DrugLib.com — Drug Information Portal

Rx drug information, pharmaceutical research, clinical trials, news, and more

Vepesid (Etoposide) - Warnings and Precautions

 
 



WARNINGS

VePesid (etoposide) should be administered under the supervision of a qualified physician experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Severe myelosuppression with resulting infection or bleeding may occur.

 

WARNINGS

Patients being treated with VePesid must be frequently observed for myelosuppression both during and after therapy. Myelosuppression resulting in death has been reported. Dose-limiting bone marrow suppression is the most significant toxicity associated with VePesid therapy. Therefore, the following studies should be obtained at the start of therapy and prior to each subsequent cycle of VePesid: platelet count, hemoglobin, white blood cell count, and differential. The occurrence of a platelet count below 50,000/mm3 or an absolute neutrophil count below 500/mm3 is an indication to withhold further therapy until the blood counts have sufficiently recovered.

Pregnancy

VePesid can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Etoposide has been shown to be teratogenic in mice and rats.

In rats, an intravenous etoposide dose of 0.4 mg/kg/day (about 1/20th of the human dose on a mg/m2 basis) during organogenesis caused maternal toxicity, embryotoxicity, and teratogenicity (skeletal abnormalities, exencephaly, encephalocele, and anophthalmia); higher doses of 1.2 and 3.6 mg/kg/day (about 1/7th and 1/2 of human dose on a mg/m2 basis) resulted in 90 and 100% embryonic resorptions. In mice, a single 1.0 mg/kg (1/16th of human dose on a mg/m2 basis) dose of etoposide administered intraperitoneally on days 6, 7, or 8 of gestation caused embryotoxicity, cranial abnormalities, and major skeletal malformations. An I.P. dose of 1.5 mg/kg (about 1/10th of human dose on a mg/m2 basis) on day 7 of gestation caused an increase in the incidence of intrauterine death and fetal malformations and a significant decrease in the average fetal body weight.

Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while receiving this drug, the patient should be warned of the potential hazard to the fetus.

VePesid should be considered a potential carcinogen in humans. The occurrence of acute leukemia with or without a preleukemic phase has been reported in rare instances in patients treated with etoposide alone or in association with other neoplastic agents. The risk of development of a preleukemic or leukemic syndrome is unclear. Carcinogenicity tests with VePesid have not been conducted in laboratory animals.

PRECAUTIONS

General

In all instances where the use of VePesid is considered for chemotherapy, the physician must evaluate the need and usefulness of the drug against the risk of adverse reactions. Most such adverse reactions are reversible if detected early. If severe reactions occur, the drug should be reduced in dosage or discontinued and appropriate corrective measures should be taken according to the clinical judgment of the physician. Reinstitution of VePesid therapy should be carried out with caution, and with adequate consideration of the further need for the drug and alertness as to possible recurrence of toxicity.

Patients with low serum albumin may be at an increased risk for etoposide associated toxicities.

Drug Interactions

High-dose cyclosporin A resulting in concentrations above 2000 ng/mL administered with oral etoposide has led to an 80% increase in etoposide exposure with a 38% decrease in total body clearance of etoposide compared to etoposide alone.

Laboratory Tests

Periodic complete blood counts should be done during the course of VePesid treatment. They should be performed prior to each cycle of therapy and at appropriate intervals during and after therapy. At least one determination should be done prior to each dose of VePesid.

Renal Impairment

In patients with impaired renal function, the following initial dose modification should be considered based on measured creatinine clearance:

Measured Creatinine Clearance>50 mL/min15-50 mL/min
etoposide100% of dose75% of dose

Subsequent VePesid dosing should be based on patient tolerance and clinical effect.

Data are not available in patients with creatinine clearances <15 mL/min and further dose reduction should be considered in these patients.

Carcinogenesis (see WARNINGS), Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Etoposide has been shown to be mutagenic in Ames assay.

Treatment of Swiss-Albino mice with 1.5 mg/kg I.P. of VePesid on day 7 of gestation increased the incidence of intrauterine death and fetal malformations as well as significantly decreased the average fetal body weight. Maternal weight gain was not affected.

Irreversible testicular atrophy was present in rats treated with etoposide intravenously for 30 days at 0.5 mg/kg/day (about 1/16th of the human dose on a mg/m2 basis).

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category D

See WARNINGS.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug 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 VePesid, 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.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Of more than 600 patients in 4 clinical studies in the NDA databases who received VePesid or etoposide phosphate in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of small cell lung cancer (SCLC), about one-third were older than 65 years. When advanced age was determined to be a prognostic factor for response or survival in these studies, comparisons between treatment groups were performed for the elderly subset. In the one study (etoposide in combination with cyclophosphamide and vincristine compared with cyclophosphamide and vincristine or cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and doxorubicin) where age was a significant prognostic factor for survival, a survival benefit for elderly patients was observed for the etoposide regimen compared with the control regimens. No differences in myelosuppression were seen between elderly and younger patients in these studies except for an increased frequency of WHO Grade III or IV leukopenia among elderly patients in a study of etoposide phosphate or etoposide in combination with cisplatin. Elderly patients in this study also had more anorexia, mucositis, dehydration, somnolence, and elevated BUN levels than younger patients.

In 5 single-agent studies of etoposide phosphate in patients with a variety of tumor types, 34% of patients were age 65 years or more. WHO Grade III or IV leukopenia, granulocytopenia, and asthenia were more frequent among elderly patients.

Postmarketing experience also suggests that elderly patients may be more sensitive to some of the known adverse effects of etoposide, including myelosuppression, gastrointestinal effects, infectious complications, and alopecia.

Although some minor differences in pharmacokinetic parameters between elderly and nonelderly patients have been observed, these differences were not considered clinically significant.

Etoposide and its metabolites are known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of adverse reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function (see PRECAUTIONS: Renal Impairment for recommended dosing adjustments in patients with renal impairment).

Page last updated: 2006-12-08

-- advertisement -- The American Red Cross
 
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Site usage policy | Privacy policy

All Rights reserved - Copyright DrugLib.com, 2006-2017