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Abraxane (Paclitaxel) - Warnings and Precautions

 
 



WARNING

ABRAXANE for Injectable Suspension (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) should be administered under the supervision of a physician experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Appropriate management of complications is possible only when adequate diagnostic and treatment facilities are readily available.

ABRAXANE therapy should not be administered to patients with metastatic breast cancer who have baseline neutrophil counts of less than 1,500 cells/mm3. In order to monitor the occurrence of bone marrow suppression, primarily neutropenia, which may be severe and result in infection, it is recommended that frequent peripheral blood cell counts be performed on all patients receiving ABRAXANE.

Note: An albumin form of paclitaxel may substantially affect a drug's functional properties relative to those of drug in solution. DO NOT SUBSTITUTE FOR OR WITH OTHER PACLITAXEL FORMULATIONS.

 

WARNINGS

Bone marrow suppression (primarily neutropenia) is dose dependent and a dose limiting toxicity. ABRAXANE should not be administered to patients with baseline neutrophil counts of < 1,500 cells/mm3. Frequent monitoring of blood counts should be instituted during ABRAXANE treatment. Patients should not be retreated with subsequent cycles of ABRAXANE until neutrophils recover to a level >1,500 cells/mm3 and platelets recover to a level >100,000 cells/mm3.

The use of ABRAXANE has not been studied in patients with hepatic or renal dysfunction. In the randomized controlled trial, patients were excluded for baseline serum bilirubin >1.5 mg/dL or baseline serum creatinine >2 mg/dL.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category D

ABRAXANE can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Administration of paclitaxel protein-bound particles to rats on gestation days 7 to 17 at doses of 6 mg/m2 (approximately 2% of the daily maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis) caused embryo- and fetotoxicity, as indicated by intrauterine mortality, increased resorptions (up to 5-fold), reduced numbers of litters and live fetuses, reduction in fetal body weight and increase in fetal anomalies. Fetal anomalies included soft tissue and skeletal malformations, such as eye bulge, folded retina, microphthalmia, and dilation of brain ventricles. A lower incidence of soft tissue and skeletal malformations were also exhibited at 3 mg/m2 (approximately 1% of the daily maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis).

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women using ABRAXANE®. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while receiving this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant while receiving treatment with ABRAXANE.

Use in Males

Men should be advised to not father a child while receiving treatment with ABRAXANE (see PRECAUTIONS: Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility for discussion of effects of ABRAXANE exposure on male fertility and embryonic viability).

Albumin (Human)

ABRAXANE contains albumin (human), a derivative of human blood. Based on effective donor screening and product manufacturing processes, it carries an extremely remote risk for transmission of viral diseases. A theoretical risk for transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) also is considered extremely remote. No cases of transmission of viral diseases or CJD have ever been identified for albumin.

PRECAUTIONS

Drug Interactions

No drug interaction studies have been conducted with ABRAXANE.

The metabolism of paclitaxel is catalyzed by CYP2C8 and CYP3A4. In the absence of formal clinical drug interaction studies, caution should be exercised when administering ABRAXANE (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) concomitantly with known substrates or inhibitors of CYP2C8 and CYP3A4 (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).

Potential interactions between paclitaxel, a substrate of CYP3A4, and protease inhibitors (such as ritonavir, saquinavir, indinavir, and nelfinavir), which are substrates and/or inhibitors of CYP3A4, have not been evaluated in clinical trials.

Hematology

ABRAXANE® therapy should not be administered to patients with baseline neutrophil counts of less than 1,500 cells/mm3. In order to monitor the occurrence of myelotoxicity, it is recommended that frequent peripheral blood cell counts be performed on all patients receiving ABRAXANE. Patients should not be retreated with subsequent cycles of ABRAXANE until neutrophils recover to a level >1,500 cells/mm3 and platelets recover to a level >100,000 cells/mm3. In the case of severe neutropenia (<500 cells/mm3 for seven days or more) during a course of ABRAXANE therapy, a dose reduction for subsequent courses of therapy is recommended (see DOSAGE and ADMINISTRATION).

Nervous System

Sensory neuropathy occurs frequently with ABRAXANE. The occurrence of grade 1 or 2 sensory neuropathy does not generally require dose modification. If grade 3 sensory neuropathy develops, treatment should be withheld until resolution to grade 1 or 2 followed by a dose reduction for all subsequent courses of ABRAXANE (see DOSAGE and ADMINISTRATION).

Injection Site Reaction

Injection site reactions occur infrequently with ABRAXANE and were mild in the randomized clinical trial. Given the possibility of extravasation, it is advisable to closely monitor the infusion site for possible infiltration during drug administration.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

The carcinogenic potential of ABRAXANE has not been studied.

Paclitaxel has been shown to be clastogenic in vitro (chromosome aberrations in human lymphocytes) and in vivo (micronucleus test in mice). ABRAXANE was not mutagenic in the Ames test or the CHO/HGPRT gene mutation assay.

Administration of paclitaxel protein-bound particles to male rats at 42 mg/m2 on a weekly basis (approximately 16% of the daily maximum recommended human exposure on a mg/m2 basis) for 11 weeks prior to mating with untreated female rats resulted in significantly reduced fertility accompanied by decreased pregnancy rates and increased loss of embryos in mated females. A low incidence of skeletal and soft tissue fetal anomalies was also observed at doses of 3 and 12 mg/m2/week in this study (approximately 1 to 5% of the daily maximum recommended human exposure on a mg/m2 basis). Testicular atrophy/degeneration has also been observed in single-dose toxicology studies in rodents administered paclitaxel protein-bound particles at 54 mg/m2 and dogs administered 175 mg/m2 (see WARNINGS).

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category D

(See WARNINGS section).

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether paclitaxel is excreted in human milk. Following intravenous administration of carbon-14 labeled paclitaxel to rats on days 9 to 10 postpartum, concentrations of radioactivity in milk were higher than in plasma and declined in parallel with the plasma concentrations. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, it is recommended that nursing be discontinued when receiving ABRAXANE® therapy.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of ABRAXANE in pediatric patients have not been evaluated.

Geriatric use

Of the 229 patients in the randomized study who received ABRAXANE, 11% were at least 65 years of age and < 2% were 75 years or older. No toxicities occurred notably more frequently among elderly patients who received ABRAXANE.

Information for Patients

(See Patient Information Leaflet).

Page last updated: 2008-08-01

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