Abacavir (Page 3 of 7)

6.2 Clinical Trials Experience in Pediatric Subjects

Therapy-experienced Pediatric Subjects (Twice-daily Dosing)

Treatment-emergent clinical adverse reactions (rated by the investigator as moderate or severe) with a greater than or equal to 5% frequency during therapy with abacavir 8 mg per kg twice daily, lamivudine 4 mg per kg twice daily, and zidovudine 180 mg per m2 twice daily compared with lamivudine 4 mg per kg twice daily and zidovudine 180 mg per m2 twice daily from CNA3006 are listed in Table 6.

Table 6. Treatment-emergent (All Causality) Adverse Reactions of at Least Moderate Intensity (Grades 2 to 4, Greater than or Equal to 5% Frequency) in Therapy-experienced Pediatric Subjects (CNA3006) through 16 Weeks of Treatment

Adverse Reaction Abacavir plus Lamivudine plus Zidovudine (n = 102) Lamivudine plus Zidovudine (n = 103)
Fever and/or chills 9% 7%
Nausea and vomiting 9% 2%
Skin rashes 7% 1%
Ear/nose/throat infections 5% 1%
Pneumonia 4% 5%
Headache 1% 5%

Laboratory Abnormalities: In CNA3006, laboratory abnormalities (anemia, neutropenia, liver function test abnormalities, and CPK elevations) were observed with similar frequencies as in a trial of therapy-naive adults (CNA30024). Mild elevations of blood glucose were more frequent in pediatric subjects receiving abacavir (CNA3006) as compared with adult subjects (CNA30024).

Other Adverse Events

In addition to adverse reactions and laboratory abnormalities reported in Tables 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, other adverse reactions observed in the expanded access program were pancreatitis and increased GGT.
Additional pediatric use information for patients aged 3 months and above is approved for ViiV Healthcare Company’s ZIAGEN® (abacavir sulfate) tablets. However, due to ViiV Healthcare Company’s marketing exclusivity rights, this drug product is not labeled with that pediatric information.

6.3 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postmarketing use of abacavir. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposures.

Body as a Whole

Redistribution/accumulation of body fat.


Myocardial infarction.


Lactic acidosis and hepatic steatosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].


Suspected Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) have been reported in patients receiving abacavir primarily in combination with medications known to be associated with SJS and TEN, respectively. Because of the overlap of clinical signs and symptoms between hypersensitivity to abacavir and SJS and TEN, and the possibility of multiple drug sensitivities in some patients, abacavir should be discontinued and not restarted in such cases.
There have also been reports of erythema multiforme with abacavir use [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].


7.1 Methadone

In a trial of 11 HIV-1-infected subjects receiving methadone-maintenance therapy with 600 mg of abacavir twice daily (twice the currently recommended dose), oral methadone clearance increased [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. This alteration will not result in a methadone dose modification in the majority of patients; however, an increased methadone dose may be required in a small number of patients.


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Exposure Registry

There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to abacavir during pregnancy. Physicians are encouraged to register patients by calling the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry at 1-800-258-4263.

Risk Summary

Available data from the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry show no difference in the risk of overall major birth defects for abacavir compared with the background rate for major birth defects of 2.7% in the U.S. reference population of the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program (MACDP). Abacavir produced fetal malformations and other embryonic and fetal toxicities in rats at 35 times the human exposure at the recommended clinical dose. The relevance of animal findings to human pregnancy registry data is not known.


Human Data: Based on prospective reports from the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry of over 2,000 exposures to abacavir during pregnancy resulting in live births (including over 900 exposed in the first trimester), there was no difference between abacavir and overall birth defects compared with the background birth defect rate of 2.7% in the U.S. reference population of the MACDP. The prevalence of defects in the first trimester was 3% (95% CI: 2% to 4.4%).

Animal Data: Studies in pregnant rats showed that abacavir is transferred to the fetus through the placenta. Fetal malformations (increased incidences of fetal anasarca and skeletal malformations) and developmental toxicity (depressed fetal body weight and reduced crown-rump length) were observed in rats at a dose which produced 35 times the human exposure based on AUC. Embryonic and fetal toxicities (increased resorptions, decreased fetal body weights) and toxicities to the offspring (increased incidence of stillbirth and lower body weights) occurred at half of the above-mentioned dose in separate fertility studies conducted in rats. In the rabbit, no developmental toxicity and no increases in fetal malformations occurred at doses that produced 8.5 times the human exposure at the recommended dose based on AUC.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that HIV-1-infected mothers in the United States not breastfeed their infants to avoid risking postnatal transmission of HIV-1 infection. Because of the potential for HIV-1 transmission, mothers should be instructed not to breastfeed.

8.4 Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of abacavir have been established in pediatric patients aged 3 months and older. Use of abacavir is supported by pharmacokinetic trials and evidence from adequate and well-controlled trials of abacavir in adults and pediatric subjects [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Adverse Reactions (6.2), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3), Clinical Studies (14.2)].

8.5 Geriatric Use

Clinical trials of abacavir did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. In general, caution should be exercised in the administration of abacavir in elderly patients reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

8.6 Patients with Impaired Hepatic Function

A dose reduction is required for patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class A) [see Dosage and Administration (2.4)]. The safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetic properties of abacavir have not been established in patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment; therefore, abacavir is contraindicated in these patients [see Contraindications (4), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

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