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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:   Paclitaxel - Taxol®

Usual Diluents

D5W,    NS,    D5LR,    D5NS

Dilution Data

DILUTION SUMMARY

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

Sample dilution:
[Prescribed dose] [500 - 1000ml] [3 hours]*
  Lower dosages may be added to 250 ml.

*Acceptable final concentration range: 0.3 to 1.2 mg/mL.
Infusion rate: Package insert: 3 - 24hrs depending on dose/protocol.
Requirements: non-PVC equipment.  0.22 micron in-line filter. See comments below.



Note: Contact of the undiluted concentrate with plasticized PVC equipment or devices used to prepare solutions for infusion is not recommended. In order to minimize patient exposure to the plasticizer DEHP [di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate], which may be leached from PVC infusion bags or sets, diluted TAXOL solutions should be stored in bottles (glass, polypropylene) or plastic bags (polypropylene, polyolefin) and administered through polyethylene-lined administration sets.

Premedication:
All patients should be premedicated prior to TAXOL administration in order to prevent severe hypersensitivity reactions. Such premedication may consist of dexamethasone 20 mg PO administered approximately 12 and 6 hours before TAXOL, diphenhydramine (or its equivalent) 50 mg IV 30 to 60 minutes prior to TAXOL, and cimetidine (300 mg) or ranitidine (50 mg) IV 30 to 60 minutes before TAXOL

Preparation for Intravenous Administration
TAXOL (paclitaxel) Injection must be diluted prior to infusion. TAXOL should be diluted in 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP; 5% Dextrose Injection, USP; 5% Dextrose and 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP; or 5% Dextrose in Ringer’s Injection to a final concentration of 0.3 to 1.2 mg/mL (e.g. ~100 to 1000 ml) The solutions are physically and chemically stable for up to 27 hours at ambient temperature (approximately 25° C) and room lighting conditions. Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit. Infusion rates vary depending on the protocol (1 to 96 hours).  Package insert: 3 - 24hrs depending on dose/protocol 1 .  Alt: Solutions in D5W and NS are stable for up to 3 days at room temperature (25°C) 2.

Upon preparation, solutions may show haziness, which is attributed to the formulation vehicle. No significant losses in potency have been noted following simulated delivery of the solution through IV tubing containing an in-line (0.22 micron) filter.1

Data collected for the presence of the extractable plasticizer DEHP [di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate] show that levels increase with time and concentration when dilutions are prepared in PVC containers. Consequently, the use of plasticized PVC containers and administration sets is not recommended. TAXOL solutions should be prepared and stored in glass, polypropylene, or polyolefin containers. Non-PVC containing administration sets, such as those which are polyethylene-lined, should be used 1.

TAXOL should be administered through an in-line filter with a microporous membrane not greater than 0.22 microns. Use of filter devices such as IVEX-2® filters which incorporate short inlet and outlet PVC-coated tubing has not resulted in significant leaching of DEHP.1

The Chemo Dispensing Pin™ device or similar devices with spikes should not be used with vials of TAXOL since they can cause the stopper to collapse resulting in loss of sterile integrity of the TAXOL solution. Chemo Dispensing Pin™ is a trademark of B. Braun Medical Incorporated1.


Stability
Unopened vials of TAXOL (paclitaxel) Injection are stable until the date indicated on the package when stored between 20°-25° C (68°-77° F), in the original package. Neither freezing nor refrigeration adversely affects the stability of the product. Upon refrigeration, components in the TAXOL vial may precipitate, but will redissolve upon reaching room temperature with little or no agitation. There is no impact on product quality under these circumstances. If the solution remains cloudy or if an insoluble precipitate is noted, the vial should be discarded. Solutions for infusion prepared as recommended are stable at ambient temperature (approximately 25° C) and lighting conditions for up to 27 hours1.

Stability / Miscellaneous

WARNINGS CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY INDICATIONS
CONTRAINDICATIONS DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION RECONSTITUTION / DILUTION
  HOW SUPPLIED  
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WARNINGS
TAXOL® (paclitaxel) should be administered under the supervision of a physician experienced in the use of cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Appropriate management of complications is possible only when adequate diagnostic and treatment facilities are readily available.

Anaphylaxis and severe hypersensitivity reactions characterized by dyspnea and hypotension requiring treatment, angioedema, and generalized urticaria have occurred in 2 to 4% of patients receiving TAXOL in clinical trials. Fatal reactions have occurred in patients despite premedication. All patients should be pretreated with corticosteroids, diphenhydramine, and H2 antagonists. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.) Patients who experience severe hypersensitivity reactions to TAXOL should not be rechallenged with the drug.

TAXOL therapy should not be given to patients with solid tumors who have baseline neutrophil counts of less than 1500 cells/mm3 and should not be given to patients with AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma if the baseline neutrophil count is less than 1000 cells/mm3. In order to monitor the occurrence of bone marrow suppression, primarily neutropenia, which may be severe and result in infection, it is recommended that frequent peripheral blood cell counts be performed on all patients receiving TAXOL.



DESCRIPTION
TAXOL (paclitaxel) Injection is a clear, colorless to slightly yellow viscous solution. It is supplied as a nonaqueous solution intended for dilution with a suitable parenteral fluid prior to intravenous infusion. TAXOL is available in 30 mg (5 mL), 100 mg (16.7 mL), and 300 mg (50 mL) multidose vials. Each mL of sterile nonpyrogenic solution contains 6 mg paclitaxel, 527 mg of purified Cremophor® EL* (polyoxyethylated castor oil) and 49.7% (v/v) dehydrated alcohol, USP.

*Cremophor® EL is the registered trademark of BASF Aktiengesellschaft.
Cremophor® EL is further purified by a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company proprietary process before

Paclitaxel is a white to off-white crystalline powder with the empirical formula C47H51NO14 and a molecular weight of 853.9. It is highly lipophilic, insoluble in water, and melts at around 216–217° C.


CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
Paclitaxel is a novel antimicrotubule agent that promotes the assembly of microtubules from tubulin dimers and stabilizes microtubules by preventing depolymerization. This stability results in the inhibition of the normal dynamic reorganization of the microtubule network that is essential for vital interphase and mitotic cellular functions. In addition, paclitaxel induces abnormal arrays or “bundles” of microtubules throughout the cell cycle and multiple asters of microtubules during mitosis.

Following intravenous administration of TAXOL, paclitaxel plasma concentrations declined in a biphasic manner. The initial rapid decline represents distribution to the peripheral compartment and elimination of the drug. The later phase is due, in part, to a relatively slow efflux of paclitaxel from the peripheral compartment.


INDICATIONS AND USAGE
TAXOL is indicated as first-line and subsequent therapy for the treatment of advanced carcinoma of the ovary. As first-line therapy, TAXOL is indicated in combination with cisplatin.

TAXOL is indicated for the adjuvant treatment of node-positive breast cancer administered sequentially to standard doxorubicin-containing combination chemotherapy. In the clinical trial, there was an overall favorable effect on disease-free and overall survival in the total population of patients with receptor-positive and receptor-negative tumors, but the benefit has been specifically demonstrated by available data (median follow-up 30 months) only in the patients with estrogen and progesterone receptor-negative tumors. (See PACKAGE INSERT FOR CLINICAL STUDIES: Breast Carcinoma.)

TAXOL is indicated for the treatment of breast cancer after failure of combination chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within 6 months of adjuvant chemotherapy. Prior therapy should have included an anthracycline unless clinically contraindicated.

TAXOL, in combination with cisplatin, is indicated for the first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer in patients who are not candidates for potentially curative surgery and/or radiation therapy.

TAXOL is indicated for the second-line treatment of AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma.


CONTRAINDICATIONS
TAXOL is contraindicated in patients who have a history of hypersensitivity reactions to TAXOL or other drugs formulated in Cremophor® EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil).

TAXOL should not be used in patients with solid tumors who have baseline neutrophil counts of <1500 cells/mm3 or in patients with AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma with baseline neutrophil counts of <1000 cells/mm.


WARNINGS
Anaphylaxis and severe hypersensitivity reactions characterized by dyspnea and hypotension requiring treatment, angioedema, and generalized urticaria have occurred in 2 to 4% of patients receiving TAXOL in clinical trials. Fatal reactions have occurred in patients despite premedication. All patients should be pretreated with corticosteroids, diphenhydramine, and H2 antagonists. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.) Patients who experience severe hypersensitivity reactions to TAXOL should not be rechallenged with the drug.

Bone marrow suppression (primarily neutropenia) is dose-dependent and is the dose-limiting toxicity. Neutrophil nadirs occurred at a median of 11 days. TAXOL should not be administered to patients with baseline neutrophil counts of less than 1500 cells/mm3 (<1000 cells/mm3 for patients with KS). Frequent monitoring of blood counts should be instituted during TAXOL treatment. Patients should not be re-treated with subsequent cycles of TAXOL until neutrophils recover to a level >1500 cells/mm3 (>1000 cells/mm3 for patients with KS) and platelets recover to a level >100,000 cells/mm3.

Severe conduction abnormalities have been documented in <1% of patients during TAXOL therapy and in some cases requiring pacemaker placement. If patients develop significant conduction abnormalities during TAXOL infusion, appropriate therapy should be administered and continuous cardiac monitoring should be performed during subsequent therapy with TAXOL.


Pregnancy
TAXOL can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Administration of paclitaxel during the period of organogenesis to rabbits at doses of 3.0 mg/kg/day (about 0.2 the daily maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis) caused embryo- and fetotoxicity, as indicated by intrauterine mortality, increased resorptions, and increased fetal deaths. Maternal toxicity was also observed at this dose. No teratogenic effects were observed at 1.0 mg/kg/day (about 1/15 the daily maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis); teratogenic potential could not be assessed at higher doses due to extensive fetal mortality.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. If TAXOL is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while receiving 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.



DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Note: Contact of the undiluted concentrate with plasticized PVC equipment or devices used to prepare solutions for infusion is not recommended. In order to minimize patient exposure to the plasticizer DEHP [di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate], which may be leached from PVC infusion bags or sets, diluted TAXOL solutions should be stored in bottles (glass, polypropylene) or plastic bags (polypropylene, polyolefin) and administered through polyethylene-lined administration sets.

All patients should be premedicated prior to TAXOL administration in order to prevent severe hypersensitivity reactions. Such premedication may consist of dexamethasone 20 mg PO administered approximately 12 and 6 hours before TAXOL, diphenhydramine (or its equivalent) 50 mg IV 30 to 60 minutes prior to TAXOL, and cimetidine (300 mg) or ranitidine (50 mg) IV 30 to 60 minutes before TAXOL.


For patients with carcinoma of the ovary, the following regimens are recommended (see PACKAGE INSERT FOR CLINICAL STUDIES: Ovarian Carcinoma):

1) For previously untreated patients with carcinoma of the ovary, one of the following recommended regimens may be given every 3 weeks. In selecting the appropriate regimen, differences in toxicities should be considered (see TABLE 11 in ADVERSE REACTIONS: Disease-Specific Adverse Event Experiences).

TAXOL administered intravenously over 3 hours at a dose of 175 mg/m2 followed by cisplatin at a dose of 75 mg/m2; or
TAXOL administered intravenously over 24 hours at a dose of 135 mg/m2 followed by cisplatin at a dose of 75 mg/m2.

2) In patients previously treated with chemotherapy for carcinoma of the ovary, TAXOL has been used at several doses and schedules; however, the optimal regimen is not yet clear. The recommended regimen is TAXOL 135 mg/m2 or 175 mg/m2 administered intravenously over 3 hours every 3 weeks.

For patients with carcinoma of the breast, the following regimens are recommended (see PACKAGE INSERT FOR  CLINICAL STUDIES: Breast Carcinoma):
1) For the adjuvant treatment of node-positive breast cancer, the recommended regimen is TAXOL, at a dose of 175 mg/m2 intravenously over 3 hours every 3 weeks for 4 courses administered sequentially to doxorubicin-containing combination chemotherapy. The clinical trial used 4 courses of doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (see CLINICAL STUDIES: Breast Carcinoma).

2) After failure of initial chemotherapy for metastatic disease or relapse within 6 months of adjuvant chemotherapy, TAXOL at a dose of 175 mg/m2 administered intravenously over 3 hours every 3 weeks has been shown to be effective.

For patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma, the recommended regimen, given every 3 weeks, is TAXOL administered intravenously over 24 hours at a dose of 135 mg/m2 followed by cisplatin, 75 mg/m2.


For patients with AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma, TAXOL administered at a dose of 135 mg/m2 given intravenously over 3 hours every 3 weeks or at a dose of 100 mg/m2 given intravenously over 3 hours every 2 weeks is recommended (dose intensity 45–50 mg/m2/week). In the 2 clinical trials evaluating these schedules (see CLINICAL STUDIES: AIDS-Related Kaposi’s Sarcoma), the former schedule (135 mg/m2 every 3 weeks) was more toxic than the latter. In addition, all patients with low performance status were treated with the latter schedule (100 mg/m2 every 2 weeks).

Based upon the immunosuppression in patients with advanced HIV disease, the following modifications are recommended in these patients:

1) Reduce the dose of dexamethasone as 1 of the 3 premedication drugs to 10 mg PO (instead of 20 mg PO);

2) Initiate or repeat treatment with TAXOL only if the neutrophil count is at least 1000 cells/mm3;

3) Reduce the dose of subsequent courses of TAXOL by 20% for patients who experience severe neutropenia (neutrophil <500 cells/mm3 for a week or longer); and

4) Initiate concomitant hematopoietic growth factor (G-CSF) as clinically indicated.
For the therapy of patients with solid tumors (ovary, breast, and NSCLC), courses of TAXOL should not be repeated until the neutrophil count is at least 1500 cells/mm3 and the platelet count is at least 100,000 cells/mm3. TAXOL should not be given to patients with AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma if the baseline or subsequent neutrophil count is less than 1000 cells/mm3. Patients who experience severe neutropenia (neutrophil <500 cells/mm3 for a week or longer) or severe peripheral neuropathy during TAXOL therapy should have dosage reduced by 20% for subsequent courses of TAXOL. The incidence of neurotoxicity and the severity of neutropenia increase with dose.


Hepatic Impairment
Patients with hepatic impairment may be at increased risk of toxicity, particularly grade III–IV myelosuppression (see PACKAGE INSERT FOR CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and PRECAUTIONS: Hepatic). Recommendations for dosage adjustment for the first course of therapy are shown in TABLE 17 for both 3- and 24-hour infusions. Further dose reduction in subsequent courses should be based on individual tolerance. Patients should be monitored closely for the development of profound myelosuppression.

TABLE 17
a.  These recommendations are based on dosages for patients without hepatic impairment of 135 mg/m2 over 24 hours or 175 mg/m2 over 3 hours; data are not available to make dose adjustment recommendations for other regimens (eg, for AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma).
b.  Differences in criteria for bilirubin levels between the 3- and 24-hour infusion are due to differences in clinical trial design.
c.  Dosage recommendations are for the first course of therapy; further dose reduction in subsequent courses should be based on individual tolerance.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DOSING IN PATIENTS WITH HEPATIC IMPAIRMENT BASED ON CLINICAL TRIAL DATAa
Degree of Hepatic Impairment
Transaminase Levels   Bilirubin Levelsb Recommended TAXOL Dosec
24-hour infusion
<2 × ULN and leq1.5 mg/dL 135 mg/m2
2 to <10 × ULN and leq1.5 mg/dL 100 mg/m2
<10 × ULN and 1.6–7.5 mg/dL 50 mg/m2
geq10 × ULN or >7.5 mg/dL Not recommended
3-hour infusion
<10 × ULN and leq1.25 × ULN 175 mg/m2
<10 × ULN and 1.26–2.0 × ULN 135 mg/m2
<10 × ULN and 2.01–5.0 × ULN 90 mg/m2
geq10 × ULN or >5.0 × ULN Not recommended


Preparation and Administration Precautions
TAXOL is a cytotoxic anticancer drug and, as with other potentially toxic compounds, caution should be exercised in handling TAXOL. The use of gloves is recommended. If TAXOL solution contacts the skin, wash the skin immediately and thoroughly with soap and water. Following topical exposure, events have included tingling, burning, and redness. If TAXOL contacts mucous membranes, the membranes should be flushed thoroughly with water. Upon inhalation, dyspnea, chest pain, burning eyes, sore throat, and nausea have been reported.

Given the possibility of extravasation, it is advisable to closely monitor the infusion site for possible infiltration during drug administration (see PACKAGE INSERT FOR PRECAUTIONS: Injection Site Reaction).


Preparation for Intravenous Administration
TAXOL (paclitaxel) Injection must be diluted prior to infusion. TAXOL should be diluted in 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP; 5% Dextrose Injection, USP; 5% Dextrose and 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP; or 5% Dextrose in Ringer’s Injection to a final concentration of 0.3 to 1.2 mg/mL. The solutions are physically and chemically stable for up to 27 hours at ambient temperature (approximately 25° C) and room lighting conditions. Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit.

Upon preparation, solutions may show haziness, which is attributed to the formulation vehicle. No significant losses in potency have been noted following simulated delivery of the solution through IV tubing containing an in-line (0.22 micron) filter.

Data collected for the presence of the extractable plasticizer DEHP [di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate] show that levels increase with time and concentration when dilutions are prepared in PVC containers. Consequently, the use of plasticized PVC containers and administration sets is not recommended. TAXOL solutions should be prepared and stored in glass, polypropylene, or polyolefin containers. Non-PVC containing administration sets, such as those which are polyethylene-lined, should be used.

TAXOL should be administered through an in-line filter with a microporous membrane not greater than 0.22 microns. Use of filter devices such as IVEX-2® filters which incorporate short inlet and outlet PVC-coated tubing has not resulted in significant leaching of DEHP.

The Chemo Dispensing Pin™ device or similar devices with spikes should not be used with vials of TAXOL since they can cause the stopper to collapse resulting in loss of sterile integrity of the TAXOL solution.

Chemo Dispensing Pin™ is a trademark of B. Braun Medical Incorporated.


Stability
Unopened vials of TAXOL (paclitaxel) Injection are stable until the date indicated on the package when stored between 20°-25° C (68°-77° F), in the original package. Neither freezing nor refrigeration adversely affects the stability of the product. Upon refrigeration, components in the TAXOL vial may precipitate, but will redissolve upon reaching room temperature with little or no agitation. There is no impact on product quality under these circumstances. If the solution remains cloudy or if an insoluble precipitate is noted, the vial should be discarded. Solutions for infusion prepared as recommended are stable at ambient temperature (approximately 25° C) and lighting conditions for up to 27 hours.


HOW SUPPLIED
NDC 0015-3475-30 30 mg/5 mL multidose vial individually packaged in a carton.
NDC 0015-3476-30 100 mg/16.7 mL multidose vial individually packaged in a carton.
NDC 0015-3479-11 300 mg/50 mL multidose vial individually packaged in a carton.


Storage
Store the vials in original cartons between 20°-25° C (68°-77° F). Retain in the original package to protect from light.


Handling and Disposal
Procedures for proper handling and disposal of anticancer drugs should be considered. Several guidelines on this subject have been published.1-8 There is no general agreement that all of the procedures recommended in the guidelines are necessary or appropriate.

To minimize the risk of dermal exposure, always wear impervious gloves when handling vials containing TAXOL Injection. This includes all handling activities in clinical settings, pharmacies, storerooms, and home healthcare settings, including during unpacking and inspection, transport within a facility, and dose preparation and administration.


*Cremophor® EL is the registered trademark of BASF Aktiengesellschaft.
Cremophor® EL is further purified by a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company proprietary process before use.

Reference(s)

PRIMARY:
1)  [PACKAGE INSERT DATA] : Taxol (paclitaxel) injection, solution  [Bristol-Myers Squibb Company] Princeton, NJ 08543 USA. Rev July 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.



Handling and Disposal:
  1. ONS Clinical Practice Committee. Cancer Chemotherapy Guidelines and Recommendations for Practice. Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society; 1999:32-41.
  2. Recommendations for the safe handling of cytotoxic drugs. Washington, DC: Division of Safety, Clinical Center Pharmacy Department and Cancer Nursing Services, National Institutes of Health; 1992. US Dept of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service Publication NIH 92-2621.
  3. AMA Council on Scientific Affairs. Guidelines for handling parenteral antineoplastics. JAMA. 1985;253:1590-1592.
  4. National Study Commission on Cytotoxic Exposure. Recommendations for handling cytotoxic agents. 1987. Available from Louis P. Jeffrey, ScD, Chairman, National Study Commission on Cytotoxic Exposure. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences, 179 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.
  5. Clinical Oncological Society of Australia. Guidelines and recommendations for safe handling of antineoplastic agents. Med J Aust. 1983;1:426-428.
  6. Jones RB, Frank R, Mass T. Safe handling of chemotherapeutic agents: a report from The Mount Sinai Medical Center. CA Cancer J Clin. 1983;33:258-263.
  7. American Society of Hospital Pharmacists. ASHP technical assistance bulletin on handling cytotoxic and hazardous drugs. Am J Hosp Pharm. 1990;47:1033-1049.
  8. Controlling occupational exposure to hazardous drugs. (OSHA Work-Practice Guidelines.) Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 1996;53:1669-1685.

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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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