SIGNIFOR- pasireotide injection
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
SIGNIFOR is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with Cushing’s disease for whom pituitary surgery is not an option or has not been curative.
The recommended dosage range of SIGNIFOR is 0.3 mg to 0.9 mg by subcutaneous injection twice a day. The recommended initial dose is either 0.6 mg or 0.9 mg twice a day. Titrate dose based on response and tolerability.
Patients should be evaluated for a treatment response [clinically meaningful reduction in 24-hour urinary free cortisol (UFC) levels and/or improvement in signs or symptoms of the disease] and should continue receiving therapy with SIGNIFOR as long as benefit is derived [see Clinical Studies (14)]. Maximum UFC reduction is typically seen by two months of treatment [see Clinical Studies (14)]. For patients who are started on 0.6 mg twice a day, a dosage increase to 0.9 mg twice a day may be considered based on the response to the treatment, as long as the 0.6 mg dosage is well tolerated by the patient.
Management of suspected adverse reactions may require temporary dose reduction of SIGNIFOR. Dose reduction by 0.3 mg decrements per injection is suggested.
Prior to the start of SIGNIFOR, patients should have baseline levels of the following:
- fasting plasma glucose (FPG) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
- hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
- liver tests [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
- serum potassium and magnesium levels [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
Patients should also have a baseline electrocardiogram (ECG) and gallbladder ultrasound [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3, 5.5)] .
Treatment of patients with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus should be intensively optimized with anti-diabetic therapy prior to starting SIGNIFOR [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)] .
For patients with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh B), the recommended initial dosage is 0.3 mg twice a day and the maximum dosage is 0.6 mg twice a day. Avoid the use of SIGNIFOR in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh C) [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].
Instruct patients to:
- Refer to the FDA-approved patient labeling (Instructions for Use) for detailed administration instructions.
- Prior to injection, visually inspect the product for particulate matter and discoloration. Do not use if particulates and/or discoloration are observed.
- Avoid injection in sites showing signs of inflammation or irritation.
- Prior to injection, gently pinch the skin at the injection site and hold the needle/syringe at an angle of approximately 45 degrees.
- Administer SIGNIFOR subcutaneously by self-injection into the top of the thigh or the abdomen.
- Avoid multiple subcutaneous injections at the same site within short periods of time. Use of the same injection site for 2 consecutive injections is not recommended.
- If a dose of SIGNIFOR is missed, the next injection should be administered at the scheduled time. Do not double doses to make up for a missed dose.
Injection: 0.3 mg/mL, 0.6 mg/mL, and 0.9 mg/mL in a single-dose, 1 mL colorless glass ampule.
Treatment with SIGNIFOR leads to suppression of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) secretion in Cushing’s disease. Suppression of ACTH may lead to a decrease in circulating levels of cortisol and potentially hypocortisolism.
Monitor and instruct patients on the signs and symptoms associated with hypocortisolism (e.g., weakness, fatigue, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, hypotension, hyponatremia, or hypoglycemia). If hypocortisolism occurs, consider temporary dose reduction or interruption of treatment with SIGNIFOR, as well as temporary, exogenous glucocorticoid replacement therapy.
Blood glucose elevations have been seen in healthy volunteers and patients treated with SIGNIFOR. In the clinical study [see Clinical Studies (14)] , patients developed pre-diabetes and diabetes. Nearly all patients in the study, including those with normal glucose status at baseline, pre-diabetes, and diabetes, developed worsening glycemia in the first two weeks of treatment. Cushing’s disease patients with poor glycemic control (HbA1c > 8%) may be at a higher risk of developing severe hyperglycemia and associated complications, e.g., ketoacidosis.
Assess the patient’s glycemic status prior to starting treatment with SIGNIFOR. In patients with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, optimize anti-diabetic therapy prior to SIGNIFOR initiation. Glycemic monitoring should be done every week for the first two to three months and periodically thereafter, as well as over the first two to four weeks after any dose increase. If hyperglycemia develops, initiate or adjust anti-diabetic treatment per standard of care. If uncontrolled hyperglycemia persists despite appropriate treatment, reduce the dose or discontinue SIGNIFOR and perform glycemic monitoring according to clinical practice. Patients who were initiated on anti-diabetic treatment as a result of SIGNIFOR require closer monitoring after discontinuation of SIGNIFOR, especially if the anti-diabetic therapy has a risk of causing hypoglycemia.
Bradycardia has been reported with the use of SIGNIFOR [see Adverse Reactions (6)]. Patients with cardiac disease and/or risk factors for bradycardia, such as history of clinically significant bradycardia, high-grade heart block, or concomitant use of drugs associated with bradycardia, should be carefully monitored. Dose adjustments of beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, or correction of electrolyte disturbances may be necessary.
SIGNIFOR is associated with QT prolongation. In two thorough QT studies with SIGNIFOR, QT prolongation occurred at therapeutic and supra-therapeutic doses. SIGNIFOR should be used with caution in patients who are at significant risk of developing prolongation of QTc, such as those:
- with congenital long QT prolongation.
- with uncontrolled or significant cardiac disease, including recent myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, unstable angina, or clinically significant bradycardia.
- on anti-arrhythmic therapy or other substances that are known to lead to QT prolongation.
- with hypokalemia and/or hypomagnesemia.
A baseline ECG is recommended prior to initiating therapy with SIGNIFOR and monitoring for an effect on the QTc interval is advisable. Hypokalemia and hypomagnesemia must be corrected prior to SIGNIFOR administration and should be monitored periodically during therapy.
In the Phase III trial, 5% of patients had an alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST) level greater than 3 times the upper limit of normal (ULN). In the entire clinical development program of SIGNIFOR, there were 4 cases of concurrent elevations in ALT greater than 3 x ULN and bilirubin greater than 2 x ULN: one patient with Cushing’s disease and 3 healthy volunteers [see Adverse Reactions (6)]. In these cases, total bilirubin elevations were seen either concomitantly or preceding the transaminase elevation.
Monitoring of liver tests should be done after 1- to 2 weeks on treatment, then monthly for 3 months, and every 6 months thereafter. If ALT is normal at baseline and elevations of ALT of 3-5 times the ULN are observed on treatment, repeat the test within a week or within 48 hours if exceeding 5 times ULN. If ALT is abnormal at baseline and elevations of ALT of 3 to 5 times the baseline values are observed on treatment, repeat the test within a week or sooner if exceeding 5 times ULN. Tests should be done in a laboratory that can provide same-day results. If the values are confirmed or rising, interrupt SIGNIFOR treatment and investigate for probable cause of the findings, which may or may not be SIGNIFOR-related. Serial measures of ALT, AST, alkaline phosphatase, and total bilirubin, should be done weekly, or more frequently, if any value exceeds 5 times the baseline value in case of abnormal baselines, or 5 times the ULN in case of normal baselines. If resolution of abnormalities to normal or near normal occurs, resuming treatment with SIGNIFOR may be done cautiously, with close observation, and only if some other likely cause has been found.
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