What is Effient and how is it used?
Effient is indicated to reduce the rate of thrombotic cardiovascular (CV) events (including stent thrombosis) in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) who are to be managed with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) as follows:
- Patients with unstable angina (UA) or non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI).
- Patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) when managed with primary or delayed PCI. Effient has been shown to reduce the rate of a combined endpoint of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), or nonfatal stroke compared to clopidogrel.
The difference between treatments was driven predominantly by MI, with no difference on strokes and little difference on CV death. It is generally recommended that antiplatelet therapy be administered promptly in the management of ACS because many cardiovascular events occur within hours of initial presentation. In the clinical trial that established the efficacy of Effient, Effient and the control drug were not administered to UA/NSTEMI patients until coronary anatomy was established. For the small fraction of patients that required urgent CABG after treatment with Effient, the risk of significant bleeding was substantial.
Because the large majority of patients are managed without CABG, however, treatment can be considered before determining coronary anatomy if need for CABG is considered unlikely. The advantages of earlier treatment with Effient must then be balanced against the increased rate of bleeding in patients who do need to undergo urgent CABG.
What are the side effects of Effient?
General Risk of Bleeding
Thienopyridines, including Effient, increase the risk of bleeding. With the dosing regimens used in TRITON-TIMI 38, TIMI (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction) Major (clinically overt bleeding associated with a fall in hemoglobin ≥ 5 g/dL, or intracranial hemorrhage) and TIMI Minor (overt bleeding associated with a fall in hemoglobin of ≥ 3 g/dL but < 5 g/dL) bleeding events were more common on Effient than on clopidogrel.
- Age ≥ 75 years. Because of the risk of bleeding (including fatal bleeding) and uncertain effectiveness in patients ≥75 years of age, use of Effient is generally not recommended in these patients, except in high-risk situations (patients with diabetes or history of myocardial infarction) where its effect appears to be greater and its use may be considered.
- CABG or other surgical procedure.
- Body weight < 60 kg. Consider a lower (5 mg) maintenance dose.
- Propensity to bleed (e.g., recent trauma, recent surgery, recent or recurrent gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, active peptic ulcer disease, or severe hepatic impairment).
- Medications that increase the risk of bleeding (e.g., oral anticoagulants, chronic use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs], and fibrinolytic agents). Aspirin and heparin were commonly used in TRITON-TIMI 38.
Thienopyridines inhibit platelet aggregation for the lifetime of the platelet (7-10 days), so withholding a dose will not be useful in managing a bleeding event or the risk of bleeding associated with an invasive procedure.
Because the half-life of prasugrel’s active metabolite is short relative to the lifetime of the platelet, it may be possible to restore hemostasis by administering exogenous platelets; however, platelet transfusions within 6 hours of the loading dose or 4 hours of the maintenance dose may be less effective.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery-Related Bleeding
The risk of bleeding is increased in patients receiving Effient who undergo CABG. If possible, Effient should be discontinued at least 7 days prior to CABG. Of the 437 patients who underwent CABG during TRITON-TIMI 38, the rates of CABG-related TIMI Major or Minor bleeding were 14.1% in the Effient group and 4.5% in the clopidogrel group.
The higher risk for bleeding events in patients treated with Effient persisted up to 7 days from the most recent dose of study drug. For patients receiving a thienopyridine within 3 days prior to CABG, the frequencies of TIMI Major or Minor bleeding were 26.7% (12 of 45 patients) in the Effient group, compared with 5.0% (3 of 60 patients) in the clopidogrel group.
For patients who received their last dose of thienopyridine within 4 to 7 days prior to CABG, the frequencies decreased to 11.3% (9 of 80 patients) in the prasugrel group and 3.4% (3 of 89 patients) in the clopidogrel group. Do not start Effient in patients likely to undergo urgent CABG.
CABG-related bleeding may be treated with transfusion of blood products, including packed red blood cells and platelets; however, platelet transfusions within 6 hours of the loading dose or 4 hours of the maintenance dose may be less effective.
Discontinuation of Effient
Discontinue thienopyridines, including Effient, for active bleeding, elective surgery, stroke, or TIA. The optimal duration of thienopyridine therapy is unknown. In patients who are managed with PCI and stent placement, premature discontinuation of any antiplatelet medication, including thienopyridines, conveys an increased risk of stent thrombosis, myocardial infarction, and death. Patients who require premature discontinuation of a thienopyridine will be at increased risk for cardiac events. Lapses in therapy should be avoided, and if thienopyridines must be temporarily discontinued because of an adverse event(s), they should be restarted as soon as possible.
Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) has been reported with the use of Effient. TTP can occur after a brief exposure (< 2 weeks). TTP is a serious condition that can be fatal and requires urgent treatment, including plasmapheresis (plasma exchange). TTP is characterized by thrombocytopenia, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia (schistocytes [fragment red blood cells] seen on peripheral smear), neurological findings, renal dysfunction, and fever.
Hypersensitivity Including Angioedema
Hypersensitivity including angioedema has been reported in patients receiving Effient, including patients with a history of hypersensitivity reaction to other thienopyridines.
In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease.
What is the dosage of Effient?
Initiate Effient treatment as a single 60 mg oral loading dose and then continue at 10 mg orally once daily. Patients taking Effient should also take aspirin (75 mg to 325 mg) daily.
Effient may be administered with or without food.
Dosing in Low Weight Patients
Compared to patients weighing ≥ 60 kg, patients weighing < 60 kg have an increased exposure to the active metabolite of prasugrel and an increased risk of bleeding on a 10 mg once daily maintenance dose. Consider lowering the maintenance dose to 5 mg in patients < 60 kg. The effectiveness and safety of the 5 mg dose have not been prospectively studied.
Effient 5 mg is a yellow, elongated hexagonal, film-coated, non-scored tablet debossed with “5 MG” on one side and “4760” on the other side. Effient 10 mg is a beige, elongated hexagonal, film-coated, non-scored tablet debossed with “10 MG” on one side and with “4759” on the other side.
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What drugs interact with Effient?
Coadministration of Effient and warfarin increases the risk of bleeding
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Coadministration of Effient and NSAIDs (used chronically) may increase the risk of bleeding.
Other Concomitant Medications
Effient can be administered with drugs that are inducers or inhibitors of cytochrome P450 enzymes. Effient can be administered with aspirin (75 mg to 325 mg per day), heparin, GPIIb/IIIa inhibitors, statins, digoxin, and drugs that elevate gastric pH, including proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers.
Is Effient safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of Effient use in pregnant women. Reproductive and developmental toxicology studies in rats and rabbits at doses of up to 30 times the recommended therapeutic exposures in humans (based on plasma exposures to the major circulating human metabolite) revealed no evidence of fetal harm; however, animal studies are not always predictive of a human response. Effient should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit to the mother justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
In embryo fetal developmental toxicology studies, pregnant rats and rabbits received prasugrel at maternally toxic oral doses equivalent to more than 40 times the human exposure. A slight decrease in pup body weight was observed; but, there were no structural malformations in either species. In prenatal and postnatal rat studies, maternal treatment with prasugrel had no effect on the behavioral or reproductive development of the offspring at doses greater than 150 times the human exposure.
It is not known whether Effient is excreted in human milk; however, metabolites of Effient were found in rat milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, prasugrel should be used during nursing only if the potential benefit to the mother justifies the potential risk to the nursing infant.