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FATALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF FANSIDAR (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) HAVE OCCURRED DUE TO SEVERE REACTIONS, INCLUDING STEVENS-JOHNSON SYNDROME AND TOXIC EPIDERMAL NECROLYSIS. FANSIDAR (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) PROPHYLAXIS MUST BE DISCONTINUED AT THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF SKIN RASH, IF A SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN THE COUNT OF ANY FORMED BLOOD ELEMENTS IS NOTED, OR UPON THE OCCURRENCE OF ACTIVE BACTERIAL OR FUNGAL INFECTIONS.
Fatalities associated with the administration of sulfonamides, although rare, have occurred due to severe reactions, including fulminant hepatic necrosis, agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia and other blood dyscrasias. Fansidar (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) prophylactic regimen has been reported to cause leukopenia during a treatment of 2 months or longer. This leukopenia is generally mild and reversible.
Oral Fansidar (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) has not been evaluated for the treatment of cerebral malaria or other severe manifestations of complicated malaria, including hyperparasitemia, pulmonary edema or renal failure. Patients with severe malaria are not candidates for oral therapy. In the event of recrudescent P. falciparum infections after treatment with Fansidar (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) or failure of chemoprophylaxis with Fansidar (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) , patients should be treated with a different blood schizonticide.
Fansidar (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) should be given with caution to patients with impaired renal or hepatic function, to those with possible folate deficiency and to those with severe allergy or bronchial asthma. As with some sulfonamide drugs, in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase-deficient individuals, hemolysis may occur. Urinalysis with microscopic examination and renal function tests should be performed during therapy of those patients who have impaired renal function. Excessive sun exposure should be avoided.
Regularly scheduled complete blood counts, liver enzyme tests and analysis of urine for crystalluria should be performed whenever Fansidar (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) is administered for more than three months.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Pyrimethamine was not found carcinogenic in female mice or in male and female rats. The carcinogenic potential of pyrimethamine in male mice could not be assessed from the study because of markedly reduced life-span. Pyrimethamine was found to be mutagenic in laboratory animals and also in human bone marrow following 3 or 4 consecutive daily doses totaling 200 mg to 300 mg. Pyrimethamine was not found mutagenic in the Ames test. Testicular changes have been observed in rats treated with 105 mg/kg/day of Fansidar (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) and with 15 mg/kg/day of pyrimethamine alone. Fertility of male rats and the ability of male or female rats to mate were not adversely affected at dosages of up to 210 mg/kg/day of Fansidar (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) . The pregnancy rate of female rats was not affected following their treatment with 10.5 mg/kg/day, but was significantly reduced at dosages of 31.5 mg/kg/day or higher, a dosage approximately 30 times the weekly human prophylactic dose or higher.
Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category C
Fansidar (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) has been shown to be teratogenic in rats when given in weekly doses approximately 12 times the weekly human prophylactic dose. Teratology studies with pyrimethamine plus sulfadoxine (1:20) in rats showed the minimum oral teratogenic dose to be approximately 0.9 mg/kg pyrimethamine plus 18 mg/kg sulfadoxine. In rabbits, no teratogenic effects were noted at oral doses as high as 20 mg/kg pyrimethamine plus 400 mg/kg sulfadoxine.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. However, due to the teratogenic effect shown in animals and because pyrimethamine plus sulfadoxine may interfere with folic acid metabolism, Fansidar (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) therapy should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Women of childbearing potential who are traveling to areas where malaria is endemic should be warned against becoming pregnant, and should be advised to practice contraception during prophylaxis with Fansidar (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) and for three months after the last dose.
Fansidar (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) should not be given to infants less than 2 months of age because of inadequate development of the glucuronide-forming enzyme system.
Clinical studies of Fansidar (sulfadoxine and pyrimethamine) 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. This drug is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/10/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Fansidar Information
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