The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of irinotecan hydrochloride injection. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Myocardial ischemic events have been observed following irinotecan hydrochloride injection therapy. Thromboembolic events have been observed in patients receiving irinotecan hydrochloride injection.
Symptomatic pancreatitis, asymptomatic pancreatic enzyme elevation have been reported. Increases in serum levels of transaminases (i.e., AST and ALT) in the absence of progressive liver metastasis have been observed.
Hyponatremia, mostly with diarrhea and vomiting, has been reported.
Transient dysarthria has been reported in patients treated with irinotecan hydrochloride injection; in some cases, the event was attributed to the cholinergic syndrome observed during or shortly after infusion of irinotecan.
Interaction between irinotecan hydrochloride injection and neuromuscular blocking agents cannot be ruled out. Irinotecan has anticholinesterase activity, which may prolong the neuromuscular blocking effects of suxamethonium and the neuromuscular blockade of non-depolarizing drugs may be antagonized.
Exposure to irinotecan or its active metabolite SN-38 is substantially reduced in adult and pediatric patients concomitantly receiving the CYP3A4 enzyme-inducing anticonvulsants phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, or St. John’s wort. The appropriate starting dose for patients taking these or other strong inducers such as rifampin and rifabutin has not been defined. Consider substituting non-enzyme inducing therapies at least 2 weeks prior to initiation of irinotecan hydrochloride injection therapy. Do not administer strong CYP3A4 inducers with irinotecan hydrochloride injection unless there are no therapeutic alternatives.
Irinotecan and its active metabolite, SN-38, are metabolized via the human cytochrome P450 3A4 isoenzyme (CYP3A4) and uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyl transferase 1A1 (UGT1A1), respectively, [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Patients receiving concomitant ketoconazole, a CYP3A4 and UGT1A1 inhibitor, have increased exposure to irinotecan and its active metabolite SN-38. Coadministration of irinotecan hydrochloride injection with other inhibitors of CYP3A4 (e.g., clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, lopinavir, nefazodone, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, telaprevir, voriconazole) or UGT1A1 (e.g., atazanavir, gemfibrozil, indinavir) may increase systemic exposure to irinotecan or SN-38. Discontinue strong CYP3A4 inhibitors at least 1 week prior to starting irinotecan hydrochloride injection therapy. Do not administer strong CYP3A4 or UGT1A1 inhibitors with irinotecan hydrochloride injection unless there are no therapeutic alternatives.
Pregnancy Category D [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)]
Irinotecan hydrochloride injection can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Radioactivity related to 14 C-irinotecan crosses the placenta of rats following intravenous administration of 10 mg/kg (which in separate studies produced an irinotecan Cmax and AUC about 3 and 0.5 times, respectively, the corresponding values in patients administered 125 mg/m2). Intravenous administration of irinotecan 6 mg/kg/day to rats and rabbits during the period of organogenesis resulted in increased post-implantation loss and decreased numbers of live fetuses. In separate studies in rats, this dose produced an irinotecan Cmax and AUC of about 2 and 0.2 times, respectively, the corresponding values in patients administered 125 mg/m2. In rabbits, the embryotoxic dose was about one-half the recommended human weekly starting dose on a mg/m2 basis. Irinotecan was teratogenic in rats at doses greater than 1.2 mg/kg/day and in rabbits at 6.0 mg/kg/day. In separate studies in rats, this dose produced an irinotecan Cmax and AUC about 2/3 and 1/40th, respectively, of the corresponding values in patients administered 125 mg/m2. In rabbits, the teratogenic dose was about one-half the recommended human weekly starting dose on a mg/m2 basis. Teratogenic effects included a variety of external, visceral, and skeletal abnormalities. Irinotecan administered to rat dams for the period following organogenesis through weaning at doses of 6 mg/kg/day caused decreased learning ability and decreased female body weights in the offspring. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of irinotecan in pregnant women. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant while receiving treatment with irinotecan hydrochloride injection.
Radioactivity appeared in rat milk within 5 minutes of intravenous administration of radiolabeled irinotecan and was concentrated up to 65-fold at 4 hours after administration relative to plasma concentrations. It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from irinotecan hydrochloride injection, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
The effectiveness of irinotecan in pediatric patients has not been established. Results from two open-label, single arm studies were evaluated. One hundred and seventy children with refractory solid tumors were enrolled in one phase 2 trial in which 50 mg/m2 of irinotecan was infused for 5 consecutive days every 3 weeks. Grade 3–4 neutropenia was experienced by 54 (31.8%) patients. Neutropenia was complicated by fever in 15 (8.8%) patients. Grade 3–4 diarrhea was observed in 35 (20.6%) patients. This adverse event profile was comparable to that observed in adults. In the second phase 2 trial of 21 children with previously untreated rhabdomyosarcoma, 20 mg/m2 of irinotecan was infused for 5 consecutive days on weeks 0, 1, 3 and 4. This single agent therapy was followed by multimodal therapy. Accrual to the single agent irinotecan phase was halted due to the high rate (28.6%) of progressive disease and the early deaths (14%). The adverse event profile was different in this study from that observed in adults; the most significant grade 3 or 4 adverse events were dehydration experienced by 6 patients (28.6%) associated with severe hypokalemia in 5 patients (23.8%) and hyponatremia in 3 patients (14.3%); in addition Grade 3–4 infection was reported in 5 patients (23.8%) (across all courses of therapy and irrespective of causal relationship).
Pharmacokinetic parameters for irinotecan and SN-38 were determined in 2 pediatric solid-tumor trials at dose levels of 50 mg/m2 (60-min infusion, n=48) and 125 mg/m2 (90-min infusion, n=6). Irinotecan clearance (mean ± S.D.) was 17.3 ± 6.7 L/h/m2 for the 50 mg/m2 dose and 16.2 ± 4.6 L/h/m2 for the 125 mg/m2 dose, which is comparable to that in adults. Dose-normalized SN-38 AUC values were comparable between adults and children. Minimal accumulation of irinotecan and SN-38 was observed in children on daily dosing regimens [daily × 5 every 3 weeks or (daily × 5) × 2 weeks every 3 weeks].
Patients greater than 65 years of age should be closely monitored because of a greater risk of early and late diarrhea in this population [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) and Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. The starting dose of irinotecan hydrochloride injection in patients 70 years and older for the once-every-3-week-dosage schedule should be 300 mg/m2 [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) and Dosage and Administration (2) ].
The frequency of grade 3 and 4 late diarrhea by age was significantly greater in patients ≥65 years than in patients <65 years (40% [53/133] versus 23% [40/171]; p=0.002). In another study of 183 patients treated on the weekly schedule, the frequency of grade 3 or 4 late diarrhea in patients ≥65 years of age was 28.6% [26/91] and in patients <65 years of age was 23.9% [22/92].
The influence of renal impairment on the pharmacokinetics of irinotecan has not been evaluated. Therefore, use caution in patients with impaired renal function. Irinotecan hydrochloride injection is not recommended for use in patients on dialysis.
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