OCALIVA and Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) FAQs

Find answers to frequently asked questions related to OCALIVA and the treatment of PBC.

What is primary biliary cholangitis (PBC)?

What causes primary biliary cholangitis (PBC)?

How do I establish a clinical diagnosis of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC)?

How does OCALIVA work?

What is FXR?

How is OCALIVA different from UDCA?

What are the potential side effects of OCALIVA?

Are there any potential drug interactions?

How is OCALIVA administered?

What dosage strengths of OCALIVA are available?

What resources are currently available to my patients?

Additional Resources

References

  1. American Liver Foundation. https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/diseases-of-the-liver/primary-biliary-cholangitis/#1505842882906-bb5287ac-d5af. Accessed July 10, 2019.
  2. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/primary-biliary-cholangitis-pbc/symptoms-causes/syc-20376874. Accessed July 10, 2019.
  3. Lindor KD, Gershwin ME, Poupon R, Kaplan M, Bergasa NV, Heathcote EJ. Primary biliary cirrhosis. Hepatology. 2009;50(1):291-308. doi:10.1002/hep.22906.
  4. European Association for the Study of the Liver. EASL clinical practice guidelines: management of cholestatic liver diseases. J Hepatol. 2009;51(2):237-267. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2009.04.009.
  5. OCALIVA [package insert]. New York, NY: Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; 2018.
  6. Silveira MG, Lindor KD. Obeticholic acid and budesonide for the treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2014;15(3):365-372. doi:10.1517/14656566.2014.873404.
  7. Purohit T, Cappell MS. Primary biliary cirrhosis: pathophysiology, clinical presentation and therapy. World J Hepatol. 2015;7(7):926-941. doi:10.4254/wjh.v7.i7.926.
  8. URSO [package insert]. New York, NY: Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; 2018.
  9. Paumgartner G. Beuers U. Ursodeoxycholic acid in cholestatic liver disease: mechanisms of action and therapeutic use revisited. Hepatology. 2002:36(3):525-531. doi:10.1053/jhep.2002.36088.

INDICATION AND IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: HEPATIC DECOMPENSATION AND FAILURE IN INCORRECTLY DOSED PBC PATIENTS WITH CHILD-PUGH CLASS B OR C OR DECOMPENSATED CIRRHOSIS

  • In postmarketing reports, hepatic decompensation and failure, in some cases fatal, have been reported in patients with Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) with decompensated cirrhosis or Child-Pugh Class B or C hepatic impairment when OCALIVA was dosed more frequently than recommended.
  • The recommended starting dosage of OCALIVA is 5 mg once weekly for patients with Child-Pugh Class B or C hepatic impairment or a prior decompensation event.

INDICATION

OCALIVA is indicated for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in combination with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) in adults with an inadequate response to UDCA, or as monotherapy in adults unable to tolerate UDCA.

This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on a reduction in alkaline phosphatase (ALP). An improvement in survival or disease-related symptoms has not been established. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.

Contraindications

OCALIVA is contraindicated in patients with complete biliary obstruction.

Warnings and Precautions

Hepatic Decompensation and Failure in Incorrectly Dosed PBC Patients with Child-Pugh Class B or C or Decompensated Cirrhosis

In postmarketing reports, hepatic decompensation and failure, in some cases fatal, have been reported in patients with decompensated cirrhosis or Child-Pugh B or C hepatic impairment when OCALIVA was dosed more frequently than the recommended starting dosage of 5 mg once weekly. Reported cases typically occurred within 2 to 5 weeks after starting OCALIVA and were characterized by an acute increase in total bilirubin and/or ALP concentrations in association with clinical signs and symptoms of hepatic decompensation (e.g., ascites, jaundice, gastrointestinal bleeding, worsening of hepatic encephalopathy). Patients who died due to liver-related complications generally had decompensated cirrhosis prior to treatment and were started on OCALIVA 5 mg once daily, which is 7-fold greater than the once-weekly starting regimen in this population.

Routinely monitor patients for progression of PBC disease, including liver-related complications, with laboratory and clinical assessments. Dosage adjustment, interruption or discontinuation may be required. Close monitoring is recommended for patients at an increased risk of hepatic decompensation. Severe intercurrent illnesses that may worsen renal function or cause dehydration (e.g., gastroenteritis), may exacerbate the risk of hepatic decompensation. Interrupt treatment with OCALIVA in patients with laboratory or clinical evidence of worsening liver function indicating risk of decompensation, and monitor the patient’s liver function. Consider discontinuing OCALIVA in patients who have experienced clinically significant liver-related adverse reactions. Discontinue OCALIVA in patients who develop complete biliary obstruction.

Liver-Related Adverse Reactions

Dose-related, liver-related adverse reactions including jaundice, worsening ascites and primary biliary cholangitis flare have been observed in clinical trials, as early as one month after starting treatment with OCALIVA 10 mg once daily up to 50 mg once daily (up to 5-times the highest recommended dosage). Monitor patients during treatment with OCALIVA for elevations in liver biochemical tests and for the development of liver-related adverse reactions.

Severe Pruritus

Severe pruritus was reported in 23% of patients in the OCALIVA 10 mg arm, 19% of patients in the OCALIVA titration arm, and 7% of patients in the placebo arm in a 12-month double-blind randomized controlled trial of 216 patients. Severe pruritus was defined as intense or widespread itching, interfering with activities of daily living, or causing severe sleep disturbance, or intolerable discomfort, and typically requiring medical interventions. Consider clinical evaluation of patients with new onset or worsening severe pruritus. Management strategies include the addition of bile acid resins or antihistamines, OCALIVA dosage reduction, and/or temporary interruption of OCALIVA dosing.

Reduction in HDL-C

Patients with PBC generally exhibit hyperlipidemia characterized by a significant elevation in total cholesterol primarily due to increased levels of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C). Dose-dependent reductions from baseline in mean HDL-C levels were observed at 2 weeks in OCALIVA-treated patients, 20% and 9% in the 10 mg and titration arms, respectively, compared to 2% in the placebo arm. Monitor patients for changes in serum lipid levels during treatment. For patients who do not respond to OCALIVA after 1 year at the highest recommended dosage that can be tolerated (maximum of 10 mg once daily), and who experience a reduction in HDL-C, weigh the potential risks against the benefits of continuing treatment.

Adverse Reactions

The most common adverse reactions occurring in ≥5% of subjects taking OCALIVA were pruritus, fatigue, abdominal pain and discomfort, rash, oropharyngeal pain, dizziness, constipation, arthralgia, thyroid function abnormality, and eczema.

Drug Interactions

Bile Acid Binding ResinsBile acid binding resins such as cholestyramine, colestipol, or colesevelam adsorb and reduce bile acid absorption and may reduce the absorption, systemic exposure, and efficacy of OCALIVA. If taking a bile acid binding resin, take OCALIVA at least 4 hours before or 4 hours after taking the bile acid binding resin, or at as great an interval as possible.

WarfarinThe International Normalized Ratio (INR) decreased following coadministration of warfarin and OCALIVA. Monitor INR and adjust the dose of warfarin, as needed, to maintain the target INR range when coadministering OCALIVA and warfarin.

CYP1A2 Substrates with Narrow Therapeutic IndexObeticholic acid, the active ingredient in OCALIVA, may increase the exposure to concomitant drugs that are CYP1A2 substrates. Therapeutic monitoring of CYP1A2 substrates with a narrow therapeutic index (e.g. theophylline and tizanidine) is recommended when coadministered with OCALIVA.

Inhibitors of Bile Salt Efflux PumpAvoid concomitant use of inhibitors of the bile salt efflux pump (BSEP) such as cyclosporine. Concomitant medications that inhibit canalicular membrane bile acid transporters such as the BSEP may exacerbate accumulation of conjugated bile salts including taurine conjugate of obeticholic acid in the liver and result in clinical symptoms. If concomitant use is deemed necessary, monitor serum transaminases and bilirubin.

Please see Full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING for OCALIVA.

To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. at 1-844-782-ICPT or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.

INDICATION AND IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WARNING: HEPATIC DECOMPENSATION AND FAILURE IN INCORRECTLY DOSED PBC PATIENTS WITH CHILD-PUGH CLASS B OR C OR DECOMPENSATED CIRRHOSIS

  • In postmarketing reports, hepatic decompensation and failure, in some cases fatal, have been reported in patients with Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) with decompensated cirrhosis or Child-Pugh Class B or C hepatic impairment when OCALIVA was dosed more frequently than recommended.
  • The recommended starting dosage of OCALIVA is 5 mg once weekly for patients with Child-Pugh Class B or C hepatic impairment or a prior decompensation event.

INDICATION

OCALIVA is indicated for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in combination with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) in adults with an inadequate response to UDCA, or as monotherapy in adults unable to tolerate UDCA.

This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on a reduction in alkaline phosphatase (ALP). An improvement in survival or disease-related symptoms has not been established. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.

Contraindications

OCALIVA is contraindicated in patients with complete biliary obstruction.

Warnings and Precautions

Hepatic Decompensation and Failure in Incorrectly Dosed PBC Patients with Child-Pugh Class B or C or Decompensated Cirrhosis

In postmarketing reports, hepatic decompensation and failure, in some cases fatal, have been reported in patients with decompensated cirrhosis or Child-Pugh B or C hepatic impairment when OCALIVA was dosed more frequently than the recommended starting dosage of 5 mg once weekly. Reported cases typically occurred within 2 to 5 weeks after starting OCALIVA and were characterized by an acute increase in total bilirubin and/or ALP concentrations in association with clinical signs and symptoms of hepatic decompensation (e.g., ascites, jaundice, gastrointestinal bleeding, worsening of hepatic encephalopathy). Patients who died due to liver-related complications generally had decompensated cirrhosis prior to treatment and were started on OCALIVA 5 mg once daily, which is 7-fold greater than the once-weekly starting regimen in this population.

Routinely monitor patients for progression of PBC disease, including liver-related complications, with laboratory and clinical assessments. Dosage adjustment, interruption or discontinuation may be required. Close monitoring is recommended for patients at an increased risk of hepatic decompensation. Severe intercurrent illnesses that may worsen renal function or cause dehydration (e.g., gastroenteritis), may exacerbate the risk of hepatic decompensation. Interrupt treatment with OCALIVA in patients with laboratory or clinical evidence of worsening liver function indicating risk of decompensation, and monitor the patient’s liver function. Consider discontinuing OCALIVA in patients who have experienced clinically significant liver-related adverse reactions. Discontinue OCALIVA in patients who develop complete biliary obstruction.

Liver-Related Adverse Reactions

Dose-related, liver-related adverse reactions including jaundice, worsening ascites and primary biliary cholangitis flare have been observed in clinical trials, as early as one month after starting treatment with OCALIVA 10 mg once daily up to 50 mg once daily (up to 5-times the highest recommended dosage). Monitor patients during treatment with OCALIVA for elevations in liver biochemical tests and for the development of liver-related adverse reactions.

Severe Pruritus

Severe pruritus was reported in 23% of patients in the OCALIVA 10 mg arm, 19% of patients in the OCALIVA titration arm, and 7% of patients in the placebo arm in a 12-month double-blind randomized controlled trial of 216 patients. Severe pruritus was defined as intense or widespread itching, interfering with activities of daily living, or causing severe sleep disturbance, or intolerable discomfort, and typically requiring medical interventions. Consider clinical evaluation of patients with new onset or worsening severe pruritus. Management strategies include the addition of bile acid resins or antihistamines, OCALIVA dosage reduction, and/or temporary interruption of OCALIVA dosing.

Reduction in HDL-C

Patients with PBC generally exhibit hyperlipidemia characterized by a significant elevation in total cholesterol primarily due to increased levels of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C). Dose-dependent reductions from baseline in mean HDL-C levels were observed at 2 weeks in OCALIVA-treated patients, 20% and 9% in the 10 mg and titration arms, respectively, compared to 2% in the placebo arm. Monitor patients for changes in serum lipid levels during treatment. For patients who do not respond to OCALIVA after 1 year at the highest recommended dosage that can be tolerated (maximum of 10 mg once daily), and who experience a reduction in HDL-C, weigh the potential risks against the benefits of continuing treatment.

Adverse Reactions

The most common adverse reactions occurring in ≥5% of subjects taking OCALIVA were pruritus, fatigue, abdominal pain and discomfort, rash, oropharyngeal pain, dizziness, constipation, arthralgia, thyroid function abnormality, and eczema.

Drug Interactions

Bile Acid Binding ResinsBile acid binding resins such as cholestyramine, colestipol, or colesevelam adsorb and reduce bile acid absorption and may reduce the absorption, systemic exposure, and efficacy of OCALIVA. If taking a bile acid binding resin, take OCALIVA at least 4 hours before or 4 hours after taking the bile acid binding resin, or at as great an interval as possible.

WarfarinThe International Normalized Ratio (INR) decreased following coadministration of warfarin and OCALIVA. Monitor INR and adjust the dose of warfarin, as needed, to maintain the target INR range when coadministering OCALIVA and warfarin.

CYP1A2 Substrates with Narrow Therapeutic IndexObeticholic acid, the active ingredient in OCALIVA, may increase the exposure to concomitant drugs that are CYP1A2 substrates. Therapeutic monitoring of CYP1A2 substrates with a narrow therapeutic index (e.g. theophylline and tizanidine) is recommended when coadministered with OCALIVA.

Inhibitors of Bile Salt Efflux PumpAvoid concomitant use of inhibitors of the bile salt efflux pump (BSEP) such as cyclosporine. Concomitant medications that inhibit canalicular membrane bile acid transporters such as the BSEP may exacerbate accumulation of conjugated bile salts including taurine conjugate of obeticholic acid in the liver and result in clinical symptoms. If concomitant use is deemed necessary, monitor serum transaminases and bilirubin.

Please see Full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING for OCALIVA.

To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. at 1-844-782-ICPT or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.