Azithromycin Dihydrate: Package Insert and Label Information (Page 2 of 5)
Abnormal liver function, hepatitis, cholestatic jaundice, hepatic necrosis, and hepatic failure have been reported, some of which have resulted in death. Discontinue azithromycin immediately if signs and symptoms of hepatitis occur.
5.3 Infantile Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis (IHPS)
Following the use of azithromycin in neonates (treatment up to 42 days of life), IHPS has been reported. Direct parents and caregivers to contact their physician if vomiting or irritability with feeding occurs.
5.4 QT Prolongation
Prolonged cardiac repolarization and QT interval, imparting a risk of developing cardiac arrhythmia and torsades de pointes, have been seen with treatment with macrolides, including azithromycin. Cases of torsades de pointes have been spontaneously reported during postmarketing surveillance in patients receiving azithromycin. Providers should consider the risk of QT prolongation which can be fatal when weighing the risks and benefits of azithromycin for at-risk groups including:
patients with known prolongation of the QT interval, a history of torsades de pointes, congenital long QT syndrome, bradyarrhythmias or uncompensated heart failure
patients on drugs known to prolong the QT interval
patients with ongoing proarrhythmic conditions such as uncorrected hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia, clinically significant bradycardia, and in patients receiving Class IA (quinidine, procainamide) or Class III (dofetilide, amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmic agents.
Elderly patients may be more susceptible to drug-associated effects on the QT interval.
5.5 Clostridium difficile -Associated Diarrhea (CDAD)
Clostridium difficile -associated diarrhea has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including azithromycin, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon, leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.
C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antibacterial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.
If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile , and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.
5.6 Exacerbation of Myasthenia Gravis
Exacerbation of symptoms of myasthenia gravis and new onset of myasthenic syndrome have been reported in patients receiving azithromycin therapy.
5.7 Use in Sexually Transmitted Disease
Azithromycin tablets, at the recommended dose, should not be relied upon to treat syphilis. Antibacterial agents used to treat non-gonococcal urethritis may mask or delay the symptoms of incubating syphilis. All patients with sexually transmitted urethritis or cervicitis should have a serologic test for syphilis and appropriate testing for gonorrhea performed at the time of diagnosis. Appropriate antibacterial therapy and follow-up tests for these diseases should be initiated if infection is confirmed.
5.8 Development of Drug-Resistant Bacteria
Prescribing azithromycin tablets in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
6 ADVERSE REACTIONS
6.1 Clinical Trials Experience
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
In clinical trials, most of the reported side effects were mild to moderate in severity and were reversible upon discontinuation of the drug. Potentially serious adverse reactions of angioedema and cholestatic jaundice were reported. Approximately 0.7% of the patients (adults and pediatric patients) from the 5-day multiple-dose clinical trials discontinued azithromycin therapy because of treatment-related adverse reactions. In adults given 500 mg/day for 3 days, the discontinuation rate due to treatment-related adverse reactions was 0.6%. In clinical trials in pediatric patients given 30 mg/kg, either as a single dose or over 3 days, discontinuation from the trials due to treatment-related adverse reactions was approximately 1%. Most of the adverse reactions leading to discontinuation were related to the gastrointestinal tract, e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain [see Clinical Studies ( 14.2)] .
Overall, the most common treatment-related adverse reactions in adult patients receiving multiple-dose regimens of azithromycin were related to the gastrointestinal system with diarrhea/loose stools (4 to 5%), nausea (3%), and abdominal pain (2 to 3%) being the most frequently reported.
No other adverse reactions occurred in patients on the multiple-dose regimens of azithromycin with a frequency greater than 1%. Adverse reactions that occurred with a frequency of 1% or less included the following:
Palpitations, chest pain.
Dyspepsia, flatulence, vomiting, melena, and cholestatic jaundice.
Monilia, vaginitis, and nephritis.
Dizziness, headache, vertigo, and somnolence.
Rash, pruritus, photosensitivity, and angioedema.
Single 1-gram dose regimen
Overall, the most common adverse reactions in patients receiving a single-dose regimen of 1 gram of azithromycin were related to the gastrointestinal system and were more frequently reported than in patients receiving the multiple-dose regimen.
Adverse reactions that occurred in patients on the single 1-gram dosing regimen of azithromycin with a frequency of 1% or greater included diarrhea/loose stools (7%), nausea (5%), abdominal pain (5%), vomiting (2%), dyspepsia (1%), and vaginitis (1%).
Single 2-gram dose regimen
Overall, the most common adverse reactions in patients receiving a single 2-gram dose of azithromycin were related to the gastrointestinal system. Adverse reactions that occurred in patients in this study with a frequency of 1% or greater included nausea (18%), diarrhea/loose stools (14%), vomiting (7%), abdominal pain (7%), vaginitis (2%), dyspepsia (1%), and dizziness (1%). The majority of these complaints were mild in nature.
Single and Multiple-dose regimens: The types of adverse reactions in pediatric patients were comparable to those seen in adults, with different incidence rates for the dosage regimens recommended in pediatric patients.
Acute Otitis Media For the recommended total dosage regimen of 30 mg/kg, the most frequent adverse reactions (≥1%) attributed to treatment were diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and rash [see Dosage and Administration ( 2) and Clinical Studies ( 14.2)] .
The incidence, based on dosing regimen, is described in the table below:
|Dosage Regimen||Diarrhea %||Abdominal Pain %||Vomiting %||Nausea %||Rash %|
|1-day||4.3 %||1.4 %||4.9 %||1.0 %||1.0 %|
|3-day||2.6 %||1.7 %||2.3 %||0.4 %||0.6 %|
|5-day||1.8 %||1.2 %||1.1 %||0.5 %||0.4 %|
Community-Acquired Pneumonia For the recommended dosage regimen of 10 mg/kg on Day 1 followed by 5 mg/kg on Days 2 to 5, the most frequent adverse reactions attributed to treatment were diarrhea/loose stools, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and rash.
The incidence is described in the table below:
|Dosage Regimen||Diarrhea/ Loose stools %||Abdominal Pain %||Vomiting %||Nausea %||Rash %|
|5-day||5.8 %||1.9 %||1.9 %||1.9 %||1.6 %|
Pharyngitis/Tonsillitis For the recommended dosage regimen of 12 mg/kg on Days 1 to 5, the most frequent adverse reactions attributed to treatment were diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, and headache.
The incidence is described in the table below:
|Dosage Regimen||Diarrhea %||Abdominal Pain %||Vomiting %||Nausea %||Rash %||Headache %|
|5-day||5.4 %||3.4 %||5.6 %||1.8 %||0.7 %||1.1 %|
With any of the treatment regimens, no other adverse reactions occurred in pediatric patients treated with azithromycin with a frequency greater than 1%. Adverse reactions that occurred with a frequency of 1% or less included the following:
Dyspepsia, constipation, anorexia, enteritis, flatulence, gastritis, jaundice, loose stools, and oral moniliasis.
Hematologic and Lymphatic
Anemia and leukopenia.
Headache (otitis media dosage), hyperkinesia, dizziness, agitation, nervousness, and insomnia.
Fever, face edema, fatigue, fungal infection, malaise, and pain.
Rash and allergic reaction.
Cough, pharyngitis, pleural effusion, and rhinitis.
Skin and Appendages
Eczema, fungal dermatitis, pruritus, sweating, urticaria, and vesiculobullous rash.
6.2 Postmarketing Experience
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of azithromycin. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Adverse reactions reported with azithromycin during the postmarketing period in adult and/or pediatric patients for which a causal relationship may not be established include:
Arthralgia, edema, urticaria, and angioedema.
Arrhythmias including ventricular tachycardia and hypotension. There have been reports of QT prolongation and torsades de pointes.
Anorexia, constipation, dyspepsia, flatulence, vomiting/diarrhea, pseudomembranous colitis, pancreatitis, oral candidiasis, pyloric stenosis, and reports of tongue discoloration.
Asthenia, paresthesia, fatigue, malaise, and anaphylaxis.
Interstitial nephritis and acute renal failure and vaginitis.
Abnormal liver function, hepatitis, cholestatic jaundice, hepatic necrosis, and hepatic failure [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.2)] .
Convulsions, dizziness/vertigo, headache, somnolence, hyperactivity, nervousness, agitation, and syncope.
Aggressive reaction and anxiety.
Pruritus, serious skin reactions including erythema multiforme, AGEP, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and DRESS.
Hearing disturbances including hearing loss, deafness and/or tinnitus, and reports of taste/smell perversion and/or loss.
6.3 Laboratory Abnormalities
Clinically significant abnormalities (irrespective of drug relationship) occurring during the clinical trials were reported as follows: with an incidence of greater than 1%: decreased hemoglobin, hematocrit, lymphocytes, neutrophils, and blood glucose; elevated serum creatine phosphokinase, potassium, ALT, GGT, AST, BUN, creatinine, blood glucose, platelet count, lymphocytes, neutrophils, and eosinophils; with an incidence of less than 1%: leukopenia, neutropenia, decreased sodium, potassium, platelet count, elevated monocytes, basophils, bicarbonate, serum alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, LDH, and phosphate. The majority of subjects with elevated serum creatinine also had abnormal values at baseline. When follow-up was provided, changes in laboratory tests appeared to be reversible.
In multiple-dose clinical trials involving more than 5,000 patients, four patients discontinued therapy because of treatment-related liver enzyme abnormalities and one because of a renal function abnormality.
One, Three, and Five Day Regimens
Laboratory data collected from comparative clinical trials employing two 3-day regimens (30 mg/kg or 60 mg/kg in divided doses over 3 days), or two 5-day regimens (30 mg/kg or 60 mg/kg in divided doses over 5 days) were similar for regimens of azithromycin and all comparators combined, with most clinically significant laboratory abnormalities occurring at incidences of 1 to 5%. Laboratory data for patients receiving 30 mg/kg as a single dose were collected in one single center trial. In that trial, an absolute neutrophil count between 500 to 1,500 cells/mm 3 was observed in 10/64 patients receiving 30 mg/kg as a single dose, 9/62 patients receiving 30 mg/kg given over 3 days, and 8/63 comparator patients. No patient had an absolute neutrophil count <500 cells/mm 3.
In multiple-dose clinical trials involving approximately 4,700 pediatric patients, no patients discontinued therapy because of treatment-related laboratory abnormalities.
7 DRUG INTERACTIONS
Co-administration of nelfinavir at steady-state with a single oral dose of azithromycin resulted in increased azithromycin serum concentrations. Although a dose adjustment of azithromycin is not recommended when administered in combination with nelfinavir, close monitoring for known adverse reactions of azithromycin, such as liver enzyme abnormalities and hearing impairment, is warranted [see Adverse Reactions ( 6)] .
Spontaneous postmarketing reports suggest that concomitant administration of azithromycin may potentiate the effects of oral anticoagulants such as warfarin, although the prothrombin time was not affected in the dedicated drug interaction study with azithromycin and warfarin. Prothrombin times should be carefully monitored while patients are receiving azithromycin and oral anticoagulants concomitantly.
7.3 Potential Drug-Drug Interactions with Macrolides
Interactions with digoxin or phenytoin have not been reported in clinical trials with azithromycin; however, no specific drug interaction studies have been performed to evaluate potential drug-drug interactions. However, drug interactions have been observed with other macrolide products. Until further data are developed regarding drug interactions when digoxin or phenytoin are used concomitantly with azithromycin careful monitoring of patients is advised.
8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
Pregnancy Category B
Reproduction studies have been performed in rats and mice at doses up to moderately maternally toxic dose concentrations (i.e., 200 mg/kg/day). These daily doses in rats and mice, based on body surface area, are estimated to be 4 and 2 times, respectively, an adult daily dose of 500 mg. In the animal studies, no evidence of harm to the fetus due to azithromycin was found. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, azithromycin should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
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