PYRIMETHAMINE — pyrimethamine tablet
Aurobindo Pharma Limited
Pyrimethamine is an antiparasitic compound available in tablet form for oral administration. Each scored tablet contains 25 mg pyrimethamine USP and the inactive ingredients colloidal silicon dioxide, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate and pregelatinized starch (corn).
Pyrimethamine USP, known chemically as 5-(4- chlorophenyl)-6-ethyl-2, 4-pyrimidinediamine, has the following structural formula:
Pyrimethamine is well absorbed with peak levels occurring between 2 to 6 hours following administration. It is eliminated slowly and has a plasma half-life of approximately 96 hours. Pyrimethamine is 87% bound to human plasma proteins.
Microbiology: Pyrimethamine is a folic acid antagonist and the rationale for its therapeutic action is based on the differential requirement between host and parasite for nucleic acid precursors involved in growth. This activity is highly selective against Toxoplasma gondii.
The action of pyrimethamine against Toxoplasma gondii is greatly enhanced when used in conjunction with sulfonamides. This was demonstrated by Eyles and Coleman1 in the treatment of experimental toxoplasmosis in the mouse. Jacobs et al2 demonstrated that combination of the 2 drugs effectively prevented the development of severe uveitis in most rabbits following the inoculation of the anterior chamber of the eye with toxoplasma.
Treatment of Toxoplasmosis: Pyrimethamine tablets are indicated for the treatment of toxoplasmosis when used conjointly with a sulfonamide, since synergism exists with this combination.
Use of pyrimethamine tablets are contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to pyrimethamine or to any component of the formulation. Use of the drug is also contraindicated in patients with documented megaloblastic anemia due to folate deficiency.
The dosage of pyrimethamine required for the treatment of toxoplasmosis has a narrow therapeutic window. If signs of folate deficiency develop (see ADVERSE REACTIONS), reduce the dosage or discontinue the drug according to the response of the patient. Folinic acid (leucovorin) should be administered in a dosage of 5 to 15 mg daily (orally, IV, or IM) until normal hematopoiesis is restored. Data in 2 humans indicate that pyrimethamine may be carcinogenic; a 51-year-old female who developed chronic granulocytic leukemia after taking pyrimethamine for 2 years for toxoplasmosis3 and a 56-year-old patient who developed reticulum cell sarcoma after 14 months of pyrimethamine for toxoplasmosis.4
Pyrimethamine has been reported to produce a significant increase in the number of lung tumors in mice when given intraperitoneally at doses of 25 mg/kg.5
Pyrimethamine should be kept out of the reach of infants and children as they are extremely susceptible to adverse effects from an overdose. Deaths in pediatric patients have been reported after accidental ingestion.
General: A small “starting” dose for toxoplasmosis is recommended in patients with convulsive disorders to avoid the potential nervous system toxicity of pyrimethamine. Pyrimethamine should be used with caution in patients with impaired renal or hepatic function or in patients with possible folate deficiency, such as individuals with malabsorption syndrome, alcoholism, or pregnancy, and those receiving therapy, such as phenytoin, affecting folate levels (see Pregnancy subsection).
Information for Patients: Patients should be warned that at the first appearance of a skin rash they should stop use of pyrimethamine and seek medical attention immediately. Patients should also be warned that the appearance of sore throat, pallor, purpura, or glossitis may be early indications of serious disorders which require treatment with pyrimethamine to be stopped and medical treatment to be sought.
Women of childbearing potential who are taking pyrimethamine should be warned against becoming pregnant. Patients should be warned to keep pyrimethamine out of the reach of children. Patients should be advised not to exceed recommended doses. Patients should be warned that if anorexia and vomiting occur, they may be minimized by taking the drug with meals. Concurrent administration of folinic acid is strongly recommended when used for the treatment of toxoplasmosis in all patients.
Laboratory Tests: In patients receiving high dosage, semiweekly blood counts, including platelet counts, should be performed.
Drug Interactions: Pyrimethamine may be used with sulfonamides, quinine and other antimalarials, and with other antibiotics. However, the concomitant use of other antifolic drugs or agents associated with myelosuppression including sulfonamides or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole combinations, proguanil, zidovudine, or cytostatic agents (e.g., methotrexate), while the patient is receiving pyrimethamine, may increase the risk of bone marrow suppression. If signs of folate deficiency develop, pyrimethamine should be discontinued. Folinic acid (leucovorin) should be administered until normal hematopoiesis is restored (see WARNINGS). Mild hepatotoxicity has been reported in some patients when lorazepam and pyrimethamine were administered concomitantly.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility: See WARNINGS section for information on carcinogenesis.
Mutagenesis: Pyrimethamine has been shown to be nonmutagenic in the following in vitro assays: the Ames point mutation assay, the Rec assay, and the E. coli WP2 assay. It was positive in the L5178Y/TK +/- mouse lymphoma assay in the absence of exogenous metabolic activation.6 Human blood lymphocytes cultured in vitro had structural chromosome aberrations induced by pyrimethamine. In vivo, chromosomes analyzed from the bone marrow of rats dosed with pyrimethamine showed an increased number of structural and numerical aberrations.
Pregnancy: Teratogenic Effects: Pyrimethamine has been shown to be teratogenic in rats when given in oral doses 2.5 times the human dose for treatment of toxoplasmosis. At these doses in rats, there was a significant increase in abnormalities such as cleft palate, brachygnathia, oligodactyly, and microphthalmia. Pyrimethamine has also been shown to produce terata such as meningocele in hamsters and cleft palate in miniature pigs when given in oral doses 5 times the human dose for the treatment of toxoplasmosis.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Pyrimethamine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Concurrent administration of folinic acid is strongly recommended when used during pregnancy.
Nursing Mothers: Pyrimethamine is excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from pyrimethamine and from concurrent use of a sulfonamide with pyrimethamine for treatment of some patients with toxoplasmosis, 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 (see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy).
Pediatric Use: See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION section.
Geriatric Use: Clinical studies of pyrimethamine 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.
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