FLUCYTOSINE

FLUCYTOSINE — flucytosine capsule
Aurobindo Pharma Limited

WARNING

Use with extreme caution in patients with impaired renal function. Close monitoring of hematologic, renal and hepatic status of all patients is essential. These instructions should be thoroughly reviewed before administration of flucytosine.

DESCRIPTION

Flucytosine Capsules USP, an antifungal agent, is available as 250 mg and 500 mg capsules for oral administration. In addition to the active ingredient of flucytosine USP, each capsule contains anhydrous lactose, gelatin, iron oxide black, potassium hydroxide, potato starch, shellac, silicon dioxide, talc and titanium dioxide. In addition, the 250 mg capsule shell contains D&C yellow 10, FD&C blue 1 and FD&C yellow 6.

Chemically, flucytosine is 5-fluorocytosine, a fluorinated pyrimidine which is related to fluorouracil and floxuridine. It is a white or almost white crystalline powder with a molecular weight of 129.09 and the following structural formula:

Chemical StructureChemical Structure

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Flucytosine is rapidly and virtually completely absorbed following oral administration. Flucytosine is not metabolized significantly when given orally to man. Bioavailability estimated by comparing the area under the curve of serum concentrations after oral and intravenous administration showed 78% to 89% absorption of the oral dose. Peak serum concentrations of 30 to 40 mcg/mL were reached within 2 hours of administration of a 2 g oral dose to normal subjects. Other studies revealed mean serum concentrations of approximately 70 to 80 mcg/mL 1 to 2 hours after a dose in patients with normal renal function receiving a 6-week regimen of flucytosine (150 mg/kg/day given in divided doses every 6 hours) in combination with amphotericin B. The half-life in the majority of healthy subjects ranged between 2.4 and 4.8 hours. Flucytosine is excreted via the kidneys by means of glomerular filtration without significant tubular reabsorption. More than 90% of the total radioactivity after oral administration was recovered in the urine as intact drug. Flucytosine is deaminated (probably by gut bacteria) to 5-fluorouracil. The area under the curve (AUC) ratio of 5-fluorouracil to flucytosine is 4%. Approximately 1% of the dose is present in the urine as the α-fluoro-β-ureido-propionic acid metabolite. A small portion of the dose is excreted in the feces.

The half-life of flucytosine is prolonged in patients with renal insufficiency; the average half-life in nephrectomized or anuric patients was 85 hours (range: 29.9 to 250 hours). A linear correlation was found between the elimination rate constant of flucytosine and creatinine clearance.

In vitro studies have shown that 2.9% to 4% of flucytosine is protein-bound over the range of therapeutic concentrations found in the blood. Flucytosine readily penetrates the blood-brain barrier, achieving clinically significant concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid.

Pharmacokinetics in Pediatric Patients

Limited data are available regarding the pharmacokinetics of flucytosine administered to neonatal patients being treated for systemic candidiasis. After five days of continuous therapy, median peak levels in infants were 19.6 mcg/mL, 27.7 mcg/mL, and 83.9 mcg/mL at doses of 25 mg/kg (N=3), 50 mg/kg (N=4), and 100 mg/kg (N=3), respectively. Mean time to peak serum levels was of 2.5 ± 1.3 hours, similar to that observed in adult patients. A good deal of interindividual variability was noted, which did not correlate with gestational age. Some patients had serum levels > 100 mcg/mL, suggesting a need for drug level monitoring during therapy. In another study, serum concentrations were determined during flucytosine therapy in two patients (total assays performed =10). Median serum flucytosine concentrations at steady state were calculated to be 57 ± 10 mcg/mL (doses of 50 to 125 mg/kg/day, normalized to 25 mg/kg per dose for comparison). In three infants receiving flucytosine 25 mg/kg/day (four divided doses), a median flucytosine half-life of 7.4 hours was observed, approximately double that seen in adult patients. The concentration of flucytosine in the cerebrospinal fluid of one infant was 43 mcg/mL 3 hours after a 25 mg oral dose, and ranged from 20 to 67 mg/L in another neonate receiving oral doses of 120 to 150 mg/kg/day.

MICROBIOLOGY

Mechanism of Action


Flucytosine is taken up by fungal organisms via the enzyme cytosine permease. Inside the fungal cell, flucytosine is rapidly converted to fluorouracil by the enzyme cytosine deaminase. Fluorouracil exerts its antifungal activity through the subsequent conversion into several active metabolites, which inhibit protein synthesis by being falsely incorporated into fungal RNA or interfere with the biosynthesis of fungal DNA through the inhibition of the enzyme thymidylate synthetase.


Activity In Vitro

Flucytosine has been shown to be active against most strains of the following microorganisms both in vitro and in clinical infections.

Candida albicans

Cryptococcus neoformans

Susceptibility Testing

For specific information regarding susceptibility test interpretive criteria and associated test methods and quality control standards recognized by FDA for this drug, please see: https://www.fda.gov/STIC.

Drug Resistance

Flucytosine resistance may arise from a mutation of an enzyme necessary for the cellular uptake or metabolism of flucytosine or from an increased synthesis of pyrimidines, which compete with the active metabolites of flucytosine (fluorinated antimetabolites). Resistance to flucytosine has been shown to develop during monotherapy after prolonged exposure to the drug.

Drug Combination
Antifungal synergism between flucytosine and polyene antibiotics, particularly amphotericin B has been reported in vitro. Flucytosine is usually administered in combination with amphotericin B due to lack of cross-resistance and reported synergistic activity of both drugs.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Flucytosine capsules are indicated only in the treatment of serious infections caused by susceptible strains of Candida and/or Cryptococcus.

Candida: Septicemia, endocarditis and urinary system infections have been effectively treated with flucytosine. Limited trials in pulmonary infections justify the use of flucytosine

Cryptococcus: Meningitis and pulmonary infections have been treated effectively. Studies in septicemias and urinary tract infections are limited, but good responses have been reported.

Flucytosine capsules should be used in combination with amphotericin B for the treatment of systemic candidiasis and cryptococcosis because of the emergence of resistance to flucytosine (see MICROBIOLOGY).

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Flucytosine capsules should not be used in patients with a known hypersensitivity to the drug.

WARNINGS

Flucytosine must be given with extreme caution to patients with impaired renal function. Since flucytosine is excreted primarily by the kidneys, renal impairment may lead to accumulation of the drug. Flucytosine serum concentrations should be monitored to determine the adequacy of renal excretion in such patients. Dosage adjustments should be made in patients with renal insufficiency to prevent progressive accumulation of active drug.

Flucytosine must be given with extreme caution to patients with bone marrow depression. Patients may be more prone to depression of bone marrow function if they: 1) have a hematologic disease, 2) are being treated with radiation or drugs which depress bone marrow, or 3) have a history of treatment with such drugs or radiation. Bone marrow toxicity can be irreversible and may lead to death in immunosuppressed patients. Frequent monitoring of hepatic function and of the hematopoietic system is indicated during therapy.

PRECAUTIONS

General

Before therapy with flucytosine is instituted, electrolytes (because of hypokalemia) and the hematologic and renal status of the patient should be determined (see WARNINGS). Close monitoring of the patient during therapy is essential.

Laboratory Tests

Since renal impairment can cause progressive accumulation of the drug, blood concentrations and kidney function should be monitored during therapy. Hematologic status (leucocyte and thrombocyte count) and liver function (alkaline phosphatase, SGOT and SGPT) should be determined at frequent intervals during treatment as indicated.

Drug Interactions

Cytosine arabinoside, a cytostatic agent, has been reported to inactivate the antifungal activity of flucytosine by competitive inhibition. Drugs which impair glomerular filtration may prolong the biological half-life of flucytosine.

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