UPTRAVI® (selexipag)

UPTRAVI® (selexipag)

Share this

UPTRAVI® (selexipag)

UPTRAVI contains selexipag, a prostacyclin receptor agonist. The chemical name of selexipag is 2-{4-[(5,6-diphenylpyrazin-2-yl)(isopropyl)amino]butoxy}-N-(methylsulfonyl) acetamide. It has a molecular formula of C26H32N4O4S and a molecular weight of 496.62.

Selexipag is a pale yellow crystalline powder that is practically insoluble in water. In the solid state selexipag is very stable, is not hygroscopic, and is not light sensitive.

UPTRAVI® (selexipag) tablets: depending on the dose strength, each round film-coated tablet for oral administration contains 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1400, or 1600 mcg of selexipag. The tablets include the following inactive ingredients: corn starch, D-mannitol, hydroxypropyl cellulose, low substituted hydroxypropyl cellulose, and magnesium stearate. The tablets are film coated with a coating material containing carnauba wax, hypromellose, propylene glycol, titanium dioxide, along with mixtures of iron oxide black, iron oxide red or iron oxide yellow.

UPTRAVI® (selexipag) for injection: contains 1800 mcg of selexipag per vial. UPTRAVI for injection includes the following inactive ingredients: glycine (180 mg), phosphoric acid (3.53 mg), polysorbate 20 (10.8 mg) and sodium hydroxide (for pH adjustment). UPTRAVI for injection is provided in 10 mL Type I clear glass vials closed by a stopper and tear-off aluminum seal.

Dosage forms and strength

  • Tablets: 200 mcg, 400 mcg, 600 mcg, 800 mcg, 1000 mcg, 1200 mcg, 1400 mcg, 1600 mcg.
  • For Injection: 1800 mcg of selexipag as a lyophilized powder in a singledose vial for reconstitution and dilution.

Indications and usage

UPTRAVI is a prostacyclin receptor agonist indicated for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH, WHO Group I) to delay disease progression and reduce the risk of hospitalization for PAH

Dosage and administration

  • UPTRAVI tablets starting dose: 200 mcg twice daily.
  • Increase the dose by 200 mcg twice daily at weekly intervals to the highest tolerated dose up to 1600 mcg twice daily.
  • Maintenance dose is determined by tolerability.
  • Moderate hepatic impairment: Starting dose 200 mcg once daily, increase the dose by 200 mcg once daily at weekly intervals to the highest tolerated dose up to 1600 mcg.
  • UPTRAVI for injection dose is determined by the patient’s current dose of UPTRAVI tablets. Administer UPTRAVI for injection by intravenous infusion, twice daily.

Interruptions and Discontinuations

If a dose of UPTRAVI is missed, patients should take a missed dose as soon as possible unless the next dose is within the next 6 hours.

If treatment is missed for 3 days or more, restart UPTRAVI at a lower dose and then retitrate

Mechanism of Action

Selexipag is a prostacyclin receptor (IP receptor) agonist that is structurally distinct from prostacyclin. Selexipag is hydrolyzed by carboxylesterase 1 to yield its active metabolite, which is approximately 37-fold as potent as selexipag. Selexipag and the active metabolite are selective for the IP receptor versus other prostanoid receptors (EP1-4, DP, FP, and TP).


Absorption: The absolute bioavailability of orally administered selexipag is approximately 49%. Upon oral administration, maximum observed plasma concentrations of selexipag and its active metabolite are reached within about 1–3 hours and 3–4 hours, respectively.

In the presence of food, the absorption of selexipag was prolonged resulting in a delayed time to peak concentration (Tmax) and ~30% lower peak plasma concentration (Cmax). The exposure to selexipag and the active metabolite (AUC) did not significantly change in the presence of food.

Distribution: The volume of distribution of selexipag at steady-state is 11.7 L.

Selexipag and its active metabolite are highly bound to plasma proteins (approximately 99% in total and to the same extent to albumin and alpha1-acid glycoprotein).

Metabolism: Selexipag is hydrolyzed to its active metabolite, (free carboxylic acid) in the liver and intestine by carboxylesterases. Oxidative metabolism, catalyzed mainly by CYP2C8 and to a smaller extent by CYP3A4, leads to the formation of hydroxylated and dealkylated products. UGT1A3 and UGT2B7 are involved in the glucuronidation of the active metabolite. Except for the active metabolite, none of the circulating metabolites in human plasma exceeds 3% of the total drug-related material.


Elimination: Elimination of selexipag is predominately via metabolism with a mean terminal half-life of 0.8-2.5 hours. The terminal half-life of the active metabolite is 6.2-13.5 hours. Selexipag does not accumulate following twice daily repeat administration. There is minimal accumulation of the active metabolite upon twice daily repeat administration suggesting that the effective half-life is in the range of 3-4 hours. The total body clearance of selexipag is 17.9 L/hour.

Excretion: In a study in healthy subjects with radiolabeled selexipag, approximately 93% of radioactive drug material was eliminated in feces and only 12% in urine. Neither selexipag nor its active metabolite were found in urine.

Adverse Reactions

  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Jaw pain
  • Nausea
  • Myalgia
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in extremity
  • Flushing
  • Arthralgia
  • Anemia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Rash

Infusion-site reactions (infusion site erythema/redness, pain and swelling) were reported with UPTRAVI for Injection.

Drug interactions

CYP2C8 Inhibitors: Concomitant administration with gemfibrozil, a strong inhibitor of CYP2C8, doubled the exposure to selexipag and increased exposure to the active metabolite by approximately 11-fold. Concomitant administration of UPTRAVI with strong inhibitors of CYP2C8 (e.g., gemfibrozil) is contraindicated.

Concomitant administration of UPTRAVI tablets with clopidogrel, a moderate inhibitor of CYP2C8, had no relevant effect on the exposure to selexipag and increased the exposure to the active metabolite by approximately 2.7-fold. Reduce the dosing of UPTRAVI to once daily in patients on a moderate CYP2C8 inhibitor

CYP2C8 Inducers: Concomitant administration with an inducer of CYP2C8 and UGT 1A3 and 2B7 enzymes (rifampin) halved exposure to the active metabolite. Increase dose up to twice of UPTRAVI when co-administered with rifampin. Reduce UPTRAVI when rifampin is stopped.

Use in specific populations

Pregnancy: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies with UPTRAVI in pregnant women. Animal reproduction studies performed with selexipag showed no clinically relevant effects on embryofetal development and survival.

Lactation: It is not known if UPTRAVI is present in human milk. Selexipag or its metabolites were present in the milk of rats. Because many drugs are present in the human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, discontinue nursing or discontinue UPTRAVI.

Pediatric Use: Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use: Of the 1,368 subjects in clinical studies of UPTRAVI tablets, 248 subjects were 65 years of age and older, while 19 were 75 and older. No overall differences were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity cannot be ruled out

Patients with Hepatic Impairment: No adjustment to the dosing regimen is needed in patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class A).

A once-daily regimen is recommended in patients with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class B) due to the increased exposure to selexipag and its active metabolite. There is no experience with UPTRAVI in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class C). Avoid use of UPTRAVI in patients with severe hepatic impairment.


Isolated cases of overdose with UPTRAVI tablets up to 3200 mcg were reported. Mild, transient nausea was the only reported consequence. In the event of overdose, supportive measures must be taken as required. Dialysis is unlikely to be effective because selexipag and its active metabolite are highly protein-bound.

Share this

Leave a Reply