Samsca (Tolvaptan): Drug Safety Communication – FDA Limits Duration and Usage Due To Possible Liver Injury Leading to Organ Transplant or Death
AUDIENCE: Pharmacy, Health Professional, Patient
ISSUE: FDA has determined that the drug Samsca (tolvaptan) should not be used for longer than 30 days and should not be used in patients with underlying liver disease because it can cause liver injury, potentially leading to liver transplant or death. FDA has worked with the manufacturer to revise the Samsca drug label to include new limitations.
BACKGROUND: Samsca is a selective vasopression V2-receptor antagonist indicated for the treatment of clinically significant hypervolemic and euvolemic hyponatremia, including patients with heart failure and Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH). An increased risk of liver injury was observed in recent large clinical trials evaluating Samsca for a new use in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD).
RECOMMENDATION: Samsca treatment should be stopped if the patient develops signs of liver disease. Treatment duration should be limited to 30 days or less, and use should be avoided in patients with underlying liver disease, including cirrhosis. Patients should be aware that Samsca may cause liver problems, including life-threatening liver failure, and should contact their health care professional to discuss any questions or concerns about Samsca.
Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of this product 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 MedWatch safety alert, including links to the Drug Safety Communication, prescribing information, and previous MedWatch safety alert at: