Pharmacokinetics

EXPAREL: proven safety and tolerability profile

Slow release of a low dose of bupivacaine over time

Plasma levels of bupivacaine persist for 96 hours

*Data from TKA study.

Systemic plasma levels of bupivacaine following administration of EXPAREL are not correlated with local efficacy.

  • Safety evaluated in 10 clinical trials

    • 823 patients underwent a variety of surgical procedures

    • EXPAREL doses ranged from 66 mg to 532 mg

  • Most common adverse events (incidence ≥10%) were nausea, constipation, and vomiting

  • EXPAREL demonstrated a favorable cardiac safety profile2
    • No detectable cardiac toxicity signal

    • No QTc prolongation, even at supratherapeutic doses3

Absorption

Following its release from the DepoFoam® particles, the rate of systemic absorption of bupivacaine is dependent upon the total dose of drug administered, the route of administration, and the vascularity of the administration site.

Pharmacokinetic parameters of EXPAREL after local administration were evaluated following surgical procedures. Descriptive statistics of pharmacokinetic parameters of representative EXPAREL doses in each pivotal study are provided below.

Summary of pharmacokinetic parameters for bupivacaine after administration of single doses of EXPAREL
EXPAREL
Bunionectomy
(Study 1)
106 mg (8 mL)
Hemorrhoidectomy
(Study 2)
266 mg (20 mL)
(N=26) (N=25)
Cmax (ng/mL) 166 (92.7) 867 (353)
Tmax (h) 2 0.5
AUC(0-t) (hXng/mL) 5864 (2038) 16,867 (7868)
AUC(inf) (hXng/mL) 7105 (2283) 18,289 (7569)
t1/2 (h) 34 (17) 24 (39)
Note: Arithmetic mean (standard deviation) except Tmax (median).

Distribution

After bupivacaine has been released from EXPAREL and is absorbed systemically, bupivacaine distribution is expected to be the same as for any bupivacaine HCl solution formulation.

Local anesthetics including bupivacaine are distributed to some extent to all body tissues, with high concentrations found in highly perfused organs such as the liver, lungs, heart, and brain.

Local anesthetics including bupivacaine appear to cross the placenta by passive diffusion. The rate and degree of diffusion is governed by:

  1. The degree of plasma protein binding
  2. The degree of ionization
  3. The degree of lipid solubility

Fetal/maternal ratios of local anesthetics appear to be inversely related to the degree of plasma protein binding, because only the free, unbound drug is available for placental transfer. Bupivacaine with a high protein binding capacity (95%) has a a low fetal/maternal ratio (0.2 to 0.4). The extent of placental transfer is also determined by the degree of ionization and lipid solubility of the drug. Lipid soluble, non-ionized drugs such as bupivacaine readily enter the fetal blood from the maternal circulation.

Metabolism

Amide-type local anesthetics, such as bupivacaine, are metabolized primarily in the liver via conjugation with glucuronic acid. Pipecolylxylidine (PPX) is the major metabolite of bupivacaine; approximately 5% of bupivacaine is converted to PPX. Elimination of drug depends largely upon the availability of plasma protein binding sites in the circulation to carry it to the liver where it is metabolized.

Various pharmacokinetic parameters of the local anesthetics can be significantly altered by the presence of hepatic disease. Patients with hepatic disease, especially those with severe hepatic disease, may be more susceptible to the potential toxicities of the amide-type local anesthetics.

Excretion

After bupivacaine has been released from EXPAREL and is absorbed systemically, bupivacaine excretion is expected to be the same as for other bupivacaine formulations.

The kidney is the main excretory organ for most local anesthetics and their metabolites. Only 6% of bupivacaine is excreted unchanged in the urine.

Urinary excretion is affected by urinary perfusion and factors affecting urinary pH. Acidifying the urine hastens the renal elimination of local anesthetics. Various pharmacokinetic parameters of the local anesthetics can be significantly altered by the presence of renal disease, factors affecting urinary pH, and renal blood flow.

Specific populations

Hepatic impairment

Because amide-type local anesthetics, such as bupivacaine, are metabolized by the liver, these drugs should be used cautiously in patients with hepatic disease. Patients with severe hepatic disease, because of their inability to metabolize local anesthetics normally, are at a greater risk of developing toxic plasma concentrations.

Renal impairment

Bupivacaine is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to EXPAREL may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Care should be taken in dose selection of EXPAREL.

Age

In the clinical studies, differences in various pharmacokinetics parameters have been observed between elderly and younger patients.

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Important Notice

This site is for informational purposes only and is intended to address medical questions from healthcare professionals in the United States.

To report an adverse event, e-mail drugsafety@pacira.com or dial 1-855-RX-EXPAREL (1-855-793-9727).

For medical inquiries related to EXPAREL, submit a request to Medical Information or call 1-855-RX-EXPAREL (1-855-793-9727).

These are not all of the potential important safety considerations for EXPAREL; please see the full Prescribing Information.

References

  1. Bramlett K, Onel E, Viscusi ER, Jones K. A randomized, double-blind, dose-ranging study comparing wound infiltration of DepoFoam bupivacaine, an extended-release liposomal bupivacaine, to bupivacaine HCl for postsurgical analgesia in total knee arthroplasty. Knee. 2012;19(5):530-536.
  2. Bergese SD, Onel E, Morren M, Morganroth J. Bupivacaine extended-release liposome injection exhibits a favorable cardiac safety profile. Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2012;37(2):145-151.
  3. Naseem A, Harada T, Wang D, et al. Bupivacaine extended release liposome injection does not prolong QTc interval in a thorough QT/QTc study in healthy volunteers. J Clin Pharmacol. 2012;52(9):1441-1447.

Important Safety Information

Warnings and Precautions Specific to EXPAREL

Warnings and Precautions for Bupivacaine-Containing Products

Please refer to full Prescribing Information.

Important Safety Information

Medical Information

US healthcare professionals Click Here

Non-US healthcare professionals can submit a request to medinfo@pacira.com

If you are not a healthcare professional, please discuss any questions you have regarding your health or treatment with your physician, pharmacist, nurse, or other healthcare professional.

Important information about EXPAREL®

The FDA confirms that EXPAREL has always been approved for "administration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia" for use in a variety of surgeries not limited to those studied in its pivotal trials.

"We are pleased to announce a successful collaboration with the FDA to resolve this matter in an expeditious and meaningful way that allows us to get back to the important task at hand—reducing postsurgical opioid exposure by providing a non-opioid option like EXPAREL to as many patients as appropriate."

- Dave Stack, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Pacira

The clinical benefit of the decrease in opioid consumption was not demonstrated in the pivotal trials.

Important Safety Information

  • EXPAREL is contraindicated in obstetrical paracervical block anesthesia
  • In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥10%) following EXPAREL administration were nausea, constipation, and vomiting
  • EXPAREL is not recommended to be used in the following patient population: patients <18 years old and/or pregnant patients
  • Because amide-type local anesthetics, such as bupivacaine, are metabolized by the liver, EXPAREL should be used cautiously in patients with hepatic disease. Patients with severe hepatic disease, because of their inability to metabolize local anesthetics normally, are at a greater risk of developing toxic plasma concentrations

Warnings and Precautions Specific to EXPAREL

  • EXPAREL is not recommended for the following types or routes of administration: epidural, intrathecal, regional nerve blocks, or intravascular or intra-articular use
  • Non-bupivacaine-based local anesthetics, including lidocaine, may cause an immediate release of bupivacaine from EXPAREL if administered together locally. The administration of EXPAREL may follow the administration of lidocaine after a delay of 20 minutes or more. Formulations of bupivacaine other than EXPAREL should not be administered within 96 hours following administration of EXPAREL

Warnings and Precautions for Bupivacaine-Containing Products

  • Central Nervous System (CNS) Reactions: There have been reports of adverse neurologic reactions with the use of local anesthetics. These include persistent anesthesia and paresthesias. CNS reactions are characterized by excitation and/or depression
  • Cardiovascular System Reactions: Toxic blood concentrations depress cardiac conductivity and excitability which may lead to dysrhythmias sometimes leading to death
  • Allergic Reactions: Allergic-type reactions (eg, anaphylaxis and angioedema) are rare and may occur as a result of hypersensitivity to the local anesthetic or to other formulation ingredients
  • Chondrolysis: There have been reports of chondrolysis (mostly in the shoulder joint) following intra-articular infusion of local anesthetics, which is an unapproved use

Please refer to full Prescribing Information.

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