BORTEZOMIB (Page 4 of 10)

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Peripheral Neuropathy

Bortezomib treatment causes a peripheral neuropathy that is predominantly sensory; however, cases of severe sensory and motor peripheral neuropathy have been reported. Patients with preexisting symptoms (numbness, pain or a burning feeling in the feet or hands) and/or signs of peripheral neuropathy may experience worsening peripheral neuropathy (including ≥Grade 3) during treatment with bortezomib. Patients should be monitored for symptoms of neuropathy, such as a burning sensation, hyperesthesia, hypoesthesia, paresthesia, discomfort, neuropathic pain or weakness. In the Phase 3 relapsed multiple myeloma trial comparing bortezomib subcutaneous vs intravenous, the incidence of Grade ≥2 peripheral neuropathy was 24% for subcutaneous and 39% for intravenous. Grade ≥3 peripheral neuropathy occurred in 6% of patients in the subcutaneous treatment group, compared with 15% in the intravenous treatment group [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. Starting bortezomib subcutaneously may be considered for patients with preexisting or at high risk of peripheral neuropathy.

Patients experiencing new or worsening peripheral neuropathy during bortezomib therapy may require a decrease in the dose and/or a less dose-intense schedule [see Dosage and Administration (2.7)]. In the bortezomib vs dexamethasone Phase 3 relapsed multiple myeloma study, improvement in or resolution of peripheral neuropathy was reported in 48% of patients with ≥Grade 2 peripheral neuropathy following dose adjustment or interruption. Improvement in or resolution of peripheral neuropathy was reported in 73% of patients who discontinued due to Grade 2 neuropathy or who had ≥Grade 3 peripheral neuropathy in the Phase 2 multiple myeloma studies. The long-term outcome of peripheral neuropathy has not been studied in mantle cell lymphoma.

5.2 Hypotension

The incidence of hypotension (postural, orthostatic, and hypotension NOS) was 8% [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. These events are observed throughout therapy. Patients with a history of syncope, patients receiving medications known to be associated with hypotension, and patients who are dehydrated may be at increased risk of hypotension. Management of orthostatic/postural hypotension may include adjustment of antihypertensive medications, hydration, and administration of mineralocorticoids and/or sympathomimetics.

5.3 Cardiac Toxicity

Acute development or exacerbation of congestive heart failure and new onset of decreased left ventricular ejection fraction have occurred during bortezomib therapy, including reports in patients with no risk factors for decreased left ventricular ejection fraction [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. Patients with risk factors for, or existing heart disease should be frequently monitored. In the relapsed multiple myeloma study of bortezomib vs dexamethasone, the incidence of any treatment-related cardiac disorder was 8% and 5% in the bortezomib and dexamethasone groups, respectively. The incidence of adverse reactions suggestive of heart failure (acute pulmonary edema, pulmonary edema, cardiac failure, congestive cardiac failure, cardiogenic shock) was ≤1% for each individual reaction in the bortezomib group. In the dexamethasone group the incidence was ≤1% for cardiac failure and congestive cardiac failure; there were no reported reactions of acute pulmonary edema, pulmonary edema, or cardiogenic shock. There have been isolated cases of QT-interval prolongation in clinical studies; causality has not been established.

5.4 Pulmonary Toxicity

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and acute diffuse infiltrative pulmonary disease of unknown etiology such as pneumonitis, interstitial pneumonia, lung infiltration have occurred in patients receiving bortezomib. Some of these events have been fatal.

In a clinical trial, the first two patients given high-dose cytarabine (2 g/m2 per day) by continuous infusion with daunorubicin and bortezomib for relapsed acute myelogenous leukemia died of ARDS early in the course of therapy.

There have been reports of pulmonary hypertension associated with bortezomib administration in the absence of left heart failure or significant pulmonary disease.

In the event of new or worsening cardiopulmonary symptoms, consider interrupting bortezomib until a prompt and comprehensive diagnostic evaluation is conducted.

5.5 Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES)

Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES; formerly termed Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS)) has occurred in patients receiving bortezomib. PRES is a rare, reversible, neurological disorder which can present with seizure, hypertension, headache, lethargy, confusion, blindness, and other visual and neurological disturbances. Brain imaging, preferably MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), is used to confirm the diagnosis. In patients developing PRES, discontinue bortezomib. The safety of reinitiating bortezomib therapy in patients previously experiencing PRES is not known.

5.6 Gastrointestinal Toxicity

Bortezomib treatment can cause nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)] sometimes requiring use of antiemetic and antidiarrheal medications. Ileus can occur. Fluid and electrolyte replacement should be administered to prevent dehydration. Interrupt bortezomib for severe symptoms.

5.7 Thrombocytopenia/Neutropenia

Bortezomib is associated with thrombocytopenia and neutropenia that follow a cyclical pattern with nadirs occurring following the last dose of each cycle and typically recovering prior to initiation of the subsequent cycle. The cyclical pattern of platelet and neutrophil decreases and recovery remain consistent in the studies of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma, with no evidence of cumulative thrombocytopenia or neutropenia in the treatment regimens studied.

Monitor complete blood counts (CBC) frequently during treatment with bortezomib. Measure platelet counts prior to each dose of bortezomib. Adjust dose/schedule for thrombocytopenia [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)]. Gastrointestinal and intracerebral hemorrhage has occurred during thrombocytopenia in association with bortezomib. Support with transfusions and supportive care, according to published guidelines.

In the single agent, relapsed multiple myeloma study of bortezomib vs dexamethasone, the mean platelet count nadir measured was approximately 40% of baseline. The severity of thrombocytopenia related to pretreatment platelet count is shown in Table 8. The incidence of bleeding (≥Grade 3) was 2% on the bortezomib arm and was <1% in the dexamethasone arm.

Table 8: Severity of Thrombocytopenia Related to Pretreatment Platelet Count in the Relapsed Multiple Myeloma Study of Bortezomib vs Dexamethasone

* A baseline platelet count of 50,000/µL was required for study eligibility

Data were missing at baseline for one patient

Pretreatment Platelet Count* Number of Patients (N=331) Number (%) of Patients with Platelet Count <10,000/µL Number (%) of Patients with Platelet Count 10,000 to 25,000/µL
≥75,000/µL 309 8 (3%) 36 (12%)
≥50,000/µL to <75,000/µL 14 2 (14%) 11 (79%)
≥10,000/µL to <50,000/µL 7 1 (14%) 5 (71%)

In the combination study of bortezomib with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin and prednisone (VcR-CAP) in previously untreated mantle cell lymphoma patients, the incidence of thrombocytopenia (≥Grade 4) was 32% vs 1% for the rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) arm as shown in Table 12. The incidence of bleeding events (≥Grade 3) was 1.7% in the VcR-CAP arm (four patients) and was 1.2% in the R-CHOP arm (three patients).

Platelet transfusions were given to 23% of the patients in the VcR-CAP arm and 3% of the patients in the R-CHOP arm.

The incidence of neutropenia (≥Grade 4) was 70% in the VcR-CAP arm and was 52% in the R-CHOP arm. The incidence of febrile neutropenia (≥Grade 4) was 5% in the VcR-CAP arm and was 6% in the R-CHOP arm. Myeloid growth factor support was provided at a rate of 78% in the VcR-CAP arm and 61% in the R-CHOP arm.

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