WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Because vaccinees may develop syncope, sometimes resulting in falling with injury, observation for 15 minutes after administration is recommended. Syncope, sometimes associated with tonic-clonic movements and other seizure-like activity, has been reported following vaccination with GARDASIL. When syncope is associated with tonic-clonic movements, the activity is usually transient and typically responds to restoring cerebral perfusion by maintaining a supine or Trendelenburg position.
Managing Allergic Reactions
Appropriate medical treatment and supervision must be readily available in case of anaphylactic reactions following the administration of GARDASIL.
USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
Pregnancy Category B:
Reproduction studies have been performed in female rats at doses equivalent to the recommended human dose and have revealed no evidence of impaired female fertility or harm to the fetus due to GARDASIL. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human responses, GARDASIL should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
An evaluation of the effect of GARDASIL on embryo-fetal, pre- and postweaning development was conducted using rats. One group of rats was administered GARDASIL twice prior to gestation, during the period of organogenesis (gestation Day 6) and on lactation Day 7. A second group of pregnant rats was administered GARDASIL during the period of organogenesis (gestation Day 6) and on lactation Day 7 only. GARDASIL was administered at 0.5 mL/rat/occasion (120 mcg total protein which is equivalent to the recommended human dose) by intramuscular injection. No adverse effects on mating, fertility, pregnancy, parturition, lactation, embryo-fetal or pre- and postweaning development were observed. There were no vaccine-related fetal malformations or other evidence of teratogenesis noted in this study. In addition, there were no treatment-related effects on developmental signs, behavior, reproductive performance, or fertility of the offspring.
Clinical Studies in Humans
In clinical studies, women underwent urine pregnancy testing prior to administration of each dose of GARDASIL. Women who were found to be pregnant before completion of a 3-dose regimen of GARDASIL were instructed to defer completion of their vaccination regimen until resolution of the pregnancy.
GARDASIL is not indicated for women 27 years of age or older. However, safety data in women 16 through 45 years of age was collected, and 3620 women (GARDASIL N = 1796 vs. AAHS control or saline placebo N = 1824) reported at least 1 pregnancy each.
The overall proportions of pregnancies that resulted in an adverse outcome, defined as the combined numbers of spontaneous abortion, late fetal death, and congenital anomaly cases out of the total number of pregnancy outcomes for which an outcome was known (and excluding elective terminations), were 23.3% (423/1812) in women who received GARDASIL and 24.1% (438/1820) in women who received AAHS control or saline placebo.
Overall, 54 and 63 women in the group that received GARDASIL or AAHS control or saline placebo, respectively (3.0% and 3.5% of all women who reported a pregnancy in the respective vaccination groups), experienced a serious adverse reaction during pregnancy. The most common events reported were conditions that can result in Caesarean section (e.g., failure of labor, malpresentation, cephalopelvic disproportion), premature onset of labor (e.g., threatened abortions, premature rupture of membranes), and pregnancy-related medical problems (e.g., pre-eclampsia, hyperemesis). The proportions of pregnant women who experienced such events were comparable between the groups receiving GARDASIL and AAHS control or saline placebo.
There were 40 cases of congenital anomaly in pregnancies that occurred in women who received GARDASIL and 30 cases of congenital anomaly in pregnancies that occurred in women who received AAHS control or saline placebo.
Further sub-analyses were conducted to evaluate pregnancies with estimated onset within 30 days or more than 30 days from administration of a dose of GARDASIL or AAHS control or saline placebo. For pregnancies with estimated onset within 30 days of vaccination, 5 cases of congenital anomaly were observed in the group that received GARDASIL compared to 1 case of congenital anomaly in the group that received AAHS control or saline placebo. The congenital anomalies seen in pregnancies with estimated onset within 30 days of vaccination included pyloric stenosis, congenital megacolon, congenital hydronephrosis, hip dysplasia, and club foot. Conversely, in pregnancies with onset more than 30 days following vaccination, 35 cases of congenital anomaly were observed in the group that received GARDASIL compared with 29 cases of congenital anomaly in the group that received AAHS control or saline placebo.
Pregnancy Registry for GARDASIL
Merck & Co., Inc. maintains a Pregnancy Registry to monitor fetal outcomes of pregnant women exposed to GARDASIL. Patients and health care providers are encouraged to report any exposure to GARDASIL during pregnancy by calling (800) 986-8999.
Women 16 Through 26 Years of Age
It is not known whether GARDASIL is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when GARDASIL is administered to a nursing woman.
A total of 995 nursing mothers (vaccine N = 500, AAHS control N = 495) were given GARDASIL or AAHS control during the vaccination period of the clinical trials.
Overall, 21 and 10 infants of women who received GARDASIL or AAHS control, respectively (representing 4.2% and 2.0% of the total number of women who were breast-feeding during the period in which they received GARDASIL or AAHS control, respectively), experienced a serious adverse reaction.
In a post-hoc analysis of clinical studies, a higher number of breast-feeding infants (n = 6) whose mothers received GARDASIL had acute respiratory illnesses within 30 days post vaccination of the mother as compared to infants (n = 2) whose mothers received AAHS control. In these studies, the rates of other adverse reactions in the mother and the nursing infant were comparable between vaccination groups.
Safety and effectiveness have not been established in pediatric patients below 9 years of age.
The safety and effectiveness of GARDASIL have not been evaluated in a geriatric population, defined as individuals aged 65 years and over.
The immunologic response to GARDASIL may be diminished in immunocompromised individuals [see Drug Interactions].