Paclitaxel Injection, USP is indicated as subsequent therapy for the treatment of advanced carcinoma of the ovary. As first-line therapy, Paclitaxel Injection, USP is indicated in combination with cisplatin.
Paclitaxel Injection, USP is indicated for the adjuvant treatment of node-positive breast cancer administered sequentially to standard doxorubicin-containing combination chemotherapy. In the clinical trial, there was an overall favorable effect on disease-free and overall survival in the total population of patients with receptor-positive and receptor-negative tumors, but the benefit has been specifically demonstrated by available data (median follow-up 30 months) only in the patients with estrogen and progesterone receptor-negative tumors (see CLINICAL STUDIES, Breast Carcinoma).
Paclitaxel Injection, USP is indicated for the treatment of breast cancer after failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within 6 months of adjuvant chemotherapy. Prior therapy should have included an anthracycline unless clinically contraindicated.
Paclitaxel Injection, USP, in combination with cisplatin, is indicated for the first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer in patients who are not candidates for potentially curative surgery and/or radiation therapy.
Paclitaxel Injection, USP is indicated for the second-line treatment of AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma.
Paclitaxel is contraindicated in patients who have a history of hypersensitivity reactions to paclitaxel or other drugs formulated in polyoxyl 35 castor oil. Paclitaxel should not be used in patients with solid tumors who have baseline neutrophil counts of <1,500 cells/mm3 or in patients with AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma with baseline neutrophil counts of <1,000 cells/mm3.
Anaphylaxis and severe hypersensitivity reactions characterized by dyspnea and hypotension requiring treatment, angioedema, and generalized urticaria have occurred in 2 to 4% of patients receiving paclitaxel in clinical trials. Fatal reactions have occurred in patients despite premedication. All patients should be pretreated with corticosteroids, diphenhydramine, and H2 antagonists (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Patients who experience severe hypersensitivity reactions to paclitaxel should not be rechallenged with the drug.
Bone marrow suppression (primarily neutropenia) is dose-dependent and is the dose-limiting toxicity. Neutrophil nadirs occurred at a median of 11 days. Paclitaxel should not be administered to patients with baseline neutrophil counts of less than 1,500 cells/mm3 (<1,000 cells/mm3 for patients with KS). Frequent monitoring of blood counts should be instituted during paclitaxel treatment. Patients should not be re-treated with subsequent cycles of paclitaxel until neutrophils recover to a level >1,500 cells/mm3 (>1,000 cells/mm3 for patients with KS) and platelets recover to a level >100,000 cells/mm3.
Severe conduction abnormalities have been documented in <1% of patients during paclitaxel therapy and in some cases requiring pacemaker placement. If patients develop significant conduction abnormalities during paclitaxel infusion, appropriate therapy should be administered and continuous cardiac monitoring should be performed during subsequent therapy with paclitaxel.
Paclitaxel can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Administration of paclitaxel during the period of organogenesis to rabbits at doses of 3 mg/kg/day (about 0.2 the daily maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis) caused embryo- and fetotoxicity, as indicated by intrauterine mortality, increased resorptions, and increased fetal deaths. Maternal toxicity was also observed at this dose. No teratogenic effects were observed at 1 mg/kg/day (about 1/15 the daily maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis); teratogenic potential could not be assessed at higher doses due to extensive fetal mortality.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. If paclitaxel is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while receiving this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Women of child- bearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant.
Contact of the undiluted concentrate with plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC) equipment or devices used to prepare solutions for infusion is not recommended. In order to minimize patient exposure to the plasticizer DEHP [di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate], which may be leached from PVC infusion bags or sets, diluted paclitaxel solutions should preferably be stored in bottles (glass, polypropylene) or plastic bags (polypropylene, polyolefin) and administered through polyethylene-lined administration sets.
Paclitaxel should be administered through an in-line filter with a microporous membrane not greater than 0.22 microns. Use of filter devices such as IVEX-2® filters which incorporate short inlet and outlet PVC-coated tubing has not resulted in significant filter devices such leaching of DEHP.
In a Phase 1 trial using escalating doses of paclitaxel (110 to 200 mg/m2) and cisplatin (50 or 75 mg/m2) given as sequential infusions, myelosuppression was more profound when paclitaxel was given after cisplatin than with the alternate sequence (i.e., paclitaxel before cisplatin). Pharmacokinetic data from these patients demonstrated a decrease in paclitaxel clearance of approximately 33% when paclitaxel was administered following cisplatin.
The metabolism of paclitaxel is catalyzed by cytochrome P450 isoenzymes CYP2C8 and CYP3A4. Caution should be exercised when administering paclitaxel concomitantly with known substrates or inhibitors of the cytochrome P450 isoenzymes CTP2C8 and CYP3A4. Caution should be exercised when paclitaxel is concomitantly administered with known substrates (e.g., midazolam, buspirone, felodipine, lovastatin, eletriptan, sildenafil, simvastatin, and triazolam), inhibitors (e.g., atazanavir, clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, and telithromycin), and inducers (e.g., rifampin and carbamazepine) of CYP3A4 (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).
Caution should also be exercised when paclitaxel is concomitantly administered with known substrates (e.g., repaglinide and rosiglitazone), inhibitors (e.g., gemfibrozil), and inducers (e.g., rifampin) of CYP2C8 (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).
Potential interactions between paclitaxel, a substrate of CYP3A4, and protease inhibitors (ritonavir, saquinavir, indinavir, and nelfinavir), which are substrates and/or inhibitors of CYP3A4, have not been evaluated in clinical trials.
Reports in the literature suggest that plasma levels of doxorubicin (and its active metabolite doxorubicinol) may be increased when paclitaxel and doxorubicin are used in combination.
Paclitaxel therapy should not be administered to patients with baseline neutrophil counts of less than 1,500 cells/mm3. In order to monitor the occurrence of myelotoxicity, it is recommended that frequent peripheral blood cell counts be performed on all patients receiving paclitaxel. Patients should not be re-treated with subsequent cycles of paclitaxel until neutrophils recover to a level >1,500 cells/mm3 and platelets recover to a level >100,000 cells/mm3. In the case of severe neutropenia (<500 cells/mm3 for 7 days or more) during a course of paclitaxel therapy, a 20% reduction in dose for subsequent courses of therapy is recommended.
For patients with advanced HIV disease and poor-risk AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma, paclitaxel, at the recommended dose for this disease, can be initiated and repeated if the neutrophil count is at least 1,000 cells/mm3.
Patients with a history of severe hypersensitivity reactions to products containing polyoxyl 35 castor oil (e.g., cyclosporin for injection concentrate and teniposide for injection concentrate) should not be treated with paclitaxel. In order to avoid the occurrence of severe hypersensitivity reactions, all patients treated with paclitaxel should be premedicated with corticosteroids (such as dexamethasone), diphenhydramine and H2 antagonists (such as cimetidine or ranitidine). Minor symptoms such as flushing, skin reactions, dyspnea, hypotension, or tachycardia do not require interruption of therapy.. However, severe reactions, such as hypotension requiring treatment, dyspnea requiring bronchodilators, angioedema, or generalized urticaria require immediate discontinuation of paclitaxel and aggressive symptomatic therapy. Patients who have developed severe hypersensitivity reactions should not be rechallenged with paclitaxel.
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