In addition to the adverse reactions reported during clinical trials and listed above, the following adverse reactions have also been identified during postapproval use of levocetirizine dihydrochloride. 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.
- Cardiac disorders: palpitations, tachycardia
- Ear and labyrinth disorders: vertigo
- Eye disorders: blurred vision, visual disturbances
- Gastrointestinal disorders: nausea, vomiting
- General disorders and administration site conditions: edema
- Hepatobiliary disorders: hepatitis
- Immune system disorders: anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity
- Metabolism and nutrition disorders: increased appetite
- Musculoskeletal, connective tissues, and bone disorders: arthralgia, myalgia
- Nervous system disorders: dizziness, dysgeusia, febrile seizure, movement disorders (including dystonia and oculogyric crisis), paresthesia, seizure (reported in subjects with and without a known seizure disorder), tremor
- Psychiatric disorders: aggression and agitation, depression, hallucinations, insomnia, nightmare, suicidal ideation
- Renal and urinary disorders: dysuria, urinary retention
- Respiratory, thoracic, and mediastinal disorders: dyspnea
- Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: angioedema, fixed drug eruption, pruritus, rash and urticaria
Besides these reactions reported under treatment with levocetirizine dihydrochloride, other potentially severe adverse events have been reported from the postmarketing experience with cetirizine. Since levocetirizine is the principal pharmacologically active component of cetirizine, one should take into account the fact that the following adverse events could also potentially occur under treatment with levocetirizine dihydrochloride.
- Cardiac disorders: severe hypotension
- Gastrointestinal disorders: cholestasis
- Nervous system disorders: extrapyramidal symptoms, myoclonus, orofacial dyskinesia, tic
- Pregnancy, puerperium and perinatal conditions: stillbirth
- Renal and urinary disorders: glomerulonephritis
- Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP); rebound pruritus — pruritus within a few days after discontinuation of cetirizine, usually after long-term use (e.g. months to years) of cetirizine.
In vitro data indicate that levocetirizine is unlikely to produce pharmacokinetic interactions through inhibition or induction of liver drug-metabolizing enzymes. No in vivo drug-drug interaction studies have been performed with levocetirizine. Drug interaction studies have been performed with racemic cetirizine.
7.1 Antipyrine, Azithromycin, Cimetidine, Erythromycin, Ketoconazole, Theophylline, and Pseudoephedrine
Pharmacokinetic interaction studies performed with racemic cetirizine demonstrated that cetirizine did not interact with antipyrine, pseudoephedrine, erythromycin, azithromycin, ketoconazole, and cimetidine. There was a small decrease (~ 16%) in the clearance of cetirizine caused by a 400 mg dose of theophylline. It is possible that higher theophylline doses could have a greater effect.
Ritonavir increased the plasma AUC of cetirizine by about 42% accompanied by an increase in half-life (53%) and a decrease in clearance (29%) of cetirizine. The disposition of ritonavir was not altered by concomitant cetirizine administration.
Available data from published literature and postmarketing experience with levocetirizine use in pregnant women are insufficient to identify any drug-associated risks of miscarriage, birth defects, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. In animal reproduction studies, there was no evidence of fetal harm with administration of levocetirizine by the oral route to pregnant rats and rabbits, during the period of organogenesis, at doses up to 390 times and 470 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) in adults. In rats treated during late gestation and the lactation period, cetirizine had no effects on pup development at oral doses up to approximately 60 times the MRHD in adults. In mice treated during late gestation and the lactation period, cetirizine administered by the oral route to the dams had no effects on pup development at a dose that was approximately 25 times the MRHD in adults; however, lower pup weight gain during lactation was observed at a dose that was 95 times the MRHD in adults [see Data].
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 is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.
In embryo-fetal development studies, pregnant rats received daily doses of levocetirizine up to 200 mg/kg/day from gestation days 6 to 15 and pregnant rabbits received daily doses of levocetirizine up to 120 mg/kg/day from gestation days 6 to 18. Levocetirizine produced no evidence of fetal harm in rats and rabbits at doses up to 390 and 470 times the MRHD, respectively (on a mg/m2 basis with maternal oral doses of 200 and 120 mg/kg/day in rats and rabbits, respectively).
No prenatal and postnatal development (PPND) studies in animals have been conducted with levocetirizine. In a PPND study conducted in mice, cetirizine was administered at oral doses up to 96 mg/kg/day from gestation day 15 through lactation day 21. Cetirizine lowered pup body weight gain during lactation at an oral dose in dams that was approximately 95 times the MRHD (on a mg/m2 basis with a maternal oral dose of 96 mg/kg/day); however, there were no effects on pup weight gain at an oral dose in dams that was approximately 25 times the MRHD (on a mg/m2 basis with a maternal oral dose of 24 mg/kg/day). In a PPND study conducted in rats, cetirizine was administered at oral doses up to 180 mg/kg/day from gestation day 17 to lactation day 22. Cetirizine did not have any adverse effects on rat dams or offspring development at doses up to approximately 60 times the MRHD (on a mg/m2 basis with a maternal oral dose of 30 mg/kg/day). Cetirizine caused excessive maternal toxicity at an oral dose in dams that was approximately 350 times the MRHD (on a mg/m2 basis with a maternal oral dose of 180 mg/kg/day).
In rats and rabbits, levocetirizine was not teratogenic at oral doses approximately 320 and 390, respectively, times the maximum recommended daily oral dose in adults on a mg/m2 basis.
There are no data on the presence of levocetirizine in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. However, cetirizine has been reported to be present in human breast milk. In mice and beagle dogs, studies indicated that cetirizine was excreted in milk [see Data]. When a drug is present in animal milk, it is likely the drug will be present in human milk. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for levocetirizine dihydrochloride and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from levocetirizine dihydrochloride or from the underlying maternal condition.
Cetirizine was detected in the milk of mice. No adverse developmental effects on pups were seen when cetirizine was administered orally to dams during lactation at a dose that was approximately 25 times the MRHD in adults [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)]. Studies in beagle dogs indicated that approximately 3% of the dose of cetirizine was excreted in milk. The concentration of drug in animal milk does not necessarily predict the concentration of drug in human milk.
The recommended dose of levocetirizine dihydrochloride for the treatment of the uncomplicated skin manifestations of chronic idiopathic urticaria in patients 6 months to 17 years of age is based on extrapolation of efficacy from adults 18 years of age and older [see Clinical Studies (14) ].
The recommended dose of levocetirizine dihydrochloride in patients 6 months to 2 years of age for the treatment of the symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis and 6 months to 11 years of age with chronic idiopathic urticaria is based on cross-study comparisons of the systemic exposure of levocetirizine dihydrochloride in adults and pediatric patients and on the safety profile of levocetirizine dihydrochloride in both adult and pediatric patients at doses equal to or higher than the recommended dose for patients 6 months to 11 years of age.
The safety of levocetirizine dihydrochloride 5 mg once daily was evaluated in 243 pediatric patients 6 to 12 years of age in two placebo-controlled clinical trials lasting 4 and 6 weeks. The safety of levocetirizine dihydrochloride 1.25 mg twice daily was evaluated in one 2-week clinical trial in 114 pediatric patients 1 to 5 years of age and the safety of levocetirizine dihydrochloride 1.25 mg once daily was evaluated in one 2-week clinical trial in 45 pediatric patients 6 to 11 months of age [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
The effectiveness of levocetirizine dihydrochloride 1.25 mg once daily (6 months to 5 years of age) and 2.5 mg once daily (6 to 11 years of age) for the treatment of the symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria is supported by the extrapolation of demonstrated efficacy of levocetirizine dihydrochloride 5 mg once daily in patients 12 years of age and older based on the pharmacokinetic comparison between adults and children.
Cross-study comparisons indicate that administration of a 5 mg dose of levocetirizine dihydrochloride to 6 to 12 year old pediatric patients resulted in about 2-fold the systemic exposure (AUC) observed when 5 mg of levocetirizine dihydrochloride was administered to healthy adults. Therefore, in children 6 to 11 years of age the recommended dose of 2.5 mg once daily should not be exceeded. In a population pharmacokinetics study the administration of 1.25 mg once daily in children 6 months to 5 years of age resulted in systemic exposure comparable to 5 mg once daily in adults [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Clinical Studies (14), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
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