As with all therapeutic proteins, there is the potential for immunogenicity with LEUKINE. The detection of antibody formation is highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the assay. Additionally, the observed incidence of antibody positivity in an assay may be influenced by several factors, including assay methodology, sample handling, timing of sample collection, duration of treatment, concomitant medications, and underlying disease. For these reasons, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to sargramostim in the studies described below with the incidence of antibodies in other studies or other products may be misleading.
In 214 patients with a variety of underlying diseases, neutralizing anti-sargramostim antibodies were detected in 5 patients (2.3%) after receiving LEUKINE by continuous IV infusion (3 patients) or SC injection (2 patients) for 28 to 84 days in multiple courses (as assessed by GM-CSF dependent human cell-line proliferation assay). All 5 patients had impaired hematopoiesis before the administration of LEUKINE, and consequently the effect of the development of anti-sargramostim antibodies on normal hematopoiesis could not be assessed.
Antibody studies of 75 patients with Crohn’s disease (a disease for which LEUKINE is not indicated), with normal hematopoiesis and no other immunosuppressive drugs, receiving LEUKINE daily for 8 weeks by SC injection, showed 1 patient (1.3%) with detectable neutralizing anti-sargramostim antibodies (as assessed by GM-CSF dependent human cell-line proliferation assay).
In an experimental use trial where LEUKINE was given for an extended period, 53 patients with melanoma in complete remission (a disease for which LEUKINE is not indicated) received adjuvant therapy with LEUKINE 125 mcg/m2 once daily (maximum dose 250 mcg) from day 1 to 14 every 28 days for 1 year. Serum samples from patients assessed at day 0, 2 weeks, 1 month, and 5 and/or 12 months were tested retrospectively for the presence of anti-sargramostim antibodies. Of 43 evaluable patients (having at least 3 timepoint samples post treatment), 42 (97.7%) developed anti-sargramostim binding antibody as assessed by ELISA and confirmed using an immunoprecipitation assay. Of these 42 patients, 41 had sufficient sample and were further tested: 34 patients (82.9%) developed anti-sargramostim neutralizing antibodies (as determined by a cell based luciferase reporter gene neutralizing antibody assay); 17 (50%) of these patients did not have a sustained pharmacodynamic effect of LEUKINE by day 155 as assessed by WBC counts. This study provided limited assessment of the impact of antibody formation on the safety and efficacy of LEUKINE.
Serious allergic and anaphylactoid reactions have been reported with LEUKINE, but the rate of occurrence of antibodies in such patients has not been assessed.
The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of LEUKINE in clinical trials and/or postmarketing surveillance. 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.
- Infusion related reactions including dyspnea, hypoxia, flushing, hypotension, syncope and/or tachycardia [see Warnings and Precautions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
- Serious allergic reactions/hypersensitivity, including anaphylaxis, skin rash, urticaria, generalized erythema, and flushing [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
- Effusions and capillary leak syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
- Supraventricular arrhythmias [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
- Leukocytosis including eosinophilia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
- Thromboembolic events
- Pain, including chest, abdominal, back, and joint pain
- Injection site reactions
Avoid the concomitant use of LEUKINE and products that induce myeloproliferation (such as lithium and corticosteroids). Such products may increase the myeloproliferative effects of LEUKINE. Monitor patients receiving both LEUKINE and products that induce myeloproliferation frequently for clinical and laboratory signs of excess myeloproliferative effects.
LEUKINE for injection reconstituted with Bacteriostatic Water for Injection, USP contain 0.9% benzyl alcohol, which has been associated with gasping syndrome in neonates and infants. The preservative benzyl alcohol can cause serious adverse reactions and death when administered intravenously to neonates and infants. If LEUKINE is needed during pregnancy, reconstitute LEUKINE for injection only with Sterile Water for injection without preservatives [see Dosage and Administration (2.7) and Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].
The limited available data on LEUKINE use in pregnant women are insufficient to inform the drug-associated risk of adverse developmental outcomes. Based on animal studies LEUKINE may cause embryofetal harm. In animal reproduction studies, administration of LEUKINE to pregnant rabbits during organogenesis resulted in adverse developmental outcomes including increased spontaneous abortion at systemic exposures ≥1.3 times the human exposure expected at the recommended human dose [see Data]. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus.
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risks of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies are 2%-4% and 15%-20%, respectively.
In an embryofetal developmental study and a prenatal and postnatal study, pregnant rabbits were administered SC doses of LEUKINE during the period of gestation day (GD) 6 to GD19, GD19 to GD28, or GD19 to parturition at 25, 70, and 200 mcg/kg/day. An increase in spontaneous abortions, late resorptions, and post implantation loss, and a reduction in viable fetuses, mean live litter size, and offspring body weight were evident in rabbits treated with LEUKINE at 200 mcg/kg/day. No adverse effects were observed at ≤70 mcg/kg/day.
After the first administration in rabbits, the dose of 200 mcg/kg/day corresponds to a systemic exposure (AUC) of approximately 11-25.3 times the exposures observed in patients treated with the clinical LEUKINE dose of 250 mcg/m2 ; however, due to the production of anti-LEUKINE antibodies with repeat administration, the AUC in rabbits was reduced to 1.3-5.5 times the clinical exposure by the end of the dosing periods.
Similarly, after the first administration in rabbits, the dose of 70 mcg/kg/day corresponds to a systemic exposure (AUC) of approximately 7 to 11 times the exposures observed in patients treated with the clinical LEUKINE dose of 250 mcg/m2 ; however, due to the production of anti-LEUKINE antibodies with repeat administration, the AUC in rabbits was reduced to 1.0-1.2 times the clinical exposure by the end of the dosing periods.
There is no information regarding the presence of LEUKINE in human milk, the effects on the breastfed child, or the effects on milk production. Administration of LEUKINE to rabbits during lactation resulted in reduction in postnatal offspring survival [see Data]. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions advise a lactating woman not to breastfeed during treatment and for at least 2 weeks after the last dose.
There are no data regarding the presence of LEUKINE in rabbit milk. However, in the prenatal and postnatal study, lactating rabbits were administered SC doses of LEUKINE during the period of lactation day (LD) 1 to LD14 at 25, 70, and 200 mcg/kg/day. At doses ≥25 mcg/kg/day a reduction in postnatal offspring survival was observed. Maternal toxicity was also observed at LEUKINE doses ≥25 mcg/kg/day.
After the first administration in rabbits, the dose of 25 mcg/kg/day corresponds to a systemic AUC of approximately 2.6 times the exposure observed in patients treated with the clinical LEUKINE dose of 250 mcg/m2 however, due to the production of anti-LEUKINE antibodies with repeat administration, the exposure in rabbits decreased to 0.2 times the clinical exposure by the end of the dosing period.
The safety and effectiveness of LEUKINE have been established in pediatric patients 2 years of age and older for autologous peripheral blood progenitor cells and bone marrow transplantation, allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, and treatment of delayed neutrophil recovery or graft failure. Use of LEUKINE for these indications in this age group is based on adequate and well-controlled studies of LEUKINE in adults, in addition to clinical data in 12, 23, and 37 pediatric patients, respectively [See Clinical Studies (14.3, 14.4 and 14.5)]. The pediatric adverse reactions were consistent with those reported in the adult population.
The safety and effectiveness of LEUKINE for pediatric patients less than 2 years of age for autologous peripheral blood progenitor cells and bone marrow transplantation, allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, and treatment of delayed neutrophil recovery or graft failure have not been established.
The use of LEUKINE to increase survival in pediatric patients acutely exposed to myelosuppressive doses of radiation (H-ARS) is based on efficacy studies conducted in animals and clinical data supporting the use of LEUKINE in patients undergoing autologous or allogeneic BMT following myelosuppressive chemotherapy with or without total body irradiation. Efficacy studies of LEUKINE could not be conducted in humans with acute radiation syndrome for ethical and feasibility reasons. Modeling and simulation were used to derive dosing regimens that are predicted to provide pediatric patients with exposure comparable to the observed exposure in adults receiving 7 mcg/kg [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. The dose for pediatric patients is based on weight [see Dosage and Administration (2.2)].
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established in:
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Neutrophil Recovery Following Induction Chemotherapy
- Autologous Peripheral Blood Progenitor Cell Mobilization and Collection
Avoid administration of solutions containing benzyl alcohol [LEUKINE for injection reconstituted with Bacteriostatic Water for Injection, USP (0.9% benzyl alcohol)] to neonates and low birth weight infants. Instead, administer lyophilized LEUKINE reconstituted with Sterile Water for Injection, USP [see Dosage and Administration (2.7)].
Serious adverse reactions including fatal reactions and the “gasping syndrome” occurred in premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit who received drugs containing benzyl alcohol as a preservative. In these cases, benzyl alcohol dosages of 99 to 234 mg/kg/day produced high levels of benzyl alcohol and its metabolites in the blood and urine (blood levels of benzyl alcohol were 0.61 to 1.38 mmol/L). Additional adverse reactions included gradual neurological deterioration, seizures, intracranial hemorrhage, hematologic abnormalities, skin breakdown, hepatic and renal failure, hypotension, bradycardia, and cardiovascular collapse. Preterm, low birth weight infants may be more likely to develop these reactions because they may be less able to metabolize benzyl alcohol.
If LEUKINE for injection reconstituted with Bacteriostatic Water for Injection, USP (0.9% benzyl alcohol) must be used in neonates and low birth weight infants, consider the combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources including LEUKINE (LEUKINE for injection reconstituted with Bacteriostatic Water for Injection, USP [0.9% benzyl alcohol] contains 9 mg of benzyl alcohol per mL). The minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which serious adverse reactions may occur is not known [see Dosage and Administration (2.7)].
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