"Oct. 24, 2012 -- It is not a desired discussion for the doctor, and certainly not for the patient. But an overwhelming majority of people with advanced cancer are under the impression that the chemotherapy they are receiving will cure their disea"...
The development of serotonin syndrome has been reported with 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. Most reports have been associated with concomitant use of serotonergic drugs (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors, mirtazapine, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, and intravenous methylene blue). Some of the reported cases were fatal. Serotonin syndrome occurring with overdose of another 5-HT3 receptor antagonist alone has also been reported. The majority of reports of serotonin syndrome related to 5-HT3 receptor antagonist use occurred in a post-anesthesia care unit or an infusion center.
Symptoms associated with serotonin syndrome may include the following combination of signs and symptoms: mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, delirium, and coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, dizziness, diaphoresis, flushing, hyperthermia), neuromuscular symptoms (e.g., tremor, rigidity, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, incoordination), seizures, with or without gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Patients should be monitored for the emergence of serotonin syndrome, especially with concomitant use of ALOXIand other serotonergic drugs. If symptoms of serotonin syndrome occur, discontinue ALOXI and initiate supportive treatment. Patients should be informed of the increased risk of serotonin syndrome, especially if ALOXI is used concomitantly with other serotonergic drugs [see DRUG INTERACTIONS, PATIENT INFORMATION].
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-approved patient labelling (PATIENT INFORMATION).
Instructions For Patients
Patients should be advised to report to their physician all of their medical conditions, including any pain, redness, or swelling in and around the infusion site [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Advise patients of the possibility of serotonin syndrome, especially with concomitant use of ALOXI and another serotonergic agent such as medications to treat depression and migraines. Advise patients to seek immediate medical attention if the following symptoms occur: changes in mental status, autonomic instability, neuromuscular symptoms with or without gastrointestinal symptoms [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Patients should be instructed to read the PATIENT INFORMATION.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
In a 104-week carcinogenicity study in CD-1 mice, animals were treated with oral doses of palonosetron at 10, 30, and 60 mg/kg/day. Treatment with palonosetron was not tumorigenic. The highest tested dose produced a systemic exposure to palonosetron (Plasma AUC) of about 150 to 289 times the human exposure (AUC= 29.8 h•mcg/L) at the recommended intravenous dose of 0.25 mg. In a 104-week carcinogenicity study in Sprague-Dawley rats, male and female rats were treated with oral doses of 15, 30, and 60 mg/kg/day and 15, 45, and 90 mg/kg/day, respectively. The highest doses produced a systemic exposure to palonosetron (Plasma AUC) of 137 and 308 times the human exposure at the recommended dose. Treatment with palonosetron produced increased incidences of adrenal benign pheochromocytoma and combined benign and malignant pheochromocytoma, increased incidences of pancreatic Islet cell adenoma and combined adenoma and carcinoma and pituitary adenoma in male rats. In female rats, it produced hepatocellular adenoma and carcinoma and increased the incidences of thyroid C-cell adenoma and combined adenoma and carcinoma.
Palonosetron was not genotoxic in the Ames test, the Chinese hamster ovarian cell (CHO/HGPRT) forward mutation test, the ex vivo hepatocyte unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) test, or the mouse micronucleus test. It was, however, positive for clastogenic effects in the Chinese hamster ovarian (CHO) cell chromosomal aberration test.
Palonosetron at oral doses up to 60 mg/kg/day (about 1894 times the recommended human intravenous dose based on body surface area) was found to have no effect on fertility and reproductive performance of male and female rats.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category B
Adequate and well controlled studies with ALOXI have not been conducted in pregnant women. In animal reproduction studies, no effects on embryo-fetal development were observed with the administration of oral palonosetron during the period of organogenesis at doses up to 1894 and 3789 times the recommended human intravenous dose in rats and rabbits, respectively. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, ALOXI should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
In animal studies, no effects on embryo-fetal development were observed in pregnant rats given oral palonosetron at doses up to 60 mg/kg/day (1894 times the recommended human intravenous dose based on body surface area) or pregnant rabbits given oral doses up to 60 mg/kg/day (3789 times the recommended human intravenous dose based on body surface area) during the period of organogenesis.
It is not known whether ALOXI is present in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants and the potential for tumorigenicity shown for palonosetron in the rat carcinogenicity study [see Nonclinical Toxicology], a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea And Vomiting
Safety and effectiveness of ALOXI have been established in pediatric patients aged 1 month to less than 17 years for the prevention of acute nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of emetogenic cancer chemotherapy, including highly emetogenic cancer chemotherapy. Use is supported by a clinical trial where 165 pediatric patients aged 2 months to < 17 years were randomized to receive a single dose of palonosetron 20 mcg/kg (maximum 1.5 mg) administered as an intravenous infusion 30 minutes prior to the start of emetogenic chemotherapy [see Clinical Studies]. While this study demonstrated that pediatric patients require a higher palonosetron dose than adults to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, the safety profile is consistent with the established profile in adults [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Safety and effectiveness of ALOXI in neonates (less than 1 month of age) have not been established.
Postoperative Nausea And Vomiting Studies
Safety and efficacy have not been established in pediatric patients for prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Two pediatric trials were performed.
Pediatric Study 1, a dose finding study, was conducted to compare two doses of palonosetron, 1 mcg/kg (max 0.075 mg) versus 3 mcg/kg (max 0.25 mg). A total of 150 pediatric surgical patients participated, age range 1 month to < 17 years. No dose response was observed.
Pediatric Study 2, a multicenter, double-blind, double-dummy, randomized, parallel group, active control, single-dose non-inferiority study, compared I.V. palonosetron (1 mcg/kg, max 0.075 mg) versus I.V. ondansetron. A total of 670 pediatric surgical patients participated, age 30 days to < 17 years. The primary efficacy endpoint, Complete Response (CR: no vomiting, no retching, and no antiemetic rescue medication) during the first 24 hours postoperatively was achieved in 78.2% of patients in the palonosetron group and 82.7% in the ondansetron group. Given the pre-specified non-inferiority margin of -10%, the stratum adjusted Mantel-Haenszel statistical non-inferiority confidence interval for the difference in the primary endpoint, complete response (CR), was [-10.5, 1.7%], therefore non-inferiority was not demonstrated. Adverse reactions to palonosetron were similar to those reported in adults (Table 2).
Population pharmacokinetics analysis did not reveal any differences in palonosetron pharmacokinetics between cancer patients ≥ 65 years of age and younger patients (18 to 64 years). Of the 1374 adult cancer patients in clinical studies of palonosetron, 316 (23%) were ≥ 65 years old, while 71 (5%) were ≥ 75 years old. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and the younger subjects, but greater sensitivity in some older individuals cannot be ruled out. No dose adjustment or special monitoring are required for geriatric patients.
Of the 1520 adult patients in ALOXI PONV clinical studies, 73 (5%) were ≥ 65 years old. No overall differences in safety were observed between older and younger subjects in these studies, though the possibility of heightened sensitivity in some older individuals cannot be excluded. No differences in efficacy were observed in geriatric patients for the CINV indication and none are expected for geriatric PONV patients. However, ALOXI efficacy in geriatric patients has not been adequately evaluated.
Mild to moderate renal impairment does not significantly affect palonosetron pharmacokinetic parameters. Total systemic exposure increased by approximately 28% in severe renal impairment relative to healthy subjects. Dosage adjustment is not necessary in patients with any degree of renal impairment.
Hepatic impairment does not significantly affect total body clearance of palonosetron compared to the healthy subjects. Dosage adjustment is not necessary in patients with any degree of hepatic impairment.
Intravenous palonosetron pharmacokinetics was characterized in twenty-four healthy Japanese subjects over the dose range of 3 – 90 mcg/kg. Total body clearance was 25% higher in Japanese subjects compared to Whites, however, no dose adjustment is required. The pharmacokinetics of palonosetron in Blacks has not been adequately characterized.This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/14/2016
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