Deferasirox (Page 3 of 9)

5.2 Hepatic Toxicity and Failure

Deferasirox can cause hepatic injury, fatal in some patients. In Study 1, 4 patients (1.3%) discontinued deferasirox because of hepatic toxicity (drug-induced hepatitis in 2 patients and increased serum transaminases in 2 additional patients). Hepatic toxicity appears to be more common in patients greater than 55 years of age. Hepatic failure was more common in patients with significant comorbidities, including liver cirrhosis and multi-organ failure [see Adverse Reactions ( 6.1)] . Acute liver injury and failure, including fatal outcomes, have occurred in pediatric deferasirox-treated patients. Liver failure occurred in association with acute kidney injury in pediatric patients at risk for overchelation during a volume depleting event. Interrupt deferasirox therapy when acute liver injury or acute kidney injury is suspected and during volume depletion. Monitor liver and renal function more frequently in pediatric patients who are receiving deferasirox in the 20 mg to 40 mg/kg/day range and when iron burden is approaching normal. Use the minimum effective dose to achieve and maintain a low iron burden [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.5), Warnings and Precautions ( 5.6), Adverse Reactions ( 6.1)].

Measure transaminases (AST and ALT) and bilirubin in all patients before the initiation of treatment, and every 2 weeks during the first month and at least monthly thereafter. Consider dose modifications or interruption of treatment for severe or persistent elevations.

Avoid the use of deferasirox in patients with severe (Child-Pugh C) hepatic impairment. Reduce the starting dose in patients with moderate (Child-Pugh B) hepatic impairment [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.4), Use in Specific Populations ( 8.7)] . Patients with mild (Child-Pugh A) or moderate (Child-Pugh B) hepatic impairment may be at higher risk for hepatic toxicity.

5.3 Gastrointestinal (GI) Ulceration, Hemorrhage, and Perforation

GI hemorrhage, including deaths, has been reported in deferasirox-treated patients, especially in elderly patients who had advanced hematologic malignancies and/or low platelet counts. Nonfatal upper GI irritation, ulceration and hemorrhage have been reported in patients, including children and adolescents, receiving deferasirox [see Adverse Reactions ( 6.1)] . Monitor for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and hemorrhage during deferasirox therapy and promptly initiate additional evaluation and treatment if a serious GI adverse event is suspected. The risk of gastrointestinal hemorrhage may be increased when administering deferasirox in combination with drugs that have ulcerogenic or hemorrhagic potential, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, oral bisphosphonates, or anticoagulants. There have been reports of ulcers complicated with gastrointestinal perforation (including fatal outcome) [see Adverse Reactions ( 6.2)] .

5.4 Bone Marrow Suppression

Neutropenia, agranulocytosis, worsening anemia, and thrombocytopenia, including fatal events, have been reported in patients treated with deferasirox. Preexisting hematologic disorders may increase this risk. Monitor blood counts in all patients. Interrupt treatment with deferasirox in patients who develop cytopenias until the cause of the cytopenia has been determined. Deferasirox is contraindicated in patients with platelet counts below 50 x 10 9 /L.

5.5 Age-Related Risk of Toxicity

Elderly Patients

Deferasirox has been associated with serious and fatal adverse reactions in the postmarketing setting among adults, predominantly in elderly patients. Monitor elderly patients treated with deferasirox more frequently for toxicity [see Use in Specific Populations ( 8.5)].

Pediatric Patients

Deferasirox has been associated with serious and fatal adverse reactions in pediatric patients in the postmarketing setting. These events were frequently associated with volume depletion or with continued deferasirox doses in the 20 mg to 40 mg/kg/day range when body iron burden was approaching or in the normal range. Interrupt deferasirox in patients with volume depletion, and resume deferasirox when renal function and fluid volume have normalized. Monitor liver and renal function more frequently during volume depletion and in patients receiving deferasirox in the 20 mg to 40 mg/kg/day range when iron burden is approaching the normal range. Use the minimum effective dose to achieve and maintain a low iron burden [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.4), Warnings and Precautions ( 5.6), Use in Specific Populations ( 8.4)].

5.6 Overchelation

For patients with transfusional iron overload, measure serum ferritin monthly to assess for possible overchelation of iron. An analysis of pediatric patients treated with deferasirox in pooled clinical trials (n = 158) found a higher rate of renal adverse events among patients receiving doses greater than 25 mg/kg/day while their serum ferritin values were less than 1,000 mcg/L. Consider dose reduction or closer monitoring of renal and hepatic function, and serum ferritin levels during these periods. Use the minimum effective dose to maintain a low-iron burden [see Adverse Reactions ( 6.1), Use in Specific Populations ( 8.4)] .

If the serum ferritin falls below 1,000 mcg/L at 2 consecutive visits, consider dose reduction, especially if the dose is greater than 25 mg/kg/day [see Adverse Reactions ( 6.1)] . If the serum ferritin falls below 500 mcg/L, interrupt therapy with deferasirox and continue monthly monitoring. Evaluate the need for ongoing chelation for patients whose conditions do not require regular blood transfusions. Use the minimum effective dose to maintain iron burden in the target range. Continued administration of deferasirox in the 20 mg to 40 mg/kg/day range when the body iron burden is approaching or within the normal range has resulted in life-threatening adverse events [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.1)] .

Additional pediatric use information is approved for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation’s EXJADE ® (deferasirox) tablets for oral suspension. However, due to Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation’s marketing exclusivity rights, this drug product is not labeled with that pediatric information.

5.7 Hypersensitivity

Deferasirox may cause serious hypersensitivity reactions (such as anaphylaxis and angioedema), with the onset of the reaction usually occurring within the first month of treatment [see Adverse Reactions ( 6.2)] . If reactions are severe, discontinue deferasirox and institute appropriate medical intervention. Deferasirox is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to deferasirox products and should not be reintroduced in patients who have experienced previous hypersensitivity reactions on deferasirox products due to the risk of anaphylactic shock.

5.8 Severe Skin Reactions

Severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs) including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), and drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), which could be life-threatening or fatal have been reported during deferasirox therapy [see Adverse Reactions ( 6.1, 6.2)] . Cases of erythema multiforme have been observed. Advise patients of the signs and symptoms of severe skin reactions, and closely monitor. If any severe skin reactions are suspected, discontinue deferasirox immediately and do not reintroduce deferasirox therapy.

5.9 Skin Rash

Rashes may occur during deferasirox treatment [see Adverse Reactions ( 6.1)] . For rashes of mild to moderate severity, deferasirox may be continued without dose adjustment, since the rash often resolves spontaneously. In severe cases, interrupt treatment with deferasirox. Reintroduction at a lower dose with escalation may be considered after resolution of the rash.

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