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The authors make no claims of the accuracy of the information contained herein; and these suggested doses and/or guidelines are not a substitute for clinical judgment. Neither GlobalRPh Inc. nor any other party involved in the preparation of this document shall be liable for any special, consequential, or exemplary damages resulting in whole or part from any user's use of or reliance upon this material.    PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMER CAREFULLY BEFORE ACCESSING OR USING THIS SITE. BY ACCESSING OR USING THIS SITE, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE DISCLAIMER.

Drug:   Fludarabine - Fludara®

Usual Diluents

D5W,   NS

Dilution Data


DILUTION SUMMARY

[Amount of drug] [Infusion volume] [Infusion rate]

[Prescribed dose ]  [50 -100 ml] [ 30 minutes]

Preparation of Solutions1
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Fludarabine phosphate for injection should be prepared for parenteral use by aseptically adding Sterile Water for Injection USP. When reconstituted with 2mL of Sterile Water for Injection, USP, the solid cake should fully dissolve in 15 seconds or less; each mL of the resulting solution will contain 25 mg of fludarabine phosphate, 25 mg of mannitol, and sodium hydroxide to adjust the pH to 7.7. The pH range for the final product is 7.2-8.2. In clinical studies, the product has been diluted in 100 cc or 125 cc of 5% Dextrose Injection USP or 0.9% Sodium Chloride USP. 1    Administer I.V. over 30 minutes or continuous infusion.2

Reconstituted fludarabine phosphate for injection contains no antimicrobial preservative and thus should be used within 8 hours of reconstitution. Care must be taken to assure the sterility of prepared solutions.1

Other:
Solutions diluted in saline or dextrose are stable for 48 hours at room temperature or
under refrigeration. 2

Stability / Miscellaneous

WARNINGS CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY INDICATIONS
CONTRAINDICATIONS DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION RECONSTITUTION / DILUTION
  HOW SUPPLIED  
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WARNINGS
Fludarabine phosphate for injection should be administered under the supervision of a qualified physician experienced in the use of antineoplastic therapy. Fludarabine phosphate for injection can severely suppress bone marrow function. When used at high doses in dose-ranging studies in patients with acute leukemia, fludarabine phosphate for injection was associated with severe neurologic effects, including blindness, coma, and death. This severe central nervous system toxicity occurred in 36% of patients treated with doses approximately four times greater (96 mg/m2/day for 5-7 days) than the recommended dose. Similar severe central nervous system toxicity, including coma, seizures, agitation and confusion, has been reported in patients treated at doses in the range of the dose recommended for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Instances of life-threatening and sometimes fatal autoimmune phenomena such as hemolytic anemia, autoimmune thrombocytopenia/thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), Evan's syndrome, and acquired hemophilia have been reported to occur after one or more cycles of treatment with fludarabine phosphate for injection. Patients undergoing treatment with fludarabine phosphate for injection should be evaluated and closely monitored for hemolysis.

In a clinical investigation using fludarabine phosphate for injection in combination with pentostatin (deoxycoformycin) for the treatment of refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), there was an unacceptably high incidence of fatal pulmonary toxicity. Therefore, the use of fludarabine phosphate for injection in combination with pentostatin is not recommended.

DESCRIPTION
Fludarabine phosphate for injection contains fludarabine phosphate, a fluorinated nucleotide analog of the antiviral agent vidarabine, 9-beta-D-arabinofuranosyladenine (ara-A) that is relatively resistant to deamination by adenosine deaminase. Each vial of sterile lyophilized solid cake contains 50 mg of the active ingredient fludarabine phosphate, 50 mg of mannitol, and sodium hydroxide to adjust pH to 7.7. The pH range for the final product is 7.2-8.2. Reconstitution with 2 mL of Sterile Water for Injection USP results in a solution containing 25 mg/mL of fludarabine phosphate intended for intravenous administration.


CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
Fludarabine phosphate is rapidly dephosphorylated to 2-fluoro-ara-A and then phosphorylated intracellularly by deoxycytidine kinase to the active triphosphate, 2-fluoro-ara-ATP. This metabolite appears to act by inhibiting DNA polymerase alpha, ribonucleotide reductase and DNA primase, thus inhibiting DNA synthesis. The mechanism of action of this antimetabolite is not completely characterized and may be multi-faceted.

Phase I studies in humans have demonstrated that fludarabine phosphate is rapidly converted to the active metabolite, 2-fluoro-ara-A, within minutes after intravenous infusion. Consequently, clinical pharmacology studies have focused on 2-fluoro-ara-A pharmacokinetics. After the five daily doses of 25 mg 2-fluoro-ara-AMP/m2 to cancer patients infused over 30 minutes, 2-fluoro-ara-A concentrations show a moderate accumulation. During a 5-day treatment schedule, 2-fluoro-ara-A plasma trough levels increased by a factor of about 2. The terminal half-life of 2-fluoro-ara-A was estimated as approximately 20 hours. In vitro, plasma protein binding of fludarabine ranged between 19% and 29%.

A correlation was noted between the degree of absolute granulocyte count nadir and increased area under the concentration x time curve (AUC).

Special Populations
Pediatric Patients
Limited pharmacokinetic data for fludarabine phosphate for injection are available from a published study of children (ages 1-21 years) with refractory acute leukemias or solid tumors (Children's Cancer Group Study 0971). When fludarabine phosphate for injection was administered as a loading dose over 10 minutes immediately followed by a 5-day continuous infusion, steady-state conditions were reached early.

Patients with Renal Impairment
The total body clearance of the principal metabolite 2-fluoro-ara-A correlated with the creatinine clearance, indicating the importance of the renal excretion pathway for the elimination of the drug. Renal clearance represents approximately 40% of the total body clearance. Patients with moderate renal impairment (17 - 41 mL/min/m2) receiving 20% reduced fludarabine dose had a similar exposure (AUC; 21 versus 20 nM • h/mL) compared to patients with normal renal function receiving the recommended dose. The mean total body clearance was 172 mL/min for normal and 124 mL/min for patients with moderately impaired renal function.


INDICATIONS AND USAGE
Fludarabine phosphate for injection is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who have not responded to or whose disease has progressed during treatment with at least one standard alkylating-agent containing regimen. The safety and effectiveness of fludarabine phosphate for injection in previously untreated or non-refractory patients with CLL have not been established.


CONTRAINDICATIONS
Fludarabine phosphate for injection is contraindicated in those patients who are hypersensitive to this drug or its components.


WARNINGS
(See BOXED WARNINGS)
There are clear dose dependent toxic effects seen with fludarabine phosphate for injection. Dose levels approximately 4 times greater (96 mg/m2/day for 5 to 7 days) than that recommended for CLL (25 mg/m2/day for 5 days) were associated with a syndrome characterized by delayed blindness, coma and death. Symptoms appeared from 21 to 60 days following the last dose. Thirteen of 36 patients (36%) who received fludarabine phosphate for injection at high doses (96 mg/m2/day for 5 to 7 days) developed this severe neurotoxicity. Similar severe central nervous system toxicity, including coma, seizures, agitation and confusion, has been reported in patients treated at doses in the range of the dose recommended for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

The effect of chronic administration of fludarabine phosphate for injection on the central nervous system is unknown, however, patients have received the recommended dose for up to 15 courses of therapy.

Severe bone marrow suppression, notably anemia, thrombocytopenia and neutropenia, has been reported in patients treated with fludarabine phosphate for injection. In a Phase I study in adult solid tumor patients, the median time to nadir counts was 13 days (range, 3-25 days) for granulocytes and 16 days (range, 2-32) for platelets. Most patients had hematologic impairment at baseline either as a result of disease or as a result of prior myelosuppressive therapy. Cumulative myelosuppression may be seen. While chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression is often reversible, administration of fludarabine phosphate for injection requires careful hematologic monitoring.

Several instances of trilineage bone marrow hypoplasia or aplasia resulting in pancytopenia, sometimes resulting in death, have been reported in adult patients. The duration of clinically significant cytopenia in the reported cases has ranged from approximately 2 months to approximately 1 year. These episodes have occurred both in previously treated or untreated patients.

Instances of life-threatening and sometimes fatal autoimmune phenomena such as hemolytic anemia, autoimmune thrombocytopenia/thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), Evan's syndrome, and acquired hemophilia have been reported to occur after one or more cycles of treatment with fludarabine phosphate for injection in patients with or without a previous history of autoimmune hemolytic anemia or a positive Coombs' test and who may or may not be in remission from their disease. Steroids may or may not be effective in controlling these hemolytic episodes. The majority of patients rechallenged with fludarabine phosphate for injection developed a recurrence in the hemolytic process. The mechanism(s) which predispose patients to the development of this complication has not been identified. Patients undergoing treatment with fludarabine phosphate for injection should be evaluated and closely monitored for hemolysis. Discontinuation of therapy with fludarabine is recommended in case of hemolysis.

Transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease has been observed after transfusion of nonirradiated blood in fludarabine phosphate for injection treated patients. Fatal outcome as a consequence of this disease has been reported. Therefore, to minimize the risk of transfusionassociated graft-versus-host disease, patients who require blood transfusion and who are undergoing, or who have received, treatment with fludarabine phosphate for injection should receive irradiated blood only.

In a clinical investigation using fludarabine phosphate for injection in combination with pentostatin (deoxycoformycin) for the treatment of refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in adults, there was an unacceptably high incidence of fatal pulmonary toxicity. Therefore, the use of fludarabine phosphate for injection in combination with pentostatin is not recommended.

Of the 133 adult CLL patients in the two trials, there were 29 fatalities during study. Approximately 50% of the fatalities were due to infection and 25% due to progressive disease.


Pregnancy Category D
Based on its mechanism of action, fludarabine phosphate can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of fludarabine in pregnant women. Fludarabine phosphate was embryolethal and teratogenic in both rats and rabbits. If fludarabine phosphate for injection is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant. Women of childbearing potential and fertile males must take contraceptive measures during and at least for six months after cessation of treatment with fludarabine phosphate for injection.

Fludarabine phosphate was embryolethal and teratogenic in rats and rabbits. Fludarabine phosphate was administered at doses of 0, 1, 10 or 30 mg/kg/day (0.24, 2.4 times and 7.2 times the recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis, respectively) to pregnant rats on days 6 to 15 of gestation. At 10 and 30 mg/kg/day administered during organogenesis, there was a dose-related increase in various skeletal variations and a decrease in mean fetal body weights. Maternal toxicity was not apparent at 10 mg/kg/day, and was limited to slight body weight decreases at 30 mg/kg/day. In a dose finding study malformations, such as limb and tail defects, were induced at 40 mg/kg/day (9.6 times the recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis). In a reproduction toxicity study on rabbits Fludarabine phosphate was administered intravenously at doses of 0, 1, 5 or 8 mg/kg/day (approximately 0.5, 2.4, and 3.8 times the recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis) on days 6 to 18 of gestation. A dose of 8 mg/kg/day administered during organogenesis increased embryo and fetal lethality as indicated by a higher number of resorptions and a decrease in live fetuses. Compound-related teratogenic effects manifested by external deformities and skeletal malformations were observed at 8 mg/kg/day. The most frequent external malformations observed in rabbits were cleft palate, adactyly, brachydactyly and syndactyly along with skeletal malformations such as fused metatarsals, phalanges, sternebrae and limb bones and some soft tissue malformations (diaphragmatic herniae). Fetal body weights were decreased in rabbits given 8 mg/kg/day.


DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Usual Dose
The recommended adult dose of fludarabine phosphate for injection is 25 mg/m2 administered intravenously over a period of approximately 30 minutes daily for five consecutive days. Each 5 day course of treatment should commence every 28 days. Dosage may be decreased or delayed based on evidence of hematologic or nonhematologic toxicity. Physicians should consider delaying or discontinuing the drug if neurotoxicity occurs.

A number of clinical settings may predispose to increased toxicity from fludarabine phosphate for injection. These include advanced age, renal insufficiency, and bone marrow impairment. Such patients should be monitored closely for excessive toxicity and the dose modified accordingly.

The optimal duration of treatment has not been clearly established. It is recommended that three additional cycles of fludarabine phosphate for injection be administered following the achievement of a maximal response and then the drug should be discontinued.


Renal Insufficiency
Adult patients with moderate impairment of renal function (creatinine clearance 30-70 mL/min/1.73 m2) should have a 20% dose reduction of fludarabine phosphate for injection. Fludarabine phosphate for injection should not be administered to patients with severely impaired renal function (creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m2).

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Preparation of Solutions
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Fludarabine phosphate for injection should be prepared for parenteral use by aseptically adding Sterile Water for Injection USP. When reconstituted with 2mL of Sterile Water for Injection, USP, the solid cake should fully dissolve in 15 seconds or less; each mL of the resulting solution will contain 25 mg of fludarabine phosphate, 25 mg of mannitol, and sodium hydroxide to adjust the pH to 7.7. The pH range for the final product is 7.2-8.2. In clinical studies, the product has been diluted in 100 cc or 125 cc of 5% Dextrose Injection USP or 0.9% Sodium Chloride USP.

Reconstituted fludarabine phosphate for injection contains no antimicrobial preservative and thus should be used within 8 hours of reconstitution. Care must be taken to assure the sterility of prepared solutions. Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration.

Fludarabine phosphate for injection should not be mixed with other drugs.


Handling and Disposal
Procedures for proper handling and disposal should be considered. Consideration should be given to handling and disposal according to guidelines issued for cytotoxic drugs. Several guidelines on this subject have been published. 1-4

Caution should be exercised in the handling and preparation of fludarabine phosphate for injection solution. The use of latex gloves and safety glasses is recommended to avoid exposure in case of breakage of the vial or other accidental spillage. If the solution contacts the skin or mucous membranes, wash thoroughly with soap and water; rinse eyes thoroughly with plain water. Avoid exposure by inhalation or by direct contact of the skin or mucous membranes.


HOW SUPPLIED
Fludarabine phosphate for injection, USP is supplied as a white, lyophilized solid cake. Each vial contains 50 mg of fludarabine phosphate, 50 mg of mannitol, and sodium hydroxide to adjust pH to 7.7. The pH range for the final product is 7.2-8.2. Store under refrigeration, between 2º-8ºC (36º-46ºF).

Fludarabine phosphate for injection, USP is supplied in a clear glass single dose vial (6 mL capacity) and packaged individually.

NDC Dosage Package
0703-5854-01 50 mg individual, single dose vial

Reference(s)

PRIMARY:
1)  [PACKAGE INSERT DATA] : Fludarabine phosphate (Fludarabine Phosphate) injection.  [Teva Parenteral Medicines, Inc.]  Irvine, CA 92618. Revised: 07/2007.

2) Solimando, Dominic A. Drug Information Handbook for Oncology: A Complete Guide to Combination Chemotherapy Regimens, 8th ed. Hudson, OH: Lexi-Comp, Inc.; 2010.


Procedures for proper handling and disposal:
  1. Preventing Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings. NIOSH Alert 2004-165.
  2. OSHA Technical Manual, TED 1-0. 15A, Section VI: Chapter 2. Controlling Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Drugs. OSHA, 1999. http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_vi_2.html
  3. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. ASHP guidelines on handling hazardous drugs. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2006: 63 1172-1193.
  4. Polvich, M., White, J.M., & Kelleher, L.O. (eds.) 2005. Chemotherapy and biotherapy guidelines and recommendations for practice (2nd ed.). Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society

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The authors make no claims of the accuracy of the information contained herein; and these suggested doses and/or guidelines are not a substitute for clinical judgment. Neither GlobalRPh Inc. nor any other party involved in the preparation of this document shall be liable for any special, consequential, or exemplary damages resulting in whole or part from any user's use of or reliance upon this material.    PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMER CAREFULLY BEFORE ACCESSING OR USING THIS SITE. BY ACCESSING OR USING THIS SITE, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE DISCLAIMER.
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