March 21, 2015

FDA Safety Alert on Sovaldi/Harvoni Label Change

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Serious and Life-Threatening Cases of Symptomatic Bradycardia as well as One Case of Fatal Cardiac Arrest Reported with Coadministration of amiodarone with either Harvoni® (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir fixed-dose combination) or with Sovaldi® (sofosbuvir) in combination with another direct acting antiviral.

On March 20, 2015, FDA approved changes to the Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir fixed dose combination) and Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) labels to update the WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS, and DRUG INTERATIONS sections of the labeling and the patient package insert with information on post-marketing cases of symptomatic bradycardia when co-administered with amiodarone. Additionally, Gilead Sciences has issued a Dear Healthcare Provider letter (see attachment).

The specific changes to the each label are summarized below.

Harvoni label changes:

5   WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Serious Symptomatic Bradycardia When Coadministered with Amiodarone

Postmarketing cases of symptomatic bradycardia, including fatal cardiac arrest and cases requiring pacemaker intervention, have been reported when amiodarone is coadministered with HARVONI. Bradycardia has generally occurred within hours to days, but cases have been observed up to 2 weeks after initiating HCV treatment. Patients also taking beta blockers, or those with underlying cardiac comorbidities and/or advanced liver disease may be at increased risk for symptomatic bradycardia with coadministration of amiodarone. Bradycardia generally resolved after discontinuation of HCV treatment. The mechanism for this effect is unknown.

Coadministration of amiodarone with HARVONI is not recommended. For patients taking amiodarone who have no other alternative, viable treatment options and who will be coadministered HARVONI:

• Counsel patients about the risk of serious symptomatic bradycardia

• Cardiac monitoring in an in-patient setting for the first 48 hours of coadministration is recommended, after which outpatient or self-monitoring of the heart rate should occur on a daily basis through at least the first 2 weeks of treatment.

Patients who are taking HARVONI who need to start amiodarone therapy due to no other alternative, viable treatment options should undergo similar cardiac monitoring as outlined above.

Due to amiodarone’s long half-life, patients discontinuing amiodarone just prior to starting HARVONI should also undergo similar cardiac monitoring as outlined above.

Patients who develop signs or symptoms of bradycardia should seek medical evaluation immediately.

6   ADVERSE REACTIONS

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

Because postmarketing reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of HARVONI.

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS

Added amiodarone information to Table 3, Potentially Significant Drug Interactions: Alterations in Dose or Regimen May Be Recommended Based on Drug Interaction Studies or Predicted Interaction.

Concomitant Drug Class: Drug Name

Effect on Concentration

Clinical Comment

Antiarrhythmics:

amiodarone

Effect on amiodarone, ledipasvir, and sofosbuvir concentrations unknown

Coadministration of HARVONI with amiodarone may result in serious symptomatic bradycardia. The mechanism of this effect is unknown. Coadministration of amiodarone with HARVONI is not recommended; if coadministration is required, cardiac monitoring is recommended [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]

 

Sovaldi Label Changes:

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Serious Symptomatic Bradycardia When Coadministered with Amiodarone and Another HCV Direct Acting Antiviral

Postmarketing cases of symptomatic bradycardia and cases requiring pacemaker intervention have been reported when amiodarone is coadministered with SOVALDI in combination with an investigational agent (NS5A inhibitor) or simeprevir. A fatal cardiac arrest was reported in a patient receiving a sofosbuvir-containing regimen (HARVONI (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir)). Bradycardia has generally occurred within hours to days, but cases have been observed up to 2 weeks after initiating HCV treatment. Patients also taking beta blockers, or those with underlying cardiac comorbidities and/or advanced liver disease may be at increased risk for symptomatic bradycardia with coadministration of amiodarone. Bradycardia generally resolved after discontinuation of HCV treatment. The mechanism for this effect is unknown.

Coadministration of amiodarone with SOVALDI in combination with another direct acting antiviral (DAA) is not recommended. For patients taking amiodarone who have no other alternative, viable treatment options and who will be coadministered SOVALDI and another DAA:

• Counsel patients about the risk of serious symptomatic bradycardia

• Cardiac monitoring in an in-patient setting for the first 48 hours of coadministration is recommended, after which outpatient or self-monitoring of the heart rate should occur on a daily basis through at least the first 2 weeks of treatment.

Patients who are taking SOVALDI in combination with another DAA who need to start amiodarone therapy due to no other alternative, viable treatment options should undergo similar cardiac monitoring as outlined above.

Due to amiodarone’s long half-life, patients discontinuing amiodarone just prior to starting SOVALDI in combination with a DAA should also undergo similar cardiac monitoring as outlined above.

Patients who develop signs or symptoms of bradycardia should seek medical evaluation immediately. Symptoms may include near-fainting or fainting, dizziness or lightheadedness, malaise, weakness, excessive tiredness, shortness of breath, chest pains, confusion or memory problems [See Adverse Reactions (6.2), Drug Interactions (7.2)].

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of SOVALDI. Because postmarketing reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Cardiac Disorders

Serious symptomatic bradycardia has been reported in patients taking amiodarone who initiate treatment with SOVALDI in combination with another HCV direct acting antiviral [See Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Drug Interactions (7.2)].

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS

Added amiodarone information to Table 5, Potentially Significant Drug Interactions: Alterations in Dose or Regimen May Be Recommended Based on Drug Interaction Studies or Predicted Interaction.

Concomitant Drug Class: Drug Name

Effect on Concentration

Clinical Comment

Antiarrhythmics:                       amiodarone              

Effect on amiodarone and sofosbuvir concentrations unknown

Coadministration of amiodarone with SOVALDI in combination with another DAA may result in serious symptomatic bradycardia. The mechanism of this effect is unknown. Coadministration of amiodarone with SOVALDI in combination with another DAA is not recommended; if coadministration is required, cardiac monitoring is recommended [See Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

Updated labeling will be posted soon at DailyMed

Please see Gilead Sciences has issued a Dear Healthcare Provider letter: 

SVD HVN - DHCP Letter 20March15 - FINAL.DOCX

Harvoni and Sovaldi are products of Gilead Sciences.

Richard Klein
Office of Special Health Issues
Food and Drug Administration

Kimberly Struble
Division of Antiviral Drug Products
Food and Drug Administration

Steve Morin
Office of Special Health Issues 
Food and Drug Administration

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