Demadex (Torsemide)


Indications

1.1 Edema

DEMADEX is indicated for the treatment of edema associated with heart failure, renal disease or hepatic disease.

1.2 Hypertension


DEMADEX is indicated for the treatment of hypertension, to lower blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events, primarily strokes and myocardial infarctions. These benefits have been seen in controlled trials of antihypertensive drugs from a wide variety of pharmacologic classes including the class to which this drug principally belongs. There are no controlled trials demonstrating risk reduction with DEMADEX.

Control of high blood pressure should be part of comprehensive cardiovascular risk management, including, as appropriate, lipid control, diabetes management, antithrombotic therapy, smoking cessation, exercise, and limited sodium intake. Many patients will require more than one drug to achieve blood pressure goals. For specific advice on goals and management, see published guidelines, such as those of the National High Blood Pressure Education Program’s Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC).

Numerous antihypertensive drugs, from a variety of pharmacologic classes and with different mechanisms of action, have been shown in randomized controlled trials to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and it can be concluded that it is blood pressure reduction, and not some other pharmacologic property of the drugs, that is largely responsible for those benefits. The largest and most consistent cardiovascular outcome benefit has been a reduction in the risk of stroke, but reductions in myocardial infarction and cardiovascular mortality also have been seen regularly.

Elevated systolic or diastolic pressure causes increased cardiovascular risk, and the absolute risk increase per mmHg is greater at higher blood pressures, so that even modest reductions of severe hypertension can provide substantial benefit. Relative risk reduction from blood pressure reduction is similar across populations with varying absolute risk, so the absolute benefit is greater in patients who are at higher risk independent of their hypertension (for example, patients with diabetes or hyperlipidemia), and such patients would be expected to benefit from more aggressive treatment to a lower blood pressure goal.

The antihypertensive effects of DEMADEX are on the average greater in black patients than in nonblack patientsSome antihypertensive drugs have smaller blood pressure effects (as monotherapy) in black patients, and many antihypertensive drugs have additional approved indications and effects (e.g., on angina, heart failure, or diabetic kidney disease). These considerations may guide selection of therapy.

DEMADEX can be used alone or in combination with other antihypertensive agents.

contraindications

DEMADEX is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to DEMADEX or to povidone.

DEMADEX is contraindicated in patients who are anuric.

DEMADEX is contraindicated in patients with hepatic coma.

adverse reactions

The following risks are discussed in more detail in other sections:

Hypotension and Worsening Renal Function
Electrolyte and Metabolic Abnormalities
Ototoxicity

6.1 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.

In pre-approval studies, DEMADEX has been evaluated for safety in approximately 4000 subjects; over 800 of these subjects received DEMADEX for at least 6 months, and over 380 were treated for more than 1 year. Among these subjects were 564 who received DEMADEX during United States-based trials in which 274 other subjects received placebo.

Discontinuation of therapy due to adverse reactions occurred in 3.5% of United States patients treated with DEMADEX and in 4.4% of patients treated with placebo.

In United States placebo-controlled trials excessive urination occurred in 6.7% of patients compared with 2.2% of patients receiving placebo. The daily doses of DEMADEX used in these trials ranged from 1.25 mg to 20 mg, with most patients receiving 5 mg to 10 mg; the duration of treatment ranged from 1 to 52 days, with a median of 41 days.

In the placebo-controlled hypertension studies excessive urination was dose related; 1% of patients receiving placebo, 4% of those treated with 5 mg of daily DEMADEX, and 15% of those treated with 10 mg. Excessive urination was generally not reported as an adverse event among patients who received DEMADEX for cardiac, renal, or hepatic failure.

There was no effect of age or sex on the incidence of adverse reactions.

Laboratory Parameters

Potassium

In controlled studies in the United States, DEMADEX was administered to hypertensive patients at doses of 5 mg or 10 mg daily. After 6 weeks at these doses, the mean decrease in serum potassium was approximately 0.1 mEq/L. The percentage of patients who had a serum potassium level below 3.5 mEq/L at any time during the studies was 1.5% on DEMADEX and 3% on placebo. In patients followed for 1 year, there was no progressive change in mean serum potassium levels. In patients with congestive heart failure, hepatic cirrhosis, or renal disease treated with DEMADEX at doses higher than those studied in United States antihypertensive trials, hypokalemia was observed with greater frequency, in a dose-related manner.

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN), Creatinine and Uric Acid

DEMADEX produces small dose-related increases in each of these laboratory values. In hypertensive patients who received 10 mg of DEMADEX daily for 6 weeks, the mean increase in blood urea nitrogen was 1.8 mg/dL (0.6 mmol/L), the mean increase in serum creatinine was 0.05 mg/dL (4 mmol/L), and the mean increase in serum uric acid was 1.2 mg/dL (70 mmol/L). Little further change occurred with long-term treatment, and all changes reversed when treatment was discontinued.

Glucose

Hypertensive patients who received 10 mg of daily DEMADEX experienced a mean increase in serum glucose concentration of 5.5 mg/dL (0.3 mmol/L) after 6 weeks of therapy, with a further increase of 1.8 mg/dL (0.1 mmol/L) during the subsequent year. In long-term studies in diabetics, mean fasting glucose values were not significantly changed from baseline.

Serum Lipids

DEMADEX 20 mg caused small increases in total cholesterol and triglycerides in short term hypertension studies. The changes subsided with chronic therapy.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

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

Gastrointestinal System: Pancreatitis, abdominal pain

Nervous System: Paresthesia, confusion, visual impairment, loss of appetite

Hematologic: Leucopenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia

Hepatobiliary: Increase in liver transaminases, gamma-glutamyltransferase

Metabolism: Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency

Skin/hypersensitivity: Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, photosensitivity reaction, pruritus

Urogenital: Acute urinary retention

warnings and precautions

5.1 Hypotension and Worsening Renal Function

Excessive diuresis may cause potentially symptomatic dehydration, blood volume reduction and hypotension and worsening renal function, including acute renal failure particularly in salt-depleted patients or those taking renin-angiotensin aldosterone inhibitors. Worsening of renal function can also occur with concomitant use of nephrotoxic drugs (e.g., aminoglycosides, cisplatin, and NSAIDs). Monitor volume status and renal function periodically.

5.2 Electrolyte and Metabolic Abnormalities

DEMADEX can cause potentially symptomatic hypokalemia, hyponatremia, hypomagnesemia, hypocalcemia, and hypochloremic alkalosis. Treatment with DEMADEX can cause an increase in blood glucose levels and hyperglycemia. Asymptomatic hyperuricemia can occur and gout may rarely be precipitated. Monitor serum electrolytes and blood glucose periodically.

5.3 Ototoxicity

Tinnitus and hearing loss (usually reversible) have been observed with loop diuretics, including DEMADEX. Higher than recommended doses, severe renal impairment, and hypoproteinemia, appear to increase the risk of ototoxicity.

overdosage

The signs and symptoms of overdosage can be anticipated to include those of excessive pharmacologic effect: dehydration, hypovolemia, hypotension, hyponatremia, hypokalemia, hypochloremic alkalosis, and hemoconcentration. Treatment of overdosage should consist of fluid and electrolyte replacement.

Laboratory determinations of serum levels of torsemide and its metabolites are not widely available.

No data are available to suggest physiological maneuvers (e.g., maneuvers to change the pH of the urine) that might accelerate elimination of torsemide and its metabolites. Torsemide is not dialyzable, so hemodialysis will not accelerate elimination.

description

DEMADEX® (torsemide) is a diuretic of the pyridine-sulfonylurea class. Its chemical name is 1-isopropyl-3-[(4-m-toluidino-3-pyridyl) sulfonyl] urea and its structural formula is:

Its empirical formula is C16H20N4O3S, its pKa is 7.1, and its molecular weight is 348.43.

Torsemide is a white to off-white crystalline powder. The tablets for oral administration also contain lactose NF, crospovidone NF, povidone USP, microcrystalline cellulose NF, and magnesium stearate NF.

Demadex Package Photos

About the Author

Truman Lewis
Truman has been a bureau chief and correspondent in D.C., Los Angeles, Phoenix and elsewhere, reporting for radio, television, print and news services, for more than 30 years. Most recently, he has reported extensively on health and consumer issues for ConsumerAffairs.com and FairfaxNews.com.