RITUXAN- rituximab injection, solution
WARNING: FATAL INFUSION REACTIONS, SEVERE MUCOCUTANEOUS REACTIONS, HEPATITIS B VIRUS REACTIVATION and PROGRESSIVE MULTIFOCAL LEUKOENCEPHALOPATHY
Rituxan administration can result in serious, including fatal infusion reactions. Deaths within 24 hours of Rituxan infusion have occurred. Approximately 80% of fatal infusion reactions occurred in association with the first infusion. Monitor patients closely. Discontinue Rituxan infusion for severe reactions and provide medical treatment for Grade 3 or 4 infusion reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
Severe Mucocutaneous Reactions
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Reactivation
HBV reactivation can occur in patients treated with Rituxan, in some cases resulting in fulminant hepatitis, hepatic failure, and death. Screen all patients for HBV infection before treatment initiation, and monitor patients during and after treatment with Rituxan. Discontinue Rituxan and concomitant medications in the event of HBV reactivation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Adverse Reactions (6)].
Rituxan® (rituximab) is indicated for the treatment of patients with:
- Relapsed or refractory, low-grade or follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL as a single agent
- Previously untreated follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL in combination with first line chemotherapy and, in patients achieving a complete or partial response to Rituxan in combination with chemotherapy, as single-agent maintenance therapy.
- Non-progressing (including stable disease), low-grade, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL as a single agent after first-line CVP chemotherapy
- Previously untreated diffuse large B-cell, CD20-positive NHL in combination with CHOP or other anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimens
Rituxan® (rituximab) is indicated, in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide (FC), for the treatment of patients with previously untreated and previously treated CD20-positive CLL.
Rituxan® (rituximab) in combination with methotrexate is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with moderately- to severely- active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to one or more TNF antagonist therapies.
1.4 Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) (Wegener’s Granulomatosis) and Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA)
Rituxan® (rituximab), in combination with glucocorticoids, is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) (Wegener’s Granulomatosis) and Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA).
Rituxan is not recommended for use in patients with severe, active infections.
Administer only as an Intravenous Infusion [see Dosage and Administration (2.7) ].
Do not administer as an intravenous push or bolus.
Premedicate before each infusion [see Dosage and Administration (2.7) ].
Rituxan should only be administered by a healthcare professional with appropriate medical support to manage severe infusion reactions that can be fatal if they occur [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
- First Infusion: Initiate infusion at a rate of 50 mg/hr. In the absence of infusion toxicity, increase infusion rate by 50 mg/hr increments every 30 minutes, to a maximum of 400 mg/hr.
- Subsequent Infusions:
Standard Infusion: Initiate infusion at a rate of 100 mg/hr. In the absence of infusion toxicity, increase rate by 100 mg/hr increments at 30-minute intervals, to a maximum of 400 mg/hr.
For previously untreated follicular NHL and DLBCL patients:
If patients did not experience a Grade 3 or 4 infusion related adverse event during Cycle 1, a 90-minute infusion can be administered in Cycle 2 with a glucocorticoid-containing chemotherapy regimen.
- Initiate at a rate of 20% of the total dose given in the first 30 minutes and the remaining 80% of the total dose given over the next 60 minutes. If the 90-minute infusion is tolerated in Cycle 2, the same rate can be used when administering the remainder of the treatment regimen (through Cycle 6 or 8).
- Interrupt the infusion or slow the infusion rate for infusion reactions [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Continue the infusion at one-half the previous rate upon improvement of symptoms.
The recommended dose is 375 mg/m2 as an intravenous infusion according to the following schedules:
- Relapsed or Refractory, Low-Grade or Follicular, CD20-Positive, B-Cell NHL
Administer once weekly for 4 or 8 doses.
- Retreatment for Relapsed or Refractory, Low-Grade or Follicular, CD20-Positive, B-Cell NHL
Administer once weekly for 4 doses.
- Previously Untreated, Follicular, CD20-Positive, B-Cell NHL
Administer on Day 1 of each cycle of chemotherapy, for up to 8 doses. In patients with complete or partial response, initiate Rituxan maintenance eight weeks following completion of Rituxan in combination with chemotherapy. Administer Rituxan as a single-agent every 8 weeks for 12 doses.
- Non-progressing, Low-Grade, CD20-Positive, B-cell NHL, after first-line CVP chemotherapy
Following completion of 6–8 cycles of CVP chemotherapy, administer once weekly for 4 doses at 6-month intervals to a maximum of 16 doses.
- Diffuse Large B-Cell NHL Administer on Day 1 of each cycle of chemotherapy for up to 8 infusions.
The recommended dose is:
- 375 mg/m2 the day prior to the initiation of FC chemotherapy, then 500 mg/m2 on Day 1 of cycles 2–6 (every 28 days).
- Infuse rituximab 250 mg/m2 within 4 hours prior to the administration of Indium-111-(In-111-) Zevalin and within 4 hours prior to the administration of Yttrium-90- (Y-90-) Zevalin.
- Administer Rituxan and In-111-Zevalin 7–9 days prior to Rituxan and Y-90- Zevalin.
- Refer to the Zevalin package insert for full prescribing information regarding the Zevalin therapeutic regimen.
- Administer Rituxan as two-1000 mg intravenous infusions separated by 2 weeks.
- Glucocorticoids administered as methylprednisolone 100 mg intravenous or its equivalent 30 minutes prior to each infusion are recommended to reduce the incidence and severity of infusion reactions.
- Subsequent courses should be administered every 24 weeks or based on clinical evaluation, but not sooner than every 16 weeks.
- Rituxan is given in combination with methotrexate.
2.6 Recommended Dose for Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA) (Wegener’s Granulomatosis) and Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA)
- Administer Rituxan as a 375 mg/m2 intravenous infusion once weekly for 4 weeks.
- Glucocorticoids administered as methylprednisolone 1000 mg intravenously per day for 1 to 3 days followed by oral prednisone 1 mg/kg/day (not to exceed 80 mg/day and tapered per clinical need) are recommended to treat severe vasculitis symptoms. This regimen should begin within 14 days prior to or with the initiation of Rituxan and may continue during and after the 4 week course of Rituximab treatment.
- Safety and efficacy of treatment with subsequent courses of Rituxan have not been established [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14) ].
Premedicate before each infusion with acetaminophen and an antihistamine. For patients administered Rituxan according to the 90-minute infusion rate, the glucocorticoid component of their chemotherapy regimen should be administered prior to infusion [see Clinical Studies (14.4) ].
For RA patients, methylprednisolone 100 mg intravenously or its equivalent is recommended 30 minutes prior to each infusion.
For GPA and MPA patients, glucocorticoids are given in combination with Rituxan [see Dosage and Administration (2.6) ].
Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP) and anti-herpetic viral prophylaxis is recommended for patients with CLL during treatment and for up to 12 months following treatment as appropriate.
PCP prophylaxis is also recommended for patients with GPA and MPA during treatment and for at least 6 months following the last Rituxan infusion.
Use appropriate aseptic technique. Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration. Do not use vial if particulates or discoloration is present. Withdraw the necessary amount of Rituxan and dilute to a final concentration of 1 mg/mL to 4 mg/mL in an infusion bag containing either 0.9% Sodium Chloride, USP, or 5% Dextrose in Water, USP. Gently invert the bag to mix the solution. Do not mix or dilute with other drugs. Discard any unused portion left in the vial.
Rituxan solutions for infusion may be stored at 2°C–8°C (36°F–46°F) for 24 hours. Rituxan solutions for infusion have been shown to be stable for an additional 24 hours at room temperature. However, since Rituxan solutions do not contain a preservative, diluted solutions should be stored refrigerated (2°C–8°C). No incompatibilities between Rituxan and polyvinylchloride or polyethylene bags have been observed.
- 100 mg/10 mL in a single-use vial
- 500 mg/50 mL in a single-use vial
Rituxan can cause severe, including fatal, infusion reactions. Severe reactions typically occurred during the first infusion with time to onset of 30–120 minutes. Rituxan-induced infusion reactions and sequelae include urticaria, hypotension, angioedema, hypoxia, bronchospasm, pulmonary infiltrates, acute respiratory distress syndrome, myocardial infarction, ventricular fibrillation, cardiogenic shock, anaphylactoid events, or death.
Premedicate patients with an antihistamine and acetaminophen prior to dosing. For RA patients, methylprednisolone 100 mg intravenously or its equivalent is recommended 30 minutes prior to each infusion. Institute medical management (e.g. glucocorticoids, epinephrine, bronchodilators, or oxygen) for infusion reactions as needed. Depending on the severity of the infusion reaction and the required interventions, temporarily or permanently discontinue Rituxan. Resume infusion at a minimum 50% reduction in rate after symptoms have resolved. Closely monitor the following patients: those with pre-existing cardiac or pulmonary conditions, those who experienced prior cardiopulmonary adverse reactions, and those with high numbers of circulating malignant cells ( ≥ 25,000/mm3). [See Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.7), Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
Mucocutaneous reactions, some with fatal outcome, can occur in patients treated with Rituxan. These reactions include paraneoplastic pemphigus, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, lichenoid dermatitis, vesiculobullous dermatitis, and toxic epidermal necrolysis. The onset of these reactions has been variable and includes reports with onset on the first day of Rituxan exposure. Discontinue Rituxan in patients who experience a severe mucocutaneous reaction. The safety of readministration of Rituxan to patients with severe mucocutaneous reactions has not been determined. [See Boxed Warning, Adverse Reactions (6)].
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation, in some cases resulting in fulminant hepatitis, hepatic failure and death, can occur in patients treated with drugs classified as CD20-directed cytolytic antibodies, including Rituxan. Cases have been reported in patients who are hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive and also in patients who are HBsAg negative but are hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) positive. Reactivation also has occurred in patients who appear to have resolved hepatitis B infection (i.e., HBsAg negative, anti-HBc positive and hepatitis B surface antibody [anti-HBs] positive).
HBV reactivation is defined as an abrupt increase in HBV replication manifesting as a rapid increase in serum HBV DNA level or detection of HBsAg in a person who was previously HBsAg negative and anti-HBc positive. Reactivation of HBV replication is often followed by hepatitis, i.e., increase in transaminase levels. In severe cases increase in bilirubin levels, liver failure, and death can occur.
Screen all patients for HBV infection by measuring HBsAg and anti-HBc before initiating treatment with Rituxan. For patients who show evidence of prior hepatitis B infection (HBsAg positive [regardless of antibody status] or HBsAg negative but anti-HBc positive), consult with physicians with expertise in managing hepatitis B regarding monitoring and consideration for HBV antiviral therapy before and/or during Rituxan treatment.
Monitor patients with evidence of current or prior HBV infection for clinical and laboratory signs of hepatitis or HBV reactivation during and for several months following Rituxan therapy. HBV reactivation has been reported up to 24 months following completion of Rituxan therapy.
In patients who develop reactivation of HBV while on Rituxan, immediately discontinue Rituxan and any concomitant chemotherapy, and institute appropriate treatment. Insufficient data exist regarding the safety of resuming Rituxan in patients who develop HBV reactivation. Resumption of Rituxan in patients whose HBV reactivation resolves should be discussed with physicians with expertise in managing hepatitis B. [See Boxed Warning, Adverse Reactions (6)]
JC virus infection resulting in PML and death can occur in Rituxan-treated patients with hematologic malignancies or with autoimmune diseases. The majority of patients with hematologic malignancies diagnosed with PML received Rituxan in combination with chemotherapy or as part of a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. The patients with autoimmune diseases had prior or concurrent immunosuppressive therapy. Most cases of PML were diagnosed within 12 months of their last infusion of Rituxan.
Consider the diagnosis of PML in any patient presenting with new-onset neurologic manifestations. Evaluation of PML includes, but is not limited to, consultation with a neurologist, brain MRI, and lumbar puncture. Discontinue Rituxan and consider discontinuation or reduction of any concomitant chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapy in patients who develop PML. [See Boxed Warning, Adverse Reactions (6)].
Acute renal failure, hyperkalemia, hypocalcemia, hyperuricemia, or hyperphosphatemia from tumor lysis, some fatal, can occur within 12–24 hours after the first infusion of Rituxan in patients with NHL. A high number of circulating malignant cells ( ≥ 25,000/mm3) or high tumor burden, confers a greater risk of TLS.
Administer aggressive intravenous hydration and anti-hyperuricemic therapy in patients at high risk for TLS. Correct electrolyte abnormalities, monitor renal function and fluid balance, and administer supportive care, including dialysis as indicated. [See Warnings and Precautions (5.8), Adverse Reactions (6)].
Serious, including fatal, bacterial, fungal, and new or reactivated viral infections can occur during and following the completion of Rituxan-based therapy. Infections have been reported in some patients with prolonged hypogammaglobulinemia (defined as hypogammaglobulinemia >11 months after rituximab exposure). New or reactivated viral infections included cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, parvovirus B19, varicella zoster virus, West Nile virus, and hepatitis B and C. Discontinue Rituxan for serious infections and institute appropriate anti-infective therapy. [See Adverse Reactions (6, 6.1)].