Tacrolimus

TACROLIMUS- tacrolimus capsule
A-S Medication Solutions

BOXED WARNING — MALIGNANCIES AND SERIOUS INFECTIONS

  • Increased risk of development of lymphoma and other malignancies, particularly of the skin, due to immunosuppression [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.2)] .
  • Increased susceptibility to bacterial, viral, fungal, and protozoal infections, including opportunistic infections [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3, 5.4, 5.5)] .
  • Only physicians experienced in immunosuppressive therapy and management of organ transplant patients should prescribe tacrolimus. 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 [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1)].

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Prophylaxis of Organ Rejection in Kidney Transplant

Tacrolimus capsules are indicated for the prophylaxis of organ rejection in patients receiving allogeneic kidney transplants. It is recommended that tacrolimus capsules be used concomitantly with azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and adrenal corticosteroids [see Clinical Studies ( 14.1)] . Therapeutic drug monitoring is recommended for all patients receiving tacrolimus capsules [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)].

1.2 Prophylaxis of Organ Rejection in Liver Transplant

Tacrolimus capsules are indicated for the prophylaxis of organ rejection in patients receiving allogeneic liver transplants. It is recommended that tacrolimus capsules be used concomitantly with adrenal corticosteroids [see Clinical Studies (14.2)] . Therapeutic drug monitoring is recommended for all patients receiving tacrolimus capsules [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)] .

1.3 Prophylaxis of Organ Rejection in Heart Transplant

Tacrolimus capsules are indicated for the prophylaxis of organ rejection in patients receiving allogeneic heart transplants. It is recommended that tacrolimus capsules be used concomitantly with azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and adrenal corticosteroids [see Clinical Studies ( 14.3)] . Therapeutic drug monitoring is recommended for all patients receiving tacrolimus capsules [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)].

1.4 Limitations of Use

Tacrolimus capsules should not be used simultaneously with cyclosporine [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.5)] .

Tacrolimus injection should be reserved for patients unable to take tacrolimus capsules orally [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.1) and Warnings and Precautions ( 5.11)] .

Use with sirolimus is not recommended in liver and heart transplant. The safety and efficacy of tacrolimus capsules with sirolimus has not been established in kidney transplant [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.12)]

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Dosage in Adult Kidney, Liver, or Heart Transplant Patients

The initial oral dosage recommendations for adult patients with kidney, liver, or heart transplants along with recommendations for whole blood trough concentrations are shown in Table 1. The initial dose of tacrolimus capsules should be administered no sooner than 6 hours after transplantation in the liver and heart transplant patients. In kidney transplant patients, the initial dose of tacrolimus capsules may be administered within 24 hours of transplantation, but should be delayed until renal function has recovered. For blood concentration monitoring details see Dosage and Administration ( 2.6).

Table 1. Summary of Initial Oral Dosage Recommendations and Observed Whole Blood Trough Concentrations in Adults
*
In a second smaller trial, the initial dose of tacrolimus was 0.15 to 0.2 mg/kg/day and observed tacrolimus concentrations were 6 to 16 ng/mL during month 1 to 3 and 5 to 12 ng/mL during month 4 to 12 [see Clinical Studies ( 14.1)].
Patient Population

Recommended Tacrolimus Capsules Initial

Oral Dosage

Note: daily doses should be administered as two divided doses, every 12 hours
Observed Tacrolimus Whole Blood Trough Concentrations
Adult kidney transplant patients
In combination with azathioprine

0.2 mg/kg/day

month 1 to 3: 7 to 20 ng/mL

month 4 to 12: 5 to 15 ng/mL

In combination with MMF/IL-2 receptor antagonist *

0.1 mg/kg/day

month 1 to 12: 4 to 11 ng/mL

Adult liver transplant patients 0.10 to 0.15 mg/kg/day month 1 to 12: 5 to 20 ng/mL
Adult heart transplant patients 0.075 mg/kg/day

month 1 to 3 : 10 to 20 ng/mL

month ≥4: 5 to 15 ng/mL

Dosing should be titrated based on clinical assessments of rejection and tolerability. Lower tacrolimus capsules dosages than the recommended initial dosage may be sufficient as maintenance therapy. Adjunct therapy with adrenal corticosteroids is recommended early post-transplant.

The data in kidney transplant patients indicate that the Black patients required a higher dose to attain comparable trough concentrations compared to Caucasian patients ( Table 2).

Table 2. Comparative Dose and Trough Concentrations Based on Race
Time After Transplant

Caucasian

Black

Dose

Trough Concentrations

Dose

Trough Concentrations (ng/mL)
Day 7 0.18 12.0 0.23 10.9
Month 1 0.17 12.8 0.26 12.9
Month 6 0.14 11.8 0.24 11.5
Month 12 0.13 10.1 0.19 11.0

Initial Dose – Injection Tacrolimus injection should be used only as a continuous IV infusion and when the patient cannot tolerate oral administration of tacrolimus capsules. Tacrolimus injection should be discontinued as soon as the patient can tolerate oral administration of tacrolimus capsules, usually within 2 to 3 days. In a patient receiving an IV infusion, the first dose of oral therapy should be given 8 to 12 hours after discontinuing the IV infusion.

The observed trough concentrations described above pertain to oral administration of tacrolimus only; while monitoring tacrolimus concentrations in patients receiving tacrolimus injection as a continuous IV infusion may have some utility, the observed concentrations will not represent comparable exposures to those estimated by the trough concentrations observed in patients on oral therapy.

The recommended starting dose of tacrolimus injection is 0.03 to 0.05 mg/kg/day in kidney and liver transplant and 0.01 mg/kg/day in heart transplant given as a continuous IV infusion. Adult patients should receive doses at the lower end of the dosing range. Concomitant adrenal corticosteroid therapy is recommended early post-transplantation.

Anaphylactic reactions have occurred with injectables containing castor oil derivatives, such as tacrolimus injection [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.11)]

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