"Nov. 27, 2012 -- Every month, 1,000 more young Americans ages 13 to 24 get an incurable infection that's deadly unless held at bay by daily doses of costly drugs -- and many of them don't even know it.
That infection is HIV, the virus"...
Local Injection Site Reactions (ISRs)
The majority of subjects (98%) receiving FUZEON in randomized, controlled, open-label, multicenter clinical trials had at least one local injection site reaction; ISRs occurred throughout treatment with FUZEON. Manifestations may include pain and discomfort, induration, erythema, nodules and cysts, pruritus, and ecchymosis [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Reactions are often present at more than one injection site. Patients must be familiar with the FUZEON Injection Instructions in order to know how to inject FUZEON appropriately and how to monitor carefully for signs or symptoms of cellulitis or local infection.
Administration with Biojector® 2000
Nerve pain (neuralgia and/or paresthesia) lasting up to 6 months associated with administration at anatomical sites where large nerves course close to the skin, bruising and hematomas have occurred with use of the Biojector 2000 needle-free device for administration of FUZEON. Patients receiving anticoagulants or persons with hemophilia, or other coagulation disorders, may have a higher risk of post-injection bleeding.
An increased rate of bacterial pneumonia was observed in subjects treated with FUZEON in the Phase 3 clinical trials compared to the control arm. The incidence of pneumonia was 2.7% or 3.2 events/100 patient-years in subjects receiving FUZEON+background regimen. On analysis of all diagnoses of pneumonia (pneumonia, bacterial pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, and related terms) in T20-301 and T20-302, an increased rate of bacterial pneumonia was observed in subjects treated with FUZEON compared to the control arm (6.9%, 6.7 pneumonia events per 100 patient-years versus 0.6 events per 100 patient-years, respectively). Approximately half of the study subjects with pneumonia required hospitalization. Three subject deaths in the FUZEON arm were attributed to pneumonia; all three had serious concomitant AIDS-related illnesses that contributed to their deaths. Risk factors for pneumonia included low initial CD4 lymphocyte count, high initial viral load, intravenous drug use, smoking, and a prior history of lung disease.
Because it was unclear whether the higher incidence rate of pneumonia was related to FUZEON use, an observational study in 1850 HIV-infected patients (740 FUZEON treated patients and 1110 non-FUZEON treated patients) was conducted to evaluate the risk of pneumonia in patients treated with FUZEON. A total of 123 patients had a confirmed or probable pneumonia event in this study (62 in the FUZEON treatment arm with 1962 patient-years of observation and 61 in the non-FUZEON treatment arm with 3378 patient-years of observation). The incidence of pneumonia was 3.2 events/100 patient-years in the FUZEON treatment arm and 1.8 events/100 patient-years in the non-FUZEON treatment arm. The hazard ratio, adjusting for other baseline risk factors, was 1.34 (95% C.I. = 0.90 – 2.00). Based on this observational study, it is not possible to exclude an increased risk of pneumonia in patients treated with FUZEON compared to non-FUZEON treated patients.
It is unclear if the increased incidence of pneumonia is related to FUZEON use. However, because of these findings, patients with HIV-1 infection should be carefully monitored for signs and symptoms of pneumonia, especially if they have underlying conditions which may predispose them to pneumonia. Risk factors for pneumonia included low initial CD4 cell count, high initial viral load, intravenous drug use, smoking, and a prior history of lung disease.
Systemic hypersensitivity reactions have been associated with FUZEON therapy and may recur on re-challenge. Hypersensitivity reactions have occurred in < 1% of subjects studied and have included combinations of: rash, fever, nausea and vomiting, chills, rigors, hypotension, and/or elevated serum liver transaminases. Other adverse events that may be immune mediated and have been reported in subjects receiving FUZEON include primary immune complex reaction, respiratory distress, glomerulonephritis, and Guillain-Barre syndrome. Patients developing signs and symptoms suggestive of a systemic hypersensitivity reaction should discontinue FUZEON and should seek medical evaluation immediately. Therapy with FUZEON should not be restarted following systemic signs and symptoms consistent with a hypersensitivity reaction. Risk factors that may predict the occurrence or severity of hypersensitivity to FUZEON have not been identified.
Non-HIV Infected Individuals
There is a theoretical risk that FUZEON use may lead to the production of anti-enfuvirtide antibodies which cross react with HIV gp41. This could result in a false positive HIV test with an ELISA assay; a confirmatory western blot test would be expected to be negative. FUZEON has not been studied in non-HIV infected individuals.
Immune Reconstitution Syndrome
Immune reconstitution syndrome has been reported in patients treated with combination antiretroviral therapy, including FUZEON. During the initial phase of combination antiretroviral treatment, patients whose immune system responds may develop an inflammatory response to indolent or residual opportunistic infections (such as Mycobacterium avium infection, cytomegalovirus, Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia [PCP] or tuberculosis), which may necessitate further evaluation and treatment.
Autoimmune disorders (such as Graves' disease, polymyositis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome) have also been reported to occur in the setting of immune reconstitution, however, the time to onset is more variable, and can occur many months after initiation of treatment.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-Approved Patient Labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION)
To assure safe and effective use of FUZEON, the following information and instructions should be given to patients:
- Patients should be informed that injection site reactions occur in almost all patients taking FUZEON. Patients must be familiar with the FUZEON Injection Instructions for instructions on how to appropriately inject FUZEON and how to carefully monitor for signs or symptoms of cellulitis or local infection. Patients should be instructed when to contact their healthcare provider about these reactions.
- Patients should be made aware that an increased rate of bacterial pneumonia was observed in subjects treated with FUZEON in clinical trials. Patients should be advised to seek medical evaluation immediately if they develop signs or symptoms suggestive of pneumonia (cough with fever, rapid breathing, shortness of breath) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
- Patients should be advised of the possibility of a systemic hypersensitivity reaction to FUZEON. Patients should be advised to discontinue therapy and immediately seek medical evaluation if they develop signs/symptoms of systemic hypersensitivity such as combinations of rash, fever, nausea and vomiting, chills, rigors, and/or hypotension [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
- FUZEON is not a cure for HIV-1 infection and patients may
continue to experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection, including
opportunistic infections. Patients should remain under the care of a physician
when using FUZEON.
Patients should be advised to avoid doing things that can spread HIV-1 infection to others.
- Do not share needles or other injection equipment.
- Do not share personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them, like toothbrushes and razor blades.
- Do not have any kind of sex without protection. Always practice safe sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood.
- Do not breastfeed. We do not know if FUZEON can be passed to your baby in your breast milk and whether it could harm your baby. Also, mothers with HIV-1 should not breastfeed because HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in the breast milk.
- FUZEON must be taken as part of a combination antiretroviral regimen. Use of FUZEON alone may lead to rapid development of virus resistant to FUZEON and possibly other agents of the same class.
- Patients and caregivers must be instructed in the use of aseptic technique when administering FUZEON in order to avoid injection site infections. Appropriate training for FUZEON reconstitution and self-injection must be given by a healthcare provider, including a careful review of the FUZEON Patient Package Insert and FUZEON Injection Instructions. The first injection should be performed under the supervision of an appropriately qualified healthcare provider. It is recommended that the patient and/or caregiver's understanding and use of aseptic injection techniques and procedures be periodically re-evaluated.
- Patients and caregivers should be instructed on the preferred anatomical sites for administration (upper arm, abdomen, anterior thigh). FUZEON should not be injected near any anatomical areas where large nerves course close to the skin, such as near the elbow, knee, groin or the inferior or medial sections of the buttocks, skin abnormalities, including directly over a blood vessel, into moles, scar tissue, bruises, or near the navel, surgical scars, tattoos or burn sites.
- Patients and caregivers should be instructed in the proper techniques for preparation, injection and disposal of needles and syringes (including not recapping needles) in order to avoid needle stick injuries. Patients should be told not to reuse needles or syringes, and be instructed in safe disposal procedures including the use of a puncture-resistant container for disposal of used needles and syringes. Patients must be instructed on the safe disposal of full containers as per local requirements. Caregivers who experience an accidental needle stick after patient injection should contact a healthcare provider immediately.
- Patients should contact their healthcare provider for any questions regarding the administration of FUZEON.
- Patients should inform their healthcare provider if they are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or become pregnant while taking this medication.
- Patients should inform their healthcare provider if they are breast-feeding.
- Patients should not change the dose or dosing schedule of FUZEON or any antiretroviral medication without consulting their healthcare provider.
- Patients should contact their healthcare provider immediately if they stop taking FUZEON or any other drug in their antiretroviral regimen.
- Patients should be told that they can obtain more information on the self-administration of FUZEON at www.FUZEON.com or by calling 1-877-4-FUZEON (1-877-438-9366).
Patients should be advised that no studies have been conducted on the ability to drive or operate machinery while taking FUZEON. If patients experience dizziness while taking FUZEON, they should be advised to talk to their healthcare provider before driving or operating machinery.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Long-term animal carcinogenicity studies of enfuvirtide have not been conducted.
Enfuvirtide was neither mutagenic nor clastogenic in a series of in vivo and in vitro assays including the Ames bacterial reverse mutation assay, a mammalian cell forward gene mutation assay in AS52 Chinese Hamster ovary cells or an in vivo mouse micronucleus assay.
Impairment of Fertility
Enfuvirtide produced no adverse effects on fertility in male or female rats at doses up to 1.6 times the maximum recommended adult human daily dose on a m² basis.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category B
Reproduction studies have been performed in rats and rabbits at doses up to 27 times and 3.2 times the adult human dose on a m² basis and have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to enfuvirtide. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry
To monitor maternal-fetal outcomes of pregnant women exposed to FUZEON and other antiretroviral drugs, an Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry has been established. Physicians are encouraged to register patients by calling 1-800-258-4263.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that HIV-infected mothers not breast-feed their infants to avoid the risk of postnatal transmission of HIV. It is not known whether enfuvirtide is excreted in human milk. Because of both the potential for HIV transmission and the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, mothers should be instructed not to breast-feed if they are receiving FUZEON.
Studies where radio-labeled 3H-enfuvirtide was administered to lactating rats indicated that radioactivity was present in the milk. It is not known whether the radioactivity in the milk was from radio-labeled enfuvirtide or from radio-labeled metabolites of enfuvirtide (i.e., amino acids and peptide fragments).
The safety and pharmacokinetics of FUZEON have been evaluated in the age groups of 6 to 16 years of age supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies of FUZEON in adults. Limited efficacy data are available in pediatric subjects 6 years of age and older [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Sixty-three HIV-1 infected pediatric subjects ages 5 through 16 years have received FUZEON in two open-label, single-arm clinical trials. Adverse experiences, including ISRs, were similar to those observed in adult subjects.
T20-204 was an open-label, multicenter trial that evaluated the safety and antiviral activity of FUZEON in treatment-experienced pediatric subjects. Eleven subjects from 6 to 12 years were enrolled (median age of 9 years). Median baseline CD4 cell count was 495 cells/μL and the median baseline HIV-1 RNA was 4.6 log10 copies/mL.
Ten of the 11 study subjects completed 48 weeks of chronic therapy. At week 48, 6/11 (55%) subjects had ≥ 1 log10 decline in HIV-1 RNA and 4/11 (36%) subjects were below 400 copies/mL of HIV-1 RNA. The median changes from baseline (for the As Treated population) in HIV-1 RNA and CD4 cell count were -1.48 log10 copies/mL and +122 cells/μL, respectively.
T20-310 was an open-label, multicenter trial that evaluated the pharmacokinetics, safety, and antiviral activity of FUZEON in treatment-experienced pediatric subjects and adolescents. Fifty-two subjects from 5 through 16 years were enrolled (median age of 12 years). Median baseline CD4 cell count was 117 cells/μL and the median baseline HIV-1 RNA was 5.0 log10 copies/mL.
Thirty-two of the 52 study subjects completed 48 weeks of chronic therapy. At week 48, 17/52 (33%) of subjects had ≥ 1 log10 decline in HIV-1 RNA, 11/52 (21%) of subjects were below 400 copies/mL of HIV-1 RNA and 5/52 (10%) were below 50 copies/mL. The median changes from baseline (for the As Treated population) in HIV-1 RNA and CD4 cell count were -1.17 log10 copies/mL and +106 cells/μL, respectively.
Clinical studies of FUZEON did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. In general, appropriate caution should be exercised in the administration and monitoring of FUZEON in elderly patients reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
Use in Patients with Hepatic Impairment
No dose adjustments of enfuvirtide are needed in patients with hepatic impairment [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Use in Patients with Renal Impairment
No dose adjustments of enfuvirtide are needed in patients with renal impairment [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Last reviewed on RxList: 11/11/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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