Videx/Videx EC (didanosine): Labeling Revision - Risk of Non-Cirrhotic Portal Hypertension
FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients about a rare, but serious, complication in the liver known as non-cirrhotic portal hypertension in patients using Videx or Videx EC (didanosine), a medication used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. FDA became aware of cases of non-cirrhotic portal hypertension through adverse event reports submitted to FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System. Based on the number of well-documented cases and exclusion of other causes of portal hypertension such as alcohol-related cirrhosis or hepatitis C, FDA concludes there is an association between use of didanosine and development of non-cirrhotic portal hypertension. Because of the potential severity of portal hypertension, including death from hemorrhaging esophageal varices, FDA has revised the Warning and Precautions section of the didanosine drug label to assure safe use of the medication. FDA believes the clinical benefits of didanosine for certain patients with HIV continue to outweigh its potential risks. The decision to use this drug, however, must be made on an individual basis between the treating physician and the patient.