Ixifi

Ixifi Special Precautions

infliximab

Manufacturer:

Pfizer

Distributor:

Zuellig Pharma
Full Prescribing Info
Special Precautions
Traceability: In order to improve the traceability of biological medicinal products, the tradename and the batch number of the administered product should be clearly recorded.
Infusion reactions and hypersensitivity: Infliximab has been associated with acute infusion-related reactions, including anaphylactic shock, and delayed hypersensitivity reactions (see Adverse Reactions).
Acute infusion reactions including anaphylactic reactions may develop during (within seconds) or within a few hours following infusion. If acute infusion reactions occur, the infusion must be interrupted immediately. Emergency equipment, such as adrenaline, antihistamines, corticosteroids and an artificial airway must be available. Patients may be pre-treated with e.g., an antihistamine, hydrocortisone and/or paracetamol to prevent mild and transient effects.
Antibodies to infliximab may develop and have been associated with an increased frequency of infusion reactions. A low proportion of the infusion reactions was serious allergic reactions. An association between development of antibodies to infliximab and reduced duration of response has also been observed. Concomitant administration of immunomodulators has been associated with lower incidence of antibodies to infliximab and a reduction in the frequency of infusion reactions. The effect of concomitant immunomodulator therapy was more profound in episodically-treated patients than in patients given maintenance therapy. Patients who discontinue immunosuppressants prior to or during infliximab treatment are at greater risk of developing these antibodies. Antibodies to infliximab cannot always be detected in serum samples. If serious reactions occur, symptomatic treatment must be given and further infliximab infusions must not be administered (see Adverse Reactions).
In clinical studies, delayed hypersensitivity reactions have been reported. Available data suggest an increased risk for delayed hypersensitivity with increasing infliximab-free interval. Patients should be advised to seek immediate medical advice if they experience any delayed adverse reaction (see Adverse Reactions). If patients are re-treated after a prolonged period, they must be closely monitored for signs and symptoms of delayed hypersensitivity.
Infections: Patients must be monitored closely for infections including tuberculosis before, during and after treatment with infliximab. Because the elimination of infliximab may take up to six months, monitoring should be continued throughout this period. Further treatment with infliximab must not be given if a patient develops a serious infection or sepsis.
Caution should be exercised when considering the use of infliximab in patients with chronic infection or a history of recurrent infections, including concomitant immunosuppressive therapy. Patients should be advised of and avoid exposure to potential risk factors for infection as appropriate.
Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) mediates inflammation and modulates cellular immune responses. Experimental data show that TNFα is essential for the clearing of intracellular infections.
Clinical experience shows that host defence against infection is compromised in some patients treated with infliximab.
It should be noted that suppression of TNFα may mask symptoms of infection such as fever. Early recognition of atypical clinical presentations of serious infections and of typical clinical presentation of rare and unusual infections is critical in order to minimize delays in diagnosis and treatment.
Patients taking TNF-blockers are more susceptible to serious infections.
Tuberculosis, bacterial infections, including sepsis and pneumonia, invasive fungal, viral, and other opportunistic infections have been observed in patients treated with infliximab. Some of these infections have been fatal; the most frequently reported opportunistic infections with a mortality rate of > 5% include pneumocystosis, candidiasis, listeriosis and aspergillosis.
Patients who develop a new infection while undergoing treatment with infliximab, should be monitored closely and undergo a complete diagnostic evaluation. Administration of infliximab should be discontinued if a patient develops a new serious infection or sepsis, and appropriate antimicrobial or antifungal therapy should be initiated until the infection is controlled.
Tuberculosis: There have been reports of active tuberculosis in patients receiving infliximab. It should be noted that in the majority of these reports tuberculosis was extrapulmonary, presenting as either local or disseminated disease.
Before starting treatment with infliximab, all patients must be evaluated for both active and inactive ('latent') tuberculosis. This evaluation should include a detailed medical history with personal history of tuberculosis or possible previous contact with tuberculosis and previous and/or current immunosuppressive therapy. Appropriate screening tests, (e.g. tuberculin skin test, chest X-ray, and/or Interferon Gamma Release Assay), should be performed in all patients (local recommendations may apply). It is recommended that the conduct of these tests should be recorded in the patient's reminder card. Prescribers are reminded of the risk of false negative tuberculin skin test results, especially in patients who are severely ill or immunocompromised.
If active tuberculosis is diagnosed, infliximab therapy must not be initiated (see Contraindications).
If latent tuberculosis is suspected, a physician with expertise in the treatment of tuberculosis should be consulted. In all situations described as follows, the benefit/risk balance of infliximab therapy should be very carefully considered.
If inactive ('latent') tuberculosis is diagnosed, treatment for latent tuberculosis must be started with anti-tuberculosis therapy before the initiation of infliximab, and in accordance with local recommendations.
In patients who have several or significant risk factors for tuberculosis and have a negative test for latent tuberculosis, anti-tuberculosis therapy should be considered before the initiation of infliximab.
Use of anti-tuberculosis therapy should also be considered before the initiation of infliximab in patients with a past history of latent or active tuberculosis in whom an adequate course of treatment cannot be confirmed.
Some cases of active tuberculosis have been reported in patients treated with infliximab during and after treatment for latent tuberculosis.
All patients should be informed to seek medical advice if signs/symptoms suggestive of tuberculosis (e.g. persistent cough, wasting/weight loss, low-grade fever) appear during or after infliximab treatment.
Invasive fungal infections: In patients treated with infliximab, an invasive fungal infection such as aspergillosis, candidiasis, pneumocystosis, histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis or blastomycosis should be suspected if they develop a serious systemic illness, and a physician with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of invasive fungal infections should be consulted at an early stage when investigating these patients. Invasive fungal infections may present as disseminated rather than localized disease, and antigen and antibody testing may be negative in some patients with active infection. Appropriate empiric antifungal therapy should be considered while a diagnostic workup is being performed taking into account both the risk for severe fungal infection and the risks of antifungal therapy.
For patients who have resided in or travelled to regions where invasive fungal infections such as histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or blastomycosis are endemic, the benefits and risks of infliximab treatment should be carefully considered before initiation of infliximab therapy.
Fistulizing Crohn's disease: Patients with fistulizing Crohn's disease with acute suppurative fistulas must not initiate infliximab therapy until a source for possible infection, specifically abscess, has been excluded (see Contraindications).
Hepatitis B (HBV) reactivation: Reactivation of hepatitis B has occurred in patients receiving a TNF-antagonist including infliximab, who are chronic carriers of this virus. Some cases have had fatal outcome.
Patients should be tested for HBV infection before initiating treatment with infliximab. For patients who test positive for HBV infection, consultation with a physician with expertise in the treatment of hepatitis B is recommended. Carriers of HBV who require treatment with infliximab should be closely monitored for signs and symptoms of active HBV infection throughout therapy and for several months following termination of therapy. Adequate data of treating patients who are carriers of HBV with antiviral therapy in conjunction with TNF-antagonist therapy to prevent HBV reactivation are not available. In patients who develop HBV reactivation, infliximab should be stopped and effective antiviral therapy with appropriate supportive treatment should be initiated.
Hepatobiliary events: Cases of jaundice and non-infectious hepatitis, some with features of autoimmune hepatitis, have been observed in the post-marketing experience of infliximab. Isolated cases of liver failure resulting in liver transplantation or death have occurred. Patients with symptoms or signs of liver dysfunction should be evaluated for evidence of liver injury. If jaundice and/or ALT elevations ≥ 5 times the upper limit of normal develop(s), infliximab should be discontinued, and a thorough investigation of the abnormality should be undertaken.
Concurrent administration of TNF-alpha inhibitor and anakinra: Serious infections and neutropenia were seen in clinical studies with concurrent use of anakinra and another TNFα-blocking agent, etanercept, with no added clinical benefit compared to etanercept alone. Because of the nature of the adverse reactions seen with combination of etanercept and anakinra therapy, similar toxicities may also result from the combination of anakinra and other TNFα-blocking agents. Therefore, the combination of infliximab and anakinra is not recommended.
Concurrent administration of TNF-alpha inhibitor and abatacept: In clinical studies concurrent administration of TNF-antagonists and abatacept has been associated with an increased risk of infections including serious infections compared to TNF-antagonists alone, without increased clinical benefit. The combination of infliximab and abatacept is not recommended.
Concurrent administration with other biological therapeutics: There is insufficient information regarding the concomitant use of infliximab with other biological therapeutics used to treat the same conditions as infliximab. The concomitant use of infliximab with these biologics is not recommended because of the possibility of an increased risk of infection, and other potential pharmacological interactions.
Switching between biological DMARDs: Care should be taken and patients should continue to be monitored when switching from one biologic to another, since overlapping biological activity may further increase the risk for adverse reactions, including infection.
Vaccinations: It is recommended that patients, if possible, be brought up to date with all vaccinations in agreement with current vaccination guidelines prior to initiating infliximab therapy. Patients on infliximab may receive concurrent vaccinations, except for live vaccines (see Interactions and Use in Pregnancy & Lactation).
In a subset of 90 adult patients with rheumatoid arthritis from the study 2 a similar proportion of patients in each treatment group (methotrexate plus: placebo [n=17], 3 mg/kg [n=27] or 6 mg/kg infliximab [n=46]) mounted an effective two-fold increase in titers to a polyvalent pneumococcal vaccine, indicating that infliximab did not interfere with T-cell independent humoral immune responses. However, studies from the published literature in various indications (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn's disease) suggest that non-live vaccinations received during treatment with anti-TNF therapies, including infliximab, may elicit a lower immune response than in patients not receiving anti-TNF therapy.
Live vaccines/therapeutic infectious agents: In patients receiving anti-TNF therapy, limited data are available on the response to vaccination with live vaccines or on the secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines. Use of live vaccines can result in clinical infections, including disseminated infections. The concurrent administration of live vaccines with infliximab is not recommended.
In infants exposed in utero to infliximab, fatal outcome due to disseminated Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) infection has been reported following administration of BCG vaccine after birth. At least a six month waiting period following birth is recommended before the administration of live vaccines to infants exposed in utero to infliximab (see Use in Pregnancy & Lactation).
Other uses of therapeutic infectious agents such as live attenuated bacteria (e.g., BCG bladder instillation for the treatment of cancer) could result in clinical infections, including disseminated infections. It is recommended that therapeutic infectious agents not be given concurrently with infliximab.
Autoimmune processes: The relative deficiency of TNFα caused by anti-TNF therapy may result in the initiation of an autoimmune process. If a patient develops symptoms suggestive of a lupus-like syndrome following treatment with infliximab and is positive for antibodies against double-stranded DNA, further treatment with infliximab must not be given (see Adverse Reactions).
Neurological events: Use of TNF-blocking agents, including infliximab, has been associated with cases of new onset or exacerbation of clinical symptoms and/or radiographic evidence of central nervous system demyelinating disorders, including multiple sclerosis, and peripheral demyelinating disorders, including Guillain-Barré syndrome. In patients with pre-existing or recent onset of demyelinating disorders, the benefits and risks of anti-TNF treatment should be carefully considered before initiation of infliximab therapy. Discontinuation of infliximab should be considered if these disorders develop.
Malignancies and lymphoproliferative disorders: In the controlled portions of clinical studies of TNF-blocking agents, more cases of malignancies including lymphoma have been observed among patients receiving a TNF blocker compared with control patients. During clinical studies of infliximab across all approved indications the incidence of lymphoma in infliximab-treated patients was higher than expected in the general population, but the occurrence of lymphoma was rare. In the post-marketing setting, cases of leukemia have been reported in patients treated with a TNF-antagonist. There is an increased background risk for lymphoma and leukemia in rheumatoid arthritis patients with long-standing, highly active, inflammatory disease, which complicates risk estimation.
In an exploratory clinical study evaluating the use of infliximab in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), more malignancies were reported in infliximab-treated patients compared with control patients. All patients had a history of heavy smoking. Caution should be exercised in considering treatment of patients with increased risk for malignancy due to heavy smoking.
With the current knowledge, a risk for the development of lymphomas or other malignancies in patients treated with a TNF-blocking agent cannot be excluded (see Adverse Reactions). Caution should be exercised when considering TNF-blocking therapy for patients with a history of malignancy or when considering continuing treatment in patients who develop a malignancy.
Caution should also be exercised in patients with psoriasis and a medical history of extensive immunosuppressant therapy or prolonged PUVA treatment.
Malignancies, some fatal, have been reported among children, adolescents and young adults (up to 22 years of age) treated with TNF-blocking agents (initiation of therapy ≤ 18 years of age), including infliximab in the post-marketing setting. Approximately half the cases were lymphomas. The other cases represented a variety of different malignancies and included rare malignancies usually associated with immunosuppression. A risk for the development of malignancies in patients treated with TNF-blockers cannot be excluded.
Post-marketing cases of hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTCL) have been reported in patients treated with TNF-blocking agents including infliximab. This rare type of T-cell lymphoma has a very aggressive disease course and is usually fatal. Almost all patients had received treatment with AZA or 6-MP concomitantly with or immediately prior to a TNF-blocker. The vast majority of infliximab cases have occurred in patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis and most were reported in adolescent or young adult males. The potential risk with the combination of AZA or 6-MP and infliximab should be carefully considered. A risk for the development for hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma in patients treated with infliximab cannot be excluded (see Adverse Reactions).
Melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma have been reported in patients treated with TNF blocker therapy, including infliximab (see Adverse Reactions). Periodic skin examination is recommended, particularly for patients with risk factors for skin cancer.
A population-based retrospective cohort study using data from Swedish national health registries found an increased incidence of cervical cancer in women with rheumatoid arthritis treated with infliximab compared to biologics-naïve patients or the general population, including those over 60 years of age. Periodic screening should continue in women treated with infliximab, including those over 60 years of age.
All patients with ulcerative colitis who are at increased risk for dysplasia or colon carcinoma (for example, patients with long-standing ulcerative colitis or primary sclerosing cholangitis), or who had a prior history of dysplasia or colon carcinoma should be screened for dysplasia at regular intervals before therapy and throughout their disease course. This evaluation should include colonoscopy and biopsies per local recommendations. Current data do not indicate that infliximab treatment influences the risk for developing dysplasia or colon cancer.
Since the possibility of increased risk of cancer development in patients with newly diagnosed dysplasia treated with infliximab is not established, the risk and benefits of continued therapy to the individual patients should be carefully considered by the clinician.
Heart failure: Infliximab should be used with caution in patients with mild heart failure (NYHA class I/II). Patients should be closely monitored and infliximab must not be continued in patients who develop new or worsening symptoms of heart failure (see Contraindications and Adverse Reactions).
Hematologic reactions: There have been reports of pancytopenia, leukopenia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia in patients receiving TNF-blockers, including infliximab. All patients should be advised to seek immediate medical attention if they develop signs and symptoms suggestive of blood dyscrasias (e.g. persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, pallor). Discontinuation of infliximab therapy should be considered in patients with confirmed significant hematologic abnormalities.
Others: There is limited safety experience of infliximab treatment in patients who have undergone surgical procedures, including arthroplasty. The long half-life of infliximab should be taken into consideration if a surgical procedure is planned. A patient who requires surgery while on infliximab should be closely monitored for infections, and appropriate actions should be taken.
Failure to respond to treatment for Crohn's disease may indicate the presence of a fixed fibrotic stricture that may require surgical treatment. There is no evidence to suggest that infliximab worsens or causes fibrotic strictures.
Special populations: Elderly: The incidence of serious infections in infliximab-treated patients 65 years and older was greater than in those under 65 years of age. Some of those had a fatal outcome. Particular attention regarding the risk for infection should be paid when treating the elderly (see Adverse Reactions).
Pediatric population: Infections: In clinical studies, infections have been reported in a higher proportion of pediatric patients compared to adult patients (see Adverse Reactions).
Vaccinations: It is recommended that pediatric patients, if possible, be brought up to date with all vaccinations in agreement with current vaccination guidelines prior to initiating infliximab therapy. Pediatric patients on infliximab may receive concurrent vaccinations, except for live vaccines (see Interactions and Use in Pregnancy & Lactation).
Malignancies and lymphoproliferative disorders: Malignancies, some fatal, have been reported among children, adolescents and young adults (up to 22 years of age) treated with TNF-blocking agents (initiation of therapy ≤ 18 years of age), including infliximab in the post-marketing setting. Approximately half the cases were lymphomas. The other cases represented a variety of different malignancies and included rare malignancies usually associated with immunosuppression. A risk for the development of malignancies in children and adolescents treated with TNF-blockers cannot be excluded.
Post-marketing cases of hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma have been reported in patients treated with TNF-blocking agents including infliximab. This rare type of T-cell lymphoma has a very aggressive disease course and is usually fatal. Almost all patients had received treatment with AZA or 6-MP concomitantly with or immediately prior to a TNF-blocker. The vast majority of infliximab cases have occurred in patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis and most were reported in adolescent or young adult males. The potential risk with the combination of AZA or 6-MP and infliximab should be carefully considered. A risk for the development for hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma in patients treated with infliximab cannot be excluded (see Adverse Reactions).
Sodium Content: Ixifi contains less than 1 mmol (23 mg) sodium per dose, that is to say essentially 'sodium-free'. Ixifi is however, diluted in sodium chloride 9 mg/ml (0.9%) solution for infusion. This should be taken into consideration for patients on a controlled sodium diet (see Special precautions for disposal and other handling under Cautions for Usage).
Effects on ability to drive and use machine: Ixifi may have a minor influence on the ability to drive and use machines. Dizziness may occur following administration of infliximab (see Adverse Reactions).
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