Sirolimus (Page 2 of 12)

2.3 Renal Transplant Patients at High-Immunologic Risk

In patients with high-immunologic risk, it is recommended that sirolimus oral solution be used in combination with cyclosporine and corticosteroids for the first 12 months following transplantation [see Clinical Studies (14.3)]. The safety and efficacy of this combination in high-immunologic risk patients has not been studied beyond the first 12 months. Therefore, after the first 12 months following transplantation, any adjustments to the immunosuppressive regimen should be considered on the basis of the clinical status of the patient.

For patients receiving sirolimus oral solution with cyclosporine, sirolimus oral solution therapy should be initiated with a loading dose of up to 15 mg on day 1 post-transplantation. Beginning on day 2, an initial maintenance dose of 5 mg/day should be given. A trough level should be obtained between days 5 and 7, and the daily dose of sirolimus oral solution should thereafter be adjusted [see Dosage and Administration (2.5)].

The starting dose of cyclosporine should be up to 7 mg/kg/day in divided doses and the dose should subsequently be adjusted to achieve target whole blood trough concentrations [ see Dosage and Administration (2.5) ]. Prednisone should be administered at a minimum of 5 mg/day.

Antibody induction therapy may be used.

2.5 Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

Monitoring of sirolimus trough concentrations is recommended for all patients, especially in those patients likely to have altered drug metabolism, in patients ≥13 years who weigh less than 40 kg, in patients with hepatic impairment, when a change in the sirolimus oral solution dosage form is made, and during concurrent administration of strong CYP3A4 inducers and inhibitors [see Drug Interactions (7)].

Therapeutic drug monitoring should not be the sole basis for adjusting sirolimus oral solution therapy. Careful attention should be made to clinical signs/symptoms, tissue biopsy findings, and laboratory parameters.

When used in combination with cyclosporine, sirolimus trough concentrations should be maintained within the target-range [see Clinical Studies (14), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Following cyclosporine withdrawal in transplant patients at low- to moderate-immunologic risk, the target sirolimus trough concentrations should be 16 to 24 ng/mL for the first year following transplantation. Thereafter, the target sirolimus concentrations should be 12 to 20 ng/mL.

The above recommended 24-hour trough concentration ranges for sirolimus are based on chromatographic methods. Currently in clinical practice, sirolimus whole blood concentrations are being measured by both chromatographic and immunoassay methodologies. Because the measured sirolimus whole blood concentrations depend on the type of assay used, the concentrations obtained by these different methodologies are not interchangeable [see Warnings and Precautions (5.17), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Adjustments to the targeted range should be made according to the assay utilized to determine sirolimus trough concentrations. Since results are assay and laboratory dependent, and the results may change over time, adjustments to the targeted therapeutic range must be made with a detailed knowledge of the site-specific assay used. Therefore, communication should be maintained with the laboratory performing the assay. A discussion of different assay methods is contained in Clinical Therapeutics, Volume 22, Supplement B, April 2000 [ see References (15) ].

2.6 Patients with Low Body Weight

The initial dosage in patients ≥13 years who weigh less than 40 kg should be adjusted, based on body surface area, to 1 mg/m 2 /day. The loading dose should be 3 mg/m 2.

2.7 Patients with Hepatic Impairment

It is recommended that the maintenance dose of sirolimus oral solution be reduced by approximately one third in patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment and by approximately one half in patients with severe hepatic impairment. It is not necessary to modify the sirolimus oral solution loading dose [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

2.8 Patients with Renal Impairment

Dosage adjustment is not needed in patients with impaired renal function [ see Use in Specific Populations (8.7) ].

2.9 Instructions for Dilution and Administration of Sirolimus Oral Solution

The amber oral dose syringe should be used to withdraw the prescribed amount of sirolimus oral solution from the bottle. Empty the correct amount of sirolimus oral solution from the syringe into only a glass or plastic container holding at least two (2) ounces (1/4 cup, 60 mL) of water or orange juice. No other liquids, including grapefruit juice, should be used for dilution [ see Drug Interactions (7.3), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) ]. Stir vigorously and drink at once. Refill the container with an additional volume [minimum of four (4) ounces (1/2 cup, 120 mL)] of water or orange juice, stir vigorously, and drink at once.

Sirolimus oral solution contains polysorbate 80, which is known to increase the rate of di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) extraction from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This should be considered during the preparation and administration of sirolimus oral solution. It is important that these recommendations be followed closely.


3.1 Sirolimus Oral Solution

60 mg per 60 mL in amber glass bottle.


Sirolimus oral solution is contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to sirolimus [ see Warnings and Precautions (5.4) ].


5.1 Increased Susceptibility to Infection and the Possible Development of Lymphoma

Increased susceptibility to infection and the possible development of lymphoma and other malignancies, particularly of the skin, may result from immunosuppression. The rates of lymphoma/lymphoproliferative disease observed in Studies 1 and 2 were 0.7 to 3.2% (for sirolimus-treated patients) versus 0.6 to 0.8% (azathioprine and placebo control) [ see Adverse Reactions (6.1) and ( 6.2) ]. Oversuppression of the immune system can also increase susceptibility to infection, including opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis, fatal infections, and sepsis. Only physicians experienced in immunosuppressive therapy and management of organ transplant patients should use sirolimus for prophylaxis of organ rejection in patients receiving renal transplants. Patients receiving the drug should be managed in facilities equipped and staffed with adequate laboratory and supportive medical resources. The physician responsible for maintenance therapy should have complete information requisite for the follow-up of the patient.

5.2 Liver Transplantation – Excess Mortality, Graft Loss, and Hepatic Artery Thrombosis

The safety and efficacy of sirolimus as immunosuppressive therapy have not been established in liver transplant patients; therefore, such use is not recommended. The use of sirolimus has been associated with adverse outcomes in patients following liver transplantation, including excess mortality, graft loss and hepatic artery thrombosis (HAT).

In a study in de novo liver transplant patients, the use of sirolimus in combination with tacrolimus was associated with excess mortality and graft loss (22% in combination versus 9% on tacrolimus alone). Many of these patients had evidence of infection at or near the time of death.

In this and another study in de novo liver transplant patients, the use of sirolimus in combination with cyclosporine or tacrolimus was associated with an increase in HAT (7% in combination versus 2% in the control arm); most cases of HAT occurred within 30 days post-transplantation, and most led to graft loss or death.

In a clinical study in stable liver transplant patients 6 to 144 months post-liver transplantation and receiving a CNI-based regimen, an increased number of deaths was observed in the group converted to a sirolimus-based regimen compared to the group who was continued on a CNI-based regimen, although the difference was not statistically significant (3.8% versus 1.4%) [ see Clinical Studies (14.5) ].

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