Generic Name: macitentan
Date of Approval: October 18, 2013
Company: Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc.
Treatment for: Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Opsumit (macitentan), a new drug to treat adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a chronic, progressive and debilitating disease that can lead to death or the need for lung transplantation.
FDA Approves Opsumit
Read this Medication Guide before you start taking Opsumit and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This Medication Guide does not take the place of talking with your health care provider about your medical condition or your treatment.
What is the most important information I should know about Opsumit?
Serious birth defects. Opsumit can cause serious birth defects if taken during pregnancy.
- Females must not be pregnant when they start taking this medicine or become pregnant during treatment.
- Females who are able to get pregnant must have a negative pregnancy test before beginning treatment with Opsumit, each month during treatment, and one month after stopping. Talk to your healthcare provider about your menstrual cycle. Your healthcare provider will decide when to do the tests, and order the tests for you depending on your menstrual cycle.
- Females who are able to get pregnant are females who:
- Have entered puberty, even if they have not started their period, and
- Have a uterus, and
- Have not gone through menopause (have not had a period for at least 12 months for natural reasons, or who have had their ovaries removed)
- Females who are not able to get pregnant are females who:
- Have not yet entered puberty, or
- Do not have a uterus, or
- Have gone through menopause (have not had a period for at least 12 months for natural reasons, or who have had their ovaries removed)
- Females who are able to get pregnant are females who:
Females who are able to get pregnant must use two acceptable forms of birth control during treatment with Opsumit, and for one month after stopping because the medicine may still be in the body.
- If you have had a tubal sterilization, have a progesterone implant, or have an IUD (intrauterine device), these methods can be used alone and no other form of birth control is needed.
- Talk with your healthcare provider or gynecologist (a doctor who specializes in female reproduction) to find out about options for acceptable birth control that you may use to prevent pregnancy during treatment.
- If you decide that you want to change the form of birth control that you use, talk with your healthcare provider or gynecologist to be sure that you choose another acceptable form of birth control.
- Do not have unprotected sex. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist right away if you have unprotected sex or if you think your birth control has failed. Your healthcare provider may talk with you about using emergency birth control.
- Tell your healthcare provider right away if you miss a menstrual period or think you may be pregnant for any reason.
- If you are the parent or caregiver of a female child who started taking Opsumit before reaching puberty, you should check your child regularly to see if she is developing signs of puberty. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you notice that she is developing breast buds or any pubic hair. Your healthcare provider should decide if your child has reached puberty. Your child may reach puberty before having her first menstrual period.
Females can only receive Opsumit through a restricted program called the Opsumit Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Program. If you are a female who can get pregnant, you must talk to your healthcare provider, understand the benefits and risks, and agree to all of the instructions in the Opsumit REMS Program.
Males can receive Opsumit without taking part in the Opsumit REMS Program.
What is Opsumit?
- Opsumit is a prescription medicine used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), which is high blood pressure in the arteries of your lungs.
- Opsumit can improve your ability to exercise, improve some of your symptoms, and help slow down the progression of your disease. It can also lower your chance of being hospitalized for PAH.
- It is not known if this medicine is safe and effective in children.
Who should not take Opsumit?
Do not take Opsumit if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or become pregnant during treatment. It can cause serious birth defects (see What is the most important information I should know about Opsumit?).
Tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions and all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Opsumit and other medicines may affect each other causing side effects. Do not start any new medicine until you check with your healthcare provider. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take an HIV medicine.
How should I take Opsumit?
Opsumit will be mailed to you by a specialty pharmacy. Your healthcare provider will give you complete details.
- Take exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it. Do not stop taking Opsumit unless your healthcare provider tells you.
- You can take this medicine with or without food.
- Do not split, crush, or chew the tablets.
- If you take too much Opsumit, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.
- If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. Take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
What should I avoid?
- Do not get pregnant while taking Opsumit. See What is the most important information I should know about Opsumit? If you miss a menstrual period, or think you might be pregnant, call your healthcare provider right away.
- It is not known if Opsumit passes into your breastmilk. You should not breastfeed if you take Opsumit. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take Opsumit.
Opsumit side effects
Opsumit can cause serious side effects, including:
- Serious birth defects. See What is the most important information I should know about Opsumit?
- Some medicines that are like Opsumit can cause liver problems. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests to check your liver before you start taking this medicine. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of the following symptoms of liver problems while taking Opsumit.
- nausea or vomiting
- pain in the upper right stomach
- loss of appetite
- yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes
- dark urine
- Low red blood cell levels (anemia) can occur with treatment, usually during the first weeks after starting therapy. In some cases a blood transfusion may be needed, but this is not common. Your healthcare provider will do blood tests to check your red blood cells before starting treatment. Your healthcare provider may also need to do these tests during treatment with Opsumit.
- Sperm count reduction. Reduced sperm counts have been observed in some men taking a medicine similar to Opsumit, an effect which might impair their ability to father a child. Tell your healthcare provider if remaining fertile is important to you.
The most common side effects are:
- Stuffy nose or sore throat
- Irritation of the airways (bronchitis)
- Urinary tract infection
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Opsumit. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Opsumit side effects (in more detail)
How should I store Opsumit?
- Store tablets at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
- Keep Opsumit and all medicines out of the reach of children.
General information about Opsumit
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use this medicine for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give it to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them.
This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about Opsumit.
If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for information that is written for health professionals. For more information, call 1-866-228-3546, or visit www.OPSUMIT.com.
What are the ingredients in Opsumit?
Active ingredient: macitentan
Inactive ingredients: lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polysorbate 80, povidone, and sodium starch glycolate Type A. The tablets are film-coated with a coating material containing polyvinyl alcohol, soya lecithin, talc, titanium dioxide, and xanthan gum.