COARTEM

COARTEM- artemether and lumefantrine tablet
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Coartem Tablets are indicated for treatment of acute, uncomplicated malaria infections due to Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) in patients 2 months of age and older with a bodyweight of 5 kg and above. Coartem Tablets have been shown to be effective in geographical regions where resistance to chloroquine has been reported [see Clinical Studies (14.1) ].

Limitations of Use:

  • Coartem Tablets are not approved for patients with severe or complicated P. falciparum malaria.
  • Coartem Tablets are not approved for the prevention of malaria.

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Administration Instructions

Coartem Tablets should be taken with food. Patients with acute malaria are frequently averse to food. Patients should be encouraged to resume normal eating as soon as food can be tolerated since this improves absorption of artemether and lumefantrine.

For patients who are unable to swallow the tablets such as infants and children, Coartem Tablets may be crushed and mixed with a small amount of water (1 to 2 teaspoons) in a clean container for administration immediately prior to use. The container can be rinsed with more water and the contents swallowed by the patient. The crushed tablet preparation should be followed whenever possible by food/drink (e.g., milk, formula, pudding, broth, and porridge).

In the event of vomiting within 1 to 2 hours after administration, a repeat dose should be taken. If the repeat dose is vomited, the patient should be given an alternative antimalarial for treatment.

2.2 Dosage in Adult Patients (greater than 16 years of age)

A 3-day treatment schedule with a total of 6 doses is recommended for adult patients with a bodyweight of 35 kg and above:

Four tablets as a single initial dose, 4 tablets again after 8 hours, and then 4 tablets twice-daily (morning and evening) for the following 2 days (total course of 24 tablets).

For patients weighing less than 35 kg, [see Dosage and Administration (2.3)].

2.3 Dosage in Pediatric Patients

A 3-day treatment schedule with a total of 6 doses is recommended as below:

5 kg to less than 15 kg bodyweight: One tablet as an initial dose, 1 tablet again after 8 hours, and then 1 tablet twice daily (morning and evening) for the following 2 days (total course of 6 tablets).

15 kg to less than 25 kg bodyweight: Two tablets as an initial dose, 2 tablets again after 8 hours, and then 2 tablets twice daily (morning and evening) for the following 2 days (total course of 12 tablets).

25 kg to less than 35 kg bodyweight: Three tablets as an initial dose, 3 tablets again after 8 hours, and then 3 tablets twice daily (morning and evening) for the following 2 days (total course of 18 tablets).

35 kg bodyweight and above: Four tablets as a single initial dose, 4 tablets again after 8 hours, and then 4 tablets twice daily (morning and evening) for the following 2 days (total course of 24 tablets).

2.4 Dosage in Patients With Hepatic or Renal Impairment

No specific pharmacokinetic studies have been carried out in patients with hepatic or renal impairment. Most patients with acute malaria present with some degree of related hepatic and/or renal impairment. In clinical studies, the adverse event profile did not differ in patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment compared to patients with normal hepatic function. No specific dose adjustments are needed for patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment.

In clinical studies, the adverse event profile did not differ in patients with mild or moderate renal impairment compared to patients with normal renal function. There were few patients with severe renal impairment in clinical studies. There is no significant renal excretion of lumefantrine, artemether, and dihydroartemisinin (DHA) in healthy volunteers and while clinical experience in this population is limited, no dose adjustment is recommended.

Caution should be exercised when administering Coartem Tablets in patients with severe hepatic or renal impairment [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Coartem Tablets contain 20 mg of artemether and 120 mg of lumefantrine. Coartem Tablets are supplied as yellow, round, flat tablets with beveled edges and scored on one side. Tablets are imprinted with “N/C” on one side and “CG” on the other side.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

Hypersensitivity

Known hypersensitivity to artemether, lumefantrine, or to any of the excipients of Coartem Tablets [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

Strong CYP3A4 Inducers

Coadministration of strong inducers of CYP3A4 such as rifampin, carbamazepine, phenytoin, and St. John’s wort with Coartem Tablets can result in decreased concentrations of artemether and/or lumefantrine and loss of antimalarial efficacy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Drug Interactions (7.1), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Prolongation of the QT Interval

Some antimalarials (e.g., halofantrine, quinine, quinidine) including Coartem Tablets have been associated with prolongation of the QT interval on the electrocardiogram (ECG).

Coartem Tablets should be avoided in patients:

  • With congenital prolongation of the QT interval (e.g., long QT syndrome) or any other clinical condition known to prolong the QTc interval such as patients with a history of symptomatic cardiac arrhythmias, with clinically relevant bradycardia or with severe cardiac disease.
  • With a family history of congenital prolongation of the QT interval or sudden death.
  • With known disturbances of electrolyte balance, e.g., hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia.
  • Receiving other medications that prolong the QT interval, such as Class IA (quinidine, procainamide, disopyramide), or Class III (amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmic agents; antipsychotics (pimozide, ziprasidone); antidepressants; certain antibiotics (macrolide antibiotics, fluoroquinolone antibiotics, imidazole, and triazole antifungal agents) [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.6)].
  • Receiving medications that are metabolized by the cytochrome enzyme CYP2D6, which also have cardiac effects (e.g., flecainide, imipramine, amitriptyline, clomipramine) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), Drug Interactions (7.6), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

5.2 Use of QT Prolonging Drugs and Other Antimalarials

Halofantrine and Coartem Tablets should not be administered within 1 month of each other due to the long elimination half-life of lumefantrine (3 to 6 days) and potential additive effects on the QT interval [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Antimalarials should not be given concomitantly with Coartem Tablets, unless there is no other treatment option, due to limited safety data.

Drugs that prolong the QT interval, including antimalarials such as quinine and quinidine, should be used cautiously following Coartem Tablets, due to the long elimination half-life of lumefantrine (3 to 6 days) and the potential for additive effects on the QT interval; ECG monitoring is advised if use of drugs that prolong the QT interval is medically required [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Drug Interactions (7.7), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

If mefloquine is administered immediately prior to Coartem Tablets, there may be a decreased exposure to lumefantrine, possibly due to a mefloquine-induced decrease in bile production. Therefore, patients should be monitored for decreased efficacy and food consumption should be encouraged while taking Coartem Tablets [see Dosage and Administration (2.1), Drug Interactions (7.4), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

5.3 Drug Interactions With CYP3A4

When Coartem Tablets are coadministered with substrates of CYP3A4, it may result in decreased concentrations of the substrate and potential loss of substrate efficacy. When Coartem Tablets are coadministered with an inhibitor of CYP3A4, including grapefruit juice, it may result in increased concentrations of artemether and/or lumefantrine and potentiate QT prolongation. When Coartem Tablets are coadministered with inducers of CYP3A4, it may result in decreased concentrations of artemether and/or lumefantrine and loss of antimalarial efficacy [see Contraindications (4) and Drug Interactions (7)].

Drugs that have a mixed effect on CYP3A4, especially antiretroviral drugs such as HIV protease inhibitors and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and those that have an effect on the QT interval should be used with caution in patients taking Coartem Tablets [see Drug Interactions (7.3, 7.7)].

Coartem Tablets may reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives. Therefore, patients using hormonal contraceptives should be advised to use an alternative non-hormonal contraceptive method or add a barrier method of contraception during treatment with Coartem [see Drug Interactions (7.5)].

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