Bayer a leader in women’s healthcare, announced today the submission of a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to potentially extend the duration of use for its market leading1 intrauterine device (IUD) Mirena® (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 52 mg. The submission seeks to extend the indication to up to six years of pregnancy prevention based on results from a Phase 3 extension trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of Mirena.
“Contraception is a very personal decision that is based on a woman’s individual needs, and Bayer is committed to developing options that can be tailored to a woman’s unique life plans,” said Edio Zampaglione, M.D., Bayer’s vice president of medical affairs for Women’s Healthcare. “This submission demonstrates Bayer’s commitment to investing and innovating in the field of women’s health.”
Mirena, the first hormonal IUD to be approved for use in the United States in 2000, is currently approved to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years by releasing small amounts of progestin hormone called levonorgestrel into the uterus. It also is the only FDA-approved IUD to treat heavy periods in women who choose intrauterine contraception, and can be used in women whether or not they have previously given birth. Mirena is a long-term reversible contraceptive (LARC) and can be removed at any time by a healthcare provider if a woman’s plans change.
Indications for Mirena
Mirena (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 52 mg is indicated for intrauterine contraception for up to 5 years. Mirena is also indicated to treat heavy menstrual bleeding in women who choose to use intrauterine contraception as their method of contraception. Mirena should be replaced after 5 years if continued use is desired.
Important Safety Information
Who is not appropriate for Mirena
Use of Mirena is contraindicated in women with: known or suspected pregnancy and cannot be used for post-coital contraception; congenital or acquired uterine anomaly, including fibroids if they distort the uterine cavity; known or suspected breast cancer or other progestin-sensitive cancer, now or in the past; known or suspected uterine or cervical neoplasia; liver disease, including tumors; untreated acute cervicitis or vaginitis, including lower genital tract infections (eg, bacterial vaginosis) until infection is controlled; postpartum endometritis or infected abortion in the past 3 months; unexplained uterine bleeding; current IUD; acute pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or history of PID (except with later intrauterine pregnancy); conditions increasing susceptibility to pelvic infection; or hypersensitivity to any component of Mirena.
Clinical considerations for use and removal of Mirena
Use Mirena with caution after careful assessment in patients with coagulopathy or taking anticoagulants; migraine, focal migraine with asymmetrical visual loss, or other symptoms indicating transient cerebral ischemia; exceptionally severe headache; marked increase of blood pressure; or severe arterial disease such as stroke or myocardial infarction. Consider removing the intrauterine system if these or the following arise during use: uterine or cervical malignancy or jaundice. If the threads are not visible or are significantly shortened they may have broken or retracted into the cervical canal or uterus. If Mirena is displaced (e.g., expelled or perforated the uterus), remove it.
Pregnancy related risks with Mirena
If pregnancy should occur with Mirena in place, remove the intrauterine system because leaving it in place may increase the risk of spontaneous abortion and preterm labor. Removal or manipulation may result in pregnancy loss. Evaluate women for ectopic pregnancy because the likelihood of a pregnancy being ectopic is increased with Mirena. Also consider the possibility of ectopic pregnancy in the case of lower abdominal pain, especially in association with missed menses or if an amenorrheic woman starts bleeding. Tell women about the signs of ectopic pregnancy and associated risks, including loss of fertility. Women with a history of ectopic pregnancy, tubal surgery, or pelvic infection carry a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy.
Educate her about PID
Mirena is contraindicated in the presence of known or suspected PID or in women with a history of PID unless there has been a subsequent intrauterine pregnancy. IUDs have been associated with an increased risk of PID, most likely due to organisms being introduced into the uterus during insertion. Promptly examine users with complaints of lower abdominal pain or pelvic pain, odorous discharge, unexplained bleeding, fever, genital lesions or sores. Inform women about the possibility of PID and that PID can cause tubal damage leading to ectopic pregnancy or infertility, or infrequently can necessitate hysterectomy, or cause death. PID is often associated with sexually transmitted infections (STIs); Mirena does not protect against STIs, including HIV. PID may be asymptomatic but still result in tubal damage and its sequelae.
In Mirena clinical trials, upper genital infections, including PID, occurred more frequently within the first year. In a clinical trial with other IUDs and a clinical trial with an IUD similar to Mirena, the highest rate occurred within the first month after insertion.
Expect changes in bleeding patterns with Mirena
Spotting and irregular or heavy bleeding may occur during the first 3 to 6 months. Periods may become shorter and/or lighter thereafter. Cycles may remain irregular, become infrequent, or even cease. Consider pregnancy if menstruation does not occur within 6 weeks of the onset of previous menstruation.
Because irregular bleeding/spotting is common during the first months of Mirena use, exclude endometrial pathology (polyps or cancer) prior to the insertion of Mirena in women with persistent or uncharacteristic bleeding. If a significant change in bleeding develops during prolonged use take appropriate diagnostic measures to rule out endometrial pathology.
Be aware of other serious complications and most common adverse reactions
Some serious complications with IUDs like Mirena are sepsis, perforation and expulsion. Severe infection, or sepsis, including Group A streptococcal sepsis (GAS) have been reported following insertion of Mirena. Aseptic technique during insertion of Mirena is essential in order to minimize serious infections, such as GAS.
Perforation (total or partial, including penetration/embedment of Mirena in the uterine wall or cervix) may occur, most often during insertion, although the perforation may not be detected until sometime later. Perforation may reduce contraceptive efficacy. If perforation occurs, locate and remove Mirena. Surgery may be required. Delayed detection or removal of Mirena in case of perforation may result in migration outside the uterine cavity, adhesions, peritonitis, intestinal perforations, intestinal obstruction, abscesses, and erosion of adjacent viscera. The risk of perforation may be increased if inserted when the uterus is not completely involuted or fixed retroverted. A postmarketing safety study over a 1-year observational period reported that lactation at the time of insertion of an IUS/IUD was associated with an increased risk of perforation. In this study, for Mirena users, the incidence of uterine perforation was reported as 6.3 per 1,000 insertions for lactating women, compared to 1.0 per 1,000 insertions for non-lactating women.
Partial or complete expulsion of Mirena may occur resulting in the loss of contraceptive protection. Delay insertion a minimum of six weeks or until uterine involution is complete following a delivery or a second trimester abortion. Remove a partially expelled Mirena. If expulsion has occurred, a new Mirena can be inserted any time the provider can be reasonably certain the woman is not pregnant.
Ovarian cysts may occur and are generally asymptomatic, but may be accompanied by pelvic pain or dyspareunia. Evaluate persistent enlarged ovarian cysts.
The most common adverse reactions reported in ≥5% of users were alterations of menstrual bleeding patterns [including unscheduled uterine bleeding (31.9%), decreased uterine bleeding (23.4%), increased scheduled uterine bleeding (11.9%), and female genital tract bleeding (3.5%)], abdominal/pelvic pain (22.6%), amenorrhea (18.4%), headache/migraine (16.3%), genital discharge (14.9%), vulvovaginitis (10.5%), breast pain (8.5%), back pain (7.9%), benign ovarian cyst and associated complications (7.5%), acne (6.8%), dysmenorrhea (6.4%), and depression/depressive mood (6.4%).
Teach patients to recognize and immediately report signs or symptoms of the aforementioned conditions. Evaluate patients 4 to 6 weeks after insertion of Mirena and then yearly or more often if clinically indicated. – BioSpace