Saturday, January 27, 2007

Beware: Permax (pergolide mesylate) 2003 Safety Letter

Source | FDA

Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly Corporate Center
Indianapolis, Indiana 46285

Dear Health Care Professional,

During postmarketing surveillance for Permax®, a small number of individuals have been identified as developing cardiac valvulopathy involving one or more valves during Permax therapy. Based on Lilly safety data and scientific publications, the pathological assessment of valves that were surgically removed was consistent with the valvulopathy associated with carcinoid syndrome and with the use of other ergot alkaloid drugs. While a clear causal relationship between pergolide and the valvulopathy seen in these patients can not be established, given the nature of the lesions and known similar effects of other ergots, the Warnings section of the US Package Insert for Permax will be modified to reflect these reports.

In the reports made to Lilly, aortic, mitral and tricuspid valves were involved. In some cases the symptoms or manifestations of valvulopathy improved with cessation of pergolide therapy. Valve replacement was required in two patients.
It is not known whether the fibrotic valvular changes are related to retroperitoneal, pleural, and pericardial fibrosis, which are very rare but well known adverse effects seen with Permax.

Since Permax was first launched in the United States in 1989, a very limited number of cases have been reported to Lilly and to the FDA. Of the estimated 500,000 people who have been treated with pergolide since 1989, valvulopathy has been reported in less than 0.005%.

Based on these reports, the Warnings section of the US Package Insert for Permax will be modified as follows (new wording underlined):
Serous Inflammation and Fibrosis–There have been rare reports of pleuritis, pleural effusion, pleural fibrosis, pericarditis, pericardial effusion, cardiac valvulopathy involving one or more valves, or retroperitoneal fibrosis in patients taking pergolide. In some cases, symptoms or manifestations of cardiac valvulopathy improved after discontinuation of pergolide. Pergolide should be used with caution in patients with a history of these conditions, particularly those patients who experienced the events while taking ergot derivatives. Patients with a history of such events should be carefully monitored clinically and with appropriate radiographic and laboratory studies while taking pergolide.

If you have additional questions regarding Permax, you may contact Amarin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., our US licensee for Permax, at 1-800-969-4877.
Valerie E. Simmons, MD, FFPM
Worldwide Pharmacovigilance and Epidemiology
Eli Lilly and Company
Permax® is indicated as adjunctive treatment to levodopa/carbidopa in the management of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Please see accompanying Prescribing Information. Permax is a registered trademark of Eli Lilly and Company, and is licensed exclusively in the United States to Amarin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Do I Have a Permax or Dostinex Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one have taken Permax or Dostinex and suffered from any of the side effects, you should contact Bagolie Friedman Injury Lawyers immediately for a free and confidential consultation.