Activella

Activella information, interactions and side effects, Activella 1 mg/0.5 mg is a single tablet for oral administration containing 1 mg of estradiol and 0.5 mg of norethindrone acetate and the following excipients: lactose monohydrate, starch (corn), copovidone, talc, magnesium stearate, hypromellose and triacetin.

Activella 0.5 mg/0.1 mg is a single tablet for oral administration containing 0.5 mg of estradiol and 0.1 mg of norethindrone acetate and the following excipients: lactose monohydrate, starch (corn), hydroxypropylcellulose, talc, magnesium stearate, hypromellose and triacetin.

Estradiol (E2), an estrogen, is a white or almost white crystalline powder. Its chemical name is estra-1, 3, 5 (10)-triene-3, 17β-diol hemihydrate with the empirical formula of C18H24O2, ½ H2O and a molecular weight of 281.4. The structural formula of E2 is as follows:

Estradiol

activella

Norethindrone acetate (NETA), a progestin, is a white or yellowish-white crystalline powder. Its chemical name is 17β -acetoxy-19-nor-17α -pregn-4-en-20-yn-3-one with the empirical formula of C22H28O3 and molecular weight of 340.5. The structural formula of NETA is as follows:

Norethindrone Acetate

activella2

INDICATIONS

Treatment of Moderate to Severe Vasomotor Symptoms due to Menopause

Treatment of Moderate to Severe Symptoms of Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy due to Menopause Limitation of Use

When prescribing solely for the treatment of moderate to severe symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy due to menopause, topical vaginal products should be considered.

Prevention of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

Limitation of Use

When prescribing solely for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, therapy should only be considered for women at significant risk of osteoporosis and non-estrogen medication should be carefully considered.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Use of estrogen-alone, or in combination with a progestin, should be with the lowest effective dose and for the shortest duration consistent with treatment goals and risks for the individual woman. Postmenopausal women should be re-evaluated periodically as clinically appropriate to determine if treatment is still necessary.

Treatment of Moderate to Severe Vasomotor Symptoms due to Menopause

Activella therapy consists of a single tablet to be taken once daily for the treatment of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms due to menopause.

  • Activella 1 mg/0.5 mg
  • Activella 0.5 mg/0.1 mg

Treatment of Moderate to Severe Symptoms of Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy due to Menopause

Activella therapy consists of a single tablet to be taken once daily for the treatment of moderate to severe symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy due to menopause.

  • Activella 1 mg/0.5 mg

Prevention of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

Activella therapy consists of a single tablet to be taken once daily for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

  • Activella 1 mg/0.5 mg
  • Activella 0.5 mg/0.1 mg

HOW SUPPLIED

Dosage Forms And Strengths

Activella tablets are available in two strengths:

  • Each tablet of Activella 1 mg/ 0.5 mg contains 1 mg of estradiol and 0.5 mg of norethindrone acetate. The tablets are white, round, bi-convex, film-coated tablets engraved with NOVO 288 on one side and the APIS bull on the other.
  • Each tablet of Activella 0.5 mg/ 0.1 mg contains 0.5 mg of estradiol and 0.1 mg of norethindrone acetate. The tablets are white, round, bi-convex, film-coated tablets engraved with NOVO 291 on one side and the APIS bull on the other.

Activella 1 mg/0.5 mg is a white, film-coated tablet, engraved with NOVO 288 on one side and the APIS bull on the other. It is round, 6mm in diameter and bi-convex. (NDC 0169-5174-02). It is supplied as 28 tablets in a calendar dial pack dispenser.

Activella 0.5 mg/0.1 mg is a white, film-coated tablet, engraved with NOVO 291 on one side and the APIS bull on the other. It is round, 6mm in diameter and bi-convex. (NDC 0169-5175-10). It is supplied as 28 tablets in a calendar dial pack dispenser.

Storage and Handling

Store in a dry place protected from light. Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F), excursions permitted to 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F).

SIDE EFFECTS

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed elsewhere in the labeling:

  • Cardiovascular Disorders
  • Malignant Neoplasms

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Adverse reactions reported with Activella 1 mg/0.5 mg by investigators in the Phase 3 studies regardless of causality assessment are shown in Table 1.

TABLE 1 : ALL TREATMENT-EMERGENT ADVERSE REACTIONS REGARDLESS OF RELATIONSHIP REPORTED AT A FREQUENCY OF ≥ 5 PERCENT WITH ACTIVELLA 1 MG/0.5 MG

 

Endometrial Hyperplasia Study (12-Months) Vasomotor Symptoms Study (3-Months) Osteoporosis Study (2-Years)
Activella1 mg/0.5 mg
(n=295)
1 mg E2
(n=296)
Activella1 mg/0.5 mg
(n=29)
Placebo
(n=34)
Activella1 mg/0.5 mg
(n=47)
Placebo (n=48)
Body as a Whole
  Back Pain 6% 5% 3% 3% 6% 4%
  Headache 16% 16% 17% 18% 11% 6%
Digestive System
  Nausea 3% 5% 10% 0% 11% 0%
  Gastroenteritis 2% 2% 0% 0% 6% 4%
Nervous System
  Insomnia 6% 4% 3% 3% 0% 8%
  Emotional Lability 1% 1% 0% 0% 6% 0%
Respiratory System
  Upper Respiratory 18% 15% 10% 6% 15% 19%
Tract Infection
  Sinusitis 7% 11% 7% 0% 15% 10%
Metabolic and Nutritional
  Weight Increase 0% 0% 0% 0% 9% 6%
Urogenital System
  Breast Pain 24% 10% 21% 0% 17% 8%
  Post-Menopausal Bleeding 5% 15% 10% 3% 11% 0%
  Uterine Fibroid 5% 4% 0% 0% 4% 8%
  Ovarian Cyst 3% 2% 7% 0% 0% 8%
Resistance Mechanism
  Infection Viral 4% 6% 0% 3% 6% 6%
  Moniliasis Genital 4% 7% 0% 0% 6% 0%
Secondary Terms
  Injury Accidental 4% 3% 3% 0% 17%* 4%*
  Other Events 2% 3% 3% 0% 6% 4%
* including one upper extremity fracture in each group

Adverse reactions reported with Activella 0.5 mg/0.1 mg by investigators during the Phase 3 study regardless of causality assessment are shown in Table 2.

TABLE 2 : ALL TREATMENT-EMERGENT ADVERSE REACTIONS REGARDLESS OF RELATIONSHIP REPORTED AT A FREQUENCY OF ≥ 5 PERCENT WITH ACTIVELLA 0.5 MG/0.1 MG

 

Activella 0.5 mg/0.1 mg
(n=194)
Placebo
(n=200)
Body as a Whole
  Back Pain 10% 4%
  Headache 22% 19%
  Pain in extremity 5% 4%
Digestive System
  Nausea 5% 4%
  Diarrhea 6% 6%
Respiratory System
  Nasopharyngitis 21% 18%
  Urogenital System Endometrial thickening 10% 4%
  Vaginal hemorrhage 26% 12%

 

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of Activella. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Genitourinary System

Changes in vaginal bleeding pattern and abnormal withdrawal bleeding or flow; breakthrough bleeding; spotting; dysmenorrhea, increase in size of uterine leiomyomata; vaginitis, including vaginal candidiasis; change in amount of cervical secretion; changes in cervical ectropion; pre-menstrual-like syndrome; cystitis-like syndrome; ovarian cancer; endometrial hyperplasia; endometrial cancer.

Breast

Tenderness, enlargement, pain, nipple discharge, galactorrhea; fibrocystic breast changes; breast cancer.

Cardiovascular

Deep and superficial venous thrombosis; pulmonary embolism; thrombophlebitis; myocardial infarction, stroke; increase in blood pressure.

Gastrointestinal

Nausea, vomiting; changes in appetite; cholestatic jaundice; abdominal pain/cramps, flatulence, bloating; increased incidence of gallbladder disease and pancreatitis.

Skin

Chloasma or melasma that may persist when drug is discontinued; erythema multiforme; erythema nodosum; hemorrhagic eruption; loss of scalp hair; seborrhea; hirsutism; itching; skin rash; pruritus.

Eyes

Retinal vascular thrombosis, intolerance to contact lenses.

Central Nervous System

Headache; migraine; dizziness; mental depression; chorea; insomnia; nervousness; mood disturbances; irritability; exacerbation of epilepsy; dementia.

Miscellaneous

Increase or decrease in weight; edema; leg cramps; changes in libido; fatigue; exacerbation of asthma; increased triglycerides; hypersensitivity; anaphylactoid/anaphylactic reactions.

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Coadministration of estradiol with norethindrone acetate did not elicit any apparent influence on the pharmacokinetics of norethindrone acetate. Similarly, no relevant interaction of norethindrone acetate on the pharmacokinetics of estradiol was found within the NETA dose range investigated in a single dose study.

Metabolic Interactions

Estradiol

In-vitro and in-vivo studies have shown that estrogens are metabolized partially by cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4). Therefore, inducers or inhibitors of CYP3A4 may affect estrogen drug metabolism. Inducers of CYP3A4 such as St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) preparations, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, and rifampin may reduce plasma concentrations of estrogens, possibly resulting in a decrease in therapeutic effects and/or changes in the uterine bleeding profile. Inhibitors of CYP3A4 such as erythromycin, clarithromycin, ketoconazole, itraconazole, ritonavir and grapefruit juice may increase plasma concentrations of estrogens and result in side effects.

Norethindrone Acetate

Drugs or herbal products that induce or inhibit cytochrome P-450 enzymes, including CYP3A4, may decrease or increase the serum concentrations of norethindrone.

PRECAUTIONS

Cardiovascular Disorders

An increased risk of PE, DVT, stroke and MI has been reported with estrogen plus progestin therapy. An increased risk of stroke and DVT has been reported with estrogen-alone therapy. Should any of these occur or be suspected, estrogen with or without progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Risk factors for arterial vascular disease (for example, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, tobacco use, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity) and/or venous thromboembolism (VTE) (for example, personal history or family history of VTE, obesity, and systemic lupus erythematosus) should be managed appropriately.

Stroke

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women 50 to 79 years of age receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women in the same age group receiving placebo (33 versus 25 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in risk was demonstrated after the first year and persisted.1 Should a stroke occur or be suspected, estrogen plus progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, a statistically significant increased risk of stroke was reported in women 50 to 79 years of age receiving daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone compared to women in the same age group receiving placebo (45 versus 33 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in risk was demonstrated in year 1 and persisted. Should a stroke occur or be suspected, estrogen-alone therapy should be discontinued immediately.

Subgroup analyses of women 50 to 59 years of age suggest no increased risk of stroke for those women receiving CE (0.625 mg)-alone versus those receiving placebo (18 versus 21 per 10,000 women-years).1

Coronary Heart Disease

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, there was a statistically non-significant increase risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events (defined as nonfatal MI, silent MI, or CHD death) reported in women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women receiving placebo (41 versus 34 per 10,000 women-years)1 An increase in relative risk was demonstrated in year 1, and a trend toward decreasing relative risk was reported in years 2 through 5.

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, no overall effect on CHD events was reported in women receiving estrogen-alone compared to placebo.

Subgroup analyses of women 50 to 59 years of age suggest a statistically non-significant reduction in CHD events (CE [0.625 mg]-alone compared to placebo) in women with less than 10 years since menopause (8 versus 16 per 10,000 women-years).1

In postmenopausal women with documented heart disease (n=2,763), average 66.7 years of age, in a controlled clinical trial of secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study [HERS]), treatment with daily CE (0.625 mg plus MPA (2.5 mg) demonstrated no cardiovascular benefit. During an average follow-up of 4.1 years, treatment with CE plus MPA did not reduce the overall rate of CHD events in postmenopausal women with established CHD. There were more CHD events in the CE plus MPA-treated group than in the placebo group in year 1, but not during the subsequent years. Two thousand, three hundred and twenty-one (2,321) women from the original HERS trial agreed to participate in an open label extension of HERS, HERS II. Average follow-up in HERS II was an additional 2.7 years, for a total of 6.8 years overall. Rates of CHD events were comparable among women in the CE plus MPA group and the placebo group in HERS, HERS II, and overall.

Venous Thromboembolism

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy, a statistically significant 2-fold greater rate of VTE (DVT and PE), was reported in women receiving daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) compared to women receiving placebo (35 versus 17 per 10,000 women-years). Statistically significant increases in risk for both DVT (26 versus 13 per 10,000 women-years) and PE (18 versus 8 per 10,000 women-years) were also demonstrated. The increase in VTE risk was demonstrated during the first year and persisted. Should a VTE occur or be suspected, estrogen plus progestin therapy should be discontinued immediately.

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, the risk of VTE was increased for women receiving daily CE

(0.625 mg)-alone compared to placebo (30 versus 22 per 10,000 women-years), although only the increased risk of DVT reached statistical significance (23 versus 15 per 10,000 women-years). The increase in VTE risk was demonstrated during the first 2 years. Should a VTE occur or be suspected, estrogen-alone therapy should be discontinued immediately.

If feasible, estrogens should be discontinued at least 4 to 6 weeks before surgery of the type associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism, or during periods of prolonged immobilization.

Malignant Neoplasms

Breast Cancer

The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about breast cancer in estrogen plus progestin users is the WHI substudy of daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg). After a mean follow-up of 5.6 years, the estrogen plus progestin substudy reported an increased risk of invasive breast cancer in women who took daily CE plus MPA. In this substudy, prior use of estrogen-alone or estrogen plus progestin therapy was reported by 26 percent of the women. The relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.24, and the absolute risk was 41 versus 33 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. Among women who reported prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.86, and the absolute risk was 46 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. Among women who reported no prior use of hormone therapy, the relative risk of invasive breast cancer was 1.09, and the absolute risk was 40 versus 36 cases per 10,000 women-years, for CE plus MPA compared with placebo. In the same substudy, invasive breast cancers were larger, were more likely to be node positive, and were diagnosed at a more advanced stage in the CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) group compared with the placebo group. Metastatic disease was rare, with no apparent difference between the two groups. Other prognostic factors, such as histologic subtype, grade and hormone receptor status did not differ between the groups.

The most important randomized clinical trial providing information about breast cancer in estrogen-alone users is the WHI substudy of daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone. In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy, after an average follow-up of 7.1 years, daily CE-alone was not associated with an increased risk of invasive breast cancer [relative risk (RR) 0.80.

Consistent with the WHI clinical trials, observational studies have also reported an increased risk of breast cancer for estrogen plus progestin therapy, and a smaller increased risk for estrogen-alone therapy, after several years of use. The risk increased with duration of use, and appeared to return to baseline over about 5 years after stopping treatment (only the observational studies have substantial data on risk after stopping). Observational studies also suggest that the risk of breast cancer was greater, and became apparent earlier, with estrogen plus progestin therapy as compared to estrogen-alone therapy. However, these studies have not found significant variation in the risk of breast cancer among different estrogen plus progestin combinations, doses, or routes of administration.

The use of estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin has been reported to result in an increase in abnormal mammograms requiring further evaluation.

In a one-year trial among 1,176 women who received either unopposed 1 mg estradiol or a combination of 1 mg estradiol plus one of three different doses of NETA (0.1, 0.25, 0.5 mg), seven new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed, two of which occurred among the group of 295 women treated with Activella 1.0 mg/0.5 mg and two of which occurred among the group of 294 women treated with 1 mg estradiol/0.1 mg NETA.

All women should receive yearly breast examinations by a healthcare provider and perform monthly breast self-examinations. In addition, mammography examinations should be scheduled based on patient age, risk factors, and prior mammogram results.

Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial hyperplasia (a possible precursor of endometrial cancer) has been reported to occur at a rate of approximately 1 percent or less with Activella.

An increased risk of endometrial cancer has been reported with the use of unopposed estrogen therapy in a woman with a uterus. The reported endometrial cancer risk among unopposed estrogen users is about 2 to 12 times greater than in nonusers, and appears dependent on duration of treatment and on estrogen dose. Most studies show no significant increased risk associated with use of estrogens for less than 1 year. The greatest risk appears to be associated with prolonged use, with increased risks of 15-to 24-fold for 5 to 10 years or more. This risk has been shown to persist for at least 8 to 15 years after estrogen therapy is discontinued.

Clinical surveillance of all women using estrogen-alone or estrogen plus progestin therapy is important. Adequate diagnostic measures, including directed or random endometrial sampling when indicated, should be undertaken to rule out malignancy in postmenopausal women with undiagnosed persistent or recurring abnormal genital bleeding.

There is no evidence that the use of natural estrogens results in a different endometrial risk profile than synthetic estrogens of equivalent estrogen dose. Adding a progestin to estrogen therapy in postmenopausal women has been shown to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia, which may be a precursor to endometrial cancer.

Ovarian Cancer

The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy reported a statistically non-significant increased risk of ovarian cancer. After an average follow-up of 5.6 years, the relative risk for ovarian cancer for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 1.58 (95 percent CI, 0.77-3.24]. The absolute risk for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 4 versus 3 cases per 10,000 women-years.7 In some epidemiologic studies, the use of estrogen plus progestin and estrogen-only products, in particular for 5 or more years, has been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. However, the duration of exposure associated with increased risk is not consistent across all epidemiologic studies, and some report no association.

Probable Dementia

In the WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study of WHI, a population of 4,532 postmenopausal women 65 to 79 years of age was randomized to daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) or placebo.

After an average follow-up of 4 years, 40 women in the CE plus MPA and 21 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for the CE plus MPA versus placebo was 2.05 (95 percent CI, 1.21-3.48). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 45 versus 22 cases per 10,000 women-years.

In the WHIMS estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI, a population of 2,947 hysterectomized women 65 to 79 years of age was randomized to daily CE (0.625 mg)-alone or placebo. After an average follow-up of 5.2 years, 28 women in the estrogen-alone group and 19 women in the placebo group were diagnosed with probable dementia. The relative risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 1.49 (95 percent CI, 0.83-2.66). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 37 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years.

When data from the two populations in the WHIMS estrogen-alone and estrogen plus progestin ancillary studies were pooled as planned in the WHIMS protocol, the reported overall relative risk of probable dementia was 1.76 (95 percent CI, 1.19-2.60). Since both ancillary studies were conducted in women 65 to 79 years of age, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women.

Gallbladder Disease

A 2-to 4 fold increase in the risk of gallbladder disease requiring surgery in postmenopausal women receiving estrogens has been reported.

Hypercalcemia

Estrogen administration may lead to severe hypercalcemia in patients with breast cancer and bone metastases. If hypercalcemia occurs, use of the drug should be stopped and appropriate measures taken to reduce the serum calcium level.

Vision Abnormalities

Retinal vascular thrombosis has been reported in patients receiving estrogens. Discontinue medication pending examination if there is a sudden partial or complete loss of vision, or a sudden onset of proptosis, diplopia, or migraine. If examination reveals papilledema or retinal vascular lesions, estrogens should be permanently discontinued.

Addition of a Progestin When a Woman Has Not Had a Hysterectomy

Studies of the addition of a progestin for 10 or more days of a cycle of estrogen administration, or daily with estrogen in a continuous regimen, have reported a lowered incidence of endometrial hyperplasia than would be induced by estrogen treatment alone. Endometrial hyperplasia may be a precursor to endometrial cancer. There are, however, possible risks that may be associated with the use of progestins with estrogens compared to estrogen-alone regimens. These include an increased risk of breast cancer.

Elevated Blood Pressure

In a small number of case reports, substantial increases in blood pressure have been attributed to idiosyncratic reactions to estrogens. In a large, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, a generalized effect of estrogen therapy on blood pressure was not seen.

Hypertriglyceridemia

In women with pre-existing hypertriglyceridemia, estrogen therapy may be associated with elevations of plasma triglycerides leading to pancreatitis. Consider discontinuation of treatment if pancreatitis occurs.

Hepatic Impairment and/or Past History of Cholestatic Jaundice

Estrogens may be poorly metabolized in women with impaired liver function. For women with a history of cholestatic jaundice associated with past estrogen use or with pregnancy, caution should be exercised, and in the case of recurrence, medication should be discontinued.

Hypothyroidism

Estrogen administration leads to increased thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) levels. Women with normal thyroid function can compensate for the increased TBG by making more thyroid hormone, thus maintaining free T4 and T3 serum concentrations in the normal range. Women dependent on thyroid hormone replacement therapy who are also receiving estrogen may require increased doses of their thyroid replacement therapy. These women should have their thyroid function monitored to maintain their free thyroid hormone levels in an acceptable range.

Fluid Retention

Estrogens plus progestins may cause some degree of fluid retention. Women with conditions that might be influenced by this factor, such as a cardiac or renal impairment, warrant careful observation when estrogens plus progestins are prescribed.

Hypocalcemia

Estrogen therapy should be used with caution in women with hypoparathyroidism as estrogen-induced hypocalcemia may occur.

Exacerbation of Endometriosis

A few cases of malignant transformation of residual endometrial implants have been reported in women treated post-hysterectomy with estrogen-alone therapy. For women known to have residual endometriosis post-hysterectomy, the addition of progestin should be considered.

Hereditary Angioedema

Exogenous estrogens may exacerbate symptoms of angioedema in women with hereditary angioedema.

Exacerbation of Other Conditions

Estrogen therapy may cause an exacerbation of asthma, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, migraine, porphyria, systemic lupus erythematosus, and hepatic hemangiomas and should be used with caution in women with these conditions.

Laboratory Tests

Serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol levels have not been shown to be useful in the management of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms and moderate to severe symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy.

Drug-Laboratory Test Interactions

Accelerated prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet aggregation time; increased platelet count; increased factors II, VII antigen, VIII coagulant activity, IX, X, XII, VII-X complex, and beta-thromboglobulin; decreased levels of anti-factor Xa and antithrombin III, decreased antithrombin III activity, increased levels of fibrinogen and fibrinogen activity; increased plasminogen antigen and activity.

Increased TBG levels leading to increased circulating total thyroid hormone levels as measured by protein-bound iodine (PBI), T4 levels (by column or by radioimmunoassay), or T3 levels by radioimmunoassay. T3 resin uptake is decreased, reflecting the elevated TBG. Free T4 and free T3 concentrations are unaltered. Women on thyroid replacement therapy may require higher doses of thyroid hormone.

Other binding proteins may be elevated in serum, for example, corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), leading to increased total circulating corticosteroids and sex steroids, respectively. Free hormone concentrations, such as testosterone and estradiol, may be decreased. Other plasma proteins may be increased (angiotensinogen/rennin substrate, alpha-1 antitrypsin, ceruloplasmin).

Increased plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and HDL2 cholesterol subfraction concentration, reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentration, increased triglyceride levels.

Impaired glucose tolerance.

Patient Counseling Information

Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding

Inform postmenopausal women of the importance of reporting abnormal vaginal bleeding to their healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Possible Serious Adverse Reactions with Estrogen Plus Progestin Therapy

Inform postmenopausal women of possible serious adverse reactions of estrogen plus progestin therapy including Cardiovascular Disorders, Malignant Neoplasms, and Probable Dementia.

Possible Less Serious but Common Adverse Reactions with Estrogen Plus Progestin Therapy

Inform postmenopausal women of possible less serious but common adverse reactions of estrogen plus progestin therapy such as headache, breast pain and tenderness, nausea and vomiting.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Long-term continuous administration of natural and synthetic estrogens in certain animal species increases the frequency of carcinomas of the breast, uterus, cervix, vagina, testis, and liver.

Use In Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Activella should not be used during pregnancy. There appears to be little or no increased risk of birth defects in children born to women who have used estrogens and progestins as an oral contraceptive inadvertently during early pregnancy.

Nursing Mothers

Activella should not be used during lactation. Estrogen administration to nursing women has been shown to decrease the quantity and quality of the breast milk. Detectable amounts of estrogen and progestin have been identified in the breast milk of women receiving estrogen plus progestin therapy. Caution should be exercised when Activella is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

Activella is not indicated in children. Clinical studies have not been conducted in the pediatric population.

Geriatric Use

There have not been sufficient numbers of geriatric women involved in clinical studies utilizing Activella to determine whether those over 65 years of age differ from younger subjects in their response to Activella.

The Women’s Health Initiative Studies

In the WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy (daily CE [0.625 mg] plus MPA [2.5 mg] versus placebo), there was a higher relative risk of nonfatal stroke and invasive breast cancer in women greater than 65 years of age.

In the WHI estrogen-alone substudy (daily CE [0.625 mg]-alone versus placebo), there was a higher relative risk of stroke in women greater than 65 years of age.

The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study

In the WHIMS ancillary studies of postmenopausal women 65 to 79 years of age, there was an increased risk of developing probable dementia in women receiving estrogen plus progestin or estrogen-alone when compared to placebo. It is unknown whether this finding applies to younger postmenopausal women.

Since both ancillary studies were conducted in women 65 to 79 years of age, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women.

Renal Impairment

The effect of renal impairment on the pharmacokinetics of Activella has not been studied.

Hepatic Impairment

The effect of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of Activella has not been studied.

OVERDOSE

Overdosage of estrogen plus progestin may cause nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness, abdominal pain, drowsiness and fatigue, and withdrawal bleeding may occur in women. Treatment of overdose consists of discontinuation of Activella therapy with institution of appropriate symptomatic care.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Activella is contraindicated in women with any of the following conditions:

  • Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding
  • Known, suspected, or history of breast cancer
  • Known, past or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia
  • Active DVT, PE, or history of these conditions
  • Active arterial thromboembolic disease (for example stroke and MI), or a history of these conditions
  • Known anaphylactic reaction or angioedema or hypersensitivity to Activella
  • Known liver impairment or disease
  • Known protein C, protein S, or antithrombin deficiency, or other known thrombophilic disorders
  • Known or suspected pregnancy

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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