OCT 2013

EyeWorld is the official news magazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

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4 EW NEWS & OPINION October 2013 Large study to compare conventional phaco to femtosecond laser surgery by Erin L. Boyle EyeWorld Senior Staff Writer The study will be conducted in France, and could, if femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery is found superior, help change the treatment paradigm there BRIEF SUMMARY OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION INDICATIONS AND USAGE SIMBRINZA™ (brinzolamide/brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic suspension) 1%/0.2% is a fixed combination of a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor and an alpha 2 adrenergic receptor agonist indicated for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION The recommended dose is one drop of SIMBRINZA™ Suspension in the affected eye(s) three times daily. Shake well before use. SIMBRINZA™ Suspension may be used concomitantly with other topical ophthalmic drug products to lower intraocular pressure. If more than one topical ophthalmic drug is being used, the drugs should be administered at least five (5) minutes apart. DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS Suspension containing 10 mg/mL brinzolamide and 2 mg/mL brimonidine tartrate. CONTRAINDICATIONS Hypersensitivity - SIMBRINZA™ Suspension is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to any component of this product. Neonates and Infants (under the age of 2 years) - SIMBRINZA™ Suspension is contraindicated in neonates and infants (under the age of 2 years) see Use in Specific Populations WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS Sulfonamide Hypersensitivity Reactions - SIMBRINZA™ Suspension contains brinzolamide, a sulfonamide, and although administered topically is absorbed systemically. Therefore, the same types of adverse reactions that are attributable to sulfonamides may occur with topical administration of SIMBRINZA™ Suspension. Fatalities have occurred due to severe reactions to sulfonamides including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, fulminant hepatic necrosis, agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, and other blood dyscrasias. Sensitization may recur when a sulfonamide is re-administered irrespective of the route of administration. If signs of serious reactions or hypersensitivity occur, discontinue the use of this preparation [see Patient Counseling Information] Corneal Endothelium - Carbonic anhydrase activity has been observed in both the cytoplasm and around the plasma membranes of the corneal endothelium. There is an increased potential for developing corneal edema in patients with low endothelial cell counts. Caution should be used when prescribing SIMBRINZA™ Suspension to this group of patients. Severe Renal Impairment - SIMBRINZA™ Suspension has not been specifically studied in patients with severe renal impairment (CrCl < 30 mL/min). Since brinzolamide and its metabolite are excreted predominantly by the kidney, SIMBRINZA™ Suspension is not recommended in such patients. Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma - The management of patients with acute angle-closure glaucoma requires therapeutic interventions in addition to ocular hypotensive agents. SIMBRINZA™ Suspension has not been studied in patients with acute angle-closure glaucoma. Contact Lens Wear - The preservative in SIMBRINZA™, benzalkonium chloride, may be absorbed by soft contact lenses. Contact lenses should be removed during instillation of SIMBRINZA™ Suspension but may be reinserted 15 minutes after instillation [see Patient Counseling Information]. Severe Cardiovascular Disease - Brimonidine tartrate, a component of SIMBRINZATM Suspension, has a less than 5% mean decrease in blood pressure 2 hours after dosing in clinical studies; caution should be exercised in treating patients with severe cardiovascular disease. Severe Hepatic Impairment - Because brimonidine tartrate, a component of SIMBRINZA™ Suspension, has not been studied in patients with hepatic impairment, caution should be exercised in such patients. Potentiation of Vascular Insufficiency - Brimonidine tartrate, a component of SIMBRINZATM Suspension, may potentiate syndromes associated with vascular insufficiency. SIMBRINZA™ Suspension should be used with caution in patients with depression, cerebral or coronary insufficiency, Raynaud's phenomenon, orthostatic hypotension, or thromboangitis obliterans. Contamination of Topical Ophthalmic Products After Use - There have been reports of bacterial keratitis associated with the use of multiple-dose containers of topical ophthalmic products. These containers have been inadvertently contaminated by patients who, in most cases, had a concurrent corneal disease or a disruption of the ocular epithelial surface [see Patient Counseling Information]. ADVERSE REACTIONS Clinical Studies Experience - Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to the rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. SIMBRINZA™ Suspension - In two clinical trials of 3 months duration 435 patients were treated with SIMBRINZA™ Suspension, and 915 were treated with the two individual components. The most frequently reported adverse reactions in patients treated with SIMBRINZA™ Suspension occurring in approximately 3 to 5% of patients in descending order of incidence were blurred vision, eye irritation, dysgeusia (bad taste), dry mouth, and eye allergy. Rates of adverse reactions reported with the individual components were comparable. Treatment discontinuation, mainly due to adverse reactions, was reported in 11% of SIMBRINZA™ Suspension patients. Other adverse reactions that have been reported with the individual A large study is set to compare cataract surgery with phacoemulsification alone to femtosecond laser-assisted cataract components during clinical trials are listed below. fetal tissues and blood. Brinzolamide 1% - In clinical studies of brinzolamide ophthalmic suspension 1%, the most frequently reported adverse reactions reported in 5 to 10% of patients were blurred vision and bitter, sour or unusual taste. Adverse reactions occurring in 1 to 5% of patients were blepharitis, dermatitis, dry eye, foreign body sensation, headache, hyperemia, ocular discharge, ocular discomfort, ocular keratitis, ocular pain, ocular pruritus and rhinitis. The following adverse reactions were reported at an incidence below 1%: allergic reactions, alopecia, chest pain, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, diplopia, dizziness, dry mouth, dyspnea, dyspepsia, eye fatigue, hypertonia, keratoconjunctivitis, keratopathy, kidney pain, lid margin crusting or sticky sensation, nausea, pharyngitis, tearing and urticaria. Developmental toxicity studies performed in rats with oral doses of 0.66 mg brimonidine base/kg revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus. Dosing at this level resulted in a plasma drug concentration approximately 100 times higher than that seen in humans at the recommended human ophthalmic dose. In animal studies, brimonidine crossed the placenta and entered into the fetal circulation to a limited extent. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. SIMBRINZA™ Suspension should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Brimonidine Tartrate 0.2% - In clinical studies of brimonidine tartrate 0.2%, adverse reactions occurring in approximately 10 to 30% of the subjects, in descending order of incidence, included oral dryness, ocular hyperemia, burning and stinging, headache, blurring, foreign body sensation, fatigue/drowsiness, conjunctival follicles, ocular allergic reactions, and ocular pruritus. Reactions occurring in approximately 3 to 9% of the subjects, in descending order included corneal staining/erosion, photophobia, eyelid erythema, ocular ache/pain, ocular dryness, tearing, upper respiratory symptoms, eyelid edema, conjunctival edema, dizziness, blepharitis, ocular irritation, gastrointestinal symptoms, asthenia, conjunctival blanching, abnormal vision and muscular pain. The following adverse reactions were reported in less than 3% of the patients: lid crusting, conjunctival hemorrhage, abnormal taste, insomnia, conjunctival discharge, depression, hypertension, anxiety, palpitations/ arrhythmias, nasal dryness and syncope. Postmarketing Experience - The following reactions have been identified during postmarketing use of brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic solutions in clinical practice. Because they are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, estimates of frequency cannot be made. The reactions, which have been chosen for inclusion due to either their seriousness, frequency of reporting, possible causal connection to brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic solutions, or a combination of these factors, include: bradycardia, hypersensitivity, iritis, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, miosis, nausea, skin reactions (including erythema, eyelid pruritus, rash, and vasodilation), and tachycardia. Apnea, bradycardia, coma, hypotension, hypothermia, hypotonia, lethargy, pallor, respiratory depression, and somnolence have been reported in infants receiving brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic solutions [see Contraindications]. DRUG INTERACTIONS Oral Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors - There is a potential for an additive effect on the known systemic effects of carbonic anhydrase inhibition in patients receiving an oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitor and brinzolamide ophthalmic suspension 1%, a component of SIMBRINZA™ Suspension. The concomitant administration of SIMBRINZA™ Suspension and oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitors is not recommended. High-Dose Salicylate Therapy - Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors may produce acid-base and electrolyte alterations. These alterations were not reported in the clinical trials with brinzolamide ophthalmic suspension 1%. However, in patients treated with oral carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, rare instances of acid-base alterations have occurred with high-dose salicylate therapy. Therefore, the potential for such drug interactions should be considered in patients receiving SIMBRINZA™ Suspension. CNS Depressants - Although specific drug interaction studies have not been conducted with SIMBRINZA™, the possibility of an additive or potentiating effect with CNS depressants (alcohol, opiates, barbiturates, sedatives, or anesthetics) should be considered. Antihypertensives/Cardiac Glycosides - Because brimonidine tartrate, a component of SIMBRINZA™ Suspension, may reduce blood pressure, caution in using drugs such as antihypertensives and/or cardiac glycosides with SIMBRINZA™ Suspension is advised. Tricyclic Antidepressants - Tricyclic antidepressants have been reported to blunt the hypotensive effect of systemic clonidine. It is not known whether the concurrent use of these agents with SIMBRINZA™ Suspension in humans can lead to resulting interference with the IOP lowering effect. Caution is advised in patients taking tricyclic antidepressants which can affect the metabolism and uptake of circulating amines. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors - Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors may theoretically interfere with the metabolism of brimonidine tartrate and potentially result in an increased systemic side-effect such as hypotension. Caution is advised in patients taking MAO inhibitors which can affect the metabolism and uptake of circulating amines. USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS Pregnancy - Pregnancy Category C: Developmental toxicity studies with brinzolamide in rabbits at oral doses of 1, 3, and 6 mg/kg/ day (20, 60, and 120 times the recommended human ophthalmic dose) produced maternal toxicity at 6 mg/kg/day and a significant increase in the number of fetal variations, such as accessory skull bones, which was only slightly higher than the historic value at 1 and 6 mg/kg. In rats, statistically decreased body weights of fetuses from dams receiving oral doses of 18 mg/kg/day (180 times the recommended human ophthalmic dose) during gestation were proportional to the reduced maternal weight gain, with no statistically significant effects on organ or tissue development. Increases in unossified sternebrae, reduced ossification of the skull, and unossified hyoid that occurred at 6 and 18 mg/kg were not statistically significant. No treatment-related malformations were seen. Following oral administration of 14C-brinzolamide to pregnant rats, radioactivity was found to cross the placenta and was present in the Nursing Mothers - In a study of brinzolamide in lactating rats, decreases in body weight gain in offspring at an oral dose of 15 mg/kg/day (150 times the recommended human ophthalmic dose) were observed during lactation. No other effects were observed. However, following oral administration of 14C-brinzolamide to lactating rats, radioactivity was found in milk at concentrations below those in the blood and plasma. In animal studies, brimonidine was excreted in breast milk. It is not known whether brinzolamide and brimonidine tartrate are excreted in human milk following topical ocular administration. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from SIMBRINZA™ (brinzolamide/brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic suspension) 1%/0.2%, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. Pediatric Use - The individual component, brinzolamide, has been studied in pediatric glaucoma patients 4 weeks to 5 years of age. The individual component, brimonidine tartrate, has been studied in pediatric patients 2 to 7 years old. Somnolence (50-83%) and decreased alertness was seen in patients 2 to 6 years old. SIMBRINZA™ Suspension is contraindicated in children under the age of 2 years [see Contraindications]. Geriatric Use - No overall differences in safety or effectiveness have been observed between elderly and adult patients. OVERDOSAGE Although no human data are available, electrolyte imbalance, development of an acidotic state, and possible nervous system effects may occur following an oral overdose of brinzolamide. Serum electrolyte levels (particularly potassium) and blood pH levels should be monitored. Very limited information exists on accidental ingestion of brimonidine in adults; the only adverse event reported to date has been hypotension. Symptoms of brimonidine overdose have been reported in neonates, infants, and children receiving brimonidine as part of medical treatment of congenital glaucoma or by accidental oral ingestion. Treatment of an oral overdose includes supportive and symptomatic therapy; a patent airway should be maintained. PATIENT COUNSELING INFORMATION Sulfonamide Reactions - Advise patients that if serious or unusual ocular or systemic reactions or signs of hypersensitivity occur, they should discontinue the use of the product and consult their physician. Temporary Blurred Vision - Vision may be temporarily blurred following dosing with SIMBRINZA™ Suspension. Care should be exercised in operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. Effect on Ability to Drive and Use Machinery - As with other drugs in this class, SIMBRINZA™ Suspension may cause fatigue and/or drowsiness in some patients. Caution patients who engage in hazardous activities of the potential for a decrease in mental alertness. Avoiding Contamination of the Product - Instruct patients that ocular solutions, if handled improperly or if the tip of the dispensing container contacts the eye or surrounding structures, can become contaminated by common bacteria known to cause ocular infections. Serious damage to the eye and subsequent loss of vision may result from using contaminated solutions [see Warnings and Precautions ]. Always replace the cap after using. If solution changes color or becomes cloudy, do not use. Do not use the product after the expiration date marked on the bottle. Intercurrent Ocular Conditions - Advise patients that if they have ocular surgery or develop an intercurrent ocular condition (e.g., trauma or infection), they should immediately seek their physician's advice concerning the continued use of the present multidose container. Concomitant Topical Ocular Therapy - If more than one topical ophthalmic drug is being used, the drugs should be administered at least five minutes apart. Contact Lens Wear - The preservative in SIMBRINZA™, benzalkonium chloride, may be absorbed by soft contact lenses. Contact lenses should be removed during instillation of SIMBRINZA™ Suspension, but may be reinserted 15 minutes after instillation. ©2013 Novartis U.S. Patent No: 6,316,441 ALCON LABORATORIES, INC. Fort Worth, Texas 76134 USA 1-800-757-9195 alcon.medinfo@alcon.com © 2013 Novartis 4/13 SMB13024JAD surgery in five centers in France, to determine which is more beneficial for patients and physicians. Known as the "FEMCAT" ("impact medico-economique de la chirurgie de la cataracte au laser femtoseconde" in French) study,1 principal investigator and coordinator of the study, Cedric Schweitzer, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Bordeaux, France, said that it could benefit patients around the world by showing how results of phaco alone and femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery compare. "The FEMCAT study will provide information on how femtosecond laser technology could benefit the patient population treated every year for cataract surgery," he said. "[Also, it could show] how much femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery would cost to the whole French society and to healthcare insurance if complication rates effectively decrease and visual performances improve." "We will also get information about the learning curve of the technology in the hands of experienced cataract surgeons," Dr. Schweitzer said. The study According to Dr. Schweitzer, an estimated 700,000 cataract procedures are performed every year in France, with this amount of surgeries predicted to climb as the population there, as well as around the world, ages. He said because of that need and increase in the coming years, femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (which he refers to as FLACS) has potential to be a vital technology. "FLACS could be an important development in the management of cataract by improving reproducibility and repeatability of the surgical procedure and by reducing the energy delivered to remove the crystalline lens. Thus, the complication rate is expected to decrease with the use of the femtosecond laser," he said. "Hence, we wanted to compare conventional cataract surgery using phacoemulsification to FLACS in an academic, prospective, randomized, multicenter study to determine how this technology could benefit the

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