This information is intended for use by health professionals

1. Name of the medicinal product

Fragmin® Graduated Syringe 10,000 IU/ml Solution for Injection

2. Qualitative and quantitative composition

Pre-filled, single dose syringes containing dalteparin sodium 10,000 IU (anti-Factor Xa) in 1.0 ml solution for injection.

Fragmin Graduated Syringes do not contain preservatives.

*Potency is described in International anti-Factor Xa units (IU) of the 1st International Standard for Low Molecular Weight Heparin.

3. Pharmaceutical form

Solution for injection.

4. Clinical particulars
4.1 Therapeutic indications

Unstable angina and non-Q wave myocardial infarction (unstable coronary artery disease-UCAD), administered concurrently with aspirin.

Extended Use

Fragmin may be used beyond 8 days in patients awaiting angiography/revascularisation procedures (see Section 5.1)

4.2 Posology and method of administration

Adults

120 IU/kg body weight are administered subcutaneously 12 hourly for up to 8 days if considered of benefit by the physician. Maximum dose is 10,000 IU/12 hours.

Patients needing treatment beyond 8 days, while awaiting angiography/revascularisation, should receive a fixed dose of either 5,000 IU (women < 80 kg and men <70 kg) or 7,500 IU (women ≥80 kg and men ≥70 kg) 12 hourly. Treatment is recommended to be given until the day of the revascularisation procedure (PTCA or CABG) but not for more than 45 days.

Paediatric population

The safety and efficacy of dalteparin sodium in children has not been established. Currently available data are described in sections 5.1 and 5.2 but no recommendation on a posology can be made.

Monitoring Anti-Xa levels in children

Measurement of peak anti-Xa levels at about 4 hours post-dose should be considered for certain special populations receiving Fragmin, such as children. For therapeutic treatment with doses administered once daily, peak anti-Xa levels should generally be maintained between 0.5 and 1.0 IU/mL measured at 4 hours post-dose. In the case of low and changing physiologic renal function such as in neonates, close monitoring of anti-Xa levels is warranted. For prophylaxis treatment the anti- Xa levels should generally be maintained between 0.2-0.4 IU/mL.

As with all antithrombotic agents, there is a risk of systemic bleeding with Fragmin administration. Care should be taken with Fragmin use in high dose treatment of newly operated patients. After treatment is initiated patients should be carefully monitored for bleeding complications. This may be done by regular physical examination of the patients, close observation of the surgical drain and periodic measurements of hemoglobin, and anti-Xa determinations.

Elderly

Fragmin has been used safely in elderly patients without the need for dosage adjustment.

Method of administration

Following the determination of the required dose, excess solution should be ejected from the syringe.

Administration is by subcutaneous injection, preferably into the abdominal subcutaneous tissue anterolaterally or posterolaterally, or into the lateral part of the thigh. Patients should be supine and the total length of the needle should be introduced vertically, not at an angle, into the thick part of a skin fold, produced by squeezing the skin between thumb and forefinger; the skin fold should be held throughout the injection.

Syringes should be discarded after use

4.3 Contraindications

Known hypersensitivity to Fragmin or other low molecular weight heparins and/or heparins e.g. history of confirmed or suspected immunologically mediated heparin induced thrombocytopenia (type II); acute gastroduodenal ulcer; cerebral haemorrhage; known haemorrhagic diathesis or other active haemorrhage; serious coagulation disorders; acute or sub-acute septic endocarditis; injuries to and operations on the central nervous system, eyes and ears.

In patients receiving Fragmin for treatment rather than prophylaxis, local and/or regional anaesthesia in elective surgical procedures is contra-indicated with high doses of dalteparin (such as those needed to treat acute deep-vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and unstable coronary artery disease).

4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use

Do not administer by the intramuscular route. Due to the risk of haematoma, intramuscular injection of other medical preparations should be avoided when the twenty-four hour dose of dalteparin exceeds 5,000 IU.

Caution should be exercised in patients in whom there is an increased risk of bleeding complications, e.g. following surgery or trauma, haemorrhagic stroke, severe liver or renal failure, thrombocytopenia or defective platelet function, uncontrolled hypertension, hypertensive or diabetic retinopathy, patients receiving concurrent anticoagulant/antiplatelet agents (see Interactions Section). Caution shall also be observed at high-dose treatment with dalteparin (such as those needed to treat acute deep-vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and unstable coronary artery disease).

It is recommended that platelets be counted before starting treatment with Fragmin and monitored regularly. Special caution is necessary in rapidly developing thrombocytopenia and severe thrombocytopenia (<100,000/µl) associated with positive or unknown results of in-vitro tests for anti-platelet antibody in the presence of Fragmin or other low molecular weight (mass) heparins and/or heparin.

Fragmin induces only a moderate prolongation of the APTT and thrombin time. Accordingly, dosage increments based upon prolongation of the APTT may cause overdosage and bleeding. Therefore, prolongation of the APTT should only be used as a test of overdosage.

Monitoring Anti-Xa Levels

Monitoring of Anti-Xa Levels in patients using Fragmin is not usually required but should be considered for specific patient populations such as paediatrics, those with renal failure, those who are very thin or morbidly obese, pregnant or at increased risk for bleeding or rethrombosis

Where monitoring is necessary, laboratory assays using a chromogenic substrate are considered the method of choice for measuring anti-Xa levels. Activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) or thrombin time should not be used because these tests are relatively insensitive to the activity of dalteparin. Increasing the dose of dalteparin in an attempt to prolong APTT may result in bleeding (see section 4.9).

Patients under chronic haemodialysis with dalteparin need as a rule fewer dosage adjustments and as a result fewer controls of anti-Xa levels. Patients undergoing acute haemodialysis may be more unstable and should have a more comprehensive monitoring of anti-Xa levels (see section 5.2).

Patients with severely disturbed hepatic function may need a reduction in dosage and should be monitored accordingly.

If a transmural myocardial infarction occurs in patients where thrombolytic treatment might be appropriate, this does not necessitate discontinuation of treatment with Fragmin but might increase the risk of bleeding.

As individual low molecular weight (mass) heparins have differing characteristics, switching to an alternative low molecular weight heparin should be avoided. The directions for use relating to each specific product must be observed as different dosages may be required.

Interchangeability with other anticoagulants

Dalteparin cannot be used interchangeably (unit for unit) with unfractionated heparin, other low molecular weight heparins, or synthetic polysaccharides. Each of these medicines differ in their starting raw materials, manufacturing process, physico-chemical, biological, and clinical properties, leading to differences in biochemical identity, dosing, and possibly clinical efficacy and safety. Each of these medicines is unique and has its own instructions for use.

Heparin can suppress adrenal secretion of aldosterone leading to hyperkalaemia, particularly in patients such as those with diabetes mellitus, chronic renal failure, pre-existing metabolic acidosis, a raised plasma potassium or taking potassium sparing drugs. The risk of hyperkalaemia appears to increase with duration of therapy but is usually reversible. Plasma potassium should be measured in patients at risk before starting heparin therapy and monitored regularly thereafter particularly if treatment is prolonged beyond about 7 days.

When neuraxial anaesthesia (epidural/spinal anaesthesia) or spinal puncture is employed, patients are at risk of developing an epidural or spinal hematoma, which can result in long-term or permanent paralysis. The risk of these events is increased by the use of indwelling epidural catheters or by the concomitant use of drugs affecting hemostasis, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), platelet inhibitors, or other anticoagulants. The risk also appears to be increased by traumatic or repeated epidural or spinal puncture. Patients should be monitored frequently for signs and symptoms of neurological impairment when anticoagulation is given in connection with epidural/spinal anesthesia.

Insertion or removal of the epidural or spinal catheter should be postponed to 10-12 hours after dalteparin doses administered for thrombosis prophylaxis, while in those receiving higher therapeutic dalteparin doses (such as 100 IU/kg -120 IU/kg every 12 hours or 200 IU/kg once daily), the interval should be a minimum of 24 hours.

Should a physician, as a clinical judgement, decide to administer anticoagulation in the context of epidural or spinal anaesthesia, extreme vigilance and frequent monitoring must be exercised to detect any signs and symptoms of neurologic impairment such as back pain, sensory or motor deficits (numbness and weakness in lower limbs) and bowel or bladder dysfunction. Nurses should be trained to detect such signs and symptoms. Patients should be instructed to inform immediately a nurse or a clinician if they experience any of these.

If signs or symptoms of epidural or spinal haematoma are suspected, urgent diagnosis and treatment may include spinal cord decompression.

There have been no adequate studies to assess the safe and effective use of Fragmin in preventing valve thrombosis in patients with prosthetic heart valves. Prophylactic doses of Fragmin are not sufficient to prevent valve thrombosis in patients with prosthetic heart valves. The use of Fragmin cannot be recommended for this purpose.

At long-term treatment of unstable coronary artery disease, such as e.g., before revascularisation, dose reduction should be considered at reduced kidney function (S-creatinine > 150 μmol/l).

Paediatric population:

Clinical experience of treatment of children is limited. If dalteparin is used in children the anti-Xa levels should be monitored.

The administration of medications containing benzyl alcohol as a preservative to premature neonates has been associated with a fatal “Gasping Syndrome” (see section 4.6).

Elderly patients (especially patients aged eighty years and above) may be at an increased risk for bleeding complications within the therapeutic dosage ranges. Careful clinical monitoring is advised.

4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

The possibility of the following interactions with Fragmin should be considered:

i) An enhancement of the anticoagulant effect by anticoagulant/antiplatelet agents e.g. aspirin/dipyridamole, GP IIb/IIIa receptor antagonists, vitamin K antagonists, NSAIDs e.g. indomethacin, cytostatics, dextran, thrombolytics, sulphinpyrazone, probenecid, and ethacrynic acid. However, unless specifically contra-indicated, patients should receive oral low-dose aspirin.

ii) A reduction of the anticoagulant effect may occur with concomitant administration of antihistamines, cardiac glycosides, tetracycline and ascorbic acid.

Because NSAIDs and ASA analgesic/anti-inflammatory doses reduce production of vasodilatatory prostaglandins, and thereby renal blood flow and the renal excretion, particular care should be taken when administering dalteparin concomitantly with NSAIDs or high dose ASA in patients with renal failure.

However, if there are no specific contraindications, patients with unstable coronary artery disease (unstable angina and non-Q-wave infarction) can be treated with low doses of acetylsalicylic acid.

As heparin has been shown to interact with intravenous nitroglycerine, high dose penicillin, quinine and tobacco smoking interaction cannot be ruled out for dalteparin.

Paediatric population

Interaction studies have only been studied in adults.

4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation

Pregnancy

Dalteparin does not pass the placenta. A large amount of data on pregnant women (more than 1000 exposed outcomes) indicate no malformative nor feto/ neonatal toxicity. Fragmin can be used during pregnancy if clinically needed.

If dalteparin is used during pregnancy, the possibility of foetal harm appears remote. However, because the possibility of harm cannot be completely ruled out, dalteparin should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

There are more than 2,000 published cases (studies, case series and case reports) on administration of dalteparin in pregnancy. As compared with unfractionated heparin, a lower bleeding tendency and reduced risk of osteoporotic fracture was reported. The largest prospective study “Efficacy of Thromboprophylaxis as an Intervention during Gravidity“ (EThIG), involved 810 pregnant women and investigated a pregnancy-specific scheme for risk stratification (low, high, very high risk of venous thromboembolism) with daily doses of dalteparin between 50 – 150 IU/kg body weight (in single cases up to max. 200 IU/kg body weight). However, only limited randomised controlled studies are available on the use of low molecular weight heparins in pregnancy.

Animal experiments did not show any teratogenic or fetotoxic properties of dalteparin (see section 5.3).

Epidural anaesthesia during childbirth is absolutely contraindicated in women who are being treated with high-dose anticoagulants (see section 4.3). Caution is recommended when treating patients with an increased risk of haemorrhage, such as perinatal women (see section 4.4). In pregnant women during the last trimester, dalteparin anti-Xa half-lives of 4 to 5 hours were measured.

Fragmin 25000 100,000 IU/4ml multidose vial contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative. As benzyl alcohol may cross the placenta, Fragmin without preservative should therefore be used during pregnancy (see section 4.4).

Therapeutic failures have been reported in pregnant women with prosthetic heart valves on full anti-coagulant doses of low molecular weight heparin. In the absence of clear dosing, efficacy and safety information in this circumstance, Fragmin is not recommended for use in pregnant women with prosthetic heart valves.

Breast-feeding

Limited data are available for excretion of dalteparin in human milk. One study in 15 women (between day 3 and 5 of lactation and 2 to 3 hours after receiving prophylactic doses of dalteparin) detected small amounts of anti- factor Xa levels of 2 to 8% of plasma levels in breast milk, equivalent to a milk/plasma ratio of <0.025-0.224. An anticoagulant effect on the infant appears unlikely.

A risk to the suckling child cannot be excluded. A decision on whether to continue/discontinue breast-feeding or to continue/discontinue therapy with Fragmin should be made taking into account the benefit of breast-feeding to the child and the benefit of Fragmin therapy to the woman.

Fertility

Based on current clinical data there is no evidence that dalteparin sodium effects fertility. No effects on fertility, copulation or peri- and postnatal development were noted when dalteparin sodium was tested in animals.

4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines

Fragmin does not affect the ability to drive or operate machinery.

4.8 Undesirable effects

About 3% of the patients having had prophylactic treatment reported side-effects.

The reported adverse reactions, which may possibly be associated to dalteparin sodium, are listed in the following table by system organ class and frequency group: common (≥1/100, <1/10), uncommon (≥1/1000, <1/100), rare (≥1/10 000).

System Organ Class

Frequency

Adverse reactions

Blood and lymphatic system disorders

Common

Mild thrombocytopenia (type I), which usually is reversible during the treatment

Not Known*

Immunologically-mediated heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (type II, with or without associated thrombotic complications)

Immune system disorders

Uncommon

Hypersensitivity

Not Known*

Anaphylactic reactions

Nervous System Disorders

Not Known*

Intracranial bleeds have been reported and some have been fatal

Cardiac disorders

Not Known*

Prosthetic cardiac valve thrombosis

Vascular disorders

Common

Haemorrhage

Gastrointestinal disorders

Not Known*

Retroperitoneal bleeds have been reported and some have been fatal

Hepatic and biliary disorders

Common

Transient elevation of transaminases

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders

Uncommon

Urticaria, pruritus

Rare

Skin necrosis, transient alopecia

Not Known*

Rash

General disorders and administration site conditions

Common

Subcutaneous haematoma at the injection site

Pain at the injection site

Injury, poisoning and procedural complications

Not Known*

Spinal or epidural hematoma

*(cannot be established from available data)

The risk of bleeding is depending on dose. Most bleedings are mild. Severe bleedings have been reported, some cases with fatal outcome.

Heparin products can cause hypoaldosteronism which may result in an increase in plasma potassium. Rarely, clinically significant hyperkalaemia may occur particularly in patients with chronic renal failure and diabetes mellitus (see section 4.4).

Long term treatment with heparin has been associated with a risk of osteoporosis. Although this has not been observed with dalteparin, the risk of osteoporosis cannot be excluded.

Paediatric population

Frequency, type and severity of adverse reactions in children are expected to be the same as in adults. The safety of long term dalteparin administration has not been established.

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

4.9 Overdose

The anticoagulant effect (i.e. prolongation of the APTT) induced by Fragmin is inhibited by protamine. Since protamine itself has an inhibiting effect on primary haemostasis it should be used only in an emergency. The prolongation of the clotting time induced by Fragmin may be fully neutralised by protamine, but the anti-Factor Xa activity is only neutralised to about 25-50%. 1 mg of protamine inhibits the effect of 100 IU (anti-Factor Xa) of Fragmin. Protamine should be given by intravenous injection over approximately 10 minutes.

5. Pharmacological properties
5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties

ATC code BOIA B

Dalteparin sodium is a low molecular weight heparin fraction (weight average molecular weight of 6000 Daltons (range between 5,600 and 6,400 Daltons)) produced from porcine-derived heparin sodium.

Mechanism of action

Dalteparin sodium is an antithrombotic agent, which acts mainly through its ability to potentiate the inhibition of Factor Xa and thrombin by antithrombin. It has a relatively higher ability to potentiate Factor Xa inhibition than to prolong plasma clotting time (APTT).

Pharmacodynamic effects

Compared with standard, unfractionated heparin, dalteparin sodium has a reduced adverse effect on platelet function and platelet adhesion, and thus has only a minimal effect on primary haemostasis. Some of the antithrombotic properties of dalteparin sodium are thought to be mediated through the effects on vessel walls or the fibrinolytic system.

Clinical efficacy and safety

In a prospectively randomised study in 3489 patients (FRISC II) with acute coronary syndromes, early invasive strategy was clearly superior to non –invasive strategy.

In a post-hoc analysis, the extended use of Fragmin, up to Day 45 reduced the incidence of death and/or MI compared with placebo in the non-invasive group (revascularisation only if necessary).

The use of Fragmin beyond 8 days did not significantly reduce the incidence of death and/or MI, compared to placebo, in patients who were contraindicated to early angiography and revascularisation.

Paediatric population

There is limited safety and efficacy information on the use of dalteparin in paediatric patients. If dalteparin is used in these patients, anti-Xa levels should be monitored.

The largest prospective study investigated the efficacy, safety and relation of dose to plasma anti-Xa activity of dalteparin in prophylaxis and therapy of arterial and venous thrombosis in 48 paediatric patients (Nohe et al, 1999).

Nohe et al (1999) Study Demographics and Trial Design

Trial design

Patients

Diagnosis

Indication, Fragmin Dose, Target anti-Xa, Duration

Single-center, open label trial;

(n = 48)

Age:

31 week preterm to 18 years

Gender:

32 males, 16 females

Arterial or venous thrombosis; PVOD; PPH

Prophylaxis:

(n = 10)

95 ± 52 anti-Xa IU/kg sc qd;

0.2 to 0.4 IU/mL

3-6 months

Primary Therapy:

(n = 25)

129 ± 43 anti-Xa IU/kg sc qd;

0.4 to 1.0 IU/mL

3-6 months

Secondary Therapy:

(n = 13)

129 ± 43 anti-Xa IU/kg sc qd;

0.4 to 1.0 IU/mL

3-6 months

In this study, no thromboembolic events occurred in the 10 patients receiving dalteparin for thromboprophylaxis. In the 23 patients given dalteparin for primary antithrombotic therapy of arterial or venous thrombosis, complete recanalization was seen in 7/23 (30%), partial recanalization in 7/23 (30%) and no recanalization in 9/23 (40%). In the 8 patients administered dalteparin for secondary antithrombotic therapy following successful thrombolysis, recanalisation was maintained or improved. In the 5 patients receiving dalteparin for secondary therapy following failed thrombolysis, no recanalization was seen. Minor bleeding, reported in 2/48 children (4%), resolved after dose reduction. Patient platelet counts ranged from 37,000/μl to 574,000/μl. The authors attributed platelet counts below normal (150,000/μl) to immunosuppressive therapy. A reduction in platelet count ≥ 50% of the initial value, a sign of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia type 2 (HIT 2), was not observed in any patient. For both prophylaxis and therapy groups, the dalteparin doses (anti-Xa IU/kg) required to achieve target anti-Xa activities (IU/ml) were inversely related to age (r2 = 0.64, P = 0.017; r2 = 0.13, P = 0.013). The predictability of the anticoagulant effect with weight-adjusted doses appears to be reduced in children compared to adults, presumably due to altered plasma binding (see section 5.2).

5.2 Pharmacokinetic properties

Elimination

The half-life following s.c. administration is 3.5-4 hours, twice that of unfractionated heparin.

Bioavailability

The bioavailability following s.c. injection is approximately 87 per cent and the pharmacokinetics are not dose dependent. The half life is prolonged in uraemic patients as dalteparin sodium is eliminated primarily through the kidneys.

Special Populations

Haemodialysis:

In patients with chronic renal insufficiency requiring haemodialysis, the mean terminal hal-life of anti-Factor Xa activity following a single intravenous dose of 5000 IU dalteparin was 5.7 ± 2.0 hours, i.e. considerably longer than values observed in healthy volunteers, therefore, greater accumulation can be expected in these patients.

Paediatric Population:

Infants less than approximately 2 to 3 months of age or < 5 kg have increased LMWH requirements per kg likely due to their larger volume of distribution. Alternative explanations for the increased requirement of LMWH per body weight in young children include altered heparin pharmacokinetics and/or a decreased expression of anticoagulant activity of heparin in children due to decreased plasma concentrations of antithrombin.

5.3 Preclinical safety data

The acute toxicity of dalteparin sodium is considerably lower than that of heparin. The only significant finding, which occurred consistently throughout the toxicity studies after subcutaneous administration of the higher dose levels was local haemorrhage at the injection sites, dose-related in incidence and severity. There was no cumulative effect on injection site haemorrhages.

The haemorrhagic reaction was reflected in dose related changes in the anticoagulant effects as measured by APTT and anti-Factor Xa activities.

It was concluded that dalteparin sodium did not have a greater osteopenic effect than heparin since at equivalent doses the osteopenic effect was comparable.

The results revealed no organ toxicity irrespective of the route of administration, doses or duration of treatment. No mutagenic effect was found. No embryotoxic or teratogenic effects and no effect on fertility reproductive capacity or peri- and postnatal development was shown.

6. Pharmaceutical particulars
6.1 List of excipients

Sodium Chloride Ph Eur

Water for Injections Ph. Eur

Sodium hydroxide or hydrochloric acid for pH adjustment

6.2 Incompatibilities

Not applicable.

6.3 Shelf life

3 Years.

6.4 Special precautions for storage

Store below 25°C.

6.5 Nature and contents of container

Fragmin Graduated Syringe 10,000 IU/ml Solution for Injection is supplied in 1.0 ml glass Ph. Eur. Type I single dose syringes with a chlorobutyl rubber stopper, a latex-free needle shield, a plunger rod, needle-trap feature and a label with gradation. Each box contains 5 x 1 ml syringes.

6.6 Special precautions for disposal and other handling

Fragmin Graduated Syringes are for single dose use only.

The Needle-Trap consists of a plastic needle "catcher" which is firmly attached to the syringe label. Together, these two components comprise the Needle-Trap (safety) feature. The Needle-Trap is designed to specifically help prevent accidental needle sticks following the proper administration of injectable medications.

The Needle-Trap requires specific actions by the user to "activate" the Needle-Trap, which will render the needle harmless after the injection is administered:

• The user grasps the tip of the plastic needle catcher and bends it away from needle shield.

• The needle shield is removed from the syringe.

• The injection is administered normally.

• The needle is removed from the patient. The Needle-Trap is activated by placing the plastic catcher against a hard, stable surface and with one hand, pivoting the syringe barrel upward against the needle forcing the needle into the catcher where it locks in place (an audible 'click" is heard when the needle is locked in the catcher). The needle is bent until the syringe exceeds a 45 degree angle with the flat surface to render it permanently unusable.

The syringe is properly disposed of normally.

7. Marketing authorisation holder

Pfizer Limited

Ramsgate Road

Sandwich KENT

CT13 9NJ

United Kingdom

8. Marketing authorisation number(s)

PL 00057/0986

9. Date of first authorisation/renewal of the authorisation

29 April 2002

10. Date of revision of the text

05/2016

Ref: FR 4_3