Sensipar (Cinacalcet Hydrochloride): Drug Safety Communication – FDA Suspends Pediatric Clinical Trials After Report Of Death
AUDIENCE: Health Professional, Endocrinology, Pediatrics
ISSUE: FDA has stopped all pediatric clinical trials of Sensipar (cinacalcet hydrochloride) after the recent death of a 14-year-old patient in a trial. Posting this information does not mean that FDA has concluded whether or not Sensipar had a role in the patient’s death. This communication is intended to inform health care professionals that we are evaluating the information and will communicate our final conclusions and recommendations when our review is complete.
BACKGROUND: Sensipar is a calcium-sensing receptor agonist indicated in adults for secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis, hypercalcemia in patients with parathyroid cancer and severe hypercalcemia in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism who are unable to undergo parathyroidectomy. FDA has approved Sensipar for use in adults but not in children (less than 18 years of age), and the clinical trials were underway to determine if the drug is effective and can be used safely in children.
RECOMMENDATION: At this time, FDA would like to remind health care professionals of the following:
- Patients should be monitored for the development of low serum calcium levels (hypocalcemia) since Sensipar lowers calcium levels in the blood.
- The potential signs of low serum calcium levels include muscular problems such as muscle cramping, tetany, convulsions, paresthesias, and myalgias.
- If serum calcium levels decrease below the normal range, appropriate steps should be taken to increase calcium levels, such as by providing supplemental calcium, initiating or increasing the dose of a calcium-based phosphate binder, initiating or increasing the dose of vitamin D sterols, or temporarily withholding treatment with Sensipar.
- Serum calcium levels should be measured within 1 week after initiation or dose adjustment of Sensipar. Once a maintenance dose has been established, serum calcium should be measured monthly.
Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:
- Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
- Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178
Read the complete MedWatch Safety Alert, including a link to the Drug Safety Communication, at: