin K antagonist (VKA) therapy to Eliquis

When converting patients from Vitamin K antagonist (VKA) therapy to Eliquis, discontinue warfarin or other VKA therapy and start Eliquis when the international normalized ratio (INR) is < 2.0.

Switching from Eliquis to VKA therapy

When converting patients from Eliquis to VKA therapy, continue administration of Eliquis for at least 2 days after beginning VKA therapy. After 2 days of coadministration of Eliquis with VKA therapy, obtain an INR prior to the next scheduled dose of Eliquis. Continue coadministration of Eliquis and VKA therapy until the INR is ≥ 2.0.

Renal impairment

As there is no clinical experience in patients with creatinine clearance < 15 ml/min, or in patients undergoing dialysis, apixaban is not recommended in these patients (see sections 4.4 and 5.2).

No dose adjustment is necessary in patients with mild or moderate renal impairment (see section 5.2).

Patients with serum creatinine ≥ 1.5 mg/dL (133 micromole/l) associated with age ≥ 80 years or body weight ≤ 60 kg should receive the lower dose of apixaban 2.5 mg twice daily.

Patients with exclusive criteria of severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance 15-29 ml/min) should also receive the lower dose of apixaban 2.5 mg twice daily.

Hepatic impairment

Eliquis is contraindicated in patients with hepatic disease associated with coagulopathy and clinically relevant bleeding risk (see section 4.3).

It is not recommended in patients with severe hepatic impairment (see sections 4.4. and 5.2).

It should be used with caution in patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment (Child Pugh A or B). No dose adjustment is required in patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment (see sections 4.4 and 5.2).

Patients with elevated liver enzymes (ALT/AST >2 x ULN) or total bilirubin ≥1.5 x ULN were excluded in clinical trials. Therefore Eliquis should be used with caution in this population (see sections 4.4 and 5.2). Prior to initiating Eliquis, liver function testing should be performed.

Body weight

No dose adjustment required, unless criteria for dose reduction are met (see Dose reduction at the beginning of section 4.2).

Gender

No dose adjustment required (see section 5.2).

Elderly

No dose adjustment required, unless criteria for dose reduction are met (see Dose reduction at the beginning of section 4.2).

Paediatric population

The safety and efficacy of Eliquis in children and adolescents below age 18 have not been established. No data are available.

Method of administration

Oral use.

Eliquis should be swallowed with water, with or without food.


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4.3 Contraindications

• Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.

• Active clinically significant bleeding.

• Hepatic disease associated with coagulopathy and clinically relevant bleeding risk (see section 5.2).

• Lesion or condition if considered a significant risk factor for major bleeding. This may include current or recent gastrointestinal ulceration, presence of malignant neoplasms at high risk of bleeding, recent brain or spinal injury, recent brain, spinal or ophthalmic surgery, recent intracranial haemorrhage, known or suspected oesophageal varices, arteriovenous malformations, vascular aneurysms or major intraspinal or intracerebral vascular abnormalities.

• Concomitant treatment with any other anticoagulant agent e.g. unfractionated heparin (UFH), low molecular weight heparins (enoxaparin, dalteparin, etc.), heparin derivatives (fondaparinux, etc.), oral anticoagulants (warfarin, rivaroxaban, dabigatran, etc.) except under the circumstances of switching therapy to or from apixaban (see section 4.2) or when UFH is given at doses necessary to maintain an open central venous or arterial catheter (see section 4.5).


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4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use

Haemorrhage risk

As with other anticoagulants, patients taking Eliquis are to be carefully observed for signs of bleeding. It is recommended to be used with caution in conditions with increased risk of haemorrhage. Eliquis administration should be discontinued if severe haemorrhage occurs (see sections 4.8 and 4.9).

Although treatment with apixaban does not require routine monitoring of exposure, the Rotachrom® anti-FXa assay may be useful in exceptional situations where knowledge of apixaban exposure may help to inform clinical decisions, e.g., overdose and emergency surgery (see section 5.1).

Interaction with other medicinal products affecting haemostasis

Due to an increased bleeding risk, concomitant treatment with any other anticoagulants is contraindicated (see section 4.3).

The concomitant use of Eliquis with antiplatelet agents increases the risk of bleeding (see section 4.5).

Care is to be taken if patients are treated concomitantly with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including acetylsalicylic acid.

Following surgery, other platelet aggregation inhibitors are not recommended concomitantly with Eliquis (see section 4.5).

In patients with atrial fibrillation and conditions that warrant mono or dual antiplatelet therapy, a careful assessment of the potential benefits against the potential risks should be made before combining this therapy with Eliquis.

In a clinical trial of patients with atrial fibrillation, concomitant use of ASA increased the major bleeding risk on apixaban from 1.8% per year to 3.4% per year and increased the bleeding risk on warfarin from 2.7% per year to 4.6% per year. In this clinical trial, there was limited (2.1%) use of concomitant dual antiplatelet therapy.

In a clinical trial of high-risk post acute coronary syndrome patients, characterized by multiple cardiac and non-cardiac comorbidities, who received ASA or the combination of ASA and clopidogrel, a significant increase in risk of ISTH (International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis) major bleeding was reported for apixaban (5.13% per year) compared to placebo (2.04% per year).

Use of Thrombolytic agents for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke

There is very limited experience with the use of thrombolytic agents for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke in patients administered apixaban.

Patients with prosthetic heart valves

Safety and efficacy of Eliquis have not been studied in patients with prosthetic heart valves, with or without atrial fibrillation. Therefore, the use of Eliquis is not recommended in this setting.

Surgery and invasive procedures

Eliquis should be discontinued at least 48 hours prior to elective surgery or invasive procedures with a moderate or high risk of bleeding. This includes interventions for which the probability of clinically significant bleeding cannot be excluded or for which the risk of bleeding would be unacceptable.

Eliquis should be discontinued at least 24 hours prior to elective surgery or invasive procedures with a low risk of bleeding. This includes interventions for which any bleeding that occurs is expected to be minimal, non-critical in its location or easily controlled.

If surgery or invasive procedures cannot be delayed, appropriate caution should be exercised, taking into consideration an increased risk of bleeding. This risk of bleeding should be weighed against the urgency of intervention.

Apixaban should be restarted after the invasive procedure or surgical intervention as soon as possible provided the clinical situation allows and adequate haemostasis has been established.

Temporary discontinuation

Discontinuing anticoagulants, including Eliquis, for active bleeding, elective surgery, or invasive procedures places patients at an increased risk of thrombosis. Lapses in therapy should be avoided and if anticoagulation with Eliquis must be temporarily discontinued for any reason, therapy should be restarted as soon as possible.

Renal impairment

As there is no clinical experience in patients with creatinine clearance < 15 ml/min, or in patients undergoing dialysis, apixaban is not recommended in these patients (see sections 4.2 and 5.2).

No dose adjustment is necessary in patients with mild or moderate renal impairment (see section 4.2 and 5.2).

Patients with serum creatinine ≥ 1.5 mg/dL (133 micromole/l) associated with age ≥ 80 years or body weight ≤ 60 kg should receive the lower dose of apixaban 2.5 mg twice daily. Patients with exclusive criteria of severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance 15-29 ml/min) should also receive the lower dose of apixaban 2.5 mg twice daily (see section 4.2).

Elderly patients

The co-administration of Eliquis with ASA in elderly patients should be used cautiously because of a potentially higher bleeding risk.

Hepatic impairment

Eliquis is contraindicated in patients with hepatic disease associated with coagulopathy and clinically relevant bleeding risk (see section 4.3).

It is not recommended in patients with severe hepatic impairment (see section 5.2).

It should be used with caution in patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment (Child Pugh A or B) (see sections 4.2 and 5.2).

Patients with elevated liver enzymes ALT/AST > 2 x ULN or total bilirubin ≥ 1.5 x ULN were excluded in clinical trials. Therefore Eliquis should be used cautiously in this population (see section 5.2). Prior to initiating Eliquis, liver function testing should be performed.

Interaction with inhibitors of both cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) and P-glycoprotein (P-gp)

The use of Eliquis is not recommended in patients receiving concomitant systemic treatment with strong inhibitors of both CYP3A4 and P-gp, such as azole-antimycotics (e.g., ketoconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole and posaconazole) and HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir). These medicinal products may increase apixaban exposure by 2-fold (see section 4.5) or greater in the presence of additional factors that increase apixaban exposure (e.g., severe renal impairment).

Interaction with inducers of both CYP3A4 and P-gp

The concomitant use of Eliquis with strong CYP3A4 and P-gp inducers (e.g., rifampicin, phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital or St. John's Wort) may lead to a ~50% reduction in apixaban exposure. In a clinical study in atrial fibrillation patients, diminished efficacy and a higher risk of bleeding were observed with coadministration of apixaban with strong inducers of both CYP3A4 and P-gp compared with using apixaban alone. Strong inducers of both CYP3A4 and P-gp should be co-administered with caution (see section 4.5).

Laboratory parameters

Clotting tests (e.g., PT, INR, and aPTT) are affected as expected by the mechanism of action of apixaban. Changes observed in these clotting tests at the expected therapeutic dose are small and subject to a high degree of variability (see section 5.1).

Information about excipients

Eliquis contains lactose. Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicinal product.


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4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

Inhibitors of CYP3A4 and P-gp

Co-administration of apixaban with ketoconazole (400 mg once a day), a strong inhibitor of both CYP3A4 and P-gp, led to a 2-fold increase in mean apixaban AUC and a 1.6-fold increase in mean apixaban Cmax.

The use of Eliquis is not recommended in patients receiving concomitant systemic treatment with strong inhibitors of both CYP3A4 and P-gp, such as as azole-antimycotics (e.g., ketoconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole and posaconazole) and HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir) (see section 4.4).

Active substances which are not considered strong inhibitors of both CYP3A4 and P-gp, (eg. diltiazem, naproxen, amiodarone, verapamil, quinidine) are expected to increase apixaban plasma concentration to a lesser extent. Diltiazem (360 mg once a day), for instance, considered a moderate CYP3A4 and a weak P-gp inhibitor, led to a 1.4-fold increase in mean apixaban AUC and a 1.3-fold increase in Cmax. Naproxen (500 mg, single dose) an inhibitor of P-gp but not an inhibitor of CYP3A4, led to a 1.5-fold and 1.6-fold increase in mean apixaban AUC and Cmax, respectively. No dose adjustment for apixaban is required when co-administered with less potent inhibitors of CYP3A4 and/or P-gp.

Inducers of CYP3A4 and P-gp

Co-administration of apixaban with rifampicin, a strong inducer of both CYP3A4 and P-gp, led to an approximate 54% and 42% decrease in mean apixaban AUC and Cmax, respectively. The concomitant use of apixaban with other strong CYP3A4 and P-gp inducers (e.g., phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital or St. John's Wort) may also lead to reduced apixaban plasma concentrations. No dose adjustment for apixaban is required during concomitant therapy with such agents, however strong inducers of both CYP3A4 and P-gp should be co-administered with caution (see section 4.4).

Anticoagulants, platelet aggregation inhibitors and NSAIDs

Due to an increased bleeding risk, concomitant treatment with any other anticoagulants is contraindicated (see section 4.3).

After combined administration of enoxaparin (40 mg single dose) with apixaban (5 mg single dose), an additive effect on anti-Factor Xa activity was observed.

Pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interactions were not evident when apixaban was co-administered with ASA 325 mg once a day.

Apixaban co-administered with clopidogrel (75 mg once a day) or with the combination of clopidogrel 75 mg and ASA 162 mg once daily in Phase 1 studies did not show a relevant increase in template bleeding time, or further inhibition of platelet aggregation, compared to administration of the antiplatelet agents without apixaban. Increases in clotting tests (PT, INR, and aPTT) were consistent with the effects of apixaban alone.

Naproxen (500 mg), an inhibitor of P-gp, led to a 1.5-fold and 1.6-fold increase in mean apixaban AUC and Cmax, respectively. Corresponding increases in clotting tests were observed for apixaban. No changes were observed in the effect of naproxen on arachidonic acid-induced platelet aggregation and no clinically relevant prolongation of bleeding time was observed after concomitant administration of apixaban and naproxen.

Despite these findings, there may be individuals with a more pronounced pharmacodynamic response when antiplatelet agents are co-administered with apixaban. Eliquis should be used with caution when co-administered with NSAIDs (including acetylsalicylic acid) because these medicinal products typically increase the bleeding risk. A significant increase in bleeding risk was reported with the triple combination of apixaban, ASA and clopidogrel in a clinical study in patients with acute coronary syndrome (see section 4.4).

Agents associated with serious bleeding are not recommended concomitantly with Eliquis, such as: thrombolytic agents, GPIIb/IIIa receptor antagonists, thienopyridines (e.g., clopidogrel), dipyridamole, dextran and sulfinpyrazone.

Other concomitant therapies

No clinically significant pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interactions were observed when apixaban was co-administered with atenolol or famotidine. Co-administration of apixaban 10 mg with atenolol 100 mg did not have a clinically relevant effect on the pharmacokinetics of apixaban. Following administration of the two medicinal products together, mean apixaban AUC and Cmax were 15% and 18% lower than when administered alone. The administration of apixaban 10 mg with famotidine 40 mg had no effect on apixaban AUC or Cmax.

Effect of apixaban on other medicinal products

In vitro apixaban studies showed no inhibitory effect on the activity of CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2B6, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2D6 or CYP3A4 (IC50 > 45 μM) and weak inhibitory effect on the activity of CYP2C19 (IC50 > 20 μM) at concentrations that are significantly greater than peak plasma concentrations observed in patients. Apixaban did not induce CYP1A2, CYP2B6, CYP3A4/5 at a concentration up to 20 μM. Therefore, apixaban is not expected to alter the metabolic clearance of coadministered drugs that are metabolized by these enzymes. Apixaban is not a significant inhibitor of P-gp.

In studies conducted in healthy subjects, as described below, apixaban did not meaningfully alter the pharmacokinetics of digoxin, naproxen, or atenolol.

Digoxin: Co-administration of apixaban (20 mg once a day) and digoxin (0.25 mg once a day), a P-gp substrate, did not affect digoxin AUC or Cmax. Therefore, apixaban does not inhibit P-gp mediated substrate transport.

Naproxen: Co-administration of single doses of apixaban (10 mg) and naproxen (500 mg), a commonly used NSAID, did not have any effect on the naproxen AUC or Cmax.

Atenolol: Co-administration of a single dose of apixaban (10 mg) and atenolol (100 mg), a common beta-blocker, did not alter the pharmacokinetics of atenolol.

Activated Charcoal

Administration of activated charcoal reduces apixaban exposure (see section 4.9).


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4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation

Pregnancy

There are no data from the use of apixaban in pregnant women. Animal studies do not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects with respect to reproductive toxicity. Apixaban is not recommended during pregnancy.

Breast-feeding

It is unknown whether apixaban or its metabolites are excreted in human milk. Available data in animals have shown excretion of apixaban in milk. In rat milk, a high milk to maternal plasma ratio (Cmax about 8, AUC about 30) was found, possibly due to active transport into the milk. A risk to newborns and infants cannot be excluded.

A decision must be made to either discontinue breast-feeding or to discontinue/abstain from apixaban therapy.

Fertility

Studies in animals dosed with apixaban have shown no effect on fertility (see section 5.3).


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4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines

Eliquis has no or negligible influence on the ability to drive and use machines.


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4.8 Undesirable effects

Summary of the safety profile

The safety of apixaban has been investigated in 11,886 patients in NVAF studies treated for an average total exposure of 1.7 years.

Over the two phase III studies, 24.4% (apixaban vs warfarin) and 9.6% (apixaban vs aspirin) of the patients treated with apixaban (5 mg or 2.5 mg) twice daily experienced adverse reactions.

Common adverse reactions for apixaban were epistaxis, contusion, haematuria, haematoma, eye haemorrhage, and gastrointestinal haemorrhage.

The overall incidence of adverse reactions related to bleeding with apixaban was 24.3% in the apixaban vs warfarin study and was 9.6% in the apixaban vs aspirin study (see section 5.1).

In the apixaban vs warfarin study the incidence of ISTH major gastrointestinal bleeds (including upper GI, lower GI, and rectal bleeding) with apixaban was 0.76%/year. The incidence of ISTH major intraocular bleeding with apixaban was 0.18%/year.

Tabulated list of adverse reactions

Table 1 shows the adverse reactions ranked under headings of System Organ Class and frequency using the following convention: very common (≥1/10) common (≥1/100 to < 1/10); uncommon (≥1/1,000 to < 1/100); rare (≥1/10,000 to < 1/1,000); very rare (< 1/10,000); not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).

Table 1

System Organ Class

NVAF

Immune system disorders

Hypersensitivity (including skin rash, anaphylactic reaction and allergic edema)

Uncommon

Nervous system disorders

Brain haemorrhage, other intracranial or intraspinal haemorrhage (including subdural haematoma, subarachnoid haemorrhage, and spinal haematoma)

Uncommon

Eye disorders

Eye haemorrhage (including conjunctival haemorrhage)

Common

Vascular disorders

Other haemorrhage, haematoma

Common

Intra-abdominal haemorrhage

Uncommon

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders

Epistaxis

Common

Haemoptysis

Uncommon

Respiratory tract haemorrhage (including pulmonary alveolar haemorrhage, laryngeal haemorrhage and pharyngeal haemorrhage)

Rare

Gastrointestinal disorders

Gastrointestinal haemorrhage (including haematemesis and melaena). rectal haemorrhage, gingival bleeding

Common

Haemorrhoidal haemorrhage, haematochezia, mouth haemorrhage

Uncommon

Retroperitoneal haemorrhage

Rare

Renal and urinary disorders

Haematuria

Common

Reproductive system and breast disorders

Abnormal vaginal haemorrhage, urogenital haemorrhage

Uncommon

General disorders and administration site conditions

Application site bleeding

Uncommon

Investigations

Occult blood positive

Uncommon

Injury, poisoning and procedural complications

Contusion

Common

Traumatic haemorrhage, post procedural haemorrhage, incision site haemorrhage

Uncommon

The use of Eliquis may be associated with an increased risk of occult or overt bleeding from any tissue or organ, which may result in posthaemorrhagic anaemia. The signs, symptoms, and severity will vary according to the location and degree or extent of the bleeding (see section 4.4 and section 5.1).

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 at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.


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4.9 Overdose

There is no antidote to Eliquis. Overdose of apixaban may result in a higher risk of bleeding. In the event of haemorrhagic complications, treatment must be discontinued and the source of bleeding investigated. The initiation of appropriate treatment, e.g., surgical haemostasis or the transfusion of fresh frozen plasma should be considered.

In controlled clinical trials, orally-administered apixaban in healthy subjects at doses up to 50 mg daily for 3 to 7 days (25 mg twice daily (bid) for 7 days or 50 mg once daily (OD) for 3 days) had no clinically relevant adverse effects.

In healthy subjects, administration of activated charcoal 2 and 6 hours after ingestion of a 20-mg dose of apixaban reduced mean apixaban AUC by 50% and 27%, respectively, and had no impact on Cmax. Mean half-life of apixaban decreased from 13.4 hours when apixaban was administered alone to 5.3 hours and 4.9 hours, respectively, when activated charcoal was administered 2 and 6 hours after apixaban. Thus, administration of activated charcoal may be useful in the management of apixaban overdose or accidental ingestion.

If life-threatening bleeding cannot be controlled by the above measures, administration of recombinant factor VIIa may be considered. However, there is currently no experience with the use of recombinant factor VIIa in individuals receiving apixaban. Re-dosing of recombinant factor VIIa could be considered and titrated depending on improvement of bleeding.

Depending on local availability, a consultation of a coagulation expert should be considered in case of major bleedings.

Haemodialysis decreased apixaban AUC by 14% in subjects with end stage renal disease, when a single dose of apixaban 5 mg was administered orally. Therefore, haemodialysis is unlikely to be an effective means of managing apixaban overdose.


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5. Pharmacological properties

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5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: direct factor Xa inhibitors, ATC code: B01AF02

Mechanism of action

Apixaban is a potent, oral, reversible, direct and highly selective active site inhibitor of factor Xa. It does not require antithrombin III for antithrombotic activity. Apixaban inhibits free and clot-bound factor Xa, and prothrombinase activity. Apixaban has no direct effects on platelet aggregation, but indirectly inhibits platelet aggregation induced by thrombin. By inhibiting factor Xa, apixaban prevents thrombin generation and thrombus development. Preclinical studies of apixaban in animal models have demonstrated antithrombotic efficacy in the prevention of arterial and venous thrombosis at doses that preserved haemostasis.

Pharmacodynamic effects

The pharmacodynamic effects of apixaban are reflective of the mechanism of action (FXa inhibition). As a result of FXa inhibition, apixaban prolongs clotting tests such as prothrombin time (PT), INR and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT). Changes observed in these clotting tests at the expected therapeutic dose are small and subject to a high degree of variability. They are not recommended to assess the pharmacodynamic effects of apixaban.

Apixaban also demonstrates anti-FXa activity as evident by reduction in Factor Xa enzyme activity in multiple commercial anti-FXa kits, however results differ across kits. Data from clinical trials are only available for the Rotachrom Heparin chromogenic assay and results are presented below. Anti-FXa activity exhibits a close direct linear relationship with apixaban plasma concentration, reaching maximum values at the time of apixaban peak plasma concentrations. The relationship between apixaban plasma concentration and anti-FXa activity is linear over a wide dose range of apixaban, and precision of the Rotachrom assay is well within acceptable limits for use in a clinical laboratory. The dose- and concentration-related changes observed following apixaban administration are more pronounced, and less variable, with anti-FXa activity compared with clotting tests.

In patients with atrial fibrillation, the predicted steady-state peak and trough anti-FXa activity with apixaban 5 mg BID are 2.55 IU/ml (5th/95th percentile 1.36-4.79 IU/ml) and 1.54 IU/ml (5th/95th percentile 0.61-3.43 IU/ml), respectively. In AF patients who meet the criteria for a dose reduction to 2.5 mg BID, the predicted peak and trough anti-FXa values are 1.84 IU/ml (5th/95th percentile 1.02-3.29 IU/ml) and 1.18 IU/ml (5th/95th percentile 0.51-2.42 IU/ml), respectively.

Although treatment with apixaban does not require routine monitoring of exposure, the Rotachrom® anti-FXa assay may be useful in exceptional situations where knowledge of apixaban exposure may help to inform clinical decisions, e.g., overdose and emergency surgery.

Clinical efficacy and safety

A total of 23,799 patients were randomised in the clinical program (ARISTOTLE: apixaban versus warfarin, AVERROES: apixaban versus ASA) including 11,927 randomised to apixaban. The program was designed to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of apixaban for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) and one or more additional risk factors, such as:

• prior stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA)

• age ≥ 75 years

• hypertension

• diabetes mellitus

• symptomatic heart failure (NYHA Class ≥ II)

ARISTOTLE STUDY

In the ARISTOTLE study a total of 18,201 patients were randomized to double-blind treatment with apixaban 5 mg twice daily (or 2.5 mg twice daily in selected patients [4.7%], see section 4.2) or warfarin (target INR range 2.0-3.0), patients were exposed to study drug for a mean of 20 months. The mean age was 69.1 years, the mean CHADS2 score was 2.1, 18.9 % of patients had prior stroke or TIA.

In the study, apixaban achieved statistically significant superiority in the primary endpoint of prevention of stroke (haemorrhagic or ischaemic) and systemic embolism (see Table 2) compared with warfarin.

Table 2: Efficacy Outcomes in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation in the ARISTOTLE Study

 

Apixaban

N=9120

n (%/yr)

Warfarin

N=9081

n (%/yr)

Hazard Ratio

(95% CI)

p-value

Stroke or systemic embolism

212 (1.27)

265 (1.60)

0.79 (0.66, 0.95)

0.0114

Stroke

    

Ischaemic or unspecified

162 (0.97)

175 (1.05)

0.92 (0.74, 1.13)

 

Haemorrhagic

40 (0.24)

78 (0.47)

0.51 (0.35, 0.75)

 

Systemic embolism

15 (0.09)

17 (0.10)

0.87 (0.44, 1.75)

 

For patients randomized to warfarin, the median percentage of time in therapeutic range (TTR) (INR 2-3) was 66%.

Apixaban showed a reduction of stroke and systemic embolism compared to warfarin across the different levels of center TTR; within the highest quartile of TTR according to center, the hazard ratio for apixaban vs warfarin was 0.73 (95% CI, 0.38, 1.40).

Key secondary endpoints of major bleeding and all cause death were tested in a pre-specified hierarchical testing strategy to control the overall type 1 error in the trial. Statistically significant superiority was also achieved in the key secondary endpoints of both major bleeding and all-cause death (see Table 3). With improving monitoring of INR the observed benefits of apixaban compared to warfarin regarding all cause death diminish.

Table 3: Secondary endpoints in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation in the ARISTOTLE Study

 

Apixaban

N = 9088

n (%/year)

Warfarin

N = 9052

n (%/year)

Hazard Ratio

(95% CI)

p-value

Bleeding Outcomes

Major*

327 (2.13)

462 (3.09)

0.69 (0.60, 0.80)

< 0.0001

Fatal

10 (0.06)

37 (0.24)

  

Intracranial

52 (0.33)

122 (0.80)

  

Major + CRNM

613 (4.07)

877 (6.01)

0.68 (0.61, 0.75)

< 0.0001

All

2356 (18.1)

3060 (25.8)

0.71 (0.68, 0.75)

< 0.0001

Other Endpoints

All-cause death

603 (3.52)

669 (3.94)

0.89 (0.80, 1.00)

0.0465

Myocardial infarction

90 (0.53)

102 (0.61)

0.88 (0.66, 1.17)

 

*Major bleeding defined per International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) criteria.

† Clinically Relevant Non-Major

The overall discontinuation rate due to adverse reactions was 1.8% for apixaban and 2.6% for warfarin in the ARISTOTLE study.

The efficacy results for prespecified subgroups, including CHADS2 score, age, body weight, gender, status of renal function, prior stroke or TIA and diabetes were consistent with the primary efficacy results for the overall population studied in the trial.

The incidence of ISTH major gastrointestinal bleeds (including upper GI, lower GI, and rectal bleeding) was 0.76%/year with apixaban and 0.86%/year with warfarin.

The major bleeding results for prespecified subgroups including CHADS2 score, age, body weight, gender, status of renal function, prior stroke or TIA and diabetes were consistent with the results for the overall population studied in the trial.

AVERROES STUDY

In the AVERROES study a total of 5,598 patients considered to be unsuitable for VKA by the investigators were randomized to treatment with apixaban 5 mg twice daily (or 2.5 mg twice daily in selected patients [6.4%], see section 4.2) or ASA. ASA was given at a once daily dose of 81 mg (64%), 162 (26.9%), 243 (2.1%), or 324 mg (6.6%) at the discretion of the investigator. Patients were exposed to study drug for a mean of 14 months. The mean age was 69.9 years, the mean CHADS2 score was 2.0 and 13.6% of patients had prior stroke or TIA.

Common reasons for unsuitability for VKA therapy in the AVERROES study included unable/unlikely to obtain INRs at requested intervals (42.6%), patient refused treatment with VKA (37.4%), CHADS2 score = 1 and physician did not recommend VKA (21.3%), patient could not be relied on to adhere to VKA medication instruction (15.0%), and difficulty/expected difficulty in contacting patient in case of urgent dose change (11.7%).

AVERROES was stopped early based on a recommendation by the independent Data Monitoring Committee due to clear evidence of reduction of stroke and systemic embolism with an acceptable safety profile.

The overall discontinuation rate due to adverse reactions was 1.5% for apixaban and 1.3% for ASA in the AVERROES study.

In the study, apixaban achieved statistically significant superiority in the primary endpoint of prevention of stroke (haemorrhagic, ischaemic or unspecified) or systemic embolism (see Table 4) compared to ASA.

Table 4: Key Efficacy Outcomes in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation in the AVERROES Study

 

Apixaban

N = 2807

n (%/year)

ASA

N = 2791

n (%/year)

Hazard Ratio

(95% CI)

p-value

Stroke or systemic embolism*

51 (1.62)

113 (3.63)

0.45 (0.32, 0.62)

< 0.0001

Stroke

    

Ischaemic or unspecified

43 (1.37)

97 (3.11)

0.44 (0.31, 0.63)

 

Haemorrhagic

6 (0.19)

9 (0.28)

0.67 (0.24, 1.88)

 

Systemic embolism

2 (0.06)

13 (0.41)

0.15 (0.03, 0.68)

 

Stroke, systemic embolism, MI, or vascular death*

132 (4.21)

197 (6.35)

0.66 (0.53, 0.83)

0.003

Myocardial infarction

24 (0.76)

28 (0.89)

0.86 (0.50, 1.48)

 

Vascular Death

84 (2.65)

96 (3.03)

0.87 (0.65, 1.17)

 

All-cause death†

111 (3.51)

140 (4.42)

0.79 (0.62, 1.02)

0.068

* Assessed by sequential testing strategy designed to control the overall type I error in the trial

† Secondary endpoint.

There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of major bleeding between apixaban and ASA (see Table 5).

Table 5: Bleeding Events in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation in the AVERROES Study

 

Apixaban

N = 2798

n(%/year)

ASA

N = 2780

n (%/year)

Hazard Ratio (95%CI)

p-value

Major*

45 (1.41)

29 (0.92)

1.54 (0.96, 2.45)

0.0716

Fatal, n

5 (0.16)

5 (0.16)

  

Intracranial, n

11 (0.34)

11 (0.35)

  

Major + CRNM†

140 (4.46)

101 (3.24)

1.38 (1.07, 1.78)

0.0144

All

325 (10.85)

250 (8.32)

1.30 (1.10, 1.53)

0.0017

*Major bleeding defined per International Society on Thrombosis ad Haemostasis (ISTH) criteria.

† Clinically Relevant Non-Major

Paediatric population

The European Medicines Agency has deferred the obligation to submit the results of studies with Eliquis in one or more subsets of the paediatric population in venous and arterial embolism and thrombosis (see section 4.2 for information on paediatric use).


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5.2 Pharmacokinetic properties

Absorption

The absolute bioavailability of apixaban is approximately 50% for doses up to 10 mg. Apixaban is rapidly absorbed with maximum concentrations (Cmax) appearing 3 to 4 hours after tablet intake. Intake with food does not affect apixaban AUC or Cmax at the 10 mg dose. Apixaban can be taken with or without food.

Apixaban demonstrates linear pharmacokinetics with dose proportional increases in exposure for oral doses up to 10 mg. At doses ≥ 25 mg apixaban displays dissolution limited absorption with decreased bioavailability. Apixaban exposure parameters exhibit low to moderate variability reflected by a within-subject and inter-subject variability of ~20% CV and ~30% CV, respectively.

Distribution

Plasma protein binding in humans is approximately 87%. The volume of distribution (Vss) is approximately 21 litres.

Biotransformation and elimination

Apixaban has multiple routes of elimination. Of the administered apixaban dose in humans, approximately 25% was recovered as metabolites, with the majority recovered in faeces. Renal excretion of apixaban accounts for approximately 27% of total clearance. Additional contributions from biliary and direct intestinal excretion were observed in clinical and nonclinical studies, respectively.

Apixaban has a total clearance of about 3.3 l/h and a half-life of approximately 12 hours.

O-demethylation and hydroxylation at the 3-oxopiperidinyl moiety are the major sites of biotransformation. Apixaban is metabolized mainly via CYP3A4/5 with minor contributions from CYP1A2, 2C8, 2C9, 2C19, and 2J2. Unchanged apixaban is the major drug-related component in human plasma with no active circulating metabolites present. Apixaban is a substrate of transport proteins, P-gp and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP).

Renal impairment

There was no impact of impaired renal function on peak concentration of apixaban. There was an increase in apixaban exposure correlated to decrease in renal function, as assessed via measured creatinine clearance. In individuals with mild (creatinine clearance 51-80 ml/min), moderate (creatinine clearance 30-50 ml/min) and severe (creatinine clearance 15-29 ml/min) renal impairment, apixaban plasma concentrations (AUC) were increased 16, 29, and 44% respectively, compared to individuals with normal creatinine clearance. Renal impairment had no evident effect on the relationship between apixaban plasma concentration and anti-FXa activity.

In subjects with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the AUC of apixaban was increased by 36% when a single dose of apixaban 5 mg was administered immediately after haemodialysis, compared to that seen in subjects with normal renal function. Haemodialysis, started two hours after administration of a single dose of apixaban 5 mg, decreased apixaban AUC by 14% in these ESRD subjects, corresponding to an apixaban dialysis clearance of 18 mL/min. Therefore, haemodialysis is unlikely to be an effective means of managing apixaban overdose.

Hepatic impairment

In a study comparing 8 subjects with mild hepatic impairment, Child-Pugh A score 5 (n = 6) and score 6 (n = 2), and 8 subjects with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh B score 7 (n = 6) and score 8 (n = 2), to 16 healthy control subjects, the single-dose pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of apixaban 5 mg were not altered in subjects with hepatic impairment. Changes in anti-Factor Xa activity and INR were comparable between subjects with mild to moderate hepatic impairment and healthy subjects.

Elderly

Elderly patients (above 65 years) exhibited higher plasma concentrations than younger patients, with mean AUC values being approximately 32% higher and no difference in Cmax.

Gender

Exposure to apixaban was approximately 18% higher in females than in males.

Ethnic origin and race

The results across phase 1 studies showed no discernible difference in apixaban pharmacokinetics between White/Caucasian, Asian and Black/African American subjects. Findings from a population pharmacokinetic analysis in patients who received apixaban were generally consistent with the phase 1 results.

Body weight

Compared to apixaban exposure in subjects with body weight of 65 to 85 kg, body weight > 120 kg was associated with approximately 30% lower exposure and body weight < 50 kg was associated with approximately 30% higher exposure.

Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship

The pharmacokinetic /pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) relationship between apixaban plasma concentration and several PD endpoints (anti-FXa activity, INR, PT, aPTT) has been evaluated after administration of a wide range of doses (0.5 – 50 mg). The relationship between apixaban plasma concentration and anti-factor Xa activity was best described by a linear model. The PK/PD relationship observed in patients was consistent with that established in healthy subjects.


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5.3 Preclinical safety data

Preclinical data reveal no special hazard for humans based on conventional studies of safety pharmacology, repeated dose toxicity, genotoxicity, carcinogenic potential, fertility and embryo-foetal development and juvenile toxicity.

The major observed effects in the repeated dose toxicity studies were those related to the pharmacodynamic action of apixaban on blood coagulation parameters. In the toxicity studies little to no increase of bleeding tendency was found. However, since this may be due to a lower sensitivity of the non-clinical species compared to humans, this result should be interpreted with caution when extrapolating to humans.


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6. Pharmaceutical particulars

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6.1 List of excipients

Tablet core:

Anhydrous lactose

Microcrystalline cellulose (E460)

Croscarmellose sodium

Sodium laurilsulfate

Magnesium stearate (E470b)

Film coat:

Lactose monohydrate

Hypromellose (E464)

Titanium dioxide (E171)

Triacetin (E1518)

Iron oxide red (E172)


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6.2 Incompatibilities

Not applicable.


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6.3 Shelf life

3 years


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6.4 Special precautions for storage

This medicinal product does not require any special storage condition.


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6.5 Nature and contents of container

Alu-PVC/PVdC blisters. Cartons of 14, 20, 56, 60, 168 and 200 film-coated tablets.

Alu-PVC/PVdC perforated unit dose blisters of 100x1 film coated tablets.

Not all pack sizes may be marketed.


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6.6 Special precautions for disposal and other handling

No special requirements.


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7. Marketing authorisation holder

Bristol-Myers Squibb/Pfizer EEIG, Bristol-Myers Squibb House,

Uxbridge Business Park, Sanderson Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex

UB8 1DH

United Kingdom


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8. Marketing authorisation number(s)

 

Eliquis 5mg Film-coated Tablets - Blister x 56

EU/1/11/691/008


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9. Date of first authorisation/renewal of the authorisation

Date of first authorisation:- 18 May 2011


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10. Date of revision of the text

19 September 2013


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11. Legal category

POM - Medicinal product subject to medical prescription

Detailed information on this medicinal product is available on the website of the European Medicines Agency http://www.ema.europa.eu



More information about this product

Link to this document from your website: http://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/27220/SPC/


Active Ingredients/Generics