Rectiv: Indications, Dosage, Precautions, Adverse Effects
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Rectiv - Product Information

Manufacture: Forest Laboratories, Inc.
Country: United States
Condition: Anal Fissure and Fistula
Class: Antianginal agents, Vasodilators
Form: Cream, gel, liniment or balm, lotion, ointment, etc
Ingredients: nitroglycerin, propylene glycol, lanolin, sorbitan sesquioleate, paraffin wax, white petrolatum

Indications and Usage

RECTIV (nitroglycerin) Ointment 0.4% is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe pain associated with chronic anal fissure.

Dosage and Administration

Apply 1 inch of ointment (375 mg of ointment equivalent to 1.5 mg of nitroglycerin) intra-anally every 12 hours for up to 3 weeks. A finger covering, such as plastic-wrap, disposable surgical glove or a finger cot, should be placed on the finger to apply the ointment. To obtain a 1.5 mg dose of nitroglycerin, the covered finger is laid alongside the 1 inch dosing line on the carton.


Refer to carton for accurate dosage guide.

The tube is gently squeezed until a line of ointment the length of the measuring line is expressed onto the covered finger. The ointment is gently inserted into the anal canal using the covered finger no further than to the first finger joint and the ointment is applied around the side of the anal canal. If this cannot be achieved due to pain, application of the ointment should be made directly to the outside of the anus. Treatment may be continued for up to three weeks.

RECTIV ointment is not for oral, ophthalmic, or intravaginal use. Hands should be washed after application of the ointment.

See Patients Instruction for Use.

Dosage Forms and Strengths

Ointment, 0.4% w/w (4 mg/1 g) in 30 g tubes.

Contraindications

PDE5 Inhibitor Use

Administration of RECTIV is contraindicated in patients who are using a selective inhibitor of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5), such as sildenafil, vardenafil, and tadalafil, as these are shown to potentiate the hypotensive effects of organic nitrates [see 7.1 DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Severe Anemia

RECTIV is contraindicated in patients with severe anemia.

Increased Intracranial Pressure

RECTIV is contraindicated in patients with increased intracranial pressure.

Hypersensitivity

RECTIV is contraindicated in patients who have shown hypersensitivity to it or to other nitrates or nitrites. Skin reactions consistent with hypersensitivity have been observed with organic nitrates.

Warnings and Precautions

Cardiovascular Disorders

Venous and arterial dilatation as a consequence of nitroglycerin treatment including RECTIV, can decrease venous blood returning to the heart and reduce arterial vascular resistance and systolic pressure. Exercise caution when treating patients with any of the following conditions: blood volume depletion, existing hypotension, cardiomyopathies, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, or poor cardiac function for other reasons. If patients with any of these conditions are treated with RECTIV, monitor cardiovascular status and clinical condition. The adverse reactions of RECTIV are likely to be more pronounced in the elderly.

Headache

RECTIV produces dose-related headaches, which may be severe. Tolerance to headaches occurs.

Adverse Reactions

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.

The most common adverse reaction of RECTIV (nitroglycerin) Ointment 0.4% applied to the anal canal is headache.

Headache may be recurrent following each dose. Headaches are typically of short duration and can be treated with an analgesic, e.g. acetaminophen, and are reversible upon discontinuation of treatment.

In Study REC-C-001, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in patients with a painful chronic anal fissure, the most frequent (≥ 2%) adverse reactions reported were as follows (Table 1):

Table 1: Incidence of Adverse Reactions (≥ 2%) in Study REC-C-001
 RECTIV
N = 123
Placebo
N = 124
System Organ Class
   Preferred term
n (%)nn (%)n
Nervous system disorders 
   Headache79 (64)93851 (41)225
   Dizziness6 (5)2600

Hypotension

Transient episodes of light-headedness, occasionally related to blood pressure changes, also may occur. Hypotension (including orthostatic hypotension) occurs infrequently, but in some patients may be severe enough to warrant discontinuation of therapy.

Allergic Reactions

Flushing, allergic reactions and application site reactions (including drug rash and exfoliative dermatitis) have been reported rarely.

Methemoglobinemia

In rare cases, therapeutic doses of organic nitrates have caused methemoglobinemia (see 10 OVERDOSAGE).

Drug Interactions

PDE5 Inhibitors

Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors such as sildenafil, vardenafil, and tadalafil have been shown to potentiate the hypotensive effects of organic nitrates.

The time course of the interaction appears to be related to the half-life of the PDE5 inhibitor, however, the dose dependence of this interaction has not been studied. Use of RECTIV within a few days of PDE5 inhibitors is contraindicated.

Antihypertensives

Patients receiving antihypertensive drugs, beta-adrenergic blockers, and other nitrates should be observed for possible additive hypotensive effects when using RECTIV. Marked orthostatic hypotension has been reported when calcium channel blockers and organic nitrates were used concomitantly.

Beta-blockers blunt the reflex tachycardia produced by nitroglycerin without preventing its hypotensive effects. If beta-blockers are used with RECTIV in patients with angina pectoris, additional hypotensive effects may occur.

Aspirin

Coadministration of aspirin (at doses between 500 mg and 1000 mg) and nitroglycerin has been reported to result in increased nitroglycerin maximum concentrations by as much as 67% and AUC by 73% when administered as a single dose. The pharmacological effects of RECTIV may be enhanced by concomitant administration of aspirin.

Tissue-type Plasminogen Activator (t-PA)

Intravenous administration of nitroglycerin decreases the thrombolytic effect of tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA). Plasma levels of t-PA are reduced when coadministered with nitroglycerin. Therefore, caution should be observed in patients receiving RECTIV during t-PA therapy.

Heparin

Although an interaction has been reported between intravenous heparin and intravenous nitroglycerin (resulting in a decrease in the anticoagulant effect of heparin), the data are not consistent. If patients are to receive intravenous heparin and RECTIV concurrently, the anticoagulation status of the patient must be checked.

Ergotamine

Oral administration of nitroglycerin markedly decreases the first-pass metabolism of dihydroergotamine and consequently increases its oral bioavailability. Ergotamine is known to precipitate angina pectoris. Therefore the possibility of ergotism in patients receiving RECTIV should be considered.

Alcohol

The vasodilating effects of nitroglycerin have been shown to be additive to the effects observed with alcohol.

Use in Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C

Animal reproduction and teratogenicity studies have not been conducted with RECTIV. Nitroglycerin was not teratogenic when administered by topical or dietary route. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. RECTIV should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Teratology studies in rats and rabbits were conducted with topically applied nitroglycerin ointment at doses up to 80 mg/kg/day and 240 mg/kg/day, respectively. No toxic effects on dams or fetuses were seen at any dose tested.

A teratogenicity study was conducted in rats with nitroglycerin administered in the diet at levels up to 1% content (approximately 430 mg/kg/day) on days 6 to 15 of gestation. In offspring of the high-dose group, an increased but not statistically significant incidence of diaphragmatic hernias was noted together with decreased hyoid bone ossification. The latter finding probably reflects delayed development, thus indicating no clear evidence of a potential teratogenic effect of nitroglycerin.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether nitroglycerin is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when RECTIV is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of RECTIV in pediatric patients under 18 years of age have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of RECTIV did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Clinical data from the published literature indicate that the elderly demonstrate increased sensitivity to nitrates, which may be therapeutic but also manifest by more frequent or severe hypotension and related dizziness or fainting. Increased sensitivity may reflect the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

Overdosage

Nitroglycerin toxicity is generally mild. The estimated adult oral lethal dose of nitroglycerin is 200 mg to 1,200 mg. Infants may be more susceptible to toxicity from nitroglycerin. Consultation with a poison center should be considered.

Laboratory determinations of serum levels of nitroglycerin and its metabolites are not widely available, and such determinations have, in any event, no established role in the management of nitroglycerin overdose.

No data are available to suggest physiological maneuvers (e.g., maneuvers to change the pH of the urine) that might accelerate elimination of nitroglycerin and its active metabolites. Similarly, it is not known which if any of these substances can usefully be removed from the body by hemodialysis.

No specific antagonist to the vasodilator effects of nitroglycerin is known, and no intervention has been subject to controlled study as a therapy of nitroglycerin overdose. Because the hypotension associated with nitroglycerin overdose is the result of venodilatation and arterial hypovolemia, prudent therapy in this situation should be directed toward increase in central fluid volume. Passive elevation of the patient's legs may be sufficient, but intravenous infusion of normal saline or similar fluid may also be necessary.

The use of epinephrine or other arterial vasoconstrictors in this setting is not recommended.

In patients with renal disease or congestive heart failure, therapy resulting in central volume expansion is not without hazard. Treatment of RECTIV overdose in these patients may be subtle and difficult, and invasive monitoring may be required.

Methemoglobinemia

Methemoglobinemia has been rarely reported with organic nitrates. The diagnosis should be suspected in patients who exhibit signs of impaired oxygen delivery despite adequate arterial PO2. Classically, methemoglobinemic blood is described as chocolate brown, without color change on exposure to air.

If methemoglobinemia is present, intravenous administration of methylene blue, 1 to 2 mg/kg of body weight, may be required.

How Supplied/Storage and Handling

RECTIV (nitroglycerin) Ointment 0.4% is available in 30 g (NDC 58914-301-80) aluminum tubes with polyethylene screw caps.

Store at 20°-25°C (68°-77°F); excursions permitted between 15°-30°C (59°-86°F). [See USP Controlled Room Temperature].

Keep the tube tightly closed. Use within 8 weeks of first opening.

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (Patient Information and Instructions for Use)

Interaction with PDE5 inhibitors

Advise patient not to use RECTIV with medications for erectile dysfunction such as Viagra (sildenafil), Levitra (vardenafil), and Cialis (tadalafil). These products have been shown to increase the hypotensive effects of RECTIV and other nitrate drugs.

Hypotension

Advise patients that treatment with RECTIV may be associated with light-headedness on standing, especially just after rising from a lying or seated position. The effect may be more frequent in patients who have also consumed alcohol, since alcohol use contributes to hypotension. Advise patients to stand up from the supine or sitting position slowly.

Headaches

Advise patients that headaches sometimes accompany treatment with RECTIV. For patients who get these headaches, the headaches may indicate the activity of the drug. Tolerance to headaches develops. Advise patients that if they experience headache they should not alter the schedule of their RECTIV treatment to avoid the occurrence of headache. An analgesic, such as acetaminophen, may be used to prevent or relieve the headaches.

Dizziness

Advise patients that dizziness has been reported as a side-effect of treatment with RECTIV.

Advise patients not to drive or operate machinery immediately after applying RECTIV.