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Myelosuppression (including anemia, leukopenia, pancytopenia, and thrombocytopenia) has been reported in patients receiving linezolid. In cases where the outcome is known, when linezolid was discontinued, the affected hematologic parameters have risen toward pretreatment levels. Complete blood counts should be monitored weekly in patients who receive linezolid, particularly in those who receive linezolid for longer than two weeks, those with pre-existing myelosuppression, those receiving concomitant drugs that produce bone marrow suppression, or those with a chronic infection who have received previous or concomitant antibiotic therapy. Discontinuation of therapy with linezolid should be considered in patients who develop or have worsening myelosuppression.
Peripheral And Optic Neuropathy
Peripheral and optic neuropathies have been reported in patients treated with ZYVOX, primarily in those patients treated for longer than the maximum recommended duration of 28 days. In cases of optic neuropathy that progressed to loss of vision, patients were treated for extended periods beyond the maximum recommended duration. Visual blurring has been reported in some patients treated with ZYVOX for less than 28 days. Peripheral and optic neuropathy has also been reported in children.
If patients experience symptoms of visual impairment, such as changes in visual acuity, changes in color vision, blurred vision, or visual field defect, prompt ophthalmic evaluation is recommended. Visual function should be monitored in all patients taking ZYVOX for extended periods ( ≥ 3 months) and in all patients reporting new visual symptoms regardless of length of therapy with ZYVOX. If peripheral or optic neuropathy occurs, the continued use of ZYVOX in these patients should be weighed against the potential risks.
Spontaneous reports of serotonin syndrome including fatal cases associated with the co-administration of ZYVOX and serotonergic agents, including antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been reported.
Unless clinically appropriate and patients are carefully observed for signs and/or symptoms of serotonin syndrome or neuroleptic malignant syndrome-like (NMS-like) reactions, linezolid should not be administered to patients with carcinoid syndrome and/or patients taking any of the following medications: serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin 5-HT1 receptor agonists (triptans), meperidine, bupropion, or buspirone [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
In some cases, a patient already receiving a serotonergic antidepressant or buspirone may require urgent treatment with linezolid. If alternatives to linezolid are not available and the potential benefits of linezolid outweigh the risks of serotonin syndrome or NMS-like reactions, the serotonergic antidepressant should be stopped promptly and linezolid administered. The patient should be monitored for two weeks (five weeks if fluoxetine was taken) or until 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid, whichever comes first. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome or NMS-like reactions include hyperthermia, rigidity, myoclonus, autonomic instability, and mental status changes that include extreme agitation progressing to delirium and coma. The patient should also be monitored for discontinuation symptoms of the antidepressant (see package insert of the specified agent(s) for a description of the associated discontinuation symptoms).
Mortality Imbalance In An Investigational Study In Patients With Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections, including Those With Catheter-Site Infections
An imbalance in mortality was seen in patients treated with linezolid relative to vancomycin/dicloxacillin/oxacillin in an open-label study in seriously ill patients with intravascular catheter-related infections [78/363 (21.5%) vs. 58/363 (16.0%); odds ratio 1.426, 95% CI 0.970, 2.098]. While causality has not been established, this observed imbalance occurred primarily in linezolid-treated patients in whom either Gram-negative pathogens, mixed Gram-negative and Gram-positive pathogens, or no pathogen were identified at baseline, but was not seen in patients with Gram-positive infections only.
Linezolid is not approved and should not be used for the treatment of patients with catheter-related bloodstream infections or catheter-site infections.
Linezolid has no clinical activity against Gram-negative pathogens and is not indicated for the treatment of Gram-negative infections. It is critical that specific Gram-negative therapy be initiated immediately if a concomitant Gram-negative pathogen is documented or suspected [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE].
Clostridium difficile Associated Diarrhea
Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including ZYVOX, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.
C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antimicrobial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use.
Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.
If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.
Potential Interactions Producing Elevation Of Blood Pressure
Unless patients are monitored for potential increases in blood pressure, linezolid should not be administered to patients with uncontrolled hypertension, pheochromocytoma, thyrotoxicosis and/or patients taking any of the following types of medications: directly and indirectly acting sympathomimetic agents (e.g., pseudoephedrine), vasopressive agents (e.g., epinephrine, norepinephrine), dopaminergic agents (e.g., dopamine, dobutamine) [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Lactic acidosis has been reported with the use of ZYVOX. In reported cases, patients experienced repeated episodes of nausea and vomiting. Patients who develop recurrent nausea or vomiting, unexplained acidosis, or a low bicarbonate level while receiving ZYVOX should receive immediate medical evaluation.
Convulsions have been reported in patients when treated with linezolid. In some of these cases, a history of seizures or risk factors for seizures was reported.
Postmarketing cases of symptomatic hypoglycemia have been reported in patients with diabetes mellitus receiving insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents when treated with linezolid, a reversible, nonselective MAO inhibitor. Some MAO inhibitors have been associated with hypoglycemic episodes in diabetic patients receiving insulin or hypoglycemic agents. While a causal relationship between linezolid and hypoglycemia has not been established, diabetic patients should be cautioned of potential hypoglycemic reactions when treated with linezolid.
If hypoglycemia occurs, a decrease in the dose of insulin or oral hypoglycemic agent, or discontinuation of oral hypoglycemic agent, insulin, or linezolid may be required.
Development Of Drug-Resistant Bacteria
Prescribing ZYVOX in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection or a prophylactic indication is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Lifetime studies in animals have not been conducted to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of linezolid. Neither mutagenic nor clastogenic potential was found in a battery of tests including: assays for mutagenicity (Ames bacterial reversion and CHO cell mutation), an in vitro unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) assay, an in vitro chromosome aberration assay in human lymphocytes, and an in vivo mouse micronucleus assay.
Linezolid did not affect the fertility or reproductive performance of adult female rats. It reversibly decreased fertility and reproductive performance in adult male rats when given at doses < 50 mg/kg/day, with exposures approximately equal to or greater than the expected human exposure level (exposure comparisons are based on AUCs). The reversible fertility effects were mediated through altered spermatogenesis. Affected spermatids contained abnormally formed and oriented mitochondria and were non-viable. Epithelial cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia in the epididymis was observed in conjunction with decreased fertility. Similar epididymal changes were not seen in dogs.
In sexually mature male rats exposed to drug as juveniles, mildly decreased fertility was observed following treatment with linezolid through most of their period of sexual development (50 mg/kg/day from days 7 to 36 of age, and 100 mg/kg/day from days 37 to 55 of age), with exposures up to 1.7-fold greater than mean AUCs observed in pediatric patients aged 3 months to 11 years. Decreased fertility was not observed with shorter treatment periods, corresponding to exposure in utero through the early neonatal period (gestation day 6 through postnatal day 5), neonatal exposure (postnatal days 5 to 21), or to juvenile exposure (postnatal days 22 to 35). Reversible reductions in sperm motility and altered sperm morphology were observed in rats treated from postnatal day 22 to 35.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
Linezolid was not teratogenic in mice, rats, or rabbits at exposure levels 6.5-fold (in mice), equivalent to (in rats), or 0.06-fold (in rabbits) the expected human exposure level, based on AUCs. However, embryo and fetal toxicities were seen (see Non-teratogenic Effects). There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. ZYVOX should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
In mice, embryo and fetal toxicities were seen only at doses that caused maternal toxicity (clinical signs and reduced body weight gain). A dose of 450 mg/kg/day (6.5-fold the estimated human exposure level based on AUCs) correlated with increased postimplantational embryo death, including total litter loss, decreased fetal body weights, and an increased incidence of costal cartilage fusion.
In rats, mild fetal toxicity was observed at 15 and 50 mg/kg/day (exposure levels 0.22-fold to approximately equivalent to the estimated human exposure, respectively, based on AUCs). The effects consisted of decreased fetal body weights and reduced ossification of sternebrae, a finding often seen in association with decreased fetal body weights. Slight maternal toxicity, in the form of reduced body weight gain, was seen at 50 mg/kg/day.
In rabbits, reduced fetal body weight occurred only in the presence of maternal toxicity (clinical signs, reduced body weight gain and food consumption) when administered at a dose of 15 mg/kg/day (0.06-fold the estimated human exposure based on AUCs).
When female rats were treated with 50 mg/kg/day (approximately equivalent to the estimated human exposure based on AUCs) of linezolid during pregnancy and lactation, survival of pups was decreased on postnatal days 1 to 4. Male and female pups permitted to mature to reproductive age, when mated, showed an increase in preimplantation loss.
Linezolid and its metabolites are excreted in the milk of lactating rats. Concentrations in milk were similar to those in maternal plasma. It is not known whether linezolid is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when ZYVOX is administered to a nursing woman.
The safety and effectiveness of ZYVOX for the treatment of pediatric patients with the following infections are supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies in adults, pharmacokinetic data in pediatric patients, and additional data from a comparator-controlled study of Gram-positive infections in pediatric patients ranging in age from birth through 11 years [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and Clinical Studies]:
- nosocomial pneumonia
- complicated skin and skin structure infections
- community-acquired pneumonia (also supported by evidence from an uncontrolled study in patients ranging in age from 8 months through 12 years)
- vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium infections
The safety and effectiveness of ZYVOX for the treatment of pediatric patients with the following infection have been established in a comparator-controlled study in pediatric patients ranging in age from 5 through 17 years [see Clinical Studies]:
- uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-susceptible strains only) or Streptococcus pyogenes
Pharmacokinetic information generated in pediatric patients with ventriculoperitoneal shunts showed variable cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) linezolid concentrations following single and multiple dosing of linezolid; therapeutic concentrations were not consistently achieved or maintained in the CSF. Therefore, the use of linezolid for the empiric treatment of pediatric patients with central nervous system infections is not recommended.
The pharmacokinetics of linezolid have been evaluated in pediatric patients from birth to 17 years of age. In general, weight-based clearance of linezolid gradually decreases with increasing age of pediatric patients. However, in preterm (gestational age < 34 weeks) neonates < 7 days of age, linezolid clearance is often lower than in full-term neonates < 7 days of age. Consequently, preterm neonates < 7 days of age may need an alternative linezolid dosing regimen of 10 mg/kg every 12 hours [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
In limited clinical experience, 5 out of 6 (83%) pediatric patients with infections due to Gram-positive pathogens with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 4 mcg/mL treated with ZYVOX had clinical cures. However, pediatric patients exhibit wider variability in linezolid clearance and systemic exposure (AUC) compared with adults. In pediatric patients with a sub-optimal clinical response, particularly those with pathogens with MIC of 4 mcg/mL, lower systemic exposure, site and severity of infection, and the underlying medical condition should be considered when assessing clinical response [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Of the 2046 patients treated with ZYVOX in Phase 3 comparator-controlled clinical trials, 589 (29%) were 65 years or older and 253 (12%) were 75 years or older. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these patients and younger patients, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/6/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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