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Abraxane (Paclitaxel) - Warnings and Precautions

 
 



WARNING: NEUTROPENIA

  • Do not administer ABRAXANE therapy to patients 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 [see Contraindications (4), Warnings and Precautions and Adverse Reactions (6.1, 6.2, 6.3)].
  • 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 AND PRECAUTIONS

Hematologic Effects

Bone marrow suppression (primarily neutropenia) is dose-dependent and a dose-limiting toxicity of ABRAXANE. In clinical studies, Grade 3-4 neutropenia occurred in 34% of patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), 47% of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and 38% of patients with pancreatic cancer.

Monitor for myelotoxicity by performing complete blood cell counts frequently, including prior to dosing on Day 1 (for MBC) and Days 1, 8, and 15 (for NSCLC and for pancreatic cancer). Do not administer ABRAXANE to patients with baseline absolute neutrophil counts (ANC) of less than 1,500 cells/mm3. In the case of severe neutropenia (<500 cells/mm3 for seven days or more) during a course of ABRAXANE therapy, reduce the dose of ABRAXANE in subsequent courses in patients with either MBC or NSCLC.

In patients with MBC, resume treatment with every-3-week cycles of ABRAXANE after ANC recovers to a level >1,500 cells/mm3 and platelets recover to a level >100,000 cells/mm3.

In patients with NSCLC, resume treatment if recommended (see Dosage and Administration, Table 2) at permanently reduced doses for both weekly ABRAXANE and every-3-week carboplatin after ANC recovers to at least 1500 cells/mm3 and platelet count of at least 100,000 cells/mm3 on Day 1 or to an ANC of at least 500 cells/mm3 and platelet count of at least 50,000 cells/mm3 on Days 8 or 15 of the cycle [see Dosage and Administration ].

In patients with adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, withhold ABRAXANE and gemcitabine if the ANC is less than 500 cells/mm3 or platelets are less than 50,000 cells/mm3 and delay initiation of the next cycle if the ANC is less than 1500 cells/mm3 or platelet count is less than 100,000 cells/mm3 on Day 1 of the cycle. Resume treatment with appropriate dose reduction if recommended [see Dosage and Administration].

Nervous System

Sensory neuropathy is dose- and schedule-dependent [see Adverse Reactions (6.1, 6.2, 6.3)]. The occurrence of Grade 1 or 2 sensory neuropathy does not generally require dose modification. If ≥ Grade 3 sensory neuropathy develops, withhold ABRAXANE treatment until resolution to Grade 1 or 2 for metastatic breast cancer or until resolution to ≤ Grade 1 for NSCLC and pancreatic cancer followed by a dose reduction for all subsequent courses of ABRAXANE [see Dosage and Administration ].

Sepsis

Sepsis occurred in 5% of patients with or without neutropenia who received ABRAXANE in combination with gemcitabine. Biliary obstruction or presence of biliary stent were risk factors for severe or fatal sepsis. If a patient becomes febrile (regardless of ANC) initiate treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics. For febrile neutropenia, interrupt ABRAXANE and gemcitabine until fever resolves and ANC ≥ 1500, then resume treatment at reduced dose levels [see Dosage and Administration].

Pneumonitis

Pneumonitis, including some cases that were fatal, occurred in 4% of patients receiving ABRAXANE in combination with gemcitabine. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of pneumonitis and interrupt ABRAXANE and gemcitabine during evaluation of suspected pneumonitis. After ruling out infectious etiology and upon making a diagnosis of pneumonitis, permanently discontinue treatment with ABRAXANE and gemcitabine.

Hypersensitivity

Severe and sometimes fatal hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylactic reactions, have been reported. Patients who experience a severe hypersensitivity reaction to ABRAXANE should not be re-challenged with this drug.

Hepatic Impairment

Because the exposure and toxicity of paclitaxel can be increased with hepatic impairment, administration of ABRAXANE in patients with hepatic impairment should be performed with caution. Patients with hepatic impairment may be at increased risk of toxicity, particularly from myelosuppression; such patients should be closely monitored for development of profound myelosuppression. ABRAXANE is not recommended in patients who have total bilirubin >5 x ULN or AST >10 x ULN. In addition, ABRAXANE is not recommended in patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas who have moderate to severe hepatic impairment (total bilirubin >1.5 x ULN and AST ≤10 x ULN). The starting dose should be reduced for patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment [see Dosage and Administration Use in Specific Populations and Clinical Pharmacology].

Albumin (Human)

ABRAXANE contains albumin (human), a derivative of human blood. Based on effective donor screening and product manufacturing processes, it carries a 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.

Use in Pregnancy

ABRAXANE can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Administration of paclitaxel formulated as albumin-bound particles to rats during pregnancy at doses lower than the maximum recommended human dose, based on body surface area, caused embryo-fetal toxicities, including intrauterine mortality, increased resorptions, reduced numbers of live fetuses, and malformations.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women receiving 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 ABRAXANE [see Use in Specific Populations ].

Use in Men

Men should be advised not to father a child while receiving ABRAXANE [see Nonclinical Toxicology].

USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category D [see Warnings and Precautions ].

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women using ABRAXANE. Based on its mechanism of action and findings in animals, ABRAXANE can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. 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 ABRAXANE.

Administration of paclitaxel formulated as albumin-bound particles to rats during pregnancy, 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 embryofetal toxicities, 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).

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether paclitaxel is excreted in human milk. Paclitaxel and/or its metabolites were excreted into the milk of lactating rats. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, a decision should be made to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

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 for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, 13% were at least 65 years of age and < 2% were 75 years or older. No toxicities occurred notably more frequently among patients who received ABRAXANE.

Of the 514 patients in the randomized study who received ABRAXANE and carboplatin for the first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, 31% were 65 years or older and 3.5% were 75 years or older. Myelosuppression, peripheral neuropathy, and arthralgia were more frequent in patients 65 years or older compared to patients younger than 65 years old. No overall difference in effectiveness, as measured by response rates, was observed between patients 65 years or older compared to patients younger than 65 years old.

Of the 431 patients in the randomized study who received ABRAXANE and gemcitabine for the first-line treatment of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, 41% were 65 years or older and 10% were 75 years or older. No overall differences in effectiveness were observed between patients who were 65 years of age or older and younger patients. Diarrhea, decreased appetite, dehydration and epistaxis were more frequent in patients 65 years or older compared with patients younger than 65 years old. Clinical studies of ABRAXANE did not include sufficient number of patients with pancreatic cancer who were 75 years and older to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients.

Patients with Hepatic Impairment

The exposure to paclitaxel may be higher in patients with hepatic impairment than in patients with normal hepatic function. Reduce ABRAXANE starting dose in patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment. Do not administer ABRAXANE to patients with total bilirubin > 5 x ULN or AST > 10 x ULN [see Dosage and Administration (2.4), Warnings and Precautions and Clinical Pharmacology]. Do not administer to patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas who have moderate to severe hepatic impairment see Dosage and Administration (2.4)].

Patients with Renal Impairment

Adjustment of the starting ABRAXANE dose is not required for patients with mild to moderate renal impairment (estimated creatinine clearance ≥30 to <90 mL/min) [see Clinical Pharmacology]. There are insufficient data to permit dosage recommendations in patients with severe renal impairment or end stage renal disease (estimated creatinine clearance <30 mL/min).

Page last updated: 2014-12-16

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