5. WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
5.1 Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events
Clinical trials of several cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) selective and nonselective NSAIDs of up to three years duration have shown an increased risk of serious cardiovascular (CV) thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, which can be fatal. Based on available data, it is unclear that the risk for CV thrombotic events is similar for all NSAIDs. The relative increase in serious CV thrombotic events over baseline conferred by NSAID use appears to be similar in those with and without known CV disease or risk factors for CV disease. However, patients with known CV disease or risk factors had a higher absolute incidence of excess serious CV thrombotic events, due to their increased baseline rate. Some observational studies found that this increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events began as early as the first weeks of treatment. The increase in CV thrombotic risk has been observed most consistently at higher doses.
In the APC (Adenoma Prevention with Celecoxib) trial, there was about a threefold increased risk of the composite endpoint of cardiovascular death, MI, or stroke for the CELEBREX 400 mg twice daily and CELEBREX 200 mg twice daily treatment arms compared to placebo. The increases in both celecoxib dose groups versus placebo-treated patients were mainly due to an increased incidence of myocardial infarction [see Clinical Studies (14.7)].
A randomized controlled trial entitled the Prospective Randomized Evaluation of Celecoxib Integrated Safety vs. Ibuprofen Or Naproxen (PRECISION) was conducted to assess the relative cardiovascular thrombotic risk of a COX-2 inhibitor, celecoxib, compared to the non-selective NSAIDs naproxen and ibuprofen. Celecoxib 100 mg twice daily was non-inferior to naproxen 375 to 500 mg twice daily and ibuprofen 600 to 800 mg three times daily for the composite endpoint of the Antiplatelet Trialists' Collaboration (APTC), which consists of cardiovascular death (including hemorrhagic death), non-fatal myocardial infarction, and non-fatal stroke [see Clinical Studies (14.6)].
To minimize the potential risk for an adverse CV event in NSAID-treated patients, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Physicians and patients should remain alert for the development of such events, throughout the entire treatment course, even in the absence of previous CV symptoms. Patients should be informed about the symptoms of serious CV events and the steps to take if they occur.
There is no consistent evidence that concurrent use of aspirin mitigates the increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events associated with NSAID use. The concurrent use of aspirin and an NSAID, such as celecoxib, increases the risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Status Post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
Two large, controlled clinical trials of a COX-2 selective NSAID for the treatment of pain in the first 10 to 14 days following CABG surgery found an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke. NSAIDs are contraindicated in the setting of CABG [see Contraindications (4)].
Observational studies conducted in the Danish National Registry have demonstrated that patients treated with NSAIDs in the post-MI period were at increased risk of reinfarction, CV-related death, and all-cause mortality beginning in the first week of treatment. In this same cohort, the incidence of death in the first year post-MI was 20 per 100 person years in NSAID-treated patients compared to 12 per 100 person years in non-NSAID exposed patients. Although the absolute rate of death declined somewhat after the first year post-MI, the increased relative risk of death in NSAID users persisted over at least the next four years of follow-up.
Avoid the use of CELEBREX in patients with a recent MI unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of recurrent CV thrombotic events. If CELEBREX is used in patients with a recent MI, monitor patients for signs of cardiac ischemia.
5.2 Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation
NSAIDs, including celecoxib cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including inflammation, bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, or large intestine, which can be fatal. These serious adverse events can occur at any time, with or without warning symptoms, in patients treated with CELEBREX. Only one in five patients who develop a serious upper GI adverse event on NSAID therapy is symptomatic. Upper GI ulcers, gross bleeding, or perforation caused by NSAIDs occurred in approximately 1% of patients treated for 3 to 6 months, and in about 2% to 4% of patients treated for one year. However, even short-term NSAID therapy is not without risk.
Risk Factors for GI Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation
Patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding who used NSAIDs had a greater than 10-fold increased risk for developing a GI bleed compared to patients without these risk factors. Other factors that increase the risk of GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include longer duration of NSAID therapy; concomitant use of oral corticosteroids, antiplatelet drugs (such as aspirin), anticoagulants; or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); smoking; use of alcohol; older age; and poor general health status. Most postmarketing reports of fatal GI events occurred in elderly or debilitated patients. Additionally, patients with advanced liver disease and/or coagulopathy are at increased risk for GI bleeding.
Complicated and symptomatic ulcer rates were 0.78% at nine months for all patients in the CLASS trial, and 2.19% for the subgroup on low-dose ASA. Patients 65 years of age and older had an incidence of 1.40% at nine months, 3.06% when also taking ASA [see Clinical Studies (14.7)].
Strategies to Minimize the GI Risks in NSAID-treated patients:
- Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest possible duration.
- Avoid administration of more than one NSAID at a time.
- Avoid use in patients at higher risk unless benefits are expected to outweigh the increased risk of bleeding. For such patients, as well as those with active GI bleeding, consider alternate therapies other than NSAIDs.
- Remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during NSAID therapy.
- If a serious GI adverse event is suspected, promptly initiate evaluation and treatment, and discontinue CELEBREX until a serious GI adverse event is ruled out.
- In the setting of concomitant use of low-dose aspirin for cardiac prophylaxis, monitor patients more closely for evidence of GI bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Elevations of ALT or AST (three or more times the upper limit of normal [ULN]) have been reported in approximately 1% of NSAID-treated patients in clinical trials. In addition, rare, sometimes fatal, cases of severe hepatic injury, including fulminant hepatitis, liver necrosis, and hepatic failure have been reported.
Elevations of ALT or AST (less than three times ULN) may occur in up to 15% of patients treated with NSAIDs including celecoxib.
In controlled clinical trials of CELEBREX, the incidence of borderline elevations (greater than or equal to 1.2 times and less than 3 times the upper limit of normal) of liver associated enzymes was 6% for CELEBREX and 5% for placebo, and approximately 0.2% of patients taking CELEBREX and 0.3% of patients taking placebo had notable elevations of ALT and AST.
Inform patients of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (e.g., nausea, fatigue, lethargy, diarrhea, pruritus, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, and "flu-like" symptoms). If clinical signs and symptoms consistent with liver disease develop, or if systemic manifestations occur (e.g., eosinophilia, rash), discontinue CELEBREX immediately, and perform a clinical evaluation of the patient.
NSAIDs, including CELEBREX, can lead to new onset of hypertension or worsening of preexisting hypertension, either of which may contribute to the increased incidence of CV events. Patients taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, thiazide diuretics or loop diuretics may have impaired response to these therapies when taking NSAIDs [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Monitor blood pressure (BP) during the initiation of NSAID treatment and throughout the course of therapy.
5.5 Heart Failure and Edema
The Coxib and traditional NSAID Trialists' Collaboration meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials demonstrated an approximately two-fold increase in hospitalizations for heart failure in COX-2 selective-treated patients and nonselective NSAID-treated patients compared to placebo-treated patients. In a Danish National Registry study of patients with heart failure, NSAID use increased the risk of MI, hospitalization for heart failure, and death.
Additionally, fluid retention and edema have been observed in some patients treated with NSAIDs. Use of celecoxib may blunt the CV effects of several therapeutic agents used to treat these medical conditions (e.g., diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs]) [see Drug Interactions (7)].
In the CLASS study [see Clinical Studies (14.7)], the Kaplan-Meier cumulative rates at 9 months of peripheral edema in patients on CELEBREX 400 mg twice daily (4-fold and 2-fold the recommended OA and RA doses, respectively), ibuprofen 800 mg three times daily and diclofenac 75 mg twice daily were 4.5%, 6.9% and 4.7%, respectively.
Avoid the use of CELEBREX in patients with severe heart failure unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening heart failure. If CELEBREX is used in patients with severe heart failure, monitor patients for signs of worsening heart failure.
5.6 Renal Toxicity and Hyperkalemia
Long-term administration of NSAIDs has resulted in renal papillary necrosis and other renal injury.
Renal toxicity has also been seen in patients in whom renal prostaglandins have a compensatory role in the maintenance of renal perfusion. In these patients, administration of an NSAID may cause a dose-dependent reduction in prostaglandin formation and, secondarily, in renal blood flow, which may precipitate overt renal decompensation. Patients at greatest risk of this reaction are those with impaired renal function, dehydration, hypovolemia, heart failure, liver dysfunction, those taking diuretics, ACE inhibitors or the ARBs, and the elderly. Discontinuation of NSAID therapy is usually followed by recovery to the pretreatment state.
No information is available from controlled clinical studies regarding the use of CELEBREX in patients with advanced renal disease. The renal effects of CELEBREX may hasten the progression of renal dysfunction in patients with preexisting renal disease.
Correct volume status in dehydrated or hypovolemic patients prior to initiating CELEBREX. Monitor renal function in patients with renal or hepatic impairment, heart failure, dehydration, or hypovolemia during use of CELEBREX [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Avoid the use of CELEBREX in patients with advanced renal disease unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening renal function. If CELEBREX is used in patients with advanced renal disease, monitor patients for signs of worsening renal function.
5.7 Anaphylactic Reactions
Celecoxib has been associated with anaphylactic reactions in patients with and without known hypersensitivity to celecoxib and in patients with aspirin sensitive asthma. Celebrex is a sulfonamide and both NSAIDs and sulfonamides may cause allergic type reactions including anaphylactic symptoms and life-threatening or less severe asthmatic episodes in certain susceptible people [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].
Seek emergency help if any anaphylactic reaction occurs.
5.8 Exacerbation of Asthma Related to Aspirin Sensitivity
A subpopulation of patients with asthma may have aspirin-sensitive asthma which may include chronic rhinosinusitis complicated by nasal polyps; severe, potentially fatal bronchospasm; and/or intolerance to aspirin and other NSAIDs. Because cross-reactivity between aspirin and other NSAIDs has been reported in such aspirin-sensitive patients, CELEBREX is contraindicated in patients with this form of aspirin sensitivity [see Contraindications (4)]. When CELEBREX is used in patients with preexisting asthma (without known aspirin sensitivity), monitor patients for changes in the signs and symptoms of asthma.
5.9 Serious Skin Reactions
Serious skin reactions have occurred following treatment with Celebrex, including erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP). These serious events may occur without warning and can be fatal.
Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of serious skin reactions, and to discontinue the use of CELEBREX at the first appearance of skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity. CELEBREX is contraindicated in patients with previous serious skin reactions to NSAIDs [see Contraindications (4)].
5.12 Hematological Toxicity
Anemia has occurred in NSAID-treated patients. This may be due to occult or gross blood loss, fluid retention, or an incompletely described effect on erythropoiesis. If a patient treated with CELEBREX has any signs or symptoms of anemia, monitor hemoglobin or hematocrit.
In controlled clinical trials the incidence of anemia was 0.6% with CELEBREX and 0.4% with placebo. Patients on long-term treatment with CELEBREX should have their hemoglobin or hematocrit checked if they exhibit any signs or symptoms of anemia or blood loss.
NSAIDs, including CELEBREX, may increase the risk of bleeding events. Co-morbid conditions such as coagulation disorders or concomitant use of warfarin, other anticoagulants, antiplatelet drugs (e.g., aspirin), SSRIs and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may increase this risk. Monitor these patients for signs of bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].
5.13 Masking of Inflammation and Fever
The pharmacological activity of CELEBREX in reducing inflammation, and possibly fever, may diminish the utility of diagnostic signs in detecting infections.
5.14 Laboratory Monitoring
Because serious GI bleeding, hepatotoxicity, and renal injury can occur without warning symptoms or signs, consider monitoring patients on long-term NSAID treatment with a CBC and a chemistry profile periodically [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.3, 5.6)].
In controlled clinical trials, elevated BUN occurred more frequently in patients receiving CELEBREX compared with patients on placebo. This laboratory abnormality was also seen in patients who received comparator NSAIDs in these studies. The clinical significance of this abnormality has not been established.
5.15 Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC)
Because of the risk of disseminated intravascular coagulation with use of CELEBREX in pediatric patients with systemic onset JRA, monitor patients for signs and symptoms of abnormal clotting or bleeding, and inform patients and their caregivers to report symptoms as soon as possible.