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Tafinlar

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved two new drugs, Tafinlar (dabrafenib) and Mekinist (trametinib), for patients with advanced (metastatic) or unresectable (cannot be removed by surgery) melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin "...

Tafinlar

WARNINGS

Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.

PRECAUTIONS

Review the Full Prescribing Information for trametinib prior to initiation of TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib. The following serious adverse reactions of trametinib as a single agent, which may occur when TAFINLAR is used in combination with trametinib, are not described in the Full Prescribing Information for TAFINLAR:

  • Retinal vein occlusion
  • Interstitial lung disease

New Primary Malignancies

New primary malignancies, cutaneous and non-cutaneous, can occur when TAFINLAR is administered as a single agent or when used in combination with trametinib.

Cutaneous Malignancies

TAFINLAR results in an increased incidence of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, keratoacanthoma, and melanoma. TAFINLAR when used in combination with trametinib results in an increased incidence of basal cell carcinoma.

In Trial 1, cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas and keratoacanthomas (cuSCC) occurred in 7% (14/187) of patients treated with TAFINLAR and in none of the patients treated with dacarbazine.

Across clinical trials of TAFINLAR (N = 586), the incidence of cuSCC was 11%. The median time to first cuSCC was 9 weeks (range: 1 to 53 weeks). Of those patients who developed new cuSCC, approximately 33% developed one or more cuSCC with continued administration of TAFINLAR. The median time between diagnosis of the first cuSCC and the second cuSCC was 6 weeks.

In Trial 1, the incidence of new primary malignant melanomas was 2% (3/187) for patients receiving TAFINLAR while no dacarbazine-treated patient was diagnosed with new primary malignant melanoma.

In Trial 2, the incidence of basal cell carcinoma was increased in patients receiving TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib: 9% (5/55) of patients receiving TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib compared with 2% (1/53) of patients receiving TAFINLAR as a single agent. The range of time to diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma was 28 to 249 days in patients receiving TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib and was 197 days for the patient receiving TAFINLAR as a single agent.

Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), including keratoacanthoma, occurred in 7% of patients receiving TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib and 19% of patients receiving TAFINLAR as a single agent. The range of time to diagnosis of cuSCC was 136 to197 days in the combination arm and was 9 to 197 days in the arm receiving TAFINLAR as a single agent.

New primary melanoma occurred in 2% (1/53) of patients receiving TAFINLAR as a single agent and in none of the 55 patients receiving TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib.

Perform dermatologic evaluations prior to initiation of TAFINLAR as a single agent or in combination with trametinib, every 2 months while on therapy, and for up to 6 months following discontinuation of TAFINLAR. No dose modifications of TAFINLAR or trametinib are required in patients who develop new primary cutaneous malignancies.

Non-cutaneous Malignancies

Based on its mechanism of action, TAFINLAR may promote the growth and development of malignancies with activation of RAS through mutation or other mechanisms. In patients receiving TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib four cases of non-cutaneous malignancies were identified: KRAS mutation-positive pancreatic adenocarcinoma (n = 1), recurrent NRAS mutation-positive colorectal carcinoma (n = 1), head and neck carcinoma (n = 1), and glioblastoma (n = 1). Monitor patients receiving the combination closely for signs or symptoms of non-cutaneous malignancies. Permanently discontinue TAFINLAR for RAS mutation-positive non-cutaneous malignancies. If used in combination with trametinib, no dose modification of trametinib is required for patients who develop non-cutaneous malignancies.

Tumor Promotion in BRAF Wild-Type Melanoma

In vitro experiments have demonstrated paradoxical activation of MAP-kinase signaling and increased cell proliferation in BRAF wild-type cells which are exposed to BRAF inhibitors. Confirm evidence of BRAF V600E or V600K mutation status prior to initiation of TAFINLAR as a single agent or combination therapy [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE, DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Hemorrhage

Hemorrhages, including major hemorrhages defined as symptomatic bleeding in a critical area or organ, can occur when TAFINLAR is used in combination with trametinib.

In Trial 2, treatment with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib resulted in an increased incidence and severity of any hemorrhagic event: 16% (9/55) of patients treated with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib compared with 2% (1/53) of patients treated with TAFINLAR as a single agent. The major hemorrhagic events of intracranial or gastric hemorrhage occurred in 5% (3/55) of patients treated with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib compared with none of the 53 patients treated with TAFINLAR as a single agent. Intracranial hemorrhage was fatal in 4% (2/55) of patients receiving TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib.

Permanently discontinue TAFINLAR and trametinib for all Grade 4 hemorrhagic events and for any Grade 3 hemorrhagic events that do not improve. Withhold TAFINLAR for Grade 3 hemorrhagic events; if improved resume at a lower dose level. Withhold trametinib for up to 3 weeks for Grade 3 hemorrhagic events; if improved, resume at a lower dose level.

Venous Thromboembolism

Venous thromboembolism can occur when TAFINLAR is used in combination with trametinib.

In Trial 2, treatment with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib resulted in an increased incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE): 7% (4/55) of patients treated with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib compared with none of the 53 patients treated with TAFINLAR as a single agent. Pulmonary embolism was fatal in 2% (1/55) of patients receiving TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib.

Advise patients to immediately seek medical care if they develop symptoms of DVT or PE, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or arm or leg swelling. Permanently discontinue TAFINLAR and trametinib for life-threatening PE. Withhold trametinib and continue TAFINLAR at the same dose for uncomplicated DVT or PE; if improved within 3 weeks, trametinib may be resumed at a lower dose level [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy can occur when TAFINLAR is used in combination with trametinib and with trametinib as a single agent [refer to Full Prescribing Information for trametinib].

In Trial 2, cardiomyopathy occurred in 9% (5/55) of patients treated with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib and in none of patients treated with TAFINLAR as a single agent. The median time to onset of cardiomyopathy in patients treated with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib was 86 days (range: 27 to 253 days). Cardiomyopathy was identified within the first month of treatment with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib in two of five patients. Development of cardiomyopathy resolved in all five patients following dose reduction (4/55) and/or dose interruption (1/55).

Across clinical trials of TAFINLAR administered in combination with trametinib (N = 202), 8% of patients developed evidence of cardiomyopathy (decrease in LVEF below institutional lower limits of normal with an absolute decrease in LVEF ≥ 10% below baseline). Two percent demonstrated a decrease in LVEF below institutional lower limits of normal with an absolute decrease in LVEF of ≥ 20% below baseline.

Assess LVEF by echocardiogram or multigated acquisition (MUGA) scan before initiation of TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib, one month after initiation, and then at 2- to 3-month intervals while on treatment with the combination. Withhold treatment with trametinib and continue TAFINLAR at the same dose if absolute LVEF value decreases by 10% from pretreatment values and is less than the lower limit of normal. For symptomatic cardiomyopathy or persistent, asymptomatic LV dysfunction that does not resolve within 4 weeks, permanently discontinue trametinib and withhold TAFINLAR. Resume TAFINLAR at the same dose level upon recovery of cardiac function [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Ocular Toxicities

Retinal Pigment Epithelial Detachment (RPED)

Retinal pigment epithelial detachments (RPED) can occur when TAFINLAR is used in combination with trametinib and with trametinib as a single agent [refer to Full Prescribing Information for trametinib]. Retinal detachments resulting from trametinib are often bilateral and multifocal, occurring in the macular region of the retina.

In Trial 2, ophthalmologic examinations including retinal evaluation were performed pretreatment and at regular intervals during treatment. RPED occurred in 2% (1/55) of patients receiving TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib. Across clinical trials of TAFINLAR administered in combination with trametinib (N = 202), the incidence of RPED was 1% (2/202).

Perform ophthalmological evaluation at any time a patient reports visual disturbances and compare with baseline, if available. If TAFINLAR is used in combination with trametinib, do not modify the dose of TAFINLAR. Withhold trametinib if RPED is diagnosed. If resolution of the RPED is documented on repeat ophthalmological evaluation within 3 weeks, resume trametinib at a lower dose level. Discontinue trametinib if no improvement after 3 weeks [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Uveitis and Iritis

Uveitis and iritis can occur when TAFINLAR is administered as a single agent or when used in combination with trametinib.

Uveitis (including iritis) occurred in 1% (6/586) of patients treated with TAFINLAR as a single agent and uveitis occurred in 1% (2/202) of patients treated with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib. Symptomatic treatment employed in clinical trials included steroid and mydriatic ophthalmic drops. Monitor patients for visual signs and symptoms of uveitis (e.g., change in vision, photophobia, eye pain). If diagnosed, withhold TAFINLAR for up to 6 weeks until uveitis/iritis resolves to Grade 0-1. If TAFINLAR is used in combination with trametinib, do not modify the dose of trametinib.

Serious Febrile Reactions

Serious febrile reactions and fever of any severity complicated by hypotension, rigors or chills, dehydration, or renal failure, can occur when TAFINLAR is administered as a single agent or when used in combination with trametinib. The incidence and severity of pyrexia are increased when TAFINLAR is used in combination with trametinib compared with TAFINLAR as a single agent [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

In Trial 1, the incidence of fever (serious and non-serious) was 28% in patients treated with TAFINLAR and 10% in patients treated with dacarbazine. In patients treated with TAFINLAR, the median time to initial onset of fever (any severity) was 11 days (range: 1 to 202 days) and the median duration of fever was 3 days (range: 1 to 129 days). Serious febrile reactions and fever of any severity complicated by hypotension, rigors or chills occurred in 3.7% (7/187) of patients treated with TAFINLAR and in none of the 59 patients treated with dacarbazine.

In Trial 2, the incidence of fever (serious and non-serious) was 71% (39/55) in patients treated with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib and 26% (14/53) in patients treated with TAFINLAR as a single agent. Serious febrile reactions and fever of any severity complicated by hypotension, rigors or chills occurred in 25% (14/55) of patients treated with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib compared with 2% (1/53) of patients treated with TAFINLAR as a single agent. Fever was complicated with chills/rigors in 51% (28/55), dehydration in 9% (5/55), renal failure in 4% (2/55), and syncope in 4% (2/55) of patients in Trial 2.

In patients treated with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib, the median time to initial onset of fever was 30 days compared with 19 days in patients treated with TAFINLAR as a single agent; the median duration of fever was 6 days with the combination compared with 4 days with TAFINLAR as a single agent.

Across clinical trials of TAFINLAR administered in combination with trametinib (N = 202), the incidence of pyrexia was 57% (116/202).

Withhold TAFINLAR for fever of 101.3°F or higher. Withhold trametinib for any fever higher than 104°F. Withhold TAFINLAR, and trametinib if used in combination, for any serious febrile reaction or fever complicated by hypotension, rigors or chills, dehydration, or renal failure and evaluate for signs and symptoms of infection. Refer to Table 2 for recommended dose modifications for adverse reactions [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. Prophylaxis with antipyretics may be required when resuming TAFINLAR or trametinib.

Serious Skin Toxicity

Serious skin toxicity can occur when TAFINLAR is used in combination with trametinib and with trametinib as a single agent [refer to Full Prescribing Information for trametinib].

In Trial 2, the incidence of any skin toxicity was similar for patients receiving TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib (65% [36/55]) compared with patients receiving TAFINLAR as a single agent (68% [36/53]). The median time to onset of skin toxicity in patients treated with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib was 37 days (range: 1 to 225 days) and median time to resolution of skin toxicity was 33 days (range: 3 to 421 days). No patient required dose reduction or permanent discontinuation of TAFINLAR or trametinib for skin toxicity.

Across clinical trials of TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib (N = 202), severe skin toxicity and secondary infections of the skin requiring hospitalization occurred in 2.5% (5/202) of patients treated with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib.

Withhold TAFINLAR, and trametinib if used in combination, for intolerable or severe skin toxicity. TAFINLAR and trametinib may be resumed at lower dose levels in patients with improvement or recovery from skin toxicity within 3 weeks [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia can occur when TAFINLAR is administered as a single agent or when used in combination with trametinib.

In Trial 1, 5 of 12 patients with a history of diabetes required more intensive hypoglycemic therapy while taking TAFINLAR. The incidence of Grade 3 hyperglycemia based on laboratory values was 6% (12/187) in patients treated with TAFINLAR compared with none of the dacarbazine-treated patients.

In Trial 2, the incidence of Grade 3 hyperglycemia based on laboratory values was 5% (3/55) in patients treated with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib compared with 2% (1/53) in patients treated with TAFINLAR as a single agent.

Monitor serum glucose levels as clinically appropriate when TAFINLAR is administered as a single agent or when used in combination with trametinib in patients with pre-existing diabetes or hyperglycemia. Advise patients to report symptoms of severe hyperglycemia such as excessive thirst or any increase in the volume or frequency of urination.

Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency

TAFINLAR, which contains a sulfonamide moiety, confers a potential risk of hemolytic anemia in patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. Closely observe patients with G6PD deficiency for signs of hemolytic anemia.

Embryofetal Toxicity

Based on its mechanism of action, TAFINLAR can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Dabrafenib was teratogenic and embryotoxic in rats at doses three times greater than the human exposure at the recommended clinical dose. If this drug is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus [see Use In Specific Populations].

Advise female patients of reproductive potential to use a highly effective non-hormonal method of contraception since TAFINLAR can render hormonal contraceptives ineffective, during treatment and for at least 2 weeks after treatment with TAFINLAR or for 4 months after treatment with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib. Advise patients to contact their healthcare provider if they become pregnant, or if pregnancy is suspected, while taking TAFINLAR [see DRUG INTERACTIONS, Use In Specific Populations].

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide).

Inform patients of the following:

  • Evidence of BRAF V600E mutation in the tumor specimen is necessary to identify patients for whom treatment with TAFINLAR as a single agent is indicated and evidence of BRAF V600E or V600K mutation in tumor specimens is necessary to identify patients for whom treatment with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib is indicated [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
  • TAFINLAR increases the risk of developing new primary cutaneous and non-cutaneous malignancies. Advise patients to contact their doctor immediately for any new lesions, changes to existing lesions on their skin, or signs and symptoms of other malignancies [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • TAFINLAR administered in combination with trametinib increases the risk of intracranial and gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Advise patients to contact their healthcare provider to seek immediate medical attention for signs or symptoms of unusual bleeding or hemorrhage [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • TAFINLAR administered in combination with trametinib increases the risks of pulmonary embolism and deep venous thrombosis. Advise patients to seek immediate medical attention for sudden onset of difficulty breathing, leg pain, or swelling [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • TAFINLAR administered in combination with trametinib can cause cardiomyopathy. Advise patients to immediately report any signs or symptoms of heart failure to their healthcare provider [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • TAFINLAR can cause visual disturbances; TAFINLAR administered in combination with trametinib can lead to blindness. Advise patients to contact their healthcare provider if they experience any changes in their vision [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • TAFINLAR, administered as a single agent and in combination with trametinib can cause pyrexia including serious febrile reactions. Inform patients that the incidence and severity of pyrexia are increased when TAFINLAR is given in combination with trametinib. Instruct patients to contact their doctor if they develop fever while taking TAFINLAR [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib can cause serious skin toxicities which may require hospitalization. Advise patients to contact their healthcare provider for progressive or intolerable rash [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • TAFINLAR can impair glucose control in diabetic patients resulting in the need for more intensive hypoglycemic treatment. Advise patients to contact their doctor to report symptoms of severe hyperglycemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • TAFINLAR may cause hemolytic anemia in patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. Advise patients with known G6PD deficiency to contact their doctor to report signs or symptoms of anemia or hemolysis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • TAFINLAR can cause fetal harm if taken during pregnancy. Instruct female patients to use non-hormonal, highly effective contraception during treatment and for 2 weeks after discontinuation of treatment with TAFINLAR as a single agent, or for 4 months after discontinuation of treatment with TAFINLAR in combination with trametinib. Advise patients to contact their doctor if they become pregnant, or if pregnancy is suspected, while taking TAFINLAR [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, Use In Specific Populations].
  • Nursing infants may experience serious adverse reactions if the mother is taking TAFINLAR during breastfeeding. Advise breastfeeding mothers to discontinue nursing while taking TAFINLAR [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
  • Male patients are at an increased risk for impaired spermatogenesis [see Use In Specific Populations].
  • TAFINLAR should be taken either at least 1 hour before or at least 2 hours after a meal [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Carcinogenicity studies with dabrafenib have not been conducted. TAFINLAR increased the risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas in patients in clinical trials.

Dabrafenib was not mutagenic in vitro in the bacterial reverse mutation assay (Ames test) or the mouse lymphoma assay, and was not clastogenic in an in vivo rat bone marrow micronucleus test.

In a combined female fertility and embryofetal development study in rats, a reduction in fertility was noted at doses greater than or equal to 20 mg/kg/day (equivalent to the human exposure at the recommended dose based on AUC). A reduction in the number of ovarian corpora lutea was noted in pregnant females at 300 mg/kg/day (which is approximately three times the human exposure at the recommended dose based on AUC).

Male fertility studies with dabrafenib have not been conducted; however, in repeat-dose studies, testicular degeneration/depletion was seen in rats and dogs at doses equivalent to and three times the human exposure at the recommended dose based on AUC, respectively.

Use In Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category D

Risk Summary

Based on its mechanism of action, TAFINLAR can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Dabrafenib was teratogenic and embryotoxic in rats at doses three times greater than the human exposure at the recommended clinical dose of 150 mg twice daily based on AUC. If this drug is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Animal Data

In a combined female fertility and embryofetal development study in rats, developmental toxicity consisted of embryo-lethality, ventricular septal defects, and variation in thymic shape at a dabrafenib dose of 300 mg/kg/day (approximately three times the human exposure at the recommended dose based on AUC). At doses of 20 mg/kg/day or greater (equivalent to the human exposure at the recommended dose based on AUC), rats demonstrated delays in skeletal development and reduced fetal body weight.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is present in human milk. Because many drugs are present in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions from TAFINLAR in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of TAFINLAR have not been established in pediatric patients.

In a repeat-dose toxicity study in juvenile rats, an increased incidence of kidney cysts and tubular deposits were noted at doses as low as 0.2 times the human exposure at the recommended adult dose based on AUC. Additionally, forestomach hyperplasia, decreased bone length, and early vaginal opening were noted at doses as low as 0.8 times the human exposure at the recommended adult dose based on AUC.

Geriatric Use

One hundred and twenty-six (22%) of 586 patients in clinical trials of TAFINLAR administered as a single agent and 40 (21%) of the 187 patients receiving TAFINLAR in Trial 1 were ≥ 65 years of age. No overall differences in the effectiveness or safety of TAFINLAR were observed in the elderly in Trial 1.

Across all clinical trials of TAFINLAR administered in combination with trametinib, there was an insufficient number of patients aged 65 years and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients. In Trial 2, 11 patients (20%) were 65 years of age and older, and 2 patients (4%) were 75 years of age and older.

Females And Males Of Reproductive Potential

Contraception

Females: Advise female patients of reproductive potential to use highly effective contraception during treatment and for at least 2 weeks after the last dose of TAFINLAR or at least 4 months after the last dose of TAFINLAR taken in combination with trametinib. Counsel patients to use a non-hormonal method of contraception since TAFINLAR can render hormonal contraceptives ineffective. Advise patients to contact their healthcare provider if they become pregnant, or if pregnancy is suspected, while taking TAFINLAR [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, DRUG INTERACTIONS, Use In Specific Populations].

Infertility

Females: Increased follicular cysts and decreased corpora lutea were observed in female rats treated with trametinib. Advise female patients of reproductive potential that TAFINLAR taken in combination with trametinib may impair fertility in female patients.

Males: Effects on spermatogenesis have been observed in animals. Advise male patients of the potential risk for impaired spermatogenesis, and to seek counseling on fertility and family planning options prior to starting treatment with TAFINLAR [see Nonclinical Toxicology].

Hepatic Impairment

No formal pharmacokinetic trial in patients with hepatic impairment has been conducted. Dose adjustment is not recommended for patients with mild hepatic impairment based on the results of the population pharmacokinetic analysis. As hepatic metabolism and biliary secretion are the primary routes of elimination of dabrafenib and its metabolites, patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment may have increased exposure. An appropriate dose has not been established for patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Renal Impairment

No formal pharmacokinetic trial in patients with renal impairment has been conducted. Dose adjustment is not recommended for patients with mild or moderate renal impairment based on the results of the population pharmacokinetic analysis. An appropriate dose has not been established for patients with severe renal impairment [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Last reviewed on RxList: 1/22/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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