Spasticity of Spinal Cord Origin Patients
The clinical goal is to maintain muscle tone as close to normal as possible, and to minimize the frequency and severity of spasms to the extent possible, without inducing intolerable side effects. Very often, the maintenance dose needs to be adjusted during the first few months of therapy while patients adjust to changes in lifestyle due to the alleviation of spasticity. During periodic refills of the pump, the daily dose may be increased by 10% to 40%, but no more than 40%, to maintain adequate symptom control. The daily dose may be reduced by 10% to 20% if patients experience side effects. Most patients require gradual increases in dose over time to maintain optimal response during chronic therapy. A sudden large requirement for dose escalation suggests a catheter complication (i.e., catheter kink or dislodgement).
Maintenance dosage for long term continuous infusion of intrathecal baclofen has ranged from 12 mcg/day to 2,003 mcg/day, with most patients adequately maintained on 300 micrograms to 800 micrograms per day. There is limited experience with daily doses greater than 1,000 mcg/day. Determination of the optimal GABLOFEN dose requires individual titration. The lowest dose with an optimal response should be used.
Spasticity of Cerebral Origin Patients
The clinical goal is to maintain muscle tone as close to normal as possible and to minimize the frequency and severity of spasms to the extent possible, without inducing intolerable side effects, or to titrate the dose to the desired degree of muscle tone for optimal functions. Very often the maintenance dose needs to be adjusted during the first few months of therapy while patients adjust to changes in lifestyle due to the alleviation of spasticity.
During periodic refills of the pump, the daily dose may be increased by 5% to 20%, but no more than 20%, to maintain adequate symptom control. The daily dose may be reduced by 10% to 20% if patients experience side effects. Many patients require gradual increases in dose over time to maintain optimal response during chronic therapy. A sudden large requirement for dose escalation suggests a catheter complication (i.e., catheter kink or dislodgement).
Maintenance dosage for long term continuous infusion of intrathecal baclofen has ranged from 22 mcg/day to 1,400 mcg/day, with most patients adequately maintained on 90 micrograms to 703 micrograms per day. In clinical trials, only 3 of 150 patients required daily doses greater than 1,000 mcg/day.
Use same dosing recommendations for patients with spasticity of cerebral origin. Pediatric patients under 12 years seemed to require a lower daily dose in clinical trials. Average daily dose for patients under 12 years was 274 mcg/day, with a range of 24 mcg/day to 1,199 mcg/day. Dosage requirement for pediatric patients over 12 years does not seem to be different from that of adult patients. Determination of the optimal GABLOFEN dose requires individual titration. The lowest dose with an optimal response should be used.
Potential Need for Dose Adjustments in Chronic Use
During long term treatment, approximately 5% (28/627) of patients become refractory to increasing doses. There is not sufficient experience to make firm recommendations for tolerance treatment; however, this “tolerance” has been treated on occasion, in hospital, by a “drug holiday” consisting of the gradual reduction of intrathecal baclofen over a 2 to 4 week period and switching to alternative methods of spasticity management. After the “drug holiday,” intrathecal baclofen may be restarted at the initial continuous infusion dose.
GABLOFEN is a sterile, pyrogen-free, isotonic solution free of antioxidants, preservatives or other potentially neurotoxic additives indicated only for intrathecal administration. The drug is stable in solution at 37°C and compatible with CSF. Each milliliter of GABLOFEN contains baclofen USP 50 mcg, 500 mcg, 1,000 mcg or 2,000 mcg and sodium chloride 9 mg in Water for Injection; pH range is 5.5 to 7.5. Each vial or syringe is intended for single use only. Discard any unused portion. Do not autoclave.
GABLOFEN is contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to baclofen. Do not use GABLOFEN for intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous or epidural administration.
Use extreme caution when filling the Medtronic SynchroMed® II Programmable Pump which is equipped with an injection port that allows direct access to the intrathecal catheter. Direct injection into the catheter through the catheter access port may cause a life-threatening overdose.
Reservoir refilling must be performed by fully trained and qualified personnel following the directions provided by the pump manufacturer. Carefully calculate refill intervals to prevent depletion of the reservoir, as this would result in the return of severe spasticity and possibly symptoms of withdrawal.
Strict aseptic technique in filling is required to avoid bacterial contamination and serious infection. A period of observation appropriate to the clinical situation should follow each refill or manipulation of the drug reservoir.
Although the drug solution and pathway in the GABLOFEN prefilled syringes are sterile, the external surface of the prefilled syringes (all strengths, including the 50 mcg/mL strength) are non-sterile. This has the potential to lead to contamination and consequent adverse reactions. The use of GABLOFEN prefilled syringe in an aseptic setting (e.g., operating room) to fill sterile intrathecal pumps prior to implantation in patients is not recommended, unless the external surface of the prefilled syringe is treated to ensure sterility. GABLOFEN supplied in vials may be used with conventional aseptic technique to fill intrathecal pumps prior to implantation. Procedures should also be put in place while refilling implantable intrathecal pumps in an outpatient setting to avoid contamination of sterile surfaces through contact with the non-sterile exterior of the GABLOFEN prefilled syringe.
5.3 Prescriber, Caregiver and Patient Training and Screening Procedure/Post-Implantation Environment
GABLOFEN is for use in single bolus intrathecal injections (via a catheter placed in the lumbar intrathecal space or injection by lumbar puncture) and in the implantable Medtronic SynchroMed® II Programmable Pump or other pumps labeled for intrathecal administration of GABLOFEN. Because of the possibility of potentially life-threatening CNS depression, cardiovascular collapse, and/or respiratory failure, physicians must be adequately trained and educated in chronic intrathecal infusion therapy.
The pump system should not be implanted until the patient’s response to bolus GABLOFEN injection is adequately evaluated. Evaluation (consisting of a screening procedure) requires that GABLOFEN be administered into the intrathecal space via a catheter or lumbar puncture [see Dosage and Administration (2.2)]. Because of the risks associated with the screening procedure and the adjustment of dosage following pump implantation, these phases must be conducted in a medically supervised and adequately equipped environment following the instructions outlined in the Dosage and Administration section [see Dosage and Administration (2.2 and 2.5)].
Resuscitative equipment should be available.
Following surgical implantation of the pump, particularly during the initial phases of pump use, the patient should be monitored closely until it is certain that the patient’s response to the infusion is acceptable and reasonably stable.
On each occasion that the dosing rate of the pump and/or the concentration of GABLOFEN in the reservoir is adjusted, close medical monitoring is required until it is certain that the patient’s response to the infusion is acceptable and reasonably stable.
It is mandatory that the patient, all patient caregivers, and the physicians responsible for the patient receive adequate information regarding the risks of this mode of treatment. All medical personnel and caregivers should be instructed in 1) the signs and symptoms of overdose, 2) procedures to be followed in the event of overdose and 3) proper home care of the pump and insertion site.
Signs of overdose may appear suddenly or insidiously. Acute massive overdose may present as coma. Less sudden and/or less severe forms of overdose may present with signs of drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, somnolence, respiratory depression, seizures, rostral progression of hypotonia and loss of consciousness progressing to coma. Should overdose appear likely, the patient should be taken immediately to a hospital for assessment and emptying of the pump reservoir. In cases reported to date, overdose has generally been related to pump malfunction or dosing error [see Overdosage (10)].
Extreme caution must be used when filling the implantable pump.
The Medtronic SynchroMed® II Programmable Pump should only be refilled through the reservoir refill septum. The Medtronic SynchroMed® II Programmable Pump is also equipped with a catheter access port that allows direct access to the intrathecal catheter. Direct injection into this catheter access port may cause a life-threatening overdose.
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