Pilocarpine Hydrochloride (Page 3 of 4)

Pregnancy: Teratogenic Effects

Pilocarpine was associated with a reduction in the mean fetal body weight and an increase in the incidence of skeletal variations when given to pregnant rats at a dosage of 90 mg/kg/day (approximately 26 times the maximum recommended dose for a 50 kg human when compared on the basis of body surface area (mg/m2) estimates). These effects may have been secondary to maternal toxicity. In another study, oral administration of pilocarpine to female rats during gestation and lactation at a dosage of 36 mg/kg/day (approximately 10 times the maximum recommended dose for a 50 kg human when compared on the basis of body surface area (mg/m2) estimates) resulted in an increased incidence of stillbirths; decreased neonatal survival and reduced mean body weight of pups were observed at dosages of 18 mg/kg/day (approximately 5 times the maximum recommended dose for a 50 kg human when compared on the basis of body surface area (mg/m2) estimates) and above. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Pilocarpine hydrochloride tablets should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nursing Mothers
It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from pilocarpine hydrochloride tablets, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use Head & Neck Cancer Patients: In the placebo-controlled clinical trials (See Clinical Studies section) the mean age of patients was approximately 58 years (range 19 to 80). Of these patients, 97/369 (61/217 receiving pilocarpine) were over the age of 65 years. In the healthy volunteer studies, 15/150 subjects were over the age of 65 years. In both study populations, the adverse events reported by those over 65 years and those 65 years and younger were comparable. Of the 15 elderly volunteers (5 women, 10 men), the 5 women had higher Cmax’s and AUC’s than the men. (See Pharmacokinetics section.)

Sjogren’s Syndrome Patients: In the placebo-controlled clinical trials (See Clinical Studies section), the mean age of patients was approximately 55 years (range 21 to 85). The adverse events reported by those over 65 years and those 65 years and younger were comparable except for notable trends for urinary frequency, diarrhea, and dizziness (See ADVERSE REACTIONS section).

ADVERSE REACTIONS

Head & Neck Cancer Patients: In controlled studies, 217 patients received pilocarpine, of whom 68% were men and 32% were women. Race distribution was 91% Caucasian, 8% Black, and 1% of other origin. Mean age was approximately 58 years. The majority of patients were between 50 and 64 years (51%), 33% were 65 years and older and 16% were younger than 50 years of age. The most frequent adverse experiences associated with pilocarpine hydrochloride tablets were a consequence of the expected pharmacologic effects of pilocarpine.

Adverse Event Pilocarpine Hydrochloride Placebo
10 mg t.i.d.(30 mg/day) 5 mg t.i.d.(15 mg/day) (t.i.d.)
Sweating N=121/68% N=141/29% N=152/9%
Nausea 15 6 4
Rhinitis 14 5 7
Diarrhea 7 4 5
Chills 15 3 <1
Flushing 13 8 3
Urinary Frequency 12 9 7
Dizziness 12 5 4
Asthenia 12 6 3

In addition, the following adverse events (≥3% incidence) were reported at dosages of 15 to 30 mg/day in the controlled clinical trials:

Adverse Event Pilocarpine Hydrochloride Placebo
5 to10 mg t.i.d.(15 to 30 mg/day) (t.i.d.)
Headache N=212/11% N=152/8%
Dyspepsia 7 5
Lacrimation 6 8
Edema 5 4
Abdominal Pain 4 4
Amblyopia 4 2
Vomiting 4 1
Pharyngitis 3 8
Hypertension 3 1


The following events were reported with treated head and neck cancer patients at incidences of 1% to 2% at dosages of 7.5 to 30 mg/day: abnormal vision, conjunctivitis, dysphagia, epistaxis, myalgias, pruritus, rash, sinusitis, tachycardia, taste perversion, tremor, voice alteration. The following events were reported rarely in treated head and neck cancer patients (<1%): Causal relation is unknown.

Body as a whole: body odor, hypothermia, mucous membrane abnormality

Cardiovascular: bradycardia, ECG abnormality, palpitations, syncope

Digestive: anorexia, increased appetite, esophagitis, gastrointestinal disorder, tongue disorder

Hematologic: leukopenia, lymphadenopathy

Nervous: anxiety, confusion, depression, abnormal dreams, hyperkinesia, hypesthesia, nervousness, paresthesias, speech disorder, twitching

Respiratory: increased sputum, stridor, yawning

Skin: seborrhea

Special senses: deafness, eye pain, glaucoma

Urogenital: dysuria, metrorrhagia, urinary impairment

In long-term treatment were two patients with underlying cardiovascular disease of whom one experienced a myocardial infarct and another an episode of syncope. The association with drug is uncertain.

Sjogren’s Syndrome Patients: In controlled studies, 376 patients received pilocarpine, of whom 5% were men and 95% were women. Race distribution was 84% Caucasian, 9% Oriental, 3% Black, and 4% of other origin. Mean age was 55 years. The majority of patients were between 40 and 69 years (70%), 16% were 70 years and older and 14% were younger than 40 years of age. Of these patients, 161/629 (89/376 receiving pilocarpine) were over the age of 65 years. The adverse events reported by those over 65 years and those 65 years and younger were comparable except for notable trends for urinary frequency, diarrhea, and dizziness. The incidences of urinary frequency and diarrhea in the elderly were about double those of the non-elderly. The incidence of dizziness was about three times as high in the elderly as in the non-elderly. These adverse experiences were not considered to be serious. In the 2 placebo-controlled studies, the most common adverse events related to drug use were sweating, urinary frequency, chills, and vasodilatation (flushing). The most commonly reported reason for patient discontinuation of treatment was sweating. Expected pharmacologic effects of pilocarpine include the following adverse experiences associated with pilocarpine hydrochloride tablets:

Adverse Event Pilocarpine Hydrochloride Placebo
5 mg q.i.d.(20 mg/day) (q.i.d)
Sweating N=255/40% N=253/7%
Urinary Frequency 10 4
Nausea 9 9
Flushing 9 2
Rhinitis 7 8
Diarrhea 6 7
Chills 4 2
Increased Salivation 3 0
Asthenia 2 2

In addition, the following adverse events (≥3% incidence) were reported at dosages of 20 mg/day in the controlled clinical trials:

Adverse Event Pilocarpine Hydrochloride Placebo
5 mg q.i.d.(20 mg/day) (q.i.d)
Headache N=255/13% N=253/19%
Flu Syndrome 9 9
Dyspepsia 7 7
Dizziness 6 7
Pain 4 2
Sinusitis 4 5
Abdominal Pain 3 4
Vomiting 3 1
Pharyngitis 2 5
Rash 2 3
Infection 2 6

The following events were reported in Sjogren’s patients at incidences of 1% to 2% at dosing of 20 mg/day: accidental injury, allergic reaction, back pain, blurred vision, constipation, increased cough, edema, epistaxis, face edema, fever, flatulence, glossitis, lab test abnormalities, including chemistry, hematology, and urinalysis, myalgia, palpitation, pruritus, somnolence, stomatitis, tachycardia, tinnitus, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infection, and vaginitis.
The following events were reported rarely in treated Sjogren’s patients (<1%) at dosing of 10 to 30 mg/day: Causal relation is unknown.

Body as a whole: chest pain, cyst, death, moniliasis, neck pain, neck rigidity, photosensitivity reaction

Cardiovascular: angina pectoris, arrhythmia, ECG abnormality, hypotension, hypertension, intracranial hemorrhage, migraine, myocardial infarction

Digestive: anorexia, bilirubinemia, cholelithiasis, colitis, dry mouth, eructation, gastritis, gastroenteritis, gastrointestinal disorder, gingivitis, hepatitis, abnormal liver function tests, melena, nausea & vomiting, pancreatitis, parotid gland enlargement, salivary gland enlargement, sputum increased, taste loss, tongue disorder, tooth disorder

Hematologic: hematuria, lymphadenopathy, abnormal platelets, thrombocythemia, thrombocytopenia, thrombosis, abnormal WBC

Metabolic and Nutritional: peripheral edema, hypoglycemia

Musculoskeletal: arthralgia, arthritis, bone disorder, spontaneous bone fracture, pathological fracture, myasthenia, tendon disorder, tenosynovitis

Nervous: aphasia, confusion, depression, abnormal dreams, emotional lability, hyperkinesia, hypesthesia, insomnia, leg cramps, nervousness, paresthesias, abnormal thinking, tremor

Respiratory: bronchitis, dyspnea, hiccup, laryngismus, laryngitis, pneumonia, viral infection, voice alteration

Skin: alopecia, contact dermatitis, dry skin, eczema, erythema nodosum, exfoliative dermatitis, herpes simplex, skin ulcer, vesiculobullous rash

Special Senses: cataract, conjunctivitis, dry eyes, ear disorder, ear pain, eye disorder, eye hemorrhage, glaucoma, lacrimation disorder, retinal disorder, taste perversion, abnormal vision

Urogenital: breast pain, dysuria, mastitis, menorrhagia, metrorrhagia, ovarian disorder, pyuria, salpingitis, urethral pain, urinary urgency, vaginal hemorrhage, vaginal moniliasis

The following adverse experiences have been reported rarely with ocular pilocarpine: A-V block, agitation, ciliary congestion, confusion, delusion, depression, dermatitis, middle ear disturbance, eyelid twitching, malignant glaucoma, iris cysts, macular hole, shock, and visual hallucination.

MANAGEMENT OF OVERDOSE
Fatal overdosage with pilocarpine has been reported in the scientific literature at doses presumed to be greater than 100 mg in two hospitalized patients. 100 mg of pilocarpine is considered potentially fatal. Overdosage should be treated with atropine titration (0.5 mg to 1 mg given subcutaneously or intravenously) and supportive measures to maintain respiration and circulation. Epinephrine (0.3 mg to 1 mg, subcutaneously or intramuscularly) may also be of value in the presence of severe cardiovascular depression or bronchoconstriction. It is not known if pilocarpine is dialyzable.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Regardless of the indication, the starting dose in patients with moderate hepatic impairment should be 5 mg twice daily, followed by adjustment based on therapeutic response and tolerability. Patients with mild hepatic insufficiency do not require dosage reductions. The use of pilocarpine in patients with severe hepatic insufficiency is not recommended. If needed, refer to the Hepatic Insufficiency subsection of the Precautionssection of this label for definitions of mild, moderate and severe hepatic impairment.

Head & Neck Cancer Patients: The recommended initial dose of pilocarpine hydrochloride tablets is 5 mg taken three times a day. Dosage should be titrated according to therapeutic response and tolerance. The usual dosage range is up to 15 to 30 mg per day. (Not to exceed 10 mg per dose.) Although early improvement may be realized, at least 12 weeks of uninterrupted therapy with pilocarpine hydrochloride tablets may be necessary to assess whether a beneficial response will be achieved. The incidence of the most common adverse events increases with dose. The lowest dose that is tolerated and effective should be used for maintenance.

Sjogren’s Syndrome Patients: The recommended dose of pilocarpine hydrochloride tablets is 5 mg taken four times a day. Efficacy was established by 6 weeks of use.

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