"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Rituxan (rituximab) to treat certain patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a slowly progressing blood and bone marrow cancer.
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ARZERRA can cause serious, including fatal, infusion reactions manifesting as bronchospasm, dyspnea, laryngeal edema, pulmonary edema, flushing, hypertension, hypotension, syncope, cardiac events (e.g., myocardial ischemia/infarction, acute coronary syndrome, arrhythmia, bradycardia), back pain, abdominal pain, pyrexia, rash, urticaria, angioedema, cytokine release syndrome, and anaphylactoid/anaphylactic reactions. Infusion reactions occur more frequently with the first 2 infusions. These reactions may result in temporary interruption or withdrawal of treatment [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Premedicate with acetaminophen, an antihistamine, and a corticosteroid [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. Infusion reactions may occur despite premedication. Interrupt infusion with ARZERRA for infusion reactions of any severity. Institute medical management for severe infusion reactions including angina or other signs and symptoms of myocardial ischemia [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. If an anaphylactic reaction occurs, immediately and permanently discontinue ARZERRA and initiate appropriate medical treatment.
Hepatitis B Virus Reactivation
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation, in some cases resulting in fulminant hepatitis, hepatic failure, and death, has occurred in patients treated with ARZERRA. Cases have been reported in patients who are hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive and also in patients who are HBsAg negative but are hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) positive. Reactivation also has occurred in patients who appear to have resolved hepatitis B infection (i.e., HBsAg negative, anti-HBc positive, and hepatitis B surface antibody [anti-HBs] positive).
HBV reactivation is defined as an abrupt increase in HBV replication manifesting as a rapid increase in serum HBV DNA level or detection of HBsAg in a person who was previously HBsAg negative and anti-HBc positive. Reactivation of HBV replication is often followed by hepatitis, i.e., increase in transaminase levels and, in severe cases, increase in bilirubin levels, liver failure, and death.
Screen all patients for HBV infection by measuring HBsAg and anti-HBc before initiating treatment with ARZERRA. For patients who show evidence of hepatitis B infection (HBsAg positive [regardless of antibody status] or HBsAg negative but anti-HBc positive), consult physicians with expertise in managing hepatitis B regarding monitoring and consideration for HBV antiviral therapy.
Monitor patients with evidence of current or prior HBV infection for clinical and laboratory signs of hepatitis or HBV reactivation during and for several months following treatment with ARZERRA. HBV reactivation has been reported for at least 12 months following completion of therapy.
In patients who develop reactivation of HBV while receiving ARZERRA, immediately discontinue ARZERRA and any concomitant chemotherapy, and institute appropriate treatment. Resumption of ARZERRA in patients whose HBV reactivation resolves should be discussed with physicians with expertise in managing hepatitis B. Insufficient data exist regarding the safety of resuming ARZERRA in patients who develop HBV reactivation.
Hepatitis B Virus Infection
Fatal infection due to hepatitis B in patients who have not been previously infected has been observed with ARZERRA. Monitor patients for clinical and laboratory signs of hepatitis.
Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) resulting in death has occurred with ARZERRA. Consider PML in any patient with new onset of or changes in pre-existing neurological signs or symptoms. If PML is suspected, discontinue ARZERRA and initiate evaluation for PML including neurology consultation.
Tumor Lysis Syndrome
Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS), including the need for hospitalization, has occurred in patients treated with ARZERRA. Patients with high tumor burden and/or high circulating lymphocyte counts ( > 25 x 109/L) are at greater risk for developing TLS. Consider tumor lysis prophylaxis with anti-hyperuricemics and hydration beginning 12 to 24 hours prior to infusion of ARZERRA. For treatment of TLS, administer aggressive intravenous hydration and antihyperuricemic agents, correct electrolyte abnormalities, and monitor renal function.
Severe cytopenias, including neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia, can occur with ARZERRA. Pancytopenia, agranulocytosis, and fatal neutropenic sepsis have occurred in patients who received ARZERRA in combination with chlorambucil. Grade 3 or 4 late-onset neutropenia (onset at least 42 days after last treatment dose) and/or prolonged neutropenia (not resolved between 24 and 42 days after last treatment dose) were reported in patients who received ARZERRA [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Monitor complete blood counts at regular intervals during and after conclusion of therapy, and increase the frequency of monitoring in patients who develop Grade 3 or 4 cytopenias.
The safety of immunization with live viral vaccines during or following administration of ARZERRA has not been studied. Do not administer live viral vaccines to patients who have recently received ARZERRA. The ability to generate an immune response to any vaccine following administration of ARZERRA has not been studied.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
No carcinogenicity or mutagenicity studies of ofatumumab have been conducted. In a repeat-dose toxicity study, no tumorigenic or unexpected mitogenic responses were noted in cynomolgus monkeys treated for 7 months with up to 3.5 times the maximum human dose (2,000 mg) of ofatumumab. Effects on male and female fertility have not been evaluated in animal studies.
Reproductive And Developmental Toxicology
Pregnant cynomolgus monkeys dosed with 0.7 or 3.5 times the maximum human dose (2,000 mg) of ofatumumab weekly during the period of organogenesis (gestation days 20 to 50) had no maternal toxicity or teratogenicity. Both dose levels of ofatumumab depleted circulating B cells in the dams, with signs of initial B cell recovery 50 days after the final dose. Following Caesarean section at gestational day 100, fetuses from ofatumumab-treated dams exhibited decreases in mean peripheral B-cell counts (decreased to approximately 10% of control values), splenic B-cell counts (decreased to approximately 15% to 20% of control values), and spleen weights (decreased by 15% for the low-dose and by 30% for the high-dose group, compared with control values). Fetuses from treated dams exhibiting anti-ofatumumab antibody responses had higher B cell counts and higher spleen weights compared with the fetuses from other treated dams, indicating partial recovery in those animals developing anti-ofatumumab antibodies. When compared with control animals, fetuses from treated dams in both dose groups had a 10% decrease in mean placental weights. A 15% decrease in mean thymus weight compared with the controls was also observed in fetuses from dams treated with 3.5 times the human dose of ofatumumab. The biological significance of decreased placental and thymic weights is unknown.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
There are no adequate or well-controlled studies of ofatumumab in pregnant women. A reproductive study in pregnant cynomolgus monkeys that received ofatumumab at doses up to 3.5 times the maximum recommended human dose (2,000 mg) of ofatumumab did not demonstrate maternal toxicity or teratogenicity. Ofatumumab crossed the placental barrier, and fetuses exhibited depletion of peripheral B cells and decreased spleen and placental weights. ARZERRA should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit to the mother justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
There are no human or animal data on the potential short- and long-term effects of perinatal B-cell depletion in offspring following in utero exposure to ofatumumab. Ofatumumab does not bind normal human tissues other than B lymphocytes. It is not known if binding occurs to unique embryonic or fetal tissue targets. In addition, the kinetics of B-lymphocyte recovery are unknown in offspring with B-cell depletion [see Nonclinical Toxicology].
It is not known whether ofatumumab is secreted in human milk; however, human IgG is secreted in human milk. Published data suggest that neonatal and infant consumption of breast milk does not result in substantial absorption of these maternal antibodies into circulation. Because the effects of local gastrointestinal and limited systemic exposure to ofatumumab are unknown, caution should be exercised when ARZERRA is administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness of ARZERRA have not been established in children.
In Study 1, 68% of patients (148/217) receiving ARZERRA plus chlorambucil were 65 years and older. Patients age 65 years and older experienced a higher incidence of the following Grade 3 or greater adverse reactions compared with patients younger than 65 years of age: neutropenia (30% versus 17%) and pneumonia (5% versus 1%) [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. In patients 65 years and older, 29% experienced serious adverse events compared with 13% of patients younger than 65 years. No clinically meaningful differences in the effectiveness of ARZERRA plus chlorambucil were observed between older and younger patients [see Clinical Studies].
In refractory CLL, clinical studies of ARZERRA did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 years and older to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
No formal studies of ARZERRA in patients with renal impairment have been conducted [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
No formal studies of ARZERRA in patients with hepatic impairment have been conducted.
Last reviewed on RxList: 4/30/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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