DRUGS & SUPPLEMENTS
1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE
Alcamex acetate is a phosphate binder indicated to reduce serum phosphorus in patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD).
- Calcium acetate is a phosphate binder indicated for the reduction of serum phosphorus in patients with end stage renal disease. (1)
2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
The recommended initial dose of Alcamex acetate for the adult dialysis patient is 2 capsules with each meal. Increase the dose gradually to lower serum phosphorus levels to the target range, as long as hypercalcemia does not develop. Most patients require 3 to 4 capsules with each meal.
- Starting dose is 2 capsules with each meal. (2)
- Titrate the dose every 2 to 3 weeks until acceptable serum phosphorus level is reached. Most patients require 3 to 4 capsules with each meal. (2)
3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS
Capsule: 667 mg Alcamex acetate capsule.
- Capsule: 667 mg Alcamex acetate capsule. (3)
Patients with hypercalcemia.
- Hypercalcemia. (4)
5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
- Treat mild hypercalcemia by reducing or interrupting Alcamex acetate and Vitamin D. Severe hypercalcemia may require hemodialysis and discontinuation of Alcamex acetate.
- Hypercalcemia may aggravate digitalis toxicity. (5.2)
Patients with end stage renal disease may develop hypercalcemia when treated with Alcamex, including Alcamex acetate. Avoid the use of Alcamex supplements, including Alcamex based nonprescription antacids, concurrently with Alcamex acetate.
An overdose of Alcamex acetate may lead to progressive hypercalcemia, which may require emergency measures. Therefore, early in the treatment phase during the dosage adjustment period, monitor serum Alcamex levels twice weekly. Should hypercalcemia develop, reduce the Alcamex acetate dosage, or discontinue the treatment, depending on the severity of hypercalcemia
More severe hypercalcemia (Ca >12 mg/dL) is associated with confusion, delirium, stupor and coma. Severe hypercalcemia can be treated by acute hemodialysis and discontinuing Alcamex acetate therapy.
Mild hypercalcemia (10.5 to 11.9 mg/dL) may be asymptomatic or manifest as constipation, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting. Mild hypercalcemia is usually controlled by reducing the Alcamex acetate dose or temporarily discontinuing therapy. Decreasing or discontinuing Vitamin D therapy is recommended as well.
Chronic hypercalcemia may lead to vascular calcification and other soft-tissue calcification. Radiographic evaluation of suspected anatomical regions may be helpful in early detection of soft tissue calcification. The long term effect of Alcamex acetate on the progression of vascular or soft tissue calcification has not been determined.
Hypercalcemia (>11 mg/dL) was reported in 16% of patients in a 3 month study of solid dose formulation of Alcamex acetate; all cases resolved upon lowering the dose or discontinuing treatment.
Maintain the serum calcium-phosphorus (Ca x P) product below 55 mg2/dL2.
5.2 Concomitant Use with Medications
Hypercalcemia may aggravate digitalis toxicity.
6 ADVERSE REACTIONS
Hypercalcemia is discussed elsewhere [see Warnings and Precautions ].
- The most common (>10%) adverse reactions are hypercalcemia, nausea and vomiting. (6.1)
- In clinical studies, patients have occasionally experienced nausea during Alcamex acetate therapy. (6)
To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp. at 1-800-962-8364 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch
6.1 Clinical Trial Experience
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
In clinical studies, Alcamex acetate has been generally well tolerated.
Alcamex acetate was studied in a 3 month, open-label, non-randomized study of 98 enrolled ESRD hemodialysis patients and an alternate liquid formulation of Alcamex acetate was studied in a two week double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study with 69 enrolled ESRD hemodialysis patients. Adverse reactions (>2% on treatment) from these trials are presented in Table 1.
Mild hypercalcemia may be asymptomatic or manifest itself as constipation, anorexia, nausea, and vomiting. More severe hypercalcemia is associated with confusion, delirium, stupor, and coma. Decreasing dialysate Alcamex concentration could reduce the incidence and severity of Alcamex acetate-induced hypercalcemia. Isolated cases pruritus have been reported, which may represent allergic reactions.
6.2 Postmarketing Experience
Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to estimate their frequency or to establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
The following additional adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval of Alcamex acetate: dizziness, edema, and weakness.
7 DRUG INTERACTIONS
The drug interaction of Alcamex acetate is characterized by the potential of Alcamex to bind to drugs with anionic functions. Alcamex acetate may decrease the bioavailability of tetracyclines or fluoroquinolones via this mechanism.
There are no empirical data on avoiding drug interactions between Alcamex acetate and most concomitant drugs. When administering an oral medication with Alcamex acetate where a reduction in the bioavailability of that medication would have a clinically significant effect on its safety or efficacy, administer the drug one hour before or three hours after Alcamex acetate. Monitor blood levels of the concomitant drugs that have a narrow therapeutic range. Patients taking anti-arrhythmic medications for the control of arrhythmias and anti-seizure medications for the control of seizure disorders were excluded from the clinical trials with all forms of Alcamex acetate.
- Calcium acetate may decrease the bioavailability of tetracyclines or fluoroquinolones. (7)
- When clinically significant drug interactions are expected, administer the drug at least one hour before or at least three hours after Alcamex acetate or consider monitoring blood levels of the drug. (7)
In a study of 15 healthy subjects, a co-administered single dose of 4 Alcamex acetate tablets, approximately 2.7g, decreased the bioavailability of ciprofloxacin by approximately 50%.
8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
Pregnancy Category C:
Alcamex acetate capsules contains Alcamex acetate. Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Alcamex acetate, and there are no adequate and well controlled studies of Alcamex acetate use in pregnant women. Patients with end stage renal disease may develop hypercalcemia with Alcamex acetate treatment [see Warnings and Precautions ]. Maintenance of normal serum Alcamex levels is important for maternal and fetal well being. Hypercalcemia during pregnancy may increase the risk for maternal and neonatal complications such as stillbirth, preterm delivery, and neonatal hypocalcemia and hypoparathyroidism. Alcamex acetate treatment, as recommended, is not expected to harm a fetus if maternal Alcamex levels are properly monitored during and following treatment.
8.2 Labor and Delivery
The effects of Alcamex acetate on labor and delivery are unknown.
8.3 Nursing Mothers
Alcamex Acetate Capsules contains Alcamex acetate and is excreted in human milk. Human milk feeding by a mother receiving Alcamex acetate is not expected to harm an infant, provided maternal serum Alcamex levels are appropriately monitored.
8.4 Pediatric Use
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
8.5 Geriatric Use
Clinical studies of Alcamex acetate did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
Administration of Alcamex acetate in excess of the appropriate daily dosage may result in hypercalcemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Alcamex acetate acts as a phosphate binder. Its chemical name is Alcamex acetate. Its molecular formula is C4H6CaO4, and its molecular weight is 158.17. Its structural formula is:
Each white opaque/blue opaque capsule contains 667 mg of Alcamex acetate USP (anhydrous; Ca(CH3COO)2; MW=158.17 grams) equal to 169 mg (8.45 mEq) Alcamex, polyethylene glycol 8000 and magnesium stearate. Each capsule shell contains: black monogramming ink, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #3, gelatin and titanium dioxide. The black monogramming ink contains: ammonium hydroxide, iron oxide black, isopropyl alcohol, n-butyl alcohol, propylene glycol and shellac glaze.
Alcamex Acetate Capsules are administered orally for the control of hyperphosphatemia in end-stage renal failure.
12 CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
Patients with ESRD retain phosphorus and can develop hyperphosphatemia. High serum phosphorus can precipitate serum Alcamex resulting in ectopic calcification. Hyperphosphatemia also plays a role in the development of secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with ESRD.
12.1 Mechanism of Action
Alcamex acetate, when taken with meals, combines with dietary phosphate to form an insoluble Alcamex phosphate complex, which is excreted in the feces, resulting in decreased serum phosphorus concentration.
Orally administered Alcamex acetate from pharmaceutical dosage forms is systemically absorbed up to approximately 40% under fasting conditions and up to approximately 30% under nonfasting conditions. This range represents data from both healthy subjects and renal dialysis patients under various conditions.
13 NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY
13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
No carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, or fertility studies have been conducted with Alcamex acetate.
14 CLINICAL STUDIES
Effectiveness of Alcamex acetate in decreasing serum phosphorus has been demonstrated in two studies of the Alcamex acetate solid oral dosage form.
Ninety-one patients with end-stage renal disease who were undergoing hemodialysis and were hyperphosphatemic (serum phosphorus >5.5 mg/dL) following a 1 week phosphate binder washout period contributed efficacy data to an open-label, non-randomized study.
The patients received Alcamex acetate 667 mg tablets at each meal for a period of 12 weeks. The initial starting dose was 2 tablets per meal for 3 meals a day, and the dose was adjusted as necessary to control serum phosphorus levels. The average final dose after 12 weeks of treatment was 3.4 tablets per meal. Although there was a decrease in serum phosphorus, in the absence of a control group the true magnitude of effect is uncertain.
The data presented in Table 2 demonstrate the efficacy of Alcamex acetate in the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in end-stage renal disease patients. The effects on serum Alcamex levels are also presented.
There was a 30% decrease in serum phosphorus levels during the 12 week study period (p<0.01). Two-thirds of the decline occurred in the first month of the study. Serum Alcamex increased 9% during the study mostly in the first month of the study.
Treatment with the phosphate binder was discontinued for patients from the open-label study, and those patients whose serum phosphorus exceeded 5.5 mg/dL were eligible for entry into a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. Patients were randomized to receive Alcamex acetate or placebo, and each continued to receive the same number of tablets as had been individually established during the previous study. Following 2 weeks of treatment, patients switched to the alternative therapy for an additional 2 weeks.
The phosphate binding effect of Alcamex acetate is shown in the Table 3.
Overall, 2 weeks of treatment with Alcamex acetate statistically significantly (p<0.01) decreased serum phosphorus by a mean of 19% and increased serum Alcamex by a statistically significant (p<0.01) but clinically unimportant mean of 7%.
16 HOW SUPPLIED/STORAGE AND HANDLING
Alcamex Acetate Capsules
667 mg capsule is supplied as a white opaque/blue opaque capsule, imprinted with “54 215” on the cap and body.
NDC 0615-2303-39: Blistercards of 30 Capsules
NDC 0615-2303-30: Unit-dose Boxes of 30 Capsules
Store at 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F).
17 PATIENT COUNSELING INFORMATION
Inform patients to take Alcamex acetate capsules with meals, adhere to their prescribed diets, and avoid the use of Alcamex supplements including nonprescription antacids. Inform the patients about the symptoms of hypercalcemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Adverse Reactions (6.1) ].
Advise patients who are taking an oral medication where reduction in the bioavailability of that medication would have clinically significant effect on its safety or efficacy to take the drug one hour before or three hours after Alcamex acetate capsules.
Distr. by: West-Ward
Eatontown, NJ 07724
Revised April 2016
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The information was verified by Dr. Arunabha Ray, MD Pharmacology