Honey Bee Hymenoptera Venom Venomil Diagnostic: Package Insert and Label Information

HONEY BEE HYMENOPTERA VENOM VENOMIL DIAGNOSTIC-
HONEY BEE HYMENOPTERA VENOM VENOMIL MAINTENANCE-
WHITE FACED HORNET HYMENOPTERA VENOM VENOMIL DIAGNOSTIC-
WHITE FACED HORNET HYMENOPTERA VENOM VENOMIL MAINTENANCE-
YELLOW HORNET HYMENOPTERA VENOM VENOMIL DIAGNOSTIC-
YELLOW HORNET HYMENOPTERA VENOM VENOMIL MAINTENANCE-
WASP HYMENOPTERA VENOM VENOMIL DIAGNOSTIC-
WASP HYMENOPTERA VENOM VENOMIL MAINTENANCE-
YELLOW JACKET HYMENOPTERA VENOM VENOMIL DIAGNOSTIC-
YELLOW JACKET HYMENOPTERA VENOM VENOMIL MAINTENANCE-
MIXED VESPID HYMENOPTERA VENOM VENOMIL MAINTENANCE-
Jubilant HollisterStier LLC

WARNINGS

This product is intended for use only by licensed medical personnel experienced in administering allergenic extracts and trained to provide immediate emergency treatment in the event of a life-threatening reaction.
Hymenoptera Venom extracts may potentially elicit a severe life-threatening systemic reaction, rarely resulting in death.(1) Therefore, emergency measures and personnel trained in their use must be available immediately in the event of such a reaction. Patients should be instructed to recognize adverse reaction symptoms, observed in the office for at least 30 minutes after skin testing or treatment, and cautioned to contact the physician’s office if symptoms occur. See ADVERSE REACTION, Section 4, of this instruction for information regarding adverse event reporting.
All patients should have available an Emergency Anaphylaxis Kit containing epinephrine and be instructed in its use for emergency treatment of possible systemic reactions occurring at times after the patient has departed the testing or treatment premises. Patients with cardiovascular diseases and/or pulmonary diseases such as symptomatic unstable, steroid-dependent asthma, and/or those who are receiving cardiovascular drugs such as beta blockers, may be at higher risk for severe adverse reactions. These patients may also be more refractory to the normal allergy treatment regimen. Patients should be treated only if the benefit of treatment outweighs the risks .(1)
Patients on beta blockers may be more reactive to allergens given for testing or treatment and may be unresponsive to the usual doses of epinephrine used to treat allergic reactions .(2)
Immunotherapy for insect sting allergy should be given to those patients who have experienced significant systemic reactions (for detailed description of symptoms see INDICATIONS AND USAGE and ADVERSE REACTIONS) from insect stings and who demonstrate hypersensitivity by skin testing with these products. The only approved method for diagnosing insect sting allergic patients for immunization is by skin testing.
This product must never be injected intravenously.
Refer also to CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS and OVERDOSAGE for further discussion.

DESCRIPTION

Hymenoptera Venom Products available are sterile freeze-dried venom of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) and venom protein of Yellow Jacket (Vespula sp.), Yellow Hornet (Dolichovespula arenaria) , White-Faced Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) and Wasp (Polistes sp.). Mixed Vespid venom protein (Yellow Jacket, Yellow Hornet and White-Faced Hornet) is also available.

The reconstituted single venom products are intended for subcutaneous injection for immunotherapy and percutaneous use for diagnosis. The Mixed Vespid venom protein is for immunotherapy only, not for diagnosis. Diagnosis should be based on individual venoms.
Because of the difficulty in collecting all species of Yellow Jacket and Wasp, the venom raw materials for these two insects may vary in species composition from lot to lot. A listing of the exact species content for any particular lot of Yellow Jacket or Wasp venom protein may be obtained by calling Technical Services at Jubilant HollisterStier, (800) 992-1120.

Final containers of sterile freeze-dried venom products are sealed under vacuum. This will result in the diluting fluid being forcibly drawn into the sealed vial when the syringe needle penetrates the seal during reconstitution. See PRECAUTIONS.Venom or venom protein is supplied in 2 mL diagnostic vials and in 2 mL vials for treatment maintenance. The chart below lists for each vial size the content of lyophilized venom or venom protein and reconstituted product, (mannitol and venom concentrations). Trace amounts of sodium chloride, potassium chloride, acetic acid and beta-alanine, as well as the constituents of the reconstituting fluid, will also be present.

Vial Size µg Venom or Venom Protein Reconstitution mg/mL Mannitol Venom Concentration
Single Venom 2 mL 120 1.2 mL 7.7 mg/mL 100µg/mL
Mixed Vespid 2 mL 360 1.2 mL 23.1 mg/mL 300 µg/mL

See product configuration in DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION Section.

Maintenance sterile freeze-dried products can be reconstituted in Sterile Albumin Saline with Phenol (which contains 0.9% NaCl, 0.4% phenol and 0.03% Human Serum Albumin) to a concentration of 100 µg/mL (300 µg/mL for Mixed Vespid venom protein). The diagnostic product should be reconstituted only with Sterile Albumin Saline with Phenol (0.4%). See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION for details of dilutions for diagnosis and treatment.

Space is provided on the container label to record the date (month, day, year) venom is reconstituted. Refer to dating period shown under PRECAUTIONS. At the time of reconstitution, write the calculated reconstituted product expiration date (month, day, year) on the vial label in the space provided.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Diagnosis
Diluted solutions of stinging insect venom injected intradermally will produce wheal and erythema reactions in patients who have significant IgE-mediated, Type I immediate hypersensitivity to stings of these insects.
Treatment
Repeated injections of increasing doses of insect venom extracts have been shown to ameliorate the intensity of allergic symptoms upon subsequent insect stings.(3, 4)
The mechanism by which hyposensitization is achieved is not known completely. IgG antibodies (blocking antibodies) appear in the serum of patients treated with injected venom. No direct relationship has been identified between the level of blocking antibody (or the ratio of blocking antibody to IgE antibody directed to the same venom antigens) and the degree of hyposensitization. However, patients who show protection from symptoms after stings have been found to have significant levels of specific blocking antibody.(3, 4)
Initially, after a period of immunotherapy with specific venom antigens, levels of IgE antibody may increase.(4)However, from studies carried out with other venom preparations, these levels are reported to decline after a time.(5) After maintenance level has been reached and maintained, symptoms after stings have been shown to decrease considerably.(3, 4)
It is not known if skin-sensitizing antibody can be eradicated or if the patient can be entirely cured, nor is it known how long immunotherapy must be continued.
In a clinical study with Jubilant HollisterStier venom products, injections (using the Suggested Dose Schedule under DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION) were given once per week at one study center, and twice or more per week at another center.(4) (For further discussion, see below). It must be considered important to achieve the 100 µg per venom maintenance dose (the maintenance dose for Mixed Vespid venom protein is 300 µg), since there are no data on effectiveness of maintenance levels below 100 µg per venom.
In the clinical trial, 97% of patients at the maintenance dosage (100 µg per venom) showed no systemic reaction following an insect sting challenge.(4)The remaining 3% had a milder reaction than noted prior to treatment. The patients in this study reached maintenance (100 µg per venom) usually within 2 1/2 -3 1/2 months after beginning therapy.(4)Whether efficacy of therapy is influenced by the time required to reach maintenance has not yet been determined.
Large local reactions occurred in approximately 60% of the patients given immunotherapy. Some form of systemic response occurred, often repeatedly, in one-third of the patients treated in the clinical trial.(4)Only one systemic response occurred on the first dose given. The rest occurred at various times in the course of immunotherapy. Some systemic manifestations may have occurred because of the patient’s apprehension, and did not require treatment. Approximately one-fourth of the patients experiencing systemic responses were given some form of specific therapy (epinephrine, theophylline, or metaproteranol), some on several occasions.(4)
In deciding the criteria for proceeding from dose to dose of the Suggested Dose Schedule (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION), the results of the clinical study (4)should be considered. A study center “A” reporting the least number of systemic reactions during pre-maintenance treatment held the dose constant in most of the cases where significant local reactions occurred. With the systemic reactions reported, this center held the dose the same in approximately 80% of the incidences. The treatment injections were given at this center usually once per week, and if a patient missed an appointment, the next dose was often the same as the preceding dose (depending on the previous reactivity of the patient). Patients treated at this center reached maintenance in an average of 17-19 visits. Another study center “B”, reporting a higher incidence of systemic reactions, was more regimented in following the Suggested Dose Schedule. This center reduced or held the dose the same in less than 10% of the cases reporting significant local reactions. With the systemic reactions reported, this center held the dose the same or reduced the dosage in approximately 20% of the cases. At this center, more than one injection per week was given at the outset as circumstances and sensitivity allowed. Patients treated at this center reached maintenance in an average of 14 visits.
Following the achievement of maintenance level (100 µg per venom), approximately 80% or more patients were given a second maintenance injection at a 1-week interval. The third maintenance injection was usually (in approximately 60% of the patients) at a 2-week interval. The next injection was usually within 3 weeks, and thereafter, the patients were injected for ongoing maintenance at approximately monthly intervals.(4)

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Insect stings may induce a wide range of allergic symptoms in sensitive patients. A normal sting response is initial burning or stinging pain that may be intense and last several minutes to an hour or more. There is usually some local swelling coming on immediately and persisting for several days. The location of the sting has considerable influence on the intensity of the pain and extent of swelling. Stings on the fingers or feet produce much pain, but less swelling; whereas a sting on the head or face produces extensive swelling with variable pain.

Local reactions coming on rapidly and larger than the usual local reaction, particularly if the swelling spans both adjacent joints on the extremities, can indicate hypersensitivity. Systemic symptoms come on shortly after the sting, often within seconds to minutes. Symptoms may range from generalized flushing, itching, redness, diffuse swelling of the skin or urticarial wheals, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, or incontinence of urine or stool, to faintness, blurring or loss of vision, unconsciousness, seizures, respiratory or cardiac arrest, or death. Later reactions may consist of fever, achiness, malaise, joint swelling, urticaria or other signs of vascular damage typical of serum sickness, a Type III reaction. Typical delayed Type IV reactions may also occur.(6) Rarely, other types of severe reactions to insect stings have been reported.(6)These include serum sickness, hematologic abnormalities, and neurological disorders commencing some time after a sting, and not associated with anaphylactoid reactions. These patients are not candidates for immunotherapy using insect venoms.

(1) Diagnosis
Skin testing with insect venoms is useful to demonstrate the presence of IgE antibodies which account for the patient’s symptoms.(3)Patients are seldom able to identify the insect which stung them, so skin testing is used to determine the insect culprit. Dilutions of these venom products will help judge the sensitivity of the patient and whether the patient should be treated.(7)
It is not absolutely known what levels (micrograms) of venom, that elicit positive skin tests, are diagnostic of clinical sensitivity. However, patients with a history of reactions (any of three types: generalized urticaria or angioedema; respiratory difficulty due either to laryngeal edema or to bronchospasm; or vascular collapse, with or without loss of consciousness) to previous stings and a positive skin test to a venom intradermal injection of approximately 1 µg/mL had about a 60% chance of reacting again when stung by the same insect. These patients should receive venom immunotherapy.(3)
Patients with a history of reaction (any of the three reaction types described above) to previous stings, but who did not demonstrate a positive skin test reaction to venom, were considered in a previous study not to be clinically sensitive, and were not treated.(3) We cannot recommend treatment for such patients.
Another study demonstrated false positive reactions when skin testing with venom concentrations of 10 µg/mL and 100 µg/mL was carried out.(8) Thus there can be a nonspecific skin test reaction potentially due to the pharmacological action of the venom at higher concentrations.
The best statement that can be made, at present, is that patients with significant positive history (reactions of the three types described above) following an insect sting, and who do react with a positive skin test to a venom concentration of 1 µg/mL or less, are recommended for treatment. Patients who have the history described above, but who do not react to a 1 µg/mL intradermal venom skin test, cannot be recommended for treatment. At present, the data does not exist, to determine whether a patient who might react to a higher concentration, e.g., 2-10 µg/mL, is at risk from a subsequent sting or not. Since it is not known if sting-sensitive patients who subsequently lose their IgE anti-venom antibody can be resensitized by further stings, it is advisable to retest these patients after any subsequent stings.(3) However, since the level of venom-specific IgE may fall to low levels briefly after a sting, patients should not be re-tested until 2 to 4 weeks after any sting.

(2) Treatment
Immunotherapy is indicated for those patients diagnosed as sensitive (see Diagnosis above) and is accomplished by using graduated dilutions of the appropriate insect venom or venoms to control the severity of the patient’s symptoms from subsequent stings.
Increasing doses of venom are given at intervals, dependent on the patient’s ability to tolerate the venoms, until a maintenance dosage (100 µg per venom is recommended — 300 µg in the case of the Mixed Vespid venom protein) is reached and maintained.
Venom sensitivity differs for individual patients, thus it is not possible to provide a dosage schedule that is universally suited to all patients. The dosage schedule shown under DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION is a summary of the schedule used in clinical trials of our product and found suitable for the majority of patients.
In highly sensitive patients, the physician may be required to use a modified dose schedule, based on the patient’s sensitivity to and tolerance of the injections. Lower initial doses and smaller dosage increments than shown under DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION may be necessary.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

There are no known absolute contraindications to immunotherapy using Hymenoptera Venom Products. See also PRECAUTIONS and WARNINGS.
Patients showing negative intradermal skin tests to specific venoms at 1 µg/mL are not recommended for venom treatment.
Any injections, including immunotherapy, should be avoided in patients with a bleeding tendency. Patients with cardiovascular diseases and/or pulmonary diseases such as symptomatic unstable, steroid-dependent asthma, and/or those who are receiving cardiovascular drugs such as beta blockers, may be at higher risk for severe adverse reactions. These patients may also be more refractory to the normal allergy treatment regimen. Patients should be treated only if the benefit of treatment outweighs the risks.(1)
Patients on beta blockers may be more reactive to allergens given for testing or treatment and maybe unresponsive to the usual doses of epinephrine used to treat systemic reactions .(2)
Since there are differences of opinion concerning the possibility of routine immunizations exacerbating autoimmune diseases, immunotherapy should be given cautiously to patients with other immunologic diseases and only if the risk from insect stings is greater than the risk of exacerbating the underlying disorder.

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