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Immunology and Inflammation

Immunology and Inflammation
Therapies for inflammatory diseases and therapeutics that target the body's immune responses.

Immunology and Inflammation Medications

Please select a product from the list to view its approved indications as well as the link to its full prescribing information. The list is not an all-inclusive list of Pfizer medications in a therapeutic area and inclusion of a product within this list should not suggest it is approved for a broad therapeutic area. Please refer to each medication’s individual prescribing information for specific details.

ARTHROTEC® (misoprostol, diclofenac sodium)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use ARTHROTEC safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for ARTHROTEC.

WARNING: RISK OF UTERINE RUPTURE, ABORTION, PREMATURE BIRTH, BIRTH DEFECTS; AND SERIOUS CARDIOVASCULAR AND GASTROINTESTINAL EVENTS

ARTHROTEC® CONTAINS DICLOFENAC SODIUM AND MISOPROSTOL. ADMINISTRATION OF MISOPROSTOL TO WOMEN WHO ARE PREGNANT CAN CAUSE ABORTION, PREMATURE BIRTH, OR BIRTH DEFECTS. UTERINE RUPTURE HAS BEEN REPORTED WHEN MISOPROSTOL WAS ADMINISTERED IN PREGNANT WOMEN TO INDUCE LABOR OR TO INDUCE ABORTION BEYOND THE EIGHTH WEEK OF PREGNANCY. ARTHROTEC SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN BY PREGNANT WOMEN [see Contraindications (4), Warnings and Precautions (5.10), and Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

PATIENTS MUST BE ADVISED OF THE ABORTIFACIENT PROPERTY AND WARNED NOT TO GIVE THE DRUG TO OTHERS. ARTHROTEC should not be used in women of childbearing potential unless the patient requires nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) therapy and is at high risk of developing gastric or duodenal ulceration or for developing complications from gastric or duodenal ulcers associated with the use of the NSAID. In such patients, ARTHROTEC may be prescribed if the patient:

  • has had a negative serum pregnancy test within 2 weeks prior to beginning therapy.
  • is capable of complying with effective contraceptive measures.
  • has received both oral and written warnings of the hazards of misoprostol, the risk of possible contraception failure, and the danger to other women of childbearing potential should the drug be taken by mistake.
  • will begin ARTHROTEC only on the second or third day of the next normal menstrual period [see Use in Specific Populations (8.3)].

Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction, and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may occur early in treatment and may increase with duration of use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
  • ARTHROTEC is contraindicated in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see Contraindications (4), and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

 
NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients and patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding are at greater risk for serious GI events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

ARTHROTEC is contraindicated in the following patients:

  • Known hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylactic reactions and serious skin reactions) to diclofenac sodium/misoprostol, other prostaglandins, or any components of the drug product [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.9)]
  • History of asthma, urticaria, or other allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. Severe, sometimes fatal, anaphylactic reactions to NSAIDs have been reported in such patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.8)]
  • In the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
  • Pregnancy. Use of ARTHROTEC during pregnancy can result in maternal and fetal harm, including abortion, premature birth, birth defects, and uterine rupture [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)]
  • Active gastrointestinal bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events

Clinical trials of several COX-2 selective and nonselective NSAIDs of up to three years duration have shown an increased risk of serious cardiovascular (CV) thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, which can be fatal. Based on available data, it is unclear that the risk for CV thrombotic events is similar for all NSAIDs. The relative increase in serious CV thrombotic events over baseline conferred by NSAID use appears to be similar in those with and without known CV disease or risk factors for CV disease. However, patients with known CV disease or risk factors had a higher absolute incidence of excess serious CV thrombotic events, due to their increased baseline rate. Some observational studies found that this increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events began as early as the first weeks of treatment. The increase in CV thrombotic risk has been observed most consistently at higher doses.

To minimize the potential risk for an adverse CV event in NSAID-treated patients, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Physicians and patients should remain alert for the development of such events, throughout the entire treatment course, even in the absence of previous CV symptoms. Patients should be informed about the symptoms of serious CV events and the steps to take if they occur.

There is no consistent evidence that concurrent use of aspirin mitigates the increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events associated with NSAID use. The concurrent use of aspirin and an NSAID, such as diclofenac, increases the risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Status Post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery

Two large, controlled clinical trials of a COX-2 selective NSAID for the treatment of pain in the first 10–14 days following CABG surgery found an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke. NSAIDs are contraindicated in the setting of CABG [see Contraindications (4)].

Post-MI Patients

Observational studies conducted in the Danish National Registry have demonstrated that patients treated with NSAIDs in the post-MI period were at increased risk of reinfarction, CV-related death, and all-cause mortality beginning in the first week of treatment. In this same cohort, the incidence of death in the first year post-MI was 20 per 100 person years in NSAID-treated patients compared to 12 per 100 person years in non-NSAID exposed patients. Although the absolute rate of death declined somewhat after the first year post-MI, the increased relative risk of death in NSAID users persisted over at least the next four years of follow-up.

Avoid the use of ARTHROTEC in patients with a recent MI unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of recurrent CV thrombotic events. If ARTHROTEC is used in patients with a recent MI, monitor patients for signs of cardiac ischemia.

5.2 Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

NSAIDs, including diclofenac, cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including inflammation, bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, or large intestine, which can be fatal. These serious adverse events can occur at any time, with or without warning symptoms, in patients treated with NSAIDs. Only one in five patients who develop a serious upper GI adverse event on NSAID therapy is symptomatic. Upper GI ulcers, gross bleeding, or perforation caused by NSAIDs occurred in approximately 1% of patients treated for 3–6 months, and in about 2%–4% of patients treated for one year. However, even short-term NSAID therapy is not without risk.

Risk Factors for GI Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

Patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding who used NSAIDs had a greater than 10-fold increased risk for developing a GI bleed compared to patients without these risk factors. Other factors that increase the risk of GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include longer duration of NSAID therapy; concomitant use of oral corticosteroids, aspirin, anticoagulants, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); smoking; use of alcohol; older age; and poor general health status. Most postmarketing reports of fatal GI events occurred in elderly or debilitated patients. Additionally, patients with advanced liver disease and/or coagulopathy are at increased risk for GI bleeding.

Strategies to Minimize the GI Risks in NSAID-treated patients:

  • Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest possible duration.
  • Avoid administration of more than one NSAID at a time.
  • Avoid use in patients at high risk unless benefits are expected to outweigh the increased risk of bleeding. For such patients, as well as those with active GI bleeding, consider alternate therapies other than NSAIDs.
  • Remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during NSAID therapy.
  • If a serious GI adverse event is suspected, promptly initiate evaluation and treatment, and discontinue ARTHROTEC until a serious GI adverse event is ruled out.
  • In the setting of concomitant use of low-dose aspirin for cardiac prophylaxis, monitor patients more closely for evidence of GI bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.3 Hepatotoxicity

In clinical trials with ARTHROTEC, meaningful elevation of ALT (SGPT, more than 3 times the ULN [ULN = the upper limit of the normal range]) occurred in 1.6% of 2,184 patients treated with ARTHROTEC and in 1.4% of 1,691 patients treated with diclofenac sodium. These increases were generally transient, and enzyme levels returned to within the normal range upon discontinuation of therapy with ARTHROTEC. The misoprostol component of ARTHROTEC does not appear to exacerbate the hepatic effects caused by the diclofenac sodium component.

In clinical trials of diclofenac-containing products, meaningful elevations (i.e., more than 3 times the ULN) of AST (SGOT) occurred in about 2% of approximately 5,700 patients at some time during diclofenac treatment (ALT was not measured in all studies).

In a large, open-label, controlled trial of 3,700 patients treated with oral diclofenac sodium for 2–6 months, patients were monitored first at 8 weeks and 1,200 patients were monitored again at 24 weeks. Meaningful elevations of ALT and/or AST occurred in about 4% of patients and included marked elevations (i.e., greater than 8 times the ULN) in about 1% of the 3,700 patients. In that open-label study, a higher incidence of borderline (less than 3 times the ULN), moderate (3–8 times the ULN), and marked (greater than 8 times the ULN) elevations of ALT or AST was observed in patients receiving diclofenac when compared to other NSAIDs. Elevations in transaminases were seen more frequently in patients with osteoarthritis than in those with rheumatoid arthritis.

Almost all meaningful elevations in transaminases were detected before patients became symptomatic. Abnormal tests occurred during the first 2 months of therapy with diclofenac in 42 of the 51 patients in all trials who developed marked transaminase elevations.

In postmarketing reports, cases of drug-induced hepatotoxicity have been reported in the first month, and in some cases, the first 2 months of therapy, but can occur at any time during treatment with diclofenac. Postmarketing surveillance has reported cases of severe hepatic reactions, including liver necrosis, jaundice, fulminant hepatitis with and without jaundice, and liver failure. Some of these reported cases resulted in fatalities or liver transplantation.

In a European retrospective population-based, case-controlled study, 10 cases of diclofenac associated drug-induced liver injury with current use compared with non-use of diclofenac were associated with a statistically significant 4-fold adjusted odds ratio of liver injury. In this particular study, based on an overall number of 10 cases of liver injury associated with diclofenac, the adjusted odds ratio increased further with female gender, doses of 150 mg or more, and duration of use for more than 90 days.

Physicians should measure transaminases at baseline and periodically in patients receiving long-term therapy with diclofenac, because severe hepatotoxicity may develop without a prodrome of distinguishing symptoms. The optimum times for making the first and subsequent transaminase measurements are not known. Based on clinical trial data and postmarketing experiences, transaminases should be monitored within 4 to 8 weeks after initiating treatment with diclofenac. However, severe hepatic reactions can occur at any time during treatment with diclofenac.

If abnormal liver tests persist or worsen, if clinical signs and/or symptoms consistent with liver disease develop, or if systemic manifestations occur (e.g., eosinophilia, rash, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, etc.), ARTHROTEC should be discontinued immediately.

Inform patients of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (e.g., nausea, fatigue, lethargy, diarrhea, pruritus, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, and "flu-like" symptoms). If clinical signs and symptoms consistent with liver disease develop, or if systemic manifestations occur (e.g., eosinophilia, rash, etc.), discontinue ARTHROTEC immediately, and perform a clinical evaluation of the patient.

To minimize the potential risk for an adverse liver related event in patients treated with ARTHROTEC, the lowest effective dose should be used for the shortest duration possible. Exercise caution when prescribing ARTHROTEC with concomitant drugs that are known to be potentially hepatotoxic (e.g., antibiotics, anti-epileptics).

5.4 Hypertension

NSAIDs, including ARTHROTEC, can lead to new onset of hypertension or worsening of pre-existing hypertension, either of which may contribute to the increased incidence of CV events. Patients taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, thiazide diuretics, or loop diuretics may have impaired response to these therapies when taking NSAIDs [see Drug Interactions (7)].

Monitor blood pressure (BP) during the initiation of NSAID treatment and throughout the course of therapy.

5.5 Heart Failure and Edema

The Coxib and traditional NSAID Trialists' Collaboration meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials demonstrated an approximately two-fold increase in hospitalizations for heart failure in COX-2 selective-treated patients and nonselective NSAID-treated patients compared to placebo-treated patients. In a Danish National Registry study of patients with heart failure, NSAID use increased the risk of MI, hospitalization for heart failure, and death.

Additionally, fluid retention and edema have been observed in some patients treated with NSAIDs. Use of diclofenac may blunt the CV effects of several therapeutic agents used to treat these medical conditions (e.g., diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs]) [see Drug Interactions (7)].

Avoid the use of ARTHROTEC in patients with severe heart failure unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening heart failure. If ARTHROTEC is used in patients with severe heart failure, monitor patients for signs of worsening heart failure.

5.6 Renal Toxicity and Hyperkalemia

Renal Toxicity

Long-term administration of NSAIDs has resulted in renal papillary necrosis and other renal injury. Renal toxicity has also been seen in patients in whom renal prostaglandins have a compensatory role in the maintenance of renal perfusion. In these patients, administration of an NSAID may cause a dose-dependent reduction in prostaglandin formation and, secondarily, in renal blood flow, which may precipitate overt renal decompensation. Patients at greatest risk of this reaction are those with impaired renal function, dehydration, hypovolemia, heart failure, liver dysfunction, those taking diuretics and ACE inhibitors or ARBs, and the elderly. Discontinuation of NSAID therapy is usually followed by recovery to the pretreatment state.

No information is available from controlled clinical studies regarding the use of ARTHROTEC in patients with advanced renal disease. The renal effects of ARTHROTEC may hasten the progression of renal dysfunction in patients with pre-existing renal disease.

Correct volume status in dehydrated or hypovolemic patients prior to initiating ARTHROTEC. Monitor renal function in patients with renal or hepatic impairment, heart failure, dehydration, or hypovolemia during use of ARTHROTEC [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Avoid the use of ARTHROTEC in patients with advanced renal disease unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening renal function. If ARTHROTEC is used in patients with advanced renal disease, monitor patients for signs of worsening renal function.

Hyperkalemia

Increases in serum potassium concentration, including hyperkalemia, with use of NSAIDs, even in some patients without renal impairment. In patients with normal renal function, these effects have been attributed to a hyporeninemic-hypoaldosteronism state.

5.7 Anaphylactic Reactions

Diclofenac/misoprostol has been associated with anaphylactic reactions in patients with and without known hypersensitivity to diclofenac/misoprostol and in patients with aspirin-sensitive asthma [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].

Seek emergency help if an anaphylactic reaction occurs.

5.8 Exacerbation of Asthma Related to Aspirin Sensitivity

A subpopulation of patients with asthma may have aspirin-sensitive asthma which may include chronic rhinosinusitis complicated by nasal polyps; severe, potentially fatal bronchospasm; and/or intolerance to aspirin and other NSAIDs. Because cross-reactivity between aspirin and other NSAIDs has been reported in such aspirin-sensitive patients, ARTHROTEC is contraindicated in patients with this form of aspirin sensitivity [see Contraindications (4)]. When ARTHROTEC is used in patients with preexisting asthma (without known aspirin sensitivity), monitor patients for changes in the signs and symptoms of asthma.

5.9 Serious Skin Reactions

NSAIDs, including diclofenac, can cause serious skin adverse reactions such as exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which can be fatal. These serious events may occur without warning. Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of serious skin reactions, and to discontinue the use of ARTHROTEC at the first appearance of skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity. ARTHROTEC is contraindicated in patients with previous serious skin reactions to NSAIDs [see Contraindications (4)].

5.10 Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus

Diclofenac may cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus. ARTHROTEC is contraindicated in pregnant women. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. Verify the pregnancy status of females of reproductive potential prior to initiation of ARTHOTEC. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with ARTHROTEC [see Contraindications (4) and Use in Specific Populations (8.1, 8.3)].

5.11 Hematologic Toxicity

Anemia has occurred in NSAID-treated patients. This may be due to occult or gross blood loss, fluid retention, or an incompletely described effect on erythropoiesis. If a patient treated with ARTHROTEC has any signs or symptoms of anemia, monitor hemoglobin or hematocrit.

NSAIDs, including ARTHROTEC, may increase the risk of bleeding events. Co-morbid conditions such as coagulation disorders or concomitant use of warfarin and other anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents (e.g., aspirin), and serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may increase this risk. Monitor these patients for signs of bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.12 Masking of Inflammation and Fever

The pharmacological activity of ARTHROTEC in reducing inflammation, and possibly fever, may diminish the utility of diagnostic signs in detecting infections.

5.13 Laboratory Monitoring

Because serious GI bleeding, hepatotoxicity, and renal injury can occur without warning symptoms or signs, consider monitoring patients on long-term NSAID treatment with a CBC and a chemistry profile periodically [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.6)].

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

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.

Adverse reaction information for ARTHROTEC is derived from Phase III multinational controlled clinical trials in over 2,000 patients receiving ARTHROTEC 50 or ARTHROTEC 75, as well as from blinded, controlled trials of diclofenac delayed-release tablets and misoprostol tablets.

Gastrointestinal

GI disorders had the highest reported incidence of adverse events for patients receiving ARTHROTEC. These events were generally minor, but led to discontinuation of therapy in 9% of patients on ARTHROTEC and 5% of patients on diclofenac. For GI ulcer rates, [see Clinical Studies (14)].

GI disorder ARTHROTEC Diclofenac
Abdominal pain 21% 15%
Diarrhea 19% 11%
Dyspepsia 14% 11%
Nausea 11% 6%
Flatulence 9% 4%

ARTHROTEC can cause more abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other GI symptoms than diclofenac alone.

Diarrhea and abdominal pain developed early in the course of therapy, and were usually self-limited (resolved after 2 to 7 days). Rare instances of profound diarrhea leading to severe dehydration have been reported in patients receiving misoprostol. Patients with an underlying condition such as inflammatory bowel disease, or those in whom dehydration, were it to occur, would be dangerous, should be monitored carefully if ARTHROTEC is prescribed. The incidence of diarrhea can be minimized by administering ARTHROTEC with food and by avoiding coadministration with magnesium-containing antacids.

Gynecological

Gynecological disorders previously reported with misoprostol use have also been reported for women receiving ARTHROTEC (see below). Postmenopausal vaginal bleeding may be related to administration of ARTHROTEC. If it occurs, diagnostic workup should be undertaken to rule out gynecological pathology [see Boxed Warnings, Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5)].

Elderly

Overall, there were no significant differences in the safety profile of ARTHROTEC in over 500 patients 65 years of age or older compared with younger patients.

Other adverse experiences reported occasionally with ARTHROTEC, diclofenac or other NSAIDs, or misoprostol are:

Body as a whole: asthenia, fatigue, malaise.

Central and peripheral nervous system: dizziness, drowsiness, headache, insomnia, paresthesia, vertigo.

Digestive: anorexia, appetite changes, constipation, dry mouth, dysphagia, esophageal ulceration, oesophagitis, eructation, gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux, GI neoplasm benign, peptic ulcer, tenesmus, vomiting.

Female reproductive disorders: breast pain, dysmenorrhea, menstrual disorder, menorrhagia, vaginal hemorrhage.

Hemic and lymphatic system: epistaxis, leukopenia, melena, purpura, decreased hematocrit.

Metabolic and nutritional: alanine aminotransferase increased, alkaline phosphatase increased, aspartate aminotransferase increased, dehydration, hyponatremia.

Musculoskeletal system: arthralgia, myalgia.

Psychiatric: anxiety, concentration impaired, depression, irritability.

Respiratory system: asthma, coughing, hyperventilation.

Skin and appendages: alopecia,eczema, pemphigoid reaction, photosensitivity, sweating increased, pruritus.

Special senses: taste perversion, tinnitus.

Renal and urinary disorders: dysuria, nocturia, polyuria, proteinuria, urinary tract infection.

Vision: diplopia.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval of ARTHROTEC, diclofenac or misoprostol. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliable estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Body as a whole: death, fever, infection, sepsis, chills, edema.

Cardiovascular system: arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, hypertension, hypotension, increased CPK, increased LDH, myocardial infarction, palpitations, phlebitis, premature ventricular contractions, syncope, tachycardia, vasculitis.

Central and peripheral nervous system: coma, convulsions, hyperesthesia, hypertonia, hypoesthesia, meningitis, migraine, neuralgia, somnolence, stroke, tremor.

Congenital, familial and genetic disorders: birth defects.

Digestive: enteritis, GI bleeding, glossitis, heartburn, hematemesis, hemorrhoids, intestinal perforation, stomatitis and ulcerative stomatitis.

Female reproductive disorders: intermenstrual bleeding, leukorrhea, vaginitis, uterine cramping, uterine hemorrhage.

Hemic and lymphatic system: agranulocytosis, anemia, aplastic anemia, coagulation time increased, ecchymosis, eosinophilia, hemolytic anemia, leukocytosis, lymphadenopathy, pancytopenia, pulmonary embolism, rectal bleeding, thrombocythemia, thrombocytopenia.

Hypersensitivity: angioedema, laryngeal/pharyngeal edema, urticaria.

Liver and biliary system: abnormal hepatic function, bilirubinemia, liver failure, pancreatitis, hepatitis, jaundice.

Male reproductive disorders: impotence, perineal pain.

Metabolic and nutritional: BUN increased, glycosuria, gout, hypercholesterolemia, hyperglycemia, hyperuricemia, hypoglycemia, periorbital edema, porphyria, weight changes, fluid retention.

Pregnancy, puerperium and perinatal conditions: abnormal uterine contractions, uterine rupture/perforation, retained placenta, amniotic fluid embolism, incomplete abortion, premature birth, fetal death.

Psychiatric: confusion, disorientation, dream abnormalities, hallucinations, nervousness, paranoia, psychotic reaction.

Reproductive system and breast disorders: female fertility decreased.

Respiratory system: dyspnea, pneumonia, respiratory depression.

Skin and appendages: acne, bruising, erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, pruritus ani, rash, skin ulceration, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, cutaneous reactions (bullous eruption).

Special senses: hearing impairment, taste loss.

Renal and urinary disorders: cystitis, hematuria, interstitial nephritis, micturition frequency, nephrotic syndrome, oliguria, papillary necrosis, renal failure, glomerulonephritis membranous, glomerulonephritis minimal lesion, glomerulohephritis.

Vision: amblyopia, blurred vision, conjunctivitis, glaucoma, iritis, lacrimation abnormal, night blindness, vision abnormal.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

ARTHROTEC is indicated for treatment of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in patients at high risk of developing NSAID-induced gastric and duodenal ulcers and their complications. For a list of factors that may increase the risk of NSAID-induced gastric and duodenal ulcers and their complications [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

AZULFIDINE® (sulfasalazine)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use AZULFIDINE safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for AZULFIDINE.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

AZULFIDINE Tablets are contraindicated in:

 
Patients with intestinal or urinary obstruction,
 
Patients with porphyria as sulfonamides have been reported to precipitate an acute attack,
 
Patients hypersensitive to sulfasalazine, its metabolites, sulfonamides, or salicylates.

WARNINGS

Only after critical appraisal should AZULFIDINE Tablets be given to patients with hepatic or renal damage or blood dyscrasias. Deaths associated with the administration of sulfasalazine have been reported from hypersensitivity reactions, agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, other blood dyscrasias, renal and liver damage, irreversible neuromuscular and central nervous system changes, and fibrosing alveolitis. The presence of clinical signs such as sore throat, fever, pallor, purpura, or jaundice may be indications of serious blood disorders or hepatotoxicity. Complete blood counts, as well as urinalysis with careful microscopic examination, should be done frequently in patients receiving AZULFIDINE (see PRECAUTIONS, Laboratory Tests). Discontinue treatment with sulfasalazine while awaiting the results of blood tests. Oligospermia and infertility have been observed in men treated with sulfasalazine; however, withdrawal of the drug appears to reverse these effects.

Serious infections, including fatal sepsis and pneumonia, have been reported. Some infections were associated with agranulocytosis, neutropenia, or myelosuppression. Discontinue AZULFIDINE if a patient develops a serious infection. Closely monitor patients for the development of signs and symptoms of infection during and after treatment with AZULFIDINE. For a patient who develops a new infection during treatment with AZULFIDINE, perform a prompt and complete diagnostic workup for infection and myelosuppression. Caution should be exercised when considering the use of sulfasalazine in patients with a history of recurring or chronic infections or with underlying conditions or concomitant drugs which may predispose patients to infections.

Severe hypersensitivity reactions may include internal organ involvement, such as hepatitis, nephritis, myocarditis, mononucleosis-like syndrome (i.e., pseudomononucleosis), hematological abnormalities (including hematophagic histiocytosis), and/or pneumonitis including eosinophilic infiltration.

Serious skin reactions, some of them fatal, including exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis, have been reported in association with the use of sulfasalazine. Patients are at highest risk for these events early in therapy, with most events occurring within the first month of treatment. Sulfasalazine should be discontinued at the first appearance of skin rash, mucosal lesions, or any other sign of hypersensitivity.

Severe, life-threatening, systemic hypersensitivity reactions such as drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms have been reported in patients taking sulfasalazine. Early manifestations of hypersensitivity, such as fever or lymphadenopathy, may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, the patient should be evaluated immediately. Sulfasalazine should be discontinued if an alternative etiology for the signs or symptoms cannot be established.


PRECAUTIONS

General

AZULFIDINE Tablets should be given with caution to patients with severe allergy or bronchial asthma. Adequate fluid intake must be maintained in order to prevent crystalluria and stone formation. Patients with glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency should be observed closely for signs of hemolytic anemia. This reaction is frequently dose related. If toxic or hypersensitivity reactions occur, the drug should be discontinued immediately.

Information for Patients

Patients should be informed of the possibility of adverse reactions and of the need for careful medical supervision. The occurrence of sore throat, fever, pallor, purpura, or jaundice may indicate a serious blood disorder. Should any of these occur, the patient should seek medical advice. They should also be made aware that ulcerative colitis rarely remits completely, and that the risk of relapse can be reduced by continued administration of AZULFIDINE at a maintenance dosage. Patients should be instructed to take AZULFIDINE in evenly divided doses preferably after meals. Additionally, patients should be advised that sulfasalazine may produce an orange-yellow discoloration of the urine or skin.

Laboratory Tests

Complete blood counts, including differential white cell count and liver function tests, should be performed before starting AZULFIDINE and every second week during the first three months of therapy. During the second three months, the same tests should be done once monthly and thereafter once every three months, and as clinically indicated. Urinalysis and an assessment of renal function should also be done periodically during treatment with AZULFIDINE.

The determination of serum sulfapyridine levels may be useful since concentrations greater than 50 µg/mL appear to be associated with an increased incidence of adverse reactions.

Drug Interactions

Reduced absorption of folic acid and digoxin have been reported when those agents were administered concomitantly with sulfasalazine.

Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions

Several reports of possible interference with measurements, by liquid chromatography, of urinary normetanephrine causing a false-positive test result have been observed in patients exposed to sulfasalazine or its metabolite, mesalamine/mesalazine.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Two-year oral carcinogenicity studies were conducted in male and female F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice. Sulfasalazine was tested at 84 (496 mg/m2), 168 (991 mg/m2), and 337.5 (1991 mg/m2) mg/kg/day doses in rats. A statistically significant increase in the incidence of urinary bladder transitional cell papillomas was observed in male rats. In female rats, two (4%) of the 337.5 mg/kg rats had transitional cell papilloma of the kidney. The increased incidence of neoplasms in the urinary bladder and kidney of rats was also associated with an increase in the renal calculi formation and hyperplasia of transitional cell epithelium. For the mouse study, sulfasalazine was tested at 675 (2025 mg/m2), 1350 (4050 mg/m2), and 2700 (8100 mg/m2) mg/kg/day. The incidence of hepatocellular adenoma or carcinoma in male and female mice was significantly greater than the control at all doses tested.

Sulfasalazine did not show mutagenicity in the bacterial reverse mutation assay (Ames test) and in L51784 mouse lymphoma cell assay at the HGPRT gene. However, sulfasalazine showed equivocal mutagenic response in the micronucleus assay of mouse and rat bone marrow and mouse peripheral RBC and in the sister chromatid exchange, chromosomal aberration, and micronucleus assays in lymphocytes obtained from humans.

Impairment of male fertility was observed in reproductive studies performed in rats at a dose of 800 mg/kg/day (4800 mg/m2). Oligospermia and infertility have been described in men treated with sulfasalazine. Withdrawal of the drug appears to reverse these effects.

Pregnancy

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of sulfasalazine in pregnant women. Reproduction studies have been performed in rats and rabbits at doses up to 6 times the human maintenance dose of 2 g/day based on body surface area and have revealed no evidence of impaired female fertility or harm to the fetus due to sulfasalazine. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

There have been case reports of neural tube defects (NTDs) in infants born to mothers who were exposed to sulfasalazine during pregnancy, but the role of sulfasalazine in these defects has not been established. However, oral sulfasalazine inhibits the absorption and metabolism of folic acid which may interfere with folic acid supplementation (see Drug Interactions) and diminish the effect of periconceptional folic acid supplementation that has been shown to decrease the risk of NTDs.

A national survey evaluated the outcome of pregnancies associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In a group of 186 women treated with sulfasalazine alone or sulfasalazine and concomitant steroid therapy, the incidence of fetal morbidity and mortality was comparable to that for 245 untreated IBD pregnancies as well as to pregnancies in the general population.1 A study of 1,455 pregnancies associated with exposure to sulfonamides indicated that this group of drugs, including sulfasalazine, did not appear to be associated with fetal malformation.2 A review of the medical literature covering 1,155 pregnancies in women with ulcerative colitis suggested that the outcome was similar to that expected in the general population.3

No clinical studies have been performed to evaluate the effect of sulfasalazine on the growth development and functional maturation of children whose mothers received the drug during pregnancy.

Clinical Considerations

Sulfasalazine and its metabolite, sulfapyridine pass through the placenta. Sulfasalazine and its metabolite are also present in human milk. In the newborn, sulfonamides compete with bilirubin for binding sites on the plasma proteins and may cause kernicterus. Although sulfapyridine has been shown to have a poor bilirubin-displacing capacity, monitor the newborn for the potential for kernicterus.

A case of agranulocytosis has been reported in an infant whose mother was taking both sulfasalazine and prednisone throughout pregnancy.

Nursing Mothers

Sulfonamides, including sulfasalazine, are present in human milk (see Pregnancy, Clinical Considerations). Insignificant amounts of sulfasalazine have been found in milk, whereas levels of the active metabolite sulfapyridine in milk are about 30 to 60 percent of those in the maternal serum. Caution should be exercised when AZULFIDINE is administered to a nursing mother.

There are reports with limited data of bloody stools or diarrhea in human milk fed infants of mothers taking sulfasalazine. In cases where the outcome was reported, bloody stools or diarrhea resolved in the infant after discontinuation of sulfasalazine in the mother or discontinuation of breastfeeding. Due to limited data, a causal relationship between sulfasalazine exposure and bloody stools or diarrhea cannot be confirmed or denied. Monitor human milk fed infants of mothers taking sulfasalazine for signs and symptoms of diarrhea and/or bloody stools.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 2 years have not been established.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The most common adverse reactions associated with sulfasalazine are anorexia, headache, nausea, vomiting, gastric distress, and apparently reversible oligospermia. These occur in about one-third of the patients. Less frequent adverse reactions are skin rash, pruritus, urticaria, fever, Heinz body anemia, hemolytic anemia, and cyanosis, which may occur at a frequency of one in every thirty patients or less. Experience suggests that with a daily dosage of 4 g or more, or total serum sulfapyridine levels above 50 µg/mL, the incidence of adverse reactions tends to increase.

Although the listing which follows includes a few adverse reactions which have not been reported with this specific drug, the pharmacological similarities among the sulfonamides require that each of these reactions be considered when AZULFIDINE Tablets are administered. Less common or rare adverse reactions include:

Blood dyscrasias: aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, leukopenia, megaloblastic (macrocytic) anemia, purpura, thrombocytopenia, hypoprothrombinemia, methemoglobinemia, congenital neutropenia, and myelodysplastic syndrome.

Hypersensitivity reactions: erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome), exfoliative dermatitis, epidermal necrolysis (Lyell's syndrome) with corneal damage, drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), anaphylaxis, serum sickness syndrome, interstitial lung disease, pneumonitis with or without eosinophilia, vasculitis, fibrosing alveolitis, pleuritis, pericarditis with or without tamponade, allergic myocarditis, polyarteritis nodosa, lupus erythematosus-like syndrome, hepatitis and hepatic necrosis with or without immune complexes, fulminant hepatitis, sometimes leading to liver transplantation, parapsoriasis varioliformis acuta (Mucha-Haberman syndrome), rhabdomyolysis, photosensitization, arthralgia, periorbital edema, conjunctival and scleral injection, and alopecia.

Gastrointestinal reactions: hepatitis, hepatic failure, pancreatitis, bloody diarrhea, impaired folic acid absorption, impaired digoxin absorption, stomatitis, diarrhea, abdominal pains, and neutropenic enterocolitis.

Central nervous system reactions: transverse myelitis, convulsions, meningitis, transient lesions of the posterior spinal column, cauda equina syndrome, Guillian-Barre syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, mental depression, vertigo, hearing loss, insomnia, ataxia, hallucinations, tinnitus, and drowsiness.

Renal reactions: toxic nephrosis with oliguria and anuria, nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, urinary tract infections, hematuria, crystalluria, proteinuria, and hemolytic-uremic syndrome.

Other reactions: urine discoloration and skin discoloration.

The sulfonamides bear certain chemical similarities to some goitrogens, diuretics (acetazolamide and the thiazides), and oral hypoglycemic agents. Goiter production, diuresis and hypoglycemia have occurred rarely in patients receiving sulfonamides. Cross-sensitivity may exist with these agents. Rats appear to be especially susceptible to the goitrogenic effects of sulfonamides and long-term administration has produced thyroid malignancies in this species.

Postmarketing Reports

The following events have been identified during post-approval use of products which contain (or are metabolized to) mesalamine in clinical practice. Because they are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, estimates of frequency cannot be made. These events have been chosen for inclusion due to a combination of seriousness, frequency of reporting, or potential causal connection to mesalamine:

Blood dyscrasias: pseudomononucleosis

Cardiac disorders: myocarditis

Hepatobiliary disorders: reports of hepatotoxicity, including elevated liver function tests (SGOT/AST, SGPT/ALT, GGT, LDH, alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin), jaundice, cholestatic jaundice, cirrhosis, hepatitis cholestatic, cholestasis and possible hepatocellular damage including liver necrosis and liver failure. Some of these cases were fatal. One case of Kawasaki-like syndrome, which included hepatic function changes, was also reported.

Immune system disorders: anaphylaxis

Metabolism and nutrition system disorders: folate deficiency

Renal and urinary disorders: nephrolithiasis

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: oropharyngeal pain

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: angioedema, purpura

Vascular disorders: pallor

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

AZULFIDINE Tablets are indicated:

a)
in the treatment of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis, and as adjunctive therapy in severe ulcerative colitis; and
b)
for the prolongation of the remission period between acute attacks of ulcerative colitis.

CELEBREX® (celecoxib)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use CELEBREX safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for CELEBREX.

WARNING: RISK OF SERIOUS CARDIOVASCULAR AND GASTROINTESTINAL EVENTS

Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction, and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may occur early in the treatment and may increase with duration of use. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
  • CELEBREX is contraindicated in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]

Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

  • NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients and patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding are at greater risk for serious (GI) events. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]

4. CONTRAINDICATIONS

CELEBREX is contraindicated in the following patients:

  • Known hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylactic reactions and serious skin reactions) to celecoxib, any components of the drug product [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.9)].
  • History of asthma, urticaria, or other allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. Severe, sometimes fatal, anaphylactic reactions to NSAIDs, have been reported in such patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.8)].
  • In the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
  • In patients who have demonstrated allergic-type reactions to sulfonamides.

5. WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events

Clinical trials of several COX-2 selective and nonselective NSAIDs of up to three years duration have shown an increased risk of serious cardiovascular (CV) thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, which can be fatal. Based on available data, it is unclear that the risk for CV thrombotic events is similar for all NSAIDs. The relative increase in serious CV thrombotic events over baseline conferred by NSAID use appears to be similar in those with and without known CV disease or risk factors for CV disease. However, patients with known CV disease or risk factors had a higher absolute incidence of excess serious CV thrombotic events, due to their increased baseline rate. Some observational studies found that this increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events began as early as the first weeks of treatment. The increase in CV thrombotic risk has been observed most consistently at higher doses.

In the APC (Adenoma Prevention with Celecoxib) trial, the hazard ratio for the composite endpoint of cardiovascular death, MI, or stroke was 3.4 (95% CI 1.4 – 8.5) for CELEBREX 400 mg twice daily and 2.8 (95% CI 1.1 – 7.2) with CELEBREX 200 mg twice daily compared to placebo. Cumulative rates for this composite endpoint over 3 years were 3.0% (20/671 subjects) and 2.5% (17/685 subjects), respectively, compared to 0.9% (6/679 subjects) with placebo treatment. The increases in both celecoxib dose groups versus placebo-treated patients were mainly due to an increased incidence of myocardial infarction [see Clinical Studies (14.6)].

To minimize the potential risk for an adverse CV event in NSAID-treated patients, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Physicians and patients should remain alert for the development of such events, throughout the entire treatment course, even in the absence of previous CV symptoms. Patients should be informed about the symptoms of serious CV events and the steps to take if they occur.

There is no consistent evidence that concurrent use of aspirin mitigates the increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events associated with NSAID use. The concurrent use of aspirin and an NSAID, such as celecoxib, increases the risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Status Post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery

Two large, controlled clinical trials of a COX-2 selective NSAID for the treatment of pain in the first 10–14 days following CABG surgery found an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke. NSAIDs are contraindicated in the setting of CABG [see Contraindications (4)].

Post-MI Patients

Observational studies conducted in the Danish National Registry have demonstrated that patients treated with NSAIDs in the post-MI period were at increased risk of reinfarction, CV-related death, and all-cause mortality beginning in the first week of treatment. In this same cohort, the incidence of death in the first year post-MI was 20 per 100 person years in NSAID-treated patients compared to 12 per 100 person years in non-NSAID exposed patients. Although the absolute rate of death declined somewhat after the first year post-MI, the increased relative risk of death in NSAID users persisted over at least the next four years of follow-up.

Avoid the use of Celebrex in patients with a recent MI unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of recurrent CV thrombotic events. If Celebrex is used in patients with a recent MI, monitor patients for signs of cardiac ischemia.

5.2 Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

NSAIDs, including celecoxib cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including inflammation, bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, or large intestine, which can be fatal. These serious adverse events can occur at any time, with or without warning symptoms, in patients treated with CELEBREX. Only one in five patients who develop a serious upper GI adverse event on NSAID therapy is symptomatic. Upper GI ulcers, gross bleeding, or perforation caused by NSAIDs occurred in approximately 1% of patients treated for 3–6 months, and in about 2%–4% of patients treated for one year. However, even short-term NSAID therapy is not without risk.

Risk Factors for GI Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

Patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding who used NSAIDs had a greater than 10-fold increased risk for developing a GI bleed compared to patients without these risk factors. Other factors that increase the risk of GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include longer duration of NSAID therapy; concomitant use of oral corticosteroids, aspirin, anticoagulants; or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); smoking; use of alcohol; older age; and poor general health status. Most postmarketing reports of fatal GI events occurred in elderly or debilitated patients. Additionally, patients with advanced liver disease and/or coagulopathy are at increased risk for GI bleeding.

Complicated and symptomatic ulcer rates were 0.78% at nine months for all patients in the CLASS trial, and 2.19% for the subgroup on low-dose ASA. Patients 65 years of age and older had an incidence of 1.40% at nine months, 3.06% when also taking ASA [see Clinical Studies (14.6)].

Strategies to Minimize the GI Risks in NSAID-treated patients:

  • Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest possible duration.
  • Avoid administration of more than one NSAID at a time.
  • Avoid use in patients at higher risk unless benefits are expected to outweigh the increased risk of bleeding. For such patients, as well as those with active GI bleeding, consider alternate therapies other than NSAIDs.
  • Remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during NSAID therapy.
  • If a serious GI adverse event is suspected, promptly initiate evaluation and treatment, and discontinue CELEBREX until a serious GI adverse event is ruled out.
  • In the setting of concomitant use of low-dose aspirin for cardiac prophylaxis, monitor patients more closely for evidence of GI bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.3 Hepatotoxicity

Elevations of ALT or AST (three or more times the upper limit of normal [ULN]) have been reported in approximately 1% of NSAID-treated patients in clinical trials. In addition, rare, sometimes fatal, cases of severe hepatic injury, including fulminant hepatitis, liver necrosis, and hepatic failure have been reported.

Elevations of ALT or AST (less than three times ULN) may occur in up to 15% of patients treated with NSAIDs including celecoxib.

In controlled clinical trials of CELEBREX, the incidence of borderline elevations (greater than or equal to 1.2 times and less than 3 times the upper limit of normal) of liver associated enzymes was 6% for CELEBREX and 5% for placebo, and approximately 0.2% of patients taking CELEBREX and 0.3% of patients taking placebo had notable elevations of ALT and AST.

Inform patients of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (e.g., nausea, fatigue, lethargy, diarrhea, pruritus, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, and "flu-like" symptoms). If clinical signs and symptoms consistent with liver disease develop, or if systemic manifestations occur (e.g., eosinophilia, rash, etc.), discontinue CELEBREX immediately, and perform a clinical evaluation of the patient.

5.4 Hypertension

NSAIDs, including CELEBREX can lead to new onset of hypertension or worsening of preexisting hypertension, either of which may contribute to the increased incidence of CV events. Patients taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, thiazide diuretics or loop diuretics may have impaired response to these therapies when taking NSAIDs [see Drug Interactions (7)].

The rates of hypertension from the CLASS trial in the CELEBREX, ibuprofen and diclofenac-treated patients were 2.4%, 4.2% and 2.5%, respectively [see Clinical Studies (14.6)].

Monitor blood pressure (BP) during the initiation of NSAID treatment and throughout the course of therapy.

5.5 Heart Failure and Edema

The Coxib and traditional NSAID Trialists' Collaboration meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials demonstrated an approximately two-fold increase in hospitalizations for heart failure in COX-2 selective-treated patients and nonselective NSAID-treated patients compared to placebo-treated patients. In a Danish National Registry study of patients with heart failure, NSAID use increased the risk of MI, hospitalization for heart failure, and death.

Additionally, fluid retention and edema have been observed in some patients treated with NSAIDs. Use of celecoxib may blunt the CV effects of several therapeutic agents used to treat these medical conditions (e.g., diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs]) [see Drug Interactions (7)].

In the CLASS study [see Clinical Studies (14.6)], the Kaplan-Meier cumulative rates at 9 months of peripheral edema in patients on CELEBREX 400 mg twice daily (4-fold and 2-fold the recommended OA and RA doses, respectively), ibuprofen 800 mg three times daily and diclofenac 75 mg twice daily were 4.5%, 6.9% and 4.7%, respectively.

Avoid the use of CELEBREX in patients with severe heart failure unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening heart failure. If CELEBREX is used in patients with severe heart failure, monitor patients for signs of worsening heart failure.

5.6 Renal Toxicity and Hyperkalemia

Renal Toxicity

Long-term administration of NSAIDs has resulted in renal papillary necrosis and other renal injury.

Renal toxicity has also been seen in patients in whom renal prostaglandins have a compensatory role in the maintenance of renal perfusion. In these patients, administration of an NSAID may cause a dose-dependent reduction in prostaglandin formation and, secondarily, in renal blood flow, which may precipitate overt renal decompensation. Patients at greatest risk of this reaction are those with impaired renal function, dehydration, hypovolemia, heart failure, liver dysfunction, those taking diuretics, ACE-inhibitors or the ARBs, and the elderly. Discontinuation of NSAID therapy is usually followed by recovery to the pretreatment state.

No information is available from controlled clinical studies regarding the use of CELEBREX in patients with advanced renal disease. The renal effects of CELEBREX may hasten the progression of renal dysfunction in patients with preexisting renal disease.

Correct volume status in dehydrated or hypovolemic patients prior to initiating CELEBREX. Monitor renal function in patients with renal or hepatic impairment, heart failure, dehydration, or hypovolemia during use of CELEBREX [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Avoid the use of CELEBREX in patients with advanced renal disease unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening renal function. If CELEBREX is used in patients with advanced renal disease, monitor patients for signs of worsening renal function.

Hyperkalemia

Increases in serum potassium concentration, including hyperkalemia, have been reported with use of NSAIDs, even in some patients without renal impairment. In patients with normal renal function, these effects have been attributed to a hyporeninemic- hypoadosteronism state.

5.7 Anaphylactic Reactions

Celecoxib has been associated with anaphylactic reactions in patients with and without known hypersensitivity to celecoxib and in patients with aspirin sensitive asthma. Celebrex is a sulfonamide and both NSAIDs and sulfonamides may cause allergic type reactions including anaphylactic symptoms and life-threatening or less severe asthmatic episodes in certain susceptible people [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].

Seek emergency help if any anaphylactic reaction occurs.

5.8 Exacerbation of Asthma Related to Aspirin Sensitivity

A subpopulation of patients with asthma may have aspirin-sensitive asthma which may include chronic rhinosinusitis complicated by nasal polyps; severe, potentially fatal bronchospasm; and/or intolerance to aspirin and other NSAIDs. Because cross-reactivity between aspirin and other NSAIDs has been reported in such aspirin-sensitive patients, CELEBREX is contraindicated in patients with this form of aspirin sensitivity [see Contraindications (4)]. When CELEBREX is used in patients with preexisting asthma (without known aspirin sensitivity), monitor patients for changes in the signs and symptoms of asthma.

5.9 Serious Skin Reactions

Serious skin reactions have occurred following treatment with Celebrex, including erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP). These serious events may occur without warning and can be fatal.

Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of serious skin reactions, and to discontinue the use of CELEBREX at the first appearance of skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity. CELEBREX is contraindicated in patients with previous serious skin reactions to NSAIDs [see Contraindications (4)].

5.10 Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus

Celecoxib may cause premature closure of the ductus arteriosus. Avoid use of NSAIDs, including CELEBREX, in pregnant women starting at 30 weeks of gestation (third trimester) [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

5.11 Hematological Toxicity

Anemia has occurred in NSAID-treated patients. This may be due to occult or gross blood loss, fluid retention, or an incompletely described effect on erythropoiesis. If a patient treated with CELEBREX has any signs or symptoms of anemia, monitor hemoglobin or hematocrit.

In controlled clinical trials the incidence of anemia was 0.6% with CELEBREX and 0.4% with placebo. Patients on long-term treatment with CELEBREX should have their hemoglobin or hematocrit checked if they exhibit any signs or symptoms of anemia or blood loss.

NSAIDs, including CELEBREX, may increase the risk of bleeding events. Co-morbid conditions such as coagulation disorders or concomitant use of warfarin, other anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents (e.g., aspirin), serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may increase this risk. Monitor these patients for signs of bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.12 Masking of Inflammation and Fever

The pharmacological activity of CELEBREX in reducing inflammation, and possibly fever, may diminish the utility of diagnostic signs in detecting infections.

5.13 Laboratory Monitoring

Because serious GI bleeding, hepatotoxicity, and renal injury can occur without warning symptoms or signs, consider monitoring patients on long-term NSAID treatment with a CBC and a chemistry profile periodically [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.3, 5.6)].

In controlled clinical trials, elevated BUN occurred more frequently in patients receiving CELEBREX compared with patients on placebo. This laboratory abnormality was also seen in patients who received comparator NSAIDs in these studies. The clinical significance of this abnormality has not been established.

5.14 Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC)

Because of the risk of disseminated intravascular coagulation with use of CELEBREX in pediatric patients with systemic onset JRA, monitor patients for signs and symptoms of abnormal clotting or bleeding, and inform patients and their caregivers to report symptoms as soon as possible.

6. ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

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. The adverse reaction information from clinical trials does, however, provide a basis for identifying the adverse events that appear to be related to drug use and for approximating rates.

Of the CELEBREX-treated patients in the pre-marketing controlled clinical trials, approximately 4,250 were patients with OA, approximately 2,100 were patients with RA, and approximately 1,050 were patients with post-surgical pain. More than 8,500 patients received a total daily dose of CELEBREX of 200 mg (100 mg twice daily or 200 mg once daily) or more, including more than 400 treated at 800 mg (400 mg twice daily). Approximately 3,900 patients received CELEBREX at these doses for 6 months or more; approximately 2,300 of these have received it for 1 year or more and 124 of these have received it for 2 years or more.

Pre-marketing Controlled Arthritis Trials

Table 1 lists all adverse events, regardless of causality, occurring in ≥2% of patients receiving CELEBREX from 12 controlled studies conducted in patients with OA or RA that included a placebo and/or a positive control group. Since these 12 trials were of different durations, and patients in the trials may not have been exposed for the same duration of time, these percentages do not capture cumulative rates of occurrence.

Table 1: Adverse Events Occurring in ≥2% of CELEBREX Patients from Pre-marketing Controlled Arthritis Trials
CBX
N=4146
Placebo
N=1864
NAP
N=1366
DCF
N=387
IBU
N=345
CBX = CELEBREX 100 – 200 mg twice daily or 200 mg once daily;
NAP = Naproxen 500 mg twice daily;
DCF = Diclofenac 75 mg twice daily;
IBU = Ibuprofen 800 mg three times daily.
Gastrointestinal
  Abdominal Pain 4.1% 2.8% 7.7% 9.0% 9.0%
  Diarrhea 5.6% 3.8% 5.3% 9.3% 5.8%
  Dyspepsia 8.8% 6.2% 12.2% 10.9% 12.8%
  Flatulence 2.2% 1.0% 3.6% 4.1% 3.5%
  Nausea 3.5% 4.2% 6.0% 3.4% 6.7%
Body as a whole
  Back Pain 2.8% 3.6% 2.2% 2.6% 0.9%
  Peripheral Edema 2.1% 1.1% 2.1% 1.0% 3.5%
  Injury-Accidental 2.9% 2.3% 3.0% 2.6% 3.2%
Central, Peripheral Nervous system
  Dizziness 2.0% 1.7% 2.6% 1.3% 2.3%
  Headache 15.8% 20.2% 14.5% 15.5% 15.4%
Psychiatric
  Insomnia 2.3% 2.3% 2.9% 1.3% 1.4%
Respiratory
  Pharyngitis 2.3% 1.1% 1.7% 1.6% 2.6%
  Rhinitis 2.0% 1.3% 2.4% 2.3% 0.6%
  Sinusitis 5.0% 4.3% 4.0% 5.4% 5.8%
  Upper Respiratory Infection 8.1% 6.7% 9.9% 9.8% 9.9%
Skin
  Rash 2.2% 2.1% 2.1% 1.3% 1.2%

In placebo- or active-controlled clinical trials, the discontinuation rate due to adverse events was 7.1% for patients receiving CELEBREX and 6.1% for patients receiving placebo. Among the most common reasons for discontinuation due to adverse events in the CELEBREX treatment groups were dyspepsia and abdominal pain (cited as reasons for discontinuation in 0.8% and 0.7% of CELEBREX patients, respectively). Among patients receiving placebo, 0.6% discontinued due to dyspepsia and 0.6% withdrew due to abdominal pain.

The following adverse reactions occurred in 0.1 – 1.9% of patients treated with CELEBREX (100 – 200 mg twice daily or 200 mg once daily):

Gastrointestinal: Constipation, diverticulitis, dysphagia, eructation, esophagitis, gastritis, gastroenteritis, gastroesophageal reflux, hemorrhoids, hiatal hernia, melena, dry mouth, stomatitis, tenesmus, vomiting

Cardiovascular: Aggravated hypertension, angina pectoris, coronary artery disorder, myocardial infarction

General: Hypersensitivity, allergic reaction, chest pain, cyst NOS, edema generalized, face edema, fatigue, fever, hot flushes, influenza-like symptoms, pain, peripheral pain

Central, peripheral nervous system: Leg cramps, hypertonia, hypoesthesia, migraine, paresthesia, vertigo

Hearing and vestibular: Deafness, tinnitus

Heart rate and rhythm: Palpitation, tachycardia

Liver and biliary: Hepatic enzyme increased (including SGOT increased, SGPT increased)

Metabolic and nutritional: BUN increased, CPK increased, hypercholesterolemia, hyperglycemia, hypokalemia, NPN increased, creatinine increased, alkaline phosphatase increased, weight increased

Musculoskeletal: Arthralgia, arthrosis, myalgia, synovitis, tendinitis

Platelets (bleeding or clotting): Ecchymosis, epistaxis, thrombocythemia,

Psychiatric: Anorexia, anxiety, appetite increased, depression, nervousness, somnolence

Hemic: Anemia

Respiratory: Bronchitis, bronchospasm, bronchospasm aggravated, cough, dyspnea, laryngitis, pneumonia

Skin and appendages: Alopecia, dermatitis, photosensitivity reaction, pruritus, rash erythematous, rash maculopapular, skin disorder, skin dry, sweating increased, urticaria

Application site disorders: Cellulitis, dermatitis contact

Urinary: Albuminuria, cystitis, dysuria, hematuria, micturition frequency, renal calculus

The following serious adverse events (causality not evaluated) occurred in <0.1% of patients:

Cardiovascular: Syncope, congestive heart failure, ventricular fibrillation, pulmonary embolism, cerebrovascular accident, peripheral gangrene, thrombophlebitis

Gastrointestinal: Intestinal obstruction, intestinal perforation, gastrointestinal bleeding, colitis with bleeding, esophageal perforation, pancreatitis, ileus

General: Sepsis, sudden death

Liver and biliary: Cholelithiasis

Hemic and lymphatic: Thrombocytopenia

Nervous: Ataxia, suicide [see Drug Interactions (7.1)]

Renal: Acute renal failure

The Celecoxib Long-Term Arthritis Safety Study [see Special Studies (14.6)]

Hematological Events: The incidence of clinically significant decreases in hemoglobin (>2 g/dL) was lower in patients on CELEBREX 400 mg twice daily (0.5%) compared to patients on either diclofenac 75 mg twice daily (1.3%) or ibuprofen 800 mg three times daily 1.9%. The lower incidence of events with CELEBREX was maintained with or without aspirin use [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].

Withdrawals/Serious Adverse Events: Kaplan-Meier cumulative rates at 9 months for withdrawals due to adverse events for CELEBREX, diclofenac and ibuprofen were 24%, 29%, and 26%, respectively. Rates for serious adverse events (i.e., causing hospitalization or felt to be life-threatening or otherwise medically significant), regardless of causality, were not different across treatment groups (8%, 7%, and 8%, respectively).

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Study

In a 12-week, double-blind, active-controlled study, 242 JRA patients 2 years to 17 years of age were treated with celecoxib or naproxen; 77 JRA patients were treated with celecoxib 3 mg/kg twice daily, 82 patients were treated with celecoxib 6 mg/kg twice daily, and 83 patients were treated with naproxen 7.5 mg/kg twice daily. The most commonly occurring (≥5%) adverse events in celecoxib treated patients were headache, fever (pyrexia), upper abdominal pain, cough, nasopharyngitis, abdominal pain, nausea, arthralgia, diarrhea and vomiting. The most commonly occurring (≥5%) adverse experiences for naproxen-treated patients were headache, nausea, vomiting, fever, upper abdominal pain, diarrhea, cough, abdominal pain, and dizziness (Table 2). Compared with naproxen, celecoxib at doses of 3 and 6 mg/kg twice daily had no observable deleterious effect on growth and development during the course of the 12-week double-blind study. There was no substantial difference in the number of clinical exacerbations of uveitis or systemic features of JRA among treatment groups.

In a 12-week, open-label extension of the double-blind study described above, 202 JRA patients were treated with celecoxib 6 mg/kg twice daily. The incidence of adverse events was similar to that observed during the double-blind study; no unexpected adverse events of clinical importance emerged.

Table 2: Adverse Events Occurring in ≥5% of JRA Patients in Any Treatment Group, by System Organ Class (% of patients with events)

All Doses Twice Daily
System Organ Class
  Preferred Term
Celecoxib
3 mg/kg
N=77
Celecoxib
6 mg/kg
N=82
Naproxen
7.5 mg/kg
N=83
*
Abnormal laboratory tests, which include: Prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time, Bacteriuria NOS present, Blood creatine phosphokinase increased, Blood culture positive, Blood glucose increased, Blood pressure increased, Blood uric acid increased, Hematocrit decreased, Hematuria present, Hemoglobin decreased, Liver function tests NOS abnormal, Proteinuria present, Transaminase NOS increased, Urine analysis abnormal NOS
Any Event 64 70 72
Eye Disorders 5 5 5
Gastrointestinal 26 24 36
  Abdominal pain NOS 4 7 7
  Abdominal pain upper 8 6 10
  Vomiting NOS 3 6 11
  Diarrhea NOS 5 4 8
  Nausea 7 4 11
General 13 11 18
  Pyrexia 8 9 11
Infections 25 20 27
  Nasopharyngitis 5 6 5
Injury and Poisoning 4 6 5
Investigations* 3 11 7
Musculoskeletal 8 10 17
  Arthralgia 3 7 4
Nervous System 17 11 21
  Headache NOS 13 10 16
  Dizziness (excl vertigo) 1 1 7
Respiratory 8 15 15
  Cough 7 7 8
Skin & Subcutaneous 10 7 18

Other Pre-Approval Studies

Adverse Events from Ankylosing Spondylitis Studies: A total of 378 patients were treated with CELEBREX in placebo- and active-controlled AS studies. Doses up to 400 mg once daily were studied. The types of adverse events reported in the AS studies were similar to those reported in the OA/RA studies.

Adverse Events from Analgesia and Dysmenorrhea Studies: Approximately 1,700 patients were treated with CELEBREX in analgesia and dysmenorrhea studies. All patients in post-oral surgery pain studies received a single dose of study medication. Doses up to 600 mg/day of CELEBREX were studied in primary dysmenorrhea and post-orthopedic surgery pain studies. The types of adverse events in the analgesia and dysmenorrhea studies were similar to those reported in arthritis studies. The only additional adverse event reported was post-dental extraction alveolar osteitis (dry socket) in the post-oral surgery pain studies.

The APC and PreSAP Trials

Adverse reactions from long-term, placebo-controlled polyp prevention studies: Exposure to CELEBREX in the APC and PreSAP trials was 400 to 800 mg daily for up to 3 years [see Special Studies Adenomatous Polyp Prevention Studies (14.6)].

Some adverse reactions occurred in higher percentages of patients than in the arthritis pre-marketing trials (treatment durations up to 12 weeks; see Adverse events from CELEBREX pre-marketing controlled arthritis trials, above). The adverse reactions for which these differences in patients treated with CELEBREX were greater as compared to the arthritis pre-marketing trials were as follows:

CELEBREX
(400 to 800 mg daily)
N = 2285
Placebo
N=1303
Diarrhea 10.5% 7.0%
Gastroesophageal reflux disease 4.7% 3.1%
Nausea 6.8% 5.3%
Vomiting 3.2% 2.1%
Dyspnea 2.8% 1.6%
Hypertension 12.5% 9.8%
Nephrolithiasis 2.1% 0.8%

The following additional adverse reactions occurred in ≥0.1% and <1% of patients taking CELEBREX, at an incidence greater than placebo in the long-term polyp prevention studies, and were either not reported during the controlled arthritis pre-marketing trials or occurred with greater frequency in the long-term, placebo-controlled polyp prevention studies:

Nervous system disorders: Cerebral infarction

Eye disorders: Vitreous floaters, conjunctival hemorrhage

Ear and labyrinth: Labyrinthitis

Cardiac disorders: Angina unstable, aortic valve incompetence, coronary artery atherosclerosis, sinus bradycardia, ventricular hypertrophy

Vascular disorders: Deep vein thrombosis

Reproductive system and breast disorders: Ovarian cyst

Investigations: Blood potassium increased, blood sodium increased, blood testosterone decreased

Injury, poisoning and procedural complications: Epicondylitis, tendon rupture

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of CELEBREX. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure

Cardiovascular: Vasculitis, deep venous thrombosis

General: Anaphylactoid reaction, angioedema

Liver and biliary: Liver necrosis, hepatitis, jaundice, hepatic failure

Hemic and lymphatic: Agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, pancytopenia, leucopenia

Metabolic: Hypoglycemia, hyponatremia

Nervous: Aseptic meningitis, ageusia, anosmia, fatal intracranial hemorrhage

Renal: Interstitial nephritis

1. INDICATIONS AND USAGE

CELEBREX is indicated

1.1 Osteoarthritis (OA)

For the management of the signs and symptoms of OA [see Clinical Studies (14.1)]

1.2 Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

For the management of the signs and symptoms of RA [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]

1.3 Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)

For the management of the signs and symptoms of JRA in patients 2 years and older [see Clinical Studies (14.3)]

1.4 Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

For the management of the signs and symptoms of AS [see Clinical Studies (14.4)]

1.5 Acute Pain

For the management of acute pain in adults [see Clinical Studies (14.5)]

1.6 Primary Dysmenorrhea

For the management of primary dysmenorrhea [see Clinical Studies (14.5)]

CORTEF® (hydrocortisone)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use CORTEF safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for CORTEF.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Systemic fungal infections and known hypersensitivity to components

WARNINGS

In patients on corticosteroid therapy subjected to unusual stress, increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids before, during, and after the stressful situation is indicated.

Corticosteroids may mask some signs of infection, and new infections may appear during their use. Infections with any pathogen including viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan or helminthic infections, in any location of the body, may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents that affect cellular immunity, humoral immunity, or neutrophil function.1

These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases.2 There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used.

Prolonged use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to fungi or viruses.

Usage in pregnancy

Since adequate human reproduction studies have not been done with corticosteroids, the use of these drugs in pregnancy, nursing mothers or women of childbearing potential requires that the possible benefits of the drug be weighed against the potential hazards to the mother and embryo or fetus. Infants born of mothers who have received substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy, should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.

Corticosteroids have been shown to impair fertility in male rats.

Average and large doses of hydrocortisone or cortisone can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.

Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered to patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids; however, the response to such vaccines may be diminished. Indicated immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients receiving nonimmunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids.

The use of CORTEF Tablets in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate antituberculous regimen.

If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.

Persons who are on drugs which suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chicken pox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in non-immune children or adults on corticosteroids. In such children or adults who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route and duration of corticosteroid administration affects the risk of developing a disseminated infection is not known. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed to chicken pox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chicken pox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered. Similarly, corticosteroids should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.


PRECAUTIONS

General Precautions

Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted.

There is an enhanced effect of corticosteroids on patients with hypothyroidism and in those with cirrhosis.

Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex because of possible corneal perforation.

The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment, and when reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction should be gradual.

Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression, to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids.

Steroids should be used with caution in nonspecific ulcerative colitis, if there is a probability of impending perforation, abscess or other pyogenic infection; diverticulitis; fresh intestinal anastomoses; active or latent peptic ulcer; renal insufficiency; hypertension; osteoporosis; and myasthenia gravis.

Growth and development of infants and children on prolonged corticosteroid therapy should be carefully observed.

Kaposi's sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical remission.

Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, they do not show that corticosteroids affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)

Since complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the size of the dose and the duration of treatment, a risk/benefit decision must be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment and as to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.

Pheochromocytoma crisis, which can be fatal, has been reported after administration of systemic corticosteroids. In patients with suspected pheochromocytoma, consider the risk of pheochromocytoma crisis prior to administering corticosteroids.

Drug Interactions

The pharmacokinetic interactions listed below are potentially clinically important. Drugs that induce hepatic enzymes such as phenobarbital, phenytoin and rifampin may increase the clearance of corticosteroids and may require increases in corticosteroid dose to achieve the desired response. Drugs such as troleandomycin and ketoconazole may inhibit the metabolism of corticosteroids and thus decrease their clearance. Therefore, the dose of corticosteroid should be titrated to avoid steroid toxicity. Corticosteroids may increase the clearance of chronic high dose aspirin. This could lead to decreased salicylate serum levels or increase the risk of salicylate toxicity when corticosteroid is withdrawn. Aspirin should be used cautiously in conjunction with corticosteroids in patients suffering from hypoprothrombinemia. The effect of corticosteroids on oral anticoagulants is variable. There are reports of enhanced as well as diminished effects of anticoagulants when given concurrently with corticosteroids. Therefore, coagulation indices should be monitored to maintain the desired anticoagulant effect.

Information for the Patient

Persons who are on immunosuppressant doses of corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chicken pox or measles. Patients should also be advised that if they are exposed, medical advice should be sought without delay.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

Fluid and Electrolyte Disturbances

Sodium retention
Fluid retention
Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients
Potassium loss
Hypokalemic alkalosis
Hypertension

Musculoskeletal

Muscle weakness
Steroid myopathy
Loss of muscle mass
Osteoporosis
Tendon rupture, particularly of the Achilles tendon
Vertebral compression fractures
Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads
Pathologic fracture of long bones

Gastrointestinal

Peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage
Pancreatitis
Abdominal distention
Ulcerative esophagitis
Increases in alanine transaminase (ALT, SGPT), aspartate transaminase (AST, SGOT) and alkaline phosphatase have been observed following corticosteroid treatment. These changes are usually small, not associated with any clinical syndrome and are reversible upon discontinuation.

Dermatologic

Impaired wound healing
Thin fragile skin
Petechiae and ecchymoses
Facial erythema
Increased sweating
May suppress reactions to skin tests

Neurological

Increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually after treatment
Convulsions
Vertigo
Headache
Epidural lipomatosis

Endocrine

Development of Cushingoid state
Suppression of growth in children
Secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness, particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery or illness
Menstrual irregularities
Decreased carbohydrate tolerance
Manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus
Increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetics

Ophthalmic

Central serous chorioretinopathy
Posterior subcapsular cataracts
Increased intraocular pressure
Glaucoma
Exophthalmos

Metabolic

Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism

Blood and lymphatic system disorders

Leukocytosis

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

CORTEF Tablets are indicated in the following conditions.

1. Endocrine Disorders

Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the first choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance)
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Non suppurative thyroiditis
Hypercalcemia associated with cancer

2. Rheumatic Disorders

As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in:

Psoriatic arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy)
Ankylosing spondylitis
Acute and subacute bursitis
Acute nonspecific tenosynovitis
Acute gouty arthritis
Post-traumatic osteoarthritis
Synovitis of osteoarthritis
Epicondylitis

3. Collagen Diseases

During an exacerbation or as maintenance therapy in selected cases of:

Systemic lupus erythematosus
Systemic dermatomyositis (polymyositis)
Acute rheumatic carditis

4. Dermatologic Diseases

Pemphigus
Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis
Severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome)
Exfoliative dermatitis
Mycosis fungoides
Severe psoriasis
Severe seborrheic dermatitis

5. Allergic States

Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment:

Seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis
Serum sickness
Bronchial asthma
Contact dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis
Drug hypersensitivity reactions

6. Ophthalmic Diseases

Severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory processes involving the eye and its adnexa such as:

Allergic conjunctivitis
Keratitis
Allergic corneal marginal ulcers
Herpes zoster ophthalmicus
Iritis and iridocyclitis
Chorioretinitis
Anterior segment inflammation
Diffuse posterior uveitis and choroiditis
Optic neuritis
Sympathetic ophthalmia

7. Respiratory Diseases

Symptomatic sarcoidosis
Loeffler's syndrome not manageable by other means
Berylliosis
Fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy
Aspiration pneumonitis

8. Hematologic Disorders

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults
Secondary thrombocytopenia in adults
Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia
Erythroblastopenia (RBC anemia)
Congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia

9. Neoplastic Diseases

For palliative management of:

Leukemias and lymphomas in adults
Acute leukemia of childhood

10. Edematous States

To induce a diuresis or remission of proteinuria in the nephrotic syndrome, without uremia, of the idiopathic type or that due to lupus erythematosus.

11. Gastrointestinal Diseases

To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in:

Ulcerative colitis
Regional enteritis

12. Nervous System

Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis

13. Miscellaneous

Tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy
Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement

DAYPRO® (oxaprozin)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use DAYPRO safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for DAYPRO.

WARNING: RISK OF SERIOUS CARDIOVASCULAR AND GASTROINTESTINAL EVENTS

Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may occur early in treatment and may increase with duration of use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
  • DAYPRO is contraindicated in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

  • NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients and patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding are at greater risk for serious GI events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

DAYPRO is contraindicated in the following patients:

  • Known hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylactic reactions and serious skin reactions) to oxaprozin or any components of the drug product [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.9)]
  • History of asthma, urticaria, or other allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. Severe, sometimes fatal, anaphylactic reactions to NSAIDs have been reported in such patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.8)]
  • In the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events

Clinical trials of several COX-2 selective and nonselective NSAIDs of up to three years duration have shown an increased risk of serious cardiovascular (CV) thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, which can be fatal. Based on available data, it is unclear that the risk for CV thrombotic events is similar for all NSAIDs. The relative increase in serious CV thrombotic events over baseline conferred by NSAID use appears to be similar in those with and without known CV disease or risk factors for CV disease. However, patients with known CV disease or risk factors had a higher absolute incidence of excess serious CV thrombotic events, due to their increased baseline rate. Some observational studies found that this increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events began as early as the first weeks of treatment. The increase in CV thrombotic risk has been observed most consistently at higher doses.

To minimize the potential risk for an adverse CV event in NSAID-treated patients, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Physicians and patients should remain alert for the development of such events, throughout the entire treatment course, even in the absence of previous CV symptoms. Patients should be informed about the symptoms of serious CV events and the steps to take if they occur.

There is no consistent evidence that concurrent use of aspirin mitigates the increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events associated with NSAID use. The concurrent use of aspirin and an NSAID, such as oxaprozin, increases the risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Status Post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery

Two large, controlled clinical trials of a COX-2 selective NSAID for the treatment of pain in the first 10–14 days following CABG surgery found an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke. NSAIDs are contraindicated in the setting of CABG [see Contraindications (4)].

Post-MI Patients

Observational studies conducted in the Danish National Registry have demonstrated that patients treated with NSAIDs in the post-MI period were at increased risk of reinfarction, CV-related death, and all-cause mortality beginning in the first week of treatment. In this same cohort, the incidence of death in the first year post-MI was 20 per 100 person years in NSAID-treated patients compared to 12 per 100 person years in non-NSAID exposed patients. Although the absolute rate of death declined somewhat after the first year post-MI, the increased relative risk of death in NSAID users persisted over at least the next four years of follow-up.

Avoid the use of DAYPRO in patients with a recent MI unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of recurrent CV thrombotic events. If DAYPRO is used in patients with a recent MI, monitor patients for signs of cardiac ischemia.

5.2 Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

NSAIDs, including DAYPRO, cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including inflammation, bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, or large intestine, which can be fatal. These serious adverse events can occur at any time, with or without warning symptoms, in patients treated with NSAIDs. Only one in five patients, who develop a serious upper GI adverse event on NSAID therapy, is symptomatic. Upper GI ulcers, gross bleeding, or perforation caused by NSAIDs occurred in approximately 1% of patients treated for 3–6 months, and in about 2%–4% of patients treated for one year. However, even short-term NSAID therapy is not without risk.

Risk Factors for GI Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

Patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding who used NSAIDs had a greater than 10-times increased risk for developing a GI bleed compared to patients without these risk factors. Other factors that increase the risk of GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include longer duration of NSAID therapy; concomitant use of oral corticosteroids, aspirin, anticoagulants, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); smoking; use of alcohol; older age; and poor general health status. Most postmarketing reports of fatal GI events occurred in elderly or debilitated patients. Additionally, patients with advanced liver disease and/or coagulopathy are at increased risk for GI bleeding.

Strategies to Minimize the GI Risks in NSAID-treated patients:

  • Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest possible duration.
  • Avoid administration of more than one NSAID at a time.
  • Avoid use in patients at higher risk unless benefits are expected to outweigh the increased risk of bleeding. For such patients, as well as those with active GI bleeding, consider alternate therapies other than NSAIDs.
  • Remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during NSAID therapy.
  • If a serious GI adverse event is suspected, promptly initiate evaluation and treatment, and discontinue DAYPRO until a serious GI adverse event is ruled out.
  • In the setting of concomitant use of low-dose aspirin for cardiac prophylaxis, monitor patients more closely for evidence of GI bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.3 Hepatotoxicity

Elevations of ALT or AST (three or more times the upper limit of normal [ULN]) have been reported in approximately 1% of NSAID-treated patients in clinical trials. In addition, rare, sometimes fatal, cases of severe hepatic injury, including fulminant hepatitis, liver necrosis, and hepatic failure have been reported.

Elevations of ALT or AST (less than three times ULN) may occur in up to 15% of patients treated with NSAIDs including oxaprozin.

Inform patients of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (e.g., nausea, fatigue, lethargy, diarrhea, pruritus, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, and "flu-like" symptoms). If clinical signs and symptoms consistent with liver disease develop, or if systemic manifestations occur (e.g., eosinophilia, rash, etc.), discontinue DAYPRO immediately, and perform a clinical evaluation of the patient.

5.4 Hypertension

NSAIDs, including DAYPRO, can lead to new onset of hypertension or worsening of preexisting hypertension, either of which may contribute to the increased incidence of CV events. Patients taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, thiazide diuretics, or loop diuretics may have impaired response to these therapies when taking NSAIDs [see Drug Interactions (7)].

Monitor blood pressure (BP) during the initiation of NSAID treatment and throughout the course of therapy.

5.5 Heart Failure and Edema

The Coxib and traditional NSAID Trialists' Collaboration meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials demonstrated an approximately two-fold increase in hospitalizations for heart failure in COX-2 selective-treated patients and nonselective NSAID-treated patients compared to placebo-treated patients. In a Danish National Registry study of patients with heart failure, NSAID use increased the risk of MI, hospitalization for heart failure, and death.

Additionally, fluid retention and edema have been observed in some patients treated with NSAIDs. Use of oxaprozin may blunt the CV effects of several therapeutic agents used to treat these medical conditions (e.g., diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs]) [see Drug Interactions (7)].

Avoid the use of DAYPRO in patients with severe heart failure unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening heart failure. If DAYPRO is used in patients with severe heart failure, monitor patients for signs of worsening heart failure.

5.6 Renal Toxicity and Hyperkalemia

Renal Toxicity

Long-term administration of NSAIDs has resulted in renal papillary necrosis and other renal injury.

Renal toxicity has also been seen in patients in whom renal prostaglandins have a compensatory role in the maintenance of renal perfusion. In these patients, administration of an NSAID may cause a dose-dependent reduction in prostaglandin formation and, secondarily, in renal blood flow, which may precipitate overt renal decompensation. Patients at greatest risk of this reaction are those with impaired renal function, dehydration, hypovolemia, heart failure, liver dysfunction, those taking diuretics and ACE inhibitors or ARBs, and the elderly. Discontinuation of NSAID therapy is usually followed by recovery to the pretreatment state.

No information is available from controlled clinical studies regarding the use of DAYPRO in patients with advanced renal disease. The renal effects of DAYPRO may hasten the progression of renal dysfunction in patients with preexisting renal disease.

Correct volume status in dehydrated or hypovolemic patients prior to initiating DAYPRO. Monitor renal function in patients with renal or hepatic impairment, heart failure, dehydration, or hypovolemia during use of DAYPRO [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Avoid the use of DAYPRO in patients with advanced renal disease unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening renal function. If DAYPRO is used in patients with advanced renal disease, monitor patients for signs of worsening renal function.

Hyperkalemia

Increases in serum potassium concentration, including hyperkalemia, have been reported with use of NSAIDs even in some patients without renal impairment. In patients with normal renal function, these effects have been attributed to a hyporeninemic-hypoaldosteronism state.

5.7 Anaphylactic Reactions

Oxaprozin has been associated with anaphylactic reactions in patients with and without known hypersensitivity to oxaprozin and in patients with aspirin-sensitive asthma [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].

Seek emergency help if an anaphylactic reaction occurs.

5.8 Exacerbation of Asthma Related to Aspirin Sensitivity

A subpopulation of patients with asthma may have aspirin-sensitive asthma which may include chronic rhinosinusitis complicated by nasal polyps; severe, potentially fatal bronchospasm; and/or intolerance to aspirin and other NSAIDs. Because cross-reactivity between aspirin and other NSAIDs has been reported in such aspirin-sensitive patients, DAYPRO is contraindicated in patients with this form of aspirin sensitivity [see Contraindications (4)]. When DAYPRO is used in patients with preexisting asthma (without known aspirin sensitivity), monitor patients for changes in the signs and symptoms of asthma.

5.9 Serious Skin Reactions

NSAIDs, including oxaprozin, can cause serious skin adverse reactions such as exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which can be fatal. These serious events may occur without warning. Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of serious skin reactions, and to discontinue the use of DAYPRO at the first appearance of skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity. DAYPRO is contraindicated in patients with previous serious skin reactions to NSAIDs [see Contraindications (4)].

5.10 Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus

Oxaprozin may cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus. Avoid use of NSAIDs, including DAYPRO, in pregnant women starting at 30 weeks of gestation (third trimester) [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

5.11 Hematologic Toxicity

Anemia has occurred in NSAID-treated patients. This may be due to occult or gross blood loss, fluid retention, or an incompletely described effect on erythropoiesis. If a patient treated with DAYPRO has any signs or symptoms of anemia, monitor hemoglobin or hematocrit.

NSAIDs, including DAYPRO, may increase the risk of bleeding events. Co-morbid conditions such as coagulation disorders or concomitant use of warfarin, other anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents (e.g., aspirin), serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may increase this risk. Monitor these patients for signs of bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.12 Masking of Inflammation and Fever

The pharmacological activity of DAYPRO in reducing inflammation, and possibly fever, may diminish the utility of diagnostic signs in detecting infections.

5.13 Laboratory Monitoring

Because serious GI bleeding, hepatotoxicity, and renal injury can occur without warning symptoms or signs, consider monitoring patients on long-term NSAID treatment with a CBC and a chemistry profile periodically [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.3, 5.6)].

5.14 Photosensitivity

Oxaprozin has been associated with rash and/or mild photosensitivity in dermatologic testing. An increased incidence of rash on sun-exposed skin was seen in some patients in the clinical trials.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

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.

Adverse reaction data were derived from patients who received DAYPRO in multidose, controlled, and open-label clinical trials. Rates for events from clinical trial experience are based on 2253 patients who took 1200 to 1800 mg DAYPRO per day in clinical trials. Of these, 1721 were treated for at least 1 month, 971 for at least 3 months, and 366 for more than 1 year.

INCIDENCE GREATER THAN 1%: In clinical trials of DAYPRO or in patients taking other NSAIDs, the following adverse reactions occurred at an incidence greater than 1%.

Cardiovascular system: edema.

Digestive system: abdominal pain/distress, anorexia, constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, gastrointestinal ulcers (gastric/duodenal), gross bleeding/perforation, heartburn, liver enzyme elevations, nausea, vomiting.

Hematologic system: anemia, increased bleeding time.

Nervous system: CNS inhibition (depression, sedation, somnolence, or confusion), disturbance of sleep, dizziness, headache.

Skin and appendages: pruritus, rash.

Special senses: tinnitus.

Urogenital system: abnormal renal function, dysuria or frequency.

INCIDENCE LESS THAN 1%: The following adverse reactions were reported in clinical trialsor in patients taking other NSAIDs.

Body as a whole: appetite changes, death, drug hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis, fever, infection, sepsis.

Cardiovascular system: arrhythmia, blood pressure changes, congestive heart failure, hypertension, hypotension, myocardial infarction, palpitations, tachycardia, syncope, vasculitis.

Digestive system: alteration in taste, dry mouth, eructation, esophagitis, gastritis, glossitis, hematemesis, jaundice, liver function abnormalities including liver failure, stomatitis, hemorrhoidal or rectal bleeding.

Hematologic system: aplastic anemia, ecchymoses, eosinophilia, hemolytic anemia, lymphadenopathy, melena, purpura, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia.

Metabolic system: hyperglycemia, weight changes.

Nervous system: anxiety, asthenia, coma, convulsions, dream abnormalities, drowsiness, hallucinations, insomnia, malaise, meningitis, nervousness, paresthesia, tremors, vertigo, weakness.

Respiratory system: asthma, dyspnea, pulmonary infections, pneumonia, sinusitis, symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection, respiratory depression.

Skin: alopecia, angioedema, urticaria, photosensitivity, sweat.

Special senses: blurred vision, conjunctivitis, hearing decrease.

Urogenital: cystitis, hematuria, increase in menstrual flow, oliguria/ polyuria, proteinuria, renal insufficiency, decreased menstrual flow.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of DAYPRO. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Body as a whole: serum sickness.

Digestive system: hepatitis, pancreatitis.

Hematologic system: agranulocytosis, pancytopenia.

Skin: pseudoporphyria, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis (Lyell's syndrome).

Urogenital: acute interstitial nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, acute renal failure.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

DAYPRO is indicated:

  • For relief of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis
  • For relief of the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
  • For relief of the signs and symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

DEPO-MEDROL® Multi-dose Vial (methylprednisolone acetate injectable suspension, USP)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use DEPO-MEDROL multi-dose vial safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for DEPO-MEDROL multi-dose vial.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

DEPO-MEDROL is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to the product and its constituents.

Intramuscular corticosteroid preparations are contraindicated for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.

DEPO-MEDROL Sterile Aqueous Suspension is contraindicated for intrathecal administration. Reports of severe medical events have been associated with this route of administration.

DEPO-MEDROL is contraindicated for use in premature infants because the formulation contains benzyl alcohol. (See WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric Use.)

DEPO-MEDROL is contraindicated in systemic fungal infections, except when administered as an intra-articular injection for localized joint conditions (see WARNINGS: Infections, Fungal Infections).

WARNINGS

Serious Neurologic Adverse Reactions with Epidural Administration

Serious neurologic events, some resulting in death, have been reported with epidural injection of corticosteroids. Specific events reported include, but are not limited to, spinal cord infarction, paraplegia, quadriplegia, cortical blindness, and stroke. These serious neurologic events have been reported with and without use of fluoroscopy. The safety and effectiveness of epidural administration of corticosteroids have not been established, and corticosteroids are not approved for this use.

General

This product contains benzyl alcohol, which is potentially toxic when administered locally to neural tissue. Exposure to excessive amounts of benzyl alcohol has been associated with toxicity (hypotension, metabolic acidosis), particularly in neonates, and an increased incidence of kernicterus, particularly in small preterm infants. There have been rare reports of deaths, primarily in preterm infants, associated with exposure to excessive amounts of benzyl alcohol. The amount of benzyl alcohol in medications is usually considered negligible compared to that received in flush solutions containing benzyl alcohol. Administration of high dosages of medications containing this preservative must take into account the total amount of benzyl alcohol administered. The amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. If the patient requires more than the recommended dosages or other medications containing this preservative, the practitioner must consider the daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from these combined sources (see PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric Use).

Multidose use of DEPO-MEDROL Sterile Aqueous Suspension from a single vial requires special care to avoid contamination. Although initially sterile, any multidose use of vials may lead to contamination unless strict aseptic technique is observed. Particular care, such as use of disposable sterile syringes and needles, is necessary.

Injection of DEPO-MEDROL may result in dermal and/or subdermal changes, forming depressions in the skin at the injection site.

In order to minimize the incidence of dermal and subdermal atrophy, care must be exercised not to exceed recommended doses in injections. Multiple small injections into the area of the lesion should be made whenever possible. The technique of intra-articular and intramuscular injection should include precautions against injection or leakage into the dermis. Injection into the deltoid muscle should be avoided because of a high incidence of subcutaneous atrophy.

It is critical that, during administration of DEPO-MEDROL, appropriate technique be used and care taken to ensure proper placement of drug.

Rare instances of anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy.

Increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids is indicated in patients on corticosteroid therapy subjected to any unusual stress before, during, or after the stressful situation (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Results from one multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled study with methylprednisolone hemisuccinate, an IV corticosteroid, showed an increase in early (at 2 weeks) and late (at 6 months) mortality in patients with cranial trauma who were determined not to have other clear indications for corticosteroid treatment. High doses of systemic corticosteroids, including DEPO-MEDROL, should not be used for the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

Cardio-renal

Average and large doses of corticosteroids can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.

Literature reports suggest an apparent association between the use of corticosteroids and left ventricular free wall rupture after a recent myocardial infarction; therefore, therapy with corticosteroids should be used with great caution in these patients.

Endocrine

Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, Cushing's syndrome, and hyperglycemia: Monitor patients for these conditions with chronic use.

Corticosteroids can produce reversible HPA axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment. Drug induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted.

Infections

General

Persons who are on corticosteroids are more susceptible to infections than are healthy individuals. There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used. Infections with any pathogen (viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan, or helminthic) in any location of the body may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents.

These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases. Corticosteroids may mask some signs of current infection. Do not use intra-articularly, intrabursally, or for intratendinous administration for local effect in the presence of acute local infection.

Fungal Infections

Corticosteroids may exacerbate systemic fungal infections and therefore should not be used in the presence of such infections unless they are needed to control drug reactions. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions, Amphotericin B injection and potassium-depleting agents).

Special Pathogens

Latent disease may be activated or there may be an exacerbation of intercurrent infections due to pathogens, including those caused by Amoeba, Candida, Cryptococcus, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Pneumocystis, and Toxoplasma.

It is recommended that latent amebiasis or active amebiasis be ruled out before initiating corticosteroid therapy in any patient who has spent time in the tropics or in any patient with unexplained diarrhea.

Similarly, corticosteroids should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.

Corticosteroids should not be used in cerebral malaria. There is currently no evidence of benefit from steroids in this condition.

Tuberculosis

The use of corticosteroids in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate antituberculous regimen.

If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary, as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.

Vaccinations

Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered. However, the response to such vaccines cannot be predicted. Immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients who are receiving corticosteroids as replacement therapy (e.g., for Addison's disease).

Viral Infections

Chicken pox and measles can have a more serious or even fatal course in pediatric and adult patients on corticosteroids. In pediatric and adult patients who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed to chicken pox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chicken pox develops, treatment with antiviral agents should be considered.

Ophthalmic

Use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to bacteria, fungi, or viruses. The use of systemic corticosteroids is not recommended in the treatment of optic neuritis and may lead to an increase in the risk of new episodes. Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex because of corneal perforation. Corticosteroids should not be used in active ocular herpes simplex.


PRECAUTIONS

General

When multidose vials are used, special care to prevent contamination of the contents is essential. A povidone-iodine solution or similar product is recommended to cleanse the vial top prior to aspiration of contents. (See WARNINGS.)

This product, like many other steroid formulations, is sensitive to heat. Therefore, it should not be autoclaved when it is desirable to sterilize the outside of the vial.

The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment. When reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction should be gradual.

Since complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the size of the dose and duration of treatment, a risk/benefit decision must be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment and as to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.

Kaposi's sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy, most often for chronic conditions. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical improvement.

Cardio-renal

As sodium retention with resultant edema and potassium loss may occur in patients receiving corticosteroids, these agents should be used with caution in patients with congestive heart failure, hypertension, or renal insufficiency.

Endocrine

Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted.

Metabolic clearance of corticosteroids is decreased in hypothyroid patients and increased in hyperthyroid patients. Changes in thyroid status of the patient may necessitate adjustment in dosage.

Gastrointestinal

Steroids should be used with caution in active or latent peptic ulcers, diverticulitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, and non-specific ulcerative colitis, since they may increase the risk of a perforation.

Signs of peritoneal irritation following gastrointestinal perforation in patients receiving corticosteroids may be minimal or absent.

There is an enhanced effect due to decreased metabolism of corticosteroids in patients with cirrhosis.

Parenteral Administration

Intra-articular injected corticosteroids may be systemically absorbed.

Appropriate examination of any joint fluid is necessary to exclude a septic process.

A marked increase in pain associated by local swelling, further restriction of joint motion, fever, and malaise are suggestive of septic arthritis. If this complication occurs and the diagnosis of sepsis is confirmed, appropriate antimicrobial therapy should be instituted.

Injection of a steroid into an infected site is to be avoided. Local injection of a steroid into a previously infected joint is not usually recommended.

Musculoskeletal

Corticosteroids decrease bone formation and increase bone resorption both through their effect on calcium regulation (e.g., decreasing absorption and increasing excretion) and inhibition of osteoblast function. This, together with a decrease in the protein matrix of the bone secondary to an increase in protein catabolism, and reduced sex hormone production, may lead to inhibition of bone growth in pediatric patients and the development of osteoporosis at any age. Special consideration should be given to patients at increased risk of osteoporosis (i.e., postmenopausal women) before initiating corticosteroid therapy.

Neuro-psychiatric

Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, they do not show that corticosteroids affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)

An acute myopathy has been observed with the use of high doses of corticosteroids, most often occurring in patients with disorders of neuromuscular transmission (e.g., myasthenia gravis), or in patients receiving concomitant therapy with neuromuscular blocking drugs (e.g., pancuronium). This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.

Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids.

Ophthalmic

Intraocular pressure may become elevated in some individuals. If steroid therapy is continued for more than 6 weeks, intraocular pressure should be monitored.

Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex for fear of corneal perforation.

Information for the Patient

Patients should be warned not to discontinue the use of corticosteroids abruptly or without medical supervision, to advise any medical attendants that they are taking corticosteroids, and to seek medical advice at once should they develop fever or other signs of infection.

Persons who are on corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chicken pox or measles. Patients should also be advised that if they are exposed, medical advice should be sought without delay.

Drug Interactions

Aminoglutethimide

Aminoglutethimide may lead to a loss of corticosteroid-induced adrenal suppression.

Amphotericin B injection and potassium-depleting agents

When corticosteroids are administered concomitantly with potassium-depleting agents (e.g., amphotericin B, diuretics), patients should be observed closely for development of hypokalemia. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure.

Antibiotics

Macrolide antibiotics have been reported to cause a significant decrease in corticosteroid clearance (see PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions, Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors).

Anticholinesterases

Concomitant use of anticholinesterase agents and corticosteroids may produce severe weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. If possible, anticholinesterase agents should be withdrawn at least 24 hours before initiating corticosteroid therapy.

Anticoagulants, oral

Coadministration of corticosteroids and warfarin usually results in inhibition of response to warfarin, although there have been some conflicting reports. Therefore, coagulation indices should be monitored frequently to maintain the desired anticoagulant effect.

Antidiabetics

Because corticosteroids may increase blood glucose concentrations, dosage adjustments of antidiabetic agents may be required.

Antitubercular drugs

Serum concentrations of isoniazid may be decreased.

Cholestyramine

Cholestyramine may increase the clearance of oral corticosteroids.

Cyclosporine

Increased activity of both cyclosporine and corticosteroids may occur when the two are used concurrently. Convulsions have been reported with concurrent use.

Digitalis glycosides

Patients on digitalis glycosides may be at increased risk of arrhythmias due to hypokalemia.

Estrogens, including oral contraceptives

Estrogens may decrease the hepatic metabolism of certain corticosteroids, thereby increasing their effect.

Hepatic Enzyme Inducers (e.g., barbiturates, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin)

Drugs which induce cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme activity may enhance the metabolism of corticosteroids and require that the dosage of the corticosteroid be increased.

Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors (e.g., ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin and troleandomycin)

Drugs which inhibit cytochrome P450 3A4 have the potential to result in increased plasma concentrations of corticosteroids.

Ketoconazole

Ketoconazole has been reported to significantly decrease the metabolism of certain corticosteroids by up to 60%, leading to an increased risk of corticosteroid side effects.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Concomitant use of aspirin (or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents) and corticosteroids increases the risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Aspirin should be used cautiously in conjunction with concurrent use of corticosteroids in hypoprothrombinemia. The clearance of salicylates may be increased with concurrent use of corticosteroids.

Skin Tests

Corticosteroids may suppress reactions to skin tests.

Vaccines

Patients on prolonged corticosteroid therapy may exhibit a diminished response to toxoids and live or attenuated vaccines due to inhibition of antibody response. Corticosteroids may also potentiate the replication of some organisms contained in live attenuated vaccines. Routine administration of vaccines or toxoids should be deferred until corticosteroid therapy is discontinued if possible (see WARNINGS: Infections, Vaccinations).

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No adequate studies have been conducted in animals to determine whether corticosteroids have a potential for carcinogenesis or mutagenesis.

Steroids may increase or decrease motility and number of spermatozoa in some patients.

Corticosteroids have been shown to impair fertility in male rats.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

Corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic in many species when given in doses equivalent to the human dose. Animal studies in which corticosteroids have been given to pregnant mice, rats, and rabbits have yielded an increased incidence of cleft palate in the offspring. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Corticosteroids should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Infants born to mothers who have received corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.

This product contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative.

Benzyl alcohol can cross the placenta. See PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric use.

Nursing Mothers

Systemically administered corticosteroids appear in human milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other untoward effects. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from corticosteroids, a decision should be made whether to continue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

This product contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative. Benzyl alcohol, a component of this product, has been associated with serious adverse events and death, particularly in pediatric patients. The "gasping syndrome" (characterized by central nervous system depression, metabolic acidosis, gasping respirations, and high levels of benzyl alcohol and its metabolites found in the blood and urine) has been associated with benzyl alcohol dosages >99 mg/kg/day in neonates and low-birth-weight neonates. Additional symptoms may include gradual neurological deterioration, seizures, intracranial hemorrhage, hematologic abnormalities, skin breakdown, hepatic and renal failure, hypotension, bradycardia, and cardiovascular collapse. Although normal therapeutic doses of this product ordinarily delivers amounts of benzyl alcohol that are substantially lower than those reported in association with the "gasping syndrome", the minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. The risk of benzyl alcohol toxicity depends on the quantity administered and the hepatic capacity to detoxify the chemical. Premature and low-birth-weight infants, as well as patients receiving high dosages, may be more likely to develop toxicity. Practitioners administering this and other medications containing benzyl alcohol should consider the combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources.

The efficacy and safety of corticosteroids in the pediatric population are based on the well-established course of effect of corticosteroids, which is similar in pediatric and adult populations. Published studies provide evidence of efficacy and safety in pediatric patients for the treatment of nephritic syndrome (patients >2 years of age) and aggressive lymphomas and leukemias (patients >1 month of age). Other indications for pediatric use of corticosteroids (e.g., severe asthma and wheezing) are based on adequate and well-controlled clinical trials conducted in adults, on the premises that the course of the diseases and their pathophysiology are considered to be substantially similar in both populations.

The adverse effects of corticosteroids in pediatric patients are similar to those in adults (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Like adults, pediatric patients should be carefully observed with frequent measurements of blood pressure, weight, height, intraocular pressure, and clinical evaluation for the presence of infection, psychosocial disturbances, thromboembolism, peptic ulcers, cataracts, and osteoporosis. Pediatric patients who are treated with corticosteroids by any route, including systemically administered corticosteroids, may experience a decrease in their growth velocity. This negative impact of corticosteroids on growth has been observed at low systemic doses and in the absence of laboratory evidence of HPA axis suppression (i.e., cosyntropin stimulation and basal cortisol plasma levels). Growth velocity may therefore be a more sensitive indicator of systemic corticosteroid exposure in pediatric patients than some commonly used tests of HPA axis function. The linear growth of pediatric patients treated with corticosteroids should be monitored, and the potential growth effects of prolonged treatment should be weighed against clinical benefits obtained and the availability of treatment alternatives. In order to minimize the potential growth effects of corticosteroids, pediatric patients should be titrated to the lowest effective dose.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions have been reported with DEPO-MEDROL or other corticosteroids:

Allergic reactions: Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions, anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema.

Blood and lymphatic system disorders: Leukocytosis.

Cardiovascular: Bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, fat embolism, hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction (see WARNINGS), pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis.

Dermatologic: Acne, allergic dermatitis, cutaneous and subcutaneous atrophy, dry scaly skin, ecchymoses and petechiae, edema, erythema, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, rash, sterile abscess, striae, suppressed reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria.

Endocrine: Decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, development of cushingoid state, glycosuria, hirsutism, hypertrichosis, increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetes, manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus, menstrual irregularities, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness), suppression of growth in pediatric patients.

Fluid and electrolyte disturbances: Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients, fluid retention, hypokalemic alkalosis, potassium loss, sodium retention.

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal distention, bowel/bladder dysfunction (after intrathecal administration), elevation in serum liver enzyme levels (usually reversible upon discontinuation), hepatomegaly, increased appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible subsequent perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis.

Metabolic: Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.

Musculoskeletal: Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, calcinosis (following intra-articular or intralesional use), Charcot-like arthropathy, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, pathologic fracture of long bones, postinjection flare (following intra-articular use), steroid myopathy, tendon rupture, vertebral compression fractures.

Neurologic/Psychiatric: Convulsions, depression, emotional instability, euphoria, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, insomnia, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychic disorders, vertigo.

Ophthalmic: Exophthalmoses, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts.

Other: Abnormal fat deposits, decreased resistance to infection, hiccups, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, injection site infections following non-sterile administration (see WARNINGS), malaise, moon face, weight gain.

The following adverse reactions have been reported with the following routes of administration:

Intrathecal/Epidural: Arachnoiditis, bowel/bladder dysfunction, headache, meningitis, parapareisis/paraplegia, seizures, sensory disturbances.

Intranasal: Allergic reactions, rhinitis, temporary/permanent visual impairment including blindness.

Ophthalmic: Increased intraocular pressure, infection, ocular and periocular inflammation including allergic reactions, residue or slough at injection site, temporary/permanent visual impairment including blindness.

Miscellaneous injection sites (scalp, tonsillar fauces, sphenopalatine ganglion): Blindness.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

A. FOR INTRAMUSCULAR ADMINISTRATION

When oral therapy is not feasible and the strength, dosage form, and route of administration of the drug reasonably lend the preparation to the treatment of the condition, the intramuscular use of DEPO-MEDROL Sterile Aqueous Suspension is indicated as follows:

Allergic States: Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment in asthma, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, drug hypersensitivity reactions, seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis, serum sickness, transfusion reactions.

Dermatologic Diseases: Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis, exfoliative erythroderma, mycosis fungoides, pemphigus, severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome).

Endocrine Disorders: Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy, mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance), congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hypercalcemia associated with cancer, nonsuppurative thyroiditis.

Gastrointestinal Diseases: To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in regional enteritis (systemic therapy) and ulcerative colitis.

Hematologic Disorders: Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia, congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia (Diamond Blackfan anemia), pure red cell aplasia, select cases of secondary thrombocytopenia.

Miscellaneous: Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement, tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy.

Neoplastic Diseases: For palliative management of leukemias and lymphomas.

Nervous System: Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis; cerebral edema associated with primary or metastatic brain tumor or craniotomy.

Ophthalmic Diseases: Sympathetic ophthalmia, temporal arteritis, uveitis and ocular inflammatory conditions unresponsive to topical corticosteroids.

Renal Diseases: To induce diuresis or remission of proteinuria in idiopathic nephrotic syndrome, or that due to lupus erythematosus.

Respiratory Diseases: Berylliosis, fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy, idiopathic eosinophilic pneumonias, symptomatic sarcoidosis.

Rheumatic Disorders: As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in acute gouty arthritis; acute rheumatic carditis; ankylosing spondylitis; psoriatic arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy). For the treatment of dermatomyositis, polymyositis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

B. FOR INTRA-ARTICULAR OR SOFT TISSUE ADMINISTRATION

(See WARNINGS)

DEPO-MEDROL is indicated as adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in acute gouty arthritis, acute and subacute bursitis, acute nonspecific tenosynovitis, epicondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, synovitis of osteoarthritis.

C. FOR INTRALESIONAL ADMINISTRATION

DEPO-MEDROL is indicated for intralesional use in alopecia areata, discoid lupus erythematosus, keloids, localized hypertrophic, infiltrated, inflammatory lesions of granuloma annulare, lichen planus, lichen simplex chronicus (neurodermatitis), and psoriatic plaques, necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum.
DEPO-MEDROL also may be useful in cystic tumors of an aponeurosis or tendon (ganglia).

DEPO-MEDROL® Single-dose Vial (methylprednisolone acetate injectable suspension, USP)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use DEPO-MEDROL single-dose vial safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for DEPO-MEDROL single-dose vial.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

DEPO-MEDROL is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to the product and its constituents.

Intramuscular corticosteroid preparations are contraindicated for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.

DEPO-MEDROL is contraindicated for intrathecal administration. This formulation of methylprednisolone acetate has been associated with reports of severe medical events when administered by this route.

DEPO-MEDROL is contraindicated in systemic fungal infections, except when administered as an intra-articular injection for localized joint conditions (see WARNINGS: Infections, Fungal Infections).

WARNINGS

Serious Neurologic Adverse Reactions with Epidural Administration

Serious neurologic events, some resulting in death, have been reported with epidural injection of corticosteroids. Specific events reported include, but are not limited to, spinal cord infarction, paraplegia, quadriplegia, cortical blindness, and stroke. These serious neurologic events have been reported with and without use of fluoroscopy. The safety and effectiveness of epidural administration of corticosteroids have not been established, and corticosteroids are not approved for this use.

General

This product is not suitable for multi-dose use. Following administration of the desired dose, any remaining suspension should be discarded.

Injection of DEPO-MEDROL may result in dermal and/or subdermal changes forming depressions in the skin at the injection site.

In order to minimize the incidence of dermal and subdermal atrophy, care must be exercised not to exceed recommended doses in injections. Multiple small injections into the area of the lesion should be made whenever possible. The technique of intra-articular and intramuscular injection should include precautions against injection or leakage into the dermis. Injection into the deltoid muscle should be avoided because of a high incidence of subcutaneous atrophy.

It is critical that, during administration of DEPO-MEDROL, appropriate technique be used and care taken to ensure proper placement of drug.

Rare instances of anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids is indicated in patients on corticosteroid therapy subjected to any unusual stress before, during, and after the stressful situation.

Results from one multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled study with methylprednisolone hemisuccinate, an IV corticosteroid, showed an increase in early (at 2 weeks) and late (at 6 months) mortality in patients with cranial trauma who were determined not to have other clear indications for corticosteroid treatment. High doses of systemic corticosteroids, including DEPO-MEDROL, should not be used for the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

Cardio-renal

Average and large doses of corticosteroids can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with synthetic derivatives when used in large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.

Literature reports suggest an apparent association between use of corticosteroids and left ventricular free wall rupture after a recent myocardial infarction; therefore, therapy with corticosteroids should be used with great caution in these patients.

Endocrine

Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression. Cushing's syndrome, and hyperglycemia: Monitor patients for these conditions with chronic use.

Corticosteroids can produce reversible HPA axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment. Drug induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted.

Infections

General

Persons who are on corticosteroids are more susceptible to infections than are healthy individuals. There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used. Infections with any pathogen (viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan, or helminthic) in any location of the body, may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents.

These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases. Do not use intra-articularly, intrabursally, or for intratendinous administration for local effect in the presence of an acute infection. Corticosteroids may mask some signs of infection and new infections may appear during their use.

Fungal Infections

Corticosteroids may exacerbate systemic fungal infections and therefore should not be used in the presence of such infections unless they are needed to control drug interactions. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions, Amphotericin B injection and potassium-depleting agents).

Special Pathogens

Latent disease may be activated or there may be an exacerbation of intercurrent infections due to pathogens, including those caused by Amoeba, Candida, Cryptococcus, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Pneumocystis, and Toxoplasma.

It is recommended that latent amebiasis or active amebiasis be ruled out before initiating corticosteroid therapy in any patient who has spent time in the tropics or in any patient with unexplained diarrhea.

Similarly, corticosteroids should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.

Corticosteroids should not be used in cerebral malaria. There is currently no evidence of benefit from steroids in this condition.

Tuberculosis

The use of corticosteroids in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate antituberculous regimen.

If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary, as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.

Vaccinations

Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered. However, the response to such vaccines cannot be predicted.

Immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients who are receiving corticosteroids as replacement therapy (e.g., for Addison's disease).

Viral Infections

Chicken pox and measles can have a more serious or even fatal course in pediatric and adult patients on corticosteroids. In pediatric and adult patients who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed to chicken pox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated (see the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information). If chicken pox develops, treatment with antiviral agents should be considered.

Ophthalmic

Use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to bacteria, fungi, or viruses. The use of systemic corticosteroids is not recommended in the treatment of optic neuritis and may lead to an increase in the risk of new episodes. Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex because of corneal perforation. Corticosteroids should not be used in active ocular herpes simplex.


PRECAUTIONS

General

This product, like many other corticosteroids, is sensitive to heat. Therefore, it should not be autoclaved when it is desirable to sterilize the exterior of the vial.

The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment. When reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction should be gradual.

Since complications of treatment with glucocorticosteroids are dependent on the size of the dose and the duration of treatment, a risk/benefit decision must be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment and as to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.

Karposi's sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy, most often for chronic conditions. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical improvement.

Cardio-renal

As sodium retention with resultant edema and potassium loss may occur in patients receiving corticosteroids, these agents should be used with caution in patients with congestive heart failure or renal insufficiency.

Endocrine

Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted.

Metabolic clearance of corticosteroids is decreased in hypothyroid patients and increased in hyperthyroid patients. Changes in thyroid status of the patient may necessitate adjustment in dosage.

Gastrointestinal

Steroids should be used with caution in active or latent peptic ulcers, diverticulitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, and nonspecific ulcerative colitis, since they may increase the risk of perforation.

Signs of peritoneal irritation following gastrointestinal perforation in patients receiving corticosteroids may be minimal or absent.

There is an enhanced effect due to decreased metabolism of corticosteroids in patients with cirrhosis.

Parenteral Administration

Intra-articularly injected corticosteroids may be systemically absorbed.

Appropriate examination of any joint fluid present is necessary to exclude a septic process.

A marked increase in pain accompanied by local swelling, further restriction of joint motion, fever, and malaise are suggestive of septic arthritis. If this complication occurs and diagnosis of sepsis is confirmed, appropriate antimicrobial therapy should be instituted.

Injection of a steroid into an infected site is to be avoided. Local injection of a steroid into a previously infected joint is not usually recommended.

Musculoskeletal

Corticosteroids decrease bone formation and increase bone resorption both through their effect on calcium regulation (e.g., decreasing absorption and increasing excretion) and inhibition of osteoblast function. This, together with a decrease in the protein matrix of the bone secondary to an increase in protein catabolism, and reduced sex hormone production, may lead to an inhibition of bone growth in pediatric patients and the development of osteoporosis at any age. Special consideration should be given to patients at increased risk of osteoporosis (i.e., postmenopausal women) before initiating corticosteroid therapy.

Neuro-psychiatric

Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, they do not show that corticosteroids affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

An acute myopathy has been observed with the use of high doses of corticosteroids, most often occurring in patients with disorders of neuromuscular transmission (e.g., myasthenia gravis), or in patients receiving concomitant therapy with neuromuscular blocking drugs (e.g., pancuronium). This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.

Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids.

Ophthalmic

Intraocular pressure may become elevated in some individuals. If steroid therapy is continued long-term, intraocular pressure should be monitored.

Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex for fear of corneal perforation.

Information for the Patient

Patients should be warned not to discontinue the use of corticosteroids abruptly or without medical supervision, to advise any medical attendants that they are taking corticosteroids and to seek medical advice at once should they develop a fever or other signs of infection.

Persons who are on corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chicken pox or measles. Patients should also be advised that if they are exposed, medical advice should be sought without delay.

Drug Interactions

Aminoglutethimide: Aminoglutethimide may lead to a loss of corticosteroid-induced adrenal suppression.

Amphotericin B injection and potassium-depleting agents: When corticosteroids are administered concomitantly with potassium depleting agents (e.g., amphotericin B, diuretics), patients should be observed closely for development of hypokalemia. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure.

Antibiotics: Macrolide antibiotics have been reported to cause a significant decrease in corticosteroid clearance (see PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions, Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors).

Anticholinesterases: Concomitant use of anticholinesterase agents and corticosteroids may produce severe weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. If possible, anticholinesterase agents should be withdrawn at least 24 hours before initiating corticosteroid therapy.

Anticoagulants, oral: Coadministration of corticosteroids and warfarin usually results in inhibition of response to warfarin, although there have been some conflicting reports. Therefore, coagulation indices should be monitored frequently to maintain the desired anticoagulant effect.

Antidiabetics: Because corticosteroids may increase blood glucose concentration, dosage adjustments of antidiabetic agents may be required.

Antitubercular drugs: Serum concentrations of isoniazid may be decreased.

Cholestyramine: Cholestyramine may increase the clearance of oral corticosteroids.

Cyclosporine: Increased activity of both cyclosporine and corticosteroids may occur when the two are used concurrently. Convulsions have been reported with this concurrent use.

Digitalis glycosides: Patients on digitalis glycosides may be at risk of arrhythmias due to hypokalemia.

Estrogens, including oral contraceptives: Estrogens may decrease the hepatic metabolism of certain corticosteroids, thereby increasing their effect.

Hepatic Enzyme Inducers (e.g., barbiturates, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin): Drugs which induce cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme activity may enhance the metabolism of corticosteroids and require that the dosage of the corticosteroid be increased.

Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors (e.g., ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin and troleandomycin): Drugs which inhibit cytochrome P450 3A4 have the potential to result in increased plasma concentrations of corticosteroids.

Ketoconazole: Ketoconazole has been reported to significantly decrease the metabolism of certain corticosteroids by up to 60%, leading to an increased risk of corticosteroid side effects.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Concomitant use of aspirin (or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents) and corticosteroids increases the risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Aspirin should be used cautiously in conjunction with corticosteroids in hypoprothrombinemia. The clearance of salicylates may be increased with concurrent use of corticosteroids.

Skin tests: Corticosteroids may suppress reactions to skin tests.

Vaccines: Patients on prolonged corticosteroid therapy may exhibit a diminished response to toxoids and live or inactivated vaccines due to inhibition of antibody response. Corticosteroids may also potentiate the replication of some organisms contained in live attenuated vaccines. Routine administration of vaccines or toxoids should be deferred until corticosteroid therapy is discontinued if possible (see WARNINGS: Infections, Vaccinations).

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No adequate studies have been conducted in animals to determine whether corticosteroids have a potential for carcinogenesis or mutagenesis.

Steroids may increase or decrease motility and number of spermatozoa in some patients.

Corticosteroids have been shown to impair fertility in male rats.

Pregnancy: Teratogenic Effects

Corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic in many species when given in doses equivalent to the human dose. Animal studies in which corticosteroids have been given to pregnant mice, rats, and rabbits have yielded an increased incidence of cleft palate in the offspring. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Corticosteroids should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Infants born to mothers who have received corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.

Nursing Mothers

Systemically administered corticosteroids appear in human milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other untoward effects. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from corticosteroids, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

The efficacy and safety of corticosteroids in the pediatric population are based on the well-established course of effect of corticosteroids which is similar in pediatric and adult populations. Published studies provide evidence of efficacy and safety in pediatric patients for the treatment of nephritic syndrome (patients >2 years of age) and aggressive lymphomas and leukemias (patients >1 month of age). Other indications for pediatric use of corticosteroids (e.g., severe asthma and wheezing) are based on adequate and well-controlled clinical trials conducted in adults, on the premises that the course of the diseases and their pathophysiology are considered to be substantially similar in both populations.

The adverse effects of corticosteroids in pediatric patients are similar to those in adults (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Like adults, pediatric patients should be carefully observed with frequent measurements of blood pressure, weight, height, intraocular pressure, and clinical evaluation for the presence of infection, psychosocial disturbances, thromboembolism, peptic ulcers, cataracts, and osteoporosis. Pediatric patients who are treated with corticosteroids by any route, including systemically administered corticosteroids, may experience a decrease in their growth velocity. This negative impact of corticosteroids on growth has been observed at low systemic doses and in the absence of laboratory evidence of HPA axis suppression (i.e., cosyntropin stimulation and basal cortisol plasma levels). Growth velocity may therefore be a more sensitive indicator of systemic corticosteroid exposure in pediatric patients than some commonly used tests of HPA axis function. The linear growth of pediatric patients treated with corticosteroids should be monitored, and the potential growth effects of prolonged treatment should be weighed against clinical benefits obtained and the availability of treatment alternatives. In order to minimize the potential growth effects of corticosteroids, pediatric patients should be titrated to the lowest effective dose.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions have been reported with DEPO-MEDROL or other corticosteroids:

Allergic reactions: Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions, anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema.

Blood and lymphatic system disorders: Leukocytosis.

Cardiovascular: Bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, fat embolism, hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction (see WARNINGS), pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis.

Dermatologic: Acne, allergic dermatitis, cutaneous and subcutaneous atrophy, dry scaly skin, ecchymoses and petechiae, edema, erythema, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, rash, sterile abscess, striae, suppressed reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria.

Endocrine: Decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, development of cushingoid state, glycosuria, hirsutism, hypertrichosis, increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetes, manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus, menstrual irregularities, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness), suppression of growth in pediatric patients.

Fluid and electrolyte disturbances: Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients, fluid retention, hypokalemic alkalosis, potassium loss, sodium retention.

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal distention, bowel/bladder dysfunction (after intrathecal administration), elevation in serum liver enzyme levels (usually reversible upon discontinuation), hepatomegaly, increased appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible subsequent perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis.

Metabolic: Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.

Musculoskeletal: Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, calcinosis (following intra-articular or intra-lesional use), Charcot-like arthropathy, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, pathologic fracture of long bones, postinjection flare (following intra-articular use), steroid myopathy, tendon rupture, vertebral compression fractures.

Neurologic/Psychiatric: Convulsions, depression, emotional instability, euphoria, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, insomnia, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychic disorders, vertigo.

Ophthalmic: Exophthalmoses, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts.

Other: Abnormal fat deposits, decreased resistance to infection, hiccups, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, injection site infections following non-sterile administration (see WARNINGS), malaise, moon face, weight gain.

The following adverse reactions have been reported with the following routes of administration:

Intrathecal/Epidural: Arachnoiditis, bowel/bladder dysfunction, headache, meningitis, parapareisis/paraplegia, seizures, sensory disturbances.

Intranasal: Allergic reactions, rhinitis, temporary/permanent visual impairment including blindness.

Ophthalmic: Increased intraocular pressure, infection, ocular and periocular inflammation including allergic reactions, residue or slough at injection site, temporary/permanent visual impairment including blindness.

Miscellaneous injection sites (scalp, tonsillar fauces, sphenopalatine ganglion): blindness.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

A. For Intramuscular Administration

When oral therapy is not feasible and the strength, dosage form, and route of administration of the drug reasonably lend the preparation to the treatment of the condition, the intramuscular use of DEPO-MEDROL Sterile Aqueous Suspension is indicated as follows:

Allergic States: Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment in asthma, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, drug hypersensitivity reactions, seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis, serum sickness, transfusion reactions.

Dermatologic Diseases: Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis, exfoliative dermatitis, mycosis fungoides, pemphigus, severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome).

Endocrine Disorders: Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy, mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance), congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hypercalcemia associated with cancer, nonsupportive thyroiditis.

Gastrointestinal Diseases: To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in regional enteritis (systemic therapy) and ulcerative colitis.

Hematologic Disorders: Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia, congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia (Diamond Blackfan anemia), pure red cell aplasia, select cases of secondary thrombocytopenia.

Miscellaneous: Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement, tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy.

Neoplastic Diseases: For palliative management of: leukemias and lymphomas.

Nervous System: Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis; cerebral edema associated with primary or metastatic brain tumor or craniotomy.

Ophthalmic Diseases: Sympathetic opthalmia, temporal arteritis, uveitis, ocular inflammatory conditions unresponsive to topical corticosteroids.

Renal Diseases: To induce diuresis or remission of proteinuria in idiopathic nephrotic syndrome, or that due to lupus erythematosus.

Respiratory Diseases: Berylliosis, fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy, idiopathic eosinophilic pneumonias, symptomatic sarcoidosis.

Rheumatic Disorders: As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in acute gouty arthritis; acute rheumatic carditis; ankylosing spondylitis; psoriatic arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy). For the treatment of dermatomyositis, polymyositis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

B. For Intra-articular Or Soft Tissue Administration

(See WARNINGS)

DEPO-MEDROL is indicated as adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in acute gouty arthritis, acute and subacute bursitis, acute nonspecific tenosynovitis, epicondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, synovitis of osteoarthritis.

C. For Intralesional Administration

DEPO-MEDROL is indicated for intralesional use in alopecia areata, discoid lupus erythematosus; keloids, localized hypertrophic, infiltrated inflammatory lesions of granuloma annulare, lichen planus, lichen simplex chronicus (neurodermatitis) and psoriatic plaques; necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum.

DEPO-MEDROL also may be useful in cystic tumors of an aponeurosis or tendon (ganglia).

Eucrisa (crisaborole)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use EUCRISA safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for EUCRISA.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

EUCRISA is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to crisaborole or any component of the formulation. [see Warnings and Precautions (5. 1)]

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Hypersensitivity Reactions

Hypersensitivity reactions, including contact urticaria, have occurred in patients treated with EUCRISA. Hypersensitivity should be suspected in the event of severe pruritus, swelling and erythema at the application site or at a distant site. If signs and symptoms of hypersensitivity occur, discontinue EUCRISA immediately and initiate appropriate therapy.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

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 two double-blind, vehicle-controlled clinical trials (Trial 1 and Trial 2), 1012 subjects 2 to 79 years of age with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis were treated with EUCRISA twice daily for 4 weeks. The adverse reaction reported by ≥1% of EUCRISA-treated subjects is listed in Table 1.

Table 1: Adverse Reaction Occurring in ≥1% of Subjects in Atopic Dermatitis Trials through Week 4
Adverse Reaction EUCRISA
N=1012
n (%)
Vehicle
N=499
n (%)
*
Refers to skin sensations such as burning or stinging.
Application site pain* 45 (4) 6 (1)

Less common (<1%) adverse reactions in subjects treated with EUCRISA included contact urticaria [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

EUCRISA is indicated for topical treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in patients 2 years of age and older.

FELDENE® (piroxicam)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use FELDENE safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for FELDENE.

WARNING: RISK OF SERIOUS CARDIOVASCULAR AND GASTROINTESTINAL EVENTS

Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may occur early in treatment and may increase with duration of use. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
  • FELDENE is contraindicated in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

  • NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients and patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding are at greater risk for serious GI events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

FELDENE is contraindicated in the following patients:

  • Known hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylactic reactions and serious skin reactions) to piroxicam or any components of the drug product [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.9)]
  • History of asthma, urticaria, or other allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. Severe, sometimes fatal, anaphylactic reactions to NSAIDs have been reported in such patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.8)]
  • In the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events

Clinical trials of several COX-2 selective and nonselective NSAIDs of up to three years duration have shown an increased risk of serious cardiovascular (CV) thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction (MI), and stroke, which can be fatal. Based on available data, it is unclear that the risk for CV thrombotic events is similar for all NSAIDs. The relative increase in serious CV thrombotic events over baseline conferred by NSAID use appears to be similar in those with and without known CV disease or risk factors for CV disease. However, patients with known CV disease or risk factors had a higher absolute incidence of excess serious CV thrombotic events, due to their increased baseline rate. Some observational studies found that this increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events began as early as the first weeks of treatment. The increase in CV thrombotic risk has been observed most consistently at higher doses.

To minimize the potential risk for an adverse CV event in NSAID-treated patients, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Physicians and patients should remain alert for the development of such events, throughout the entire treatment course, even in the absence of previous CV symptoms. Patients should be informed about the symptoms of serious CV events and the steps to take if they occur.

There is no consistent evidence that concurrent use of aspirin mitigates the increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events associated with NSAID use. The concurrent use of aspirin and an NSAID, such as piroxicam, increases the risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) events [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Status Post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery

Two large, controlled clinical trials of a COX-2 selective NSAID for the treatment of pain in the first 10–14 days following CABG surgery found an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke. NSAIDs are contraindicated in the setting of CABG [see Contraindications (4)].

Post-MI Patients

Observational studies conducted in the Danish National Registry have demonstrated that patients treated with NSAIDs in the post-MI period were at increased risk of reinfarction, CV-related death, and all-cause mortality beginning in the first week of treatment. In this same cohort, the incidence of death in the first year post-MI was 20 per 100 person years in NSAID-treated patients compared to 12 per 100 person years in non-NSAID exposed patients. Although the absolute rate of death declined somewhat after the first year post-MI, the increased relative risk of death in NSAID users persisted over at least the next four years of follow-up.

Avoid the use of FELDENE in patients with a recent MI unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of recurrent CV thrombotic events. If FELDENE is used in patients with a recent MI, monitor patients for signs of cardiac ischemia.

5.2 Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

NSAIDs, including FELDENE, cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including inflammation, bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, or large intestine, which can be fatal. These serious adverse events can occur at any time, with or without warning symptoms, in patients treated with NSAIDs. Only one in five patients who develop a serious upper GI adverse event on NSAID therapy is symptomatic. Upper GI ulcers, gross bleeding, or perforation caused by NSAIDs occurred in approximately 1% of patients treated for 3–6 months, and in about 2%–4% of patients treated for one year. However, even short-term NSAID therapy is not without risk.

Risk Factors for GI Bleeding, Ulceration, and Perforation

Patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding who used NSAIDs had a greater than 10-fold increased risk for developing a GI bleed compared to patients without these risk factors. Other factors that increase the risk of GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include longer duration of NSAID therapy; concomitant use of oral corticosteroids, aspirin, anticoagulants, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); smoking; use of alcohol; older age; and poor general health status. Most postmarketing reports of fatal GI events occurred in elderly or debilitated patients. Additionally, patients with advanced liver disease and/or coagulopathy are at increased risk for GI bleeding.

Strategies to Minimize the GI Risks in NSAID-treated patients:

  • Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest possible duration.
  • Avoid administration of more than one NSAID at a time.
  • Avoid use in patients at higher risk unless benefits are expected to outweigh the increased risk of bleeding. For such patients, as well as those with active GI bleeding, consider alternate therapies other than NSAIDs.
  • Remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during NSAID therapy.
  • If a serious GI adverse event is suspected, promptly initiate evaluation and treatment, and discontinue FELDENE until a serious GI adverse event is ruled out.
  • In the setting of concomitant use of low-dose aspirin for cardiac prophylaxis, monitor patients more closely for evidence of GI bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.3 Hepatotoxicity

Elevations of ALT or AST (three or more times the upper limit of normal [ULN]) have been reported in approximately 1% of NSAID-treated patients in clinical trials. In addition, rare, sometimes fatal, cases of severe hepatic injury, including fulminant hepatitis, liver necrosis, and hepatic failure have been reported.

Elevations of ALT or AST (less than three times ULN) may occur in up to 15% of patients treated with NSAIDs including piroxicam.

Inform patients of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (e.g., nausea, fatigue, lethargy, diarrhea, pruritus, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, and "flu-like" symptoms). If clinical signs and symptoms consistent with liver disease develop, or if systemic manifestations occur (e.g., eosinophilia, rash, etc.), discontinue FELDENE immediately, and perform a clinical evaluation of the patient.

5.4 Hypertension

NSAIDs, including FELDENE, can lead to new onset of hypertension or worsening of preexisting hypertension, either of which may contribute to the increased incidence of CV events. Patients taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, thiazide diuretics, or loop diuretics may have impaired response to these therapies when taking NSAIDs [see Drug Interactions (7)].

Monitor blood pressure (BP) during the initiation of NSAID treatment and throughout the course of therapy.

5.5 Heart Failure and Edema

The Coxib and traditional NSAID Trialists' Collaboration meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials demonstrated an approximately two-fold increase in hospitalizations for heart failure in COX-2 selective-treated patients and nonselective NSAID-treated patients compared to placebo-treated patients. In a Danish National Registry study of patients with heart failure, NSAID use increased the risk of MI, hospitalization for heart failure, and death.

Additionally, fluid retention and edema have been observed in some patients treated with NSAIDs. Use of piroxicam may blunt the CV effects of several therapeutic agents used to treat these medical conditions (e.g., diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs]) [see Drug Interactions (7)].

Avoid the use of FELDENE in patients with severe heart failure unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening heart failure. If FELDENE is used in patients with severe heart failure, monitor patients for signs of worsening heart failure.

5.6 Renal Toxicity and Hyperkalemia

Renal Toxicity

Long-term administration of NSAIDs has resulted in renal papillary necrosis and other renal injury.

Renal toxicity has also been seen in patients in whom renal prostaglandins have a compensatory role in the maintenance of renal perfusion. In these patients, administration of an NSAID may cause a dose-dependent reduction in prostaglandin formation and, secondarily, in renal blood flow, which may precipitate overt renal decompensation. Patients at greatest risk of this reaction are those with impaired renal function, dehydration, hypovolemia, heart failure, liver dysfunction, those taking diuretics and ACE inhibitors or ARBs, and the elderly. Discontinuation of NSAID therapy is usually followed by recovery to the pretreatment state.

No information is available from controlled clinical studies regarding the use of FELDENE in patients with advanced renal disease. The renal effects of FELDENE may hasten the progression of renal dysfunction in patients with preexisting renal disease.

Correct volume status in dehydrated or hypovolemic patients prior to initiating FELDENE. Monitor renal function in patients with renal or hepatic impairment, heart failure, dehydration, or hypovolemia during use of FELDENE [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Avoid the use of FELDENE in patients with advanced renal disease unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening renal function. If FELDENE is used in patients with advanced renal disease, monitor patients for signs of worsening renal function.

Hyperkalemia

Increases in serum potassium concentration, including hyperkalemia, have been reported with use of NSAIDs, even in some patients without renal impairment. In patients with normal renal function, these effects have been attributed to a hyporeninemic-hypoaldosteronism state.

5.7 Anaphylactic Reactions

Piroxicam has been associated with anaphylactic reactions in patients with and without known hypersensitivity to piroxicam and in patients with aspirin-sensitive asthma [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].

Seek emergency help if an anaphylactic reaction occurs.

5.8 Exacerbation of Asthma Related to Aspirin Sensitivity

A subpopulation of patients with asthma may have aspirin-sensitive asthma which may include chronic rhinosinusitis complicated by nasal polyps; severe, potentially fatal bronchospasm; and/or intolerance to aspirin and other NSAIDs. Because cross-reactivity between aspirin and other NSAIDs has been reported in such aspirin-sensitive patients, FELDENE is contraindicated in patients with this form of aspirin sensitivity [see Contraindications (4)]. When FELDENE is used in patients with preexisting asthma (without known aspirin sensitivity), monitor patients for changes in the signs and symptoms of asthma.

5.9 Serious Skin Reactions

NSAIDs, including piroxicam, can cause serious skin adverse reactions such as exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which can be fatal. These serious events may occur without warning. Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of serious skin reactions, and to discontinue the use of FELDENE at the first appearance of skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity. FELDENE is contraindicated in patients with previous serious skin reactions to NSAIDs [see Contraindications (4)].

5.10 Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus

Piroxicam may cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus. Avoid use of NSAIDs, including FELDENE, in pregnant women starting at 30 weeks of gestation (third trimester) [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

5.11 Hematologic Toxicity

Anemia has occurred in NSAID-treated patients. This may be due to occult or gross blood loss, fluid retention, or an incompletely described effect on erythropoiesis. If a patient treated with FELDENE has any signs or symptoms of anemia, monitor hemoglobin or hematocrit.

NSAIDs, including FELDENE, may increase the risk of bleeding events. Co-morbid conditions such as coagulation disorders, concomitant use of warfarin, other anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents (e.g., aspirin), serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may increase this risk. Monitor these patients for signs of bleeding [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.12 Masking of Inflammation and Fever

The pharmacological activity of FELDENE in reducing inflammation, and possibly fever, may diminish the utility of diagnostic signs in detecting infections.

5.13 Laboratory Monitoring

Because serious GI bleeding, hepatotoxicity, and renal injury can occur without warning symptoms or signs, consider monitoring patients on long-term NSAID treatment with a CBC and a chemistry profile periodically [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.3, 5.6)].

5.14 Ophthalmologic Effects

Because of reports of adverse eye findings with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, it is recommended that patients who develop visual complaints during treatment with FELDENE have ophthalmic evaluations.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

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 patients taking FELDENE or other NSAIDs, the most frequently reported adverse experiences occurring in approximately 1–10% of patients are:

Cardiovascular System: Edema

Digestive System: Anorexia, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, vomiting

Nervous System: Dizziness, headache, vertigo

Skin and Appendages: Pruritus, rash

Special Senses: Tinnitus

Additional adverse experiences reported occasionally include:

Cardiovascular System: Palpitations

Digestive System: Stomatitis

Nervous System: Drowsiness

Special Senses: Blurred vision

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of FELDENE. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Body As a Whole: Fever, infection, sepsis, anaphylactic reactions, appetite changes, death, flu-like syndrome, pain (colic), serum sickness

Cardiovascular System: Congestive heart failure, hypertension, tachycardia, syncope, arrhythmia, exacerbation of angina, hypotension, myocardial infarction, vasculitis

Digestive System: Dyspepsia, elevated liver enzymes, gross bleeding/perforation, heartburn, ulcers (gastric/duodenal), dry mouth, esophagitis, gastritis, glossitis, hematemesis, hepatitis, jaundice, melena, rectal bleeding, eructation, liver failure, pancreatitis

Hemic and Lymphatic System: Anemia, increased bleeding time, ecchymosis, eosinophilia, epistaxis, leukopenia, purpura, petechial rash, thrombocytopenia, agranulocytosis, hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, lymphadenopathy, pancytopenia

Hypersensitivity: Positive ANA

Metabolic and Nutritional: Weight changes, Fluid retention, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia

Nervous System: Anxiety, asthenia, confusion, depression, dream abnormalities, insomnia, malaise, nervousness, paresthesia, somnolence, tremors, akathisia, convulsions, coma, hallucinations, meningitis, mood alterations

Respiratory System: Asthma, dyspnea, respiratory depression, pneumonia

Skin and Appendages: Alopecia, bruising, desquamation, erythema, photosensitivity, sweat, angioedema, toxic epidermal necrosis, erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, onycholysis, Stevens Johnson Syndrome, urticaria, vesiculobullous reaction

Special Senses: Conjunctivitis, hearing impairment, swollen eyes

Urogenital System: Abnormal renal function, cystitis, dysuria, hematuria, hyperkalemia, interstitial nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, oliguria/polyuria, proteinuria, renal failure, glomerulonephritis

Reproductive system and breast disorders: Female fertility decreased

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

FELDENE is indicated:

  • For relief of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis.
  • For relief of the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

MEDROL® (methylprednisolone)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use MEDROL safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for MEDROL.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Systemic fungal infections and known hypersensitivity to components.

WARNINGS

In patients on corticosteroid therapy subjected to unusual stress, increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids before, during, and after the stressful situation is indicated.

Corticosteroids may mask some signs of infection, and new infections may appear during their use. Infections with any pathogen including viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan or helminthic infections, in any location of the body, may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents that affect cellular immunity, humoral immunity, or neutrophil function.1

These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases.2 There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used.

Prolonged use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to fungi or viruses.

Usage in pregnancy

Since adequate human reproduction studies have not been done with corticosteroids, the use of these drugs in pregnancy, nursing mothers or women of child-bearing potential requires that the possible benefits of the drug be weighed against the potential hazards to the mother and embryo or fetus. Infants born of mothers who have received substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy, should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.

Average and large doses of hydrocortisone or cortisone can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.

Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered to patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids; however, the response to such vaccines may be diminished. Indicated immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients receiving nonimmunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids.

The use of MEDROL Tablets in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate antituberculous regimen.

If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.

Persons who are on drugs which suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chicken pox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in non-immune children or adults on corticosteroids. In such children or adults who have not had these diseases particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route and duration of corticosteroid administration affects the risk of developing a disseminated infection is not known. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed, to chicken pox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chicken pox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered. Similarly, corticosteroids should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.


PRECAUTIONS

General Precautions

Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted. Since mineralocorticoid secretion may be impaired, salt and/or a mineralocorticoid should be administered concurrently.

There is an enhanced effect of corticosteroids on patients with hypothyroidism and in those with cirrhosis.

Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex because of possible corneal perforation.

The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment, and when reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction should be gradual.

Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression, to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids.

Steroids should be used with caution in nonspecific ulcerative colitis, if there is a probability of impending perforation, abscess or other pyogenic infection; diverticulitis; fresh intestinal anastomoses; active or latent peptic ulcer; renal insufficiency; hypertension; osteoporosis; and myasthenia gravis.

Growth and development of infants and children on prolonged corticosteroid therapy should be carefully observed.

Kaposi's sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical remission.

Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, they do not show that corticosteroids affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)

Since complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the size of the dose and the duration of treatment, a risk/benefit decision must be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment and as to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.

Drug Interactions

The pharmacokinetic interactions listed below are potentially clinically important. Mutual inhibition of metabolism occurs with concurrent use of cyclosporin and methylprednisolone; therefore, it is possible that adverse events associated with the individual use of either drug may be more apt to occur. Convulsions have been reported with concurrent use of methylprednisolone and cyclosporin. Drugs that induce hepatic enzymes such as phenobarbital, phenytoin and rifampin may increase the clearance of methylprednisolone and may require increases in methylprednisolone dose to achieve the desired response. Drugs such as troleandomycin and ketoconazole may inhibit the metabolism of methylprednisolone and thus decrease its clearance. Therefore, the dose of methylprednisolone should be titrated to avoid steroid toxicity.

Methylprednisolone may increase the clearance of chronic high dose aspirin. This could lead to decreased salicylate serum levels or increase the risk of salicylate toxicity when methylprednisolone is withdrawn. Aspirin should be used cautiously in conjunction with corticosteroids in patients suffering from hypoprothrombinemia.

The effect of methylprednisolone on oral anticoagulants is variable. There are reports of enhanced as well as diminished effects of anticoagulant when given concurrently with corticosteroids. Therefore, coagulation indices should be monitored to maintain the desired anticoagulant effect.

Information for the Patient

Persons who are on immunosuppressant doses of corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chickenpox or measles. Patients should also be advised that if they are exposed, medical advice should be sought without delay.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

Fluid and Electrolyte Disturbances

  • Sodium retention
  • Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients
  • Hypertension
  • Fluid retention
  • Potassium loss
  • Hypokalemic alkalosis

Musculoskeletal

  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Steroid myopathy
  • Osteoporosis
  • Tendon rupture, particularly of the Achilles tendon
  • Vertebral compression fractures
  • Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads
  • Pathologic fracture of long bones

Gastrointestinal

  • Peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage
  • Pancreatitis
  • Abdominal distention
  • Ulcerative esophagitis

Increases in alanine transaminase (ALT, SGPT), aspartate transaminase (AST, SGOT), and alkaline phosphatase have been observed following corticosteroid treatment. These changes are usually small, not associated with any clinical syndrome and are reversible upon discontinuation.

Dermatologic

  • Impaired wound healing
  • Petechiae and ecchymoses
  • May suppress reactions to skin tests
  • Thin fragile skin
  • Facial erythema
  • Increased sweating

Neurological

  • Increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudo-tumor cerebri) usually after treatment
  • Convulsions
  • Vertigo
  • Headache

Endocrine

  • Development of Cushingoid state
  • Suppression of growth in children
  • Secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness, particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery or illness
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Decreased carbohydrate tolerance
  • Manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus
  • Increased requirements of insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetics

Ophthalmic

  • Posterior subcapsular cataracts
  • Increased intraocular pressure
  • Glaucoma
  • Exophthalmos

Metabolic

  • Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism

The following additional reactions have been reported following oral as well as parenteral therapy: Urticaria and other allergic, anaphylactic or hypersensitivity reactions.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

MEDROL Tablets are indicated in the following conditions:

1. Endocrine Disorders

Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the first choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance).

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

Nonsuppurative thyroiditis

Hypercalcemia associated with cancer

2. Rheumatic Disorders

As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in:

Rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy)

Ankylosing spondylitis

Acute and subacute bursitis

Synovitis of osteoarthritis

Acute nonspecific tenosynovitis

Post-traumatic osteoarthritis

Psoriatic arthritis

Epicondylitis

Acute gouty arthritis

3. Collagen Diseases

During an exacerbation or as maintenance therapy in selected cases of:

Systemic lupus erythematosus

Systemic dermatomyositis (polymyositis)

Acute rheumatic carditis

4. Dermatologic Diseases

Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis

Severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome)

Severe seborrheic dermatitis

Exfoliative dermatitis

Mycosis fungoides

Pemphigus

Severe psoriasis

5. Allergic States

Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment:

Seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis

Drug hypersensitivity reactions

Serum sickness

Contact dermatitis

Bronchial asthma

Atopic dermatitis

6. Ophthalmic Diseases

Severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory processes involving the eye and its adnexa such as:

Allergic corneal marginal ulcers

Herpes zoster ophthalmicus

Anterior segment inflammation

Diffuse posterior uveitis and choroiditis

Sympathetic ophthalmia

Keratitis

Optic neuritis

Allergic conjunctivitis

Chorioretinitis

Iritis and iridocyclitis

7. Respiratory Diseases

Symptomatic sarcoidosis

Berylliosis

Loeffler's syndrome not manageable by other means

Fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy

Aspiration pneumonitis

8. Hematologic Disorders

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults

Secondary thrombocytopenia in adults

Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia

Erythroblastopenia (RBC anemia)

Congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia

9. Neoplastic Diseases

For palliative management of:

Leukemias and lymphomas in adults

Acute leukemia of childhood

10. Edematous States

To induce a diuresis or remission of proteinuria in the nephrotic syndrome, without uremia, of the idiopathic type or that due to lupus erythematosus.

11. Gastrointestinal Diseases

To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in:

Ulcerative colitis

Regional enteritis

12. Nervous System

Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis

13. Miscellaneous

Tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy.

Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement.

RAPAMUNE® (sirolimus)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use RAPAMUNE safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for RAPAMUNE.

WARNING: IMMUNOSUPPRESSION, USE IS NOT RECOMMENDED IN LIVER OR LUNG TRANSPLANT PATIENTS

  • Increased susceptibility to infection and the possible development of lymphoma and other malignancies may result from immunosuppression

Increased susceptibility to infection and the possible development of lymphoma may result from immunosuppression. Only physicians experienced in immunosuppressive therapy and management of renal transplant patients should use Rapamune® 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 [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

  • The safety and efficacy of Rapamune (sirolimus) as immunosuppressive therapy have not been established in liver or lung transplant patients, and therefore, such use is not recommended [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.3)].
  • Liver Transplantation – Excess Mortality, Graft Loss, and Hepatic Artery Thrombosis (HAT)

The use of Rapamune in combination with tacrolimus was associated with excess mortality and graft loss in a study in de novo liver transplant patients. 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 Rapamune in combination with cyclosporine or tacrolimus was associated with an increase in HAT; most cases of HAT occurred within 30 days post-transplantation and most led to graft loss or death [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

  • Lung Transplantation – Bronchial Anastomotic Dehiscence

Cases of bronchial anastomotic dehiscence, most fatal, have been reported in de novo lung transplant patients when Rapamune has been used as part of an immunosuppressive regimen [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

Rapamune is contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to Rapamune [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

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 0.7–3.2% (for Rapamune-treated patients) versus 0.6–0.8% (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 Rapamune 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 Rapamune as immunosuppressive therapy have not been established in liver transplant patients; therefore, such use is not recommended. The use of Rapamune 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 Rapamune 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 Rapamune 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 6–144 months post-liver transplantation and receiving a CNI-based regimen, an increased number of deaths was observed in the group converted to a Rapamune-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)].

5.3 Lung Transplantation – Bronchial Anastomotic Dehiscence

Cases of bronchial anastomotic dehiscence, most fatal, have been reported in de novo lung transplant patients when Rapamune has been used as part of an immunosuppressive regimen.

The safety and efficacy of Rapamune as immunosuppressive therapy have not been established in lung transplant patients; therefore, such use is not recommended.

5.4 Hypersensitivity Reactions

Hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions, angioedema, exfoliative dermatitis and hypersensitivity vasculitis, have been associated with the administration of Rapamune [see Adverse Reactions (6.7)].

5.5 Angioedema

Rapamune has been associated with the development of angioedema. The concomitant use of Rapamune with other drugs known to cause angioedema, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, may increase the risk of developing angioedema. Elevated sirolimus levels (with/without concomitant ACE inhibitors) may also potentiate angioedema [see Drug Interactions (7.2)]. In some cases, the angioedema has resolved upon discontinuation or dose reduction of Rapamune.

5.6 Fluid Accumulation and Impairment of Wound Healing

There have been reports of impaired or delayed wound healing in patients receiving Rapamune, including lymphocele and wound dehiscence [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. mTOR inhibitors such as sirolimus have been shown in vitro to inhibit production of certain growth factors that may affect angiogenesis, fibroblast proliferation, and vascular permeability. Lymphocele, a known surgical complication of renal transplantation, occurred significantly more often in a dose-related fashion in patients treated with Rapamune [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. Appropriate measures should be considered to minimize such complications. Patients with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 kg/m2 may be at increased risk of abnormal wound healing based on data from the medical literature.

There have also been reports of fluid accumulation, including peripheral edema, lymphedema, pleural effusion, ascites, and pericardial effusions (including hemodynamically significant effusions and tamponade requiring intervention in children and adults), in patients receiving Rapamune.

5.7 Hyperlipidemia

Increased serum cholesterol and triglycerides requiring treatment occurred more frequently in patients treated with Rapamune compared with azathioprine or placebo controls in Studies 1 and 2 [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. There were increased incidences of hypercholesterolemia (43–46%) and/or hypertriglyceridemia (45–57%) in patients receiving Rapamune compared with placebo controls (each 23%). The risk/benefit should be carefully considered in patients with established hyperlipidemia before initiating an immunosuppressive regimen including Rapamune.

Any patient who is administered Rapamune should be monitored for hyperlipidemia. If detected, interventions such as diet, exercise, and lipid-lowering agents should be initiated as outlined by the National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines.

In clinical trials of patients receiving Rapamune plus cyclosporine or Rapamune after cyclosporine withdrawal, up to 90% of patients required treatment for hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia with anti-lipid therapy (e.g., statins, fibrates). Despite anti-lipid management, up to 50% of patients had fasting serum cholesterol levels >240 mg/dL and triglycerides above recommended target levels. The concomitant administration of Rapamune and HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors resulted in adverse reactions such as CPK elevations (3%), myalgia (6.7%) and rhabdomyolysis (<1%). In these trials, the number of patients was too small and duration of follow-up too short to evaluate the long-term impact of Rapamune on cardiovascular mortality.

During Rapamune therapy with or without cyclosporine, patients should be monitored for elevated lipids, and patients administered an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor and/or fibrate should be monitored for the possible development of rhabdomyolysis and other adverse effects, as described in the respective labeling for these agents.

5.8 Decline in Renal Function

Renal function should be closely monitored during the co-administration of Rapamune with cyclosporine, because long-term administration of the combination has been associated with deterioration of renal function. Patients treated with cyclosporine and Rapamune were noted to have higher serum creatinine levels and lower glomerular filtration rates compared with patients treated with cyclosporine and placebo or azathioprine controls (Studies 1 and 2). The rate of decline in renal function in these studies was greater in patients receiving Rapamune and cyclosporine compared with control therapies.

Appropriate adjustment of the immunosuppressive regimen, including discontinuation of Rapamune and/or cyclosporine, should be considered in patients with elevated or increasing serum creatinine levels. In patients at low- to moderate-immunologic risk, continuation of combination therapy with cyclosporine beyond 4 months following transplantation should only be considered when the benefits outweigh the risks of this combination for the individual patients. Caution should be exercised when using agents (e.g., aminoglycosides and amphotericin B) that are known to have a deleterious effect on renal function.

In patients with delayed graft function, Rapamune may delay recovery of renal function.

5.9 Proteinuria

Periodic quantitative monitoring of urinary protein excretion is recommended. In a study evaluating conversion from calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) to Rapamune in maintenance renal transplant patients 6–120 months post-transplant, increased urinary protein excretion was commonly observed from 6 through 24 months after conversion to Rapamune compared with CNI continuation [see Clinical Studies (14.4), Adverse Reactions (6.4)]. Patients with the greatest amount of urinary protein excretion prior to Rapamune conversion were those whose protein excretion increased the most after conversion. New onset nephrosis (nephrotic syndrome) was also reported as a treatment-emergent adverse reaction in 2.2% of the Rapamune conversion group patients in comparison to 0.4% in the CNI continuation group of patients. Nephrotic range proteinuria (defined as urinary protein to creatinine ratio > 3.5) was also reported in 9.2% in the Rapamune conversion group of patients in comparison to 3.7% in the CNI continuation group of patients. In some patients, reduction in the degree of urinary protein excretion was observed for individual patients following discontinuation of Rapamune. The safety and efficacy of conversion from calcineurin inhibitors to Rapamune in maintenance renal transplant patients have not been established.

5.10 Latent Viral Infections

Immunosuppressed patients are at increased risk for opportunistic infections, including activation of latent viral infections. These include BK virus-associated nephropathy, which has been observed in renal transplant patients receiving immunosuppressants, including Rapamune. This infection may be associated with serious outcomes, including deteriorating renal function and renal graft loss [see Adverse Reactions (6.7)]. Patient monitoring may help detect patients at risk for BK virus-associated nephropathy. Reduction in immunosuppression should be considered for patients who develop evidence of BK virus-associated nephropathy.

Cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), sometimes fatal have been reported in patients treated with immunosuppressants, including Rapamune. PML commonly presents with hemiparesis, apathy, confusion, cognitive deficiencies and ataxia. Risk factors for PML include treatment with immunosuppressant therapies and impairment of immune function. In immunosuppressed patients, physicians should consider PML in the differential diagnosis in patients reporting neurological symptoms and consultation with a neurologist should be considered as clinically indicated. Consideration should be given to reducing the amount of immunosuppression in patients who develop PML. In transplant patients, physicians should also consider the risk that reduced immunosuppression represents to the graft.

5.11 Interstitial Lung Disease/Non-Infectious Pneumonitis

Cases of interstitial lung disease [ILD] (including pneumonitis, bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia [BOOP], and pulmonary fibrosis), some fatal, with no identified infectious etiology have occurred in patients receiving immunosuppressive regimens including Rapamune. In some cases, the ILD was reported with pulmonary hypertension (including pulmonary arterial hypertension [PAH]) as a secondary event. In some cases, the ILD has resolved upon discontinuation or dose reduction of Rapamune. The risk may be increased as the trough sirolimus concentration increases [see Adverse Reactions (6.7)].

5.12 De Novo Use Without Cyclosporine

The safety and efficacy of de novo use of Rapamune without cyclosporine is not established in renal transplant patients. In a multicenter clinical study, de novo renal transplant patients treated with Rapamune, mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), steroids, and an IL-2 receptor antagonist had significantly higher acute rejection rates and numerically higher death rates compared to patients treated with cyclosporine, MMF, steroids, and IL-2 receptor antagonist. A benefit, in terms of better renal function, was not apparent in the treatment arm with de novo use of Rapamune without cyclosporine. These findings were also observed in a similar treatment group of another clinical trial.

5.13 Increased Risk of Calcineurin Inhibitor-Induced Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome/Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura/Thrombotic Microangiopathy

The concomitant use of Rapamune with a calcineurin inhibitor may increase the risk of calcineurin inhibitor-induced hemolytic uremic syndrome/thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/thrombotic microangiopathy (HUS/TTP/TMA) [see Adverse Reactions (6.7)].

5.14 Antimicrobial Prophylaxis

Cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia have been reported in transplant patients not receiving antimicrobial prophylaxis. Therefore, antimicrobial prophylaxis for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia should be administered for 1 year following transplantation.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) prophylaxis is recommended for 3 months after transplantation, particularly for patients at increased risk for CMV disease.

5.15 Different Sirolimus Trough Concentration Reported between Chromatographic and Immunoassay Methodologies

Currently in clinical practice, sirolimus whole blood concentrations are being measured by various chromatographic and immunoassay methodologies. Patient sample concentration values from different assays may not be interchangeable [see Dosage and Administration (2.5)].

5.16 Skin Cancer Events

Patients on immunosuppressive therapy are at increased risk for skin cancer. Exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) light should be limited by wearing protective clothing and using a sunscreen with a high protection factor [see Adverse Reactions (6.1, 6.2, 6.7)].

5.17 Interaction with Strong Inhibitors and Inducers of CYP3A4 and/or P-gp

Avoid concomitant use of Rapamune with strong inhibitors of CYP3A4 and/or P-gp (such as ketoconazole, voriconazole, itraconazole, erythromycin, telithromycin, or clarithromycin) or strong inducers of CYP3A4 and/or P-gp (such as rifampin or rifabutin) [see Drug Interactions (7.2)].

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the label.

The most common (≥ 30%) adverse reactions observed with Rapamune in clinical studies for organ rejection prophylaxis in recipients of renal transplantation are: peripheral edema, hypertriglyceridemia, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, creatinine increased, constipation, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, fever, urinary tract infection, anemia, nausea, arthralgia, pain, and thrombocytopenia.

The most common (≥ 20%) adverse reactions observed with Rapamune in the clinical study for the treatment of LAM are: stomatitis, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, nasopharyngitis, acne, chest pain, peripheral edema, upper respiratory tract infection, headache, dizziness, myalgia, and hypercholesterolemia.

The following adverse reactions resulted in a rate of discontinuation of > 5% in clinical trials for renal transplant rejection prophylaxis: creatinine increased, hypertriglyceridemia, and TTP. In patients with LAM, 11% of subjects discontinued due to adverse reactions, with no single adverse reaction leading to discontinuation in more than one patient being treated with Rapamune.

6.1 Clinical Studies Experience in Prophylaxis of Organ Rejection Following Renal Transplantation

The safety and efficacy of Rapamune Oral Solution for the prevention of organ rejection following renal transplantation were assessed in two randomized, double-blind, multicenter, controlled trials [see Clinical Studies (14.1)]. The safety profiles in the two studies were similar.

The incidence of adverse reactions in the randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled trial (Study 2) in which 219 renal transplant patients received Rapamune Oral Solution 2 mg/day, 208 received Rapamune Oral Solution 5 mg/day, and 124 received placebo is presented in Table 1 below. The study population had a mean age of 46 years (range 15 to 71 years), the distribution was 67% male, and the composition by race was: White (78%), Black (11%), Asian (3%), Hispanic (2%), and Other (5%). All patients were treated with cyclosporine and corticosteroids. Data (≥ 12 months post-transplant) presented in the following table show the adverse reactions that occurred in at least one of the Rapamune treatment groups with an incidence of ≥ 20%.

The safety profile of the tablet did not differ from that of the oral solution formulation [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].

In general, adverse reactions related to the administration of Rapamune were dependent on dose/concentration. Although a daily maintenance dose of 5 mg, with a loading dose of 15 mg, was shown to be safe and effective, no efficacy advantage over the 2 mg dose could be established for renal transplant patients. Patients receiving 2 mg of Rapamune Oral Solution per day demonstrated an overall better safety profile than did patients receiving 5 mg of Rapamune Oral Solution per day.

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in one clinical trial of a drug cannot be directly compared with rates in the clinical trials of the same or another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

TABLE 1: ADVERSE REACTIONS OCCURRING AT A FREQUENCY OF ≥ 20% IN AT LEAST ONE OF THE RAPAMUNE TREATMENT GROUPS IN A STUDY OF PROPHYLAXIS OF ORGAN REJECTION FOLLOWING RENAL TRANSPLANTATION (%) AT ≥ 12 MONTHS POST-TRANSPLANTATION (STUDY 2)*
–––Rapamune Oral Solution–––
Adverse Reaction 2 mg/day
(n = 218)
5 mg/day
(n = 208)
Placebo
(n = 124)
*
Patients received cyclosporine and corticosteroids.
Peripheral edema 54 58 48
Hypertriglyceridemia 45 57 23
Hypertension 45 49 48
Hypercholesterolemia 43 46 23
Creatinine increased 39 40 38
Constipation 36 38 31
Abdominal pain 29 36 30
Diarrhea 25 35 27
Headache 34 34 31
Fever 23 34 35
Urinary tract infection 26 33 26
Anemia 23 33 21
Nausea 25 31 29
Arthralgia 25 31 18
Thrombocytopenia 14 30 9
Pain 33 29 25
Acne 22 22 19
Rash 10 20 6
Edema 20 18 15

The following adverse reactions were reported less frequently (≥ 3%, but < 20%)

  • Body as a Whole – Sepsis, lymphocele, herpes zoster, herpes simplex.
  • Cardiovascular – Venous thromboembolism (including pulmonary embolism, deep venous thrombosis), tachycardia.
  • Digestive System – Stomatitis.
  • Hematologic and Lymphatic System – Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome (TTP/HUS), leukopenia.
  • Metabolic/Nutritional – Abnormal healing, increased lactic dehydrogenase (LDH), hypokalemia, diabetes mellitus.
  • Musculoskeletal System – Bone necrosis.
  • Respiratory System – Pneumonia, epistaxis.
  • Skin – Melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma.
  • Urogenital System – Pyelonephritis, decline in renal function (creatinine increased) in long-term combination of cyclosporine with Rapamune [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)], ovarian cysts, menstrual disorders (including amenorrhea and menorrhagia).

Less frequently (< 3%) occurring adverse reactions included: lymphoma/post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, mycobacterial infections (including M. tuberculosis), pancreatitis, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and Epstein-Barr virus.

Increased Serum Cholesterol and Triglycerides

The use of Rapamune in renal transplant patients was associated with increased serum cholesterol and triglycerides that may require treatment.

In Studies 1 and 2, in de novo renal transplant patients who began the study with fasting, total serum cholesterol < 200 mg/dL or fasting, total serum triglycerides < 200 mg/dL, there was an increased incidence of hypercholesterolemia (fasting serum cholesterol > 240 mg/dL) or hypertriglyceridemia (fasting serum triglycerides > 500 mg/dL), respectively, in patients receiving both Rapamune 2 mg and Rapamune 5 mg compared with azathioprine and placebo controls.

Treatment of new-onset hypercholesterolemia with lipid-lowering agents was required in 42–52% of patients enrolled in the Rapamune arms of Studies 1 and 2 compared with 16% of patients in the placebo arm and 22% of patients in the azathioprine arm. In other Rapamune renal transplant studies, up to 90% of patients required treatment for hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia with anti-lipid therapy (e.g., statins, fibrates). Despite anti-lipid management, up to 50% of patients had fasting serum cholesterol levels >240 mg/dL and triglycerides above recommended target levels [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].

Abnormal Healing

Abnormal healing events following transplant surgery include fascial dehiscence, incisional hernia, and anastomosis disruption (e.g., wound, vascular, airway, ureteral, biliary).

Malignancies

Table 2 below summarizes the incidence of malignancies in the two controlled trials (Studies 1 and 2) for the prevention of acute rejection [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].

At 24 months (Study 1) and 36 months (Study 2) post-transplant, there were no significant differences among treatment groups.

TABLE 2: INCIDENCE (%) OF MALIGNANCIES IN STUDY 1 (24 MONTHS) AND STUDY 2 (36 MONTHS) POST-TRANSPLANT*,
Rapamune Oral Solution
2 mg/day
Rapamune Oral Solution
5 mg/day
Azathioprine
2–3 mg/kg/day
Placebo
Malignancy Study 1
(n = 284)
Study 2
(n = 227)
Study 1
(n = 274)
Study 2
(n = 219)
Study 1
(n = 161)
Study 2
(n = 130)
*
Patients received cyclosporine and corticosteroids.
Includes patients who prematurely discontinued treatment.
Patients may be counted in more than one category.
Lymphoma/lymphoproliferative disease 0.7 1.8 1.1 3.2 0.6 0.8
Skin Carcinoma
  Any Squamous Cell 0.4 2.7 2.2 0.9 3.8 3.0
  Any Basal Cell 0.7 2.2 1.5 1.8 2.5 5.3
  Melanoma 0.0 0.4 0.0 1.4 0.0 0.0
  Miscellaneous/Not Specified 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.8
Total 1.1 4.4 3.3 4.1 4.3 7.7
Other Malignancy 1.1 2.2 1.5 1.4 0.6 2.3

6.2 Rapamune Following Cyclosporine Withdrawal

The incidence of adverse reactions was determined through 36 months in a randomized, multicenter, controlled trial (Study 3) in which 215 renal transplant patients received Rapamune as a maintenance regimen following cyclosporine withdrawal, and 215 patients received Rapamune with cyclosporine therapy [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]. All patients were treated with corticosteroids. The safety profile prior to randomization (start of cyclosporine withdrawal) was similar to that of the 2 mg Rapamune groups in Studies 1 and 2.

Following randomization (at 3 months), patients who had cyclosporine eliminated from their therapy experienced higher incidences of the following adverse reactions: abnormal liver function tests (including increased AST/SGOT and increased ALT/SGPT), hypokalemia, thrombocytopenia, and abnormal healing. Conversely, the incidence of the following adverse events was higher in patients who remained on cyclosporine than those who had cyclosporine withdrawn from therapy: hypertension, cyclosporine toxicity, increased creatinine, abnormal kidney function, toxic nephropathy, edema, hyperkalemia, hyperuricemia, and gum hyperplasia. Mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure improved significantly following cyclosporine withdrawal.

Malignancies

The incidence of malignancies in Study 3 [see Clinical Studies (14.2)] is presented in Table 3.

In Study 3, the incidence of lymphoma/lymphoproliferative disease was similar in all treatment groups. The overall incidence of malignancy was higher in patients receiving Rapamune plus cyclosporine compared with patients who had cyclosporine withdrawn. Conclusions regarding these differences in the incidence of malignancy could not be made because Study 3 was not designed to consider malignancy risk factors or systematically screen subjects for malignancy. In addition, more patients in the Rapamune with cyclosporine group had a pretransplantation history of skin carcinoma.

TABLE 3: INCIDENCE (%) OF MALIGNANCIES IN STUDY 3 (CYCLOSPORINE WITHDRAWAL STUDY) AT 36 MONTHS POST-TRANSPLANT*,
Malignancy Nonrandomized
(n = 95)
Rapamune with Cyclosporine Therapy
(n = 215)
Rapamune Following Cyclosporine Withdrawal
(n = 215)
*
Patients received cyclosporine and corticosteroids.
Includes patients who prematurely discontinued treatment.
Patients may be counted in more than one category.
Lymphoma/lymphoproliferative disease 1.1 1.4 0.5
Skin Carcinoma
  Any Squamous Cell 3.2 3.3 2.3
  Any Basal Cell 3.2 6.5 2.3
  Melanoma 0.0 0.5 0.0
  Miscellaneous/Not Specified 1.1 0.9 0.0
Total 4.2 7.9 3.7
Other Malignancy 3.2 3.3 1.9

6.3 High-Immunologic Risk Renal Transplant Patients

Safety was assessed in 224 patients who received at least one dose of sirolimus with cyclosporine [see Clinical Studies (14.3)]. Overall, the incidence and nature of adverse reactions was similar to those seen in previous combination studies with Rapamune. The incidence of malignancy was 1.3% at 12 months.

6.4 Conversion from Calcineurin Inhibitors to Rapamune in Maintenance Renal Transplant Population

The safety and efficacy of conversion from calcineurin inhibitors to Rapamune in maintenance renal transplant population have not been established [see Clinical Studies (14.4)]. In a study evaluating the safety and efficacy of conversion from calcineurin inhibitors to Rapamune (initial target sirolimus concentrations of 12–20 ng/mL, and then 8–20 ng/mL, by chromatographic assay) in maintenance renal transplant patients, enrollment was stopped in the subset of patients (n = 87) with a baseline glomerular filtration rate of less than 40 mL/min. There was a higher rate of serious adverse events, including pneumonia, acute rejection, graft loss and death, in this stratum of the Rapamune treatment arm.

The subset of patients with a baseline glomerular filtration rate of less than 40 mL/min had 2 years of follow-up after randomization. In this population, the rate of pneumonia was 25.9% (15/58) versus 13.8% (4/29), graft loss (excluding death with functioning graft loss) was 22.4% (13/58) versus 31.0% (9/29), and death was 15.5% (9/58) versus 3.4% (1/29) in the sirolimus conversion group and CNI continuation group, respectively.

In the subset of patients with a baseline glomerular filtration rate of greater than 40 mL/min, there was no benefit associated with conversion with regard to improvement in renal function and a greater incidence of proteinuria in the Rapamune conversion arm.

Overall in this study, a 5-fold increase in the reports of tuberculosis among sirolimus 2.0% (11/551) and comparator 0.4% (1/273) treatment groups was observed with 2:1 randomization scheme.

6.5 Pediatric Renal Transplant Patients

Safety was assessed in a controlled clinical trial in pediatric (< 18 years of age) renal transplant patients considered at high-immunologic risk, defined as a history of one or more acute allograft rejection episodes and/or the presence of chronic allograft nephropathy on a renal biopsy [see Clinical Studies (14.6)]. The use of Rapamune in combination with calcineurin inhibitors and corticosteroids was associated with a higher incidence of deterioration of renal function (creatinine increased) compared to calcineurin inhibitor-based therapy, serum lipid abnormalities (including, but not limited to, increased serum triglycerides and cholesterol), and urinary tract infections.

6.6 Patients with Lymphangioleiomyomatosis

Safety was assessed in a controlled trial involving 89 patients with lymphangioleiomyomatosis, 46 of whom were treated with Rapamune [see Clinical Studies (14.7)]. The adverse drug reactions observed in this trial were consistent with the known safety profile for renal transplant patients receiving Rapamune, with the addition of weight decreased which was reported at a greater incidence with Rapamune when compared to placebo. Adverse reactions occurring at a frequency of ≥ 20% in the Rapamune treatment group and greater than placebo include stomatitis, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, nasopharyngitis, acne, chest pain, peripheral edema, upper respiratory tract infection, headache, dizziness, myalgia, and hypercholesterolemia.

6.7 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of Rapamune in transplant patients. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

  • Body as a Whole – Lymphedema.
  • Cardiovascular – Pericardial effusion (including hemodynamically significant effusions and tamponade requiring intervention in children and adults) and fluid accumulation.
  • Digestive System – Ascites.
  • Hematological/Lymphatic – Pancytopenia, neutropenia.
  • Hepatobiliary Disorders – Hepatotoxicity, including fatal hepatic necrosis, with elevated sirolimus trough concentrations.
  • Immune System – Hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions, angioedema, and hypersensitivity vasculitis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].
  • Infections – Tuberculosis. BK virus associated nephropathy has been observed in patients receiving immunosuppressants, including Rapamune. This infection may be associated with serious outcomes, including deteriorating renal function and renal graft loss. Cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), sometimes fatal, have been reported in patients treated with immunosuppressants, including Rapamune [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)]. Clostridium difficile enterocolitis.
  • Metabolic/Nutritional – Liver function test abnormal, AST/SGOT increased, ALT/SGPT increased, hypophosphatemia, hyperglycemia, diabetes mellitus.
  • Nervous system - Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome.
  • Respiratory – Cases of interstitial lung disease (including pneumonitis, bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia [BOOP], and pulmonary fibrosis), some fatal, with no identified infectious etiology have occurred in patients receiving immunosuppressive regimens including Rapamune. In some cases, the interstitial lung disease has resolved upon discontinuation or dose reduction of Rapamune. The risk may be increased as the sirolimus trough concentration increases [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)]; pulmonary hemorrhage; pleural effusion; alveolar proteinosis.
  • Skin – Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin (Merkel cell carcinoma) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.16)], exfoliative dermatitis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].
  • Urogenital – Nephrotic syndrome, proteinuria, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, ovarian cysts, menstrual disorders (including amenorrhea and menorrhagia). Azoospermia has been reported with the use of Rapamune and has been reversible upon discontinuation of Rapamune in most cases.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Prophylaxis of Organ Rejection in Renal Transplantation

Rapamune (sirolimus) is indicated for the prophylaxis of organ rejection in patients aged 13 years or older receiving renal transplants.

In patients at low-to moderate-immunologic risk, it is recommended that Rapamune be used initially in a regimen with cyclosporine and corticosteroids; cyclosporine should be withdrawn 2 to 4 months after transplantation [see Dosage and Administration (2.2)].

In patients at high-immunologic risk (defined as Black recipients and/or repeat renal transplant recipients who lost a previous allograft for immunologic reason and/or patients with high panel-reactive antibodies [PRA; peak PRA level > 80%]), it is recommended that Rapamune be used in combination with cyclosporine and corticosteroids for the first year following transplantation [see Dosage and Administration (2.3), Clinical Studies (14.3)].

1.2 Limitations of Use in Renal Transplantation

Cyclosporine withdrawal has not been studied in patients with Banff Grade 3 acute rejection or vascular rejection prior to cyclosporine withdrawal, those who are dialysis-dependent, those with serum creatinine > 4.5 mg/dL, Black patients, patients of multi-organ transplants, secondary transplants, or those with high levels of panel-reactive antibodies [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

In patients at high-immunologic risk, the safety and efficacy of Rapamune used in combination with cyclosporine and corticosteroids has not been studied beyond one year; 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 [see Clinical Studies (14.3)].

In pediatric patients, the safety and efficacy of Rapamune have not been established in patients < 13 years old, or in pediatric (< 18 years) renal transplant patients considered at high-immunologic risk [see Adverse Reactions (6.5), Clinical Studies (14.6)].

The safety and efficacy of de novo use of Rapamune without cyclosporine have not been established in renal transplant patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)].

The safety and efficacy of conversion from calcineurin inhibitors to Rapamune in maintenance renal transplant patients have not been established [see Clinical Studies (14.4)].

1.3 Treatment of Patients with Lymphangioleiomyomatosis

Rapamune (sirolimus) is indicated for the treatment of patients with lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM).

SOLU-CORTEF® WITH PRESERVATIVE (hydrocortisone sodium succinate)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use SOLU-CORTEF WITH PRESERVATIVE safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for SOLU-CORTEF WITH PRESERVATIVE.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

SOLU-CORTEF Sterile Powder is contraindicated in systemic fungal infections and patients with known hypersensitivity to the product and its constituents.

Intramuscular corticosteroid preparations are contraindicated for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.

SOLU-CORTEF Sterile Powder is contraindicated for use in premature infants because the formulation contains benzyl alcohol. (See WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric Use.)

SOLU-CORTEF Sterile Powder is contraindicated for intrathecal administration. Reports of severe medical events have been associated with this route of administration.

WARNINGS

Serious Neurologic Adverse Reactions with Epidural Administration

Serious neurologic events, some resulting in death, have been reported with epidural injection of corticosteroids. Specific events reported include, but are not limited to, spinal cord infarction, paraplegia, quadriplegia, cortical blindness, and stroke. These serious neurologic events have been reported with and without use of fluoroscopy. The safety and effectiveness of epidural administration of corticosteroids have not been established, and corticosteroids are not approved for this use.

General

This product contains benzyl alcohol which is potentially toxic when administered locally to neural tissue. Exposure to excessive amounts of benzyl alcohol has been associated with toxicity (hypotension, metabolic acidosis), particularly in neonates, and an increased incidence of kernicterus, particularly in small preterm infants. There have been rare reports of deaths, primarily in preterm infants, associated with exposure to excessive amounts of benzyl alcohol. The amount of benzyl alcohol from medications is usually considered negligible compared to that received in flush solutions containing benzyl alcohol. Administration of high dosages of medications containing this preservative must take into account the total amount of benzyl alcohol administered. The amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. If the patient requires more than the recommended dosages or other medications containing this preservative, the practitioner must consider the daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from these combined sources (see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric Use).

Injection of SOLU-CORTEF may result in dermal and/or subdermal changes forming depressions in the skin at the injection site. In order to minimize the incidence of dermal and subdermal atrophy, care must be exercised not to exceed recommended doses in injections. Injection into the deltoid muscle should be avoided because of a high incidence of subcutaneous atrophy.

Rare instances of anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids is indicated in patients on corticosteroid therapy subjected to any unusual stress before, during, and after the stressful situation.

Results from one multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled study with methylprednisolone hemisuccinate, an IV corticosteroid, showed an increase in early (at 2 weeks) and late (at 6 months) mortality in patients with cranial trauma who were determined not to have other clear indications for corticosteroid treatment. High doses of systemic corticosteroids, including SOLU-CORTEF, should not be used for the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

Cardio-renal

Average and large doses of corticosteroids can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.

Literature reports suggest an apparent association between use of corticosteroids and left ventricular free wall rupture after a recent myocardial infarction; therefore, therapy with corticosteroids should be used with great caution in these patients.

Endocrine

Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression. Cushing's syndrome, and hyperglycemia. Monitor patients for these conditions with chronic use. Corticosteroids can produce reversible HPA axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment. Drug induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted.

Infections

General

Patients who are on corticosteroids are more susceptible to infections than are healthy individuals. There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used. Infection with any pathogen (viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan or helminthic) in any location of the body may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents.

These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases. Corticosteroids may also mask some signs of current infection. Do not use intra-articularly, intrabursally or for intratendinous administration for local effect in the presence of acute local infection.

Fungal infections

Corticosteroids may exacerbate systemic fungal infections and therefore should not be used in the presence of such infections unless they are needed to control drug reactions. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions, Amphotericin B injection and potassium-depleting agents).

Special pathogens

Latent disease may be activated or there may be an exacerbation of intercurrent infections due to pathogens, including those caused by Amoeba, Candida, Cryptoccocus, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Pneumocystis, and Toxoplasma.

It is recommended that latent amebiasis or active amebiasis be ruled out before initiating corticosteroid therapy in any patient who has spent time in the tropics or in any patient with unexplained diarrhea.

Similarly, corticosteroids should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.

Corticosteroids should not be used in cerebral malaria. There is currently no evidence of benefit from steroids in this condition.

Tuberculosis

The use of corticosteroids in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate antituberculous regimen.

If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.

Vaccination

Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered. However, the reponse to such vaccines cannot be predicted. Immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients who are receiving corticosteroids as replacement therapy (e.g., for Addison's disease).

Viral infections

Chicken pox and measles can have a more serious or even fatal course in pediatric and adult patients on corticosteroids. In pediatric and adult patients who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is not known. If exposed to chicken pox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chicken pox develops, treatment with antiviral agents should be considered.

Neurologic

Reports of severe medical events have been associated with the intrathecal route of administration (see ADVERSE REACTIONS, Neurologic/Psychiatric).

Ophthalmic

Use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to bacteria, fungi, or viruses. The use of oral corticosteroids is not recommended in the treatment of optic neuritis and may lead to an increase in the risk of new episodes. Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex because of corneal perforation. Corticosteroids should not be used in active ocular herpes simplex.


PRECAUTIONS

General

This product, like many other steroid formulations, is sensitive to heat. Therefore, it should not be autoclaved when it is desirable to sterilize the exterior of the vial. The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment. When reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction should be gradual.

Since complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the size of the dose and the duration of treatment, a risk/benefit decision must be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment and as to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.

Kaposi's sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy, most often for chronic conditions. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical improvement.

Cardio-renal

As sodium retention with resultant edema and potassium loss may occur in patients receiving corticosteroids, these agents should be used with caution in patients with congestive heart failure, hypertension, or renal insufficiency.

Endocrine

Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted. Since mineralocorticoid secretion may be impaired, salt and/or a mineralocorticoid should be administered concurrently. Metabolic clearance of corticosteroids is decreased in hypothyroid patients and increased in hyperthyroid patients. Changes in thyroid status of the patient may necessitate adjustment in dosage.

Gastrointestinal

Steroids should be used with caution in active or latent peptic ulcers, diverticulitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, and non-specific ulcerative colitis, since they may increase the risk of a perforation. Signs of peritoneal irritation following gastrointestinal perforation in patients receiving corticosteroids may be minimal or absent.

There is an enhanced effect due to decreased metabolism of corticosteroids in patients with cirrhosis.

Musculoskeletal

Corticosteroids decrease bone formation and increase bone resorption both through their effect on calcium regulation (e.g., decreasing absorption and increasing excretion) and inhibition of osteoblast function. This, together with a decrease in the protein matrix of the bone secondary to an increase in protein catabolism, and reduced sex hormone production, may lead to inhibition of bone growth in pediatric patients and the development of osteoporosis at any age. Special consideration should be given to patients at increased risk of osteoporosis (i.e., postmenopausal women) before initiating corticosteroid therapy.

Local injection of a steroid into a previously infected site is not usually recommended.

Neurologic-psychiatric

Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, they do not show that corticosteroids affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)

An acute myopathy has been observed with the use of high doses of corticosteroids, most often occurring in patients with disorders of neuromuscular transmission (e.g., myasthenia gravis), or in patients receiving concomitant therapy with neuromuscular blocking drugs (e.g., pancuronium). This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.

Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids.

Ophthalmic

Intraocular pressure may become elevated in some individuals. If steroid therapy is continued for more than 6 weeks, intraocular pressure should be monitored.

Information for Patients

Patients should be warned not to discontinue the use of corticosteroids abruptly or without medical supervision, to advise any medical attendants that they are taking corticosteroids, and to seek medical advice at once should they develop fever or other signs of infection.

Persons who are on corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chicken pox or measles. Patients should also be advised that if they are exposed, medical advice should be sought without delay.

Drug Interactions

Aminoglutethimide

Aminoglutethimide may lead to a loss of corticosteroid-induced adrenal suppression.

Amphotericin B injection and potassium-depleting agents

When corticosteroids are administered concomitantly with potassium-depleting agents (e.g., amphotericin B, diuretics), patients should be observed closely for development of hypokalemia. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure.

Antibiotics

Macrolide antibiotics have been reported to cause a significant decrease in corticosteroid clearance (see PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions, Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors).

Anticholinesterases

Concomitant use of anticholinesterase agents and corticosteroids may produce severe weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. If possible, anticholinesterase agents should be withdrawn at least 24 hours before initiating corticosteroid therapy.

Anticoagulants, oral

Coadministration of corticosteroids and warfarin usually results in inhibition of response to warfarin, although there have been some conflicting reports. Therefore, coagulation indices should be monitored frequently to maintain the desired anticoagulant effect.

Antidiabetics

Because corticosteroids may increase blood glucose concentrations, dosage adjustments of antidiabetic agents may be required.

Antitubercular drugs

Serum concentrations of isoniazid may be decreased.

Cholestyramine

Cholestyramine may increase the clearance of corticosteroids.

Cyclosporine

Increased activity of both cyclosporine and corticosteroids may occur when the two are used concurrently. Convulsions have been reported with this concurrent use.

Digitalis glycosides

Patients on digitalis glycosides may be at increased risk of arrhythmias due to hypokalemia.

Estrogens, including oral contraceptives

Estrogens may decrease the hepatic metabolism of certain corticosteroids, thereby increasing their effect.

Hepatic Enzyme Inducers (e.g., barbiturates, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin)

Drugs that induce cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme activity may enhance the metabolism of corticosteroids and require that the dosage of the corticosteroid be increased.

Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors (e.g., ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin and troleandomycin)

Drugs that inhibit cytochrome P450 3A4 have the potential to result in increased plasma concentrations of corticosteroids.

Ketoconazole

Ketoconazole has been reported to significantly decrease the metabolism of certain corticosteroids by up to 60%, leading to an increased risk of corticosteroid side effects.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Concomitant use of aspirin (or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents) and corticosteroids increases the risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Aspirin should be used cautiously in conjunction with corticosteroids in hypoprothrombinemia. The clearance of salicylates may be increased with concurrent use of corticosteroids.

Skin tests

Corticosteroids may suppress reactions to skin tests.

Vaccines

Patients on prolonged corticosteroid therapy may exhibit a diminished response to toxoids and live or inactivated vaccines due to inhibition of antibody response. Corticosteroids may also potentiate the replication of some organisms contained in live attenuated vaccines. Routine administration of vaccines or toxoids should be deferred until corticosteroid therapy is discontinued if possible (see WARNINGS: Infections, Vaccination).

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No adequate studies have been conducted in animals to determine whether corticosteroids have a potential for carcinogenesis or mutagenesis.

Steroids may increase or decrease motility and number of spermatozoa in some patients.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category C

Corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic in many species when given in doses equivalent to the human dose. Animal studies in which corticosteroids have been given to pregnant mice, rats, and rabbits have yielded an increased incidence of cleft palate in the offspring. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Corticosteroids should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Infants born to mothers who have received corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.

This product contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative.

Benzyl alcohol can cross the placenta. See PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric use.

Nursing Mothers

Systemically administered corticosteroids appear in human milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other untoward effects. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from corticosteroids, a decision should be made whether to continue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

This product contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative. Benzyl alcohol, a component of this product, has been associated with serious adverse events and death, particularly in pediatric patients. The "gasping syndrome", (characterized by central nervous system depression, metabolic acidosis, gasping respirations, and high levels of benzyl alcohol and its metabolites found in the blood and urine) has been associated with benzyl alcohol dosages >99 mg/kg/day in neonates and low-birth-weight neonates. Additional symptoms may include gradual neurological deterioration, seizures, intracranial hemorrhage, hematologic abnormalities, skin breakdown, hepatic and renal failure, hypotension, bradycardia, and cardiovascular collapse. Although normal therapeutic doses of this product ordinarily delivers amounts of benzyl alcohol that are substantially lower than those reported in association with the "gasping syndrome", the minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. The risk of benzyl alcohol toxicity depends on the quantity administered and the hepatic capacity to detoxify the chemical. Premature and low-birth-weight infants, as well as patients receiving high dosages, may be more likely to develop toxicity. Practitioners administering this and other medications containing benzyl alcohol should consider the combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources.

The efficacy and safety of corticosteroids in the pediatric population are based on the well-established course of effect of corticosteroids, which is similar in pediatric and adult populations. Published studies provide evidence of efficacy and safety in pediatric patients for the treatment of nephrotic syndrome (>2 years of age) and aggressive lymphomas and leukemias (>1 month of age). Other indications for pediatric use of corticosteroids (e.g., severe asthma and wheezing) are based on adequate and well-controlled trials conducted in adults, on the premises that the course of the diseases and their pathophysiology are considered to be substantially similar in both populations.

The adverse effects of corticosteroids in pediatric patients are similar to those in adults (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Like adults, pediatric patients should be carefully observed with frequent measurements of blood pressure, weight, height, intraocular pressure, and clinical evaluation for the presence of infection, psychosocial disturbances, thromboembolism, peptic ulcers, cataracts, and osteoporosis. Pediatric patients who are treated with corticosteroids by any route, including systemically administered corticosteroids, may experience a decrease in their growth velocity. This negative impact of corticosteroids on growth has been observed at low systemic doses and in the absence of laboratory evidence of HPA axis suppression (i.e., cosyntropin stimulation and basal cortisol plasma levels). Growth velocity may therefore be a more sensitive indicator of systemic corticosteroid exposure in pediatric patients than some commonly used tests of HPA axis function. The linear growth of pediatric patients treated with corticosteroids should be monitored, and the potential growth effects of prolonged treatment should be weighed against clinical benefits obtained and the availability of treatment alternatives. In order to minimize the potential growth effects of corticosteroids, pediatric patients should be titrated to the lowest effective dose.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions have been reported with SOLU-CORTEF or other corticosteroids:

Allergic reactions: Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions, anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema.

Cardiovascular: Bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, fat embolism, hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction (see WARNINGS), pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis.

Dermatologic: Acne, allergic dermatitis, burning or tingling (especially in the perineal area, after intravenous injection), cutaneous and subcutaneous atrophy, dry scaly skin, ecchymoses and petechiae, edema, erythema, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, rash, sterile abscess, striae, suppressed reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria.

Endocrine: Decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, development of cushingoid state, glycosuria, hirsutism, hypertrichosis, increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetes, manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus, menstrual irregularities, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness), suppression of growth in pediatric patients.

Fluid and electrolyte disturbances: Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients, fluid retention, hypokalemic alkalosis, potassium loss, sodium retention.

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal distention, bowel/bladder dysfunction (after intrathecal administration), elevation in serum liver enzyme levels (usually reversible upon discontinuation), hepatomegaly, increased appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis.

Metabolic: Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.

Musculoskeletal: Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, Charcot-like arthropathy, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, pathologic fracture of long bones, postinjection flare (following intra-articular use), steroid myopathy, tendon rupture, vertebral compression fractures.

Neurologic/Psychiatric: Convulsions, depression, emotional instability, euphoria, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, insomnia, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychic disorders, vertigo. Arachnoiditis, meningitis, paraparesis/paraplegia, and sensory disturbances have occurred after intrathecal administration (see WARNINGS: Neurologic).

Ophthalmic: Exophthalmoses, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts, rare instances of blindness associated with periocular injections.

Other: Abnormal fat deposits, decreased resistance to infection, hiccups, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, injection site infections following non-sterile administration (see WARNINGS), malaise, moon face, weight gain.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

When oral therapy is not feasible, and the strength, dosage form, and route of administration of the drug reasonably lend the preparation to the treatment of the condition, the intravenous or intramuscular use of SOLU-CORTEF Sterile Powder is indicated as follows:

Allergic states

Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment in asthma, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, drug hypersensitivity reactions, perennial or seasonal allergic rhinitis, serum sickness, transfusion reactions.

Dermatologic diseases

Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis, exfoliative erythroderma, mycosis fungoides, pemphigus, severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome).

Endocrine disorders

Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy, mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance), congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hypercalcemia associated with cancer, nonsuppurative thyroiditis.

Gastrointestinal diseases

To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in regional enteritis (systemic therapy) and ulcerative colitis.

Hematologic disorders

Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia, congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia (Diamond Blackfan anemia), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults (intravenous administration only; intramuscular administration is contraindicated), pure red cell aplasia, select cases of secondary thrombocytopenia.

Miscellaneous

Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement, tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy.

Neoplastic diseases

For the palliative management of leukemias and lymphomas.

Nervous System

Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis; cerebral edema associated with primary or metastatic brain tumor, or craniotomy.

Ophthalmic diseases

Sympathetic ophthalmia, uveitis and ocular inflammatory conditions unresponsive to topical corticosteroids.

Renal diseases

To induce diuresis or remission of proteinuria in idiopathic nephrotic syndrome, or that due to lupus erythematosus.

Respiratory diseases

Berylliosis, fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy, idiopathic eosinophilic pneumonias, symptomatic sarcoidosis.

Rheumatic disorders

As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in acute gouty arthritis; acute rheumatic carditis; ankylosing spondylitis; psoriatic arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy). For the treatment of dermatomyositis, temporal arteritis, polymyositis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

SOLU-CORTEF® WITHOUT PRESERVATIVE (hydrocortisone sodium succinate)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use SOLU-CORTEF WITHOUT PRESERVATIVE safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for SOLU-CORTEF WITHOUT PRESERVATIVE.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

SOLU-CORTEF Sterile Powder is contraindicated in systemic fungal infections and patients with known hypersensitivity to the product and its constituents.

Intramuscular corticosteroid preparations are contraindicated for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.

SOLU-CORTEF Sterile Powder is contraindicated for intrathecal administration. Reports of severe medical events have been associated with this route of administration.

WARNINGS

Serious Neurologic Adverse Reactions with Epidural Administration

Serious neurologic events, some resulting in death, have been reported with epidural injection of corticosteroids. Specific events reported include, but are not limited to, spinal cord infarction, paraplegia, quadriplegia, cortical blindness, and stroke. These serious neurologic events have been reported with and without use of fluoroscopy. The safety and effectiveness of epidural administration of corticosteroids have not been established, and corticosteroids are not approved for this use.

General

Injection of SOLU-CORTEF may result in dermal and/or subdermal changes forming depressions in the skin at the injection site. In order to minimize the incidence of dermal and subdermal atrophy, care must be exercised not to exceed recommended doses in injections. Injection into the deltoid muscle should be avoided because of a high incidence of subcutaneous atrophy.

Rare instances of anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids is indicated in patients on corticosteroid therapy subjected to any unusual stress before, during, and after the stressful situation.

Results from one multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled study with methylprednisolone hemisuccinate, an IV corticosteroid, showed an increase in early (at 2 weeks) and late (at 6 months) mortality in patients with cranial trauma who were determined not to have other clear indications for corticosteroid treatment. High doses of systemic corticosteroids, including SOLU-CORTEF, should not be used for the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

Cardio-renal

Average and large doses of corticosteroids can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.

Literature reports suggest an apparent association between use of corticosteroids and left ventricular free wall rupture after a recent myocardial infarction; therefore, therapy with corticosteroids should be used with great caution in these patients.

Endocrine

Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression. Cushing's syndrome, and hyperglycemia. Monitor patients for these conditions with chronic use. Corticosteroids can produce reversible HPA axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment. Drug induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted.

Infections

General

Patients who are on corticosteroids are more susceptible to infections than are healthy individuals. There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used. Infection with any pathogen (viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan or helminthic) in any location of the body may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents.

These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases. Corticosteroids may also mask some signs of current infection. Do not use intra-articularly, intrabursally or for intratendinous administration for local effect in the presence of acute local infection.

Fungal infections

Corticosteroids may exacerbate systemic fungal infections and therefore should not be used in the presence of such infections unless they are needed to control drug reactions. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions, Amphotericin B injection and potassium-depleting agents).

Special pathogens

Latent disease may be activated or there may be an exacerbation of intercurrent infections due to pathogens, including those caused by Amoeba, Candida, Cryptococcus, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Pneumocystis, and Toxoplasma.

It is recommended that latent amebiasis or active amebiasis be ruled out before initiating corticosteroid therapy in any patient who has spent time in the tropics or in any patient with unexplained diarrhea.

Similarly, corticosteroids should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.

Corticosteroids should not be used in cerebral malaria. There is currently no evidence of benefit from steroids in this condition.

Tuberculosis

The use of corticosteroids in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate antituberculous regimen.

If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.

Vaccination

Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered. However, the reponse to such vaccines cannot be predicted. Immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients who are receiving corticosteroids as replacement therapy (e.g., for Addison's disease).

Viral infections

Chicken pox and measles can have a more serious or even fatal course in pediatric and adult patients on corticosteroids. In pediatric and adult patients who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is not known. If exposed to chicken pox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chicken pox develops, treatment with antiviral agents should be considered.

Neurologic

Reports of severe medical events have been associated with the intrathecal route of administration (see ADVERSE REACTIONS, Neurologic/Psychiatric).

Ophthalmic

Use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to bacteria, fungi, or viruses. The use of oral corticosteroids is not recommended in the treatment of optic neuritis and may lead to an increase in the risk of new episodes. Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex because of corneal perforation. Corticosteroids should not be used in active ocular herpes simplex.


PRECAUTIONS

General

This product, like many other steroid formulations, is sensitive to heat. Therefore, it should not be autoclaved when it is desirable to sterilize the exterior of the vial. The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment. When reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction should be gradual.

Since complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the size of the dose and the duration of treatment, a risk/benefit decision must be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment and as to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.

Kaposi's sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy, most often for chronic conditions. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical improvement.

Cardio-renal

As sodium retention with resultant edema and potassium loss may occur in patients receiving corticosteroids, these agents should be used with caution in patients with congestive heart failure, hypertension, or renal insufficiency.

Endocrine

Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted. Metabolic clearance of corticosteroids is decreased in hypothyroid patients and increased in hyperthyroid patients. Changes in thyroid status of the patient may necessitate adjustment in dosage.

Gastrointestinal

Steroids should be used with caution in active or latent peptic ulcers, diverticulitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, and non-specific ulcerative colitis, since they may increase the risk of a perforation. Signs of peritoneal irritation following gastrointestinal perforation in patients receiving corticosteroids may be minimal or absent.

There is an enhanced effect due to decreased metabolism of corticosteroids in patients with cirrhosis.

Musculoskeletal

Corticosteroids decrease bone formation and increase bone resorption both through their effect on calcium regulation (e.g., decreasing absorption and increasing excretion) and inhibition of osteoblast function. This, together with a decrease in the protein matrix of the bone secondary to an increase in protein catabolism, and reduced sex hormone production, may lead to inhibition of bone growth in pediatric patients and the development of osteoporosis at any age. Special consideration should be given to patients at increased risk of osteoporosis (i.e., postmenopausal women) before initiating corticosteroid therapy.

Local injection of a steroid into a previously infected site is not usually recommended.

Neurologic-psychiatric

Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, they do not show that corticosteroids affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)

An acute myopathy has been observed with the use of high doses of corticosteroids, most often occurring in patients with disorders of neuromuscular transmission (e.g., myasthenia gravis), or in patients receiving concomitant therapy with neuromuscular blocking drugs (e.g., pancuronium). This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.

Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids.

Ophthalmic

Intraocular pressure may become elevated in some individuals. If steroid therapy is continued for more than 6 weeks, intraocular pressure should be monitored.

Other

Pheochromocytoma crisis, which can be fatal, has been reported after administration of systemic corticosteroids. In patients with suspected pheochromocytoma, consider the risk of pheochromocytoma crisis prior to administering corticosteroids.

Information for Patients

Patients should be warned not to discontinue the use of corticosteroids abruptly or without medical supervision, to advise any medical attendants that they are taking corticosteroids, and to seek medical advice at once should they develop fever or other signs of infection.

Persons who are on corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chicken pox or measles. Patients should also be advised that if they are exposed, medical advice should be sought without delay.

Drug Interactions

Aminoglutethimide

Aminoglutethimide may lead to a loss of corticosteroid-induced adrenal suppression.

Amphotericin B injection and potassium-depleting agents

When corticosteroids are administered concomitantly with potassium-depleting agents (e.g., amphotericin B, diuretics), patients should be observed closely for development of hypokalemia. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure.

Antibiotics

Macrolide antibiotics have been reported to cause a significant decrease in corticosteroid clearance (see PRECAUTIONS: Drug Interactions, Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors).

Anticholinesterases

Concomitant use of anticholinesterase agents and corticosteroids may produce severe weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. If possible, anticholinesterase agents should be withdrawn at least 24 hours before initiating corticosteroid therapy.

Anticoagulants, oral

Coadministration of corticosteroids and warfarin usually results in inhibition of response to warfarin, although there have been some conflicting reports. Therefore, coagulation indices should be monitored frequently to maintain the desired anticoagulant effect.

Antidiabetics

Because corticosteroids may increase blood glucose concentrations, dosage adjustments of antidiabetic agents may be required.

Antitubercular drugs

Serum concentrations of isoniazid may be decreased.

Cholestyramine

Cholestyramine may increase the clearance of corticosteroids.

Cyclosporine

Increased activity of both cyclosporine and corticosteroids may occur when the two are used concurrently. Convulsions have been reported with this concurrent use.

Digitalis glycosides

Patients on digitalis glycosides may be at increased risk of arrhythmias due to hypokalemia.

Estrogens, including oral contraceptives

Estrogens may decrease the hepatic metabolism of certain corticosteroids, thereby increasing their effect.

Hepatic Enzyme Inducers (e.g., barbiturates, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin)

Drugs that induce cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme activity may enhance the metabolism of corticosteroids and require that the dosage of the corticosteroid be increased.

Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors (e.g., ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin and troleandomycin)

Drugs that inhibit cytochrome P450 3A4 have the potential to result in increased plasma concentrations of corticosteroids.

Ketoconazole

Ketoconazole has been reported to significantly decrease the metabolism of certain corticosteroids by up to 60%, leading to an increased risk of corticosteroid side effects.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Concomitant use of aspirin (or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents) and corticosteroids increases the risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Aspirin should be used cautiously in conjunction with corticosteroids in hypoprothrombinemia. The clearance of salicylates may be increased with concurrent use of corticosteroids.

Skin tests

Corticosteroids may suppress reactions to skin tests.

Vaccines

Patients on prolonged corticosteroid therapy may exhibit a diminished response to toxoids and live or inactivated vaccines due to inhibition of antibody response. Corticosteroids may also potentiate the replication of some organisms contained in live attenuated vaccines. Routine administration of vaccines or toxoids should be deferred until corticosteroid therapy is discontinued if possible (see WARNINGS: Infections, Vaccination).

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No adequate studies have been conducted in animals to determine whether corticosteroids have a potential for carcinogenesis or mutagenesis.

Steroids may increase or decrease motility and number of spermatozoa in some patients.

Corticosteroids have been shown to impair fertility in male rats.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

Corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic in many species when given in doses equivalent to the human dose. Animal studies in which corticosteroids have been given to pregnant mice, rats, and rabbits have yielded an increased incidence of cleft palate in the offspring. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Corticosteroids should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Infants born to mothers who have received corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.

Nursing Mothers

Systemically administered corticosteroids appear in human milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other untoward effects. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from corticosteroids, a decision should be made whether to continue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

The efficacy and safety of corticosteroids in the pediatric population are based on the well-established course of effect of corticosteroids, which is similar in pediatric and adult populations. Published studies provide evidence of efficacy and safety in pediatric patients for the treatment of nephrotic syndrome (>2 years of age) and aggressive lymphomas and leukemias (>1 month of age). Other indications for pediatric use of corticosteroids (e.g., severe asthma and wheezing) are based on adequate and well-controlled trials conducted in adults, on the premises that the course of the diseases and their pathophysiology are considered to be substantially similar in both populations.

The adverse effects of corticosteroids in pediatric patients are similar to those in adults (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Like adults, pediatric patients should be carefully observed with frequent measurements of blood pressure, weight, height, intraocular pressure, and clinical evaluation for the presence of infection, psychosocial disturbances, thromboembolism, peptic ulcers, cataracts, and osteoporosis. Pediatric patients who are treated with corticosteroids by any route, including systemically administered corticosteroids, may experience a decrease in their growth velocity. This negative impact of corticosteroids on growth has been observed at low systemic doses and in the absence of laboratory evidence of HPA axis suppression (i.e., cosyntropin stimulation and basal cortisol plasma levels). Growth velocity may therefore be a more sensitive indicator of systemic corticosteroid exposure in pediatric patients than some commonly used tests of HPA axis function. The linear growth of pediatric patients treated with corticosteroids should be monitored, and the potential growth effects of prolonged treatment should be weighed against clinical benefits obtained and the availability of treatment alternatives. In order to minimize the potential growth effects of corticosteroids, pediatric patients should be titrated to the lowest effective dose.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions have been reported with SOLU-CORTEF or other corticosteroids:

Allergic reactions: Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions, anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema.

Blood and lymphatic system disorders: Leukocytosis.

Cardiovascular: Bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, fat embolism, hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction (see WARNINGS), pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis.

Dermatologic: Acne, allergic dermatitis, burning or tingling (especially in the perineal area, after intravenous injection), cutaneous and subcutaneous atrophy, dry scaly skin, ecchymoses and petechiae, edema, erythema, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, rash, sterile abscess, striae, suppressed reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria.

Endocrine: Decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, development of cushingoid state, glycosuria, hirsutism, hypertrichosis, increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetes, manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus, menstrual irregularities, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness), suppression of growth in pediatric patients.

Fluid and electrolyte disturbances: Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients, fluid retention, hypokalemic alkalosis, potassium loss, sodium retention.

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal distention, bowel/bladder dysfunction (after intrathecal administration), elevation in serum liver enzyme levels (usually reversible upon discontinuation), hepatomegaly, increased appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis.

Metabolic: Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.

Musculoskeletal: Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, Charcot-like arthropathy, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, pathologic fracture of long bones, postinjection flare (following intra-articular use), steroid myopathy, tendon rupture, vertebral compression fractures.

Neurologic/Psychiatric: Convulsions, depression, emotional instability, euphoria, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, insomnia, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychic disorders, vertigo. Arachnoiditis, meningitis, paraparesis/paraplegia, and sensory disturbances have occurred after intrathecal administration (see WARNINGS: Neurologic), epidural lipomatosis.

Ophthalmic: Central serous chorioretinopathy, exophthalmoses, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts, rare instances of blindness associated with periocular injections.

Other: Abnormal fat deposits, decreased resistance to infection, hiccups, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, injection site infections following non-sterile administration (see WARNINGS), malaise, moon face, weight gain.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

When oral therapy is not feasible, and the strength, dosage form, and route of administration of the drug reasonably lend the preparation to the treatment of the condition, the intravenous or intramusculat use of SOLU-CORTEF Sterile Powder is indicated as follows:

Allergic states

Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment in asthma, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, drug hypersensitivity reactions, perennial or seasonal allergic rhinitis, serum sickness, transfusion reactions.

Dermatologic diseases

Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis, exfoliative erythroderma, mycosis fungoides, pemphigus, severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome).

Endocrine disorders

Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy, mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance), congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hypercalcemia associated with cancer, nonsuppurative thyroiditis.

Gastrointestinal diseases

To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in regional enteritis (systemic therapy) and ulcerative colitis.

Hematologic disorders

Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia, congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia (Diamond Blackfan anemia), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults (intravenous administration only; intramuscular administration is contraindicated), pure red cell aplasia, select cases of secondary thrombocytopenia.

Miscellaneous

Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement, tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy.

Neoplastic diseases

For the palliative management of leukemias and lymphomas.

Nervous System

Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis; cerebral edema associated with primary or metastatic brain tumor, or craniotomy.

Ophthalmic diseases

Sympathetic ophthalmia, uveitis and ocular inflammatory conditions unresponsive to topical corticosteroids.

Renal diseases

To induce diuresis or remission of proteinuria in idiopathic nephrotic syndrome, or that due to lupus erythematosus.

Respiratory diseases

Berylliosis, fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy, idiopathic eosinophilic pneumonias, symptomatic sarcoidosis.

Rheumatic disorders

As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in acute gouty arthritis; acute rheumatic carditis; ankylosing spondylitis; psoriatic arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy). For the treatment of dermatomyositis, temporal arteritis, polymyositis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

SOLU-MEDROL® (methylprednisolone sodium succinate)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use SOLU-MEDROL safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for SOLU-MEDROL.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

SOLU-MEDROL Sterile Powder is contraindicated:

  • in systemic fungal infections and patients with known hypersensitivity to the product and its constituents. The SOLU-MEDROL 40 mg presentation includes lactose monohydrate produced from cow's milk. This presentation is therefore contraindicated in patients with a known or suspected hypersensitivity to cow's milk or its components or other dairy products because it may contain trace amounts of milk ingredients.
  • for intrathecal administration. Reports of severe medical events have been associated with this route of administration.

Intramuscular corticosteroid preparations are contraindicated for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Additional contraindication for the use of SOLU-MEDROL Sterile Powder preserved with benzyl alcohol:

Formulations preserved with benzyl alcohol are contraindicated for use in premature infants. (See WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS, Pediatric Use.)

WARNINGS

Serious Neurologic Adverse Reactions with Epidural Administration

Serious neurologic events, some resulting in death, have been reported with epidural injection of corticosteroids. Specific events reported include, but are not limited to, spinal cord infarction, paraplegia, quadriplegia, cortical blindness, and stroke. These serious neurologic events have been reported with and without use of fluoroscopy. The safety and effectiveness of epidural administration of corticosteroids have not been established, and corticosteroids are not approved for this use.

General

Formulations with preservative (see DESCRIPTION) contain benzyl alcohol, which is potentially toxic when administered locally to neural tissue. Exposure to excessive amounts of benzyl alcohol has been associated with toxicity (hypotension, metabolic acidosis), particularly in neonates, and an increased incidence of kernicterus, particularly in small preterm infants. There have been rare reports of deaths, primarily in preterm infants, associated with exposure to excessive amounts of benzyl alcohol. The amount of benzyl alcohol from medications is usually considered negligible compared to that received in flush solutions containing benzyl alcohol. Administration of high dosages of medications containing this preservative must take into account the total amount of benzyl alcohol administered. The amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. If the patient requires more than the recommended dosages or other medications containing this preservative, the practitioner must consider the daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from these combined sources (see PRECAUTIONS, Pediatric Use).

Injection of SOLU-MEDROL may result in dermal and/or subdermal changes forming depressions in the skin at the injection site. In order to minimize the incidence of dermal and subdermal atrophy, care must be exercised not to exceed recommended doses in injections. Injection into the deltoid muscle should be avoided because of a high incidence of subcutaneous atrophy.

Rare instances of anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

In patients receiving the 40 mg presentation of SOLU-MEDROL during the treatment for acute allergic conditions and where these symptoms worsen or any new allergic symptoms occur, consideration should be given to the potential for hypersensitivity reactions to cow's milk ingredients (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). If appropriate, administration of SOLU-MEDROL should be stopped, and the patient's condition should be treated accordingly. Alternative treatments, including the use of corticosteroid formulations that do not contain ingredients produced from cow's milk, should be considered for acute allergy management, where appropriate.

Increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids is indicated in patients on corticosteroid therapy who are subjected to any unusual stress before, during, and after the stressful situation.

Results from one multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled study with methylprednisolone hemisuccinate, an intravenous corticosteroid, showed an increase in early (at 2 weeks) and late (at 6 months) mortality in patients with cranial trauma who were determined not to have other clear indications for corticosteroid treatment. High doses of systemic corticosteroids, including SOLU-MEDROL, should not be used for the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

Cardio-renal

Average and large doses of corticosteroids can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.

Literature reports suggest an apparent association between the use of corticosteroids and left ventricular free wall rupture after a recent myocardial infarction; therefore, therapy with corticosteroids should be used with great caution in these patients.

Endocrine

Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, Cushing's syndrome, and hyperglycemia. Monitor patients for these conditions with chronic use.

Corticosteroids can produce reversible HPA axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment. Drug induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted.

Drug-Induced Liver Injury

Rarely, high doses of cyclically pulsed intravenous methylprednisolone (usually for the treatment of exacerbations of multiple sclerosis at doses of 1 gram/day) can induce a toxic form of acute hepatitis. The time to onset of this form of steroid-induced liver injury can be several weeks or longer. Resolution has been observed after discontinuation of treatment. However, serious liver injury can occur, sometimes resulting in acute liver failure and death. Discontinue intravenous methylprednisolone if toxic hepatitis occurs. Since recurrence has occurred after re-challenge, avoid use of high dose intravenous methylprednisolone in patients with a history of toxic hepatitis caused by methylprednisolone.

Infections

General

Patients who are on corticosteroids are more susceptible to infections than are healthy individuals. There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used. Infections with any pathogen (viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan, or helminthic) in any location of the body may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents.

These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases. Corticosteroids may also mask some signs of current infection. Do not use intra-articularly, intrabursally or for intratendinous administration for local effect in the presence of acute local infection.

A study has failed to establish the efficacy of methylprednisolone sodium succinate in the treatment of sepsis syndrome and septic shock. The study also suggests that treatment of these conditions with methylprednisolone sodium succinate may increase the risk of mortality in certain patients (i.e., patients with elevated serum creatinine levels or patients who develop secondary infections after methylprednisolone sodium succinate).

Fungal infections

Corticosteroids may exacerbate systemic fungal infections and therefore should not be used in the presence of such infections unless they are needed to control drug reactions. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions, Amphotericin B injection and potassium-depleting agents).

Special pathogens

Latent disease may be activated or there may be an exacerbation of intercurrent infections due to pathogens, including those caused by Amoeba, Candida, Cryptococcus, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Pneumocystis, Toxoplasma.

It is recommended that latent amebiasis or active amebiasis be ruled out before initiating corticosteroid therapy in any patient who has spent time in the tropics or in any patient with unexplained diarrhea.

Similarly, corticosteroids should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.

Corticosteroids should not be used in cerebral malaria. There is currently no evidence of benefit from steroids in this condition.

Tuberculosis

The use of corticosteroids in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with appropriate antituberculous regimen.

If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.

Vaccination

Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered. However, the response to such vaccines can not be predicted. Immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients receiving corticosteroids as replacement therapy, e.g., for Addison's disease.

Viral infections

Chicken pox and measles can have a more serious or even fatal course in pediatric and adult patients on corticosteroids. In pediatric and adult patients who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed to chicken pox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chicken pox develops, treatment with antiviral agents should be considered.

Neurologic

Reports of severe medical events have been associated with the intrathecal route of administration (see ADVERSE REACTIONS, Gastrointestinal and Neurologic/Psychiatric).

Ophthalmic

Use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to bacteria, fungi, or viruses. The use of oral corticosteroids is not recommended in the treatment of optic neuritis and may lead to an increase in the risk of new episodes. Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex because of corneal perforation. Corticosteroids should not be used in active ocular herpes simplex.


PRECAUTIONS

General

This product, like many other steroid formulations, is sensitive to heat. Therefore, it should not be autoclaved when it is desirable to sterilize the exterior of the vial.

The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment. When reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction should be gradual.

Since complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the size of the dose and the duration of treatment, a risk/benefit decision must be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment and as to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.

Kaposi's sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy, most often for chronic conditions. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical improvement.

Cardio-renal

As sodium retention with resultant edema and potassium loss may occur in patients receiving corticosteroids, these agents should be used with caution in patients with congestive heart failure, hypertension, or renal insufficiency.

Endocrine

Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted.

Metabolic clearance of corticosteroids is decreased in hypothyroid patients and increased in hyperthyroid patients. Changes in thyroid status of the patient may necessitate adjustment in dosage.

Gastrointestinal

Steroids should be used with caution in active or latent peptic ulcers, diverticulitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, and nonspecific ulcerative colitis, since they may increase the risk of a perforation. Signs of peritoneal irritation following gastrointestinal perforation in patients receiving corticosteroids may be minimal or absent.

There is an enhanced effect due to decreased metabolism of corticosteroids in patients with cirrhosis.

Musculoskeletal

Corticosteroids decrease bone formation and increase bone resorption both through their effect on calcium regulation (i.e., decreasing absorption and increasing excretion) and inhibition of osteoblast function. This, together with a decrease in the protein matrix of the bone secondary to an increase in protein catabolism, and reduced sex hormone production, may lead to inhibition of bone growth in pediatric patients and the development of osteoporosis at any age. Special consideration should be given to patients at increased risk of osteoporosis (i.e., postmenopausal women) before initiating corticosteroid therapy.

Local injection of a steroid into a previously infected site is not usually recommended.

Neurologic-psychiatric

Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, they do not show that corticosteroids affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)

An acute myopathy has been observed with the use of high doses of corticosteroids, most often occurring in patients with disorders of neuromuscular transmission (e.g., myasthenia gravis), or in patients receiving concomitant therapy with neuromuscular blocking drugs (e.g., pancuronium). This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevations of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.

Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression, to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids.

Ophthalmic

Intraocular pressure may become elevated in some individuals. If steroid therapy is continued for more than 6 weeks, intraocular pressure should be monitored.

Information for Patients

Patients should be warned not to discontinue the use of corticosteroids abruptly or without medical supervision, to advise any medical attendants that they are taking corticosteroids, and to seek medical advice at once should they develop fever or other signs of infection.

Persons who are on corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chicken pox or measles. Patients should also be advised that if they are exposed, medical advice should be sought without delay.

Drug Interactions

Aminoglutethimide

Aminoglutethimide may lead to a loss of corticosteroid-induced adrenal suppression.

Amphotericin B injection and potassium-depleting agents

When corticosteroids are administered concomitantly with potassium-depleting agents (i.e., amphotericin B, diuretics), patients should be observed closely for development of hypokalemia. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure.

Antibiotics

Macrolide antibiotics have been reported to cause a significant decrease in corticosteroid clearance (see Drug Interactions, Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors).

Anticholinesterases

Concomitant use of anticholinesterase agents and corticosteroids may produce severe weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. If possible, anticholinesterase agents should be withdrawn at least 24 hours before initiating corticosteroid therapy.

Anticoagulants, oral

Coadministration of corticosteroids and warfarin usually results in inhibition of response to warfarin, although there have been some conflicting reports. Therefore, coagulation indices should be monitored frequently to maintain the desired anticoagulant effect.

Antidiabetics

Because corticosteroids may increase blood glucose concentrations, dosage adjustments of antidiabetic agents may be required.

Antitubercular drugs

Serum concentrations of isoniazid may be decreased.

Cholestyramine

Cholestyramine may increase the clearance of corticosteroids.

Cyclosporine

Increased activity of both cyclosporine and corticosteroids may occur when the two are used concurrently. Convulsions have been reported with this concurrent use.

Digitalis glycosides

Patients on digitalis glycosides may be at increased risk of arrhythmias due to hypokalemia.

Estrogens, including oral contraceptives

Estrogens may decrease the hepatic metabolism of certain corticosteroids, thereby increasing their effect.

Hepatic Enzyme Inducers (e.g., barbiturates, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin)

Drugs which induce cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme activity may enhance the metabolism of corticosteroids and require that the dosage of the corticosteroid be increased.

Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors (e.g., ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin and troleandomycin)

Drugs which inhibit cytochrome P450 3A4 have the potential to result in increased plasma concentrations of corticosteroids.

Ketoconazole

Ketoconazole has been reported to significantly decrease the metabolism of certain corticosteroids by up to 60%, leading to an increased risk of corticosteroid side effects.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs)

Concomitant use of aspirin (or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents) and corticosteroids increases the risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Aspirin should be used cautiously in conjunction with corticosteroids in hypoprothrombinemia. The clearance of salicylates may be increased with concurrent use of corticosteroids.

Skin tests

Corticosteroids may suppress reactions to skin tests.

Vaccines

Patients on prolonged corticosteroid therapy may exhibit a diminished response to toxoids and live or inactivated vaccines due to inhibition of antibody response. Corticosteroids may also potentiate the replication of some organisms contained in live attenuated vaccines. Routine administration of vaccines or toxoids should be deferred until corticosteroid therapy is discontinued if possible (see WARNINGS, Infections, Vaccination).

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No adequate studies have been conducted in animals to determine whether corticosteroids have a potential for carcinogenesis or mutagenesis.

Steroids may increase or decrease motility and number of spermatozoa in some patients.

Corticosteroids have been shown to impair fertility in male rats.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic effects

Corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic in many species when given in doses equivalent to the human dose. Animal studies in which corticosteroids have been given to pregnant mice, rats, and rabbits have yielded an increased incidence of cleft palate in the offspring. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Corticosteroids should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Infants born to mothers who have received corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.

This product contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative.

Benzyl alcohol can cross the placenta. See PRECAUTIONS: Pediatric use.

Nursing Mothers

Systemically administered corticosteroids appear in human milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other untoward effects. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from corticosteroids, a decision should be made whether to continue nursing, or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

Some formulations of this product contain benzyl alcohol as a preservative (see DESCRIPTION). Carefully examine vials to determine formulation that is being used.

Benzyl alcohol, a component of this product, has been associated with serious adverse events and death, particularly in pediatric patients. The "gasping syndrome" (characterized by central nervous system depression, metabolic acidosis, gasping respirations, and high levels of benzyl alcohol and its metabolites found in the blood and urine) has been associated with benzyl alcohol dosages >99 mg/kg/day in neonates and low-birth-weight neonates. Additional symptoms may include gradual neurological deterioration, seizures, intracranial hemorrhage, hematologic abnormalities, skin breakdown, hepatic and renal failure, hypotension, bradycardia, and cardiovascular collapse. Although normal therapeutic doses of this product ordinarily delivers amounts of benzyl alcohol that are substantially lower than those reported in association with the "gasping syndrome", the minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. The risk of benzyl alcohol toxicity depends on the quantity administered and the hepatic capacity to detoxify the chemical. Premature and low-birth-weight infants, as well as patients receiving high dosages, may be more likely to develop toxicity. Practitioners administering this and other medications containing benzyl alcohol should consider the combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources.

The efficacy and safety of corticosteroids in the pediatric population are based on the well-established course of effect of corticosteroids which is similar in pediatric and adult populations. Published studies provide evidence of efficacy and safety in pediatric patients for the treatment of nephrotic syndrome (>2 years of age), and aggressive lymphomas and leukemias (>1 month of age). Other indications for pediatric use of corticosteroids, e.g., severe asthma and wheezing, are based on adequate and well-controlled trials conducted in adults, on the premises that the course of the diseases and their pathophysiology are considered to be substantially similar in both populations.

The adverse effects of corticosteroids in pediatric patients are similar to those in adults (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Like adults, pediatric patients should be carefully observed with frequent measurements of blood pressure, weight, height, intraocular pressure, and clinical evaluation for the presence of infection, psychosocial disturbances, thromboembolism, peptic ulcers, cataracts, and osteoporosis. Pediatric patients who are treated with corticosteroids by any route, including systemically administered corticosteroids, may experience a decrease in their growth velocity. This negative impact of corticosteroids on growth has been observed at low systemic doses and in the absence of laboratory evidence of HPA axis suppression (i.e., cosyntropin stimulation and basal cortisol plasma levels). Growth velocity may therefore be a more sensitive indicator of systemic corticosteroid exposure in pediatric patients than some commonly used tests of HPA axis function. The linear growth of pediatric patients treated with corticosteroids should be monitored, and the potential growth effects of prolonged treatment should be weighed against clinical benefits obtained and the availability of treatment alternatives. In order to minimize the potential growth effects of corticosteroids, pediatric patients should be titrated to the lowest effective dose.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions have been reported with SOLU-MEDROL or other corticosteroids:

Allergic reactions: Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions, anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema.

Blood and lymphatic system disorders: Leukocytosis.

Cardiovascular: Bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, fat embolism, hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction (see WARNINGS), pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis.

Dermatologic: Acne, allergic dermatitis, burning or tingling (especially in the perineal area after intravenous injection), cutaneous and subcutaneous atrophy, dry scaly skin, ecchymoses and petechiae, edema, erythema, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, rash, sterile abscess, striae, suppressed reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria.

Endocrine: Decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, development of cushingoid state, glycosuria, hirsutism, hypertrichosis, increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetes, manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus, menstrual irregularities, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness), suppression of growth in pediatric patients.

Fluid and electrolyte disturbances: Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients, fluid retention, hypokalemic alkalosis, potassium loss, sodium retention.

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal distention, bowel/bladder dysfunction (after intrathecal administration), elevation in serum liver enzyme levels (usually reversible upon discontinuation), hepatomegaly, increased appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis.

Hepatobiliary: Hepatitis (see WARNINGS, Drug-Induced Liver Injury).

Metabolic: Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.

Musculoskeletal: Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, Charcot-like arthropathy, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, pathologic fracture of long bones, postinjection flare (following intra-articular use), steroid myopathy, tendon rupture, vertebral compression fractures.

Neurologic/Psychiatric: Convulsions, depression, emotional instability, euphoria, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, insomnia, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychic disorders, vertigo. Arachnoiditis, meningitis, paraparesis/paraplegia, and sensory disturbances have occurred after intrathecal administration (see WARNINGS, Neurologic).

Ophthalmic: Exophthalmos, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts, rare instances of blindness associated with periocular injections.

Other: Abnormal fat deposits, decreased resistance to infection, hiccups, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, injection site infections following non-sterile administration (see WARNINGS), malaise, moon face, weight gain.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

When oral therapy is not feasible, and the strength, dosage form, and route of administration of the drug reasonably lend the preparation to the treatment of the condition, the intravenous or intramuscular use of SOLU-MEDROL Sterile Powder is indicated as follows:

Allergic states

Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment in asthma, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, drug hypersensitivity reactions, perennial or seasonal allergic rhinitis, serum sickness, transfusion reactions.

Dermatologic diseases

Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis, exfoliative erythroderma, mycosis fungoides, pemphigus, severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome).

Endocrine disorders

Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy, mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance), congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hypercalcemia associated with cancer, nonsuppurative thyroiditis.

Gastrointestinal diseases

To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in regional enteritis (systemic therapy) and ulcerative colitis.

Hematologic disorders

Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia, congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia (Diamond-Blackfan anemia), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults (intravenous administration only; intramuscular administration is contraindicated), pure red cell aplasia, selected cases of secondary thrombocytopenia.

Miscellaneous

Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement, tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy.

Neoplastic diseases

For the palliative management of leukemias and lymphomas.

Nervous System

Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis; cerebral edema associated with primary or metastatic brain tumor, or craniotomy.

Ophthalmic diseases

Sympathetic ophthalmia, uveitis and ocular inflammatory conditions unresponsive to topical corticosteroids.

Renal diseases

To induce diuresis or remission of proteinuria in idiopathic nephrotic syndrome or that due to lupus erythematosus.

Respiratory diseases

Berylliosis, fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy, idiopathic eosinophilic pneumonias, symptomatic sarcoidosis.

Rheumatic disorders

As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in acute gouty arthritis; acute rheumatic carditis; ankylosing spondylitis; psoriatic arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy). For the treatment of dermatomyositis, temporal arteritis, polymyositis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

XELJANZ / XELJANZ XR (tofacitinib)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use XELJANZ safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for XELJANZ.

WARNING: SERIOUS INFECTIONS AND MALIGNANCY

SERIOUS INFECTIONS

Patients treated with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR are at increased risk for developing serious infections that may lead to hospitalization or death [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. Most patients who developed these infections were taking concomitant immunosuppressants such as methotrexate or corticosteroids.

If a serious infection develops, interrupt XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR until the infection is controlled.

Reported infections include:

  • Active tuberculosis, which may present with pulmonary or extrapulmonary disease. Patients should be tested for latent tuberculosis before XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR use and during therapy. Treatment for latent infection should be initiated prior to XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR use.
  • Invasive fungal infections, including cryptococcosis and pneumocystosis. Patients with invasive fungal infections may present with disseminated, rather than localized, disease.
  • Bacterial, viral, and other infections due to opportunistic pathogens.

The risks and benefits of treatment with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR should be carefully considered prior to initiating therapy in patients with chronic or recurrent infection.

Patients should be closely monitored for the development of signs and symptoms of infection during and after treatment with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR, including the possible development of tuberculosis in patients who tested negative for latent tuberculosis infection prior to initiating therapy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

MALIGNANCIES

Lymphoma and other malignancies have been observed in patients treated with XELJANZ. Epstein Barr Virus-associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder has been observed at an increased rate in renal transplant patients treated with XELJANZ and concomitant immunosuppressive medications [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

None

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Serious Infections

Serious and sometimes fatal infections due to bacterial, mycobacterial, invasive fungal, viral, or other opportunistic pathogens have been reported in rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving XELJANZ. The most common serious infections reported with XELJANZ included pneumonia, cellulitis, herpes zoster, urinary tract infection, and diverticulitis [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. Among opportunistic infections, tuberculosis and other mycobacterial infections, cryptococcosis, esophageal candidiasis, pneumocystosis, multidermatomal herpes zoster, cytomegalovirus, and BK virus were reported with XELJANZ. Some patients have presented with disseminated rather than localized disease, and were often taking concomitant immunomodulating agents such as methotrexate or corticosteroids.

Other serious infections that were not reported in clinical studies may also occur (e.g., histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, and listeriosis).

Avoid use of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR in patients with an active, serious infection, including localized infections. The risks and benefits of treatment should be considered prior to initiating XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR in patients:

  • with chronic or recurrent infection
  • who have been exposed to tuberculosis
  • with a history of a serious or an opportunistic infection
  • who have resided or traveled in areas of endemic tuberculosis or endemic mycoses; or
  • with underlying conditions that may predispose them to infection.

Patients should be closely monitored for the development of signs and symptoms of infection during and after treatment with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR should be interrupted if a patient develops a serious infection, an opportunistic infection, or sepsis. A patient who develops a new infection during treatment with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR should undergo prompt and complete diagnostic testing appropriate for an immunocompromised patient; appropriate antimicrobial therapy should be initiated, and the patient should be closely monitored.

Tuberculosis

Patients should be evaluated and tested for latent or active infection prior to administration of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR.

Anti-tuberculosis therapy should also be considered prior to administration of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR in patients with a past history of latent or active tuberculosis in whom an adequate course of treatment cannot be confirmed, and for patients with a negative test for latent tuberculosis but who have risk factors for tuberculosis infection. Consultation with a physician with expertise in the treatment of tuberculosis is recommended to aid in the decision about whether initiating anti-tuberculosis therapy is appropriate for an individual patient.

Patients should be closely monitored for the development of signs and symptoms of tuberculosis, including patients who tested negative for latent tuberculosis infection prior to initiating therapy.

Patients with latent tuberculosis should be treated with standard antimycobacterial therapy before administering XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR.

Viral Reactivation

Viral reactivation, including cases of herpes virus reactivation (e.g., herpes zoster), were observed in clinical studies with XELJANZ. The impact of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR on chronic viral hepatitis reactivation is unknown. Patients who screened positive for hepatitis B or C were excluded from clinical trials. Screening for viral hepatitis should be performed in accordance with clinical guidelines before starting therapy with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. The risk of herpes zoster is increased in patients treated with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR and appears to be higher in patients treated with XELJANZ in Japan.

5.2 Malignancy and Lymphoproliferative Disorders

Consider the risks and benefits of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR treatment prior to initiating therapy in patients with a known malignancy other than a successfully treated non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) or when considering continuing XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR in patients who develop a malignancy. Malignancies were observed in clinical studies of XELJANZ [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

In the seven controlled rheumatoid arthritis clinical studies, 11 solid cancers and one lymphoma were diagnosed in 3328 patients receiving XELJANZ with or without DMARD, compared to 0 solid cancers and 0 lymphomas in 809 patients in the placebo with or without DMARD group during the first 12 months of exposure. Lymphomas and solid cancers have also been observed in the long-term extension studies in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with XELJANZ.

In Phase 2B, controlled dose-ranging trials in de-novo renal transplant patients, all of whom received induction therapy with basiliximab, high-dose corticosteroids, and mycophenolic acid products, Epstein Barr Virus-associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder was observed in 5 out of 218 patients treated with XELJANZ (2.3%) compared to 0 out of 111 patients treated with cyclosporine.

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) have been reported in patients treated with XELJANZ. Periodic skin examination is recommended for patients who are at increased risk for skin cancer.

5.3 Gastrointestinal Perforations

Events of gastrointestinal perforation have been reported in clinical studies with XELJANZ in rheumatoid arthritis patients, although the role of JAK inhibition in these events is not known.

XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR should be used with caution in patients who may be at increased risk for gastrointestinal perforation (e.g., patients with a history of diverticulitis). Patients presenting with new onset abdominal symptoms should be evaluated promptly for early identification of gastrointestinal perforation [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

5.4 Laboratory Abnormalities

Lymphocyte Abnormalities

Treatment with XELJANZ was associated with initial lymphocytosis at one month of exposure followed by a gradual decrease in mean absolute lymphocyte counts below the baseline of approximately 10% during 12 months of therapy. Lymphocyte counts less than 500 cells/mm3 were associated with an increased incidence of treated and serious infections.

Avoid initiation of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR treatment in patients with a low lymphocyte count (i.e., less than 500 cells/mm3). In patients who develop a confirmed absolute lymphocyte count less than 500 cells/mm3, treatment with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR is not recommended.

Monitor lymphocyte counts at baseline and every 3 months thereafter. For recommended modifications based on lymphocyte counts see Dosage and Administration (2.2).

Neutropenia

Treatment with XELJANZ was associated with an increased incidence of neutropenia (less than 2000 cells/mm3) compared to placebo.

Avoid initiation of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR treatment in patients with a low neutrophil count (i.e., ANC less than 1000 cells/mm3). For patients who develop a persistent ANC of 500–1000 cells/mm3, interrupt XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR dosing until ANC is greater than or equal to 1000 cells/mm3. In patients who develop an ANC less than 500 cells/mm3, treatment with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR is not recommended.

Monitor neutrophil counts at baseline and after 4–8 weeks of treatment and every 3 months thereafter. For recommended modifications based on ANC results see Dosage and Administration (2.2).

Anemia

Avoid initiation of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR treatment in patients with a low hemoglobin level (i.e. less than 9 g/dL). Treatment with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR should be interrupted in patients who develop hemoglobin levels less than 8 g/dL or whose hemoglobin level drops greater than 2 g/dL on treatment.

Monitor hemoglobin at baseline and after 4–8 weeks of treatment and every 3 months thereafter. For recommended modifications based on hemoglobin results see Dosage and Administration (2.2).

Liver Enzyme Elevations

Treatment with XELJANZ was associated with an increased incidence of liver enzyme elevation compared to placebo. Most of these abnormalities occurred in studies with background DMARD (primarily methotrexate) therapy.

Routine monitoring of liver tests and prompt investigation of the causes of liver enzyme elevations is recommended to identify potential cases of drug-induced liver injury. If drug-induced liver injury is suspected, the administration of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR should be interrupted until this diagnosis has been excluded.

Lipid Elevations

Treatment with XELJANZ was associated with increases in lipid parameters including total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Maximum effects were generally observed within 6 weeks. The effect of these lipid parameter elevations on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been determined.

Assessment of lipid parameters should be performed approximately 4–8 weeks following initiation of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR therapy.

Manage patients according to clinical guidelines [e.g., National Cholesterol Educational Program (NCEP)] for the management of hyperlipidemia.

5.5 Vaccinations

No data are available on the response to vaccination or on the secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines to patients receiving XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR. Avoid use of live vaccines concurrently with XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR.

Update immunizations in agreement with current immunization guidelines prior to initiating XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR therapy.

5.6 General

Specific to XELJANZ XR

As with any other non-deformable material, caution should be used when administering XELJANZ XR to patients with pre-existing severe gastrointestinal narrowing (pathologic or iatrogenic). There have been rare reports of obstructive symptoms in patients with known strictures in association with the ingestion of other drugs utilizing a non-deformable extended release formulation.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

6.1 Clinical Trial Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not predict the rates observed in a broader patient population in clinical practice.

The clinical studies described in the following sections were conducted using XELJANZ. Although other doses of XELJANZ have been studied, the recommended dose of XELJANZ is 5 mg twice daily.

The recommended dose for XELJANZ XR is 11 mg once daily.

The following data includes two Phase 2 and five Phase 3 double-blind, controlled, multicenter trials. In these trials, patients were randomized to doses of XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily (292 patients) and 10 mg twice daily (306 patients) monotherapy, XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily (1044 patients) and 10 mg twice daily (1043 patients) in combination with DMARDs (including methotrexate) and placebo (809 patients). All seven protocols included provisions for patients taking placebo to receive treatment with XELJANZ at Month 3 or Month 6 either by patient response (based on uncontrolled disease activity) or by design, so that adverse events cannot always be unambiguously attributed to a given treatment. Therefore some analyses that follow include patients who changed treatment by design or by patient response from placebo to XELJANZ in both the placebo and XELJANZ group of a given interval. Comparisons between placebo and XELJANZ were based on the first 3 months of exposure, and comparisons between XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily and XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily were based on the first 12 months of exposure.

The long-term safety population includes all patients who participated in a double-blind, controlled trial (including earlier development phase studies) and then participated in one of two long-term safety studies. The design of the long-term safety studies allowed for modification of XELJANZ doses according to clinical judgment. This limits the interpretation of the long-term safety data with respect to dose.

The most common serious adverse reactions were serious infections [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

The proportion of patients who discontinued treatment due to any adverse reaction during the 0 to 3 months exposure in the double-blind, placebo-controlled trials was 4% for patients taking XELJANZ and 3% for placebo-treated patients.

Overall Infections

In the seven controlled trials, during the 0 to 3 months exposure, the overall frequency of infections was 20% and 22% in the 5 mg twice daily and 10 mg twice daily groups, respectively, and 18% in the placebo group.

The most commonly reported infections with XELJANZ were upper respiratory tract infections, nasopharyngitis, and urinary tract infections (4%, 3%, and 2% of patients, respectively).

Serious Infections

In the seven controlled trials, during the 0 to 3 months exposure, serious infections were reported in 1 patient (0.5 events per 100 patient-years) who received placebo and 11 patients (1.7 events per 100 patient-years) who received XELJANZ 5 mg or 10 mg twice daily. The rate difference between treatment groups (and the corresponding 95% confidence interval) was 1.1 (-0.4, 2.5) events per 100 patient-years for the combined 5 mg twice daily and 10 mg twice daily XELJANZ group minus placebo.

In the seven controlled trials, during the 0 to 12 months exposure, serious infections were reported in 34 patients (2.7 events per 100 patient-years) who received 5 mg twice daily of XELJANZ and 33 patients (2.7 events per 100 patient-years) who received 10 mg twice daily of XELJANZ. The rate difference between XELJANZ doses (and the corresponding 95% confidence interval) was -0.1 (-1.3, 1.2) events per 100 patient-years for 10 mg twice daily XELJANZ minus 5 mg twice daily XELJANZ.

The most common serious infections included pneumonia, cellulitis, herpes zoster, and urinary tract infection [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Tuberculosis

In the seven controlled trials, during the 0 to 3 months exposure, tuberculosis was not reported in patients who received placebo, 5 mg twice daily of XELJANZ, or 10 mg twice daily of XELJANZ.

In the seven controlled trials, during the 0 to 12 months exposure, tuberculosis was reported in 0 patients who received 5 mg twice daily of XELJANZ and 6 patients (0.5 events per 100 patient-years) who received 10 mg twice daily of XELJANZ. The rate difference between XELJANZ doses (and the corresponding 95% confidence interval) was 0.5 (0.1, 0.9) events per 100 patient-years for 10 mg twice daily XELJANZ minus 5 mg twice daily XELJANZ.

Cases of disseminated tuberculosis were also reported. The median XELJANZ exposure prior to diagnosis of tuberculosis was 10 months (range from 152 to 960 days) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Opportunistic Infections (excluding tuberculosis)

In the seven controlled trials, during the 0 to 3 months exposure, opportunistic infections were not reported in patients who received placebo, 5 mg twice daily of XELJANZ, or 10 mg twice daily of XELJANZ.

In the seven controlled trials, during the 0 to 12 months exposure, opportunistic infections were reported in 4 patients (0.3 events per 100 patient-years) who received 5 mg twice daily of XELJANZ and 4 patients (0.3 events per 100 patient-years) who received 10 mg twice daily of XELJANZ. The rate difference between XELJANZ doses (and the corresponding 95% confidence interval) was 0 (-0.5, 0.5) events per 100 patient-years for 10 mg twice daily XELJANZ minus 5 mg twice daily XELJANZ.

The median XELJANZ exposure prior to diagnosis of an opportunistic infection was 8 months (range from 41 to 698 days) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Malignancy

In the seven controlled trials, during the 0 to 3 months exposure, malignancies excluding NMSC were reported in 0 patients who received placebo and 2 patients (0.3 events per 100 patient-years) who received either XELJANZ 5 mg or 10 mg twice daily. The rate difference between treatment groups (and the corresponding 95% confidence interval) was 0.3 (-0.1, 0.7) events per 100 patient-years for the combined 5 mg and 10 mg twice daily XELJANZ group minus placebo.

In the seven controlled trials, during the 0 to 12 months exposure, malignancies excluding NMSC were reported in 5 patients (0.4 events per 100 patient-years) who received 5 mg twice daily of XELJANZ and 7 patients (0.6 events per 100 patient-years) who received 10 mg twice daily of XELJANZ. The rate difference between XELJANZ doses (and the corresponding 95% confidence interval) was 0.2 (-0.4, 0.7) events per 100 patient-years for 10 mg twice daily XELJANZ minus 5 mg twice daily XELJANZ. One of these malignancies was a case of lymphoma that occurred during the 0 to 12 month period in a patient treated with XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily.

The most common types of malignancy, including malignancies observed during the long-term extension, were lung and breast cancer, followed by gastric, colorectal, renal cell, prostate cancer, lymphoma, and malignant melanoma [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Laboratory Abnormalities

Lymphopenia

In the controlled clinical trials, confirmed decreases in absolute lymphocyte counts below 500 cells/mm3 occurred in 0.04% of patients for the 5 mg twice daily and 10 mg twice daily XELJANZ groups combined during the first 3 months of exposure.

Confirmed lymphocyte counts less than 500 cells/mm3 were associated with an increased incidence of treated and serious infections [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Neutropenia

In the controlled clinical trials, confirmed decreases in ANC below 1000 cells/mm3 occurred in 0.07% of patients for the 5 mg twice daily and 10 mg twice daily XELJANZ groups combined during the first 3 months of exposure.

There were no confirmed decreases in ANC below 500 cells/mm3 observed in any treatment group.

There was no clear relationship between neutropenia and the occurrence of serious infections.

In the long-term safety population, the pattern and incidence of confirmed decreases in ANC remained consistent with what was seen in the controlled clinical trials [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Liver Enzyme Elevations

Confirmed increases in liver enzymes greater than 3 times the upper limit of normal (3× ULN) were observed in patients treated with XELJANZ. In patients experiencing liver enzyme elevation, modification of treatment regimen, such as reduction in the dose of concomitant DMARD, interruption of XELJANZ, or reduction in XELJANZ dose, resulted in decrease or normalization of liver enzymes.

In the controlled monotherapy trials (0–3 months), no differences in the incidence of ALT or AST elevations were observed between the placebo, and XELJANZ 5 mg, and 10 mg twice daily groups.

In the controlled background DMARD trials (0–3 months), ALT elevations greater than 3× ULN were observed in 1.0%, 1.3% and 1.2% of patients receiving placebo, 5 mg, and 10 mg twice daily, respectively. In these trials, AST elevations greater than 3× ULN were observed in 0.6%, 0.5% and 0.4% of patients receiving placebo, 5 mg, and 10 mg twice daily, respectively.

One case of drug-induced liver injury was reported in a patient treated with XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily for approximately 2.5 months. The patient developed symptomatic elevations of AST and ALT greater than 3× ULN and bilirubin elevations greater than 2× ULN, which required hospitalizations and a liver biopsy.

Lipid Elevations

In the controlled clinical trials, dose-related elevations in lipid parameters (total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides) were observed at one month of exposure and remained stable thereafter. Changes in lipid parameters during the first 3 months of exposure in the controlled clinical trials are summarized below:

  • Mean LDL cholesterol increased by 15% in the XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily arm and 19% in the XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily arm.
  • Mean HDL cholesterol increased by 10% in the XELJANZ 5 mg twice daily arm and 12% in the XELJANZ 10 mg twice daily arm.
  • Mean LDL/HDL ratios were essentially unchanged in XELJANZ-treated patients.

In a controlled clinical trial, elevations in LDL cholesterol and ApoB decreased to pretreatment levels in response to statin therapy.

In the long-term safety population, elevations in lipid parameters remained consistent with what was seen in the controlled clinical trials.

Serum Creatinine Elevations

In the controlled clinical trials, dose-related elevations in serum creatinine were observed with XELJANZ treatment. The mean increase in serum creatinine was <0.1 mg/dL in the 12-month pooled safety analysis; however with increasing duration of exposure in the long-term extensions, up to 2% of patients were discontinued from XELJANZ treatment due to the protocol-specified discontinuation criterion of an increase in creatinine by more than 50% of baseline. The clinical significance of the observed serum creatinine elevations is unknown.

Other Adverse Reactions

Adverse reactions occurring in 2% or more of patients on 5 mg twice daily or 10 mg twice daily XELJANZ and at least 1% greater than that observed in patients on placebo with or without DMARD are summarized in Table 4.

Table 4: Adverse Reactions Occurring in at Least 2% or More of Patients on 5 or 10 mg Twice Daily XELJANZ With or Without DMARD (0–3 months) and at Least 1% Greater Than That Observed in Patients on Placebo
XELJANZ
5 mg Twice Daily
XELJANZ
10 mg Twice Daily*
Placebo
Preferred Term N = 1336
(%)
N = 1349
(%)
N = 809
(%)
N reflects randomized and treated patients from the seven clinical trials
*
The recommended dose of XELJANZ is 5 mg twice daily.
Diarrhea 4.0 2.9 2.3
Nasopharyngitis 3.8 2.8 2.8
Upper respiratory tract infection 4.5 3.8 3.3
Headache 4.3 3.4 2.1
Hypertension 1.6 2.3 1.1

Other adverse reactions occurring in controlled and open-label extension studies included:

Blood and lymphatic system disorders: Anemia

Infections and infestations: Diverticulitis

Metabolism and nutrition disorders: Dehydration

Psychiatric disorders: Insomnia

Nervous system disorders: Paresthesia

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: Dyspnea, cough, sinus congestion

Gastrointestinal disorders: Abdominal pain, dyspepsia, vomiting, gastritis, nausea

Hepatobiliary disorders: Hepatic steatosis

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: Rash, erythema, pruritus

Musculoskeletal, connective tissue and bone disorders: Musculoskeletal pain, arthralgia, tendonitis, joint swelling

Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified (including cysts and polyps): Non-melanoma skin cancers

General disorders and administration site conditions: Pyrexia, fatigue, peripheral edema

Clinical Experience in Methotrexate-Naïve Patients

Study VI was an active-controlled clinical trial in methotrexate-naïve patients [see Clinical Studies (14)]. The safety experience in these patients was consistent with Studies I–V.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR (tofacitinib) is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response or intolerance to methotrexate. It may be used as monotherapy or in combination with methotrexate or other nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
  • Limitations of Use: Use of XELJANZ/XELJANZ XR in combination with biologic DMARDs or with potent immunosuppressants such as azathioprine and cyclosporine is not recommended.