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Cancidas (Caspofungin Acetate) - Warnings and Precautions




Anaphylaxis has been reported during administration of CANCIDAS. If this occurs, CANCIDAS should be discontinued and appropriate treatment administered.

Possible histamine-mediated adverse reactions, including rash, facial swelling, angioedema, pruritus, sensation of warmth or bronchospasm have been reported and may require discontinuation and/or administration of appropriate treatment.

Concomitant Use with Cyclosporine

Concomitant use of CANCIDAS with cyclosporine should be limited to patients for whom the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk. In one clinical study, 3 of 4 healthy adult subjects who received CANCIDAS 70 mg on Days 1 through 10, and also received two 3 mg/kg doses of cyclosporine 12 hours apart on Day 10, developed transient elevations of alanine transaminase (ALT) on Day 11 that were 2 to 3 times the upper limit of normal (ULN). In a separate panel of adult subjects in the same study, 2 of 8 who received CANCIDAS 35 mg daily for 3 days and cyclosporine (two 3 mg/kg doses administered 12 hours apart) on Day 1 had small increases in ALT (slightly above the ULN) on Day 2. In both groups, elevations in aspartate transaminase (AST) paralleled ALT elevations, but were of lesser magnitude. In another clinical study, 2 of 8 healthy men developed transient ALT elevations of less than 2X ULN. In this study, cyclosporine (4 mg/kg) was administered on Days 1 and 12, and CANCIDAS was administered (70 mg) daily on Days 3 through 13. In one subject, the ALT elevation occurred on Days 7 and 9 and, in the other subject, the ALT elevation occurred on Day 19. These elevations returned to normal by Day 27. In all groups, elevations in AST paralleled ALT elevations but were of lesser magnitude. In these clinical studies, cyclosporine (one 4 mg/kg dose or two 3 mg/kg doses) increased the AUC of caspofungin by approximately 35%.

In a retrospective postmarketing study, 40 immunocompromised patients, including 37 transplant recipients, were treated with CANCIDAS and cyclosporine for 1 to 290 days (median 17.5 days). Fourteen patients (35%) developed transaminase elevations >5X upper limit of normal or >3X baseline during concomitant therapy or the 14-day follow-up period; five were considered possibly related to concomitant therapy. One patient had elevated bilirubin considered possibly related to concomitant therapy. No patient developed clinical evidence of hepatotoxicity or serious hepatic events. Discontinuations due to laboratory abnormalities in hepatic enzymes from any cause occurred in four patients. Of these, 2 were considered possibly related to therapy with CANCIDAS and/or cyclosporine as well as to other possible causes.

In the prospective invasive aspergillosis and compassionate use studies, there were 4 adult patients treated with CANCIDAS (50 mg/day) and cyclosporine for 2 to 56 days. None of these patients experienced increases in hepatic enzymes.

Given the limitations of these data, CANCIDAS and cyclosporine should only be used concomitantly in those patients for whom the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk. Patients who develop abnormal liver function tests during concomitant therapy should be monitored and the risk/benefit of continuing therapy should be evaluated.

Hepatic Effects

Laboratory abnormalities in liver function tests have been seen in healthy volunteers and in adult and pediatric patients treated with CANCIDAS. In some adult and pediatric patients with serious underlying conditions who were receiving multiple concomitant medications with CANCIDAS, isolated cases of clinically significant hepatic dysfunction, hepatitis, and hepatic failure have been reported; a causal relationship to CANCIDAS has not been established. Patients who develop abnormal liver function tests during CANCIDAS therapy should be monitored for evidence of worsening hepatic function and evaluated for risk/benefit of continuing CANCIDAS therapy.



Pregnancy Category C

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies with the use of CANCIDAS in pregnant women. In animal studies, caspofungin caused embryofetal toxicity, including increased resorptions, increased peri-implantation loss, and incomplete ossification at multiple fetal sites. CANCIDAS should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

In offspring born to pregnant rats treated with caspofungin at doses comparable to the human dose based on body surface area comparisons, there was incomplete ossification of the skull and torso and increased incidences of cervical rib. There was also an increase in resorptions and peri-implantation losses. In pregnant rabbits treated with caspofungin at doses comparable to 2 times the human dose based on body surface area comparisons, there was an increased incidence of incomplete ossification of the talus/calcaneus in offspring and increases in fetal resorptions. Caspofungin crossed the placenta in rats and rabbits and was detectable in fetal plasma.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether caspofungin is present in human milk. Caspofungin was found in the milk of lactating, drug-treated rats. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when caspofungin is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of CANCIDAS in pediatric patients 3 months to 17 years of age are supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies in adults, pharmacokinetic data in pediatric patients, and additional data from prospective studies in pediatric patients 3 months to 17 years of age for the following indications [see Indications and Usage (1) ]:

  • Empirical therapy for presumed fungal infections in febrile, neutropenic patients.
  • Treatment of candidemia and the following Candida infections: intra-abdominal abscesses, peritonitis, and pleural space infections.
  • Treatment of esophageal candidiasis.
  • Treatment of invasive aspergillosis in patients who are refractory to or intolerant of other therapies (e.g., amphotericin B, lipid formulations of amphotericin B, itraconazole).

The efficacy and safety of CANCIDAS has not been adequately studied in prospective clinical trials involving neonates and infants under 3 months of age. Although limited pharmacokinetic data were collected in neonates and infants below 3 months of age, these data are insufficient to establish a safe and effective dose of caspofungin in the treatment of neonatal candidiasis. Invasive candidiasis in neonates has a higher rate of CNS and multi-organ involvement than in older patients; the ability of CANCIDAS to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and to treat patients with meningitis and endocarditis is unknown.

CANCIDAS has not been studied in pediatric patients with endocarditis, osteomyelitis, and meningitis due to Candida. CANCIDAS has also not been studied as initial therapy for invasive aspergillosis in pediatric patients.

In clinical trials, 171 pediatric patients (0 months to 17 years of age), including 18 patients who were less than 3 months of age, were given intravenous CANCIDAS. Pharmacokinetic studies enrolled a total of 66 pediatric patients, and an additional 105 pediatric patients received CANCIDAS in safety and efficacy studies [see Clinical Pharmacology and Clinical Studies]. The majority of the pediatric patients received CANCIDAS at a once-daily maintenance dose of 50 mg/m2 for a mean duration of 12 days (median 9, range 1-87 days). In all studies, safety was assessed by the investigator throughout study therapy and for 14 days following cessation of study therapy. The most common adverse reactions in pediatric patients treated with CANCIDAS were pyrexia (29%), blood potassium decreased (15%), diarrhea (14%), increased aspartate aminotransferase (12%), rash (12%), increased alanine aminotransferase (11%), hypotension (11%), and chills (11%) [see Adverse Reactions].

Postmarketing hepatobiliary adverse reactions have been reported in pediatric patients with serious underlying medical conditions [see Warnings and Precautions].

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of CANCIDAS did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients. Although the number of elderly patients was not large enough for a statistical analysis, no overall differences in safety or efficacy were observed between these and younger patients. Plasma concentrations of caspofungin in healthy older men and women (≥65 years of age) were increased slightly (approximately 28% in AUC) compared to young healthy men. A similar effect of age on pharmacokinetics was seen in patients with candidemia or other Candida infections (intra-abdominal abscesses, peritonitis, or pleural space infections). No dose adjustment is recommended for the elderly; however, greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Patients with Hepatic Impairment

Adult patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score 5 to 6) do not need a dosage adjustment. For adult patients with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score 7 to 9), CANCIDAS 35 mg once daily is recommended based upon pharmacokinetic data [see Clinical Pharmacology]. However, where recommended, a 70-mg loading dose should still be administered on Day 1 [see Dosage and Administration and Clinical Pharmacology]. There is no clinical experience in adult patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score >9) and in pediatric patients 3 months to 17 years of age with any degree of hepatic impairment.

Patients with Renal Impairment

No dosage adjustment is necessary for patients with renal impairment. Caspofungin is not dialyzable; thus, supplementary dosing is not required following hemodialysis [see Clinical Pharmacology].

Page last updated: 2014-09-12

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