Potential for Fetal Harm: Use in pregnancy should be avoided except in patients with severe or potentially life-threatening fungal infections in whom fluconazole may be used if the anticipated benefit outweighs the possible risk to the fetus. A few published case reports describe a pattern of distinct congenital anomalies in infants exposed in utero to high dose maternal fluconazole (400 mg/day to 800 mg/day) during most or all of the first trimester. These reported anomalies are similar to those seen in animal studies. Effective contraceptive measures should be considered in women of child-bearing potential who are being treated with fluconazole 400 mg/day to 800 mg/day and should continue throughout the treatment period and for approximately 1 week (5 to 6 half-lives) after the final dose. If fluconazole is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking the drug, the patient should be informed of the potential hazard to the fetus. Spontaneous abortions and congenital abnormalities have been suggested as potential risks associated with 150 mg of fluconazole as a single or repeated dose in the first trimester of pregnancy based on retrospective epidemiological studies. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of fluconazole in pregnant women. (See WARNINGS: Potential for Fetal Harm.)
Case reports describe a distinctive and rare pattern of birth defects among infants whose mothers received high-dose (400 mg/day to 800 mg/day) fluconazole during most or all of the first trimester of pregnancy. The features seen in these infants include brachycephaly, abnormal facies, abnormal calvarial development, cleft palate, femoral bowing, thin ribs and long bones, arthrogryposis, and congenital heart disease. These effects are similar to those seen in animal studies.
Epidemiological studies suggest a potential risk of spontaneous abortion and congenital abnormalities in infants whose mothers were treated with 150 mg of fluconazole as a single or repeated dose in the first trimester, but these epidemiological studies have limitations and these findings have not been confirmed in controlled clinical trials.
Fluconazole was administered orally to pregnant rabbits during organogenesis in two studies at doses of 5 mg/kg, 10 mg/kg, and 20 mg/kg and at 5 mg/kg, 25 mg/kg, and 75 mg/kg, respectively. Maternal weight gain was impaired at all dose levels (approximately 0.25 to 4 times the 400 mg clinical dose based on body surface area [BSA] comparison), and abortions occurred at 75 mg/kg (approximately 4 times the 400 mg clinical dose based on BSA); no adverse fetal effects were observed.
In several studies in which pregnant rats received fluconazole orally during organogenesis, maternal weight gain was impaired and placental weights were increased at 25 mg/kg. There were no fetal effects at 5 mg/kg or 10 mg/kg; increases in fetal anatomical variants (supernumerary ribs, renal pelvis dilation) and delays in ossification were observed at 25 mg/kg and 50 mg/kg and higher doses. At doses ranging from 80 mg/kg to 320 mg/kg (approximately 2 to 8 times the 400 mg clinical dose based on BSA), embryolethality in rats was increased and fetal abnormalities included wavy ribs, cleft palate, and abnormal craniofacial ossification. These effects are consistent with the inhibition of estrogen synthesis in rats and may be a result of known effects of lowered estrogen on pregnancy, organogenesis, and parturition.
Fluconazole was present in low levels in breast milk following administration of a single 150 mg dose, based on data from a study in 10 breastfeeding women who temporarily or permanently discontinued breastfeeding 5 days to 19 months postpartum. The estimated daily infant dose of fluconazole from breast milk (assuming mean milk consumption of 150 mL/kg/day) based on the mean peak milk concentration (2.61 mcg/mL [range: 1.57 to 3.65 mcg/mL] at 5.2 hours post-dose) was 0.39 mg/kg/day, which is approximately 13% of the recommended pediatric dose for oropharyngeal candidiasis. (Labeled pediatric dose is 6 mg/kg/day on the first day followed by 3 mg/kg/day; estimated infant dose is 13% of 3 mg/kg/day maintenance dose). There are no data on fluconazole levels in milk after repeated use or after high-dose fluconazole. A published survey of 96 breastfeeding women who were treated with fluconazole 150 mg every other day (average of 7.3 capsules [range 1 to 29 capsules]) for lactation-associated candida of the breasts reported no serious adverse reactions in infants. Caution should be exercised when fluconazole is administered to a nursing woman.
An open-label, randomized, controlled trial has shown fluconazole to be effective in the treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis in children 6 months to 13 years of age. ( See CLINICAL STUDIES.)
The use of fluconazole in children with cryptococcal meningitis, Candida esophagitis, or systemic Candida infections is supported by the efficacy shown for these indications in adults and by the results from several small noncomparative pediatric clinical studies. In addition, pharmacokinetic studies in children ( See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY) have established a dose proportionality between children and adults. ( See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
In a noncomparative study of children with serious systemic fungal infections, most of which were candidemia, the effectiveness of fluconazole was similar to that reported for the treatment of candidemia in adults. Of 17 subjects with culture-confirmed candidemia, 11 of 14 (79%) with baseline symptoms (3 were asymptomatic) had a clinical cure; 13/15 (87%) of evaluable patients had a mycologic cure at the end of treatment but two of these patients relapsed at 10 and 18 days, respectively, following cessation of therapy.
The efficacy of fluconazole for the suppression of cryptococcal meningitis was successful in 4 of 5 children treated in a compassionate-use study of fluconazole for the treatment of life-threatening or serious mycosis. There is no information regarding the efficacy of fluconazole for primary treatment of cryptococcal meningitis in children.
The safety profile of fluconazole in children has been studied in 577 children ages 1 day to 17 years who received doses ranging from 1 to 15 mg/kg/day for 1 to 1,616 days. ( See ADVERSE REACTIONS.)
Efficacy of fluconazole has not been established in infants less than 6 months of age. ( See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY.) A small number of patients (29) ranging in age from 1 day to 6 months have been treated safely with fluconazole.
In non-AIDS patients, side effects possibly related to fluconazole treatment were reported in fewer patients aged 65 and older (9%, n =339) than for younger patients (14%, n=2240). However, there was no consistent difference between the older and younger patients with respect to individual side effects. Of the most frequently reported (>1%) side effects, rash, vomiting, and diarrhea occurred in greater proportions of older patients. Similar proportions of older patients (2.4%) and younger patients (1.5%) discontinued fluconazole therapy because of side effects. In post-marketing experience, spontaneous reports of anemia and acute renal failure were more frequent among patients 65 years of age or older than in those between 12 and 65 years of age. Because of the voluntary nature of the reports and the natural increase in the incidence of anemia and renal failure in the elderly, it is however not possible to establish a casual relationship to drug exposure.
Controlled clinical trials of fluconazole did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and older to evaluate whether they respond differently from younger patients in each indication. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients.
Fluconazole is primarily cleared by renal excretion as unchanged drug. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken to adjust dose based on creatinine clearance. It may be useful to monitor renal function. ( See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGYand DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
In some patients, particularly those with serious underlying diseases such as AIDS and cancer, changes in renal and hematological function test results and hepatic abnormalities have been observed during treatment with fluconazole and comparative agents, but the clinical significance and relationship to treatment is uncertain.
In Patients Receiving a Single Dose for Vaginal Candidiasis:
During comparative clinical studies conducted in the United States, 448 patients with vaginal candidiasis were treated with fluconazole, 150 mg single dose. The overall incidence of side effects possibly related to fluconazole was 26%. In 422 patients receiving active comparative agents, the incidence was 16%. The most common treatment-related adverse events reported in the patients who received 150 mg single dose fluconazole for vaginitis were headache (13%), nausea (7%), and abdominal pain (6%). Other side effects reported with an incidence equal to or greater than 1% included diarrhea (3%), dyspepsia (1%), dizziness (1%), and taste perversion (1%). Most of the reported side effects were mild to moderate in severity. Rarely, angioedema and anaphylactic reaction have been reported in marketing experience.
In Patients Receiving Multiple Doses for Other Infections:
Sixteen percent of over 4000 patients treated with fluconazole in clinical trials of 7 days or more experienced adverse events. Treatment was discontinued in 1.5% of patients due to adverse clinical events and in 1.3% of patients due to laboratory test abnormalities.
Clinical adverse events were reported more frequently in HIV infected patients (21%) than in non-HIV infected patients (13%); however, the patterns in HIV infected and non-HIV infected patients were similar. The proportions of patients discontinuing therapy due to clinical adverse events were similar in the two groups (1.5%).
The following treatment-related clinical adverse events occurred at an incidence of 1% or greater in 4048 patients receiving fluconazole for 7 or more days in clinical trials: nausea 3.7%, headache 1.9%, skin rash 1.8%, vomiting 1.7%, abdominal pain 1.7%, and diarrhea 1.5%.
Hepato-biliary: In combined clinical trials and marketing experience, there have been rare cases of serious hepatic reactions during treatment with fluconazole. ( See WARNINGS.) The spectrum of these hepatic reactions has ranged from mild transient elevations in transaminases to clinical hepatitis, cholestasis and fulminant hepatic failure, including fatalities. Instances of fatal hepatic reactions were noted to occur primarily in patients with serious underlying medical conditions (predominantly AIDS or malignancy) and often while taking multiple concomitant medications. Transient hepatic reactions, including hepatitis and jaundice, have occurred among patients with no other identifiable risk factors. In each of these cases, liver function returned to baseline on discontinuation of fluconazole.
In two comparative trials evaluating the efficacy of fluconazole for the suppression of relapse of cryptococcal meningitis, a statistically significant increase was observed in median AST (SGOT) levels from a baseline value of 30 IU/L to 41 IU/L in one trial and 34 IU/L to 66 IU/L in the other. The overall rate of serum transaminase elevations of more than 8 times the upper limit of normal was approximately 1% in fluconazole-treated patients in clinical trials. These elevations occurred in patients with severe underlying disease, predominantly AIDS or malignancies, most of whom were receiving multiple concomitant medications, including many known to be hepatotoxic. The incidence of abnormally elevated serum transaminases was greater in patients taking fluconazole concomitantly with one or more of the following medications: rifampin, phenytoin, isoniazid, valproic acid, or oral sulfonylurea hypoglycemic agents.
In addition, the following adverse events have occurred during post-marketing experience.
Immunologic: In rare cases, anaphylaxis (including angioedema, face edema and pruritus) has been reported.
Body as a Whole: Asthenia, fatigue, fever, malaise.
Cardiovascular: QT prolongation, torsade de pointes. ( See PRECAUTIONS.)
Central Nervous System: Seizures, dizziness.
Hematopoietic and Lymphatic: Leukopenia, including neutropenia and agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia.
Metabolic: Hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hypokalemia.
Gastrointestinal: Cholestasis, dry mouth, hepatocellular damage, dyspepsia, vomiting.
Other Senses: Taste perversion.
Musculoskeletal System: myalgia.
Nervous System: Insomnia, paresthesia, somnolence, tremor, vertigo.
Skin and Appendages: Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, drug eruption including fixed drug eruption, increased sweating, exfoliative skin disorders including Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) ( See WARNINGS), alopecia.
Adverse Reactions in Children:
The pattern and incidence of adverse events and laboratory abnormalities recorded during pediatric clinical trials are comparable to those seen in adults.
In Phase II/III clinical trials conducted in the United States and in Europe, 577 pediatric patients, ages 1 day to 17 years were treated with fluconazole at doses up to 15 mg/kg/day for up to 1,616 days. Thirteen percent of children experienced treatment-related adverse events. The most commonly reported events were vomiting (5%), abdominal pain (3%), nausea (2%), and diarrhea (2%). Treatment was discontinued in 2.3% of patients due to adverse clinical events and in 1.4% of patients due to laboratory test abnormalities. The majority of treatment-related laboratory abnormalities were elevations of transaminases or alkaline phosphatase.
|Fluconazole ( N = 577 )||Comparative Agents ( N = 451 )|
|With any side effect||13||9.3|
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