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Warnings and Precautions
Suicidal Behavior and Ideation: Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including VIMPAT, increase the risk of suicidal behavior and ideation. Monitor patients taking VIMPAT for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior. Advise patients and caregivers to be alert for these behavioral changes and to immediately report them to the healthcare provider.
Dizziness and Ataxia: VIMPAT may cause dizziness and ataxia in adult and pediatric patients. In adult clinical trials for partial-onset seizures, the onset of dizziness and ataxia was most commonly observed during titration. Advise patients not to drive, operate complex machinery, or engage in other hazardous activities until they are familiar with the effects of VIMPAT on their ability to perform such activities.
Cardiac Rhythm and Conduction Abnormalities
PR Interval Prolongation, Atrioventricular Block, and Ventricular Tachyarrhythmia
Dose-dependent prolongations in PR interval with VIMPAT have been observed in clinical studies in adult patients and in healthy volunteers. When VIMPAT is given with other drugs that prolong the PR interval, further PR prolongation is possible.
In the postmarketing setting, there have been reports of cardiac arrhythmias in patients treated with VIMPAT, including bradycardia, AV block, and ventricular tachyarrhythmia, which have rarely resulted in asystole, cardiac arrest, and death. Most, although not all, cases have occurred in patients with underlying proarrhythmic conditions, or in those taking concomitant medications that affect cardiac conduction or prolong the PR interval. These events have occurred with both oral and intravenous routes of administration and at prescribed doses as well as in the setting of overdose.
VIMPAT should be used with caution in patients with underlying proarrhythmic conditions such as known cardiac conduction problems (e.g., marked first-degree AV block, second-degree or higher AV block, and sick sinus syndrome without pacemaker), severe cardiac disease (such as myocardial ischemia or heart failure, or structural heart disease), and cardiac sodium channelopathies (e.g., Brugada Syndrome).
VIMPAT should also be used with caution in patients on concomitant medications that affect cardiac conduction, including sodium channel blockers, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, potassium channel blockers, and medications that prolong the PR interval. In such patients, obtaining an ECG before beginning VIMPAT, and after VIMPAT is titrated to steady-state maintenance dose, is recommended. In addition, these patients should be closely monitored if they are administered VIMPAT through the intravenous route. Patients should be made aware of and report cardiac signs or symptoms to their healthcare provider right away.
Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter
VIMPAT administration may predispose to atrial arrhythmias (atrial fibrillation or flutter), especially in patients with diabetic neuropathy and/or cardiovascular disease.
Syncope: VIMPAT may cause syncope in adult and pediatric patients.
Withdrawal of Antiepileptic Drugs: Gradually withdraw VIMPAT (over a minimum of 1 week) to minimize the potential of increased seizure frequency.
Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS): Also known as multi-organ hypersensitivity, has been reported with antiepileptic drugs, including VIMPAT. Some of these events have been fatal or life-threatening. If signs or symptoms are present, immediately evaluate the patient. Discontinue VIMPAT if an alternative etiology for the signs and symptoms cannot be established.
Risks in Patients with Phenylketonuria: VIMPAT oral solution contains aspartame, a source of phenylalanine, which can be harmful in patients with phenylketonuria (PKU). A 200 mg dose of VIMPAT oral solution (equivalent to 20 mL) contains 0.32 mg of phenylalanine.
Partial-Onset Seizures: In the adult adjunctive therapy placebo-controlled clinical trials for partial-onset seizures, the most frequently seen adverse reaction with VIMPAT was dizziness (31% vs 8% placebo). Other common adverse reactions occurring in ≥10 percent of VIMPAT-treated patients, and greater than placebo, were headache, nausea, and diplopia. In the adult monotherapy clinical trial, adverse reactions were generally similar to those observed and attributed to drug in adjunctive placebo-controlled trials, with the exception of insomnia (observed at a higher rate of ≥2%).
Primary Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizures: In the adjunctive therapy placebo-controlled trial for primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures, the adverse reactions were generally similar to those that occurred in the partial-onset seizure placebo-controlled trials. The adverse reactions most commonly reported were dizziness, somnolence, headache, and nausea.
Pediatric Patients: Adverse reactions reported in clinical studies for partial-onset seizures in patients 1 month to less than 17 years of age and for primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures for patients 4 to less than 17 years of age were similar to those seen in adult patients.
Injection: In adult adjunctive therapy clinical trials for partial-onset seizures, adverse reactions with intravenous administration generally were similar to those that occurred with the oral formulation, although intravenous administration was associated with local adverse reactions such as injection site pain or discomfort (2.5%), irritation (1%), and erythema (0.5%). When administering a loading dose, the incidence of CNS adverse reactions, such as dizziness, somnolence, and paresthesia, may be higher with 15-minute administration than over a 30- to 60-minute period. The adverse reactions associated with VIMPAT injection in adult patients with primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures are expected to be similar to those seen in adults with partial-onset seizures. The adverse reactions associated with VIMPAT injection in pediatric patients are expected to be similar to those noted in adults. Infusion times less than 30 minutes were not adequately studied in pediatric patients.
VIMPAT injection is for intravenous use only when oral administration is temporarily not feasible. The loading dose for adult patients should be administered with medical supervision considering the VIMPAT pharmacokinetics and increased incidence of CNS adverse reactions. The use of a loading dose in pediatric patients has not been studied. Dosage adjustments are recommended for patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment or severe renal impairment. Use in patients with severe hepatic impairment is not recommended. Perform dose titration with caution in all patients with renal and/or hepatic impairment.
VIMPAT is a Schedule V controlled substance.
For more information on VIMPAT® contact 1-844-599-CARE (2273).