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ALDACTAZIDE® (spironolactone, hydrochlorothiazide) Warnings and Precautions

WARNINGS

Potassium supplementation, either in the form of medication or as a diet rich in potassium, should not ordinarily be given in association with ALDACTAZIDE therapy. Excessive potassium intake may cause hyperkalemia in patients receiving ALDACTAZIDE (see Precautions: General).

Concomitant administration of ALDACTAZIDE with the following drugs or potassium sources may lead to severe hyperkalemia:

  • other potassium-sparing diuretics
  • ACE inhibitors
  • angiotensin II receptor antagonists
  • aldosterone blockers
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), e.g., indomethacin
  • heparin and low molecular weight heparin
  • other drugs or conditions known to cause hyperkalemia
  • potassium supplements
  • diet rich in potassium
  • salt substitutes containing potassium

ALDACTAZIDE should not be administered concurrently with other potassium-sparing diuretics. Spironolactone, when used with ACE inhibitors or indomethacin, even in the presence of a diuretic, has been associated with severe hyperkalemia. Extreme caution should be exercised when ALDACTAZIDE is given concomitantly with these drugs (see Precautions: Drug interactions).

ALDACTAZIDE should be used with caution in patients with impaired hepatic function because minor alterations of fluid and electrolyte balance may precipitate hepatic coma.

Lithium generally should not be given with diuretics (see Precautions: Drug interactions).

Thiazides should be used with caution in severe renal disease. In patients with renal disease, thiazides may precipitate azotemia. Cumulative effects of the drug may develop in patients with impaired renal function.

Thiazides may add to or potentiate the action of other antihypertensive drugs.

Sensitivity reactions to thiazides may occur in patients with or without a history of allergy or bronchial asthma.

Sulfonamide derivatives, including thiazides, have been reported to exacerbate or activate systemic lupus erythematosus.

Acute Myopia and Secondary Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Hydrochlorothiazide, a sulfonamide, can cause an idiosyncratic reaction, resulting in acute transient myopia and acute angle-closure glaucoma. Symptoms include acute onset of decreased visual acuity or ocular pain and typically occur within hours to weeks of drug initiation. Untreated acute angle-closure glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. The primary treatment is to discontinue hydrochlorothiazide as rapidly as possible. Prompt medical or surgical treatments may need to be considered if the intraocular pressure remains uncontrolled. Risk factors for developing acute angle-closure glaucoma may include a history of sulfonamide or penicillin allergy.


PRECAUTIONS

General

Serum Electrolyte Abnormalities

Spironolactone can cause hyperkalemia. The risk of hyperkalemia may be increased in patients with renal insufficiency, diabetes mellitus or with concomitant use of drugs that raise serum potassium (see Drug Interactions). Hydrochlorothiazide can cause hypokalemia and hyponatremia. The risk of hypokalemia may be increased in patients with cirrhosis, brisk diuresis, or with concomitant use of drugs that lower serum potassium. Hypomagnesemia can result in hypokalemia which appears difficult to treat despite potassium repletion. Monitor serum electrolytes periodically.

Other Metabolic Disturbances

Hydrochlorothiazide may alter glucose tolerance and raise serum levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

Hydrochlorothiazide may raise the serum uric acid level due to reduced clearance of uric acid and may cause or exacerbate hyperuricemia and precipitate gout in susceptible patients.

Hydrochlorothiazide decreases urinary calcium excretion and may cause elevations of serum calcium. Monitor calcium levels in patients with hypercalcemia receiving ALDACTAZIDE.

Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia may develop in association with the use of spironolactone; physicians should be alert to its possible onset. The development of gynecomastia appears to be related to both dosage level and duration of therapy and is normally reversible when ALDACTAZIDE is discontinued. In rare instances, some breast enlargement may persist when ALDACTAZIDE is discontinued.

Somnolence

Somnolence and dizziness have been reported to occur in some patients. Caution is advised when driving or operating machinery until the response to initial treatment has been determined.

Information for patients

Patients who receive ALDACTAZIDE should be advised to avoid potassium supplements and foods containing high levels of potassium including salt substitutes.

Laboratory tests

Periodic determination of serum electrolytes to detect possible electrolyte imbalance should be done at appropriate intervals, particularly in the elderly and those with significant renal or hepatic impairments.

Drug interactions

ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin II receptor antagonists, aldosterone blockers, potassium supplements, heparin, low molecular weight heparin, and other drugs known to cause hyperkalemia:

Concomitant administration may lead to severe hyperkalemia.

Alcohol, barbiturates, or narcotics: Potentiation of orthostatic hypotension may occur.

Antidiabetic drugs (e.g., oral agents, insulin): Dosage adjustment of the antidiabetic drug may be required (see Precautions).

Corticosteroids, ACTH: Intensified electrolyte depletion, particularly hypokalemia, may occur.

Pressor amines (e.g., norepinephrine): Both spironolactone and hydrochlorothiazide reduce the vascular responsiveness to norepinephrine. Therefore, caution should be exercised in the management of patients subjected to regional or general anesthesia while they are being treated with ALDACTAZIDE.

Skeletal muscle relaxants, nondepolarizing (e.g., tubocurarine): Possible increased responsiveness to the muscle relaxant may result.

Lithium: Lithium generally should not be given with diuretics. Diuretic agents reduce the renal clearance of lithium and add a high risk of lithium toxicity.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): In some patients, the administration of an NSAID can reduce the diuretic, natriuretic, and antihypertensive effects of loop, potassium-sparing, and thiazide diuretics. Combination of NSAIDs, e.g., indomethacin, with potassium-sparing diuretics has been associated with severe hyperkalemia. Therefore, when ALDACTAZIDE and NSAIDs are used concomitantly, the patient should be observed closely to determine if the desired effect of the diuretic is obtained.

Acetylsalicylic acid: Acetylsalicylic acid may reduce the efficacy of spironolactone. Therefore, when ALDACTAZIDE and acetylsalicylic acid are used concomitantly, ALDACTAZIDE may need to be titrated to higher maintenance dose and the patient should be observed closely to determine if the desired effect is obtained.

Digoxin: Spironolactone has been shown to increase the half-life of digoxin. This may result in increased serum digoxin levels and subsequent digitalis toxicity. Monitor serum digoxin levels and adjust dose accordingly. Thiazide-induced electrolyte disturbances, i.e. hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, increase the risk of digoxin toxicity, which may lead to fatal arrhythmic events (see Precautions).

Cholestyramine: Hyperkalemic metabolic acidosis has been reported in patients given spironolactone concurrently with cholestyramine.

Drug/Laboratory test interactions

Thiazides should be discontinued before carrying out tests for parathyroid function (see Precautions: General). Thiazides may also decrease serum PBI levels without evidence of alteration of thyroid function.

Several reports of possible interference with digoxin radioimmunoassays by spironolactone or its metabolites have appeared in the literature. Neither the extent nor the potential clinical significance of its interference (which may be assay specific) has been fully established.

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility

Spironolactone

Orally administered spironolactone has been shown to be a tumorigen in dietary administration studies performed in rats, with its proliferative effects manifested on endocrine organs and the liver. In an 18-month study using doses of about 50, 150, and 500 mg/kg/day, there were statistically significant increases in benign adenomas of the thyroid and testes and, in male rats, a dose-related increase in proliferative changes in the liver (including hepatocytomegaly and hyperplastic nodules). In a 24-month study in which the same strain of rat was administered doses of about 10, 30 and 100 mg spironolactone/kg/day, the range of proliferative effects included significant increases in hepatocellular adenomas and testicular interstitial cell tumors in males, and significant increases in thyroid follicular cell adenomas and carcinomas in both sexes. There was also a statistically significant, but not dose-related, increase in benign uterine endometrial stromal polyps in females.

A dose-related (above 30 mg/kg/day) incidence of myelocytic leukemia was observed in rats fed daily doses of potassium canrenoate (a compound chemically similar to spironolactone and whose primary metabolite, canrenone, is also a major product of spironolactone in man) for a period of one year. In two year studies in the rat, oral administration of potassium canrenoate was associated with myelocytic leukemia and hepatic, thyroid, testicular, and mammary tumors.

Neither spironolactone nor potassium canrenoate produced mutagenic effects in tests using bacteria or yeast. In the absence of metabolic activation, neither spironolactone nor potassium canrenoate has been shown to be mutagenic in mammalian tests in vitro. In the presence of metabolic activation, spironolactone has been reported to be negative in some mammalian mutagenicity tests in vitro and inconclusive (but slightly positive) for mutagenicity in other mammalian tests in vitro. In the presence of metabolic activation, potassium canrenoate has been reported to test positive for mutagenicity in some mammalian tests in vitro, inconclusive in others, and negative in still others.

In a three-litter reproduction study in which female rats received dietary doses of 15 and 500 mg spironolactone/kg/day, there were no effects on mating and fertility, but there was a small increase in incidence of stillborn pups at 500 mg/kg/day. When injected into female rats (100 mg/kg/day for 7 days, i.p.), spironolactone was found to increase the length of the estrous cycle by prolonging diestrus during treatment and inducing constant diestrus during a two week posttreatment observation period. These effects were associated with retarded ovarian follicle development and a reduction in circulating estrogen levels, which would be expected to impair mating, fertility, and fecundity. Spironolactone (100 mg/kg/day), administered i.p. to female mice during a two week cohabitation period with untreated males, decreased the number of mated mice that conceived (effect shown to be caused by an inhibition of ovulation) and decreased the number of implanted embryos in those that became pregnant (effect shown to be caused by an inhibition of implantation), and at 200 mg/kg, also increased the latency period to mating.

Hydrochlorothiazide

Two year feeding studies in mice and rats conducted under the auspices of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) uncovered no evidence of a carcinogenic potential of hydrochlorothiazide in female mice (at doses of up to approximately 600 mg/kg/day) or in male and female rats (at doses of up to approximately 100 mg/kg/day). The NTP, however, found equivocal evidence for hepatocarcinogenicity in male mice.

Hydrochlorothiazide was not genotoxic in in vitro assays using strains TA 98, TA 100, TA 1535, TA 1537, and TA 1538 of Salmonella typhimurium (Ames assay) and in the Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) test for chromosomal aberrations, or in in vivo assays using mouse germinal cell chromosomes, Chinese hamster bone marrow chromosomes, and the Drosophila sex-linked recessive lethal trait gene. Positive test results were obtained only in the in vitro CHO Sister Chromatid Exchange (clastogenicity) and in the Mouse Lymphoma Cell (mutagenicity) assays, using concentrations of hydrochlorothiazide from 43 to 1300 µg/mL, and in the Aspergillus nidulans non-disjunction assay at an unspecified concentration.

Hydrochlorothiazide had no adverse effects on the fertility of mice and rats of either sex in studies wherein these species were exposed, via their diet, to doses of up to 100 and 4 mg/kg, respectively, prior to mating and throughout gestation.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic effects.

Hydrochlorothiazide

Studies in which hydrochlorothiazide was orally administered to pregnant mice and rats during their respective periods of major organogenesis at doses up to 3000 and 1000 mg hydrochlorothiazide/kg, respectively, provided no evidence of harm to the fetus. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.

Spironolactone

Teratology studies with spironolactone have been carried out in mice and rabbits at doses of up to 20 mg/kg/day. On a body surface area basis, this dose in the mouse is substantially below the maximum recommended human dose and, in the rabbit, approximates the maximum recommended human dose. No teratogenic or other embryo-toxic effects were observed in mice, but the 20 mg/kg dose caused an increased rate of resorption and a lower number of live fetuses in rabbits. Because of its antiandrogenic activity and the requirement of testosterone for male morphogenesis, spironolactone may have the potential for adversely affecting sex differentiation of the male during embryogenesis. When administered to rats at 200 mg/kg/day between gestation days 13 and 21 (late embryogenesis and fetal development), feminization of male fetuses was observed. Offspring exposed during late pregnancy to 50 and 100 mg/kg/day doses of spironolactone exhibited changes in the reproductive tract including dose-dependent decreases in weights of the ventral prostate and seminal vesicle in males, ovaries and uteri that were enlarged in females, and other indications of endocrine dysfunction, that persisted into adulthood. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies with ALDACTAZIDE in pregnant women. Spironolactone has known endocrine effects in animals including progestational and antiandrogenic effects. The antiandrogenic effects can result in apparent estrogenic side effects in humans, such as gynecomastia. Therefore, the use of ALDACTAZIDE in pregnant women requires that the anticipated benefit be weighed against the possible hazards to the fetus.

Non-teratogenic effects

Spironolactone or its metabolites may, and hydrochlorothiazide does, cross the placental barrier and appear in cord blood. Therefore, the use of ALDACTAZIDE in pregnant women requires that the anticipated benefit be weighed against possible hazards to the fetus. The hazards include fetal or neonatal jaundice, thrombocytopenia, and possibly other adverse reactions that have occurred in adults.

Nursing mothers

Canrenone, a major (and active) metabolite of spironolactone, appears in human breast milk. Because spironolactone has been found to be tumorigenic in rats, a decision should be made whether to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. If use of the drug is deemed essential, an alternative method of infant feeding should be instituted.

Thiazides are excreted in human milk in small amounts. Thiazides when given at high doses can cause intense diuresis which can in turn inhibit milk production. The use of ALDACTAZIDE during breast feeding is not recommended. If ALDACTAZIDE is used during breast feeding, doses should be kept as low as possible.

Pediatric use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

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