"Two researchers at the National Institutes of Health discovered a new genetic link between the rapid growth of healthy fetuses and the uncontrolled cell division in cancer. The findings shed light on normal development and on the genetic under"...
Splenic rupture, including fatal cases, can occur following the administration of Neulasta. Evaluate for an enlarged spleen or splenic rupture in patients who report left upper abdominal or shoulder pain after receiving Neulasta.
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) can occur in patients receiving Neulasta. Evaluate patients who develop fever and lung infiltrates or respiratory distress after receiving Neulasta, for ARDS. Discontinue Neulasta in patients with ARDS.
Serious Allergic Reactions
Serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, can occur in patients receiving Neulasta. The majority of reported events occurred upon initial exposure. Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, can recur within days after the discontinuation of initial anti-allergic treatment. Permanently discontinue Neulasta in patients with serious allergic reactions. Do not administer Neulasta to patients with a history of serious allergic reactions to pegfilgrastim or filgrastim.
Use in Patients With Sickle Cell Disorders
Severe sickle cell crises can occur in patients with sickle cell disorders receiving Neulasta. Severe and sometimes fatal sickle cell crises can occur in patients with sickle cell disorders receiving filgrastim, the parent compound of pegfilgrastim.
Potential for Tumor Growth Stimulatory Effects on Malignant Cells
The granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) receptor through which pegfilgrastim and filgrastim act has been found on tumor cell lines. The possibility that pegfilgrastim acts as a growth factor for any tumor type, including myeloid malignancies and myelodysplasia, diseases for which pegfilgrastim is not approved, cannot be excluded.
Patient Counseling Information
Advise patients of the following risks:
- Splenic rupture
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
- Serious allergic reactions
- Sickle cell crisis
Have patients immediately contact their healthcare provider and report:
- Left upper quadrant or shoulder pain
- Shortness of breath
- Signs or symptoms of sickle cell crisis
- Signs or symptoms of infection
- Flushing, dizziness, or rash
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
No carcinogenicity or mutagenesis studies have been performed with pegfilgrastim.
Pegfilgrastim did not affect reproductive performance or fertility in male or female rats at cumulative weekly doses approximately 6 to 9 times higher than the recommended human dose (based on body surface area).
Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology
Pregnant rabbits were dosed with pegfilgrastim subcutaneously every other day during the period of organogenesis. At cumulative doses ranging from the approximate human dose to approximately 4 times the recommended human dose (based on body surface area), treated rabbits exhibited decreased maternal food consumption, maternal weight loss, as well as reduced fetal body weights and delayed ossification of the fetal skull; however, no structural
anomalies were observed in the offspring from either study. Increased incidences of post-implantation losses and spontaneous abortions (more than half the pregnancies) were observed at cumulative doses approximately 4 times the recommended human dose, which were not seen when pregnant rabbits were exposed to the recommended human dose.
Three studies were conducted in pregnant rats dosed with pegfilgrastim at cumulative doses up to approximately 10 times the recommended human dose at the following stages of gestation: during the period of organogenesis, from mating through the first half of pregnancy, and from the first trimester through delivery and lactation. No evidence of fetal loss or structural malformations was observed in any study. Cumulative doses equivalent to approximately 3 and 10 times the recommended human dose resulted in transient evidence of wavy ribs in fetuses of treated mothers (detected at the end of gestation but no longer present in pups evaluated at the end of lactation).
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Pegfilgrastim was embryotoxic and increased pregnancy loss in pregnant rabbits that received cumulative doses approximately 4 times the recommended human dose (based on body surface area). Signs of maternal toxicity occurred at these doses. Neulasta should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit to the mother justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
In animal reproduction studies, when pregnant rabbits received pegfilgrastim at cumulative doses approximately 4 times the recommended human dose (based on body surface area), increased embryolethality and spontaneous abortions occurred. Signs of maternal toxicity (reductions in body weight gain/food consumption) and decreased fetal weights occurred at maternal doses approximately equivalent to the recommended human dose (based on body surface area). There were no structural anomalies observed in rabbit offspring at any dose tested. No evidence of reproductive/developmental toxicity occurred in the offspring of pregnant rats that received cumulative doses of pegfilgrastim approximately 10 times the recommended human dose (based on body surface area) [see Nonclinical Toxicology].
Women who become pregnant during Neulasta treatment are encouraged to enroll in Amgen's Pregnancy Surveillance Program. Patients or their physicians should call 1-800-77-AMGEN (1-800-772-6436) to enroll.
It is not known whether pegfilgrastim is secreted in human milk. Other recombinant G-CSF products are poorly secreted in breast milk and G-CSF is not orally absorbed by neonates. Caution should be exercised when administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness of Neulasta in pediatric patients have not been established. The adverse reaction profile and pharmacokinetics of pegfilgrastim were studied in 37 pediatric patients with sarcoma. The mean (± standard deviation [SD]) systemic exposure (AUC0-inf) of pegfilgrastim after subcutaneous administration at 100 mcg/kg was 22.0 (± 13.1) mcg·hr/mL in the 6 to11 years age group (n = 10), 29.3 (± 23.2) mcg·hr/mL in the 12 to21 years age group (n = 13), and 47.9 (± 22.5) mcg·hr/mL in the youngest age group (0 to5 years, n = 11). The terminal elimination half-lives of the corresponding age groups were 20.2 (± 11.3) hours, 21.2 (± 16.0) hours, and 30.1 (± 38.2) hours, respectively. The most common adverse reaction was bone pain.
Of the 932 patients with cancer who received Neulasta in clinical studies, 139 (15%) were age 65 and over, and 18 (2%) were age 75 and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between patients age 65 and older and younger patients.
In a study of 30 subjects with varying degrees of renal dysfunction, including end stage renal disease, renal dysfunction had no effect on the pharmacokinetics of pegfilgrastim. Therefore, pegfilgrastim dose adjustment in patients with renal dysfunction is not necessary [Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/4/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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