ACTEMRA (Page 4 of 15)

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Intravenous Infusion

Injection: 80 mg/4 mL, 200 mg/10 mL, 400 mg/20 mL as a clear, colorless to pale yellow solution in 20 mg/mL single-dose vials for further dilution prior to intravenous infusion.

Subcutaneous Injection

Injection: 162 mg/0.9 mL clear, colorless to slightly yellowish solution in a single-dose prefilled syringe or single-dose prefilled ACTPen® autoinjector.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

ACTEMRA is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to ACTEMRA [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Serious Infections

Serious and sometimes fatal infections due to bacterial, mycobacterial, invasive fungal, viral, protozoal, or other opportunistic pathogens have been reported in patients receiving immunosuppressive agents including ACTEMRA. The most common serious infections included pneumonia, urinary tract infection, cellulitis, herpes zoster, gastroenteritis, diverticulitis, sepsis and bacterial arthritis [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. Among opportunistic infections, tuberculosis, cryptococcus, aspergillosis, candidiasis, and pneumocystosis were reported with ACTEMRA. Other serious infections, not reported in clinical studies, may also occur (e.g., histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, listeriosis). Patients have presented with disseminated rather than localized disease, and were often taking concomitant immunosuppressants such as methotrexate or corticosteroids which in addition to rheumatoid arthritis may predispose them to infections.

Do not administer ACTEMRA in patients with an active infection, including localized infections. The risks and benefits of treatment should be considered prior to initiating ACTEMRA in patients:

  • with chronic or recurrent infection;
  • who have been exposed to tuberculosis;
  • with a history of serious or an opportunistic infection;
  • who have resided or traveled in areas of endemic tuberculosis or endemic mycoses; or
  • with underlying conditions that may predispose them to infection.

Closely monitor patients for the development of signs and symptoms of infection during and after treatment with ACTEMRA, as signs and symptoms of acute inflammation may be lessened due to suppression of the acute phase reactants [see Dosage and Administration (2.7), Adverse Reactions (6.1), and Patient Counseling Information (17)].

Hold ACTEMRA if a patient develops a serious infection, an opportunistic infection, or sepsis. A patient who develops a new infection during treatment with ACTEMRA should undergo a prompt and complete diagnostic workup appropriate for an immunocompromised patient, initiate appropriate antimicrobial therapy, and closely monitor the patient.

Tuberculosis

Evaluate patients for tuberculosis risk factors and test for latent infection prior to initiating ACTEMRA.

Consider anti-tuberculosis therapy prior to initiation of ACTEMRA in patients with a past history of latent or active tuberculosis in whom an adequate course of treatment cannot be confirmed, and for patients with a negative test for latent tuberculosis but having risk factors for tuberculosis infection. Consultation with a physician with expertise in the treatment of tuberculosis is recommended to aid in the decision whether initiating anti-tuberculosis therapy is appropriate for an individual patient.

Closely monitor patients for the development of signs and symptoms of tuberculosis including patients who tested negative for latent tuberculosis infection prior to initiating therapy.

It is recommended that patients be screened for latent tuberculosis infection prior to starting ACTEMRA. The incidence of tuberculosis in worldwide clinical development programs is 0.1%. Patients with latent tuberculosis should be treated with standard antimycobacterial therapy before initiating ACTEMRA.

Viral Reactivation

Viral reactivation has been reported with immunosuppressive biologic therapies and cases of herpes zoster exacerbation were observed in clinical studies with ACTEMRA. No cases of Hepatitis B reactivation were observed in the trials; however patients who screened positive for hepatitis were excluded.

5.2 Gastrointestinal Perforations

Events of gastrointestinal perforation have been reported in clinical trials, primarily as complications of diverticulitis in patients treated with ACTEMRA. Use ACTEMRA with caution in patients who may be at increased risk for gastrointestinal perforation. Promptly evaluate patients presenting with new onset abdominal symptoms for early identification of gastrointestinal perforation [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

5.3 Hepatotoxicity

Serious cases of hepatic injury have been observed in patients taking intravenous or subcutaneous ACTEMRA. Some of these cases have resulted in liver transplant or death. Time to onset for cases ranged from months to years after treatment initiation with tocilizumab. While most cases presented with marked elevations of transaminases (> 5 times ULN), some cases presented with signs or symptoms of liver dysfunction and only mildly elevated transaminases.

During randomized controlled studies, treatment with ACTEMRA was associated with a higher incidence of transaminase elevations [see Adverse Reactions (6.1, 6.2, 6.6, 6.8)]. Increased frequency and magnitude of these elevations was observed when potentially hepatotoxic drugs (e.g., MTX) were used in combination with ACTEMRA.

For RA, GCA and SSc-ILD patients, obtain a liver test panel (serum alanine aminotransferase [ALT], aspartate aminotransferase [AST], alkaline phosphatase, and total bilirubin) before initiating ACTEMRA, every 4 to 8 weeks after start of therapy for the first 6 months of treatment and every 3 months thereafter. It is not recommended to initiate ACTEMRA treatment in RA, GCA or SSc-ILD patients with elevated transaminases ALT or AST greater than 1.5× ULN. In patients who develop elevated ALT or AST greater than 5× ULN, discontinue ACTEMRA. For recommended modifications based upon increase in transaminases see Dosage and Administration (2.10).

Measure liver tests promptly in patients who report symptoms that may indicate liver injury, such as fatigue, anorexia, right upper abdominal discomfort, dark urine or jaundice. In this clinical context, if the patient is found to have abnormal liver tests (e.g., ALT greater than three times the upper limit of the reference range, serum total bilirubin greater than two times the upper limit of the reference range), ACTEMRA treatment should be interrupted and investigation done to establish the probable cause. ACTEMRA should only be restarted in patients with another explanation for the liver test abnormalities after normalization of the liver tests.

A similar pattern of liver enzyme elevation is noted with ACTEMRA treatment in the PJIA and SJIA populations. Monitor liver test panel at the time of the second administration and thereafter every 4 to 8 weeks for PJIA and every 2 to 4 weeks for SJIA.

5.4 Changes in Laboratory Parameters

Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Giant Cell Arteritis and Systemic Sclerosis-Associated Interstitial Lung Disease

Neutropenia

Treatment with ACTEMRA was associated with a higher incidence of neutropenia. Infections have been uncommonly reported in association with treatment-related neutropenia in long-term extension studies and postmarketing clinical experience.

It is not recommended to initiate ACTEMRA treatment in patients with a low neutrophil count, i.e., absolute neutrophil count (ANC) less than 2000 per mm3. In patients who develop an absolute neutrophil count less than 500 per mm3 treatment is not recommended.
Monitor neutrophils 4 to 8 weeks after start of therapy and every 3 months thereafter [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)]. For recommended modifications based on ANC results see Dosage and Administration (2.10).

Thrombocytopenia

Treatment with ACTEMRA was associated with a reduction in platelet counts. Treatment-related reduction in platelets was not associated with serious bleeding events in clinical trials [see Adverse Reactions (6.1, 6.2)].

It is not recommended to initiate ACTEMRA treatment in patients with a platelet count below 100,000 per mm3. In patients who develop a platelet count less than 50,000 per mm3 treatment is not recommended.
Monitor platelets 4 to 8 weeks after start of therapy and every 3 months thereafter. For recommended modifications based on platelet counts see Dosage and Administration (2.10).

Elevated Liver Enzymes

Refer to 5.3 Hepatotoxicity. For recommended modifications [see Dosage and Administration (2.10)]

Lipid Abnormalities

Treatment with ACTEMRA was associated with increases in lipid parameters such as total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and/or HDL cholesterol [see Adverse Reactions (6.1, 6.2)].

Assess lipid parameters approximately 4 to 8 weeks following initiation of ACTEMRA therapy.
Subsequently, manage patients according to clinical guidelines [e.g., National Cholesterol Educational Program (NCEP)] for the management of hyperlipidemia.

Patients with Polyarticular and Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

A similar pattern of liver enzyme elevation, low neutrophil count, low platelet count and lipid elevations is noted with ACTEMRA treatment in the PJIA and SJIA populations. Monitor neutrophils, platelets, ALT and AST at the time of the second administration and thereafter every 4 to 8 weeks for PJIA and every 2 to 4 weeks for SJIA. Monitor lipids as above for approved adult indications [see Dosage and Administration (2.10)].

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