HEMADY — dexamethasone tablet
Acrotech Biopharma LLC
HEMADY is indicated in combination with other anti-myeloma products for the treatment of adults with multiple myeloma (MM).
The recommended dosage of HEMADY is 20 mg or 40 mg, orally, once daily, on specific days depending on the treatment regimen. Refer to the Prescribing Information of the other anti-myeloma products used in combination with HEMADY for specific HEMADY dosing. HEMADY can be administered with or without food.
Dose-reduction for HEMADY is recommended for elderly patients, due to increased toxicity in these patients. Refer to the Prescribing Information of the other anti-myeloma products used as part of a combination regimen with HEMADY, for dosing recommendations in elderly patients.
Tablets: 20 mg white, round, biconvex tablet embossed with “20” on one side.
HEMADY is contraindicated in patients with:
- Hypersensitivity to dexamethasone, or any of the excipients. Rare instances of anaphylactic reactions have been reported [see Adverse Reactions (6), Description (11)].
- Systemic fungal infections. Corticosteroids may exacerbate systemic fungal infections [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Corticosteroids , such as HEMADY, can cause serious and life-threatening alterations in endocrine function, especially with chronic use. Monitor patients receiving HEMADY for adrenal insufficiency after corticosteroid withdrawal and Cushing’s syndrome and hyperglycemia while receiving corticosteroids. In addition, patients with hypopituitarism, primary adrenal insufficiency, or congenital adrenal hyperplasia, altered thyroid function, or pheochromocytoma may be at risk for adverse endocrine events.
Risk of Adrenal Insufficiency Following Corticosteroid Withdrawal
Corticosteroids can produce reversible hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, with the potential for the development of secondary adrenal insufficiency after withdrawal of corticosteroid treatment. Acute adrenal insufficiency can occur if glucocorticoids are withdrawn abruptly and can be fatal. The degree and duration of adrenocortical insufficiently produced is variable among patients and depends on the dose, frequency, and duration of glucocorticoid therapy. The risk may be reduced by gradually tapering the corticosteroid dose when withdrawing treatment. This insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, corticosteroid therapy should be reinstituted. For patients already taking corticosteroids during times of stress, the dosage may have to be increased.
A steroid “withdrawal syndrome”, seemingly unrelated to adrenocortical insufficiency, may also occur following abrupt discontinuance of corticosteroids. This syndrome includes symptoms such as: anorexia, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, headache, fever, joint pain, desquamation, myalgia, and/or weight loss. These effects are thought to be due to the sudden change in glucocorticoid concentration rather than to low corticosteroid levels.
Cushing’s syndrome (hypercortisolism) may occur with prolonged exposure to exogenous corticosteroids, including HEMADY. Symptoms include hypertension, truncal obesity and thinning of the limbs, purple striae, facial rounding, facial plethora, muscle weakness, easy and frequent bruising with thin fragile skin, posterior neck fat deposition, osteopenia, acne, amenorrhea, hirsutism and psychiatric abnormalities. Using the lowest dose of corticosteroid for the shortest duration possible may reduce the risk.
Corticosteroids can increase blood glucose, worsen pre-existing diabetes, and predispose those on long-term therapy to diabetes mellitus, and may reduce the effect of the antidiabetic drugs. Monitor blood glucose at regular intervals. For patients with hyperglycemia, anti-diabetic treatment should be initiated or adjusted accordingly.
Considerations for Use in Patients with Altered Thyroid Function
Metabolic clearance of corticosteroids is decreased in hypothyroid patients and increased in hyperthyroid patients. Changes in thyroid status of the patient may necessitate a dose adjustment of the corticosteroid. When concomitant administration of corticosteroids and levothyroxine is required, administration of corticosteroid should precede the initiation of levothyroxine therapy to avoid adrenal crisis.
There have been reports of pheochromocytoma crisis, which can be fatal, after administration of systemic corticosteroids. In patients with suspected or identified pheochromocytoma, consider the risk of pheochromocytoma crisis prior to administering HEMADY.
Corticosteroids, including HEMADY, suppress the immune system and increase the risk of infection with any pathogen, including viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan, or helminthic.
Corticosteroids reduce resistance to new infections, exacerbate existing infections, increase the risk of disseminated infections, increase the risk of reactivation or exacerbation of latent infections, and mask some signs of infection. These infections can be severe, and at times fatal. The degree to which the dose, route, and duration of corticosteroid administration correlates with the specific risks of infection is not well characterized; however, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases with increasing doses of corticosteroids.
Monitor for the development of infection and consider withdrawal of HEMADY or reduction of the dose of corticosteroids as needed.
Varicella Zoster and Measles Viral Infections
Chickenpox caused by Varicella Zoster virus and measles can have a serious or even fatal course in non-immune children or adult on corticosteroids, including HEMADY. In patients who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. If a patient is exposed to chickenpox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If a patient is exposed to measles, prophylaxis with immune globulin (IG) may be indicated. If chickenpox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered.
Hepatitis B Virus Reactivation
Hepatitis B virus reactivation can occur in patients who are hepatitis B carriers undergoing treatment with immunosuppressive drugs including corticosteroids. Reactivation can also occur in patients who appear to have resolved hepatitis B infection.
HEMADY is contraindicated in patients with systemic fungal infections. Corticosteroids may exacerbate systemic fungal infections. For patients on chronic corticosteroids who have developed systemic fungal infections, withdrawal of corticosteroids or reduction of the dose of corticosteroids is recommended.
The following infections have been reported during the use of corticosteroids to treat other conditions that HEMADY is not indicated for:
Corticosteroids may activate latent amebiasis. Rule out latent amebiasis or active amebiasis before initiating corticosteroid therapy in any patient who has spent time in the tropics or any patient with unexplained diarrhea.
In patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia. For patients on HEMADY who develop known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infection, withdrawal of corticosteroids or reduction of the dose of corticosteroids is recommended.
The use of corticosteroids in active tuberculosis should generally be limited to cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate anti-tuberculous regimen.
If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.
Corticosteroids should not be used in cerebral malaria.
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