In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in HIV-1-infected women and their neonates conducted to determine the utility of zidovudine for the prevention of maternal-fetal HIV-1 transmission, zidovudine syrup at 2 mg per kg was administered every 6 hours for 6 weeks to neonates beginning within 12 hours following birth. The most commonly reported adverse reactions were anemia (hemoglobin less than 9.0 g per dL) and neutropenia (less than 1,000 cells per mm 3). Anemia occurred in 22% of the neonates who received zidovudine and in 12% of the neonates who received placebo. The mean difference in hemoglobin values was less than 1 g per dL for neonates receiving zidovudine compared with neonates receiving placebo. No neonates with anemia required transfusion and all hemoglobin values spontaneously returned to normal within 6 weeks after completion of therapy with zidovudine. Neutropenia in neonates was reported with similar frequency in the group that received zidovudine (21%) and in the group that received placebo (27%). The long-term consequences of in utero and infant exposure to zidovudine are unknown.
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of zidovudine. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Body as a Whole: Back pain, chest pain, flu-like syndrome, generalized pain, redistribution/ accumulation of body fat [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].
Cardiovascular: Cardiomyopathy, syncope.
Eye: Macular edema.
Gastrointestinal: Constipation, dysphagia, flatulence, oral mucosa pigmentation, mouth ulcer.
General: Sensitization reactions including anaphylaxis and angioedema, vasculitis.
Hematologic: Aplastic anemia, hemolytic anemia, leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, pancytopenia with marrow hypoplasia, pure red cell aplasia.
Hepatobiliary: Hepatitis, hepatomegaly with steatosis, jaundice, lactic acidosis, pancreatitis.
Musculoskeletal: Increased CPK, increased LDH, muscle spasm, myopathy and myositis with pathological changes (similar to that produced by HIV-1 disease), rhabdomyolysis, tremor.
Nervous: Anxiety, confusion, depression, dizziness, loss of mental acuity, mania, paresthesia, seizures, somnolence, vertigo.
Reproductive System and Breast: Gynecomastia.
Respiratory: Dyspnea, rhinitis, sinusitis.
Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue: Changes in skin and nail pigmentation, pruritus, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, sweating, urticaria.
Special Senses: Amblyopia, hearing loss, photophobia, taste perversion.
Renal and Urinary: Urinary frequency, urinary hesitancy.
Concomitant use of zidovudine with stavudine should be avoided since an antagonistic relationship has been demonstrated in vitro.
Some nucleoside analogues affecting DNA replication, such as ribavirin, antagonize the in vitro antiviral activity of zidovudine against HIV-1; concomitant use of such drugs should be avoided.
Concomitant use of zidovudine with doxorubicin should be avoided since an antagonistic relationship has been demonstrated in vitro.
Coadministration of ganciclovir, interferon alfa, ribavirin, and other bone marrow suppressive or cytotoxic agents may increase the hematologic toxicity of zidovudine.
There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to RETROVIR during pregnancy. Healthcare providers are encouraged to register patients by calling the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry (APR) at 1-800-258-4263.
Available data from the APR show no difference in the overall risk of birth defects for zidovudine compared with the background rate for birth defects of 2.7% in the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program (MACDP) reference population (see Data). The APR uses the MACDP as the U.S. reference population for birth defects in the general population. The MACDP evaluates women and infants from a limited geographic area and does not include outcomes for births that occurred at less than 20 weeks’ gestation. The rate of miscarriage is not reported in the APR. The estimated background rate of miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies in the U.S. general population is 15% to 20%. The background risk for major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown.
Hyperlactatemia, which may be due to mitochondrial dysfunction, has been reported in infants with in utero exposure to zidovudine-containing products. These events were transient and asymptomatic in most cases. There have been few reports of developmental delay, seizures, and other neurological disease. However, a causal relationship between these events and exposure to zidovudine-containing products in utero or peri-partum has not been established (see Data).
In an animal reproduction study, administration of oral zidovudine to female rats prior to mating and throughout gestation resulted in embryotoxicity at doses that produced systemic exposure (AUC) approximately 33 times higher than exposure at the recommended clinical dose. However, no embryotoxicity was observed after oral administration of zidovudine to pregnant rats during organogenesis at doses that produced systemic exposure (AUC) approximately 117 times higher than exposures at the recommended clinical dose. Administration of oral zidovudine to pregnant rabbits during organogenesis resulted in embryotoxicity at doses that produced systemic exposure (AUC) approximately 108 times higher than exposure at the recommended clinical dose. However, no embryotoxicity was observed at doses that produced systemic exposure (AUC) approximately 23 times higher than exposures at the recommended clinical dose (see Data).
Human Data: Based on prospective reports to the APR of over 13,000 exposures to zidovudine during pregnancy resulting in live births (including over 4,000 exposed in the first trimester), there was no difference between the overall risk of birth defects for zidovudine compared with the background birth defect rate of 2.7% in a U.S. reference population of the MACDP. The prevalence of birth defects in live births was 3.2% (95% CI: 2.7% to 3.8%) following first trimester exposure to zidovudine-containing regimens and 2.8% (95% CI: 2.5% to 3.2%) following second/third trimester exposure to zidovudine-containing regimens.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in HIV-1-infected pregnant women to determine the utility of zidovudine for the prevention of maternal-fetal HIV-1-transmission [see Clinical Studies (14.3)]. Zidovudine treatment during pregnancy reduced the rate of maternal-fetal HIV-1 transmission from 24.9% for infants born to placebo-treated mothers to 7.8% for infants born to mothers treated with zidovudine. There were no differences in pregnancy- related adverse events between the treatment groups. Of the 363 neonates that were evaluated, congenital abnormalities occurred with similar frequency between neonates born to mothers who received zidovudine and neonates born to mothers who received placebo. The observed abnormalities included problems in embryogenesis (prior to 14 weeks) or were recognized on ultrasound before or immediately after initiation of study drug.
Zidovudine has been shown to cross the placenta and concentrations in neonatal plasma at birth were essentially equal to those in maternal plasma at delivery [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. There have been reports of mild, transient elevations in serum lactate levels, which may be due to mitochondrial dysfunction, in neonates and infants exposed in utero or peri-partum to zidovudine- containing products. There have been few reports of developmental delay, seizures, and other neurological disease. However, a causal relationship between these events and exposure to zidovudine-containing products in utero or peri-partum has not been established. The clinical relevance of transient elevations in serum lactate is unknown.
Animal Data: A study in pregnant rats (at 50, 150, or 450 mg per kg per day starting 26 days prior to mating through gestation to postnatal Day 21) showed increased fetal resorptions at doses that produced systemic exposures (AUC) approximately 33 times higher than exposure at the recommended daily human dose (300 mg twice daily). However, in an oral embryo-fetal development study in rats (at 125, 250, or 500 mg per kg per day on gestation Days 6 through 15), no fetal resorptions were observed at doses that produced systemic exposure (AUC) approximately 117 times higher than exposures at the recommended daily human dose. An oral embryo-fetal development study in rabbits (at 75, 150, or 500 mg per kg per day on gestation Day 6 through 18) showed increased fetal resorptions at the 500-mg-per-kg-per-day dose, which produced systemic exposures (AUC) approximately 108 times higher than exposure at the recommended daily human dose; however, no fetal resorptions were noted at doses up to 150 mg per kg per day, which produced systemic exposure (AUC) approximately 23 times higher than exposures at the recommended daily human dose. These oral embryo-fetal development studies in the rat and rabbit revealed no evidence of fetal malformations with zidovudine. In another developmental toxicity study, pregnant rats (dosed at 3,000 mg per kg per day from Days 6 through 15 of gestation) showed marked maternal toxicity and an increased incidence of fetal malformations at exposures greater than 300 times the recommended daily human dose based on AUC. However, there were no signs of fetal malformations at doses up to 600 mg per kg per day.
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