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Boniva (Ibandronate Sodium) - Warnings and Precautions



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Upper Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions

BONIVA, like other bisphosphonates administered orally, may cause local irritation of the upper gastrointestinal mucosa. Because of these possible irritant effects and a potential for worsening of the underlying disease, caution should be used when BONIVA is given to patients with active upper gastrointestinal problems (such as known Barrett's esophagus, dysphagia, other esophageal diseases, gastritis, duodenitis or ulcers).

  Esophageal adverse experiences, such as esophagitis, esophageal ulcers and esophageal erosions, occasionally with bleeding and rarely followed by esophageal stricture or perforation, have been reported in patients receiving treatment with oral bisphosphonates. In some cases, these have been severe and required hospitalization. Physicians should therefore be alert to any signs or symptoms signaling a possible esophageal reaction and patients should be instructed to discontinue BONIVA and seek medical attention if they develop dysphagia, odynophagia, retrosternal pain or new or worsening heartburn.

  The risk of severe esophageal adverse experiences appears to be greater in patients who lie down after taking oral bisphosphonates and/or who fail to swallow it with the recommended full glass (6-8 oz) of water, and/or who continue to take oral bisphosphonates after developing symptoms suggestive of esophageal irritation. Therefore, it is very important that the full dosing instructions are provided to, and understood by, the patient (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION [2.2]). In patients who cannot comply with dosing instructions due to mental disability, therapy with BONIVA should be used under appropriate supervision.

  There have been post-marketing reports of gastric and duodenal ulcers with oral bisphosphonate use, some severe and with complications, although no increased risk was observed in controlled clinical trials.

Hypocalcemia and Mineral Metabolsim

Treat hypocalcemia and other disturbances of bone and mineral metabolism before starting BONIVA therapy. Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D is important in all patients to prevent hypocalcemia (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION [2.3]). Hypocalcemia following dosing has been reported postmarketing.

Musculoskeletal Pain

Severe and occasionally incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle pain has been reported in patients taking BONIVA and other bisphosphonates (see ADVERSE REACTIONS [6]). The time to onset of symptoms varied from one day to several months after starting the drug. Most patients had relief of symptoms after stopping. A subset had recurrence of symptoms when rechallenged with the same drug or another bisphosphonate. Consider discontinuing use if severe symptoms develop.

Jaw Osteonecrosis

Osteonecrosis, primarily in the jaw, has been reported in patients treated with bisphosphonates. Most cases have been in cancer patients undergoing dental procedures, but some have occurred in patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis or other diagnoses. Known risk factors for osteonecrosis include a diagnosis of cancer, concomitant therapies (e.g., chemotherapy, radiotherapy, corticosteroids), and co-morbid disorders (e.g., anemia, coagulopathy, infection, pre-existing dental disease). Most reported cases have been in patients treated with bisphosphonates intravenously but some have been in patients treated orally (see ADVERSE REACTIONS [6.2]).

For patients who develop osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) while on bisphosphonate therapy, dental surgery may exacerbate the condition. For patients requiring dental procedures, there are no data available to suggest whether discontinuation of bisphosphonate treatment reduces the risk of ONJ. Clinical judgment of the treating physician should guide the management plan of each patient based on individual benefit/risk assessment.

Severe Renal Impairment

BONIVA is not recommended for use in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance of <30 mL/min).


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Pregnancy: Category C

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. BONIVA should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the mother and fetus.

Bisphosphonates are incorporated into the bone matrix, from where they are gradually released over periods of weeks to years. The extent of bisphosphonate incorporation into adult bone, and hence, the amount available for release back into the systemic circulation, is directly related to the total dose and duration of bisphosphonate use. Although there are no data on fetal risk in humans, bisphosphonates do cause fetal harm in animals, and animal data suggest that uptake of bisphosphonates into fetal bone is greater than into maternal bone. Therefore, there is a theoretical risk of fetal harm (e.g., skeletal and other abnormalities) if a woman becomes pregnant after completing a course of bisphosphonate therapy. The impact of variables such as time between cessation of bisphosphonate therapy to conception, the particular bisphosphonate used, and the route of administration (intravenous versus oral) on this risk has not been established.

In female rats given ibandronate orally at doses ≥3 times human exposure at the recommended daily oral dose of 2.5 mg or ≥1 times human exposure at the recommended once-monthly oral dose of 150 mg beginning 14 days before mating and continuing through lactation, maternal deaths were observed at the time of delivery in all dose groups. Perinatal pup loss in dams given 45 times human exposure at the recommended daily dose and 13 times the recommended once-monthly dose was likely related to maternal dystocia. Calcium supplementation did not completely prevent dystocia and periparturient mortality in any of the treated groups at ≥16 times the recommended daily dose and ≥4.6 times the recommended once-monthly dose. A low incidence of postimplantation loss was observed in rats treated from 14 days before mating throughout lactation or during gestation, only at doses causing maternal dystocia and periparturient mortality. In pregnant rats dosed orally from gestation day 17 through lactation day 21 (following closure of the hard palate through weaning), maternal toxicity, including dystocia and mortality, fetal perinatal and postnatal mortality, were observed at doses equivalent to human exposure at the recommended daily and ≥4 times the recommended once-monthly dose. Periparturient mortality has also been observed with other bisphosphonates and appears to be a class effect related to inhibition of skeletal calcium mobilization resulting in hypocalcemia and dystocia (see NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY [13.2]).

Exposure of pregnant rats during the period of organogenesis resulted in an increased fetal incidence of RPU (renal pelvis ureter) syndrome at oral doses 30 times the human exposure at the recommended daily oral dose of 2.5 mg and ≥9 times the recommended once-monthly oral dose of 150 mg. Impaired pup neuromuscular development (cliff avoidance test) was observed at 45 times human exposure at the daily dose and 13 times the once-monthly dose (see NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY [13.2]).

In pregnant rabbits treated orally with ibandronate during gestation at doses ≥8 times the recommended human daily oral dose of 2.5 mg and ≥4 times the recommended human once-monthly oral dose of 150 mg, dose-related maternal mortality was observed in all treatment groups. The deaths occurred prior to parturition and were associated with lung edema and hemorrhage. No significant fetal anomalies were observed (see NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY [13.2]).

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether BONIVA is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when BONIVA is administered to a nursing woman. In lactating rats treated with intravenous doses, ibandronate was present in breast milk from 2 to 24 hours after dose administration. Concentrations in milk averaged 1.5 times plasma concentrations.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Of the patients receiving BONIVA 2.5 mg daily in postmenopausal osteoporosis studies, 52% were over 65 years of age, and 10% were over 75 years of age. Of the patients receiving BONIVA 150 mg once-monthly in the postmenopausal osteoporosis 1-year study, 52% were over 65 years of age, and 9% were over 75 years of age. No overall differences in effectiveness or safety were observed between these patients and younger patients but greater sensitivity in some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Renal Impairment

BONIVA is not recommended for use in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance <30 mL/min).

Page last updated: 2010-12-02

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