Antara Precautions and Warnings
Antara precautions and warnings should be understood before starting the medication, including who should not take it and potential drug interactions or side effects. Antara may cause an increase in liver enzymes, increase the cholesterol content in the bile, or increase the risk of serious muscle problems. Antara precautions and warnings also extend to those who are allergic to the drug, have severe liver or kidney disease, or have abnormally high liver enzymes.
Prior to taking Antara®, you should let your healthcare provider know if you have:
- Gallbladder disease or gallstones
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease or kidney failure
- Liver disease or liver failure
- Thyroid gland problems
- An allergy to Antara, any other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
It is also important to notify your healthcare provider if you are:
- Pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant
- A frequent user of alcoholic beverages.
Tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some precautions and warnings to be aware of while taking Antara include:
- If you are over the age of 65 or have kidney problems, your healthcare provider may choose to start you at a lower dose than normal.
- Antara can interact with certain medications (see Antara Drug Interactions).
- Antara has been known to cause an increase in liver enzymes. Therefore, it is recommended that you have a blood test that looks at your liver function before starting Antara and then again several months after treatment has started. These tests may also be recommended if the Antara dosage is changed (see Antara and Liver Problems).
- Antara can increase the cholesterol content in the bile, leading to gallstones. Your healthcare provider may decide to have you stop taking Antara if gallstones are found in your body.
- Antara has been associated with the rare but serious condition known as rhabdomyolysis (severe breakdown of muscles). Your risk increases if you are elderly, have kidney disease, or are not being properly treated for hypothyroidism. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you experience any muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if they are accompanied by unexplained tiredness or fever (see Antara and Muscle Pain).
- Antara has been shown to cause a decrease in certain blood cells at the beginning of therapy. Your healthcare provider may decide to monitor your blood counts more closely during the first 12 months of your treatment.
- Antara is considered a pregnancy Category C medicine. This means it has not been studied in pregnant women. However, when studied in animals, it did produce a negative effect on the fetus. If you are pregnant, you should only take Antara if the benefit outweighs the possible risk to your unborn child. If you become pregnant while taking Antara, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
- If you are nursing, it is unknown whether Antara passes through your milk. However, it has been shown to increase the risk of tumors in nursing animals. Therefore, if you are nursing and taking Antara, you should either stop nursing or stop taking Antara. This decision will likely be made by your healthcare provider.