Zarzio

Zarzio

filgrastim

Manufacturer:

IDT Biologika

Distributor:

Sandoz
Full Prescribing Info
Contents
Filgrastim.
Description
Each pre-filled syringe contains 30 MU (equivalent to 300 μg) filgrastim in 0.5 mL.
Recombinant methionylated human granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) produced in E. coli by recombinant DNA technology.
Excipient with known effect: Each mL of solution contains 50 mg sorbitol (E420).
Action
Pharmacotherapeutic Group: Immunostimulants, colony stimulating factors. ATC Code: L03AA02.
Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics: Human G-CSF is a glycoprotein which regulates the production and release of functional neutrophils from the bone marrow. Filgrastim Solution for Injection containing r-metHuG-CSF (filgrastim) causes marked increases in peripheral blood neutrophil counts within 24 hours, with minor increases in monocytes. In some SCN patients, filgrastim can also induce a minor increase in the number of circulating eosinophils and basophils relative to baseline; some of these patients may present with eosinophilia or basophilia already prior to treatment.
Elevations of neutrophil counts are dose-dependent at recommended doses. Neutrophils produced in response to filgrastim show normal or enhanced function as demonstrated by tests of chemotactic and phagocytic function. Following termination of filgrastim therapy, circulating neutrophil counts decrease by 50% within 1-2 days, and to normal levels within 1-7 days.
Use of filgrastim in patients undergoing cytotoxic chemotherapy leads to significant reductions in the incidence, severity and duration of neutropenia and febrile neutropenia. Treatment with filgrastim significantly reduces the duration of febrile neutropenia, antibiotic use and hospitalisation after induction chemotherapy for acute myelogenous leukaemia or myeloablative therapy followed by bone marrow transplantation. The incidence of fever and documented infections were not reduced in either setting. The duration of fever was not reduced in patients undergoing myeloablative therapy followed by bone marrow transplantation.
Use of filgrastim, either alone, or alter chemotherapy, mobilises haematopoietic progenitor cells into the peripheral blood. These autologous PBPCs may be harvested and infused alter high-dose cytotoxic therapy, either in place of, or in addition to bone marrow transplantation. Infusion of PBPC accelerates haematopoietic recovery reducing the duration of risk for haemorrhagic complications and the need for platelet transfusions.
Recipients of allogeneic PBPCs mobilised with filgrastim experienced significantly more rapid haematological recovery, leading to a significant decrease in time to unsupported platelet recovery when compared with allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.
One retrospective European study evaluating the use of G-CSF alter allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in patients with acute leukaemias suggested an increase in the risk of GvHD, treatment related mortality (TRM) and mortality when G-CSF was administered. In a separate retrospective international study in patients with acute and chronic myelogenous leukaemias, no effect on the risk of GvHD, TRM and mortality was seen. A meta-analysis of allogeneic transplant studies, including the results of nine prospective randomised trials, eight retrospective studies and one case-controlled study, did not detect an effect on the risks of acute GvHD, chronic GvHD or early treatment-related mortality. See Table 1.

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Use of filgrastim for the mobilisation of PBPCs in normal donors prior to allogeneic PBPC transplantation: In normal donors, a 1.0 MU/kg/day (10 μg/kg/day) dose administered subcutaneously for 4-5 consecutive days allows a collection of ≥4 x 106 CD34+ cells/kg recipient BW in the majority of the donors alter two leukaphereses.
Use of filgrastim in patients, children or adults, with SCN (severe congenital, cyclic, and idiopathic neutropenia) induces a sustained increase in ANCs in peripheral blood and a reduction of infection and related events.
Use of filgrastim in patients with HIV infection maintains normal neutrophil counts to allow scheduled dosing of antiviral and/or other myelosuppressive medication. There is no evidence that patients with HIV infection treated with filgrastim show an increase in HIV replication.
As with other haematopoietic growth factors, G-CSF has shown in vitro stimulating properties on human endothelial cells.
Pharmacokinetics: Randomised, double-blind, single and multiple dose, crossover studies in 204 healthy volunteers showed that the pharmacokinetic profile of filgrastim was comparable to that of the reference product after subcutaneous and intravenous administration.
Absorption: A single subcutaneous dose of 0.5 MU/kg (5 μg/kg) resulted in maximum serum concentrations after a tmax of 4.5 ± 0.9 hours (mean± SD).
Distribution: The volume of distribution in blood is approximately 150 mL/kg. Following subcutaneous administration of recommended doses, serum concentrations were maintained above 10 ng/mL for 8-16 hours. There is a positive linear correlation between the dose and the serum concentration of filgrastim, whether administered intravenously or subcutaneously.
Elimination: The median serum elimination half-life (t½) of filgrastim after single subcutaneous doses ranged from 2.7 hours ( 1.0 MU/kg, 10 μg/kg) to 5.7 hours (0.25 MU/kg, 2.5 μg/kg) and was prolonged after 7 days of dosing to 8 .5-14 hours, respectively.
Continuous infusion with filgrastim over a period of up to 28 days, in patients recovering from autologous bone-marrow transplantation, resulted in no evidence of active substance accumulation and comparable elimination half-lives.
Toxicology: Preclinical safety data: Filgrastim was studied in repeated dose toxicity studies up to 1 year in duration which revealed changes attributable to the expected pharmacological actions including increases in leukocytes, myeloid hyperplasia in bone marrow, extramedullary granulopoiesis and splenic enlargement. These changes all reversed after discontinuation of treatment.
Effects of filgrastim on prenatal development have been studied in rats and rabbits. Intravenous (80 μg/kg/day) administration of filgrastim to rabbits during the period of organogenesis was maternally toxic and increased spontaneous abortion, post-implantation loss, and decreased mean live litter size and foetal weight were observed.
Based on reported data for another filgrastim product similar to the reference filgrastim product, comparable findings plus increased foetal malformations were observed at 100 μg/kg/day, a maternally toxic dose which corresponded to a systemic exposure of approximately 50-90 times the exposures observed in patients treated with the clinical dose of 5 μg/kg/day. The observed adverse effect level for embryo-foetal toxicity in this study was 10 μg/kg/day, which corresponded to a systemic exposure of approximately 3-5 times the exposures observed in patients treated with the clinical dose.
In pregnant rats, no maternal or foetal toxicity was observed at doses up to 575 μg/kg/day. Offspring of rats administered filgrastim during the peri-natal and lactation periods, exhibited a delay in external differentiation and growth retardation (≥20 μg/kg/day) and slightly reduced survival rate (100 μg/kg/day).
Filgrastim had no observed effect on the fertility of male or female rats.
Indications/Uses
Reduction in the duration of neutropenia and the incidence of febrile neutropenia in patients treated with established cytotoxic chemotherapy for malignancy (with the exception of chronic myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes) and reduction in the duration of neutropenia in patients undergoing myeloablative therapy followed by bone marrow transplantation considered to be at risk of prolonged severe neutropenia.
The safety and efficacy of filgrastim are similar in adults and children receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy.
Mobilisation of peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPCs).
In patients, children or adults, with severe congenital, cyclic or idiopathic neutropenia with an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) of ≤0.5 x 109/L, and a history of severe or recurrent infections, long term administration of filgrastim is indicated to increase neutrophil counts and to reduce the incidence and duration of infection-related events.
Treatment of persistent neutropenia (ANC ≤1.0 x 109/L) in patients with advanced HIV infection in order to reduce the risk of bacterial infections when other options to manage neutropenia are inappropriate.
Dosage/Direction for Use
Filgrastim therapy should only be given in collaboration with an oncology centre which has experience in G-CSF treatment and haematology and has the necessary diagnostic facilities. The mobilisation and apheresis procedures should be performed in collaboration with an oncology-haematology centre with acceptable experience in this field and where the monitoring of haematopoietic progenitor cells can be correctly performed.
Established cytotoxic chemotherapy: Dosage: The recommended dose of filgrastim is 0.5 MU/kg/day (5 μg/kg/day). The first dose of filgrastim should be administered at least 24 hours after cytotoxic chemotherapy. In randomised clinical trials, a subcutaneous dose of 230 μg/m2/day (4.0 to 8.4 μg/kg/day) was used.
Daily dosing with filgrastim should continue until the expected neutrophil nadir is passed and the neutrophil count has recovered to the normal range.
Following established chemotherapy for solid tumours, lymphomas, and lymphoid leukemia, it is expected that the duration of treatment required to fulfill these criteria will be up to 14 days. Following induction and consolidation treatment for acute myeloid leukemia, the duration of treatment may be substantially longer (up to 38 days) depending on the type, dose and schedule of cytotoxic chemotherapy used.
In patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy, a transient increase in neutrophil counts is typically seen 1-2 days after initiation of filgrastim therapy. However, for a sustained therapeutic response, filgrastim therapy should not be discontinued before the expected nadir has passed and the neutrophil count has recovered to the normal range. Premature discontinuation of filgrastim therapy, prior to the time of the expected neutrophil nadir, is not recommended.
Method of administration: Filgrastim may be given as a daily subcutaneous injection or as a daily intravenous infusion diluted in 5% glucose solution given over 30 minutes (see Cautions for Usage). The subcutaneous route is preferred in most cases. There is some evidence from a study of single dose administration that intravenous dosing may shorten the duration of effect. The clinical relevance of this finding to multiple dose administration is not clear. The choice of route should depend on the individual clinical circumstance.
In patients treated with myeloablative therapy followed by bone marrow transplantation: Dosage: The recommended starting dose of filgrastim is 1.0 MU/kg/day (10 μg/kg/day). The first dose of filgrastim should be administered at least 24 hours following cytotoxic chemotherapy and at least 24 hours after bone marrow infusion.
Once the neutrophil nadir has been passed, the daily dose of filgrastim should be titrated against the neutrophil response as follows: See Table 2.

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Method of administration: Filgrastim may be given as a 30-minute or 24-hour intravenous infusion or given by continuous 24-hour subcutaneous infusion. Filgrastim should be diluted in 20 mL of 5% glucose solution (see Cautions for Usage).
For the mobilisation of PBCPs if patients undergoing myelosuppressive or myeloablative therapy followed by autologous PBCP transplantation: Dosage: The recommended dose of filgrastim for PBCP mobilisation when used alone is 1.0 MU/kg/day (10 μg/kg/day) for 5-7 consecutive days.
Timing of leukapheresis: 1 or 2 leukapheresis on days 5 and 6 are often sufficient. In other circumstance, additional leukapheresis may be necessary. Filgrastim dosing should be maintained until the last leukapheresis.
The recommended dose of filgrastim for PBPC mobilisation after myelosuppressive chemotherapy is 0.5 MU/kg/day (5 μg/kg/day) from the first day after completion of chemotherapy until the expected neutrophil nadir is passed and the neutrophil count has recovered to the normal range. Leukapheresis should be performed during the period when the ANC rises from <0.5 x 109/L to >5.0 x 109/L. For patients who have not had extensive chemotherapy, one leukapheresis is often sufficient. In other circumstance, additional leukapheresis are recommended.
Method of administration: Filgrastim for PBCP mobilisation when used alone: Filgrastim may be given as a 24-hour subcutaneous continuous infusion or subcutaneous injection. For infusions, filgrastim should be diluted in 20 mL of 5% glucose solution (see Cautions for Usage).
Filgrastim for PBPC mobilisation after myelosuppressive chemotherapy: Filgrastim should be given by subcutaneous injection.
For the mobilisation of PBPCs in normal donors prior to allogeneic PBPC transplantation: Dosage: For PBPC mobilisation in normal donors, filgrastim should be administered at 1.0 MU/kg/day (10 μg/kg/day) for 4-5 consecutive days. Leukapheresis should be started at day 5 and continued until day 6 if needed in order to collect 4 x 106 CD34+ cells/kg recipient body weight.
Method of administration: Filgrastim should be given by subcutaneous injection.
In patients with severe chronic neutropenia (SCN): Dosage: Congenital neutropenia: The recommended starting dose is 1.2 MU/kg/day (12 μg/kg/day) as a single dose or in divided doses.
Idiopathic or cyclic neutropenia: The recommended starting dose is 0.5 MU/kg/day (5 μg/kg/day) as a single dose or in divided doses.
Dose adjustment: Filgrastim should be administered daily by subcutaneous injection until the neutrophil count has reached and can be maintained at more than 1.5 x 109/L.
When the response has been obtained, the minimal effective dose to maintain this level should be established. Long-term daily administration is required to maintain an adequate neutrophil count. After 1-2 weeks of therapy, the initial dose may be doubled or halved depending upon the patient's response. Subsequently the dose may be individually adjusted every 1-2 weeks to maintain the average neutrophil count between 1.5 x 109/L and 10 x 109/L. A faster schedule of dose escalation may be considered in patients presenting with severe infections. In clinical trials, 97% of patients who responded had a complete response at doses ≤24 μg/kg/day. The long-term safety of filgrastim administration above 24 μg/kg/day in patients with SCN has not been established.
Method of administration: Congenital, idiopathic or cyclic neutropenia: Filgrastim should be given by subcutaneous injection.
In patients with HIV infection: Dosage: For reversal of neutropenia: The recommended starting dose of filgrastim is 0.1 MU/kg/day (1 μg/kg/day) with titration up to a maximum of 0.4 MU/kg/day (4 μg/kg/day) until a normal neutrophil count is reached and can be maintained (ANC >2.0 x 109/L). In clinical studies, >90% of patients responded at these doses, achieving reversal of neutropenia in a median of 2 days.
In a small number of patients (<10%), doses up to 1.0 MU/kg/day (10 μg/kg/day) were required to achieve reversal of neutropenia.
For maintaining normal neutrophil counts: When reversal of neutropenia has been achieved, the minimal effective dose to maintain a normal neutrophil count should be established. Initial dose adjustment to alternate day dosing with 30 MU/day (300 μg/day) is recommended. Further dose adjustment may be necessary, as determined by the patient's ANC, to maintain the neutrophil count at >2.0 x 109/L. In clinical studies, dosing with 30 MU/day (300 μg/day) on 1-7 days per week was required to maintain the ANC >2.0 x 109/L, with the median dose frequency being 3 days per week. Long-term administration may be required to maintain the ANC >2.0 x 109/L.
Method of administration: Reversal of neutropenia or maintaining normal neutrophil counts: Filgrastim should be given by subcutaneous injection.
Elderly: Clinical trials with filgrastim have included a small number of elderly patients but special studies have not been performed in this group and therefore specific dose recommendations cannot be made.
Renal impairment: Studies of filgrastim in patients with severe impairment of renal or hepatic function demonstrate that it exhibits a similar pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile to that seen in normal individuals. Dose adjustment is not required in these circumstances.
Paediatric use in the SCN and cancer settings: Sixty-five percent of the patients studied in the SCN trial program were under 18 years of age. The efficacy of treatment was clear for this age-group, which included most patients with congenital neutropenia. There were no differences in the safety profiles for paediatric patients treated for SCN.
Data from clinical studies in paediatric patients indicate that the safety and efficacy of filgrastim are similar in both adults and children receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy.
The dose recommendations in paediatric patients are the same as those in adults receiving myelosuppressive cytotoxic chemotherapy.
Overdosage
The effects of filgrastim overdose have not been established. Discontinuation of filgrastim therapy usually results in a 50% decrease in circulating neutrophils within 1 to 2 days, with a return to normal levels in 1 to 7 days.
Contraindications
Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients.
Special Precautions
Special warnings and precautions across indications: Hypersensitivity: Hypersensitivity, including anaphylactic reactions, occurring on initial or subsequent treatment has been reported in patients treated with filgrastim. Permanently discontinue filgrastim in patients with clinically significant hypersensitivity. Do not administer filgrastim to patients with a history of hypersensitivity to filgrastim or pegfilgrastim.
Pulmonary adverse effects: Pulmonary adverse effects, in particular interstitial lung disease, have been reported after G-CSF administration. Patients with a recent history of lung infiltrates or pneumonia may be at higher risk. The onset of pulmonary signs, such as cough, fever and dyspnoea in association with radiological signs of pulmonary infiltrates and deterioration in pulmonary function may be preliminary signs of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Filgrastim should be discontinued and appropriate treatment given.
Glomerulonephritis: Glomerulonephritis has been reported in patients receiving filgrastim or pegfilgrastim. Generally, events of glomerulonephritis resolved after dose reduction or withdrawal of filgrastim or pegfilgrastim. Urinalysis monitoring is recommended.
Capillary leak syndrome: Capillary leak syndrome, which can be life-threatening if treatment is delayed, has been reported after granulocyte colony-stimulating factor administration and is characterised by hypotension, hypoalbuminaemia, oedema and haemoconcentration. Patients who develop symptoms of capillary leak syndrome should be closely monitored and receive standard symptomatic treatment, which may include a need for intensive care (see Adverse Reactions).
Splenomegaly and splenic rupture: Generally asymptomatic cases of splenomegaly and cases of splenic rupture have been reported in patients and normal donors following administration of filgrastim. Some cases of splenic rupture were fatal. Therefore, spleen size should be carefully monitored (e.g. clinical examination, ultrasound). A diagnosis of splenic rupture should be considered in donors and/or patients reporting left upper abdominal pain or shoulder tip pain. Dose reductions of filgrastim have been noted to slow or stop the progression of splenic enlargement in patients with severe chronic neutropenia, and in 3% of patients, a splenectomy was required.
Aortitis has been reported after G-CSF administration in healthy subjects and in cancer patients. The symptoms experienced included fever, abdominal pain, malaise, back pain and increased inflammatory markers (e.g. C-reactive protein and white blood cell count). In most cases aortitis was diagnosed by CT scan and generally resolved after withdrawal of G-CSF. See also Adverse Reactions.
Malignant cell growth: G-CSF can promote growth of myeloid cells in vitro and similar effects may be seen on some non-myeloid cells in vitro.
Myelodysplastic syndrome or chronic myeloid leukaemia: The safety and efficacy of filgrastim administration in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, or chronic myelogenous leukaemia have not been established. Filgrastim is not indicated for use in these conditions. Particular care should be taken to distinguish the diagnosis of blast transformation of chronic myeloid leukaemia from acute myeloid leukaemia.
Acute myeloid leukaemia: In view of limited safety and efficacy data in patients with secondary acute myelogenous leukaemia (A), filgrastim should be administered with caution. The safety and efficacy of filgrastim administration in de novo AML patients aged <55 years with good cytogenetics [t(8;21), t(15;17), and inv(16)] have not been established.
Thrombocytopenia: Thrombocytopenia has been reported in patients receiving filgrastim. Platelet counts should be monitored closely, especially during the first few weeks of filgrastim therapy.
Consideration should be given to temporary discontinuation or dose reduction of filgrastim in patients with severe chronic neutropenia who develop thrombocytopenia (platelet count <100 x 109/L).
Leukocytosis: White blood cell counts of 100 x 109/L or greater have been observed in less than 5% of cancer patients receiving filgrastim at doses above 0.3 MU/kg/day (3 μg/kg/day). No undesirable effects directly attributable to this degree of leukocytosis have been reported. However, in view of the potential risks associated with severe leukocytosis, a white blood cell count should be performed at regular intervals during filgrastim therapy. If leukocyte counts exceed 50 x 109/L after the expected nadir, filgrastim should be discontinued immediately. When administered for PBPC mobilisation, filgrastim should be discontinued or its dose should be reduced if the leukocyte counts rise to >70 x t 109/L.
Immunogenicity: As with all therapeutic proteins, there is a potential for immunogenicity. Rates of generation of antibodies against filgrastim is generally low. Binding antibodies do occur as expected with all biologics; however, they have not been associated with neutralising activity at present.
Special warning and precautions associated with co-morbidities: Special precautions in sickle cell trait and sickle cell disease: Sickle cell crises, in some cases fatal, have been reported with the use of filgrastim in patients with sickle cell trait or sickle cell disease. Physicians should use caution when prescribing filgrastim in patients with sickle cell trait or sickle cell disease.
Osteoporosis: Monitoring of bone density may be indicated in patients with underlying osteoporotic bone diseases who undergo continuous therapy with filgrastim for more than 6 months.
Special precautions in cancer patients: Filgrastim should not be used to increase the dose of cytotoxic chemotherapy beyond established dose regimens.
Risks associated with increased doses of chemotherapy: Special caution should be used when treating patients with high-dose chemotherapy because improved tumour outcome has not been demonstrated and intensified doses of chemotherapeutic agents may lead to increased toxicities including cardiac, pulmonary, neurologic, and dermatologic effects (please refer to the prescribing information of the specific chemotherapy agents used).
Effect of chemotherapy on erythrocytes and thrombocytes: Treatment with filgrastim alone does not preclude thrombocytopenia and anaemia due to myelosuppressive chemotherapy. Because of the potential of receiving higher doses of chemotherapy (e.g., full doses on the prescribed schedule), the patient may be at greater risk of thrombocytopenia and anaemia. Regular monitoring of platelet count and haematocrit is recommended. Special care should be taken when administering single or combination chemotherapeutic agents which are known to cause severe thrombocytopenia.
The use of filgrastim mobilised PBPCs has been shown to reduce the depth and duration of thrombocytopenia following myelosuppressive or myeloablative chemotherapy.
Other special precautions: The effects of filgrastim in patients with substantially reduced myeloid progenitors have not been studied. Filgrastim acts primarily on neutrophil precursors to exert its effect in elevating neutrophil counts. Therefore, in patients with reduced precursors, neutrophil response may be diminished (such as those treated with extensive radiotherapy or chemotherapy, or those with bone marrow infiltration by tumour).
Vascular disorders, including veno-occlusive disease and fluid volume disturbances, have been reported occasionally in patients undergoing high dose chemotherapy followed by transplantation.
There have been reports of Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) and fatalities in patients receiving G-CSF after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (see Adverse Reactions and Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics under Actions).
Increased haematopoietic activity of the bone marrow in response to growth factor therapy has been associated with transient abnormal bone scans. This should be considered when interpreting bone-imaging results.
Special precautions in patients undergoing PBPC mobilisation: Mobilisation: There are no prospectively randomised comparisons of the two recommended mobilisation methods (filgrastim alone, or in combination with myelosuppressive chemotherapy) within the same patient population. The degree of variation between individual patients and between laboratory assays of CD34+ cells mean that direct comparison between different studies is difficult. It is therefore difficult to recommend an optimum method. The choice of mobilisation method should be considered in relation to the overall objectives of treatment for an individual patient.
Prior exposure to cytotoxic agents: Patients who have undergone very extensive prior myelosuppressive therapy may not show sufficient mobilisation of PBPC to achieve the recommended minimum yield (2.0 x 106 CD34+ cells/kg) or acceleration of platelet recovery to the same degree.
Some cytotoxic agents exhibit particular toxicities to the haematopoietic progenitor pool, and may adversely affect progenitor mobilisation. Agents such as melphalan, carmustine (BCNU), and carboplatin, when administered over prolonged periods prior to attempts at progenitor mobilisation may reduce progenitor yield. However, the administration of melphalan, carboplatin or BCNU together with filgrastim has been shown to be effective for progenitor mobilisation. When a PBPC transplantation is envisaged, it is advisable to plan the stem cell mobilisation procedure early in the treatment course of the patient. Particular attention should be paid to the number of progenitors mobilised in such patients before the administration of high-dose chemotherapy. If yields are inadequate, as measured by the criteria previously, alternative forms of treatment not requiring progenitor support should be considered.
Assessment of progenitor cell yields: In assessing the number of progenitor cells harvested in patients treated with filgrastim, particular attention should be paid to the method of quantitation. The results of flow cytometric analysis of CD34+ cell numbers vary depending on the precise methodology used and recommendations of numbers based on studies in other laboratories need to be interpreted with caution.
Statistical analysis of the relationship between the number of CD34+ cells re-infused and the rate of platelet recovery after high-dose chemotherapy indicates a complex but continuous relationship.
The recommendation of a minimum yield of 2.0 x 106 CD34+ cells/kg is based on published experience resulting in adequate haematologic reconstitution. Yields in excess of this appear to correlate with more rapid recovery, those below with slower recovery.
Special precautions in normal donors undergoing PBPC mobilisation: Mobilisation of PBPC does not provide a direct clinical benefit to normal donors and should only be considered for the purposes of allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
PBPC mobilisation should be considered only in donors who meet normal clinical and laboratory eligibility criteria for stem cell donation with special attention to haematological values and infectious disease.
The safety and efficacy of filgrastim have not been assessed in normal donors <16 years or >60 years.
Transient thrombocytopenia (platelets <100 x 109/L) following filgrastim administration and leukapheresis was observed in 35% of subjects studied. Among these, two cases of platelets <50 x 109/L were reported and attributed to the leukapheresis procedure.
If more than one leukapheresis is required, particular attention should be paid to donors with platelets <100 x 109/L prior to leukapheresis; in general apheresis should not be performed if platelets <75 x 109/L.
Leukapheresis should not be performed in donors who are anticoagulated or who have known defects in haemostasis.
Donors who receive G-CSFs for PBPC mobilisation should be monitored until haematological indices return to normal.
Transient cytogenetic abnormalities have been observed in normal donors following G-CSF use. The significance of these changes is unknown.
Nevertheless, a risk of promotion of a malignant myeloid clone cannot be excluded. It is recommended that the apheresis centre perform a systematic record and tracking of the stem cell donors for at least 10 years to ensure monitoring of long-term safety.
Special precautions in recipients of allogeneic PBPCs mobilised with filgrastim: Current data indicate that immunological interactions between the allogeneic PBPC graft and the recipient may be associated with an increased risk of acute and chronic GvHD when compared with bone marrow transplantation.
Special precautions in SCN patients: Filgrastim should not be administered to patients with severe congenital neutropenia who develop leukaemia or have evidence of leukaemic evolution.
Blood cell counts: Other blood cell changes occur, including anaemia and transient increases in myeloid progenitors, which require close monitoring of cell counts.
Transformation to leukaemia or myelodysplastic syndrome: Special care should be taken in the diagnosis of SCNs to distinguish them from other haematopoietic disorders such as aplastic anaemia, myelodysplasia, and myeloid leukaemia. Complete blood cell counts with differential and platelet counts, and an evaluation of bone marrow morphology and karyotype should be performed prior to treatment.
There was a low frequency (approximately 3%) of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or leukaemia in clinical trial patients with SCN treated with filgrastim. This observation has only been made in patients with congenital neutropenia. MDS and leukaemias are natural complications of the disease and are of uncertain relation to filgrastim therapy. A subset of approximately 12% of patients who had normal cytogenetic evaluations at baseline was subsequently found to have abnormalities, including monosomy 7, on routine repeat evaluation. It is currently unclear whether long-term treatment of patients with SCN will predispose patients to cytogenetic abnormalities, MDS or leukaemic transformation. It is recommended to perform morphologic and cytogenetic bone marrow examinations in patients at regular intervals (approximately every 12 months).
Other special precautions: Causes of transient neutropenia, such as viral infections should be excluded.
Haematuria was common and proteinuria occurred in a small number of patients. Regular urinalysis should be performed to monitor these events.
The safety and efficacy in neonates and patients with autoimmune neutropenia have not been established.
Special precautions in patients with HIV infection: Blood cell counts: Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) should be monitored closely, especially during the first few weeks of filgrastim therapy. Some patients may respond very rapidly and with a considerable increase in neutrophil count to the initial dose of filgrastim. It is recommended that the ANC is measured daily for the first 2-3 days of filgrastim administration. Thereafter, it is recommended that the ANC is measured at least twice per week for the first 2 weeks and subsequently once per week or once every other week during maintenance therapy. During intermittent dosing with 30 MU/day (300 pg/day) of filgrastim, there can be wide fluctuations in the patient's ANC over time. In order to determine a patient's trough or nadir ANC, it is recommended that blood samples are taken for ANC measurement immediately prior to any scheduled dosing with filgrastim.
Risk associated with increased doses of myelosuppressive medicinal products: Treatment with filgrastim alone does not preclude thrombocytopenia and anaemia due to myelosuppressive treatments. As a result of the potential to receive higher doses or a greater number of these medicinal products with filgrastim therapy, the patient may be at higher risk of developing thrombocytopenia and anaemia. Regular monitoring of blood counts is recommended (see as previously mentioned).
Infections and malignancies causing myelosuppression: Neutropenia may be due to bone marrow infiltrating opportunistic infections such as Mycobacterium avium complex or malignancies such as lymphoma. In patients with known bone marrow infiltrating infections or malignancy, consider appropriate therapy for treatment of the underlying condition, in addition to administration of filgrastim for treatment of neutropenia. The effects of filgrastim on neutropenia due to bone marrow infiltrating infection or malignancy have not been well established.
All patients: In order to improve the traceability of granulocyte-colony stimulating factors (G-CSFs), the trade name of the administered product should be clearly recorded in the patient file.
Effects on ability to drive and use machines: Filgrastim may have a minor influence on the ability to drive and use machines. Dizziness may occur following the administration of filgrastim (see Undesirable effects).
Use In Pregnancy & Lactation
Pregnancy: There are no or limited amount of data from the use of filgrastim in pregnant women. Studies in animals have shown reproductive toxicity. An increased incidence of embryo-loss has been observed in rabbits at high multiples of the clinical exposure and in the presence of maternal toxicity (see Toxicology: Preclinical Safety Data under Actions).
There are reports in the literature where the transplacental passage of filgrastim in pregnant women has been demonstrated.
Filgrastim is not recommended during pregnancy.
Breast-feeding: It is unknown whether filgrastim/metabolites are excreted in human milk. A risk to the newborns/infants cannot be excluded. A decision must be made whether to discontinue breast-feeding or to discontinue/abstain from filgrastim therapy taking into account the benefit of breast feeding for the child and the benefit of therapy for the woman.
Fertility: Filgrastim did not affect reproductive performance or fertility in male or female rats (see Toxicology: Preclinical Safety Data under Actions).
Adverse Reactions
Summary of the safety profile: The most serious adverse reactions that may occur during filgrastim treatment include: anaphylactic reaction, serious pulmonary adverse events (including interstitial pneumonia and ARDS), capillary leak syndrome, severe splenomegaly/splenic rupture, transformation to myelodysplastic syndrome or leukaemia in SCN patients, GvHD in patients receiving allogeneic bone marrow transfer or peripheral blood cell progenitor cell transplant and sickle cell crisis in patients with sickle cell disease.
The most commonly reported adverse reactions are pyrexia, musculoskeletal pain (which includes bone pain, back pain, arthralgia, myalgia, pain in extremity, musculoskeletal pain, musculoskeletal chest pain, neck pain), anaemia, vomiting, and nausea.
In clinical trials in cancer patients, musculoskeletal pain was mild or moderate in 10%, and severe in 3% of patients.
Summary of adverse reactions: The data as follows describe adverse reactions reported from clinical trials and spontaneous reporting. Within each frequency grouping, undesirable effects are presented in order of decreasing seriousness.
Adverse reactions listed as follows are classified according to frequency and system organ class. Frequency groupings are defined according to the following convention: Very common (≥1/10), common (≥1/100 to <1/10), uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100), rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000), very rare (<1/10,000). (See Table 3.)

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Description of selected adverse reactions: Hypersensitivity: Hypersensitivity-type reactions including anaphylaxis, rash, urticaria, angioedema, dyspnoea and hypotension occurring on initial or subsequent treatment have been reported in clinical studies and in post marketing experience. Overall, reports were more common after IV administration. In some cases, symptoms have recurred with rechallenge, suggesting a causal relationship. Filgrastim should be permanently discontinued in patients who experience a serious allergic reaction.
Pulmonary adverse events: In clinical studies and the post-marketing setting pulmonary adverse effects including interstitial lung disease, pulmonary oedema, and lung infiltration have been reported in some cases with an outcome of respiratory failure or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which may be fatal (see Precautions).
Splenomegaly and splenic rupture: Cases of splenomegaly and splenic rupture have been reported following administration of filgrastim. Some cases of splenic rupture were fatal (see Precautions).
Capillary leak syndrome: Cases of capillary leak syndrome have been reported with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor use. These have generally occurred in patients with advanced malignant diseases, sepsis, taking multiple chemotherapy medications or undergoing apheresis (see Precautions).
Cutaneous vasculitis: Cutaneous vasculitis has been reported in patients treated with filgrastim. The mechanism of vasculitis in patients receiving filgrastim is unknown. During long-term use cutaneous vasculitis has been reported in 2% of SCN patients.
Leukocytosis: Leukocytosis (WBC >50 x 109/L) was observed in 41 % of normal donors and transient thrombocytopenia (platelets <100 x 109/L) following filgrastim and leukapheresis was observed in 35% of donors (see Precautions).
Sweet's syndrome: Cases of Sweet's syndrome (acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis) have been reported in patients treated with filgrastim.
Pseudogout (chondrocalcinosis pyrophosphate): Pseudogout (chondrocalcinosis pyrophosphate) has been reported in patients with cancer treated with filgrastim.
GvHD: There have been reports of GvHD and fatalities in patients receiving G-CSF after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (see Precautions and Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics under Actions).
Paediatric population: Data from clinical studies in paediatric patients indicate that the safety and efficacy of filgrastim are similar in both adults and children receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy suggesting no age-related differences in the pharmacokinetics of filgrastim. The only consistently reported adverse event was musculoskeletal pain, which is no different from the experience in the adult population.
There is insufficient data to further evaluate filgrastim use in paediatric subjects.
Other special populations: No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between subjects over 65 years of age compared to younger adult (>18 years of age) subjects receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy and clinical experience has not identified differences in the responses between elderly and younger adult patients. There is insufficient data to evaluate filgrastim use in geriatric subjects for other approved filgrastim indications.
Paediatric SCN patients: Cases of decreased bone density and osteoporosis have been reported in paediatric patients with severe chronic neutropenia receiving chronic treatment with filgrastim.
Drug Interactions
The safety and efficacy of filgrastim given on the same day as myelosuppressive cytotoxic chemotherapy have not been definitively established. In view of the sensitivity of rapidly dividing myeloid cells to myelosuppressive cytotoxic chemotherapy, the use of filgrastim is not recommended in the period from 24 hours before to 24 hours after chemotherapy. Preliminary evidence from a small number of patients treated concomitantly with filgrastim and 5-fluorouracil indicates that the severity of neutropenia may be exacerbated.
Possible interactions with other haematopoietic growth factors and cytokines have not yet been investigated in clinical trials.
Since lithium promotes the release of neutrophils, lithium is likely to potentiate the effect of filgrastim. Although this interaction has not been formally investigated, there is no evidence that such an interaction is harmful.
Caution For Usage
Instructions on how to use: It is important that patients do not try to give themselves the injection unless they have received special training from doctor or nurse. Filgrastim (Zarzio) is provided with a needle safety guard and patients will be shown how to use this by the doctor or nurse. If patients are not sure about giving the injection or they have any questions, patients should ask the doctor or nurse for help.
1. Wash hands.
2. Remove one syringe from the pack and remove the protective cap from the injection needle. Syringes are embossed with graduation rings in order to enable partial use if required. Each graduation ring corresponds to a volume of 0.1 mL. If partial use of syringe is required, remove unwanted solution before injection.
3. Clean the skin at the injection site using an alcohol wipe.
4. Form a skin fold by pinching the skin between thumb and forefinger.
5. Insert the needle into the skin fold with a quick, firm action. Inject filgrastim (Zarzio) solution.
6. Always keeping the skin pinched, depress the plunger slowly and evenly until the entire dose has been given and the plunger cannot be depressed any further.
Do not release the pressure on the plunger.
7. After injecting the liquid, remove the needle while maintaining pressure on the plunger and then let go of the skin.
8. Let go of the plunger. The needle safety guard will rapidly move to cover the needle.
9. Discard any unused product or waste material. Only use each syringe for one injection.
Special precautions for disposal and other handling: The solution should be visually inspected prior to use. Only clear solutions without particles should be used.
Accidental exposure to freezing temperatures does not adversely affect the stability of filgrastim.
Filgrastim (Zarzio) contains no preservative. In view of the possible risk of microbial contamination, Filgrastim (Zarzio) syringes are for single use only.
Dilution prior to administration (optional): If required, filgrastim may be diluted in glucose 50 mg/ml (5%) solution.
Dilution to a final concentration <0.2 MU/mL (2 μg/mL) is not recommended at any time.
For patients treated with filgrastim diluted to concentrations <1.5 MU/mL (15 μg/mL), human serum albumin (HSA) should be added to a final concentration of 2 mg/mL.
Example: In a final volume of 20 ml, total doses of filgrastim less than 30 MU (300 μg) should be given with 0.2 mL of human serum albumin 200 mg/mL (20%) solution Ph. Eur. added.
When diluted in glucose 50 mg/mL (5%) solution, filgrastim is compatible with glass and a variety of plastics including polyvinylchloride, polyolefin (a copolymer of polypropylene and polyethylene) and polypropylene.
Using the pre-filled syringe with a needle safety guard: The needle safety guard covers the needle after injection to prevent needle stick injury. This does not affect normal operation of the syringe. Depress the plunger slowly and evenly until the entire dose has been given and the plunger cannot be depressed any further. While maintaining pressure on the plunger, remove the syringe from the patient. The needle safety guard will cover the needle when releasing the plunger.
Disposal: Any unused product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.
Incompatibilities: Filgrastim must not be diluted with sodium chloride solution.
This medicinal product must not be mixed with other medicinal products except those mentioned in Special precautions for disposal and other handling.
Diluted filgrastim may be adsorbed to glass and plastic materials, unless it is diluted in glucose 50 mg/ml (5%) solution.
Storage
Shelf-life after dilution: Chemical and physical in use stability of the diluted solution for infusion has been demonstrated for 24 hours at 2°C to 8°C. From a microbiological point of view, the product should be used immediately. If not used immediately, in use storage times and conditions prior to use are the responsibility of the user and would normally not be longer than 24 hours at 2°C to 8°C, unless dilution has taken place in controlled and validated aseptic conditions.
Special precautions for storage: Store at temperatures between 2° C and 8°C.
Keep the pre-filled syringe in the outer carton in order to protect from light.
Within its shelf-life and for the purpose of ambulatory use, the patient may remove the product from the refrigerator and store it at room temperature (not above 25 °C) for one single period of up to 72 hours. At the end of this period, the product should not be put back in the refrigerator and should be disposed of.
For storage conditions after dilution of the medicinal product, see Shelf-life after dilution as previously mentioned.
ATC Classification
L03AA02 - filgrastim ; Belongs to the class of colony stimulating factors. Used as immunostimulants.
Presentation/Packing
Soln for inj/infusion (pre-filled syringe) 30 MU/0.5 mL x 5's.
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