Voriconazole (Page 4 of 12)

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in 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.

Clinical Trials Experience in Adults


The most frequently reported adverse reactions (see Table 4) in the adult therapeutic trials were visual disturbances (18.7%), fever (5.7%), nausea (5.4%), rash (5.3%), vomiting (4.4%), chills (3.7%), headache (3.0%), liver function test increased (2.7%), tachycardia (2.4%), hallucinations (2.4%). The adverse reactions which most often led to discontinuation of voriconazole therapy were elevated liver function tests, rash, and visual disturbances [see Warning and Precautions (5.1, 5.4)and Adverse Reactions (6.1) ].

The data described in Table 4 reflect exposure to voriconazole in 1655 patients in nine therapeutic studies. This represents a heterogeneous population, including immunocompromised patients, e.g., patients with hematological malignancy or HIV and non-neutropenic patients. This subgroup does not include healthy subjects and patients treated in the compassionate use and non-therapeutic studies. This patient population was 62% male, had a mean age of 46 years (range 11-90, including 51 patients aged 12-18 years), and was 78% White and 10% Black. Five hundred sixty one patients had a duration of voriconazole therapy of greater than 12 weeks, with 136 patients receiving voriconazole for over six months. Table 4 includes all adverse reactions which were reported at an incidence of ≥2% during voriconazole therapy in the all therapeutic studies population, studies 307/602 and 608 combined, or study 305, as well as events of concern which occurred at an incidence of <2%.

In study 307/602, 381 patients (196 on voriconazole, 185 on amphotericin B) were treated to compare voriconazole to amphotericin B followed by other licensed antifungal therapy (OLAT) in the primary treatment of patients with acute IA. The rate of discontinuation from voriconazole study medication due to adverse reactions was 21.4% (42/196 patients). In study 608, 403 patients with candidemia were treated to compare voriconazole (272 patients) to the regimen of amphotericin B followed by fluconazole (131 patients). The rate of discontinuation from voriconazole study medication due to adverse reactions was 19.5% out of 272 patients. Study 305 evaluated the effects of oral voriconazole (200 patients) and oral fluconazole (191 patients) in the treatment of EC. The rate of discontinuation from voriconazole study medication in Study 305 due to adverse reactions was 7% (14/200 patients). Laboratory test abnormalities for these studies are discussed under Clinical Laboratory Values below.

Table 4: Adverse Reactions Rate ≥ 2% on Voriconazole or Adverse Reactions of Concern in Therapeutic Studies Population, Studies 307/602-608 Combined, or Study 305. Possibly Related to Therapy or Causality Unknown†
† Study 307/602: IA; Study 608: candidemia; Study 305: EC * Studies 303, 304, 305, 307, 309, 602, 603, 604, 608**Amphotericin B followed by other licensed antifungal therapy *** See Warnings and Precautions (5.4)
Therapeutic Studies* Studies 307/602 and 608 (IV/ oral therapy) Study 305 (oral therapy)
Voriconazole N=1655 Voriconazole N=468 Ampho B** N=185 Ampho B→ Fluconazole N=131 Voriconazole N=200 Fluconazole N=191
N (%) N (%) N (%) N (%) N (%) N (%)
Special Senses***
Abnormal vision 310 (18.7) 63 (13.5) 1 (0.5) 0 31 (15.5) 8 (4.2)
Photophobia 37 (2.2) 8 (1.7) 0 0 5 (2.5) 2 (1.0)
Chromatopsia 20 (1.2) 2 (0.4) 0 0 2 (1.0) 0
Body as a Whole
Fever 94 (5.7) 8 (1.7) 25 (13.5) 5 (3.8) 0 0
Chills 61 (3.7) 1 (0.2) 36 (19.5) 8 (6.1) 1 (0.5) 0
Headache 49 (3.0) 9 (1.9) 8 (4.3) 1 (0.8) 0 1 (0.5)
Cardiovascular System
Tachycardia 39 (2.4) 6 (1.3) 5 (2.7) 0 0 0
Digestive System
Nausea 89 (5.4) 18 (3.8) 29 (15.7) 2 (1.5) 2 (1.0) 3 (1.6)
Vomiting 72 (4.4) 15 (3.2) 18 (9.7) 1 (0.8) 2 (1.0) 1 (0.5)
Liver function tests abnormal 45 (2.7) 15 (3.2) 4 (2.2) 1 (0.8) 6 (3.0) 2 (1.0)
Cholestatic jaundice 17 (1.0) 8 (1.7) 0 1 (0.8) 3 (1.5) 0
Metabolic and Nutritional Systems
Alkaline phosphatase increased 59 (3.6) 19 (4.1) 4 (2.2) 3 (2.3) 10 (5.0) 3 (1.6)
Hepatic enzymes increased 30 (1.8) 11 (2.4) 5 (2.7) 1 (0.8) 3 (1.5) 0
SGOT increased 31 (1.9) 9 (1.9) 0 1 (0.8) 8 (4.0) 2 (1.0)
SGPT increased 29 (1.8) 9 (1.9) 1 (0.5) 2 (1.5) 6 (3.0) 2 (1.0)
Hypokalemia 26 (1.6) 3 (0.6) 36 (19.5) 16 (12.2) 0 0
Bilirubinemia 15 (0.9) 5 (1.1) 3 (1.6) 2 (1.5) 1 (0.5) 0
Creatinine increased 4 (0.2) 0 59 (31.9) 10 (7.6) 1 (0.5) 0
Nervous System
Hallucinations 39 (2.4) 13 (2.8) 1 (0.5) 0 0 0
Skin and Appendages
Rash 88 (5.3) 20 (4.3) 7 (3.8) 1 (0.8) 3 (1.5) 1 (0.5)
Kidney function abnormal 10 (0.6) 6 (1.3) 40 (21.6) 9 (6.9) 1 (0.5) 1 (0.5)
Acute kidney failure 7 (0.4) 2 (0.4) 11 (5.9) 7 (5.3) 0 0

Visual Disturbances

Voriconazole treatment-related visual disturbances are common. In therapeutic trials, approximately 21% of patients experienced abnormal vision, color vision change and/or photophobia. Visual disturbances may be associated with higher plasma concentrations and/or doses.

The mechanism of action of the visual disturbance is unknown, although the site of action is most likely to be within the retina. In a study in healthy subjects investigating the effect of 28-day treatment with voriconazole on retinal function, voriconazole caused a decrease in the electroretinogram (ERG) waveform amplitude, a decrease in the visual field, and an alteration in color perception. The ERG measures electrical currents in the retina. These effects were noted early in administration of voriconazole and continued through the course of study drug treatment. Fourteen days after the end of dosing, ERG, visual fields and color perception returned to normal [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4) ].

Dermatological Reactions

Dermatological reactions were common in patients treated with voriconazole. The mechanism underlying these dermatologic adverse reactions remains unknown.

Severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs), including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), and drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) have been reported during treatment with voriconazole tablets. Erythema multiforme has also been reported during treatment with voriconazole tablets. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5) and Adverse Reaction (6.2)].

Voriconazole tablets have also been associated with additional photosensitivity related skin reactions such as pseudoporphyria, cheilitis, and cutaneous lupus erythematosus [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6) and Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

Less Common Adverse Reactions

The following adverse reactions occurred in <2% of all voriconazole-treated patients in all therapeutic studies (N=1655). This listing includes events where a causal relationship to voriconazole cannot be ruled out or those which may help the physician in managing the risks to the patients. The list does not include events included in Table 4 above and does not include every event reported in the voriconazole clinical program.

Body as a Whole: abdominal pain, abdomen enlarged, allergic reaction, anaphylactoid reaction, ascites, asthenia, back pain, chest pain, cellulitis, edema, face edema, flank pain, flu syndrome, graft versus host reaction, granuloma, infection, bacterial infection, fungal infection, injection site pain, injection site infection/inflammation, mucous membrane disorder, multi-organ failure, pain, pelvic pain, peritonitis, sepsis, substernal chest pain.

Cardiovascular: atrial arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, AV block complete, bigeminy, bradycardia, bundle branch block, cardiomegaly, cardiomyopathy, cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral ischemia, cerebrovascular accident, congestive heart failure, deep thrombophlebitis, endocarditis, extrasystoles, heart arrest, hypertension, hypotension, myocardial infarction, nodal arrhythmia, palpitation, phlebitis, postural hypotension, pulmonary embolus, QT interval prolonged, supraventricular extrasystoles, supraventricular tachycardia, syncope, thrombophlebitis, vasodilatation, ventricular arrhythmia, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia (including torsade de pointes) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Digestive: anorexia, cheilitis, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, constipation, diarrhea, duodenal ulcer perforation, duodenitis, dyspepsia, dysphagia, dry mouth, esophageal ulcer, esophagitis, flatulence, gastroenteritis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, GGT/LDH elevated, gingivitis, glossitis, gum hemorrhage, gum hyperplasia, hematemesis, hepatic coma, hepatic failure, hepatitis, intestinal perforation, intestinal ulcer, jaundice, enlarged liver, melena, mouth ulceration, pancreatitis, parotid gland enlargement, periodontitis, proctitis, pseudomembranous colitis, rectal disorder, rectal hemorrhage, stomach ulcer, stomatitis, tongue edema.

Endocrine: adrenal cortex insufficiency, diabetes insipidus, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism.

Hemic and Lymphatic: agranulocytosis, anemia (macrocytic, megaloblastic, microcytic, normocytic), aplastic anemia, hemolytic anemia, bleeding time increased, cyanosis, DIC, ecchymosis, eosinophilia, hypervolemia, leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, lymphangitis, marrow depression, pancytopenia, petechia, purpura, enlarged spleen, thrombocytopenia, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Metabolic and Nutritional: albuminuria, BUN increased, creatine phosphokinase increased, edema, glucose tolerance decreased, hypercalcemia, hypercholesteremia, hyperglycemia, hyperkalemia, hypermagnesemia, hypernatremia, hyperuricemia, hypocalcemia, hypoglycemia, hypomagnesemia, hyponatremia, hypophosphatemia, peripheral edema, uremia.

Musculoskeletal: arthralgia, arthritis, bone necrosis, bone pain, leg cramps, myalgia, myasthenia, myopathy, osteomalacia, osteoporosis.

Nervous System: abnormal dreams, acute brain syndrome, agitation, akathisia, amnesia, anxiety, ataxia, brain edema, coma, confusion, convulsion, delirium, dementia, depersonalization, depression, diplopia, dizziness, encephalitis, encephalopathy, euphoria, Extrapyramidal Syndrome, grand mal convulsion, Guillain-Barré syndrome, hypertonia, hypesthesia, insomnia, intracranial hypertension, libido decreased, neuralgia, neuropathy, nystagmus, oculogyric crisis, paresthesia, psychosis, somnolence, suicidal ideation, tremor, vertigo.

Respiratory System: cough increased, dyspnea, epistaxis, hemoptysis, hypoxia, lung edema, pharyngitis, pleural effusion, pneumonia, respiratory disorder, respiratory distress syndrome, respiratory tract infection, rhinitis, sinusitis, voice alteration.

Skin and Appendages: alopecia, angioedema, contact dermatitis, discoid lupus erythematosis, eczema, erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, fixed drug eruption, furunculosis, herpes simplex, maculopapular rash, melanoma, melanosis, photosensitivity skin reaction, pruritus, pseudoporphyria, psoriasis, skin discoloration, skin disorder, skin dry, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, squamous cell carcinoma (including cutaneous SCC in situ, or Bowen’s disease), sweating, toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria.

Special Senses: abnormality of accommodation, blepharitis, color blindness, conjunctivitis, corneal opacity, deafness, ear pain, eye pain, eye hemorrhage, dry eyes, hypoacusis, keratitis, keratoconjunctivitis, mydriasis, night blindness, optic atrophy, optic neuritis, otitis externa, papilledema, retinal hemorrhage, retinitis, scleritis, taste loss, taste perversion, tinnitus, uveitis, visual field defect.

Urogenital: anuria, blighted ovum, creatinine clearance decreased, dysmenorrhea, dysuria, epididymitis, glycosuria, hemorrhagic cystitis, hematuria, hydronephrosis, impotence, kidney pain, kidney tubular necrosis, metrorrhagia, nephritis, nephrosis, oliguria, scrotal edema, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, urinary tract infection, uterine hemorrhage, vaginal hemorrhage.

Clinical Laboratory Values in Adults

The overall incidence of transaminase increases >3x upper limit of normal (not necessarily comprising an adverse reaction) was 17.7% (268/1514) in adult subjects treated with voriconazole for therapeutic use in pooled clinical trials. Increased incidence of liver function test abnormalities may be associated with higher plasma concentrations and/or doses. The majority of abnormal liver function tests either resolved during treatment without dose adjustment or resolved following dose adjustment, including discontinuation of therapy.

Voriconazole has been infrequently associated with cases of serious hepatic toxicity including cases of jaundice and rare cases of hepatitis and hepatic failure leading to death. Most of these patients had other serious underlying conditions.

Liver function tests should be evaluated at the start of and during the course of voriconazole tablets therapy. Patients who develop abnormal liver function tests during voriconazole tablets therapy should be monitored for the development of more severe hepatic injury. Patient management should include laboratory evaluation of hepatic function (particularly liver function tests and bilirubin). Discontinuation of voriconazole tablets must be considered if clinical signs and symptoms consistent with liver disease develop that may be attributable to voriconazole tablets [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Acute renal failure has been observed in severely ill patients undergoing treatment with voriconazole tablets. Patients being treated with voriconazole are likely to be treated concomitantly with nephrotoxic medications and may have concurrent conditions that can result in decreased renal function. It is recommended that patients are monitored for the development of abnormal renal function. This should include laboratory evaluation of serum creatinine.

Tables 5 to 7 show the number of patients with hypokalemia and clinically significant changes in renal and liver function tests in three randomized, comparative multicenter studies. In study 305, patients with EC were randomized to either oral voriconazole or oral fluconazole. In study 307/602, patients with definite or probable IA were randomized to either voriconazole or amphotericin B therapy. In study 608, patients with candidemia were randomized to either voriconazole or the regimen of amphotericin B followed by fluconazole.

Table 5: Protocol 305 – Patients with Esophageal CandidiasisClinically Significant Laboratory Test Abnormalities
* Without regard to baseline valuen = number of patients with a clinically significant abnormality while on study therapyN = total number of patients with at least one observation of the given lab test while on study therapyAST = Aspartate aminotransferase; ALT= alanine aminotransferaseULN = upper limit of normal
Criteria* Voriconazole Fluconazole
n/N (%) n /N (%)
T. Bilirubin >1.5x ULN 8/185 (4.3) 7/186 (3.8)
AST >3.0x ULN 38/187 (20.3) 15/186 (8.1)
ALT >3.0x ULN 20/187 (10.7) 12/186 (6.5)
Alkaline Phosphatase >3.0x ULN 19/187 (10.2) 14/186 (7.5)
Table 6: Protocol 307/602 – Primary Treatment of Invasive Aspergillosis Clinically Significant Laboratory Test Abnormalities
* Without regard to baseline value** Amphotericin B followed by other licensed antifungal therapyn = number of patients with a clinically significant abnormality while on study therapyN = total number of patients with at least one observation of the given lab test while on study therapyAST = Aspartate aminotransferase; ALT= alanine aminotransferaseULN = upper limit of normalLLN = lower limit of normal
Criteria* Voriconazole Amphotericin B**
n/N (%) n/N (%)
T. Bilirubin >1.5x ULN 35/180 (19.4) 46/173 (26.6)
AST >3.0x ULN 21/180 (11.7) 18/174 (10.3)
ALT >3.0x ULN 34/180 (18.9) 40/173 (23.1)
Alkaline Phosphatase >3.0x ULN 29/181 (16.0) 38/173 (22.0)
Creatinine >1.3x ULN 39/182 (21.4) 102/177 (57.6)
Potassium <0.9x LLN 30/181 (16.6) 70/178 (39.3)
Table 7: Protocol 608 – Treatment of Candidemia Clinically Significant Laboratory Test Abnormalities
* Without regard to baseline valuen = number of patients with a clinically significant abnormality while on study therapyN = total number of patients with at least one observation of the given lab test while on study therapyAST = Aspartate aminotransferase; ALT= alanine aminotransferaseULN = upper limit of normalLLN = lower limit of normal
Criteria* Voriconazole Amphotericin B followed by Fluconazole
n/N (%) n/N (%)
T. Bilirubin >1.5x ULN 50/261 (19.2) 31/115 (27.0)
AST >3.0x ULN 40/261 (15.3) 16/116 (13.8)
ALT >3.0x ULN 22/261 (8.4) 15/116 (12.9)
Alkaline Phosphatase >3.0x ULN 59/261 (22.6) 26/115 (22.6)
Creatinine >1.3x ULN 39/260 (15.0) 32/118 (27.1)
Potassium <0.9x LLN 43/258 (16.7) 35/118 (29.7)

Clinical Trials Experience in Pediatric Patients

The safety of voriconazole was investigated in 105 pediatric patients aged 2 to less than 18 years, including 52 pediatric patients less than 18 years of age who were enrolled in the adult therapeutic studies.

Serious Adverse Reactions and Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation

In clinical studies, serious adverse reactions occurred in 46% (48/105) of voriconazole treated pediatric patients. Treatment discontinuations due to adverse reactions occurred in 12 /105 (11%) of all patients. Hepatic adverse reactions (i.e. ALT increased; liver function test abnormal; jaundice) 6% (6/105) accounted for the majority of voriconazole treatment discontinuations.

Most Common Adverse Reactions

The most common adverse reactions occurring in ≥5% of pediatric patients receiving voriconazole tablets in the pooled pediatric clinical trials are displayed by body system, in Table 8.

Table 8: Adverse Reactions Occurring in ≥5% of Pediatric Patients ReceivingVoriconazole tablets in the Pooled Pediatric Clinical Trials
a Reflects all adverse reactions and not treatment-related only.b Pooled reports include such terms as: amaurosis (partial or total blindness without visible change in the eye); asthenopia (eye strain); chromatopsia (abnormally colored vision); color blindness; diplopia; photopsia; retinal disorder; vision blurred, visual acuity decreased, visual brightness; visual impairment. Several patients had more than one visual disturbance.c Pooled reports include such terms as: abdominal pain and abdominal pain, upper.d Pooled reports include such terms as: ALT abnormal and ALT increased.e Pooled reports include such terms as: hallucination; hallucination, auditory; hallucination, visual. Several patients had both visual and auditory hallucinations.f Pooled reports include such terms as: renal failure and a single patient with renal impairment.g Pooled reports include such terms as: rash; rash generalized; rash macular; rash maculopapular; rash pruritic.Abbreviations: ALT = alanine aminotransferase; LFT = liver function test
Body System Adverse Reaction Pooled Pediatric Dataa N=105 n (%)
Blood and Lymphatic Systems Disorders Thrombocytopenia 10 (10)
Cardiac Disorders Tachycardia 7 (7)
Eye Disorders Visual Disturbancesb 27 (26)
Photophobia 6 (6)
Gastrointestinal Disorders Vomiting 21 (20)
Nausea 14 (13)
Abdominal painc 13 (12)
Diarrhea 12 (11)
Abdominal distention 5 (5)
Constipation 5 (5)
General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions Pyrexia 25 (25)
Peripheral edema 9 (9)
Mucosal inflammation 6 (6)
Infections and Infestations Upper respiratory tract infection 5 (5)
Investigations ALT abnormald 9 (9)
LFT abnormal 6 (6)
Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders Hypokalemia 11 (11)
Hyperglycemia 7 (7)
Hypocalcemia 6 (6)
Hypophosphotemia 6 (6)
Hypoalbuminemia 5 (5)
Hypomagnesemia 5 (5)
Nervous System Disorders Headache 10 (10)
Dizziness 5 (5)
Psychiatric Disorders Hallucinationse 5 (5)
Renal and Urinary Disorders Renal impairmentf 5 (5)
Respiratory Disorders Epistaxis 17 (16)
Cough 10 (10)
Dyspnea 6 (6)
Hemoptysis 5 (5)
Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders Rashg 14 (13)
Vascular Disorders Hypertension 12 (11)
Hypotension 9 (9)

The following adverse reactions with incidence less than 5% were reported in 105 pediatric patients treated with voriconazole:

Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders: anemia, leukopenia, pancytopenia

Cardiac Disorders: bradycardia, palpitations, supraventricular tachycardia

Eye Disorders: dry eye, keratitis

Ear and Labyrinth Disorders: tinnitus, vertigo

Gastrointestinal Disorders: abdominal tenderness, dyspepsia

General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions: asthenia, catheter site pain, chills, hypothermia, lethargy

Hepatobiliary Disorders: cholestasis, hyperbilirubinemia, jaundice

Immune System Disorders: hypersensitivity, urticaria

Infections and Infestations: conjunctivitis

Laboratory Investigations: AST increased, blood creatinine increased, gamma-glutamyl transferase increased

Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders: hypercalcemia, hypermagnesemia, hyperphosphatemia, hypoglycemia

Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders: arthralgia, myalgia

Nervous System Disorders: ataxia, convulsion, dizziness, nystagmus, paresthesia, syncope

Psychiatric Disorders: affect lability, agitation, anxiety, depression, insomnia

Respiratory Disorders: bronchospasm, nasal congestion, respiratory failure, tachypnea

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders: alopecia, dermatitis (allergic, contact, and exfoliative), pruritus

Vascular Disorders: flushing, phlebitis

Hepatic-Related Adverse Reactions in Pediatric Patients

The frequency of hepatic-related adverse reactions in pediatric patients exposed to voriconazole in therapeutic studies was numerically higher than that of adults (28.6% compared to 24.1%, respectively). The higher frequency of hepatic adverse reactions in the pediatric population was mainly due to an increased frequency of liver enzyme elevations (21.9% in pediatric patients compared to 16.1% in adults), including transaminase elevations (ALT and AST combined) 7.6% in the pediatric patients compared to 5.1% in adults.

Clinical Laboratory Values in Pediatric Patients

The overall incidence of transaminase increases >3x upper limit of normal was 27.2% (28/103) in pediatric and 17.7% (268/1514) in adult patients treated with voriconazole in pooled clinical trials. The majority of abnormal liver function tests either resolved on treatment with or without dose adjustment or after voriconazole discontinuation.

A higher frequency of clinically significant liver laboratory abnormalities, irrespective of baseline laboratory values (>3x ULN ALT or AST), was consistently observed in the combined therapeutic pediatric population (15.5% AST and 22.5% ALT) when compared to adults (12.9% AST and 11.6% ALT). The incidence of bilirubin elevation was comparable between adult and pediatric patients. The incidence of hepatic abnormalities in pediatric patients is shown in Table 9.

Table 9: Incidence of Hepatic Abnormalities among Pediatric Subjects
n = number of patients with a clinically significant abnormality while on study therapyN = total number of patients with at least one observation of the given lab test while on study therapyAST = Aspartate aminotransferase; ALT = alanine aminotransferaseULN = upper limit of normal
Criteria n/N (%)
Total bilirubin >1.5x ULN 19/102 (19)
AST >3.0x ULN 16/103 (16)
ALT >3.0x ULN 23/102 (23)
Alkaline Phosphatase >3.0x ULN 8/97 (8)

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