ZOLINZA: Package Insert and Label Information

ZOLINZA- vorinostat capsule
Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC


ZOLINZA ® is indicated for the treatment of cutaneous manifestations in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma who have progressive, persistent or recurrent disease on or following two systemic therapies.


2.1 Dosing Information

The recommended dose is 400 mg orally once daily with food.

Treatment may be continued as long as there is no evidence of progressive disease or unacceptable toxicity.

ZOLINZA capsules should not be opened or crushed [see How Supplied/Storage and Handling (16)].

2.2 Dose Modifications

For Toxicity

If a patient is intolerant to therapy, the dose may be reduced to 300 mg orally once daily with food. The dose may be further reduced to 300 mg once daily with food for 5 consecutive days each week, as necessary.

Hepatic Impairment

Reduce the starting dose to 300 mg orally once daily with food in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment (bilirubin 1 to 3 × ULN or AST greater than ULN). There is insufficient evidence to recommend a starting dose for patients with severe hepatic impairment (bilirubin greater than 3 × ULN) [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


Capsules: 100 mg white, opaque, hard gelatin capsules with “568” over “100 mg” printed within radial bar in black ink on the capsule body.




5.1 Thromboembolism

Pulmonary embolism occurred in 5% (4/86) of patients receiving ZOLINZA, and deep vein thrombosis has also been reported. Monitor for signs and symptoms of these events, particularly in patients with a prior history of thromboembolic events [see Adverse Reactions (6)].

5.2 Myelosuppression

Treatment with ZOLINZA can cause dose-related thrombocytopenia and anemia. Monitor blood counts every 2 weeks during the first 2 months of therapy and monthly thereafter. Adjust dosage or discontinue treatment with ZOLINZA as clinically appropriate [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Warnings and Precautions (5.6) and Adverse Reactions (6)].

5.3 Gastrointestinal Toxicity

Gastrointestinal disturbances, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, have been reported [see Adverse Reactions (6)] and may require the use of antiemetic and antidiarrheal medications. Fluid and electrolytes should be replaced to prevent dehydration [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. Pre-existing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea should be adequately controlled before beginning therapy with ZOLINZA.

5.4 Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia has been observed in patients receiving ZOLINZA and was severe in 5% (4/86) of patients [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. Monitor serum glucose every 2 weeks during the first 2 months of therapy and monthly thereafter.

5.5 Clinical Chemistry Abnormalities

Obtain chemistry tests, including serum electrolytes, creatinine, magnesium, and calcium, every 2 weeks during the first 2 months of therapy and monthly thereafter. Correct hypokalemia and hypomagnesemia prior to administration of ZOLINZA. Monitor potassium and magnesium more frequently in symptomatic patients (e.g., patients with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fluid imbalance or cardiac symptoms).

5.6 Severe Thrombocytopenia when Combined with Other Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) Inhibitors

Severe thrombocytopenia leading to gastrointestinal bleeding has been reported with concomitant use of ZOLINZA and other HDAC inhibitors (e.g., valproic acid). Monitor platelet counts more frequently [see Drug Interactions (7.2)].

5.7 Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

Based on findings from animal studies and its mechanism of action, ZOLINZA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. There are insufficient data on ZOLINZA use in pregnant women to inform a drug-associated risk of major birth defects and miscarriage. In animal reproduction studies, vorinostat crossed the placenta and caused adverse developmental outcomes at exposures approximately 0.5 times the human exposure based on AUC0-24 hours . Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 6 months after the last dose. Advise males with female sexual partners of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 3 months after the last dose [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1, 8.3) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.1)].


The following serious adverse reactions have been associated with ZOLINZA in clinical trials and are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the label:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

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.

The safety of ZOLINZA was evaluated in 107 CTCL patients in two single arm clinical studies in which 86 patients received 400 mg once daily.

The data described below reflect exposure to ZOLINZA 400 mg once daily in the 86 patients for a median number of 97.5 days on therapy (range 2 to 480+ days). Seventeen (19.8%) patients were exposed beyond 24 weeks and 8 (9.3%) patients were exposed beyond 1 year. The population of CTCL patients studied was 37 to 83 years of age, 47.7% female, 52.3% male, and 81.4% white, 16.3% black, and 1.2% Asian or multi-racial.

Common Adverse Reactions

The most common drug-related adverse reactions can be classified into 4 symptom complexes: gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, nausea, anorexia, weight decrease, vomiting, constipation), constitutional symptoms (fatigue, chills), hematologic abnormalities (thrombocytopenia, anemia), and taste disorders (dysgeusia, dry mouth). The most common serious drug-related adverse reactions were pulmonary embolism and anemia.

Table 1 summarizes the frequency of CTCL patients with specific adverse reactions, using the National Cancer Institute-Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (NCI-CTCAE, version 3.0).

Table 1: Clinical or Laboratory Adverse Reactions Occurring in CTCL Patients (Incidence ≥10% of patients)
ZOLINZA 400 mg once daily (N=86)
Adverse Reactions All Grades Grades 3-4
n % n %
Fatigue 45 52.3 3 3.5
Diarrhea 45 52.3 0 0.0
Nausea 35 40.7 3 3.5
Dysgeusia 24 27.9 0 0.0
Thrombocytopenia 22 25.6 5 5.8
Anorexia 21 24.4 2 2.3
Weight Decreased 18 20.9 1 1.2
Muscle Spasms 17 19.8 2 2.3
Alopecia 16 18.6 0 0.0
Dry Mouth 14 16.3 0 0.0
Blood Creatinine Increased 14 16.3 0 0.0
Chills 14 16.3 1 1.2
Vomiting 13 15.1 1 1.2
Constipation 13 15.1 0 0.0
Dizziness 13 15.1 1 1.2
Anemia 12 14.0 2 2.3
Decreased Appetite 12 14.0 1 1.2
Peripheral Edema 11 12.8 0 0.0
Headache 10 11.6 0 0.0
Pruritus 10 11.6 1 1.2
Cough 9 10.5 0 0.0
Upper Respiratory Infection 9 10.5 0 0.0
Pyrexia 9 10.5 1 1.2

The frequencies of more severe thrombocytopenia, anemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)] and fatigue were increased at doses higher than 400 mg once daily of ZOLINZA.

Serious Adverse Reactions

The most common serious adverse reactions in the 86 CTCL patients in two clinical trials were pulmonary embolism reported in 4.7% (4/86) of patients, squamous cell carcinoma reported in 3.5% (3/86) of patients and anemia reported in 2.3% (2/86) of patients. There were single events of cholecystitis, death (of unknown cause), deep vein thrombosis, enterococcal infection, exfoliative dermatitis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, infection, lobar pneumonia, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, pelviureteric obstruction, sepsis, spinal cord injury, streptococcal bacteremia, syncope, T-cell lymphoma, thrombocytopenia and ureteric obstruction.


Of the CTCL patients who received the 400-mg once daily dose, 9.3% (8/86) of patients discontinued ZOLINZA due to adverse reactions. These adverse reactions, regardless of causality, included anemia, angioneurotic edema, asthenia, chest pain, exfoliative dermatitis, death, deep vein thrombosis, ischemic stroke, lethargy, pulmonary embolism, and spinal cord injury.

Dose Modifications

Of the CTCL patients who received the 400-mg once daily dose, 10.5% (9/86) of patients required a dose modification of ZOLINZA due to adverse reactions. These adverse reactions included increased serum creatinine, decreased appetite, hypokalemia, leukopenia, nausea, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia and vomiting. The median time to the first adverse reactions resulting in dose reduction was 42 days (range 17 to 263 days).

Laboratory Abnormalities

Laboratory abnormalities were reported in all of the 86 CTCL patients who received the 400-mg once-daily dose.

Increased serum glucose was reported as a laboratory abnormality in 69% (59/86) of CTCL patients who received the 400-mg once daily dose; only 4 of these abnormalities were severe (Grade 3). Increased serum glucose was reported as an adverse reaction in 8.1% (7/86) of CTCL patients who received the 400-mg once daily dose [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Transient increases in serum creatinine were detected in 46.5% (40/86) of CTCL patients who received the 400-mg once daily dose. Of these laboratory abnormalities, 34 were NCI CTCAE Grade 1, 5 were Grade 2, and 1 was Grade 3.

Proteinuria was detected as a laboratory abnormality (51.4%) in 38 of 74 patients tested. The clinical significance of this finding is unknown.


Based on reports of dehydration as a serious drug-related adverse reaction in clinical trials, patients were instructed to drink at least 2 L/day of fluids for adequate hydration [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3, 5.5)].

Adverse Reactions in Non-CTCL Patients

The frequencies of individual adverse reactions were substantially higher in the non-CTCL population. Drug-related serious adverse reactions reported in the non-CTCL population which were not observed in the CTCL population included single events of blurred vision, asthenia, hyponatremia, tumor hemorrhage, Guillain-Barré syndrome, renal failure, urinary retention, cough, hemoptysis, hypertension, and vasculitis.

In patients recovering from bowel surgery and treated perioperatively with ZOLINZA, anastomotic healing complications including fistulas, perforations, and abscess formation have occurred.

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4

DrugInserts.com provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the US Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by DrugInserts.com. Every individual package label entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the US National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

As the leading independent provider of trustworthy medication information, we source our database directly from the FDA's central repository of drug labels and package inserts under the Structured Product Labeling standard. Our material is not intended as a substitute for direct consultation with a qualified health professional.

Terms of Use | Copyright © 2022. All Rights Reserved.