Irinotecan hydrochloride Injection USP 100mg/5ml Taj Pharma

  1. Name of the medicinal product

Irinotecan hydrochloride Injection USP 40mg/2ml Taj Pharma
Irinotecan hydrochloride Injection USP 100mg/5ml Taj Pharma

  1. Qualitative and quantitative composition

a)Irinotecan hydrochloride Injection USP 40mg/2ml Taj Pharma
Each ml contains
Irinotecan Hydrochloride USP                       20mg
Sorbitol USNF                                               45mg
Lactic Acid USP                                            0.9mg
Sodium Hydroxide USNF                              q.s.
Hydrochloric Acid USNF                                q.s.
Water for Injection USP                                  q.s.

b)Irinotecan hydrochloride Injection USP 100mg/5ml Taj Pharma
Each ml contains
Irinotecan Hydrochloride USP                       20mg
Sorbitol USNF                                               45mg
Lactic Acid USP                                            0.9mg
Sodium Hydroxide USNF                              q.s.
Hydrochloric Acid USNF                                q.s.
Water for Injection USP                                  q.s.

For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.

  1. Pharmaceutical form

Concentrate for solution for infusion.

A clear, colourless to slightly yellow solution.

  1. Clinical particulars

4.1 Therapeutic indications

Irinotecan hydrochloride is indicated for the treatment of patients with advanced colorectal cancer:

– in combination with 5-fluorouracil and folinic acid in patients without prior chemotherapy for advanced disease,

– as a single agent in patients who have failed an established 5-fluorouracil containing treatment regimen.

Irinotecan in combination with cetuximab is indicated for the treatment of patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-expressing KRAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer, who had not received prior treatment for metastatic disease or after failure of irinotecan-including cytotoxic therapy (see section 5.1).

Irinotecan in combination with 5-fluorouracil, folinic acid and bevacizumab is indicated for first-line treatment of patients with metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum.

Irinotecan in combination with capecitabine with or without bevacizumab is indicated for first-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal carcinoma.

4.2 Posology and method of administration

Posology

Recommended dosage

In monotherapy (for previously treated patient)

The recommended dosage of irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate is 350 mg/m2 administered as an intravenous infusion over a 30 to 90 minute period every three weeks (see below “Method of administration” and section 4.4 and 6.6).

In combination therapy (for previously untreated patient)

Safety and efficacy of irinotecan in combination with 5-fluorouracil (5FU) and folinic acid (FA) have been assessed with the following schedule (see section 5.1): Irinotecan plus 5FU/FA in every 2 weeks schedule.

The recommended dose of irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate is 180 mg/m2 administered once every 2 weeks as an intravenous infusion over a 30 to 90 minute period, followed by infusion with folinic acid and 5-fluorouracil.

For the posology and method of administration of concomitant cetuximab, refer to the product information for this medicinal product.

Normally, the same dose of irinotecan is used as administered in the last cycles of the prior irinotecan-containing regimen. Irinotecan must not be administered earlier than 1 hour after the end of the cetuximab infusion.

For the posology and method of administration of bevacizumab, refer to the bevacizumab summary of product characteristics.

For the posology and method of administration of capecitabine combination, please see section 5.1 and refer to the appropriate sections in the capecitabine summary of product characteristics.

Dosage adjustments

Irinotecan should be administered after appropriate recovery of all adverse events to grade 0 or 1 NCI-CTC grading (National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria) and when treatment-related diarrhoea is fully resolved.

At the start of a subsequent infusion of therapy, the dose of Irinotecan hydrochloride, and 5FU when applicable, should be decreased according to the worst grade of adverse events observed in the prior infusion. Treatment should be delayed by 1 to 2 weeks to allow recovery from treatment-related adverse events.

With the following adverse events a dose reduction of 15 to 20 % should be applied for irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate and/or 5FU when applicable:

– haematological toxicity (neutropenia grade 4, febrile neutropenia (neutropenia grade 3-4 and fever grade 2-4), thrombocytopenia and leukopenia (grade 4)),

– non haematological toxicity (grade 3-4).

Recommendations for dose modifications of cetuximab when administered in combination with irinotecan must be followed according to the product information for this medicinal product.

In combination with capecitabine for patients 65 years of age or more, a reduction of the starting dose of capecitabine to 800 mg/m2 twice daily is recommended according to the summary of product characteristics for capecitabine. Refer also to the recommendations for dose modifications in combination regimen given in the summary of product characteristics for capecitabine.

Treatment duration

Treatment with irinotecan should be continued until there is an objective progression of the disease or an unacceptable toxicity.

Special populations

Patients with impaired hepatic function

In monotherapy: Blood bilirubin levels (up to 3 times the upper limit of the normal range (ULN)) in patients with performance status ≤2, should determine the starting dose of Irinotecan hydrochloride. In these patients with hyperbilirubinemia and prothrombin time greater than 50%, the clearance of irinotecan is decreased (see section 5.2) and therefore the risk of hematotoxicity is increased. Thus, weekly monitoring of complete blood counts should be conducted in this patient population.

– In patients with bilirubin up to 1.5 times the ULN, the recommended dosage of irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate is 350 mg/m2,

– In patients with bilirubin ranging from 1.5 to 3 times the ULN, the recommended dosage of irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate is 200 mg/m2,

– Patients with bilirubin beyond 3 times the ULN should not be treated with irinotecan (see section 4.3 and section 4.4).

No data are available in patients with hepatic impairment treated with irinotecan in combination.

Patients with impaired renal function

Irinotecan is not recommended for use in patients with impaired renal function, as studies in this population have not been conducted. (See section 4.4 and section 5.2).

Elderly

No specific pharmacokinetic studies have been performed in elderly. However, the dose should be chosen carefully in this population due to their greater frequency of decreased biological functions. This population should require more intense surveillance (see section 4.4).

Paediatric population

Irinotecan should not be used in children.

Method of administration

For adults only. After dilution Irinotecan hydrochloride solution for infusion should be infused into a peripheral or central vein.

Irinotecan hydrochloride is cytotoxic, for information regarding dilution, and special precautions for disposal and other handling see section 6.6.

Irinotecan hydrochloride should not be delivered as an intravenous bolus or an intravenous infusion shorter than 30 minutes or longer than 90 minutes.

4.3 Contraindications

– Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.

– Chronic inflammatory bowel disease and/or bowel obstruction (see section 4.4).

– Lactation (see section 4.4 and section 4.6).

– Bilirubin >3 times the ULN (see section 4.4).

– Severe bone marrow failure.

– WHO performance status> 2.

– Concomitant use with St John’s Wort (see section 4.5).

– For additional contraindications of cetuximab or bevacizumab or capecitabine, refer to the product information for these medicinal products.

4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use

The use of Irinotecan hydrochloride should be confined to units specialised in the administration of cytotoxic chemotherapy and it should only be administered under the supervision of a physician qualified in the use of anticancer chemotherapy.

Given the nature and incidence of adverse events, Irinotecan hydrochloride will only be prescribed in the following cases after the expected benefits have been weighted against the possible therapeutic risks:

– in patients presenting a risk factor, particularly those with a WHO performance status = 2.

– in the few rare instances where patients are deemed unlikely to observe recommendations regarding management of adverse events (need for immediate and prolonged antidiarrhoeal treatment combined with high fluid intake at onset of delayed diarrhoea). Strict hospital supervision is recommended for such patients.

When Irinotecan hydrochloride is used in monotherapy, it is usually prescribed with the every-3-week-dosage schedule. However, the weekly-dosage schedule (see section 5.1) may be considered in patients who may need a closer follow-up or who are at particular risk of severe neutropenia.

Delayed diarrhoea

Patients should be made aware of the risk of delayed diarrhoea occurring more than 24 hours after the administration of irinotecan and at any time before the next cycle. In monotherapy, the median time of onset of the first liquid stool was on day 5 after the infusion of irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate. Patients should quickly inform their physician of its occurrence and start appropriate therapy immediately.

Patients with an increased risk of diarrhoea are those who had a previous abdominal/pelvic radiotherapy, those with baseline hyperleucocytosis, those with performance status 2 and women. If not properly treated, diarrhoea can be life-threatening, especially if the patient is concomitantly neutropenic.

As soon as the first liquid stool occurs, the patient should start drinking large volumes of beverages containing electrolytes and an appropriate antidiarrhoeal therapy must be initiated immediately. This antidiarrhoeal treatment will be prescribed by the department where irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate has been administered. After discharge from the hospital, the patients should obtain the prescribed drugs so that they can treat the diarrhoea as soon as it occurs. In addition, they must inform their physician or the department administering irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate when/if diarrhoea is occurring.

The currently recommended antidiarrhoeal treatment consists of high doses of loperamide (4 mg for the first intake and then 2 mg every 2 hours). This therapy should continue for 12 hours after the last liquid stool and should not be modified. In no instance should loperamide be administered for more than 48 consecutive hours at these doses, because of the risk of paralytic ileus, nor for less than 12 hours.

In addition to the anti-diarrhoeal treatment, a prophylactic broad spectrum antibiotic should be given, when diarrhoea is associated with severe neutropenia (neutrophil count < 500 cells/mm3).

In addition to the antibiotic treatment, hospitalisation is recommended for management of the diarrhoea, in the following cases:

– Diarrhoea associated with fever,

– Severe diarrhoea (requiring intravenous hydration),

– Diarrhoea persisting beyond 48 hours following the initiation of high-dose loperamide therapy.

Loperamide should not be given prophylactically, even in patients who experienced delayed diarrhoea at previous cycles.

In patients who experienced severe diarrhoea, a reduction in dose is recommended for subsequent cycles (see section 4.2).

Haematology

In clinical studies, the frequency of NCI CTC grade 3 and 4 neutropenia has been significantly higher in patients who received previous pelvic/abdominal irradiation than in those who had not received such irradiation. Patients with baseline serum total bilirubin levels of 1.0 mg/dL or more have also had a significantly greater likelihood of experiencing first-cycle grade 3 or 4 neutropenia than those with bilirubin levels that were less than 1.0 mg/dL.

Weekly monitoring of complete blood cell counts is recommended during treatment with irinotecan. Patients should be aware of the risk of neutropenia and the significance of fever. Febrile neutropenia (temperature >38°C and neutrophil count 1,000 cells/mm3) should be urgently treated in the hospital with broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics.

In patients who experienced severe haematological events, a dose reduction is recommended for subsequent administration (see section 4.2).

There is an increased risk of infections and haematological toxicity in patients with severe diarrhoea. In patients with severe diarrhoea, complete blood cell counts should be performed.

Liver impairment

Liver function tests should be performed at baseline and before each cycle.

Weekly monitoring of complete blood counts should be conducted in patients with bilirubin ranging from 1.5 to 3 times ULN, due to decrease of the clearance of irinotecan (see section 5.2) and thus increasing the risk of hematotoxicity in this population. Irinotecan should not be administered to patients with a bilirubin> 3 times ULN (see section 4.3).

Nausea and vomiting

A prophylactic treatment with antiemetics is recommended before each treatment with irinotecan. Nausea and vomiting have been frequently reported. Patients with vomiting associated with delayed diarrhoea should be hospitalised as soon as possible for treatment.

Acute cholinergic syndrome

If acute cholinergic syndrome appears (defined as early diarrhoea and various other signs and symptoms such as sweating, abdominal cramping, myosis and salivation), atropine sulphate (250 micrograms subcutaneously) should be administered unless clinically contraindicated (see section 4.8). These symptoms may be observed during or shortly after infusion of irinotecan, are thought to be related to the anticholinesterase activity of the irinotecan parent compound, and are expected to occur more frequently with higher irinotecan doses. Caution should be exercised in patients with asthma. In patients who experienced an acute and severe cholinergic syndrome, the use of prophylactic atropine sulphate is recommended with subsequent doses of irinotecan.

Respiratory disorders

Interstitial pulmonary disease presenting as pulmonary infiltrates is uncommon during irinotecan therapy. Interstitial pulmonary disease can be fatal. Risk factors possibly associated with the development of interstitial pulmonary disease include the use of pneumotoxic drugs, radiation therapy and colony stimulating factors. Patients with risk factors should be closely monitored for respiratory symptoms before and during irinotecan therapy.

Extravasation

While irinotecan is not a known vesicant, care should be taken to avoid extravasation and the infusion site should be monitored for signs of inflammation. Should extravasation occur, flushing the site and application of ice is recommended.

Elderly

Due to the greater frequency of decreased biological functions, in particular hepatic function, in elderly patients, dose selection with Irinotecan hydrochloride should be cautious in this population (see section 4.2).

Chronic inflammatory bowel disease and/orbowel obstruction

Patients must not be treated with Irintoecan hydrochloride until resolution of the bowel obstruction (see section 4.3).

Renal function

Increases in serum creatinine or blood urea nitrogen have been observed. There have been cases of acute renal failure. These events have generally been attributed to complications of infection or to dehydration related to nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea. Rare instances of renal dysfunction due to tumour lysis syndrome have also been reported.

Irradiation therapy

Patients who have previously received pelvic/abdominal irradiation are at increased risk of myelosuppression following the administration of irinotecan. Physicians should use caution in treating patients with extensive prior irradiation (e.g.>25% of bone marrow irradiated and within 6 weeks prior to start of treatment with irinotecan). Dosing adjustment may apply to this population (see section 4.2).

Cardiac disorders

Myocardial ischaemic events have been observed following irinotecan therapy predominately in patients with underlying cardiac disease, other known risk factors for cardiac disease, or previous cytotoxic chemotherapy (see section 4.8).

Consequently, patients with known risk factors should be closely monitored, and action should be taken to try to minimize all modifiable risk factors (e.g. smoking, hypertension, and hyperlipidaemia).

Vascular disorders

Irinotecan has been rarely associated with thromboembolic events (pulmonary embolism, venous thrombosis, and arterial thromboembolism) in patients presenting with multiple risk factors in addition to the underlying neoplasm.

Immunosuppressant effects/increased susceptibility to infections

Administration of live or live-attenuated vaccines in patients immunocompromised by chemotherapeutic agents including irinotecan, may result in serious or fatal infections. Vaccination with a live vaccine should be avoided in patients receiving irinotecan. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered; however, the response to such vaccines may be diminished.

Others

Since this medicinal product contains sorbitol, it is unsuitable in hereditary fructose intolerance.

Infrequent cases of renal insufficiency, hypotension or circulatory failure have been observed in patients who experienced episodes of dehydration associated with diarrhoea and/or vomiting, or sepsis.

Contraceptive measures must be taken during and for at least three months after cessation of therapy.

Concomitant administration of irinotecan with a strong inhibitor (e.g. ketoconazole) or inducer (e.g. rifampicin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, St John’s Wort) of CYP3A4 may alter the metabolism of irinotecan and should be avoided (see section 4.5).

This medicinal product contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per does, i.e. is essentially ‘sodium free’.

4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

Interaction between irinotecan and neuromuscular blocking agents cannot be ruled out. Since irinotecan has anticholinesterase activity, drugs with anticholinesterase activity may prolong the neuromuscular blocking effects of suxamethonium and the neuromuscular blockade of non-depolarising drugs may be antagonised.

Several studies have shown that concomitant administration of CYP3A-inducing anticonvulsant drugs (e.g., carbamazepine, phenobarbital or phenytoin) leads to reduced exposure to irinotecan, SN-38 and SN-38 glucuronide and reduced pharmacodynamic effects. The effects of such anticonvulsant drugs was reflected by a decrease in AUC of SN-38 and SN-38G by 50% or more. In addition to induction of cytochrome P450 3A enzymes, enhanced glucuronidation and enhanced biliary excretion may play a role in reducing exposure to irinotecan and its metabolites.

A study has shown that the co-administration of ketoconazole resulted in a decrease in the AUC of APC of 87% and in an increase in the AUC of SN-38 of 109% in comparison to irinotecan given alone.

Caution should be exercised in patients concurrently taking drugs known to inhibit (e.g., ketoconazole) or induce (e.g., rifampicin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital or phenytoin) drug metabolism by cytochrome P450 3A4. Concurrent administration of irinotecan with an inhibitor/inducer of this metabolic pathway may alter the metabolism of irinotecan and should be avoided (see section 4.4).

In a small pharmacokinetic study (n=5), in which irinotecan 350 mg/m2 was co-administered with St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) 900 mg, a 42% decrease in the active metabolite of irinotecan, SN-38, plasma concentrations was observed. St. John’s Wort decreases SN-38 plasma levels. As a result, St. John’s Wort should not be administered with irinotecan (see section 4.3).

Coadministration of 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid in the combination regimen does not change the pharmacokinetics of irinotecan.

Atazanavir sulphate. Coadministration of atazanavir sulfate, a CYP3A4 and UGT1A1 inhibitor, has the potential to increase systemic exposure to SN-38, the active metabolite of irinotecan. Physicians should take this into consideration when co-administering these drugs.

Interactions common to all cytotoxics:

The use of anticoagulants is common due to increased risk of thrombotic events in tumoral diseases. If vitamin K antagonist anticoagulants are indicated, an increased frequency in the monitoring of INR (International Normalised Ratio) is required due to their narrow therapeutic index, the high intra-individual variability of blood thrombogenicity and the possibility of interaction between oral anticoagulants and anticancer chemotherapy.

Concomitant use contraindicated

– Yellow fever vaccine: risk of fatal generalised reaction to vaccines

Concomitant use not recommended

– Live attenuated vaccines (except yellow fever): risk of systemic, possible fatal disease (eg-infections). This risk is increased in subjects who are already immunosuppressed by their underlying disease.

Use an inactivated vaccine where this exists (poliomyelitis)

– Phenytoin: Risk of exacerbation of convulsions resulting from the decrease of phenytoin digestive absorption by cytotoxic drug or risk of toxicity enhancement due to increased hepatic metabolism by phenytoin

Concomitant use to take into consideration

– Ciclosporine, Tacrolimus: Excessive immunosuppression with risk of lymphoproliferation

There is no evidence that the safety profile of irinotecan is influenced by cetuximab or vice versa.

Results from a dedicated drug-drug interaction trial demonstrated no significant effect of bevacizumab on the pharmacokinetics of irinotecan and its active metabolite SN-38. However, this does not preclude any increase of toxicities due to their pharmacological properties.

4.6 Pregnancy and lactation

Women of child-bearing potential/Contraception in males and females

Women of childbearing potential and men have to use effective contraception during and up to 1 month and 3 months after treatment respectively.

Pregnancy

There is no data from the use of irinotecan in pregnant women. Irinotecan has been shown to be embryotoxic and teratogenic in animals. Therefore based on results from animal studies and the mechanism of action of irinotecan, Irinotecan should not be used during pregnancy unless clearly necessary.

Breast-feeding

In lactating rats, 14C-irinotecan was detected in milk. It is not known whether irinotecan is excreted in human milk. Consequently, because of the potential for adverse reactions in nursing infants, breast-feeding must be discontinued for the duration of irinotecan therapy (see section 4.3).

Fertility

There are no human data on the effect of irinotecan on fertility. In animals adverse effects of irinotecan on the fertility of offspring has been documented (see section 5.3).

4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines

Patients should be warned about the potential for dizziness or visual disturbances which may occur within 24 hours following the administration of irinotecan, and advised not to drive or operate machinery if these symptoms occur.

4.8 Undesirable effects

Clinical studies

Adverse reaction data have been extensively collected from studies in metastatic colorectal cancer; the frequencies are presented below. The adverse reactions for other indications are expected to be similar to those for colorectal cancer.

The most common (≥1/10), dose-limiting adverse reactions of irinotecan are delayed diarrhoea (occurring more than 24 hours after administration) and blood disorders including neutropenia, anaemia and thrombocytopenia.

Neutropenia is a dose-limiting toxic effect. Neutropenia was reversible and not cumulative; the median day to nadir was 8 days whatever the use in monotherapy or in combination therapy.

Very commonly severe transient acute cholinergic syndrome was observed.

The main symptoms were defined as early diarrhoea and various other symptoms such as abdominal pain, sweating, myosis and increased salivation occurring during or within the first 24 hours after the infusion of irinotecan. These symptoms disappear after atropine administration (see section 4.4).

Monotherapy

The following adverse reactions considered to be possibly or probably related to the administration of irinotecan have been reported from 765 patients at the recommended dose of 350 mg/m2 in monotherapy.

Within each frequency grouping, adverse reactions are presented in order of decreasing seriousness. Frequencies are defined as: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)

Adverse reactions reported with irinotecan in monotherapy (350 mg/m2 every 3 weeks schedule)
MedDRA System Organ Class Frequency Category Preferred Term
Infections and infestations Common Infection
Blood and lymphatic system disorders Very common Neutropenia
Very common Anaemia
Common Thrombocytopenia
Common Febrile neutropenia
Metabolism and nutrition disorders Very common Decreased appetite
Nervous system disorders Very common Cholinergic syndrome
Gastrointestinal disorders Very common Diarrhoea
Very common Vomiting
Very common Nausea
Very common Abdominal pain
Common Constipation
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders Very common Alopecia (reversible)
General disorders and administration site conditions Very common Mucosal inflammation
Very common Pyrexia
Very common Asthenia
Investigations Common Blood creatinine increased
Common Transaminases (SGPT and SGOT) increased
Common Bilirubin increased
Common Blood alkaline phosphatase increased

Description of selected adverse reactions (monotherapy)

Severe diarrhoea was observed in 20% of patients who follow recommendations for the management of diarrhoea. Of the evaluable cycles, 14% have severe diarrhoea. The median time of onset of the first liquid stool was on day 5 after the infusion of irinotecan.

Nausea and vomiting were severe in approximately 10% of patients treated with antiemetics.

Constipation has been observed in less than 10% of patients.

Neutropenia was observed in 78.7% of patients and was severe (neutrophil count < 500 cells/mm3) in 22.6% of patients. Of the evaluable cycles, 18% had a neutrophil count below 1,000 cells/mm3 including 7.6% with a neutrophil count < 500 cells/mm3.

Total recovery was usually reached by day 22.

Fever with severe neutropenia was reported in 6.2% of patients and in 1.7% of cycles.

Infectious episodes occurred in about 10.3% of patients (2.5% of cycles) and were associated with severe neutropenia in about 5.3% of patients (1.1% of cycles), and resulted in death in 2 cases.

Anaemia was reported in about 58.7% of patients (8% with haemoglobin < 8 g/dl and 0.9% with haemoglobin < 6.5 g/dl).

Thrombocytopenia (< 100,000 cells/mm3) was observed in 7.4% of patients and 1.8% of cycles with 0.9% with platelets count ≤ 50,000 cells/mm3 and 0.2% of cycles.

Nearly all the patients showed a recovery by day 22.

Acute cholinergic syndrome

Severe transient acute cholinergic syndrome was observed in 9% of patients treated in monotherapy.

Asthenia was severe in less than 10% of patients treated in monotherapy. The causal relationship to irinotecan has not been clearly established. Fever in the absence of infection and without concomitant severe neutropenia, occurred in 12% of patients treated in monotherapy.

Laboratory tests

Transient and mild to moderate increases in serum levels of either transaminases, alkaline phosphatase or bilirubin were observed in 9.2%, 8.1% and 1.8% of the patients, respectively, in the absence of progressive liver metastasis.

Transient and mild to moderate increases of serum levels of creatinine have been observed in 7.3% of the patients.

Combination therapy

Adverse reactions detailed in this section refer to irinotecan.

There is no evidence that the safety profile of irinotecan is influenced by cetuximab or vice versa. In combination with cetuximab, additional reported adverse reactions were those expected with cetuximab (such as acneform rash 88%). For information on adverse reactions on irinotecan in combination with cetuximab , also refer to their respective summary of product characteristics.

Adverse drug reactions reported in patients treated with capecitabine in combination with irinotecan in addition to those seen with capecitabine monotherapy or seen at a higher frequency grouping compared to capecitabine monotherapy include: Very common, all grade adverse drug reactions: thrombosis/embolism; Common, all grade adverse drug reactions: hypersensitivity reaction, cardiac ischemia/infarction; Common, grade 3 and grade 4 adverse drug reactions: febrile neutropenia. For complete information on adverse reactions of capecitabine, refer to the capecitabine summary product of characteristics.

Grade 3 and Grade 4 adverse drug reactions reported in patients treated with capecitabine in combination with irinotecan and bevacizumab in addition to those seen with capecitabine monotherapy or seen at a higher frequency grouping compared to capecitabine monotherapy include: Common, grade 3 and grade 4 adverse drug reactions: neutropenia, thrombosis/embolism, hypertension, and cardiac ischemia/infarction. For complete information on adverse reactions of capecitabine and bevacizumab, refer to the respective capecitabine and bevacizumab summary of product characteristics.

Grade 3 hypertension was the principal significant risk involved with the addition of bevacizumab to bolus irinotecan/5-FU/FA. In addition, there was a small increase in the grade 3/4 chemotherapy adverse events of diarrhoea and leukopenia with this regimen compared to patients receiving bolus irinotecan/5-FU/FA alone. For other information on adverse reactions in combination with bevacizumab, refer to the bevacizumab summary of product characteristics.

Irinotecan has been studied in combination with 5-FU and FA for metastatic colorectal cancer.

Safety data of adverse reactions from clinical studies demonstrate very commonly observed NCI Grade 3 or 4 possibly or probably-related adverse events in the blood and the lymphatic system disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, and skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders MedDRA System Organ Classes.

The following adverse reactions considered to be possibly or probably related to the administration of irinotecan have been reported from 145 patients treated by irinotecan in combination therapy with 5FU/FA in every 2 weeks schedule at the recommended dose of 180 mg/m2.

Adverse reactions reported with irinotecan in combination therapy (180 mg/m2 every 2 weeks schedule)
MedDRA System Organ Class Frequency Category Preferred Term
Infections and infestations Common Infection
Blood and lymphatic system disorders Very common Thrombocytopenia
Very common Neutropenia
Very common Anaemia
Common Febrile neutropenia
Metabolism and nutrition disorders Very common Decreased appetite
Nervous system disorders Very common Cholinergic syndrome
Gastrointestinal disorders Very common Diarrhoea
Very common Vomiting
Very common Nausea
Common Abdominal pain
Common Constipation
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders Very common Alopecia (reversible)
General disorders and administration site conditions Very common Mucosal inflammation
Very common Asthenia
Common Pyrexia
Investigations Very common Transaminases (SGPT and SGOT) increased
Very common Bilirubin increased
Very common Blood alkaline phosphatase increased

Description of selected adverse reactions (combination therapy)

Severe diarrhoea was observed in 13.1% of patients who follow recommendations for the management of diarrhoea. Of the evaluable cycles, 3.9% have a severe diarrhoea.

A lower incidence of severe nausea and vomiting was observed (2.1% and 2.8% of patients respectively).

Constipation relative to irinotecan and/or loperamide has been observed in 3.4% of patients.

Neutropenia was observed in 82.5% of patients and was severe (neutrophil count < 500 cells/mm3) in 9.8% of patients. Of the evaluable cycles, 67.3% had a neutrophil count below 1,000 cells/mm3 including 2.7% with a neutrophil count < 500 cells/mm3. Total recovery was usually reached within 7-8 days.

Fever with severe neutropenia was reported in 3.4% of patients and in 0.9% of cycles.

Infectious episodes occurred in about 2% of patients (0.5% of cycles) and were associated with severe neutropenia in about 2.1% of patients (0.5% of cycles), and resulted in death in 1 case.

Anaemia was reported in 97.2% of patients (2.1% with haemoglobin < 8 g/dl).

Thrombocytopenia (< 100,000 cells/mm3) was observed in 32.6% of patients and 21.8% of cycles. No severe thrombocytopenia (< 50,000 cells/mm3) has been observed.

Acute cholinergic syndrome

Severe transient acute cholinergic syndrome was observed in 1.4 % of patients treated in combination therapy.

Asthenia was severe in 6.2 % of patients treated in combination therapy. The causal relationship to irinotecan has not been clearly established. Fever in the absence of infection and without concomitant severe neutropenia, occurred in 6.2 % of patients treated in combination therapy.

Laboratory tests

Transient serum levels (grades 1 and 2) of either SGPT, SGOT, alkaline phosphatase or bilirubin were observed in 15%, 11%, 11% and 10% of the patients, respectively, in the absence of progressive liver metastasis. Transient grade 3 were observed in 0%, 0%, 0% and 1% of the patients, respectively. No grade 4 was observed.

Increases of amylase and/or lipase have been very rarely reported.

Rare cases of hypokalemia and hyponatremia mostly related with diarrhea and vomiting have been reported.

Other adverse events reported in clinical studies with the weekly regimen for irinotecan

The following additional drug-related events have been reported in clinical studies with irinotecan: pain, sepsis, rectal disorder, GI monilia, hypomagnesemia, rash, cutaneous signs, abnormal gait, confusion, headache, syncope, flushing, bradycardia, urinary tract infection, breast pain, increased GGTP, extravasation, and tumour lysis syndrome, cardiovascular disorders (angina pectoris, heart arrest, myocardial infarction, myocardial ischaemia, peripheral vascular disorder, vascular disorder), and thromboembolic events (arterial thrombosis, cerebral infarction, cerebrovascular accident, deep thrombophlebitis, embolus of the lower extremity, pulmonary embolus, thrombophlebitis, thrombosis, and sudden death). (See section 4.4.)

Post-marketing surveillance

Frequencies from post-marketing surveillance are not known (cannot be estimated from available data).

MedDRA System Organ Class Preferred Term
Infections and infestations • Pseudomembranous colitis one of which has been documented bacteriologically (Clostridium difficile)

• Sepsis

• Fungal infections a

• Viral infections b

Blood and lymphatic system disorders • Peripheral thrombocytopenia with antiplatelet antibodies
Metabolism and nutrition disorders • Dehydration (due to diarrhoea and vomiting)

• Hypovolaemia

Immune system disorders • Hypersensitivity reaction

• Anaphylactic reaction

Nervous system disorders • Speech disorders generally transient in nature, in some cases, the event was attributed to the cholinergic syndrome observed during or shortly after infusion of irinotecan

• Paraesthesia

Cardiac disorders • Hypertension (during or after infusion)

• Cardio circulatory failure*

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders • Interstitial pulmonary disease presenting as pulmonary infiltrates is uncommon during irinotecan therapy; Early effects such as dyspnoea have been reported (See section 4.4).

• Dyspnoea (see section 4.4)

• Hiccups

Gastrointestinal disorders • Intestinal obstruction

• Ileus: cases of ileus without preceding colitis have also been reported

• Megacolon

• Gastrointestinal haemorrhage

• Colitis; In some cases, colitis was complicated by ulceration, bleeding, ileus, or infection.

• Typhlitis

• Ischemic colitis

• Ulcerative colitis

• Gastrointestinal bleeding

• Symptomatic or asymptomatic elevated pancreatic enzymes

• Intestinal perforation

Hepatobiliary disorders • Hepatic steatosis

• Steatohepatitis

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders • Skin reactions
General disorders and administration site conditions • Infusion site reactions
Investigations • Blood amylase increased

• Lipase increased

• Hypokalaemia

• Hyponatraemia mostly related with diarrhoea and vomiting

• Increases in serum levels of transaminases (i.e., AST and ALT) in the absence of progressive liver metastasis have been very rarely reported.

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders • Muscular contraction or cramps
Renal and urinary disorders • Renal impairment and acute renal failure generally in patients who become infected and/or volume depleted from severe gastrointestinal toxicities.*

• Renal insufficiency*

Vascular Disorders • Hypotension*
  1. e.g. Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia, bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, systemic candida.
  2. e.g. Herpes zoster, influenza, hepatitis B reactivation, cytomegalovirus colitis.

* Infrequent cases of renal insufficiency, hypotension or cardio circulatory failure have been observed in patients who experienced episodes of dehydration associated with diarrhoea and/or vomiting, or sepsis.

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product.

4.9 Overdose

There have been reports of overdosage at doses up to approximately twice the recommended therapeutic dose, which may be fatal. The most significant adverse reactions reported were severe neutropenia and severe diarrhoea. There is no known antidote for irinotecan. Maximum supportive care should be instituted to prevent dehydration due to diarrhoea and to treat any infectious complications.

  1. Pharmacological properties

5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Other antineoplastic agents,

Experimental data

Irinotecan is a semi-synthetic derivative of camptothecin. It is an antineoplastic agent which acts as a specific inhibitor of DNA topoisomerase I. It is metabolised by carboxylesterase in most tissues to SN-38, which was found to be more active than irinotecan in purified topoisomerase I and more cytotoxic than irinotecan against several murine and human tumour cell lines. The inhibition of DNA topoisomerase I by irinotecan or SN-38 induces single-strand DNA lesions which blocks the DNA replication fork and are responsible for the cytotoxicity. This cytotoxic activity was found time-dependent and was specific to the S phase.

In vitro, irinotecan and SN-38 were not found to be significantly recognised by the P-glycoprotein MDR, and displays cytotoxic activities against doxorubicin and vinblastine resistant cell lines.

Furthermore, irinotecan has a broad antitumor activity in vivo against murine tumour models (P03 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, MA16/C mammary adenocarcinoma, C38 and C51 colon adenocarcinomas) and against human xenografts (Co-4 colon adenocarcinoma, Mx-1 mammary adenocarcinoma, ST-15 and SC-16 gastric adenocarcinomas). Irinotecan is also active against tumors expressing the P-glycoprotein MDR (vincristine- and doxorubicin-resistant P388 leukaemia’s).

Beside the antitumor activity of irinotecan, the most relevant pharmacological effect is the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase.

Clinical data

In combination therapy for the first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal carcinoma

In combination therapy with folinic acid and 5-fluorouracil

A phase III study was performed in 385 previously untreated metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated with either every 2 weeks schedule (see section 4.2) or weekly schedule regimens. In the every 2 weeks schedule, on day 1, the administration of irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate at 180 mg/m2 once every 2 weeks is followed by infusion with folinic acid (200 mg/m2 over a 2-hour intravenous infusion) and 5-fluorouracil (400 mg/m2 as an intravenous bolus, followed by 600 mg/m2 over a 22-hour intravenous infusion). On day 2, folinic acid and 5-fluorouracil are administered at the same doses and schedules. In the weekly schedule, the administration of irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate at 80 mg/m2 is followed by infusion with folinic acid (500 mg/m2 over a 2-hour intravenous infusion) and then by 5-fluorouracil (2300 mg/m2 over a 24-hour intravenous infusion) over 6 weeks.

In the combination therapy trial with the 2 regimens described above, the efficacy of irinotecan was evaluated in 198 treated patients:

Combined regimens

(n=198)

Weekly schedule

(n=50)

Every 2 weeks schedule

(n=148)

Irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate +5FU/FA 5FU/FA Irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate +5FU/FA 5FU/FA Irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate +5FU/FA 5FU/FA
Response rate (%) 40.8* 23.1* 51.2* 28.6* 37.5* 21.6*
p value p<0.001 p=0.045 p=0.005
Median time to progression (months) 6.7 4.4 7.2 6.5 6.5 3.7
p value p<0.001 NS p=0.001
Median duration of response (months) 9.3 8.8 8.9 6.7 9.3 9.5
p value NS p=0.043 NS
Median duration of response and stabilisation (months) 8.6 6.2 8.3 6.7 8.5 5.6
p value p<0.001 NS p=0.003
Median time to treatment failure (months) 5.3 3.8 5.4 5.0 5.1 3.0
p value p=0.0014 NS p<0.001
Median survival (months) 16.8 14.0 19.2 14.1 15.6 13.0
p value p=0.028 NS p=0.041

5FU : 5-fluorouracil

FA : folinic acid

NS : Non Significant

*): As per protocol population analysis

In the weekly schedule, the incidence of severe diarrhoea was 44.4% in patients treated by irinotecan in combination with 5FU/FA and 25.6% in patients treated by 5FU/FA alone. The incidence of severe neutropenia (neutrophil count <500 cells/mm3) was 5.8% in patients treated by irinotecan in combination with 5FU/FA and in 2.4% in patients treated by 5FU/FA alone.

Additionally, median time to definitive performance status deterioration was significantly longer in irinotecan combination group than in 5FU/FA alone group (p=0.046).

Quality of life was assessed in this phase III study using the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire. Time to definitive deterioration constantly occurred later in the irinotecan groups. The evolution of the Global Health Status/Quality of life was slightly better in irinotecan combination group although not significant, showing that efficacy of irinotecan in combination could be reached without affecting the quality of life.

In combination therapy with bevacizumab:

A phase III randomised, double-blind, active-controlled clinical trial evaluated bevacizumab in combination with irinotecan /5FU/FA as first-line treatment for metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum (Study AVF2107g). The addition of bevacizumab to the combination of irinotecan /5FU/FA resulted in a statistically significant increase in overall survival. The clinical benefit, as measured by overall survival, was seen in all pre-specified patient subgroups, including those defined by age, sex, performance status, location of primary tumour, number of organs involved, and duration of metastatic disease. Refer also to the bevacizumab summary of product characteristics. The efficacy results of Study AVF2107g are summarized in the table below.

AVF2107g
Arm 1

irinotecan /5FU/FA +Placebo

Arm 2

irinotecan /5FU/FA +Avastina

Number of Patients 411 402
Overall survival
Median time (months) 15.6 20.3
95% Confidence Interval 14.29 – 16.99 18.46 – 24.18
Hazard ratiob 0.660
p-value 0.00004
Progression-free survival
Median time (months) 6.2 10.6
Hazard ratio 0.54
p-value <0.0001
Overall response rate
Rate (%) 34.8 44.8
95% CI 30.2 – 39.6 39.9 – 49.8
p-value 0.0036
Duration of response
Median time (months) 7.1 10.4
25–75 percentile (months) 4.7 – 11.8 6.7 – 15.0

a5 mg/kg every 2 weeks.

bRelative to control arm.

In combination therapy with cetuximab

EMR 62 202-013: This randomised study in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who had not received prior treatment for metastatic disease compared the combination of cetuximab and irinotecan plus infusional 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid (5-FU/FA) (599 patients) to the same chemotherapy alone (599 patients). The proportion of patients with KRAS wild-type tumours from the patient population evaluable for KRAS status comprised 64%.

The efficacy data generated in this study are summarised in the table below:

Overall population KRAS wild-type population
Variable /statistic Cetuximab plus FOLFIRI

(N=599)

FOLFIRI

(N=599)

Cetuximab plus FOLFIRI

(N=172)

FOLFIRI

(N=176)

ORR
% (95%CI) 46.9 (42.9, 51.0) 38.7 (34.8, 42.8) 59.3 (51.6, 66.7) 43.2 (35.8, 50.9)
p-value 0.0038 0.0025
PFS
Hazard Ratio (95% CI) 0.85 (0.726, 0.998) 0.68 (0.501, 0.934)
p-value 0.0479 0.0167

CI = confidence interval, FOLFIRI = irinotecan plus infusional 5-FU/FA, ORR = objective response rate (patients with complete response or partial response), PFS = progression-free survival time

In combination therapy with capecitabine

Data from a randomised, controlled phase III study (CAIRO) support the use of capecitabine at a starting dose of 1000 mg/m2 for 2 weeks every 3 weeks in combination with irinotecan for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. 820 patients were randomized to receive either sequential treatment (n=410) or combination treatment (n=410). Sequential treatment consisted of first-line treatment with capecitabine (1250 mg/m2 twice daily for 14 days), second-line irinotecan (350 mg/m2 on day 1), and third-line combination of capecitabine (1000 mg/m2 twice daily for 14 days) with oxaliplatin (130 mg/m2 on day 1). Combination treatment consisted of first-line treatment of capecitabine (1000 mg/m2 twice daily for 14 days) combined with irinotecan (250 mg/m2 on day 1) (XELIRI) and second-line capecitabine (1000 mg/m2 twice daily for 14 days) plus oxaliplatin (130 mg/m2 on day 1). All treatment cycles were administered at intervals of 3 weeks. In first-line treatment the median progression-free survival in the intent-to-treat population was 5.8 months (95% CI, 5.1-6.2 months) for capecitabine monotherapy and 7.8 months (95%CI, 7.0-8.3 months) for XELIRI (p=0.0002).

Data from an interim analysis of a multicentre, randomised, controlled phase II study (AIO KRK 0604) support the use of capecitabine at a starting dose of 800 mg/m2 for 2 weeks every 3 weeks in combination with irinotecan and bevacizumab for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. 115 patients were randomised to treatment with capecitabine combined with irinotecan (XELIRI) and bevacizumab: capecitabine (800 mg/m2 twice daily for two weeks followed by a 7-day rest period), irinotecan (200 mg/m2 as a 30 minute infusion on day 1 every 3 weeks), and bevacizumab (7.5 mg/kg as a 30 to 90 minute infusion on day 1 every 3 weeks); a total of 118 patients were randomised to treatment with capecitabine combined with oxaliplatin plus bevacizumab: capecitabine (1000 mg/m2 twice daily for two weeks followed by a 7-day rest period), oxaliplatin (130 mg/m2 as a 2 hour infusion on day 1 every 3 weeks), and bevacizumab (7.5 mg/kg as a 30 to 90 minute infusion on day 1 every 3 weeks). Progression-free survival at 6 months in the intent-to-treat population was 80% (XELIRI plus bevacizumab) versus 74% (XELOX plus bevacizumab). Overall response rate (complete response plus partial response) was 45% (XELOX plus bevacizumab) versus 47% (XELIRI plus bevacizumab).

In monotherapy for the second-line treatment of metastatic colorectal carcinoma

Clinical phase II/III studies were performed in more than 980 patients in the every 3 week dosage schedule with metastatic colorectal cancer who failed a previous 5-FU regimen. The efficacy of irinotecan was evaluated in 765 patients with documented progression on 5-FU at study entry.

Phases III
Irinotecan versus supportive care Irinotecan versus 5FU
Irinotecan

n=183

Supportive care

n=90

p values Irinotecan

n=127

5FU

n=129

p values
Progression Free Survival at 6 months (%) NA NA 33.5 * 26.7 p=0.03
Survival at 12 months (%) 36.2 * 13.8 p=0.0001 44.8 * 32.4 p=0.0351
Median survival (months) 9.2* 6.5 p=0.0001 10.8* 8.5 p=0.0351

NA : Non Applicable

*: Statistically significant difference

In phase II studies, performed on 455 patients in the every 3-week dosage schedule, the progression free survival at 6 months was 30% and the median survival was 9 months. The median time to progression was 18 weeks.

Additionally, non-comparative phase II studies were performed in 304 patients treated with a weekly schedule regimen, at a dose of 125 mg/m2 administered as an intravenous infusion over 90 minutes for 4 consecutive weeks followed by 2 weeks rest. In these studies, the median time to progression was 17 weeks and median survival was 10 months. A similar safety profile has been observed in the weekly-dosage schedule in 193 patients at the starting dose of 125 mg/m2, compared to the every 3-week-dosage schedule. The median time of onset of the first liquid stool was on day 11.

In combination with cetuximab after failure of irinotecan-including cytotoxic therapy

The efficacy of the combination of cetuximab with irinotecan was investigated in two clinical studies. A total of 356 patients with EGFR-expressing metastatic colorectal cancer who had recently failed irinotecan-including cytotoxic therapy and who had a minimum Karnofsky performance status of 60, but the majority of whom had a Karnofsky performance status of ≥ 80 received the combination treatment.

EMR 62 202-007: This randomised study compared the combination of cetuximab and irinotecan (218 patients) with cetuximab monotherapy (111 patients).

IMCL CP02-9923: This single arm open-label study investigated the combination therapy in 138 patients.

The efficacy data from these studies are summarised in the table below:

Study N ORR DCR PFS (months) OS (months)
n (%) 95% CI n (%) 95% CI Median 95% CI Median 95% CI
Cetuximab+ Irinotecan
EMR 62 202-007 218 50

(22.9)

17.5, 29.1 121

(55.5)

48.6, 62.2 4.1 2.8, 4.3 8.6 7.6, 9.6
IMCLCP02-9923 138 21

(15.2)

9.7, 22.3 84

(60.9)

52.2, 69.1 2.9 2.6, 4.1 8.4 7.2, 10.3
Cetuximab
EMR 62 202-007 111 12

(10.8)

5.7, 18.1 36

(32.4)

23.9, 42.0 1.5 1.4, 2.0 6.9 5.6, 9.1

CI= confidence interval, DCR= disease control rate (patients with complete response, partial response, or stable disease for at least 6 weeks), ORR= objective response rate (patients with complete response or partial response), OS= overall survival time, PFS= progression-free survival

The efficacy of the combination of cetuximab with irinotecan was superior to that of cetuximab monotherapy, in terms of objective response rate (ORR), disease control rate (DCR) and progression-free survival (PFS). In the randomised trial, no effects on overall survival were demonstrated (hazard ratio 0.91, p=0.48).

Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic data

The intensity of the major toxicities encountered with irinotecan (e.g., leukoneutropenia and diarrhoea) are related to the exposure (AUC) to parent drug and metabolite SN-38. Significant correlations were observed between haematological toxicity (decrease in white blood cells and neutrophils at nadir) or diarrhoea intensity and both irinotecan and metabolite SN-38 AUC values in monotherapy.

Patients with Reduced UGT1A1 Activity

Uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyl transferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) is involved in the metabolic deactivation of SN-38, the active metabolite of irinotecan to inactive SN-38 glucuronide (SN-38G). The UGT1A1 gene is highly polymorphic, resulting in variable metabolic capacities among individuals. One specific variation of the UGT1A1 gene includes a polymorphism in the promoter region known as the UGT1A1*28 variant. This variant and other congenital deficiencies in UGT1A1 expression (such as Crigler-Najjar and Gilbert’s syndrome) are associated with reduced activity of this enzyme. Data from a meta analysis indicate that individuals with Crigler-Najjar syndrome (types 1 and 2) or those who are homozygous for the UGT1A1*28 allele (Gilbert’s syndrome) are at increased risk of haematological toxicity (grades 3 and 4) following administration of irinotecan at moderate or high doses (>150 mg/m2). A relationship between UGT1A1 genotype and the occurrence of irinotecan induced diarrhea was not established.

Patients known to be homozygous for UGT1A1*28 should be administered the normally indicated irinotecan starting dose. However, these patients should be monitored for haematologic toxicities. A reduced irinotecan starting dose should be considered for patients who have experienced prior haematologic toxicity with previous treatment. The exact reduction in starting dose in this patient population has not been established and any subsequent dose modifications should be based on a patient’s tolerance of the treatment. (see sections 4.2 and 4.4)

There is at present insufficient data to conclude on clinical utility of UGT1A1 genotyping.

5.2 Pharmacokinetic properties

In a phase I study in 60 patients with a dosage regimen of a 30-minute intravenous infusion of 100 to 750 mg/m2 every three weeks, irinotecan showed a biphasic or triphasic elimination profile. The mean plasma clearance was 15 L/h/m2 and the volume of distribution at steady state (Vss): 157 L/m2. The mean plasma half-life of the first phase of the triphasic model was 12 minutes, of the second phase 2.5 hours, and the terminal phase half-life was 14.2 hours. SN-38 showed a biphasic elimination profile with a mean terminal elimination half-life of 13.8 hours. At the end of the infusion, at the recommended dose of 350 mg/m2, the mean peak plasma concentrations of irinotecan and SN-38 were 7.7 µg/ml and 56 ng/ml, respectively, and the mean area under the curve (AUC) values were 34 µg.h/ml and 451 ng.h/ml, respectively. A large interindividual variability in pharmacokinetic parameters is generally observed for SN-38.

A population pharmacokinetic analysis of irinotecan has been performed in 148 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, treated with various schedules and at different doses in phase II trials. Pharmacokinetic parameters estimated with a three compartment model were similar to those observed in phase I studies. All studies have shown that irinotecan (CPT-11) and SN-38 exposure increase proportionally with CPT-11 administered dose; their pharmacokinetics are independent of the number of previous cycles and of the administration schedule.

In vitro, plasma protein binding for irinotecan and SN-38 was approximately 65 % and 95 % respectively.

Mass balance and metabolism studies with 14 C-labelled drug have shown that more than 50% of an intravenously administered dose of irinotecan is excreted as unchanged drug, with 33% in the faeces mainly via the bile and 22% in urine.

Two metabolic pathways account each for at least 12% of the dose:

  • Hydrolysis by carboxylesterase into active metabolite SN-38. SN-38 is mainly eliminated by glucuronidation, and further by biliary and renal excretion (less than 0.5% of the irinotecan dose) The SN-38 glucuronite is subsequently probably hydrolysed in the intestine.
  • Cytochrome P450 3A enzymes-dependent oxidations resulting in opening of the outer piperidine ring with formation of APC (aminopentanoic acid derivate) and NPC (primary amine derivate) (see section 4.5).

Unchanged irinotecan is the major entity in plasma, followed by APC, SN-38 glucuronide and SN-38. Only SN-38 has significant cytotoxic activity.

Irinotecan clearance is decreased by about 40% in patients with bilirubinemia between 1.5 and 3 times the upper normal limit. In these patients a 200 mg/m2 irinotecan dose leads to plasma drug exposure comparable to that observed at 350 mg/m2 in cancer patients with normal liver parameters.

5.3 Preclinical safety data

Irinotecan and SN-38 have been shown to be mutagenic in vitro in the chromosomal aberration test on CHO-cells as well as in the in vivo micronucleus test in mice. However, they have been shown to be devoid of any mutagenic potential in the Ames test.

In rats treated once a week during 13 weeks at the maximum dose of 150 mg/m2 (which is less than half the human recommended dose), no treatment related tumours were reported 91 weeks after the end of treatment.

Single- and repeated-dose toxicity studies with irinotecan have been carried out in mice, rats and dogs. The main toxic effects were seen in the haematopoietic and lymphatic systems. In dogs, delayed diarrhoea associated with atrophy and focal necrosis of the intestinal mucosa was reported. Alopecia was also observed in the dog. The severity of these effects was dose-related and reversible.

Reproduction

Irinotecan was teratogenic in rats and rabbits at doses below the human therapeutic dose. In rats, pups born to treated animals with external abnormalities showed a decrease in fertility. This was not seen in morphologically normal pups. In pregnant rats there was a decrease in placental weight and in the offspring a decrease in fetal viability and increase in behavioural abnormalities.

  1. Pharmaceutical particulars

6.1 List of excipients

Sorbitol USNF, Lactic Acid USP, Sodium Hydroxide USNF, Hydrochloric Acid USNF and Water for Injection USP.

6.2 Incompatibilities

This medicinal product must not be mixed with other medicinal products, except those mentioned in section 6.6 (see also section 4.2).

6.3 Shelf life

Vial before opening

3 years.

After opening

The content of the vial should be used immediately after the first breakage of vial.

After dilution

Chemical and physical in-use stability of the drug product after dilution in the recommended solutions for infusion (see section 6.6) has been demonstrated for 24 hours at 30°C and for 48 hours at 2-8°C.

From a microbiological point of view, the product should be used immediately after dilution.

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 to 8°C, unless dilution has taken place in controlled and validated aseptic conditions.

6.4 Special precautions for storage

Store in the original package in order to protect from light.

Do not freeze.

For storage conditions of the diluted medicinal product, see section 6.3.

6.5 Nature and contents of container

Brown glass vial (type I) with bromobutylic rubber stopper and metallic cap (aluminium) with polypropylene disk. Vials may or may not be sheathed in protective sleeve.

Pack sizes

1 x 2 ml vial, 1 x 5 ml vial, 5 x 5 ml vial, 1 x 15 ml vial, 1x 25 ml vial.

Not all pack sizes may be marketed.

6.6 Special precautions for disposal and other handling

As with other antineoplastic agents, Irinotecan must be prepared and handled with caution. The use of glasses, mask and gloves is required.

If Irinotecan solution or infusion solution should come into contact with the skin, wash immediately and thoroughly with soap and water. If Irinotecan solution or infusion solution should come into contact with the mucous membranes, wash immediately with water.

Preparation for the intravenous infusion administration

As with any other injectable drugs, the Irinotecan solution must be prepared aseptically (see section 6.3).

If any precipitate is observed in the vials or after dilution, the product should be discarded according to standard procedures for cytotoxic agents.

Aseptically withdraw the required amount of Irinotecan hydrochloride concentrate for solution from the vial with a calibrated syringe and inject into a 250 ml infusion bag or bottle containing either 0.9% sodium chloride solution or 5% glucose solution. The infusion should then be thoroughly mixed by manual rotation.

Disposal

All materials used for dilution and administration should be disposed of according to hospital standard procedures applicable to cytotoxic agents.

7. Manufactured in India By:
TAJ PHARMACEUTICALS LIMITED
at SURVEY NO.188/1 TO 189/1,190/1 TO 4,
ATHIYAWAD, DABHEL, DAMAN- 396210 (INDIA).

Irinotecan Hydrochloride 100MG/5ML concentrate for solution for infusion

Package leaflet: Information for the user

Irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate

Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start using this medicine because it contains important information for you.

  • Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it
  • If you have any further questions, ask your doctor.
  • If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section
What is in this leaflet:
  1. What Irinotecan is and what it is used for
  2. What you need to know before you are given Irinotecan
  3. How you will be given Irinotecan
  4. Possible side effects
  5. How to store Irinotecan
  6. Contents of the pack and other information

1.              What Irinotecan is and what it is used for 

Your medicine is called Irinotecan. Irinotecan belongs to a group of medicines called cytostatics (anti-cancer medicines).

Irinotecan may be used alone or in combination with a number of other medicines used to treat cancer. These combinations may be used to treat cancers of the large intestine (colon or rectum) where the disease is at an advanced stage.

Your doctor may use a combination of Irinotecan with 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid (5FU/FA)

and bevacizumab to treat your cancer of the large intestine (colon or rectum).

Your doctor may use a combination of Irinotecan with capecitabine with or without

bevacizumab to treat your cancer of the colon and rectum.

 

Your doctor may use a combination of Irinotecan with cetuximab to treat a particular type of

cancer of the large intestine (KRAS wild-type) which expresses a protein called EGFR.

2.              What you need to know before you are given Irinotecan
  • You should not be given Irinotecan if any of the following apply to you:If you are allergic to irinotecan hydrochloride trihydrate or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6)
  • If you have or have had chronic inflammatory bowel disease or bowel obstruction
  • If you are pregnant or breast feeding or if you think you might be pregnant
  • If you have severe liver disease
  • If you have severe bone marrow failure
  • If your gerneal health status does not allow you to carry out general activities of daily living
  • If you are taking St John’s Wort (a herbal supplement)
Warnings and precautions

Before treatment with Irinotecan tell your doctor if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have liver problems or jaundice
  • You have kidney problems
  • You have asthma
  • You have ever received radiation therapy
  • You experienced severe diarrhoea or fever after being treated with Irinotecan
  • You have heart problems
  • You smoke, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol as these can increase the risk of heart problems during treatment with Irinotecan
  • You have had or are due to have any vaccinations
  • You are taking any other medicines. Please see the section below ‘Other medicines and Irinotecan’.

As with all anti-cancer medicines the use of Irinotecan is associated with a number of side- effects which may be serious. These side-effects require special management to minimise the risk of complications.

You will be treated by a specialist team experienced in using these kinds of treatments and managing their side effects, which are usually temporary.

However, it is essential that you read the section ‘Possible side effects’ and follow the instructions carefully if you get any of the symptoms described.

Children

Irinotecan should not be used in children.

Other medicines and Irinotecan

Tell your doctor if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines.

If you receive Irinotecan in combination with either capecitabine, cetuximab or bevacizumab, please make sure that you also read the patient information leaflet for each medicine.

Some medicines, when taken at the same time as Irinotecan, may affect the way Irinotecan works or Irinotecan may affect the way they work. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • St John’s Wort (a herbal supplement)
  • Ketoconazole (an antibiotic)
  • Rifampicin (an antibiotic)
  • Carbamazepine (used to treat seizures)
  • Phenobarbital (used to treat seizures)
  • Phenytoin (used to treat epilepsy)
  • Warfarin (an anticoagulant used to thin the blood)
  • Atazanavir (used to treat HIV)
  • Ciclosporin or Tacromilus (used to dampen down your body’s immune system)
If you go into hospital to have an operation, tell the anaesthetist and the medical staff that you are being treated with Irinotecan and any other medicines you are taking.

Pregnancy, breast-feeding and fertility

You must not use Irinotecan if you are pregnant as it may harm your unborn baby. You should also avoid becoming pregnant while you are being treated with Irinotecan.

Men and women should use adequate contraception while being treated with Irinotecan and for:
  • up to 1 month after you receive your last dose of Irinotecan if you are female
  • up to 3 months after your last dose of Irinotecan if you are

If you do become pregnant while being treated with Irinotecan you must inform your doctor

IMMEDIATELY.

Because Irinotecan may be harmful to nursing infants, women must not breast- feed while being treated with Irinotecan.

Driving and using machines

Irinotecan may make you feel dizzy or cause visual disturbances. If this happens to you do not drive or operate machinery until this resolves.

Irinotecan contains sorbitol and sodium.

If you suffer from an intolerance to some sugars, tell your doctor before you are given this medicinal product.

This medicinal product contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per dose, i.e. essentially ‘sodium free’.

3.                   How you will be given Irinotecan

If you are prescribed Irinotecan it will only be given to you by doctors or nurses experienced in giving chemotherapy.

Method of administration

Irinotecan will be given as an infusion into your veins over a period of 30 to 90 minutes.

If you receive Irinotecan in combination with cetuximab, Irinotecan must not be administered earlier than 1 hour after the end of the cetuximab infusion.

Dosage and frequency of administration

The amount of Irinotecan you are given will depend on your age, size and general medical condition. It will also depend on any other treatment you may have received for your cancer. Your doctor will calculate your body surface area in square meters (m2).

·     If you have previously been treated with 5-fluorouracil you will normally be treated with Irinotecan alone starting with a dose of 350 mg/m2 every three weeks.
  • If you have not had previous chemotherapy you will normally receive 180 mg/m2 Irinotecan every two weeks. This will be followed by folinic acid and 5-fluorouracil.

These dosages may be adjusted by your doctor depending on your condition and any side- effects you may have.

Duration of treatment

The number of infusions that you receive will depend on how you are responding to treatment. Your doctor will discuss this with you.

Blood monitoring

Whilst you are being given Irinotecan and/or other similar medicines you will have regular blood tests to monitor your treatment and to ensure that there are no untoward adverse effects.

4.             Possible side effects

Medicines like Irinotecan will cause unwanted side-effects Your doctor will discuss these side effects with you and explain the risks and benefits of your treatment.

Some of these side effects must be treated immediately.

Please read the following instructions carefully and follow them if you have any of the side-effects listed.

Diarrhoea

Irinotecan may cause you to have diarrhoea. There are two types of diarrhoea, which can be distinguished by when they start. “Early” diarrhoea starts less than 24 hours after the infusion and “delayed” diarrhoea starts more than 24 hours after the infusion. If you have ANY DIARRHOEA it is IMPORTANT that you follow these instructions carefully.

Early diarrhoea
  • if your diarrhoea starts less than 24 hours after the infusion (“early diarrhoea”) you should contact your doctor or nurse IMMEDIATELY and they will give you a suitable treatment.

This “early diarrhoea” may be accompanied by other symptoms such as

  • sweating
  • chills
  • abdominal cramps
  • watering eyes
  • stuffy nose
  • visual disturbance
  • dizziness
  • low blood pressure
  • feeling unwell
  • feeling weak
  • excessive mouth watering
  • pupils of the eye get smaller

Tell your doctor or nurse about all your symptoms.

Do not use any anti-diarrhoeal treatment that your doctor has given you for “delayed diarrhoea”.

Delayed diarrhoea

  • if your diarrhoea starts more than 24 hours after the infusion (“delayed diarrhoea”) you should IMMEDIATELY take any anti-diarrhoeal treatment that the doctor has given you EXACTLY as he has told you. If you are unsure of what this is, ask your doctor or

Drink large amounts of rehydration fluids, IMMEDIATELY (i.e. water, soda water, fizzy drinks, soup or oral rehydration therapy).

You must tell your doctor if
  • you have nausea and vomiting as well as diarrhoea
  • you have any fever as well as the diarrhoea
  • you still have diarrhoea 48 hours after starting the diarrhoea treatment
Do not take any treatment for diarrhoea other than that given to you by your doctor or nurse and only drink the fluids described above.

Decrease in white blood cells

Irinotecan may cause a decrease in the number of some of your white blood cells, which play an important role in fighting infections. This is called neutropenia. Your doctor will probably arrange for you to have regular blood tests to monitor these white blood cells.

If you have any fever this may be an indication of infection associated with this neutropenia

and requires immediate treatment.

If you have any fever, and particularly if you also have diarrhoea, contact your doctor or nurse IMMEDIATELY so that they can give you necessary treatment.

Nausea and vomiting

If you have nausea and/or vomiting contact your doctor or nurse IMMEDIATELY.

Breathing difficulties

If you have breathing difficulties contact your doctor or nurse IMMEDIATELY.

Other side effects

Very few patients who become dehydrated as a result of diarrhoea, vomiting or infection may develop kidney problems, low blood pressure or circulatory failure.

In rare cases, there have been reports of blockage, perforation, bleeding or inflammation of the intestines, or inflammation of the pancreas. If you have severe stomach pain or if you develop such symptoms as passing black or bloodstained bowel movements or vomit blood contact your doctor IMMEDIATELY.

All medicines can cause allergic reactions. Any sudden wheeziness, difficulty in breathing, swelling, rash or itching (especially affecting the whole body) should be reported to a doctor IMMEDIATELY.

Irinotecan may cause changes in laboratory tests carried out by your doctor.

If you receive Irinotecan in combination with cetuximab, some of the side effects you may experience can also be related to this combination. Such side effects may include a acne-like rash.

If you receive Irinotecan in combination with capecitabine, some of the side effects you may experience can also be related to this combination. Such side effects may include: very common blood clots, common allergic reactions, heart attack and fever in patients with a low white blood cell count.

If you receive Irinotecan in combination with capecitabine and bevacizumab, some of the side effects you may experience can also be related to this combination. Such side effects include: low white blood cell count, blood clots, high blood pressure and heart attack.

If you receive bevacizumab in combination with Irinotecan, 5-fluorouracil and folinic acid, some of the side effects you may experience can also be related to this combination. Such side effects include: hypertension, diarrhoea and leukopenia (decrease in the number of white blood cells).

Therefore, if you receive Irinotecan in combination with either capecitabine, cetuximab, bevacizumab or 5-fluorouracil and folinic acid, please make sure that you also read the package leaflet for each medicine.

Other side effects which may occur when you are treated with Irinotecan are:

Very common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people):
  • blood disorders: thrombocytopenia (decreased number of blood platelets), anaemia (decrease in the number of red blood cells).
  • loss of appetite
  • hair loss
  • mouth ulcers fatigue
Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):
  • infections
  • mild stomach
  • increased levels of liver enzymes, bilirubin and creatinine in the blood

Side effects where the frequency is not known

  • inflammation of the digestive tract, including the mouth (white thrush), or throat infections
  • gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers in the lining of the colon or rectum
  • abdominal pain and inflammation, causing diarrhoea (a condition known as pseudomembraneous colitis)
  • high blood pressure
  • lung disease causing shortness of breath
  • mild allergic skin reactions or skin rashes
  • temporary speech disorders
  • thrombosis (blood clots), heart attack, stroke
  • sepsis (blood poisoning)
  • liver problems: hepatic steatosis (fat in the liver), steatohepatitis (inflammation of the liver due to buildup of fat in the liver)
  • muscular cramps and twitches
  • pins and needles
  • inflammation at the injection site
  • low potassium and sodium (mostly related to diarrhoea and vomiting)
  • low levels of magnesium in the blood
  • increased amylase and lipase (measures of how well your pancreas is working)
  • abnormal gait
  • confusion
  • headache
  • collapse
  • flushing
  • slower heart beat
  • bladder infection
  • breast pain
  • hiccups
Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

5.             How to store Irinotecan

Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children. Do not freeze.

For single use only.

Keep the vial in the outer carton in order to protect from light.

Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the carton after EXP. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

The product should be diluted and used immediately after opening.

If prepared aseptically, the diluted solution can be stored for 24 hours at temperatures up to 30°C and for 48 hours at 2-8°C (e.g. in a fridge).

6.                   Contents of the pack and other information What Irinotecan contains
  • The active substance is irinotecan hydrochloride.
  • Other ingredients are Sorbitol USNF, Lactic Acid USP, Sodium Hydroxide USNF, Hydrochloric Acid USNF and Water for Injection USP.
What Irinotecan looks like and contents of the pack

Irinotecan Hydrochloride 40 mg/2ml concentrate for solution for infusion is a clear, colourless to solution.

Pack size: 1 x 2 ml vial, 1 x 5 ml vial, 1 x 15 ml vial, 1 x 25 ml vial.

Not All Packs May Be Marketed.

7. Manufactured in India By:
TAJ PHARMACEUTICALS LIMITED
at SURVEY NO.188/1 TO 189/1,190/1 TO 4,
ATHIYAWAD, DABHEL, DAMAN- 396210 (INDIA).

Related Products

Taj Generics (Taj Pharma) provides a wide range of products to the Indian market, including an extensive range of generics and specialty products; Our products cover a vast array of therapeutic categories, and we offer an extensive range of dosage forms and delivery systems including oral solids, controlled-release, steriles, injectables, topicals, liquids, transdermals, semi-solids and high-potency products. Our Generics portfolio offers over 1500 products in the major therapeutic areas of gastro-intestinal, cardiovascular, pain management, oncology, anti-infectives, paediatrics and dermatology.