WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Worsening of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Potential Risk of Prostate Cancer
- Monitor patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) for worsening of signs and symptoms of BPH.
- Patients treated with Androgens may be at increased risk for prostate cancer. Evaluate patients for prostate cancer prior to initiating treatment. It would be appropriate to reevaluate patients 3 to 6 months after initiation of treatment, and then in accordance with prostate cancer screening practices. [See Contraindications (4)].
Potential for Secondary Exposure to Testosterone
Cases of secondary exposure to testosterone in children and women have been reported with topical testosterone products applied to the abdomen or upper arms, including cases of secondary exposure resulting in virilization of children. Signs and symptoms have included enlargement of the penis or clitoris, development of pubic hair, increased erections and libido, aggressive behavior, and advanced bone age. In most cases, these signs and symptoms regressed with removal of the exposure to testosterone. In a few cases, however, enlarged genitalia did not fully return to age-appropriate normal size, and bone age remained modestly greater than chronological age. The risk of transfer was increased in some of these cases by not adhering to precautions for the appropriate use of the topical testosterone product. Children and women should avoid contact with unwashed or unclothed application sites in men using AXIRON [see Dosage and Administration Use in Specific Populations and Clinical Pharmacology].
Inappropriate changes in genital size or development of pubic hair or libido in children, or changes in body hair distribution, significant increase in acne, or other signs of virilization in adult women should be brought to the attention of a physician and the possibility of secondary exposure to testosterone should also be brought to the attention of a physician. Testosterone therapy should be promptly discontinued at least until the cause of virilization has been identified. [See Dosage and Administration ].
Increases in hematocrit, reflective of increases in red blood cell mass, may require lowering or discontinuation of testosterone. Check hematocrit prior to initiating testosterone treatment. It would be appropriate to re-evaluate the hematocrit 3 to 6 months after starting testosterone treatment, and then annually. If hematocrit becomes elevated, stop therapy until hematocrit decreases to an acceptable level. An increase in red blood cell mass may increase the risk of thromboembolic events.
There have been postmarketing reports of venous thromboembolic events, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), in patients using testosterone products, such as AXIRON. Evaluate patients who report symptoms of pain, edema, warmth and erythema in the lower extremity for DVT and those who present with acute shortness of breath for PE. If a venous thromboembolic event is suspected, discontinue treatment with AXIRON and initiate appropriate workup and management [see Adverse Reactions].
Use in Women
Due to lack of controlled studies in women and potential virilizing effects, AXIRON is not indicated for use in women [see Contraindications and Use in Specific Populations (8.1, 8.3)].
Potential for Adverse Effects on Spermatogenesis
At large doses of exogenous androgens, including AXIRON, spermatogenesis may be suppressed through feedback inhibition of pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) which could possibly lead to adverse effects on semen parameters including sperm count.
Hepatic Adverse Effects
Prolonged use of high doses of orally active 17-alpha-alkyl androgens (methyltestosterone) has been associated with serious hepatic adverse effects (peliosis hepatitis, hepatic neoplasms, cholestatic hepatitis, and jaundice). Peliosis hepatitis can be a life-threatening or fatal complication. Long-term therapy with intramuscular testosterone enanthate has produced multiple hepatic adenomas. AXIRON is not known to cause these adverse effects.
Androgens, including AXIRON, may promote retention of sodium and water. Edema, with or without congestive heart failure, may be a serious complication in patients with pre-existing cardiac, renal, or hepatic disease [see Adverse Reactions (6)].
Gynecomastia may develop and may persist in patients being treated with androgens, including AXIRON, for hypogonadism.
The treatment of hypogonadal men with testosterone may potentiate sleep apnea in some patients, especially those with risk factors such as obesity and chronic lung disease.
Changes in serum lipid profile may require dose adjustment or discontinuation of testosterone therapy.
Androgens, including AXIRON, should be used with caution in cancer patients at risk of hypercalcemia (and associated hypercalciuria). Regular monitoring of serum calcium concentrations is recommended in these patients.
Decreased Thyroxine-binding Globulin
Androgens, including AXIRON, may decrease concentrations of thyroxin-binding globulins, resulting in decreased total T4 serum concentration and increased resin uptake of T3 and T4. Free thyroid hormone concentration remain unchanged, however there is no clinical evidence of thyroid dysfunction.
Alcohol based products, including AXIRON, are flammable; therefore, patients should be advised to avoid smoking, fire or flame until the AXIRON dose applied has dried.
USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
Pregnancy Category X [see Contraindications (4)] — AXIRON is contraindicated during pregnancy or in women who may become pregnant. Testosterone is teratogenic and may cause fetal harm. Exposure of a female fetus to androgens may result in varying degrees of virilization. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus.
Although it is not known how much testosterone transfers into human milk, AXIRON is contraindicated in nursing women because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants. Testosterone and other androgens may adversely affect lactation. [See Contraindications (4)].
Safety and efficacy of AXIRON has not been established in males <18 years of age. Improper use may result in acceleration of bone age and premature closure of epiphyses.
There have not been sufficient numbers of geriatric patients involved in controlled clinical studies utilizing AXIRON to determine whether efficacy in those over 65 years of age differs from younger patients. Of the 155 patients enrolled in the pivotal clinical study utilizing AXIRON, 21 were over 65 years of age. Additionally, there were insufficient long-term safety data in these patients utilizing AXIRON to assess a potential incremental risk of cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer.
No formal studies were conducted involving patients with renal impairment.
No formal studies were conducted involving patients with hepatic impairment.
8.8 Use in Men with Body Mass Index (BMI) >35 kg/m
Safety and efficacy of AXIRON in males with BMI >35 kg/m2 has not been established.