Actimmune

Actimmune

WARNINGS

Cardiovascular Disorders

Acute and transient "flu-like" symptoms such as fever and chills induced by ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) at doses of 250 mcg/m2/day (greater than 10 times the weekly recommended dose) or higher may exacerbate pre-existing cardiac conditions. ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) should be used with caution in patients with pre-existing cardiac conditions, including ischemia, congestive heart failure or arrhythmia.

Neurologic Disorders

Decreased mental status, gait disturbance and dizziness have been observed, particularly in patients receiving ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) doses greater than 250 mcg/m2/day (greater than 10 times the weekly recommended dose). Most of these abnormalities were mild and reversible within a few days upon dose reduction or discontinuation of therapy. Caution should be exercised when administering ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) to patients with seizure disorders or compromised central nervous system function.

Bone Marrow Toxicity

Reversible neutropenia and thrombocytopenia that can be severe and may be dose related have been observed during ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) therapy. Caution should be exercised when . administering ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) to patients with myelosuppression.

Hepatic Toxicity

Elevations of AST and /or ALT (up to 25-fold) have been observed during ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) therapy. The incidence appeared to be higher in patients less than 1 year of age compared to older children. The transaminase elevations were reversible with reduction in dosage or interruption of ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) treatment. Patients begun on ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) before age one year should receive monthly assessments of liver function. If severe hepatic enzyme elevations develop,. ACT/MMU/VE dosage should be modified (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION: Dose Modification).

PRECAUTIONS

General

Isolated cases of acute serious hypersensitivity reactions have been observed in patients receiving ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) . If such an acute, reaction develops the drug should be discontinued immediately and appropriate medical therapy instituted. Transient cutaneous rashes have occurred in some patients following injection but have rarely necessitated treatment interruption.

Laboratory Tests

In addition to those tests normally required for monitoring patients with Chronic Granulomatous Disease and osteopetrosis, the following laboratory tests are recommended for all patients on ACTIMMUNE (Interferon gamma-1 b) therapy prior to the beginning of and at three month intervals during treatment (see WARNINGS: Bone Marrow and Hepatic Toxicity).

  • Hematologic tests - including complete blood counts, differential and platelet counts
  • Blood chemistries - including renal and liver function tests. In patients less than 1 year of age, liver function tests should be measured monthly (see ADVERSE REACTIONS: Post-Marketing Experience).
  • Urinalysis

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis and Impairment of Fertility

Carcinogenesis: ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) has not been tested for its carcinogenic potential.

Mutagenesis: Ames tests using five different tester strains of bacteria with and without metabolic activation revealed no evidence of mutagenic potential. ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) was tested in a micronucleus assay for its ability to induce chromosomal damage in bone marrow cells of mice following two intravenous doses of 20 mg/kg. No evidence of chromosomal damage was noted.

Impairment of Fertility: Female cynomolgus monkeys treated with daily subcutaneous doses of 30 or 150 mcg/kg ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) (approximately 20 and 100 times the human dose) exhibited irregular menstrual cycles or absence of cyclicity during treatment. Similar findings were not observed in animals treated with 3 mcg/kg ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) .

Female mice receiving recombinant murine IFN-gamma (rmulFN-gamma) at 32 times the maximum recommended clinical dose of ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) for 4 weeks via intramuscular injection exhibited an increased incidence of atretic ovarian follicles.

Male cynomolgus monkeys treated intravenously for 4 weeks with 8 times the maximum recommended clinical dose of ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) exhibited decreased spermatogenesis. The impact of this finding on fertility is not known. Male mice receiving rmulFN-gamma at 32 times the maximum recommended clinical dose of ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) for 4 weeks via intramuscular injection exhibited decreased spermatogenesis.

Male mice treated subcutaneously with rmulFN-gamma from shortly after birth through puberty, with 280 times the maximum recommended clinical dose of ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) exhibited profound yet reversible decreases in sperm counts and fertility, and an increase in the number of abnormal sperm.

The clinical significance of these findings observed following treatment of mice with rmulFN-gamma is uncertain.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category C. ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) has shown an increased incidence of abortions in primates when given in doses approximately 100 times the human dose. A study in pregnant primates treated with subcutaneous doses 2-100 times the human dose failed to demonstrate teratogenic activity for ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) .             

Female mice treated subcutaneously with rmulFN-gamma at 280 times the maximum recommended clinical dose of ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) from shortly after birth through puberty but not during pregnancy had offspring which exhibited decreased body weight during the lactation period. The clinical significance of this finding observed following treatment of mice with rmulFN-gamma is uncertain.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from ACTIMMUNE (interferon gamma 1 b) , a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, dependent upon the importance of the drug to the mother.

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/19/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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