"By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH
March 10, 2015 -- Drugs known as biologics have grabbed headlines over the years, both for their potential in fighting cancer and other diseases, and f"...
Infusion reactions, defined as symptoms occurring within 24 hours of infusion and resolving within 48 hours of the last infusion in that course, were reported in 70.5% (165/234) of Ontak-treated patients across 3 clinical studies utilizing the approved doses and schedule. Serious infusion reactions were reported in 8.1% (19/234) of Ontak-treated patients. There have been post-marketing reports of infusion reactions resulting in death.
For patients completing at least 4 courses of Ontak treatment in Study 1 [see Clinical Studies], the incidence of infusion reactions was lower in the 3 and 4 cycles as compared to the 1 and 2 cycles of Ontak.
Resuscitative equipment should be available during Ontak administration. Immediately stop and permanently discontinue Ontak for serious infusion reactions.
Capillary Leak Syndrome
Capillary leak syndrome was defined as the occurrence of at least 2 of the following 3 symptoms (hypotension, edema, serum albumin < 3.0 g/dL) at any time during Ontak therapy. These symptoms were not required to occur simultaneously to be characterized as capillary leak syndrome. As defined, capillary leak syndrome was reported in 32.5% (76/234) of Ontak-treated patients. Among these 76 patients with capillary leak syndrome, one-third required hospitalization or medical intervention to prevent hospitalization. There have been post-marketing reports of capillary leak syndrome resulting in death.
The onset of symptoms in patients with capillary leak syndrome may be delayed, occurring up to 2 weeks following infusion. Symptoms may persist or worsen after the cessation of Ontak.
Regularly assess patients for weight gain, new onset or worsening edema, hypotension (including orthostatic changes) and monitor serum albumin levels prior to the initiation of each course of therapy and more often as clinically indicated. Withhold Ontak for serum albumin levels of less than 3.0 g/dL [see Laboratory Monitoring/Hypoalbuminemia below].
Loss of visual acuity, usually with loss of color vision, with or without retinal pigment mottling has been reported following administration of Ontak. Recovery was reported in some of the affected patients; however, most patients reported persistent visual impairment.
CD25 Tumor Expression And Evaluation
Confirm that the patient's malignant cells express CD25 prior to administration of Ontak. A testing service for the assay of CD25 expression in tumor biopsy samples is available. For information on this service call 877-873-4724.
Monitor serum albumin levels prior to the initiation of each treatment course. Withhold administration of Ontak if serum albumin levels are less than 3.0 g/dL [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and Capillary Leak Syndrome above].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
There have been no studies to assess the carcinogenic potential of denileukin diftitox. Denileukin diftitox showed no evidence of mutagenicity in the Ames test and the chromosomal aberration assay. There have been no studies to assess the effect of denileukin diftitox on fertility.
Use In Specific Populations
It is not known whether Ontak can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproductive capacity. Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Ontak. Ontak should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.
It is not known whether Ontak is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Ontak, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue Ontak, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
Clinical studies of Ontak did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and older to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/11/2016
Additional Ontak Information
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