Anaphylactic reactions have occurred with injectables containing castor oil derivatives, including tacrolimus, in a small percentage of patients (0.6%). The exact cause of these reactions is not known. Tacrolimus injection should be reserved for patients who are unable to take tacrolimus capsules [see Indications and Usage (1.4)].
Patients receiving tacrolimus injection should be under continuous observation for at least the first 30 minutes following the start of the infusion and at frequent intervals thereafter. If signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis occur, the infusion should be stopped. An aqueous solution of epinephrine should be available at the bedside as well as a source of oxygen.
Use of sirolimus with tacrolimus in studies of de novo liver transplant patients was associated with an excess mortality, graft loss, and hepatic artery thrombosis (HAT) and is not recommended [see Indications and Usage (1.4)].
Use of sirolimus (2 mg per day) with tacrolimus in heart transplant patients in a U.S. trial was associated with increased risk of renal function impairment, wound healing complications, and insulin-dependent post-transplant diabetes mellitus, and is not recommended [see Clinical Studies (14.3)].
When coadministering tacrolimus with strong CYP3A4-inhibitors (e.g., telaprevir, boceprevir, ritonavir, ketoconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, clarithromycin) and strong inducers (e.g., rifampin, rifabutin) adjustments in the dosing regimen of tacrolimus and subsequent frequent monitoring of tacrolimus whole blood trough concentrations and tacrolimus-associated adverse reactions are recommended [see Drug Interactions (7) ].
Tacrolimus may prolong the QT/QTc interval and may cause Torsade de Pointes. Avoid tacrolimus in patients with congenital long QT syndrome. In patients with congestive heart failure, bradyarrhythmias, those taking certain antiarrhythmic medications or other medicinal products that lead to QT prolongation, and those with electrolyte disturbances such as hypokalemia, hypocalcemia, or hypomagnesemia, consider obtaining electrocardiograms and monitoring electrolytes (magnesium, potassium, calcium) periodically during treatment.
When coadministering tacrolimus with other substrates and/or inhibitors of CYP3A4 that also have the potential to prolong the QT interval, a reduction in tacrolimus dose, frequent monitoring of tacrolimus whole blood concentrations, and monitoring for QT prolongation is recommended. Use of tacrolimus with amiodarone has been reported to result in increased tacrolimus whole blood concentrations with or without concurrent QT prolongation [see Drug Interactions (7) ].
Myocardial hypertrophy has been reported in infants, children, and adults, particularly those with high tacrolimus trough concentrations, and is generally manifested by echocardiographically demonstrated concentric increases in left ventricular posterior wall and interventricular septum thickness. This condition appears reversible in most cases following dose reduction or discontinuance of therapy. In patients who develop renal failure or clinical manifestations of ventricular dysfunction while receiving tacrolimus therapy, echocardiographic evaluation should be considered. If myocardial hypertrophy is diagnosed, dosage reduction or discontinuation of tacrolimus should be considered [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].
The use of live vaccines should be avoided during treatment with tacrolimus; examples include (not limited to) the following: intranasal influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, oral polio, BCG, yellow fever, varicella, and TY21a typhoid vaccines.
Cases of pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) have been reported in patients treated with tacrolimus. A mechanism for tacrolimus-induced PRCA has not been elucidated. All patients reported risk factors for PRCA such as parvovirus B19 infection, underlying disease, or concomitant medications associated with PRCA. If PRCA is diagnosed, discontinuation of tacrolimus should be considered [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].
Gastrointestinal perforation has been reported in patients treated with tacrolimus; all reported cases were considered to be a complication of transplant surgery or accompanied by infection, diverticulum, or malignant neoplasm. As gastrointestinal perforation may be serious or life-threatening, appropriate medical/surgical management should be instituted promptly [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
- Lymphoma and Other Malignancies [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
- Serious Infections [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
- Polyoma Virus Infections [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
- CMV Infections [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]
- New Onset Diabetes After Transplant [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
- Nephrotoxicity [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]
- Neurotoxicity [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]
- Hyperkalemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)]
- Hypertension [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)]
- Anaphylaxis with tacrolimus injection [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)]
- Myocardial Hypertrophy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.15)]
- Pure Red Cell Aplasia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.17)]
- Gastrointestinal Perforation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.18)]
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. In addition, the clinical trials were not designed to establish comparative differences across study arms with regards to the adverse reactions discussed below.
The incidence of adverse reactions was determined in three randomized kidney transplant trials. One of the trials used azathioprine (AZA) and corticosteroids and two of the trials used mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and corticosteroids concomitantly for maintenance immunosuppression.
Tacrolimus-based immunosuppression in conjunction with azathioprine and corticosteroids following kidney transplantation was assessed in trial where 205 patients received tacrolimus based immunosuppression and 207 patients received cyclosporine based immunosuppression. The trial population had a mean age of 43 years (mean±sd was 43±13 years on tacrolimus and 44±12 years on cyclosporine arm), the distribution was 61% male, and the composition was White (58%), Black (25%), Hispanic (12%) and Other (5%). The 12 month post-transplant information from this trial is presented below.
The most common adverse reactions (≥ 30%) observed in tacrolimus-treated kidney transplant patients are: infection, tremor, hypertension, abnormal renal function, constipation, diarrhea, headache, abdominal pain, insomnia, nausea, hypomagnesemia, urinary tract infection, hypophosphatemia, peripheral edema, asthenia, pain, hyperlipidemia, hyperkalemia and anemia. Adverse reactions that occurred in ≥ 15% of kidney transplant patients treated with tacrolimus in conjunction with azathioprine are presented below:
|Tacrolimus / AZA ( N = 205 )||Cyclosporine / AZA ( N = 207 )|
|Urinary Tract Infection||34%||35%|
|Metabolic and Nutritional|
|Hemic and Lymphatic|
Two trials were conducted for tacrolimus-based immunosuppression in conjunction with MMF and corticosteroids. In the non-US trial (Study 1), the incidence of adverse reactions was based on 1195 kidney transplant patients that received tacrolimus (Group C, n=403), or one of two cyclosporine (CsA) regimens (Group A, n=384 and Group B, n=408) in combination with MMF and corticosteroids; all patients, except those in one of the two cyclosporine groups, also received induction with daclizumab. The trial population had a mean age of 46 years (range 17 to 76), the distribution was 65% male, and the composition was 93% Caucasian. The 12 month post-transplant information from this trial is presented below.
Adverse reactions that occurred in ≥10% of kidney transplant patients treated with tacrolimus in conjunction with MMF in Study 1 [Note: This trial was conducted entirely outside of the United States. Such trials often report a lower incidence of adverse reactions in comparison to U.S. trials] are presented below:
|Tacrolimus ( Group C ) ( N = 403 )||Cyclosporine ( Group A ) ( N = 384 )||Cyclosporine ( Group B ) ( N = 408 )|
|Urinary Tract Infection||24%||28%||24%|
|Key: Group A = CsA/MMF/CS, B = CsA/MMF/CS/Daclizumab, C = Tac/MMF/CS/Daclizumab|
|CsA = Cyclosporine, CS = Corticosteroids, Tac = Tacrolimus, MMF = mycophenolate mofetil|
In the U.S. trial (Study 2) with tacrolimus-based immunosuppression in conjunction with MMF and corticosteroids, 424 kidney transplant patients received tacrolimus (n=212) or cyclosporine (n=212) in combination with MMF 1 gram twice daily, basiliximab induction, and corticosteroids. The trial population had a mean age of 48 years (range 17 to 77), the distribution was 63% male, and the composition was White (74%), Black (20%), Asian (3%) and other (3%). The 12 month post-transplant information from this trial is presented below.
Adverse reactions that occurred in ≥15% of kidney transplant patients treated with tacrolimus in conjunction with MMF in Study 2 are presented below:
|Tacrolimus / MMF||Cyclosporine / MMF|
|( N = 212 )||( N = 212 )|
|Injury , Poisoning , and Procedural Complication|
|Incision Site Complication||28%||23%|
|Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders|
|Nervous System Disorders|
|Urinary Tract Infection||26%||22%|
|Blood Creatinine Increased||23%||23%|
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