Included as part of the "PRECAUTIONS" Section
OCREVUS can cause infusion reactions, which can include pruritus, rash, urticaria, erythema, bronchospasm, throat irritation, oropharyngeal pain, dyspnea, pharyngeal or laryngeal edema, flushing, hypotension, pyrexia, fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, tachycardia, and anaphylaxis. In multiple sclerosis (MS) clinical trials, the incidence of infusion reactions in OCREVUS-treated patients [who received methylprednisolone (or an equivalent steroid) and possibly other pre-medication to reduce the risk of infusion reactions prior to each infusion] was 34 to 40%, with the highest incidence with the first infusion. There were no fatal infusion reactions, but 0.3% of OCREVUS-treated MS patients experienced infusion reactions that were serious, some requiring hospitalization.
Observe patients treated with OCREVUS for infusion reactions during the infusion and for at least one hour after completion of the infusion. Inform patients that infusion reactions can occur up to 24 hours after the infusion.
Reducing The Risk Of Infusion Reactions And Managing Infusion Reactions
Administer pre-medication (e.g., methylprednisolone or an equivalent corticosteroid, and an antihistamine) to reduce the frequency and severity of infusion reactions. The addition of an antipyretic (e.g., acetaminophen) may also be considered [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Management recommendations for infusion reactions depend on the type and severity of the reaction [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. For life-threatening infusion reactions, immediately and permanently stop OCREVUS and administer appropriate supportive treatment. For less severe infusion reactions, management may involve temporarily stopping the infusion, reducing the infusion rate, and/or administering symptomatic treatment.
A higher proportion of OCREVUS-treated patients experienced infections compared to patients taking REBIF or placebo. In RMS trials, 58% of OCREVUS-treated patients experienced one or more infections compared to 52% of REBIF-treated patients. In the PPMS trial, 70% of OCREVUS-treated patients experienced one or more infections compared to 68% of patients on placebo. OCREVUS increased the risk for upper respiratory tract infections, lower respiratory tract infections, skin infections, and herpes-related infections [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. OCREVUS was not associated with an increased risk of serious infections in MS patients. Delay OCREVUS administration in patients with an active infection until the infection is resolved.
Respiratory Tract Infections
A higher proportion of OCREVUS-treated patients experienced respiratory tract infections compared to patients taking REBIF or placebo. In RMS trials, 40% of OCREVUS-treated patients experienced upper respiratory tract infections compared to 33% of REBIF-treated patients, and 8% of OCREVUS-treated patients experienced lower respiratory tract infections compared to 5% of REBIF-treated patients. In the PPMS trial, 49% of OCREVUS-treated patients experienced upper respiratory tract infections compared to 43% of patients on placebo and 10% of OCREVUS-treated patients experienced lower respiratory tract infections compared to 9% of patients on placebo. The infections were predominantly mild to moderate and consisted mostly of upper respiratory tract infections and bronchitis.
In active-controlled (RMS) clinical trials, herpes infections were reported more frequently in OCREVUS-treated patients than in REBIF-treated patients, including herpes zoster (2.1% vs. 1.0%), herpes simplex (0.7% vs. 0.1%), oral herpes (3.0% vs. 2.2%), genital herpes (0.1% vs. 0%), and herpes virus infection (0.1% vs. 0%). Infections were predominantly mild to moderate in severity. There were no reports of disseminated herpes.
In the placebo-controlled (PPMS) clinical trial, oral herpes was reported more frequently in the OCREVUS-treated patients than in the patients on placebo (2.7% vs 0.8%).
Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML)
PML is an opportunistic viral infection of the brain caused by the John Cunningham (JC) virus that typically only occurs in patients who are immunocompromised, and that usually leads to death or severe disability. Although no cases of PML were identified in OCREVUS clinical trials, JC virus infection resulting in PML has been observed in patients treated with other anti-CD20 antibodies and other MS therapies and has been associated with some risk factors (e.g., immunocompromised patients, polytherapy with immunosuppressants). At the first sign or symptom suggestive of PML, withhold OCREVUS and perform an appropriate diagnostic evaluation. MRI findings may be apparent before clinical signs or symptoms. Typical symptoms associated with PML are diverse, progress over days to weeks, and include progressive weakness on one side of the body or clumsiness of limbs, disturbance of vision, and changes in thinking, memory, and orientation leading to confusion and personality changes.
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Reactivation
There were no reports of hepatitis B reactivation in MS patients treated with OCREVUS. Fulminant hepatitis, hepatic failure, and death caused by HBV reactivation have occurred in patients treated with other anti-CD20 antibodies. Perform HBV screening in all patients before initiation of treatment with OCREVUS. Do not administer OCREVUS to patients with active HBV confirmed by positive results for HBsAg and anti-HB tests. For patients who are negative for surface antigen [HBsAg] and positive for HB core antibody [HBcAb+] or are carriers of HBV [HBsAg+], consult liver disease experts before starting and during treatment.
Possible Increased Risk Of Immunosuppressant Effects With Other Immunosuppressants
When initiating OCREVUS after an immunosuppressive therapy or initiating an immunosuppressive therapy after OCREVUS, consider the potential for increased immunosuppressive effects [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. OCREVUS has not been studied in combination with other MS therapies.
Administer all immunizations according to immunization guidelines at least 4 weeks prior to initiation of OCREVUS for live or live-attenuated vaccines and, whenever possible, at least 2 weeks prior to initiation of OCREVUS for non-live vaccines.
OCREVUS may interfere with the effectiveness of non-live vaccines [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
The safety of immunization with live or live-attenuated vaccines following OCREVUS therapy has not been studied, and vaccination with live-attenuated or live vaccines is not recommended during treatment and until B-cell repletion [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Vaccination of Infants Born to Mothers Treated with OCREVUS During Pregnancy
In infants of mothers exposed to OCREVUS during pregnancy, do not administer live or live-attenuated vaccines before confirming the recovery of B-cell counts as measured by CD19+ B-cells. Depletion of B-cells in these infants may increase the risks from live or live-attenuated vaccines.
You may administer non-live vaccines, as indicated, prior to recovery from B-cell depletion, but should consider assessing vaccine immune responses, including consultation with a qualified specialist, to assess whether a protective immune response was mounted [see Use In Specific Populations].
An increased risk of malignancy with OCREVUS may exist. In controlled trials, malignancies, including breast cancer, occurred more frequently in OCREVUS-treated patients. Breast cancer occurred in 6 of 781 females treated with OCREVUS and none of 668 females treated with REBIF or placebo. Patients should follow standard breast cancer screening guidelines.
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide).
Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of infusion reactions, and that infusion reactions can occur up to 24 hours after infusion. Advise patients to contact their healthcare provider immediately for signs or symptoms of infusion reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Advise patients to contact their healthcare provider for any signs of infection during treatment or after the last dose [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Signs include fever, chills, constant cough, or signs of herpes such as cold sore, shingles, or genital sores [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Advise patients that PML has happened with drugs that are similar to OCREVUS and may happen with OCREVUS. Inform the patient that PML is characterized by a progression of deficits and usually leads to death or severe disability over weeks or months. Instruct the patient of the importance of contacting their doctor if they develop any symptoms suggestive of PML. Inform the patient that typical symptoms associated with PML are diverse, progress over days to weeks, and include progressive weakness on one side of the body or clumsiness of limbs, disturbance of vision, and changes in thinking, memory, and orientation leading to confusion and personality changes [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Advise patients that OCREVUS may cause reactivation of hepatitis B infection and that monitoring will be required if they are at risk [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Advise patients to complete any required live or live-attenuated vaccinations at least 4 weeks and, whenever possible, non-live vaccinations at least 2 weeks prior to initiation of OCREVUS. Administration of live-attenuated or live vaccines is not recommended during OCREVUS treatment and until B-cell recovery [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Advise patients that an increased risk of malignancy, including breast cancer, may exist with OCREVUS. Advise patients that they should follow standard breast cancer screening guidelines [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Instruct patients that if they are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking OCREVUS they should inform their healthcare provider [see Pregnancy].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
No carcinogenicity studies have been performed to assess the carcinogenic potential of OCREVUS.
No studies have been performed to assess the mutagenic potential of OCREVUS. As an antibody, OCREVUS is not expected to interact directly with DNA.
No effects on reproductive organs were observed in male monkeys administered ocrelizumab by intravenous injection (three loading doses of 15 or 75 mg/kg, followed by weekly doses of 20 or 100 mg/kg) for 8 weeks. There were also no effects on estrus cycle in female monkeys administered ocrelizumab over three menstrual cycles using the same dosing regimen. The doses tested in monkey are 2 and 10 times the recommended human dose of 600 mg, on a mg/kg basis.
Use In Specific Populations
OCREVUS is a humanized monoclonal antibody of an immunoglobulin G1 subtype and immunoglobulins are known to cross the placental barrier. There are no adequate data on the developmental risk associated with use of OCREVUS in pregnant women. However, transient peripheral B-cell depletion and lymphocytopenia have been reported in infants born to mothers exposed to other anti-CD20 antibodies during pregnancy. B-cell levels in infants following maternal exposure to OCREVUS have not been studied in clinical trials. The potential duration of B-cell depletion in such infants, and the impact of B-cell depletion on vaccine safety and effectiveness, is unknown [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Following administration of ocrelizumab to pregnant monkeys at doses similar to or greater than those used clinically, increased perinatal mortality, depletion of B-cell populations, renal, bone marrow, and testicular toxicity were observed in the offspring in the absence of maternal toxicity [see Data].
In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively. The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown.
Following intravenous administration of OCREVUS to monkeys during organogenesis (loading doses of 15 or 75 mg/kg on gestation days 20, 21, and 22, followed by weekly doses of 20 or 100 mg/kg), depletion of B-lymphocytes in lymphoid tissue (spleen and lymph nodes) was observed in fetuses at both doses.
Intravenous administration of OCREVUS (three daily loading doses of 15 or 75 mg/kg, followed by weekly doses of 20 or 100 mg/kg) to pregnant monkeys throughout the period of organogenesis and continuing through the neonatal period resulted in perinatal deaths (some associated with bacterial infections), renal toxicity (glomerulopathy and inflammation), lymphoid follicle formation in the bone marrow, and severe decreases in circulating B-lymphocytes in neonates. The cause of the neonatal deaths is uncertain; however, both affected neonates were found to have bacterial infections. Reduced testicular weight was observed in neonates at the high dose.
A no-effect dose for adverse developmental effects was not identified; the doses tested in monkey are 2 and 10 times the recommended human dose of 600 mg, on a mg/kg basis.
There are no data on the presence of ocrelizumab in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects of the drug on milk production. Ocrelizumab was excreted in the milk of ocrelizumab-treated monkeys. Human IgG is excreted in human milk, and the potential for absorption of ocrelizumab to lead to B-cell depletion in the infant is unknown. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for OCREVUS and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from OCREVUS or from the underlying maternal condition.
Females And Males Of Reproductive Potential
Women of childbearing potential should use contraception while receiving OCREVUS and for 6 months after the last infusion of OCREVUS [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Safety and effectiveness of OCREVUS in pediatric patients have not been established.
Clinical studies of OCREVUS did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.