Tacrolimus: Package Insert and Label Information

TACROLIMUS- tacrolimus capsule
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited

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WARNING : MALIGNANCIES AND SERIOUS INFECTIONS

  • Increased risk for developing serious infections and malignancies with tacrolimus or other immunosuppressants that may lead to hospitalization or death. ( 5.1 , 5.2 )

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Prophylaxis of Organ Rejection in Kidney, Liver, and Heart Transplant

Tacrolimus capsules are indicated for the prophylaxis of organ rejection, in adult patients receiving allogeneic kidney transplant [see Clinical Studies (14.1)], liver transplants [see Clinical Studies (14.2)] and heart transplant [see Clinical Studies (14.3)], and pediatric patients receiving allogeneic liver transplants [see Clinical Studies (14.2)] in combination with other immunosuppressants.

Additional pediatric use information is approved for Astellas Pharma US, Inc.’s Prograf (tacrolimus) products. However, due to Astellas Pharma US, Inc.’s marketing exclusivity rights, this drug product is not labeled with that information.

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Important Administration Instructions

Tacrolimus capsules should not be used without supervision by a physician with experience in immunosuppressive therapy.

Tacrolimus capsules are not interchangeable or substitutable for other tacrolimus extended-release products. This is because rate of absorption following the administration of an extended-release tacrolimus product is not equivalent to that of an immediate-release tacrolimus drug product. Under-or overexposure to tacrolimus may result in graft rejection or other serious adverse reactions. Changes between tacrolimus immediate-release and extended-release dosage forms must occur under physician supervision [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Intravenous Formulation – Administration Precautions due to Risk of Anaphylaxis

Intravenous use is recommended for patients who cannot tolerate oral formulations, and conversion from intravenous to oral tacrolimus is recommended as soon as oral therapy can be tolerated to minimize the risk of anaphylactic reactions that occurred with injectables containing castor oil derivatives [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)].

Patients receiving tacrolimus injection should be under continuous observation for at least the first 30 minutes following the start of the infusion and at frequent intervals thereafter. If signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis occur, the infusion should be stopped. An aqueous solution of epinephrine should be available at the bedside as well as a source of oxygen.

Oral Formulation (Capsules)

If patients are able to initiate oral therapy, the recommended starting doses should be initiated. Tacrolimus capsules may be taken with or without food. However, since the presence of food affects the bioavailability of tacrolimus, if taken with food, it should be taken consistently the same way each time [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

General Administration Instructions

Patients should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice in combination with tacrolimus [see Drug Interactions (7.2)].

Tacrolimus should not be used simultaneously with cyclosporine. Tacrolimus or cyclosporine should be discontinued at least 24 hours before initiating the other. In the presence of elevated tacrolimus or cyclosporine concentrations, dosing with the other drug usually should be further delayed.

Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is recommended for all patients receiving tacrolimus [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)].

2.2 Dosing for Adult Kidney, Liver, or Heart Transplant Patients — Capsules and Injection

Capsules

If patients are able to tolerate oral therapy, the recommended oral starting doses should be initiated. The initial dose of tacrolimus capsules should be administered no sooner than 6 hours after transplantation in the liver and heart transplant patients. In kidney transplant patients, the initial dose of tacrolimus capsules may be administered within 24 hours of transplantation, but should be delayed until renal function has recovered.

The initial oral tacrolimus capsule dosage recommendations for adult patients with kidney, liver, or heart transplants and whole blood trough concentration range are shown in Table 1. Perform therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) to ensure that patients are within the ranges listed in Table 1.

Table 1. Summary of Initial Oral Tacrolimus Capsules Dosing Recommendations and Whole Blood Trough Concentration Range in Adults

Patient Population Tacrolimus Capsules* Initial Oral Dosing Whole Blood Trough Concentration Range
Kidney Transplant
With Azathioprine 0.2 mg/kg/day, divided in two doses, administered every 12 hours Month 1 to 3: 7 to 20 ng/mL Month 4 to 12: 5 to 15 ng/mL
With MMF/IL-2 receptor antagonist† 0.1 mg/kg/day, divided in two doses, administered every 12 hours Month 1 to 12: 4 to 11 ng/mL
Liver Transplant
With corticosteroids only 0.10 to 0.15 mg/kg/day, divided in two doses, administered every 12 hours Month 1 to 12: 5 to 20 ng/mL
Heart Transplant
With azathioprine or MMF 0.075 mg/kg/day, divided in two doses, administered every 12 hours Month 1 to 3: 10 to 20 ng/mL Month ≥ 4: 5 to 15 ng/mL

* African-American patients may require higher doses compared to Caucasians (see Table 2) .

† In a second smaller trial, the initial dose of tacrolimus was 0.15 to 0.2 mg/kg/day and observed tacrolimus concentrations were 6 to 16 ng/mL during month 1 to 3 and 5 to 12 ng/mL during month 4 to 12 [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].

Dosing should be titrated based on clinical assessments of rejection and tolerability. Lower tacrolimus capsule dosages than the recommended initial dosage may be sufficient as maintenance therapy. Adjunct therapy with adrenal corticosteroids is recommended early post-transplant.

The data in kidney transplant patients indicate that the African-American patients required a higher dose to attain comparable trough concentrations compared to Caucasian patients (Table 2) [see Use in Specific Populations (8.8) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Table 2. Comparative Dose and Trough Concentrations Based on Race

Time After Transplant Caucasian N=114 African-American N=56
Dose (mg/kg) Trough Concentrations (ng/mL) Dose (mg/kg) Trough Concentrations (ng/mL)
Day 7 0.18 12.0 0.23 10.9
Month 1 0.17 12.8 0.26 12.9
Month 6 0.14 11.8 0.24 11.5
Month 12 0.13 10.1 0.19 11.0

Intravenous Injection

Tacrolimus injection should be used only as a continuous intravenous infusion and should be discontinued as soon as the patient can tolerate oral administration. The first dose of tacrolimus capsules should be given 8 to 12 hours after discontinuing the intravenous infusion.

The recommended starting dose of tacrolimus injection is 0.03 to 0.05 mg/kg/day in kidney and liver transplant and 0.01 mg/kg/day in heart transplant given as a continuous intravenous infusion. Adult patients should receive doses at the lower end of the dosing range. Concomitant adrenal corticosteroid therapy is recommended early post-transplantation.

The whole blood trough concentration range described in Table 1 pertains to oral administration of tacrolimus only; while monitoring tacrolimus concentrations in patients receiving tacrolimus injection as a continuous intravenous infusion may have some utility, the observed concentrations will not represent comparable exposures to those estimated by the trough concentrations observed in patients on oral therapy.

Anaphylactic reactions have occurred with injectables containing castor oil derivatives, such as tacrolimus injection. Therefore, monitoring for signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis is recommended [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)].

2.3 Dosing for Pediatric Liver Transplant Patients

Oral formulation (capsules)

Pediatric patients in general need higher tacrolimus doses compared to adults: the higher dose requirements may decrease as the child grows older. Recommendations for the initial oral dosing for pediatric transplant patients and whole blood trough concentration range are shown in Table 3. Perform TDM to ensure that patients are within the ranges listed in Table 3.

Table 3. Summary of Initial Tacrolimus Capsule Dosing Recommendations and Whole Blood Trough Concentration Range in Children

Patient Population Initial Tacrolimus Capsule Dosing Whole Blood Trough Concentration Range
Pediatric liver transplant patients‡ 0.15 to 0.2 mg/kg/day capsules divided in two doses, administered every 12 hours Month 1 to 12: 5 to 20 ng/mL

* 0.1 mg/kg/day if cell depleting induction treatment is administered.

‡ See Clinical Studies (14.2), Liver Transplantation.

For conversion of pediatric patients from tacrolimus for oral suspension to tacrolimus capsules or from tacrolimus capsules to tacrolimus for oral suspension, the total daily dose should remain the same. Following conversion from one formulation to another formulation of tacrolimus, therapeutic drug monitoring is recommended [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)]. If a patient is unable to receive an oral formulation, the patient may be started on tacrolimus injection. For pediatric liver transplant patients, the intravenous dose is 0.03 to 0.05 mg/kg/day.

Additional pediatric use information is approved for Astellas Pharma US, Inc.’s Prograf (tacrolimus) products. However, due to Astellas Pharma US, Inc.’s marketing exclusivity rights, this drug product is not labeled with that information.

2.4 Dosage Adjustment in Patients with Renal Impairment

Due to its potential for nephrotoxicity, consideration should be given to dosing tacrolimus capsules at the lower end of the therapeutic dosing range in patients who have received a liver or heart transplant and have pre-existing renal impairment. Further reductions in dose below the targeted range may be required.

In kidney transplant patients with post-operative oliguria, the initial dose of tacrolimus capsules should be administered no sooner than 6 hours and within 24 hours of transplantation, but may be delayed until renal function shows evidence of recovery [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Warnings and Precautions (5.5), Use in Specific Populations (8.6), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

2.5 Dosage Adjustment in Patients with Hepatic Impairment

Due to the reduced clearance and prolonged half-life, patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh ≥ 10) may require lower doses of tacrolimus capsules. Close monitoring of blood concentrations is warranted.

The use of tacrolimus capsules in liver transplant recipients experiencing post-transplant hepatic impairment may be associated with increased risk of developing renal insufficiency related to high whole blood concentrations of tacrolimus. These patients should be monitored closely and dosage adjustments should be considered. Some evidence suggests that lower doses should be used in these patients [see Dosage and Administratio n (2.2), Warnings and Precautions (5.5), Use in Specific Populations (8.7), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

2.6 Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

Monitoring of tacrolimus blood concentrations in conjunction with other laboratory and clinical parameters is considered an essential aid to patient management for the evaluation of rejection, toxicity, dose adjustments and compliance. Whole blood trough concentration range can be found in Table 1.

Factors influencing frequency of monitoring include but are not limited to hepatic or renal dysfunction, the addition or discontinuation of potentially interacting drugs and the post-transplant time. Blood concentration monitoring is not a replacement for renal and liver function monitoring and tissue biopsies. Data from clinical trials show that tacrolimus whole blood concentrations were most variable during the first week post-transplantation.

The relative risks of toxicity and efficacy failure are related to tacrolimus whole blood trough concentrations. Therefore, monitoring of whole blood trough concentrations is recommended to assist in the clinical evaluation of toxicity and efficacy failure.

Methods commonly used for the assay of tacrolimus include high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometric detection (HPLC/MS/MS) and immunoassays. Immunoassays may react with metabolites as well as parent compound. Therefore, assay results obtained with immunoassays may have a positive bias relative to results of HPLC/MS. The bias may depend upon the specific assay and laboratory. Comparison of the concentrations in published literature to patient concentrations using the current assays must be made with detailed knowledge of the assay methods and biological matrices employed. Whole blood is the matrix of choice and specimens should be collected into tubes containing ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) anticoagulant. Heparin anticoagulation is not recommended because of the tendency to form clots on storage. Samples which are not analyzed immediately should be stored at room temperature or in a refrigerator and assayed within 7 days; see assay instructions for specifics. If samples are to be kept longer, they should be deep frozen at -20°C. One study showed drug recovery >90% for samples stored at -20°C for 6 months, with reduced recovery observed after 6 months.

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Tacrolimus Capsules USP, 0.5 mg are white to off white powder filled in hard gelatin capsule of size ‘4’, dark yellow opaque cap imprinted with ‘0.5 MG’ and dark yellow opaque body imprinted with ‘RDY 525’using red ink.

Tacrolimus Capsules USP, 1 mg are white to off white powder filled in hard gelatin capsule of size ‘4’, white opaque cap imprinted with ‘1 MG’ and white opaque body imprinted with ‘RDY 526’using red ink.

Tacrolimus Capsules USP, 5 mg are white to off white powder filled in hard gelatin capsule of size ‘4’, dark grayish red opaque cap imprinted with ‘5 MG’ and dark grayish red opaque body imprinted with ‘RDY 527’ using white ink.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

Tacrolimus capsules are contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to tacrolimus. Tacrolimus injection is contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to HCO-60 (polyoxyl 60 hydrogenated castor oil). Hypersensitivity symptoms reported include dyspnea, rash, pruritus, and acute respiratory distress syndrome [see Adverse Reactions (6)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Lymphoma and Other Malignancies

Patients receiving immunosuppressants, including tacrolimus, are at increased risk of developing lymphomas and other malignancies, particularly of the skin [see Boxed Warning]. The risk appears to be related to the intensity and duration of immunosuppression rather than to the use of any specific agent.

As usual for patients with increased risk for skin cancer, examine patients for skin changes; exposure to sunlight and UV light should be limited by wearing protective clothing and using a broad spectrum sunscreen with a high protection factor.

Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) has been reported in immunosuppressed organ transplant recipients. The majority of PTLD events appear related to Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) infection. The risk of PTLD appears greatest in those individuals who are EBV seronegative, a population which includes many young children. Monitor EBV serology during treatment.

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