SAIZEN — somatropin
EMD Serono, Inc.
SAIZEN (somatropin) is indicated for the treatment of pediatric patients with growth failure due to inadequate secretion of endogenous growth hormone.
SAIZEN is indicated for replacement of endogenous growth hormone in adults with growth hormone deficiency who meet either of the following two criteria:
Patients who have growth hormone deficiency, either alone or associated with multiple hormone deficiencies (hypopituitarism), as a result of pituitary disease, hypothalamic disease, surgery, radiation therapy, or trauma; or
Patients who were growth hormone deficient during childhood as a result of congenital, genetic, acquired, or idiopathic causes.
Patients who were treated with somatropin for growth hormone deficiency in childhood and whose epiphyses are closed should be reevaluated before continuation of somatropin therapy at the reduced dose level recommended for growth hormone deficient adults. Confirmation of the diagnosis of adult growth hormone deficiency in both groups involves an appropriate growth hormone provocative test with two exceptions: (1) patients with multiple other pituitary hormone deficiencies due to organic disease; and (2) patients with congenital/genetic growth hormone deficiency.
For subcutaneous injection.
SAIZEN therapy should be supervised by a physician who is experienced in the diagnosis and management of pediatric patients with growth hormone deficiency or adult patients with either childhoodonset or adult-onset growth hormone deficiency.
SAIZEN dosage and administration schedule should be individualized for each patient. The recommended weekly dosage is 0.18 mg/kg of body weight by subcutaneous injection. It should be divided into equal doses given either on 3 alternate days, 6 times per week or daily.
Response to somatropin therapy in pediatric patients tends to decrease with time. However, in pediatric patients, the failure to increase growth rate, particularly during the first year of therapy, indicates the need for close assessment of compliance and evaluation for other causes of growth failure, such as hypothyroidism, undernutrition, advanced bone age and antibodies to recombinant human growth hormone.
Treatment with SAIZEN of growth failure due to growth hormone deficiency should be discontinued when the epiphyses are fused.
Either of two approaches to SAIZEN dosing may be followed: a weight-based regimen or a non-weight-based regimen.
Based on the dosing utilized in the original pivotal study described herein, the recommended dosage at the start of therapy is not more than 0.005 mg/kg given as a daily subcutaneous injection. The dosage may be increased to not more than 0.01 mg/kg/day after 4 weeks according to individual patient requirements. Clinical response, side effects, and determination of age-and gender-adjusted serum insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) levels may be used as guidance in dose titration.
Alternatively, taking into account more recent literature, a starting dose of approximately 0.2 mg/day (range, 0.15-0.30 mg/day) may be used without consideration of body weight. This dose can be increased gradually every 1 to 2 months by increments of approximately 0.1 to 0.2 mg/day, according to individual patient requirements based on the clinical response and serum IGF-1 concentrations. During therapy, the dose should be decreased if required by the occurrence of adverse reactions and/or serum IGF-1 levels above the age- and gender-specific normal range. Maintenance dosages vary considerably from person to person.
A lower starting dose and smaller dose increments should be considered for older patients, who are more prone to the adverse effects of somatropin than younger individuals. In addition, obese individuals are more likely to manifest adverse effects when treated with a weight-based regimen. In order to reach the defined treatment goal, estrogen-replete women may need higher doses than men. Oral estrogen administration may increase the dose requirements in women.
Prior to self-administration of the product at home, ensure to train patients and caregivers how to prepare and administer the product correctly to help avoid wrong technique and dosing errors.
To prevent possible contamination, wipe the rubber vial stopper with an antiseptic solution before puncturing it with the needle. It is recommended that SAIZEN be administered using sterile, disposable syringes and needles. The syringes should be of small enough volume that the prescribed dose can be drawn from the vial with reasonable accuracy.
After determining the appropriate patient dose, reconstitute each vial of SAIZEN as follows: 5 mg vial with 1 to 3 mL of Bacteriostatic Water for Injection, USP (Benzyl Alcohol preserved); 8.8 mg vial with 2-3 mL of Bacteriostatic Water for Injection, USP (Benzyl Alcohol preserved). Approximately 10% mechanical loss can be associated with reconstitution and multidose administration.
If sensitivity to the diluent occurs, SAIZEN may be reconstituted with Sterile Water for Injection, USP. When SAIZEN is reconstituted in this manner, the reconstituted solution should be used immediately and any unused solution should be discarded [see Warnings and Precautions (5.15)].
To reconstitute SAIZEN, inject the diluent into the vial of SAIZEN aiming the liquid against the glass vial wall. Swirl the vial with a GENTLE rotary motion until contents are dissolved completely. DO NOT SHAKE. Parenteral drug products should always be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit. SAIZEN MUST NOT BE INJECTED if the solution is cloudy or contains particulate matter. Use it only if it is clear and colorless.
For drug preparation instructions for saizenprep® cartridges, please refer to the Instructions for Use provided with saizenprep® reconstitution device.
Injection sites should always be rotated to avoid lipoatrophy.
SAIZEN lyophilized powder (to be reconstituted with Bacteriostatic Water for Injection):
- 5 mg per vial
- 8.8 mg per vial
saizenprep® reconstitution device:
- One vial SAIZEN containing 8.8 mg somatropin and one cartridge diluent containing 1.51 mL 0.3% (w/v) metacresol in Sterile Water for Injection
• Acute Critical Illness
Treatment with pharmacologic amounts of somatropin is contraindicated in patients with acute critical illness due to complications following open heart surgery, abdominal surgery or multiple accidental trauma, or those with acute respiratory failure [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
• Prader-Willi Syndrome in Children
Somatropin is contraindicated in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome who are severely obese or have severe respiratory impairment [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. There have been reports of sudden death when somatropin was used in such patients. SAIZEN is not indicated for the long term treatment of pediatric patients who have growth failure due to genetically confirmed Prader-Willi syndrome.
• Active Malignancy
In general, somatropin is contraindicated in the presence of active malignancy. Any pre-existing malignancy should be inactive and its treatment complete prior to instituting therapy with somatropin. Somatropin should be discontinued if there is evidence of recurrent activity. Since growth hormone deficiency may be an early sign of the presence of a pituitary tumor (or, rarely, other brain tumors), the presence of such tumors should be ruled out prior to initiation of treatment. Somatropin should not be used in patients with any evidence of progression or recurrence of an underlying intracranial tumor [See Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
SAIZEN is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to somatropin or any of its excipients. Systemic hypersensitivity reactions have been reported with postmarketing use of somatropin products [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].
• Diabetic Retinopathy
Somatropin is contraindicated in patients with active proliferative or severe non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
• Closed Epiphyses
Somatropin should not be used for growth promotion in pediatric patients with closed epiphyses.
• Benzyl Alcohol
SAIZEN reconstituted with Bacteriostatic Water for Injection, USP (0.9% Benzyl Alcohol) should not be administered to patients with a known sensitivity to Benzyl Alcohol [see Warnings and Precautions (5.16)].
Increased mortality in patients with acute critical illness due to complications following open heart surgery, abdominal surgery or multiple accidental trauma, or those with acute respiratory failure has been reported after treatment with pharmacologic amounts of somatropin [see Contraindications (4)]. Two placebo-controlled clinical trials in non-growth hormone deficient adult patients (n=522) with these conditions in intensive care units revealed a significant increase in mortality (42% vs. 19%) among somatropin-treated patients (doses 5.3-8 mg/day) compared to those receiving placebo. The safety of continuing somatropin treatment in patients receiving replacement doses for approved indications who concurrently develop these illnesses has not been established. Therefore, the potential benefit of treatment continuation with somatropin in patients having acute critical illnesses should be weighed against the potential risk.
There have been reports of fatalities after initiating therapy with somatropin in pediatric patients with Prader-Willi syndrome who had one or more of the following risk factors: severe obesity, history of upper airway obstruction or sleep apnea, or unidentified respiratory infection. Male patients with one or more of these factors may be at greater risk than females. Patients with Prader-Willi syndrome should be evaluated for signs of upper airway obstruction and sleep apnea before initiation of treatment with somatropin. If, during treatment with somatropin, patients show signs of upper airway obstruction (including onset of or increased snoring) and/or new onset sleep apnea, treatment should be interrupted. All patients with Prader-Willi syndrome treated with somatropin should also have effective weight control and be monitored for signs of respiratory infection, which should be diagnosed as early as possible and treated aggressively [see Contraindications (4)]. SAIZEN is not indicated for the long term treatment of pediatric patients who have growth failure due to genetically confirmed Prader-Willi syndrome.
In childhood cancer survivors who were treated with radiation to the brain/head for their first neoplasm and who developed subsequent GHD and were treated with somatropin, an increased risk of a second neoplasm has been reported. Intracranial tumors, in particular meningiomas, were the most common of these second neoplasms. In adults, it is unknown whether there is any relationship between somatropin replacement therapy and CNS tumor recurrence [see Contraindications (4)]. Monitor all patients with a history of GHD secondary to an intracranial neoplasm routinely while on somatropin therapy for progression or recurrence of the tumor.
Because children with certain rare genetic causes of short stature have an increased risk of developing malignancies, practitioners should thoroughly consider the risks and benefits of starting somatropin in these patients. If treatment with somatropin is initiated, these patients should be monitored carefully for development of neoplasms.
Monitor patients on somatropin therapy carefully for increased growth, or potential malignant changes of preexisting nevi.
Treatment with somatropin may decrease insulin sensitivity, particularly at higher doses in susceptible patients. As a result, previously undiagnosed impaired glucose tolerance and overt diabetes mellitus may be unmasked during somatropin treatment and new onset type 2 diabetes mellitus has been reported in patients. Therefore, glucose levels should be monitored periodically in all patients treated with somatropin, especially in those with risk factors for diabetes mellitus, such as obesity, Turner syndrome, or a family history of diabetes mellitus. Patients with preexisting type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus or impaired glucose tolerance should be monitored closely during somatropin therapy. The doses of antihyperglycemic drugs (i.e., insulin or oral agents) may require adjustment when somatropin therapy is instituted in these patients.
Intracranial hypertension (IH) with papilledema, visual changes, headache, nausea, and/or vomiting has been reported in a small number of patients treated with somatropin products. Symptoms usually occurred within the first eight (8) weeks after the initiation of somatropin therapy. In all reported cases, IH-associated signs and symptoms rapidly resolved after cessation of therapy or a reduction of the somatropin dose. Funduscopic examination should be performed routinely before initiating treatment with somatropin to exclude preexisting papilledema, and periodically during the course of somatropin therapy. If papilledema is observed by funduscopy during somatropin treatment, treatment should be stopped. If somatropin-induced IH is diagnosed, treatment with somatropin can be restarted at a lower dose after IH-associated signs and symptoms have resolved. Patients with Turner syndrome, chronic renal insufficiency, and Prader-Willi syndrome may be at increased risk for the development of IH.
Serious systemic hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylactic reactions and angioedema have been reported with postmarketing use of somatropin products. Patients and caregivers should be informed that such reactions are possible and that prompt medical attention should be sought if an allergic reaction occurs [see Contraindications (4)].
Fluid retention during somatropin replacement therapy in adults may occur. Clinical manifestations of fluid retention (e.g. edema, arthralgia, myalgia, nerve compression syndromes including carpal tunnel syndrome/paraesthesias) are usually transient and dose dependent.
Patients receiving somatropin therapy who have or are at risk for pituitary hormone deficiency(s) may be at risk for reduced serum cortisol levels and/or unmasking of central (secondary) hypoadrenalism. In addition, patients treated with glucocorticoid replacement for previously diagnosed hypoadrenalism may require an increase in their maintenance or stress doses following initiation of somatropin treatment [see Section 7.1, 11-β Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1].
Undiagnosed/untreated hypothyroidism may prevent an optimal response to somatropin, in particular, the growth response in children. Patients with Turner syndrome have an inherently increased risk of developing autoimmune thyroid disease and primary hypothyroidism. In patients with growth hormone deficiency, central (secondary) hypothyroidism may first become evident or worsen during somatropin treatment. Therefore, patients treated with somatropin should have periodic thyroid function tests and thyroid hormone replacement therapy should be initiated or appropriately adjusted when indicated.
Slipped capital femoral epiphysis may occur more frequently in patients with endocrine disorders (including pediatric growth hormone deficiency and Turner syndrome) or in patients undergoing rapid growth. Any pediatric patient with the onset of a limp or complaints of hip or knee pain during somatropin therapy should be carefully evaluated.
Progression of scoliosis can occur in patients who experience rapid growth. Because somatropin increases growth rate, patients with a history of scoliosis who are treated with somatropin should be monitored for progression of scoliosis. However, somatropin has not been shown to increase the occurrence of scoliosis. Skeletal abnormalities including scoliosis are commonly seen in untreated Turner syndrome patients. Scoliosis is also commonly seen in untreated patients with Prader-Willi syndrome. Physicians should be alert to these abnormalities, which may manifest during somatropin therapy.
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