Because of the embryo-fetal risk [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] , lenalidomide capsules are available only through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS), the Lenalidomide REMS program.
Required components of the Lenalidomide REMS program include the following:
- Prescribers must be certified with the Lenalidomide REMS program by enrolling and complying with the REMS requirements.
- Patients must sign a Patient-Physician agreement form and comply with the REMS requirements. In particular, female patients of reproductive potential who are not pregnant must comply with the pregnancy testing and contraception requirements [see Use in Specific Populations (8.3)] and males must comply with contraception requirements [see Use in Specific Populations (8.3)].
- Pharmacies must be certified with the Lenalidomide REMS program, must only dispense to patients who are authorized to receive lenalidomide capsules and comply with REMS requirements.
Further information about the Lenalidomide REMS program is available at www.lenalidomiderems.com or by telephone at 1-888-423-5436.
Lenalidomide capsules can cause significant neutropenia and thrombocytopenia. Monitor patients with neutropenia for signs of infection. Advise patients to observe for bleeding or bruising, especially with use of concomitant medication that may increase risk of bleeding. Patients taking lenalidomide capsules should have their complete blood counts assessed periodically as described below [see Dosage and Administration (2.1, 2.2, 2.3)].
Monitor complete blood counts (CBC) in patients taking lenalidomide capsules in combination with dexamethasone for MM every 7 days (weekly) for the first 2 cycles, on Days 1 and 15 of Cycle 3, and every 28 days (4 weeks) thereafter. A dose interruption and/or dose reduction may be required [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)]. In trials for another indication, Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia was reported in up to 59% of lenalidomide capsules-treated patients and Grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia in up to 38% of lenalidomide capsules-treated patients.
Monitor complete blood counts (CBC) in patients taking lenalidomide capsules for MDS weekly for the first 8 weeks and at least monthly thereafter. Grade 3 or 4 hematologic toxicity was seen in 80% of patients enrolled in the MDS study. In the 48% of patients who developed Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia, the median time to onset was 42 days (range, 14 to 411 days), and the median time to documented recovery was 17 days (range, 2 to 170 days). In the 54% of patients who developed Grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia, the median time to onset was 28 days (range, 8 to 290 days), and the median time to documented recovery was 22 days (range, 5 to 224 days) [see Boxed Warning and Dosage and Administration (2.2)].
Monitor complete blood counts (CBC) in patients taking lenalidomide capsules for MCL weekly for the first cycle (28 days), every 2 weeks during cycles 2 to 4, and then monthly thereafter. Patients may require dose interruption and/or dose reduction. In the MCL trial, Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia was reported in 43% of the patients. Grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia was reported in 28% of the patients.
Venous thromboembolic events (VTE [DVT and PE]) and arterial thromboembolic events (ATE, myocardial infarction and stroke) are increased in patients treated with lenalidomide.
A significantly increased risk of DVT (7.4%) and of PE (3.7%) occurred in patients with MM after at least one prior therapy who were treated with lenalidomide and dexamethasone therapy compared to patients treated in the placebo and dexamethasone group (3.1% and 0.9%) in clinical trials with varying use of anticoagulant therapies. In the newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) study in which nearly all patients received antithrombotic prophylaxis, DVT was reported as a serious adverse reaction (3.6%, 2.0%, and 1.7%) in the Rd Continuous, Rd18, and MPT Arms, respectively. The frequency of serious adverse reactions of PE was similar between the Rd Continuous, Rd18, and MPT Arms (3.8%, 2.8%, and 3.7%, respectively) [see Boxed Warning and Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
Myocardial infarction (1.7%) and stroke (CVA) (2.3%) are increased in patients with MM after at least one prior therapy who were treated with lenalidomide capsules and dexamethasone therapy compared to patients treated with placebo and dexamethasone (0.6%, and 0.9%) in clinical trials. In the NDMM study, myocardial infarction (including acute) was reported as a serious adverse reaction (2.3%, 0.6%, and 1.1%) in the Rd Continuous, Rd18, and MPT Arms, respectively. The frequency of serious adverse reactions of CVA was similar between the Rd Continuous, Rd18, and MPT Arms (0.8%, 0.6 %, and 0.6%, respectively) [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
Patients with known risk factors, including prior thrombosis, may be at greater risk and actions should be taken to try to minimize all modifiable factors (e.g. hyperlipidemia, hypertension, smoking).
In controlled clinical trials that did not use concomitant thromboprophylaxis, 21.5% overall thrombotic events (Standardized MedDRA Query Embolic and Thrombotic events) occurred in patients with refractory and relapsed MM who were treated with lenalidomide capsules and dexamethasone compared to 8.3% thrombosis in patients treated with placebo and dexamethasone. The median time to first thrombosis event was 2.8 months. In the NDMM study in which nearly all patients received antithrombotic prophylaxis, the overall frequency of thrombotic events was 17.4% in patients in the combined Rd Continuous and Rd18 Arms, and was 11.6% in the MPT Arm. The median time to first thrombosis event was 4.3 months in the combined Rd Continuous and Rd18 Arms.
Thromboprophylaxis is recommended. The regimen of thromboprophylaxis should be based on an assessment of the patient’s underlying risks. Instruct patients to report immediately any signs and symptoms suggestive of thrombotic events. ESAs and estrogens may further increase the risk of thrombosis and their use should be based on a benefit-risk decision in patients receiving lenalidomide capsules [see Drug Interactions (7.2)].
In a prospective randomized (1:1) clinical trial in the first line treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, single agent lenalidomide capsules therapy increased the risk of death as compared to single agent chlorambucil. In an interim analysis, there were 34 deaths among 210 patients on the lenalidomide capsules treatment arm compared to 18 deaths among 211 patients in the chlorambucil treatment arm, and hazard ratio for overall survival was 1.92 [95% CI: 1.08 to 3.41], consistent with a 92% increase in the risk of death. The trial was halted for safety in July 2013.
Serious adverse cardiovascular reactions, including atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, and cardiac failure occurred more frequently in the lenalidomide capsules treatment arm. Lenalidomide is not indicated and not recommended for use in CLL outside of controlled clinical trials.
In clinical trials in patients with MM receiving lenalidomide capsules, an increase of hematologic plus solid tumor second primary malignancies (SPM) notably AML and MDS have been observed. An increase in hematologic SPM including AML and MDS occurred in 5.3% of patients with NDMM receiving lenalidomide capsules in combination with oral melphalan compared with 1.3% of patients receiving melphalan without lenalidomide capsules. The frequency of AML and MDS cases in patients with NDMM treated with lenalidomide capsules in combination with dexamethasone without melphalan was 0.4%.
In a study for another indication, hematologic SPM occurred in 7.5% of patients compared to 3.3% in patients receiving placebo. The incidence of hematologic plus solid tumor (excluding squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma) SPM was 14.9%, compared to 8.8% in patients receiving placebo with a median follow-up of 91.5 months. Non-melanoma skin cancer SPM, including squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, occurred in 3.9% of patients receiving lenalidomide capsules maintenance, compared to 2.6% in the placebo arm.
In patients with relapsed or refractory MM treated with lenalidomide capsules/dexamethasone, the incidence of hematologic plus solid tumor (excluding squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma) SPM was 2.3% versus 0.6% in the dexamethasone alone arm. Non-melanoma skin cancer SPM, including squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, occurred in 3.1% of patients receiving lenalidomide capsules/dexamethasone, compared to 0.6% in the dexamethasone alone arm.
Patients who received lenalidomide-containing therapy until disease progression did not show a higher incidence of invasive SPM than patients treated in the fixed duration lenalidomide-containing arms. Monitor patients for the development of second primary malignancies. Take into account both the potential benefit of lenalidomide capsules and the risk of second primary malignancies when considering treatment with lenalidomide capsules.
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