Phenytoin: Package Insert and Label Information
PHENYTOIN- phenytoin suspension
PAI Holdings, LLC
1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE
Phenytoin oral suspension is indicated for the treatment of tonic-clonic (grand mal) and psychomotor (temporal lobe) seizures.
2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
2.1 Important Administration Instructions
FOR ORAL ADMINISTRATION ONLY; NOT FOR PARENTERAL USE
A calibrated measuring device is recommended to measure and deliver the prescribed dose accurately. A household teaspoon or tablespoon is not an adequate measuring device.
2.2 Adult Dosage
The recommended starting dosage for adult patients who have received no previous treatment is 5 mL (125 mg/5 mL), or one teaspoonful, by mouth three times daily. Adjust the dosage to suit individual requirements, up to a maximum of 25 mL daily [see Dosage and Administration (2.4)].
2.3 Pediatric Dosage
The recommended starting dosage for pediatric patients is 5 mg/kg/day by mouth in two or three equally divided doses, with subsequent dosage individualized to a maximum of 300 mg daily in divided doses. A recommended daily maintenance dosage is usually 4 mg/kg/day to 8 mg/kg/day in equally divided doses. Children over 6 years and adolescents may require the minimum adult dosage (300 mg/day).
2.4 Dosage Adjustments
Dosage should be individualized to provide maximum benefit. In some cases, serum blood level determinations may be necessary for optimal dosage adjustments. Trough levels provide information about clinically effective serum level range and confirm patient compliance, and are obtained just prior to the patient’s next scheduled dose. Peak levels indicate an individual’s threshold for emergence of dose-related side effects and are obtained at the time of expected peak concentration. Therapeutic effect without clinical signs of toxicity occurs more often with serum total concentrations between 10 mcg/mL and 20 mcg/mL (unbound phenytoin concentrations of 1 mcg/mL to 2 mcg/mL), although some mild cases of tonic-clonic (grand mal) epilepsy may be controlled with lower serum levels of phenytoin. In patients with renal or hepatic disease, or in those with hypoalbuminemia, the monitoring of unbound phenytoin concentrations may be more relevant [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)].
With recommended dosages, a period of seven to ten days may be required to achieve phenytoin steady-state blood levels, and changes in dosage (increase or decrease) should not be carried out at intervals shorter than seven to ten days.
2.5 Switching Between Phenytoin Formulations
The free acid form of phenytoin is used in phenytoin oral suspension and phenytoin chewable tablets. Phenytoin extended capsules and parenteral phenytoin are formulated with the sodium salt of phenytoin. Because there is approximately an 8% increase in drug content with the free acid form over that of the sodium salt, dosage adjustments and serum level monitoring may be necessary when switching from a product formulated with the free acid to a product formulated with the sodium salt and vice versa.
2.6 Dosing in Patients with Renal or Hepatic Impairment or Hypoalbuminemia
Because the fraction of unbound phenytoin is increased in patients with renal or hepatic disease, or in those with hypoalbuminemia, the monitoring of phenytoin serum levels should be based on the unbound fraction in those patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11) and Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].
2.7 Geriatric Dosage
Phenytoin clearance is decreased slightly in elderly patients and lower or less frequent dosing may be required [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)] .
2.8 Dosing during Pregnancy
Decreased serum concentrations of phenytoin may occur during pregnancy because of altered phenytoin pharmacokinetics. Periodic measurement of serum phenytoin concentrations should be performed during pregnancy, and the phenytoin dosage should be adjusted as necessary. Postpartum restoration of the original dosage will probably be indicated [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)]. Because of potential changes in protein binding during pregnancy, the monitoring of phenytoin serum levels should be based on the unbound fraction.
3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS
Phenytoin oral suspension is available as a 125 mg phenytoin/5 mL oral suspension of orange color with an orange-vanilla flavor.
Phenytoin oral suspension is contraindicated in patients with:
- A history of hypersensitivity to phenytoin, its inactive ingredients, or other hydantoins [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]. Reactions have included angioedema.
- A history of prior acute hepatotoxicity attributable to phenytoin [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].
- Coadministration with delavirdine because of the potential for loss of virologic response and possible resistance to delavirdine or to the class of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
5.1 Withdrawal Precipitated Seizure, Status Epilepticus
Abrupt withdrawal of phenytoin in epileptic patients may precipitate status epilepticus. When in the judgment of the clinician the need for dosage reduction, discontinuation, or substitution of alternative anticonvulsant medication arises, this should be done gradually. However, in the event of an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction, more rapid substitution of alternative therapy may be necessary. In this case, alternative therapy should be an anticonvulsant not belonging to the hydantoin chemical class.
5.2 Suicidal Behavior and Ideation
Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including phenytoin, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.
Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono- and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI:1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide. The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as one week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed.
The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5 to 100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed.
Table 1 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs.
|Indication||Placebo Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients||Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients||Relative Risk: Incidence of Events in Drug Patients/Incidence in Placebo Patients||Risk Difference: Additional Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients|
The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications.
Anyone considering prescribing phenytoin or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, the prescriber needs to consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated.
Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.
5.3 Serious Dermatologic Reactions
Phenytoin can cause severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs), which may be fatal. Reported reactions in phenytoin-treated patients have included toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP), and Drug Reaction with Eosinophelia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)] . The onset of symptoms is usually within 28 days, but can occur later. Phenytoin oral suspension should be discontinued at the first sign of a rash, unless the rash is clearly not drug-related. If signs or symptoms suggest a severe cutaneous adverse reaction, use of this drug should not be resumed and alternative therapy should be considered. If a rash occurs, the patient should be evaluated for signs and symptoms of SCARs.
Studies in patients of Chinese ancestry have found a strong association between the risk of developing SJS/TEN and the presence of HLA-B*1502, an inherited allelic variant of the HLA B gene, in patients using carbamazepine. Limited evidence suggests that HLA-B*1502 may be a risk factor for the development of SJS/TEN in patients of Asian ancestry taking other antiepileptic drugs associated with SJS/TEN, including phenytoin. Consideration should be given to avoiding phenytoin as an alternative for carbamazepine in patients positive for HLA-B*1502.Studies in patients of Chinese ancestry have found a strong association between the risk of developing SJS/TEN and the presence of HLA-B*1502, an inherited allelic variant of the HLA B gene, in patients using carbamazepine. Limited evidence suggests that HLA-B*1502 may be a risk factor for the development of SJS/TEN in patients of Asian ancestry taking other antiepileptic drugs associated with SJS/TEN, including phenytoin. Consideration should be given to avoiding phenytoin as an alternative for carbamazepine in patients positive for HLA-B*1502.
The use of HLA-B*1502 genotyping has important limitations and must never substitute for appropriate clinical vigilance and patient management. The role of other possible factors in the development of, and morbidity from, SJS/TEN, such as antiepileptic drug (AED) dose, compliance, concomitant medications, comorbidities, and the level of dermatologic monitoring have not been studied.The use of HLA-B*1502 genotyping has important limitations and must never substitute for appropriate clinical vigilance and patient management. The role of other possible factors in the development of, and morbidity from, SJS/TEN, such as antiepileptic drug (AED) dose, compliance, concomitant medications, comorbidities, and the level of dermatologic monitoring have not been studied.
5.4 Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)/Multiorgan Hypersensitivity
Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), also known as Multiorgan hypersensitivity, has been reported in patients taking antiepileptic drugs, including phenytoin. Some of these events have been fatal or life-threatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, lymphadenopathy, and/or facial swelling, in association with other organ system involvement, such as hepatitis, nephritis, hematological abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis sometimes resembling an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. Because this disorder is variable in its expression, other organ systems not noted here may be involved. It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity, such as fever or lymphadenopathy, may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, the patient should be evaluated immediately. Phenytoin should be discontinued if an alternative etiology for the signs or symptoms cannot be established.
Phenytoin and other hydantoins are contraindicated in patients who have experienced phenytoin hypersensitivity [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.7)] . Additionally, consider alternatives to structurally similar drugs such as carboxamides (e.g., carbamazepine), barbiturates, succinimides, and oxazolidinediones (e.g., trimethadione) in these same patients. Similarly, if there is a history of hypersensitivity reactions to these structurally similar drugs in the patient or immediate family members, consider alternatives to phenytoin.
5.6 Cardiac Effects
Cases of bradycardia and cardiac arrest have been reported in phenytoin-treated patients, both at recommended phenytoin doses and levels, and in association with phenytoin toxicity [see Overdosage (10)] . Most of the reports of cardiac arrest occurred in patients with underlying cardiac disease.
Angioedema has been reported in patients treated with phenytoin in the post marketing setting. Phenytoin oral suspension should be discontinued immediately if symptoms of angioedema, such as facial, perioral, or upper airway swelling occur. Phenytoin oral suspension should be discontinued permanently if a clear alternative etiology for the reaction cannot be established.
5.8 Hepatic Injury
Cases of acute hepatotoxicity, including infrequent cases of acute hepatic failure, have been reported with phenytoin. These events may be part of the spectrum of DRESS or may occur in isolation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]. Other common manifestations include jaundice, hepatomegaly, elevated serum transaminase levels, leukocytosis, and eosinophilia. The clinical course of acute phenytoin hepatotoxicity ranges from prompt recovery to fatal outcomes. In these patients with acute hepatotoxicity, phenytoin should be immediately discontinued and not readministered.
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