WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Risk of Cardiac Ischemia and/or Infarction
In the HCC study, the incidence of cardiac ischemia/infarction was 2.7% in NEXAVAR-treated patients compared with 1.3% in the placebo-treated group, in RCC Study 1, the incidence of cardiac ischemia/infarction was higher in the NEXAVAR-treated group (2.9%) compared with the placebo-treated group (0.4%), and in the DTC study, the incidence of cardiac ischemia/infarction was 1.9% in the NEXAVAR-treated group compared with 0% in the placebo-treated group. Patients with unstable coronary artery disease or recent myocardial infarction were excluded from this study. Temporary or permanent discontinuation of NEXAVAR should be considered in patients who develop cardiac ischemia and/or infarction.
Risk of Hemorrhage
An increased risk of bleeding may occur following NEXAVAR administration. In the HCC study, an excess of bleeding regardless of causality was not apparent and the rate of bleeding from esophageal varices was 2.4% in NEXAVAR-treated patients and 4% in placebo-treated patients. Bleeding with a fatal outcome from any site was reported in 2.4% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 4% in placebo-treated patients. In RCC Study 1, bleeding regardless of causality was reported in 15.3% of patients in the NEXAVAR-treated group and 8.2% of patients in the placebo-treated group. The incidence of CTCAE Grade 3 and 4 bleeding was 2% and 0%, respectively, in NEXAVAR-treated patients, and 1.3% and 0.2%, respectively, in placebo-treated patients. There was one fatal hemorrhage in each treatment group in RCC Study 1. In the DTC study, bleeding was reported in 17.4% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 9.6% of placebo-treated patients; however the incidence of CTCAE Grade 3 bleeding was 1% in NEXAVAR-treated patients and 1.4% in placebo-treated patients. There was no Grade 4 bleeding reported and there was one fatal hemorrhage in a placebo-treated patient. If any bleeding necessitates medical intervention, permanent discontinuation of NEXAVAR should be considered. Due to the potential risk of bleeding, tracheal, bronchial, and esophageal infiltration should be treated with local therapy prior to administering NEXAVAR in patients with DTC.
Risk of Hypertension
Monitor blood pressure weekly during the first 6 weeks of NEXAVAR. Thereafter, monitor blood pressure and treat hypertension, if required, in accordance with standard medical practice. In the HCC study, hypertension was reported in approximately 9.4% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 4.3% of patients in the placebo-treated group. In RCC Study 1, hypertension was reported in approximately 16.9% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 1.8% of patients in the placebo-treated group. In the DTC study, hypertension was reported in 40.6% of NEXAVAR-treated patients and 12.4% of placebo-treated patients. Hypertension was usually mild to moderate, occurred early in the course of treatment, and was managed with standard antihypertensive therapy. In cases of severe or persistent hypertension despite institution of antihypertensive therapy, consider temporary or permanent discontinuation of NEXAVAR. Permanent discontinuation due to hypertension occurred in 1 of 297 NEXAVAR-treated patients in the HCC study, 1 of 451 NEXAVAR-treated patients in RCC Study 1, and 1 of 207 NEXAVAR-treated patients in the DTC study.
Risk of Dermatologic Toxicities
Hand-foot skin reaction and rash represent the most common adverse reactions attributed to NEXAVAR. Rash and hand-foot skin reaction are usually CTCAE Grade 1 and 2 and generally appear during the first six weeks of treatment with NEXAVAR. Management of dermatologic toxicities may include topical therapies for symptomatic relief, temporary treatment interruption and/or dose modification of NEXAVAR, or in severe or persistent cases, permanent discontinuation of NEXAVAR [see Dosage and Administration ]. Permanent discontinuation of therapy due to hand-foot skin reaction occurred in 4 (1.3%) of 297 NEXAVAR-treated patients with HCC, 3 (0.7%) of 451 NEXAVAR-treated patients with RCC, and 11 (5.3%) of 207 NEXAVAR-treated patients with DTC.
There have been reports of severe dermatologic toxicities, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). These cases may be life-threatening. Discontinue NEXAVAR if SJS or TEN are suspected.
Risk of Gastrointestinal Perforation
Gastrointestinal perforation is an uncommon adverse reaction and has been reported in less than 1% of patients taking NEXAVAR. In some cases this was not associated with apparent intra-abdominal tumor. In the event of a gastrointestinal perforation, discontinue NEXAVAR.
Infrequent bleeding or elevations in the International Normalized Ratio (INR) have been reported in some patients taking warfarin while on NEXAVAR. Monitor patients taking concomitant warfarin regularly for changes in prothrombin time (PT), INR or clinical bleeding episodes.
Wound Healing Complications
No formal studies of the effect of NEXAVAR on wound healing have been conducted. Temporary interruption of NEXAVAR is recommended in patients undergoing major surgical procedures. There is limited clinical experience regarding the timing of reinitiation of NEXAVAR following major surgical intervention. Therefore, the decision to resume NEXAVAR following a major surgical intervention should be based on clinical judgment of adequate wound healing.
Increased Mortality Observed with NEXAVAR Administered in Combination with Carboplatin/Paclitaxel and Gemcitabine/Cisplatin in Squamous Cell Lung Cancer
In a subset analysis of two randomized controlled trials in chemo-naive patients with Stage IIIB-IV non-small cell lung cancer, patients with squamous cell carcinoma experienced higher mortality with the addition of NEXAVAR compared to those treated with carboplatin/paclitaxel alone (HR 1.81, 95% CI 1.19–2.74) and gemcitabine/cisplatin alone (HR 1.22, 95% CI 0.82-1.80). The use of NEXAVAR in combination with carboplatin/paclitaxel is contraindicated in patients with squamous cell lung cancer. NEXAVAR in combination with gemcitabine/cisplatin is not recommended in patients with squamous cell lung cancer. The safety and effectiveness of NEXAVAR has not been established in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
Risk of QT Interval Prolongation
NEXAVAR can prolong the QT/QTc interval. QT/QTc interval prolongation increases the risk for ventricular arrhythmias. Avoid NEXAVAR in patients with congenital long QT syndrome. Monitor electrolytes and electrocardiograms in patients with congestive heart failure, bradyarrhythmias, drugs known to prolong the QT interval, including Class Ia and III antiarrhythmics. Correct electrolyte abnormalities (magnesium, potassium, calcium). Interrupt NEXAVAR if QTc interval is greater than 500 milliseconds or for an increase from baseline of 60 milliseconds or greater [see Clinical Pharmacology].
Sorafenib-induced hepatitis is characterized by a hepatocellular pattern of liver damage with significant increases of transaminases which may result in hepatic failure and death. Increases in bilirubin and INR may also occur. The incidence of severe drug-induced liver injury, defined as elevated transaminase levels above 20 times the upper limit of normal or transaminase elevations with significant clinical sequelae (for example, elevated INR, ascites, fatal, or transplantation), was two of 3,357 patients (0.06%) in a global monotherapy database. Monitor liver function tests regularly. In case of significantly increased transaminases without alternative explanation, such as viral hepatitis or progressing underlying malignancy, discontinue NEXAVAR.
Based on its mechanism of action and findings in animals, NEXAVAR may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Sorafenib caused embryo-fetal toxicities in animals at maternal exposures that were significantly lower than the human exposures at the recommended dose of 400 mg twice daily. Advise women of childbearing potential to avoid becoming pregnant while on NEXAVAR because of the potential hazard to the fetus [see Use in Specific Populations ].
5.12 Impairment of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Suppression in Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma
NEXAVAR impairs exogenous thyroid suppression. In the DTC study, 99% of patients had a baseline thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level less than 0.5 mU/L. Elevation of TSH level above 0.5 mU/L was observed in 41% of NEXAVAR-treated patients as compared with 16% of placebo-treated patients. For patients with impaired TSH suppression while receiving NEXAVAR, the median maximal TSH was 1.6 mU/L and 25% had TSH levels greater than 4.4 mU/L.
Monitor TSH levels monthly and adjust thyroid replacement medication as needed in patients with DTC
USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
Pregnancy Category D [see Warnings and Precautions].
Based on its mechanism of action and findings in animals, NEXAVAR may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Sorafenib caused embryo-fetal toxicities in animals at maternal exposures that were significantly lower than the human exposures at the recommended dose of 400 mg twice daily. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women using NEXAVAR. Inform patients of childbearing potential that NEXAVAR can cause birth defects or fetal loss. Instruct both men and women of childbearing potential to use effective birth control during treatment with NEXAVAR and for at least 2 weeks after stopping treatment. Counsel female patients to contact their healthcare provider if they become pregnant while taking NEXAVAR.
When administered to rats and rabbits during the period of organogenesis, sorafenib was teratogenic and induced embryo-fetal toxicity (including increased post-implantation loss, resorptions, skeletal retardations, and retarded fetal weight). The effects occurred at doses considerably below the recommended human dose of 400 mg twice daily (approximately 500 mg/m2/day on a body surface area basis). Adverse intrauterine development effects were seen at doses ≥0.2 mg/kg/day (1.2 mg/m2/day) in rats and 0.3 mg/kg/day (3.6 mg/m2/day) in rabbits. These doses result in exposures (AUC) approximately 0.008 times the AUC seen in patients at the recommended human dose. A NOAEL (no observed adverse effect level) was not defined for either species, since lower doses were not tested.
It is not known whether sorafenib is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from NEXAVAR, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Following administration of radiolabeled sorafenib to lactating Wistar rats, approximately 27% of the radioactivity was secreted into the milk. The milk to plasma AUC ratio was approximately 5:1.
The safety and effectiveness of NEXAVAR in pediatric patients have not been studied.
Repeat dosing of sorafenib to young and growing dogs resulted in irregular thickening of the femoral growth plate at daily sorafenib doses ≥ 600 mg/m2 (approximately 0.3 times the AUC at the recommended human dose), hypocellularity of the bone marrow adjoining the growth plate at 200 mg/m2/day (approximately 0.1 times the AUC at the recommended human dose), and alterations of the dentin composition at 600 mg/m2/day. Similar effects were not observed in adult dogs when dosed for 4 weeks or less.
In total, 59% of HCC patients treated with NEXAVAR were age 65 years or older, and 19% were 75 and older. In total, 32% of RCC patients treated with NEXAVAR were age 65 years or older, and 4% were 75 and older. No differences in safety or efficacy were observed between older and younger patients, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Patients with Hepatic Impairment
In a trial of HCC patients with mild (Child-Pugh A) or moderate (Child-Pugh B) hepatic impairment, the systemic exposure (AUC) of sorafenib was within the range observed in patients without hepatic impairment. In another trial in subjects without HCC, the mean AUC was similar for subjects with mild (n=15) and moderate (n=14) hepatic impairment compared to subjects (n=15) with normal hepatic function. No dose adjustment is necessary for patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment. The pharmacokinetics of sorafenib have not been studied in patients with severe (Child-Pugh C) hepatic impairment [see Clinical Pharmacology ].
Patients with Renal Impairment
No correlation between sorafenib exposure and renal function was observed following administration of a single oral dose of NEXAVAR 400 mg to subjects with normal renal function and subjects with mild (CLcr 50–80 mL/min), moderate (CLcr 30–<50 mL/min), or severe (CLcr <30 mL/min) renal impairment who are not on dialysis. No dose adjustment is necessary for patients with mild, moderate or severe renal impairment who are not on dialysis. The pharmacokinetics of sorafenib have not been studied in patients who are on dialysis [see Clinical Pharmacology].