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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Safety

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Innohep (tinzaparin sodium injection)

Audience: Hematological and Nephrological healthcare professionals, hospital risk managers

[UPDATE 12/31/2008] Celgene has issued a Dear Healthcare Professional letter describing a controlled clinical study suggesting that Innohep may increase the risk for death, compared to unfractionated heparin when used to treat elderly patients with renal insufficiency. It recommended consideration of alternatives to Innohep when treating these patients for deep vein thrombosis with or without pulmonary embolism.

[Posted 12/02/2008] FDA has received information about the clinical study: Innohep in Renal Insufficiency Study (IRIS) that was stopped in February, 2008 by the study’s Data Safety Monitoring Committee because of an interim finding of an increase in all-cause mortality in patients who received Innohep. Information on the patients enrolled in the study, on the heparin used to manufacture Innohep, and on the heparin used in the study is still being collected and analyzed.

In July 2008, the company revised the prescribing information to restrict the use of Innohep in patients 90 years of age or older. FDA is concerned that the preliminary data from the IRIS study suggest that the increased risk of mortality is not limited only to patients 90 years of age or older. Therefore, FDA has requested that the company revise the labeling for Innohep to better describe the overall study results which suggest that, when compared to unfractionated heparin, Innohep increases the risk of death for elderly patients (i.e., 70 years of age and older) with renal insufficiency. Healthcare professionals should consider the use of alternative treatments to Innohep when treating elderly patients over 70 years of age with renal insufficiency and DVT, PE, or both. This communication is in keeping with FDA’s commitment to inform the public about its ongoing safety reviews of drugs. FDA anticipates submission of the final IRIS study report in January, 2009 and plans to complete its review soon thereafter. FDA will communicate its conclusions and any resulting recommendations to the public at that time. FDA will consider additional regulatory actions as appropriate after thorough review of all applicable data from the manufacturer of Innohep.

[December 02, 2008 - Communication about an Ongoing Safety Review - FDA]
[December 31, 2008 - Dear Healthcare Professional letter - Celgene]