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PHOTOFRIN (porfimer sodium) Overdose

There is no information on overdosage situations involving PHOTOFRIN (porfimer sodium) . Higher than recommended drug doses of two 2 mg/kg doses given two days apart (10 patients) and three 2 mg/kg doses given within two weeks (one patient), were tolerated without notable adverse reactions. Effects of overdosage on the duration of photosensitivity are unknown. Laser treatment should not be given if an overdose of PHOTOFRIN (porfimer sodium) is administered. In the event of an overdose, patients should protect their eyes and skin from direct sunlight or bright indoor lights for 30 days. At this time, patients should test for residual photosensitivity [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. PHOTOFRIN (porfimer sodium) is not dialyzable.

Overdose of Laser Light Following PHOTOFRIN (porfimer sodium) Injection

Light doses of two to three times the recommended dose have been administered to a few patients with superficial endobronchial tumors. One patient experienced life-threatening dyspnoea and the others had no notable complications. Increased symptoms and damage to normal tissue might be expected following an overdose of light. There is no information on overdose of laser light following PHOTOFRIN (porfimer sodium) injection in patients with esophageal cancer or in patients with high-grade dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus.


  • PHOTOFRIN (porfimer sodium) is contraindicated in patients with porphyria.
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is contraindicated in patients with an existing tracheoesophageal or bronchoesophageal fistula.
  • PDT is contraindicated in patients with tumors eroding into a major blood vessel.
  • PDT is not suitable for emergency treatment of patients with severe acute respiratory distress caused by an obstructing endobronchial lesion because 40 to 50 hours are required between injection with PHOTOFRIN (porfimer sodium) and laser light treatment.
  • PDT is not suitable for patients with esophageal or gastric varices, or patients with esophageal ulcers > 1 cm in diameter.
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 5/19/2011


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