Patients with CD who received immunosuppressants tended to experience fewer infusion reactions compared to patients on no immunosuppressants [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. Serum infliximab concentrations appeared to be unaffected by baseline use of medications for the treatment of CD including corticosteroids, antibiotics (metronidazole or ciprofloxacin) and aminosalicylates.
The formation of CYP450 enzymes may be suppressed by increased levels of cytokines (e.g., TNFα, IL-1, IL-6, IL-10, IFN) during chronic inflammation. Therefore, it is expected that for a molecule that antagonizes cytokine activity, such as infliximab, the formation of CYP450 enzymes could be normalized. Upon initiation or discontinuation of Infliximab in patients being treated with CYP450 substrates with a narrow therapeutic index, monitoring of the effect (e.g., warfarin) or drug concentration (e.g., cyclosporine or theophylline) is recommended and the individual dose of the drug product may be adjusted as needed.
It is recommended that live vaccines not be given concurrently with Infliximab. It is also recommended that live vaccines not be given to infants after in utero exposure to infliximab for at least 6 months following birth [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)].
It is recommended that therapeutic infectious agents not be given concurrently with Infliximab [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)].
Available observational studies in pregnant women exposed to Infliximab showed no increased risk of major malformations among live births as compared to those exposed to non-biologics. However, findings on other birth and maternal outcomes were not consistent across studies of different study design and conduct (see Data).
Monoclonal antibodies such as infliximab are transferred across the placenta during the third trimester of pregnancy and may affect immune response in the in utero exposed infant (see Clinical Considerations). Because infliximab does not cross-react with TNFα in species other than humans and chimpanzees, animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Infliximab. In a developmental study conducted in mice using an analogous antibody, no evidence of maternal toxicity or fetal harm was observed (see Data).
All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes.
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated populations is unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risks of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2–4% and 15–20%, respectively.
Disease-Associated Maternal and/or Embryo/Fetal Risk
Published data suggest that there is an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid arthritis associated with increased disease activity. Adverse pregnancy outcomes include preterm delivery (before 37 weeks of gestation), low birth weight (less than 2.5 kg) and small for gestational age at birth.
Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions
As with other IgG antibodies, infliximab crosses the placenta. Infliximab has been detected in the serum of infants up to 6 months following birth. Consequently, these infants may be at increased risk of infection, including disseminated infection which can become fatal. At least a six month waiting period following birth is recommended before the administration of live vaccines (e.g., BCG vaccine or other live vaccines, such as the rotavirus vaccine) to these infants [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)]. Cases of agranulocytosis in infants exposed in utero have also been reported [see Adverse Reactions (6.3)].
Two prospective cohort studies were conducted assessing birth outcomes as well as the health status of infants up to the age of one year in women exposed to Infliximab compared to non-biologic comparators including methotrexate, azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine and systemic corticosteroids used for the treatment of similar diseases. The first study was conducted in an IBD pregnancy registry in the United States and assessed pregnancy outcomes in 294 women with inflammatory bowel disease exposed to Infliximab during pregnancy compared with 515 women on a non-biologic treatment. Infliximab exposure was not associated with increased rates of major congenital malformations, miscarriage/stillbirth, infants of low birth weight, small for gestational age, or infection in the first year of life. The second study among IBD and non-IBD patients in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark compared 97, 7, and 166 women exposed to Infliximab to 2,693, 2,499 and 1,268 women on non-biologic systemic therapy, respectively. In this study, comparing pooled data across the three countries, exposure to Infliximab was not associated with increased rates of congenital anomalies or infant death. Infliximab in combination with immunosuppressants (mainly systemic corticosteroids and azathioprine) was associated with increased rates of preterm birth, small for gestational age, low birth weight, and infant hospitalization for infection compared with non-biologic systemic treatment. Although the study did not show any associations with Infliximab monotherapy, the analyses could have been underpowered to detect an association.
There were additional methodological limitations with these studies that may account for the study findings in both studies: the concomitant use of other medications or treatments was not controlled and disease severity was not assessed; in the U.S. study, patient reported outcomes were collected without clinical validation. These methodological limitations hinder interpretation of the study results.
Because infliximab products do not cross-react with TNFα in species other than humans and chimpanzees, animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with infliximab. An embryofetal development study was conducted in pregnant mice using cV1q anti-mouse TNFα, an analogous antibody that selectively inhibits the functional activity of mouse TNFα. This antibody administered in mice, during the period of organogenesis on gestation days (GDs) 6 and 12, at IV doses up to 40 mg/kg produced no evidence of maternal toxicity, fetal mortality, or structural abnormalities. Doses of 10 to 15 mg/kg in pharmacodynamic animal models with the anti-TNF analogous antibody produced maximal pharmacologic effectiveness. Analyses of fetal samples on GD 14 indicated placental transfer of the antibody and exposure of the fetuses during organogenesis. In a peri- and post-natal development study in mice, no maternal toxicity or adverse developmental effects in offspring were observed when dams were administered IV doses of 10 or 40 mg/kg of the analogous antibody on GDs 6, 12 and 18 and lactation days 3, 9 and 15.
Published literature show that infliximab is present at low levels in human milk. Systemic exposure in a breastfed infant is expected to be low because infliximab is largely degraded in the gastrointestinal tract. A U.S. multi-center study of 168 women treated with infliximab for inflammatory bowel disease (breast milk samples obtained, n=29) showed that infants exposed to infliximab through breast milk had no increase in rates of infections and developed normally. There are no data on the effects of infliximab on milk production. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for Infliximab and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from Infliximab or from the underlying maternal condition.
The safety and effectiveness of Infliximab have been established in pediatric patients 6 to 17 years of age for induction and maintenance treatment of CD and UC [see Dosage and Administration (2.2, 2.4) and Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. However, the safety and effectiveness of Infliximab in pediatric patients <6 years of age with CD or UC have not been established. The safety and effectiveness of Infliximab in the treatment of pediatric patients with Ps and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) have not been established.
Pediatric Crohn’s Disease
The safety and effectiveness of Infliximab have been established for reducing signs and symptoms and inducing and maintaining clinical remission in pediatric patients 6 years of age and older with moderately to severely active CD who have had an inadequate response to conventional therapy. The use of Infliximab for this indication is supported by evidence from a randomized, open-label pediatric CD study in 112 pediatric patients aged 6 years and older [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].
Infliximab has been studied only in combination with conventional immunosuppressive therapy in pediatric CD. The longer term (greater than 1 year) safety and effectiveness of Infliximab in pediatric CD patients have not been established in clinical trials.
Postmarketing cases of HSTCL have been reported in pediatric patients treated with TNF blockers including Infliximab. Due to the risk of HSTCL, a careful risk-benefit assessment should be made when Infliximab is used in combination with other immunosuppressants in pediatric CD patients [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis
The safety and effectiveness of Infliximab for reducing signs and symptoms and inducing and maintaining clinical remission in pediatric patients aged 6 years and older with moderately to severely active UC who have had an inadequate response to conventional therapy have been established. The use of Infliximab for this indication is supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies of Infliximab in adults with additional safety and pharmacokinetic data from an open-label pediatric UC study in 60 pediatric patients aged 6 years and older [see Dosage and Administration (2.4), Adverse Reactions (6.1), and Clinical Studies (14.4)]. The effectiveness of Infliximab in inducing and maintaining mucosal healing in pediatric UC was not established. Although 41 patients had a Mayo endoscopy subscore of 0 or 1 at the Week 8 endoscopy, the induction phase was open-label and lacked a control group. Only 9 patients had an optional endoscopy at Week 54. Approximately half of the patients were on concomitant immunomodulators (AZA, 6-MP, MTX) at study start.
Due to the risk of HSTCL, a careful risk-benefit assessment should be made when Infliximab is used in combination with other immunosuppressants in pediatric UC patients [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
The longer term (greater than 1 year) safety and effectiveness of Infliximab in pediatric UC patients have not been established in clinical trials.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)
The safety and effectiveness of Infliximab in the treatment of pediatric patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) have not been established.
The safety and efficacy of Infliximab in patients with JRA were evaluated in a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study for 14 weeks, followed by a double-blind, all-active treatment extension, for a maximum of 44 weeks. Patients with active JRA between the ages of 4 and 17 years who had been treated with MTX for at least 3 months were enrolled. Concurrent use of folic acid, oral corticosteroids (≤0.2 mg/kg/day of prednisone or equivalent), NSAIDs, and/or disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) was permitted.
Doses of 3 mg/kg Infliximab or placebo were administered intravenously at Weeks 0, 2 and 6. Patients randomized to placebo crossed-over to receive 6 mg/kg Infliximab at Weeks 14, 16, and 20, and then every 8 weeks through Week 44. Patients who completed the study continued to receive open-label treatment with Infliximab for up to 2 years in a companion extension study.
The study failed to establish the efficacy of Infliximab in the treatment of JRA. Key observations in the study included a high placebo response rate and a higher rate of immunogenicity than what has been observed in adults. Additionally, a higher rate of clearance of infliximab was observed than had been observed in adults.
Population pharmacokinetic analysis showed that in pediatric patients with JRA with a body weight of up to 35 kg receiving 6 mg/kg Infliximab and pediatric patients with JRA with body weight greater than 35 kg up to adult body weight receiving 3 mg/kg Infliximab, the steady state area under the concentration curve (AUCss ) was similar to that observed in adults receiving 3 mg/kg of Infliximab.
A total of 60 patients with JRA were treated with doses of 3 mg/kg and 57 patients were treated with doses of 6 mg/kg. The proportion of patients with infusion reactions who received 3 mg/kg Infliximab was 35% (21/60) over 52 weeks compared with 18% (10/57) in patients who received 6 mg/kg over 38 weeks. The most common infusion reactions reported were vomiting, fever, headache, and hypotension. In the 3 mg/kg Infliximab group, 4 patients had a serious infusion reaction and 3 patients reported a possible anaphylactic reaction (2 of which were among the serious infusion reactions). In the 6 mg/kg Infliximab group, 2 patients had a serious infusion reaction, 1 of whom had a possible anaphylactic reaction. Two of the 6 patients who experienced serious infusion reactions received Infliximab by rapid infusion (duration of less than 2 hours). Antibodies to infliximab developed in 38% (20/53) of patients who received 3 mg/kg Infliximab compared with 12% (6/49) of patients who received 6 mg/kg.
A total of 68% (41/60) of patients who received 3 mg/kg Infliximab in combination with MTX experienced an infection over 52 weeks compared with 65% (37/57) of patients who received 6 mg/kg Infliximab in combination with MTX over 38 weeks. The most commonly reported infections were upper respiratory tract infection and pharyngitis, and the most commonly reported serious infection was pneumonia. Other notable infections included primary varicella infection in 1 patient and herpes zoster in 1 patient.
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