Valacyclovir Hydrochloride: Package Insert and Label Information (Page 2 of 5)

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura/Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (TTP/HUS)

TTP/HUS, in some cases resulting in death, has occurred in patients with advanced HIV-1 disease and also in allogeneic bone marrow transplant and renal transplant recipients participating in clinical trials of valacyclovir hydrochloride at doses of 8 grams per day. Treatment with valacyclovir hydrochloride should be stopped immediately if clinical signs, symptoms, and laboratory abnormalities consistent with TTP/HUS occur.

5.2 Acute Renal Failure

Cases of acute renal failure have been reported in:

Elderly patients with or without reduced renal function. Caution should be exercised when administering valacyclovir hydrochloride to geriatric patients, and dosage reduction is recommended for those with impaired renal function [see Dosage and Administration (2.4), Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].
Patients with underlying renal disease who received higher-than-recommended doses of valacyclovir hydrochloride for their level of renal function. Dosage reduction is recommended when administering valacyclovir hydrochloride to patients with renal impairment [see Dosage and Administration (2.4), Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].
Patients receiving other nephrotoxic drugs. Caution should be exercised when administering valacyclovir hydrochloride to patients receiving potentially nephrotoxic drugs.
Patients without adequate hydration. Precipitation of acyclovir in renal tubules may occur when the solubility (2.5 mg/mL) is exceeded in the intratubular fluid. Adequate hydration should be maintained for all patients.

In the event of acute renal failure and anuria, the patient may benefit from hemodialysis until renal function is restored [see Dosage and Administration (2.4), Adverse Reactions (6.3)].

5.3 Central Nervous System Effects

Central nervous system adverse reactions, including agitation, hallucinations, confusion, delirium, seizures, and encephalopathy, have been reported in both adult and pediatric patients with or without reduced renal function and in patients with underlying renal disease who received higher-than-recommended doses of valacyclovir hydrochloride for their level of renal function. Elderly patients are more likely to have central nervous system adverse reactions. Valacyclovir should be discontinued if central nervous system adverse reactions occur [see Adverse Reactions (6.3), Use in Specific Populations (8.5, 8.6)].

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura/Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Acute Renal Failure [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Central Nervous System Effects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

The most common adverse reactions reported in at least 1 indication by greater than 10% of adult subjects treated with valacyclovir hydrochloride and observed more frequently with valacyclovir hydrochloride compared with placebo are headache, nausea, and abdominal pain. The only adverse reaction reported in greater than 10% of pediatric subjects aged less than 18 years was headache.

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience in Adult Subjects

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis)

In clinical trials for the treatment of cold sores, the adverse reactions reported by subjects receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 2 grams twice daily (n = 609) or placebo (n = 609) for 1 day, respectively, included headache (14%, 10%) and dizziness (2%, 1%). The frequencies of abnormal ALT (greater than 2 x ULN) were 1.8% for subjects receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride compared with 0.8% for placebo. Other laboratory abnormalities (hemoglobin, white blood cells, alkaline phosphatase, and serum creatinine) occurred with similar frequencies in the 2 groups.

Genital Herpes

Initial Episode

In a clinical trial for the treatment of initial episodes of genital herpes, the adverse reactions reported by greater than or equal to 5% of subjects receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 1 gram twice daily for 10 days (n = 318) or oral acyclovir 200 mg 5 times daily for 10 days (n = 318), respectively, included headache (13%, 10%) and nausea (6%, 6%). For the incidence of laboratory abnormalities see Table 2.

Recurrent Episodes

In 3 clinical trials for the episodic treatment of recurrent genital herpes, the adverse reactions reported by greater than or equal to 5% of subjects receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg twice daily for 3 days (n = 402), valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg twice daily for 5 days (n = 1,136) or placebo (n = 259), respectively, included headache (16%, 11%, 14%) and nausea (5%, 4%, 5%). For the incidence of laboratory abnormalities see Table 2.

Suppressive Therapy: Suppression of Recurrent Genital Herpes in Immunocompetent Adults

In a clinical trial for the suppression of recurrent genital herpes infections, the adverse reactions reported by subjects receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 1 gram once daily (n = 269), valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg once daily (n = 266), or placebo (n = 134), respectively, included headache (35%, 38%, 34%), nausea (11%, 11%, 8%), abdominal pain (11%, 9%, 6%), dysmenorrhea (8%, 5%, 4%), depression (7%, 5%, 5%), arthralgia (6%, 5%, 4%), vomiting (3%, 3%, 2%), and dizziness (4%, 2%, 1%). For the incidence of laboratory abnormalities see Table 2.

Suppression of Recurrent Genital Herpes in HIV Infected Subjects

In HIV-1˗infected subjects, frequently reported adverse reactions for valacyclovir hydrochloride (500 mg twice daily; n = 194, median days on therapy = 172) and placebo (n = 99, median days on therapy = 59), respectively, included headache (13%, 8%), fatigue (8%, 5%), and rash (8%, 1%). Post-randomization laboratory abnormalities that were reported more frequently in valacyclovir subjects versus placebo included elevated alkaline phosphatase (4%, 2%), elevated ALT (14%, 10%), elevated AST (16%, 11%), decreased neutrophil counts (18%, 10%), and decreased platelet counts (3%, 0%), respectively.

Reduction of Transmission

In a clinical trial for the reduction of transmission of genital herpes, the adverse reactions reported by subjects receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg once daily (n = 743) or placebo once daily (n = 741), respectively, included headache (29%, 26%), nasopharyngitis (16%, 15%), and upper respiratory tract infection (9%, 10%).

Herpes Zoster

In 2 clinical trials for the treatment of herpes zoster, the adverse reactions reported by subjects receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 1 gram 3 times daily for 7 to 14 days (n = 967) or placebo (n = 195), respectively, included nausea (15%, 8%), headache (14%, 12%), vomiting (6%, 3%), dizziness (3%, 2%), and abdominal pain (3%, 2%). For the incidence of laboratory abnormalities see Table 2.

Table 2. Incidence (%) of Laboratory Abnormalities in Herpes Zoster and Genital Herpes Trial Populations

*
Data were not collected prospectively.

Laboratory Abnormality

Herpes Zoster

Genital Herpes Treatment

Genital Herpes Suppression

Valacyclovir hydrochloride

1 gram

3 times daily

(n=967)

Placebo

(n=195)

Valacyclovir hydrochloride

1 gram

twice daily

(n=1,194)

Valacyclovir hydrochloride

500 mg

twice daily

(n=1,159)

Placebo

(n=439)

Valacyclovir hydrochloride

1 gram

once daily

(n=269)

Valacyclovir hydrochloride

500 mg

once daily

(n=266)

Placebo

(n=134)

Hemoglobin

(<0.8 x LLN)

0.8%

0%

0.3%

0.2%

0%

0%

0.8%

0.8%

White blood cells

(<0.75 x LLN)

1.3%

0.6%

0.7%

0.6%

0.2%

0.7%

0.8%

1.5%

Platelet count (<100,000/mm3)

1%

1.2%

0.3%

0.1%

0.7%

0.4%

1.1%

1.5%

AST (SGOT)

(>2 x ULN)

1%

0%

1%

*

0.5%

4.1%

3.8%

3%

Serum creatinine

(>1.5 x ULN)

0.2%

0%

0.7%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

LLN = Lower limit of normal.

ULN = Upper limit of normal.

6.2 Clinical Trials Experience in Pediatric Subjects

The safety profile of valacyclovir hydrochloride has been studied in 177 pediatric subjects aged 1 month to less than 18 years. Sixty-five of these pediatric subjects, aged 12 to less than 18 years, received oral tablets for 1 to 2 days for treatment of cold sores. The remaining 112 pediatric subjects, aged 1 month to less than 12 years, participated in 3 pharmacokinetic and safety trials and received valacyclovir oral suspension. Fifty-one of these 112 pediatric subjects received oral suspension for 3 to 6 days. The frequency, intensity, and nature of clinical adverse reactions and laboratory abnormalities were similar to those seen in adults.

Pediatric Subjects Aged 12 to Less than 18 Years (Cold Sores)

In clinical trials for the treatment of cold sores, the adverse reactions reported by adolescent subjects receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 2 grams twice daily for 1 day, or valacyclovir hydrochloride 2 grams twice daily for 1 day followed by 1 gram twice daily for 1 day (n = 65, across both dosing groups), or placebo (n = 30), respectively, included headache (17%, 3%) and nausea (8%, 0%).

Pediatric Subjects Aged 1 Month to Less than 12 Years

Adverse events reported in more than 1 subject across the 3 pharmacokinetic and safety trials in children aged 1 month to less than 12 years were diarrhea (5%), pyrexia (4%), dehydration (2%), herpes simplex (2%), and rhinorrhea (2%). No clinically meaningful changes in laboratory values were observed.

6.3 Postmarketing Experience

In addition to adverse events reported from clinical trials, the following events have been identified during postmarketing use of valacyclovir hydrochloride. Because they are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, estimates of frequency cannot be made. These events have been chosen for inclusion due to a combination of their seriousness, frequency of reporting, or potential causal connection to valacyclovir hydrochloride.

General

Facial edema, hypertension, tachycardia.

Allergic

Acute hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis, angioedema, dyspnea, pruritus, rash, and urticaria [see Contraindications (4)].

Central Nervous System (CNS) Symptoms

Aggressive behavior; agitation; ataxia; coma; confusion; decreased consciousness; dysarthria; encephalopathy; mania; and psychosis, including auditory and visual hallucinations, seizures, tremors [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Use in Specific Populations (8.5, 8.6)].

Eye

Visual abnormalities.

Gastrointestinal

Diarrhea.

Hepatobiliary Tract and Pancreas

Liver enzyme abnormalities, hepatitis.

Renal

Renal failure, renal pain (may be associated with renal failure) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2), Use in Specific Populations (8.5, 8.6)].

Hematologic

Thrombocytopenia, aplastic anemia, leukocytoclastic vasculitis, TTP/HUS [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Skin

Erythema multiforme, rashes including photosensitivity, alopecia.

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