Health Canada announced in a news release on Thursday that they are cautioning parents and health care professionals against the use of  Sensipar (cinacalcet) in children.  The news comes after the death of a 14 year old involved in a clinical trial of the product.

Sensipar is used for treating disorders of the parathyroid gland that result in high blood calcium levels.

Amgen, the manufacturer of Sensipar, recently halted all pediatric clinical trials of the drug after the death of the young patient who developed very low blood calcium levels during a trial. It has not been determined whether Sensipar had a role in the patient’s death. There have been no clinical trials of Sensipar involving children in Canada.

As indicated in the drug label, Sensipar is not approved for use in children. No adverse reactions to Sensipar involving a patient under 18 years of age have been reported to Health Canada. The risk of low blood calcium levels associated with the use of Sensipar is already part of the product labelling.

Health Canada is currently reviewing available safety information and will consider updating the labelling information, as appropriate.

Patients with questions or concerns about their Sensipar treatment should speak to their healthcare professional.

The Canadian drug label for Sensipar warns about the risk of hypocalcemia (low blood calcium levels) associated with its use. Healthcare professionals should carefully monitor patients for this risk. Symptoms of hypocalcemia include convulsions, irregular heartbeat, involuntary contraction of muscles and numbness (hands, feet, mouth, lips).

SOURCE: Health Canada

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