Fludarabine Phosphate: Package Insert and Label Information

FLUDARABINE PHOSPHATE- fludarabine phosphate injection, solution
Actavis Pharma, Inc.

WARNING: SEVERE BONE MARROW SUPPRESSION, CNS TOXICITY, HEMOLYTIC ANEMIA, AND PULMONARY TOXICITY

Fludarabine Phosphate Injection should be administered under the supervision of a qualified physician experienced in the use of antineoplastic therapy. Fludarabine phosphate injection can severely suppress bone marrow function. When used at high doses in dose-ranging studies in patients with acute leukemia, fludarabine phosphate injection was associated with severe neurologic effects, including blindness, coma, and death. This severe central nervous system toxicity occurred in 36% of patients treated with doses approximately four times greater (96 mg/m 2 /day for 5 to 7 days) than the recommended dose. Similar severe central nervous system toxicity, including coma, seizures, agitation and confusion, has been reported in patients treated at doses in the range of the dose recommended for chronic lymphocytic leukemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2) ].

Instances of life-threatening and sometimes fatal autoimmune phenomena such as hemolytic anemia, autoimmune thrombocytopenia/thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), Evans syndrome, and acquired hemophilia have been reported to occur after one or more cycles of treatment with fludarabine phosphate injection. Patients undergoing treatment with Fludarabine Phosphate Injection should be evaluated and closely monitored for hemolysis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) ].

In a clinical investigation using fludarabine phosphate in combination with pentostatin (deoxycoformycin) for the treatment of refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), there was an unacceptably high incidence of fatal pulmonary toxicity. Therefore, the use of Fludarabine Phosphate Injection in combination with pentostatin is not recommended [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5) ].

1 INDICATIONS & USAGE

1.1 Indication

Fludarabine Phosphate Injection, USP is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who have not responded to or whose disease has progressed during treatment with at least one standard alkylating-agent containing regimen. The safety and effectiveness of Fludarabine Phosphate Injection, USP in previously untreated or non-refractory patients with CLL have not been established.

2 DOSAGE & ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Recommended Dose

The recommended adult dose of Fludarabine Phosphate Injection is 25 mg/m2 administered intravenously over a period of approximately 30 minutes daily for five consecutive days. Each 5-day course of treatment should commence every 28 days. Dosage may be decreased or delayed based on evidence of hematologic or nonhematologic toxicity. Physicians should consider delaying or discontinuing the drug if neurotoxicity occurs.

A number of clinical settings may predispose to increased toxicity from Fludarabine Phosphate Injection. These include advanced age, renal impairment, and bone marrow impairment. Such patients should be monitored closely for excessive toxicity and the dose modified accordingly.

The optimal duration of treatment has not been clearly established. It is recommended that three additional cycles of Fludarabine Phosphate Injection be administered following the achievement of a maximal response and then the drug should be discontinued.

2.2 Renal Impairment

Adjustments to the starting dose are recommended to provide appropriate drug exposure in patients with creatinine clearance 30 to 79 mL/min, as estimated by the Cockroft-Gault equations. These adjustments are based on a pharmacokinetic study in patients with renal impairment. Fludarabine Phosphate Injection should not be administered to patients with creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/min.

Starting Dose Adjustment for Renal Impairment
Creatinine Clearance Starting: Dose
≥ 80 mL/min 25 mg/m2 (full dose)
50 to 79 mL/min 20 mg/m2
30 to 49 mL/min 15 mg/m2
< 30 mL/min Do not administer

Renally impaired patients should be monitored closely for excessive toxicity and the dose modified accordingly.

2.3 Use of Infusion Solutions

Fludarabine Phosphate Injection contains no antimicrobial preservative and should be used within 8 hours of opening. Care must be taken to assure sterility of infusion solutions. Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit.

Fludarabine Phosphate Injection should not be mixed with other drugs.

3 DOSAGE FORMS & STRENGTHS

Fludarabine phosphate injection, USP is supplied as a 50 mg/2 mL (25 mg/mL) sterile solution.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

None

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

[see (BOXED WARNINGS)]

5.1 Dose Dependent Neurologic Toxicities

There are clear dose dependent toxic effects seen with fludarabine phosphate. Dose levels approximately 4 times greater (96 mg/m2 /day for 5 to 7 days) than that recommended for CLL (25 mg/m2 /day for 5 days) were associated with a syndrome characterized by delayed blindness, coma and death. Symptoms appeared from 21 to 60 days following the last dose. Thirteen of 36 patients (36%) who received fludarabine phosphate at high doses (96 mg/m2 /day for 5 to 7 days) developed this severe neurotoxicity. Similar severe central nervous system toxicity, including coma, seizures, agitation and confusion, has been reported in patients treated at doses in the range of the dose recommended for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

In postmarketing experience neurotoxicity has been reported to occur either earlier or later than in clinical trials (range 7 to 225 days).

The effect of chronic administration of fludarabine phosphate on the central nervous system is unknown; however, patients have received the recommended dose for up to 15 courses of therapy.

Fludarabine phosphate may reduce the ability to drive or use mechanical equipment, since fatigue, weakness, visual disturbances, confusion, agitation and seizures have been observed.

5.2 Bone Marrow Suppression

Severe bone marrow suppression, notably anemia, thrombocytopenia and neutropenia, has been reported in patients treated with fludarabine phosphate. In a Phase I study in adult solid tumor patients, the median time to nadir counts was 13 days (range, 3 to 25 days) for granulocytes and 16 days (range, 2 to 32 days) for platelets. Most patients had hematologic impairment at baseline either as a result of disease or as a result of prior myelosuppressive therapy. Cumulative myelosuppression may be seen. While chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression is often reversible, administration of Fludarabine Phosphate Injection requires careful hematologic monitoring.

Several instances of trilineage bone marrow hypoplasia or aplasia resulting in pancytopenia, sometimes resulting in death, have been reported in adult patients. The duration of clinically significant cytopenia in the reported cases has ranged from approximately 2 months to approximately 1 year. These episodes have occurred both in previously treated or untreated patients.

5.3 Autoimmune Reactions

Instances of life-threatening and sometimes fatal autoimmune phenomena such as hemolytic anemia, autoimmune thrombocytopenia/thrombocytopenic purura (ITP), Evans syndrome, and acquired hemophilia have been reported to occur after one or more cycles of treatment with fludarabine phosphate in patients with or without a previous history of autoimmune hemolytic anemia or a positive Coombs’ test and who may or may not be in remission from their disease. Steroids may or may not be effective in controlling these hemolytic episodes. The majority of patients rechallenged with fludarabine phosphate developed a recurrence in the hemolytic process. The mechanism(s) which predispose patients to the development of this complication has not been identified. Patients undergoing treatment with Fludarabine Phosphate Injection should be evaluated and closely monitored for hemolysis. Discontinuation of therapy with Fludarabine Phosphate Injection is recommended in case of hemolysis.

5.4 Transfusion Associated Graft-Versus-Host Disease

Transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease has been observed after transfusion of non-irradiated blood in fludarabine phosphate treated patients. Fatal outcome as a consequence of this disease has been reported. Therefore, to minimize the risk of transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease, patients who require blood transfusion and who are undergoing, or who have received, treatment with Fludarabine Phosphate Injection should receive irradiated blood only.

5.5 Pulmonary Toxicity

In a clinical investigation using fludarabine phosphate in combination with pentostatin (deoxycoformycin) for the treatment of refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in adults, there was an unacceptably high incidence of fatal pulmonary toxicity. Therefore, the use of Fludarabine Phosphate Injection in combination with pentostatin is not recommended.

5.6 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category D

Based on its mechanism of action, fludarabine phosphate can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of fludarabine phosphate injection in pregnant women, Fludarabine phosphate was embryolethal and teratogenic in rats and rabbits. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

5.7 Male Fertility and Reproductive Outcomes

Males with female sexual partners of childbearing potential should use contraception during and after cessation of fludarabine phosphate therapy. Fludarabine phosphate may damage testicular tissue and spermatozoa. Possible sperm DNA damage raises concerns about loss of fertility and genetic abnormalities in fetuses. The duration of this effect is uncertain [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)].

5.8 Tumor Lysis

Tumor lysis syndrome has been associated with fludarabine phosphate treatment. This syndrome has been reported in CLL patients with large tumor burdens. Since fludarabine phosphate can induce a response as early as the first week of treatment, precautions should be taken in those patients at risk of developing this complication.

5.9 Renal Impairment

Fludarabine Phosphate Injection must be administered cautiously in patients with renal impairment. The total body clearance of 2-fluoro-ara-A has been shown to be directly correlated with creatinine clearance. Patients with creatinine clearance 30 to 79 mL/min should have their fludarabine phosphate dose reduced and be monitored closely for excessive toxicity. Fludarabine phosphate should not be administered to patients with creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/min [see Dosage and Administration (2.2) and Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].

In patients aged 65 years or older, creatinine clearance should be measured before start of treatment.

5.10 Vaccination

During and after treatment with Fludarabine Phosphate Injection, vaccination with live vaccines should be avoided.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

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. Very common adverse reactions include myelosuppression (neutropenia, thrombocytopenia and anemia), fever and chills, fatigue, weakness, infection, pneumonia, cough, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Other commonly reported events include malaise, mucositis, and anorexia. Serious opportunistic infections have occurred in CLL patients treated with fludarabine phosphate. The most frequently reported adverse reactions and those reactions which are more clearly related to the drug are arranged below according to body system.

6.1 Hematopoietic Systems

Hematologic events (neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and/or anemia) were reported in the majority of CLL patients treated with fludarabine phosphate. During fludarabine phosphate treatment of 133 patients with CLL, the absolute neutrophil count decreased to less than 500/mm3 in 59% of patients, hemoglobin decreased from pretreatment values by at least 2 grams percent in 60%, and platelet count decreased from pretreatment values by at least 50% in 55%. Myelosuppression may be severe, cumulative, and may affect multiple cell lines. Bone marrow fibrosis occurred in one CLL patient treated with fludarabine phosphate.

Several instances of trilineage bone marrow hypoplasia or aplasia resulting in pancytopenia, sometimes resulting in death, have been reported in post-marketing surveillance. The duration of clinically significant cytopenia in the reported cases has ranged from approximately 2 months to approximately 1 year. These episodes have occurred both in previously treated or untreated patients.

Life-threatening and sometimes fatal autoimmune phenomena such as hemolytic anemias, autoimmune thrombocytopenia/thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), Evans syndrome, and acquired hemophilia have been reported to occur in patients receiving fludarabine phosphate [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]. The majority of patients rechallenged with fludarabine phosphate developed a recurrence in the hemolytic process.

In post-marketing experience, cases of myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia, mainly associated with prior, concomitant or subsequent treatment with alkylating agents, topoisomerase inhibitors, or irradiation have been reported.

6.2 Infections

Serious and sometimes fatal infections, including opportunistic infections and reactivations of latent viral infections such as VZV (herpes zoster), Epstein-Barr virus and JC virus (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy) have been reported in patients treated with fludarabine phosphate.

Rare cases of Epstein-Barr (EBV) associated lymphoproliferative disorders have been reported in patients treated with fludarabine phosphate.

In post-marketing experience, cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy have been reported. Most cases had a fatal outcome. Many of these cases were confounded by prior and/or concurrent chemotherapy. The time to onset ranged from a few weeks to approximately one year after initiating treatment.

Of the 133 adult CLL patients in the two trials, there were 29 fatalities during study, approximately 50% of which were due to infection.

6.3 Metabolic

Tumor lysis syndrome has been reported in CLL patients treated with fludarabine phosphate. This complication may include hyperuricemia, hyperphosphatemia, hypocalcemia, metabolic acidosis, hyperkalemia, hematuria, urate crystalluria, and renal failure. The onset of this syndrome may be heralded by flank pain and hematuria.

6.4 Nervous System

Objective weakness, agitation, confusion, seizures, visual disturbances, optic neuritis, optic neuropathy, blindness and coma have occurred in CLL patients treated with fludarabine phosphate at the recommended dose. Peripheral neuropathy has been observed in patients treated with fludarabine phosphate and one case of wrist-drop was reported. There have been additional reports of cerebral hemorrhage though the frequency is not known [see Warnings and Precautions (5)].

6.5 Pulmonary System

Pneumonia, a frequent manifestation of infection in CLL patients, occurred in 16%, and 22% of those treated with fludarabine phosphate in the MDAH and SWOG studies, respectively. Pulmonary hypersensitivity reactions to fludarabine phosphate characterized by dyspnea, cough and interstitial pulmonary infiltrate have been observed.

In post-marketing experience, cases of severe pulmonary toxicity have been observed with fludarabine phosphate use which resulted in ARDS, respiratory distress, pulmonary hemorrhage, pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonitis and respiratory failure. After an infectious origin has been excluded, some patients experienced symptom improvement with corticosteroids.

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