Melphalan Hydrochloride (Page 3 of 4)

Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis and Impairment of Fertility

See WARNINGS section.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category D: See WARNINGS section.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. IV melphalan should not be given to nursing mothers.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of Melphalan Hydrochloride for Injection did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

(See OVERDOSAGE)

The following information on adverse reactions is based on data from both oral and IV administration of melphalan as a single agent, using several different dose schedules for treatment of a wide variety of malignancies.

Hematologic

The most common side effect is bone marrow suppression leading to leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia. White blood cell count and platelet count nadirs usually occur 2 to 3 weeks after treatment, with recovery in 4 to 5 weeks after treatment. Irreversible bone marrow failure has been reported.

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and oral ulceration occur infrequently. Hepatic disorders ranging from abnormal liver function tests to clinical manifestations such as hepatitis and jaundice have been reported. Hepatic veno-occlusive disease has been reported.

Hypersenstivity

Acute hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis were reported in 2.4% of 425 patients receiving Melphalan Hydrochloride for Injection for myeloma (see WARNINGS). These reactions were characterized by urticaria, pruritus, edema, skin rashes, and in some patients, tachycardia, bronchospasm, dyspnea, and hypotension. These patients appeared to respond to antihistamine and corticosteroid therapy. If a hypersensitivity reaction occurs, IV or oral melphalan should not be readministered since hypersensitivity reactions have also been reported with oral melphalan. Cardiac arrest has also been reported rarely in association with such reports.

Miscellaneous

Other reported adverse reactions include skin hypersensitivity, skin ulceration at injection site, skin necrosis rarely requiring skin grafting, maculopapular rashes, vasculitis, alopecia, hemolytic anemia, allergic reaction, pulmonary fibrosis (including fatal outcomes), and interstitial pneumonitis. Temporary significant elevation of the blood urea has been seen in the early stages of therapy in patients with renal damage. Subjective and transient sensation of warmth and/or tingling.

OVERDOSAGE

Overdoses resulting in death have been reported. Overdoses, including doses up to 290 mg/m2 , have produced the following symptoms: severe nausea and vomiting, decreased consciousness, convulsions, muscular paralysis, and cholinomimetic effects. Severe mucositis, stomatitis, colitis, diarrhea, and hemorrhage of the gastrointestinal tract occur at high doses (>100 mg/m2). Elevations in liver enzymes and veno-occlusive disease occur infrequently. Significant hyponatremia caused by an associated inappropriate secretion of ADH syndrome has been observed. Nephrotoxicity and adult respiratory distress syndrome have been reported rarely. The principal toxic effect is bone marrow suppression. Hematologic parameters should be closely followed for 3 to 6 weeks. An uncontrolled study suggests that administration of autologous bone marrow or hematopoietic growth factors (i.e., sargramostim, filgrastim) may shorten the period of pancytopenia. General supportive measures together with appropriate blood transfusions and antibiotics should be instituted as deemed necessary by the physician. This drug is not removed from plasma to any significant degree by hemodialysis or hemoperfusion. A pediatric patient survived a 254 mg/m2 overdose treated with standard supportive care.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

The usual IV dose is 16 mg/m2. Dosage reduction of up to 50% should be considered in patients with renal insufficiency (BUN ≥30 mg/dL) (see PRECAUTIONS: General). The drug is administered as a single infusion over 15 to 20 minutes. Melphalan is administered at 2-week intervals for 4 doses, then, after adequate recovery from toxicity, at 4-week intervals. Available evidence suggests about one third to one half of the patients with multiple myeloma show a favorable response to the drug. Experience with oral melphalan suggests that repeated courses should be given since improvement may continue slowly over many months, and the maximum benefit may be missed if treatment is abandoned prematurely. Dose adjustment on the basis of blood cell counts at the nadir and day of treatment should be considered.

Administration Precautions

As with other toxic compounds, caution should be exercised in handling and preparing the solution of melphalan hydrochloride. Skin reactions associated with accidental exposure may occur. The use of gloves is recommended. If the solution of melphalan hydrochloride contacts the skin or mucosa, immediately wash the skin or mucosa thoroughly with soap and water.

Procedures for proper handling and disposal of anticancer drugs should be considered. Several guidelines on this subject have been published.1-8 There is no general agreement that all of the procedures recommended in the guidelines are necessary or appropriate.

Parenteral drug products should be visually inspected for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit. If either occurs, do not use this product.

Care should be taken to avoid possible extravasation of melphalan and in cases of poor peripheral venous access, consideration should be given to use of a central venous line (see WARNINGS).

Preparation for Administration/Stability

  1. Melphalan Hydrochloride for Injection must be reconstituted by rapidly injecting 10 mL of the supplied diluent directly into the vial of lyophilized powder using a sterile needle (20-gauge or larger needle diameter) and syringe. Immediately shake vial vigorously until a clear solution is obtained. This provides a 5 mg/mL solution of melphalan. Rapid addition of the diluent followed by immediate vigorous shaking is important for proper dissolution.
  2. Immediately dilute the dose to be administered in 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP, to a concentration not greater than 0.45 mg/mL.
  3. Administer the diluted product over a minimum of 15 minutes.
  4. Complete administration within 60 minutes of reconstitution.

The time between reconstitution/dilution and administration of melphalan hydrochloride should be kept to a minimum because reconstituted and diluted solutions of melphalan hydrochloride are unstable. Over as short a time as 30 minutes, a citrate derivative of melphalan has been detected in reconstituted material from the reaction of melphalan hydrochloride with Sterile Diluent for melphalan hydrochloride. Upon further dilution with saline, nearly 1% label strength of melphalan hydrolyzes every 10 minutes.

A precipitate forms if the reconstituted solution is stored at 5°C. DO NOT REFRIGERATE THE RECONSTITUTED PRODUCT.

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