The safety and effectiveness of ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD for the treatment of severe recalcitrant nodular acne have been established in pediatric subjects ages 12 to 17 years. Use of ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD in this age group for this indication is supported by evidence from a clinical trial (Study 1) that compared the use ABSORICA to another isotretinoin capsule product in 397 pediatric subjects (12 to 17 years) [see Clinical Studies (14)] and pharmacokinetic data in pediatric subjects [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
The safety and effectiveness of ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD in pediatric patients less than 12 years of age have not been established.
Adverse Reactions in Pediatric Subjects
In trials with isotretinoin capsules, adverse reactions reported in pediatric subjects aged 12 to 17 years old were similar to those described in adults except for the increased incidence of back pain and arthralgia (both of which were sometimes severe) and myalgia in pediatric subjects. In a trial of pediatric subjects aged 12 to 17 years old treated with isotretinoin capsules, approximately 29% (104/358) developed back pain. Back pain was severe in 14% (14/104) of the cases and occurred at a higher frequency in female subjects than male subjects. Arthralgias were experienced in 22% (79/358) of pediatric subjects including severe arthralgias in 8% (6/79) of subjects. Appropriate evaluation of the musculoskeletal system should be done in adolescents who present with these symptoms during or after a course of ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD. Consider discontinuing ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD if any significant abnormality is found.
Effects on Bone Mineral Density in Pediatric Subjects
The effect on bone mineral density (BMD) of a 20-week course of therapy with ABSORICA or another isotretinoin capsule product was evaluated in a double-blind, randomized clinical trial involving 396 adolescents with severe recalcitrant nodular acne (mean age 15.4 years old, range 12 to 17 years old, 80% males). Given that there were no statistically significant differences between the two isotretinoin capsule groups following 20 weeks of treatment, the results are presented for the pooled treatment groups. The mean changes in BMD from baseline for the overall trial population were 1.8% for lumbar spine, -0.1% for total hip and -0.3% for femoral neck. Mean BMD Z-scores declined from baseline at each of these sites (-0.053, -0.109 and -0.104 respectively). Out of 306 adolescents, 27 (9%) had clinically significant BMD declines defined as ≥4% lumbar spine or total hip, or ≥5% femoral neck, including 2 subjects for lumbar spine, 17 for total hip and 20 for femoral neck. Repeat DXA scans within 2 to 3 months after the post treatment scan showed no recovery of BMD. Long-term follow-up at 4 to 11 months showed that 3 out of 7 subjects had total hip and femoral neck BMD below pre-treatment baseline, and 2 others did not show the increase in BMD above baseline expected in this adolescent population. The significance of these changes in regard to long-term bone health and future fracture risk is unknown [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)].
In an open-label clinical trial (N=217) of a single course of therapy with isotretinoin capsules for adolescents with severe recalcitrant nodular acne, BMD at several skeletal sites were not significantly decreased (lumbar spine change >-4% and total hip change >-5%) or were increased in the majority of subjects. One patient had a decrease in lumbar spine BMD >4% based on unadjusted data. Sixteen (8%) subjects had decreases in lumbar spine BMD >4%, and all the other subjects (92%) did not have significant decreases or had increases (adjusted for body mass index). Nine subjects (5%) had a decrease in total hip BMD >5% based on unadjusted data. Twenty-one (11%) subjects had decreases in total hip BMD >5%, and all the other subjects (89%) did not have significant decreases or had increases (adjusted for body mass index). Follow-up trials performed in 8 of the subjects with decreased BMD for up to 11 months thereafter demonstrated increasing BMD in 5 subjects at the lumbar spine, while the other 3 subjects had lumbar spine BMD measurements below baseline values. Total hip BMD remained below baseline (range −1.6% to −7.6%) in 5 of 8 subjects (63%).
In a separate open-label extension trial of 10 subjects including those ages 13 to 17 years, who started a second course of isotretinoin capsules 4 months after the first course, two subjects showed a decrease in mean lumbar spine BMD up to 3.3%.
There are reports of premature epiphyseal closure in acne patients who used isotretinoin at recommended doses. The effect of multiple courses of isotretinoin on epiphyseal closure is unknown. In a 20-week clinical trial that included 289 adolescents who had hand radiographs taken to assess bone age, a total of 9 subjects had bone age changes that were clinically significant and for which an isotretinoin-related effect cannot be excluded [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)].
Clinical studies of ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD did not include sufficient numbers of geriatric subjects (subjects aged 65 years of age and older) to determine whether they respond differently from younger adults. Although reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between geriatric and younger adults, effects of aging may increase some risks associated with ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD therapy.
In humans, isotretinoin overdosage has been associated with vomiting, facial flushing, cheilosis, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness, and ataxia. These symptoms quickly resolved without apparent residual effects.
Patients who can become pregnant who present with an ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD overdosage should be evaluated for pregnancy. Because an overdosage would be expected to result in higher levels of isotretinoin in semen than found during a normal treatment course, male patients treated with ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD should use a condom, or avoid reproductive sexual activity with a patient who is or might become pregnant, for 1 month after the overdose.
All patients with ABSORICA/ABSORICA LD overdose should not donate blood for at least 1 month.
ABSORICA (isotretinoin) Capsules contain 10 mg, 20 mg, 25 mg, 30 mg, 35 mg or 40 mg of isotretinoin (a retinoid) in hard gelatin capsules for oral administration. In addition to the active ingredient, isotretinoin, each capsule contains the following inactive ingredients: propyl gallate, sorbitan monooleate, soybean oil and stearoyl polyoxylglycerides. The gelatin capsules contain the following dye systems:
- 10 mg – iron oxide (yellow) and titanium dioxide;
- 20 mg – iron oxide (red), and titanium dioxide;
- 25 mg – FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Yellow #5 [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14)] , FD&C Yellow #6 and titanium dioxide;
- 30 mg – iron oxide (black, red and yellow) and titanium dioxide;
- 35 mg – FD&C Blue #2, iron oxide (black, red and yellow) and titanium dioxide;
- 40 mg – iron oxide (black, red and yellow) and titanium dioxide.
ABSORICA LD (isotretinoin) Capsules contain 8 mg, 16 mg, 20 mg, 24 mg, 28 mg and 32 mg of micronized isotretinoin (a retinoid) in suspension filled in hard gelatin capsules for oral administration. In addition to the active ingredient, isotretinoin, USP each capsule contains the following inactive ingredients: butylated hydroxy anisole, gelatin, hard gelatin capsule shell, polysorbate 80 and soybean oil. The gelatin capsules contain the following dye systems:
- 8 mg – D&C Yellow #10, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #40 and titanium dioxide
- 16 mg – FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #40, and titanium dioxide
- 20 mg – FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #40, and titanium dioxide
- 24 mg – D&C Yellow #10, FD&C Yellow #6 and titanium dioxide
- 28 mg – FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #40, and titanium dioxide
- 32 mg – ferrosoferric oxide, ferric oxide (red and yellow) and titanium dioxide
The imprinting ink of 8 mg, 16 mg, 24 mg and 32 mg capsules contain the following ingredients: potassium hydroxide, propylene glycol, shellac and titanium dioxide.
The imprinting ink of 20 mg and 28 mg capsules contain the following ingredients: ferrosoferric oxide, propylene glycol and shellac glaze.
Chemically, isotretinoin is 13-cis -retinoic acid and is related to both retinoic acid and retinol (vitamin A). It is a yellow to orange crystalline powder with a molecular weight of 300.44. It is practically insoluble in water, soluble in chloroform and sparingly soluble in alcohol and in isopropyl alcohol. The structural formula is:
ABSORICA meets USP Dissolution Test 3.
For ABSORICA LD, FDA approved dissolution test differs from the USP.
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