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Effentora (fentanyl) – Summary of product characteristics - N02AB03

Updated on site: 06-Oct-2017

Medication nameEffentora
ATC CodeN02AB03
Substancefentanyl
ManufacturerTeva B.V.

1.NAME OF THE MEDICINAL PRODUCT

Effentora 100 micrograms buccal tablets

Effentora 200 micrograms buccal tablets

Effentora 400 micrograms buccal tablets

Effentora 600 micrograms buccal tablets

Effentora 800 micrograms buccal tablets

2.QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE COMPOSITION

Effentora 100 micrograms buccal tablets

Each buccal tablet contains 100 micrograms fentanyl (as citrate).

Excipient with known effect: Each tablet contains 10 mg of sodium.

Effentora 200 micrograms buccal tablets

Each buccal tablet contains 200 micrograms fentanyl (as citrate).

Excipient with known effect: Each tablet contains 20 mg of sodium.

Effentora 400 micrograms buccal tablets

Each buccal tablet contains 400 micrograms fentanyl (as citrate).

Excipient with known effect: Each tablet contains 20 mg of sodium.

Effentora 600 micrograms buccal tablets

Each buccal tablet contains 600 micrograms fentanyl (as citrate).

Excipient with known effect: Each tablet contains 20 mg of sodium.

Effentora 800 micrograms buccal tablets

Each buccal tablet contains 800 micrograms fentanyl (as citrate).

Excipient with known effect: Each tablet contains 20 mg of sodium.

For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.

3.PHARMACEUTICAL FORM

Buccal tablet.

Effentora 100 micrograms buccal tablets

Flat-faced, white, round bevelled-edge tablet, embossed on one side with a “C” and on the other side with “1”.

Effentora 200 micrograms buccal tablets

Flat-faced, white, round bevelled-edge tablet, embossed on one side with a “C” and on the other side with “2”.

Effentora 400 micrograms buccal tablets

Flat-faced, white, round bevelled-edge tablet, embossed on one side with a “C” and on the other side with “4”.

Effentora 600 micrograms buccal tablets

Flat-faced, white, round bevelled-edge tablet, embossed on one side with a “C” and on the other side with “6”.

Effentora 800 micrograms buccal tablets

Flat-faced, white, round bevelled-edge tablet, embossed on one side with a “C” and on the other side with “8”.

4.CLINICAL PARTICULARS

4.1Therapeutic indications

Effentora is indicated for the treatment of breakthrough pain (BTP) in adults with cancer who are already receiving maintenance opioid therapy for chronic cancer pain.

BTP is a transitory exacerbation of pain that occurs on a background of otherwise controlled persistent pain.

Patients receiving maintenance opioid therapy are those who are taking at least 60 mg of oral morphine daily, at least 25 micrograms of transdermal fentanyl per hour, at least 30 mg of oxycodone daily, at least 8 mg of oral hydromorphone daily or an equianalgesic dose of another opioid for a week or longer.

4.2Posology and method of administration

Treatment should be initiated by and remain under the guidance of a physician experienced in the management of opioid therapy in cancer patients. Physicians should keep in mind the potential of abuse of fentanyl. Patients should be instructed not to use two different formulations of fentanyl concurrently for the treatment of breakthrough pain, and to dispose of any fentanyl product prescribed for BTP when switching to Effentora. The number of tablet strengths available to the patients at any time should be minimised to prevent confusion and potential overdose.

Posology

Dose titration

Effentora should be individually titrated to an “effective” dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimises adverse reactions. In clinical studies, the effective dose of Effentora for BTP was not predictable from the daily maintenance dose of opioid.

Patients should be carefully monitored until an effective dose is reached.

Titration in patients not switching from other fentanyl containing products

The initial dose of Effentora should be 100 micrograms, titrating upwards as necessary through the range of available tablets strengths (100, 200, 400, 600, 800 micrograms).

Titration in patients switching from other fentanyl containing products

Due to different absorption profiles, switching must not be done at a 1:1 ratio. If switching from another oral fentanyl citrate product, independent dose titration with Effentora is required as bioavailability between products differs significantly. However, in these patients, a starting dose higher than 100 micrograms may be considered.

Method of titration

During titration, if adequate analgesia is not obtained within 30 minutes after the start of administration of a single tablet, a second Effentora tablet of the same strength may be used.

If treatment of a BTP episode requires more than one tablet, an increase in dose to the next higher available strength should be considered to treat the next BTP episode.

During titration, multiple tablets may be used: up to four 100 micrograms or up to four 200 micrograms tablets may be used to treat a single episode of BTP during dose titration according to the following schedule:

If the initial 100 micrograms tablet is not efficacious, the patient can be instructed to treat the next episode of BTP with two 100 micrograms tablets. It is recommended that one tablet should be placed in each side of the mouth. If this dose is considered to be the effective dose, treatment of successive episodes of BTP may be continued with a single 200 micrograms tablet of Effentora.

If a single 200 micrograms tablet of Effentora (or two 100 micrograms tablets) is not considered to be efficacious the patient can be instructed to use two 200 micrograms tablets (or four 100 micrograms tablets) to treat the next episode of BTP. It is recommended that two tablets should be placed in each side of the mouth. If this dose is considered to be the effective dose, treatment of successive episodes of BTP may be continued with a single 400 micrograms tablet of Effentora.

For titration to 600 micrograms and 800 micrograms, tablets of 200 micrograms should be used.

Doses above 800 micrograms were not evaluated in clinical studies.

No more than two tablets should be used to treat any individual BTP episode, except when titrating using up to four tablets as described above.

Patients should wait at least 4 hours before treating another BTP episode with Effentora during titration.

Maintenance therapy

Once an effective dose has been established during titration, patients should continue to take this dose as a single tablet of that given strength. Breakthrough pain episodes may vary in intensity and the required Effentora dose might increase over time due to progression of the underlying cancer disease. In these cases, a second tablet of the same strength may be used. If a second tablet of Effentora was required for several consecutive times, the usual maintenance dose is to be readjusted (see below). Patients should wait at least 4 hours before treating another BTP episode with Effentora during maintenance therapy.

Dose readjustment

The maintenance dose of Effentora should be increased when a patient requires more than one tablet per BTP episode for several consecutive BTP episodes. For dose-readjustment the same principles apply as outlined for dose titration (see above).

Dose readjustment of the background opioid therapy may be required if patients consistently present with more than four BTP episodes per 24 hours.

Discontinuation of therapy

Effentora should be discontinued immediately if the patient no longer experiences breakthrough pain episodes. The treatment for the persistent background pain should be kept as prescribed.

If discontinuation of all opioid therapy is required, the patient must be closely followed by the doctor in order to manage the risk of abrupt withdrawal effects.

Hepatic or renal impairment

Effentora should be administered with caution to patients with moderate or severe hepatic or renal impairment (see section 4.4).

Patients with xerostomia

Patients experiencing xerostomia are advised to drink water to moisten the buccal cavity prior to administration of Effentora. If this recommendation does not result in an appropriate effervescence, then a switch of therapy may be advised.

Use in the elderly (older than 65 years)

In clinical studies patients older than 65 years tended to titrate to a lower effective dose than younger patients. It is recommended that increased caution should be exercised in titrating the dose of Effentora in elderly patients.

Paediatric population

The safety and efficacy of Effentora in children aged 0 to 18 years have not been established. No data are available.

Method of administration

Effentora tablet once exposed to moisture utilises an effervescent reaction to deliver the active substance. Therefore patients should be instructed not to open the blister until ready to place the tablet in the buccal cavity.

Opening the blister package

Patients should be instructed NOT to attempt to push the tablet through the blister because this could damage the buccal tablet. The correct method of releasing the tablet from the blister is:

One of the blister units should be separated from the blister card by tearing it apart at the perforations. The blister unit should then be flexed along the line printed on the backing foil where indicated. The backing foil should be peeled back to expose the tablet.

Patients should be instructed not to attempt to crush or split the tablet.

The tablet should not be stored once removed from the blister package as the tablet integrity cannot be guaranteed and a risk of accidental exposure to a tablet can occur.

Tablet administration

Patients should remove the tablet from the blister unit and immediately place the entire Effentora tablet in the buccal cavity (near a molar between the cheek and gum).

The Effentora tablet should not be sucked, chewed or swallowed, as this will result in lower plasma concentrations than when taken as directed.

Effentora should be placed and retained within the buccal cavity for a period sufficient to allow disintegration of the tablet which usually takes approximately 14-25 minutes.

Alternatively, the tablet could be placed sublingually (see section 5.2).

After 30 minutes, if remnants from the Effentora tablet remain, they may be swallowed with a glass of water.

The length of time that the tablet takes to fully disintegrate following oromucosal administration does not appear to affect early systemic exposure to fentanyl.

Patients should not consume any food and drink when a tablet is in the buccal cavity.

In case of buccal mucosa irritation, a change in tablet placement within the buccal cavity should be recommended.

4.3Contraindications

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

Patients without maintenance opioid therapy as there is an increased risk of respiratory depression.

Severe respiratory depression or severe obstructive lung conditions.

Treatment of acute pain other than breakthrough pain

4.4Special warnings and precautions for use

Accidental use in children

Patients and their carers must be instructed that Effentora contains an active substance in an amount that can be fatal, especially to a child. Therefore they must keep all tablets out of the sight and reach of children.

Monitoring

In order to minimise the risks of opioid-related undesirable effects and to identify the effective dose, it is imperative that patients be monitored closely by health professionals during the titration process.

Maintenance opioid treatment

It is important that the maintenance opioid treatment used to treat the patient’s persistent pain has been stabilised before Effentora therapy begins and that the patient continues to be treated with the maintenance opioid treatment whilst taking Effentora.

Respiratory depression

As with all opioids, there is a risk of clinically significant respiratory depression associated with the use of fentanyl. Improper patient selection (e.g., use in patients without maintenance opioid therapy) and/or improper dosing have resulted in fatal outcome with Effentora as well as with other fentanyl products.

Effentora should only be used for conditions specified in section 4.1.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Particular caution should be used when titrating Effentora in patients with non-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other medical conditions predisposing them to respiratory depression, as even normally therapeutic doses of Effentora may further decrease respiratory drive to the point of respiratory failure.

Alcohol

The concomitant use of alcohol with fentanyl can produce increased depressant effects which may result in a fatal outcome (see section 4.5).

Increased intracranial pressure, impaired consciousness

Effentora should only be administered with extreme caution in patients who may be particularly susceptible to the intracranial effects of CO2 retention, such as those with evidence of increased intracranial pressure or impaired consciousness. Opioids may obscure the clinical course of a patient with a head injury and should be used only if clinically warranted.

Cardiac disease

Fentanyl may produce bradycardia. Fentanyl should be used with caution in patients with previous or pre-existing bradyarrythmias.

Hepatic or renal impairment

In addition, Effentora should be administered with caution to patients with hepatic or renal impairment. The influence of hepatic and renal impairment on the pharmacokinetics of the medicinal product has not been evaluated, however, when administered intravenously the clearance of fentanyl has been shown to be altered in hepatic and renal impairment due to alterations in metabolic clearance and plasma proteins. After administration of Effentora, impaired hepatic and renal function may both increase the bioavailability of swallowed fentanyl and decrease its systemic clearance, which could lead to increased and prolonged opioid effects. Therefore, special care should be taken during the titration process in patients with moderate or severe hepatic or renal impairment.

Careful consideration should be given to patients with hypovolaemia and hypotension.

Serotonin Syndrome

Caution is advised when Effentora is coadministered with drugs that affect the serotoninergic neurotransmitter systems.

The development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome may occur with the concomitant use of serotonergic drugs such as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin Norepinephrine Re-uptake Inhibitors (SNRIs), and with drugs which impair metabolism of serotonin (including Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors [MAOIs]). This may occur within the recommended dose.

Serotonin syndrome may include mental-status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia), neuromuscular abnormalities (e.g., hyperreflexia, incoordination, rigidity), and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea).

If serotonin syndrome is suspected, treatment with Effentora should be discontinued.

Tolerance, dependence

Tolerance and physical and/or psychological dependence may develop upon repeated administration of opioids such as fentanyl. However, iatrogenic addiction following therapeutic use of opioids is rare.

Controlled sodium diet

Effentora 100 micrograms buccal tablets contain 10 mg sodium per tablet.

Effentora 200, 400, 600 and 800 micrograms buccal tablets contain 20 mg sodium per tablet. To be taken into consideration by patients on a controlled sodium diet.

Anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity

Anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity have been reported in association with the use of oral transmucosal fentanyl products (see Section 4.8).

4.5Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

Agents that affect CYP3A4 activity

Fentanyl is metabolised mainly via the human cytochrome P450 3A4 isoenzyme system (CYP3A4), therefore potential interactions may occur when Effentora is given concurrently with agents that affect CYP3A4 activity.

CYP3A4 inducers

Coadministration with agents that induce 3A4 activity may reduce the efficacy of Effentora.

CYP3A4 inhibitors

The concomitant use of Effentora with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir, ketoconazole, itraconazole, troleandomycin, clarithromycin, and nelfinavir) or moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., amprenavir, aprepitant, diltiazem, erythromycin, fluconazole, fosamprenavir, grapefruit juice, and verapamil) may result in increased fentanyl plasma concentrations, potentially causing serious adverse drug reactions including fatal respiratory depression. Patients receiving Effentora concomitantly with moderate or strong CYP3A4 inhibitors should be carefully monitored for an extended period of time. Dosage increase should be done with caution.

Agents that can increase CNS depressant effects

Coadministration of fentanyl with other central nervous system depressants, including other opioids, sedatives or hypnotics, general anaesthetics, phenothiazines, tranquillisers, skeletal muscle relaxants, sedating antihistamines and alcohol can produce additive depressant effects which may result in a fatal outcome (see section 4.4).

Partial opioid agonists/antagonists

The concomitant use of partial opioid agonists/antagonists (e.g. buprenorphine, nalbuphine, pentazocine) is not recommended. They have high affinity to opioid receptors with relatively low intrinsic activity and therefore partially antagonise the analgesic effect of fentanyl and may induce withdrawal symptoms in opioid dependant patients.

Serotoninergic agents

Coadministration of fentanyl with a serotoninergic agent, such as a Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor (SSRI) or a Serotonin Norepinephrine Re-uptake Inhibitor (SNRI) or a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI), may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition. Effentora is not recommended for use in patients who have received MAOIs within 14 days because severe and unpredictable potentiation by MAOIs has been reported with opioid analgesics.

4.6Fertility, pregnancy and lactation

Pregnancy

There are no adequate data from the use of fentanyl in pregnant women. Studies in animals have shown reproductive toxicity (see section 5.3). The potential risk for humans is unknown. Effentora should not be used in pregnancy unless clearly necessary.

With long-term use of fentanyl during pregnancy, there is a risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available (see section 4.8).

It is advised not to use fentanyl during labour and delivery (including caesarean section) because fentanyl passes through the placenta and may cause respiratory depression in the foetus. If Effentora is administered, an antidote for the child should be readily available.

Breast-feeding

Fentanyl passes into breast milk and may cause sedation and respiratory depression in the breast-fed child. Fentanyl should not be used by breastfeeding women and breastfeeding should not be restarted until at least 5 days after the last administration of fentanyl.

Fertility

There are no human data on fertility available. In animal studies, male fertility was impaired (See Section 5.3).

4.7Effects on ability to drive and use machines

No studies of the effects on the ability to drive and use machines have been performed. However, opioid analgesics impair the mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially dangerous tasks (e.g., driving a car or operating machinery). Patients should be advised not to drive or operate machinery if they experience somnolence, dizziness, or visual disturbance while taking Effentora and not to drive or operate machinery until they know how they react.

4.8Undesirable effects

Summary of the safety profile

Typical opioid adverse reactions are to be expected with Effentora. Frequently, these will cease or decrease in intensity with continued use of the medicinal product, as the patient is titrated to the most appropriate dose. However, the most serious adverse reactions are respiratory depression (potentially leading to apnoea or respiratory arrest), circulatory depression, hypotension and shock and all patients should be closely monitored for these.

The clinical studies of Effentora were designed to evaluate safety and efficacy in treating BTP and all patients were also taking concomitant opioids, such as sustained-release morphine or transdermal fentanyl, for their persistent pain. Therefore it is not possible to definitively separate the effects of Effentora alone.

Tabulated list of adverse reactions

The following adverse reactions have been reported with Effentora and/or other fentanyl-containing compounds during clinical studies and post marketing experience. Adverse reactions are listed below as MedDRA preferred term by system organ class and frequency (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), not known (cannot be estimated from the available data); within each frequency group, undesirable effects are presented in order of decreasing seriousness:

 

Very common

Common

Uncommon

Rare

Not known

Infections and

 

Oral candidiasis

Pharyngitis

Oral pustule

 

infestations

 

 

 

 

 

Blood and

 

Anaemia

Thrombocyto-

 

 

lymphatic

 

Neutropenia

penia

 

 

system

 

 

 

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

Immune

 

 

 

Hypersensitivit

 

system

 

 

 

y*

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

Endocrine

 

 

 

Hypogonadism

Adrenal

disorders

 

 

 

 

insufficiency,

 

 

 

 

 

androgen

 

 

 

 

 

deficiency

Metabolism

 

Anorexia

 

 

 

and nutrition

 

 

 

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

Psychiatric

 

Depression

Euphoric

 

 

disorders

 

Anxiety

mood

 

 

 

 

Confusional

Nervousness

 

 

 

 

state

Hallucination

 

 

 

 

Insomnia

Visual

 

 

 

 

 

hallucination

 

 

 

 

 

Mental status

 

 

 

 

 

changes

 

 

 

 

 

Drug

 

 

 

 

 

dependence

 

 

 

 

 

(addiction)*

 

 

 

 

 

Disorientation

 

 

Nervous

Dizziness

Dysgeusia

Depressed

Cognitive

Loss of

system

Headache

Somnolence

level of

disorder

consciousness

disorders

 

Lethargy

consciousness

Motor

*

 

 

Tremor

Disturbance in

dysfunction

Convulsion

 

 

Sedation

attention

 

 

 

 

Hypoaesthesia

Balance

 

 

 

 

Migraine

disorder

 

 

 

 

 

Dysarthria

 

 

 

Very common

Common

Uncommon

Rare

Not known

Eye

 

 

Visual

Abnormal

 

disorders

 

 

disturbance

sensation in

 

 

 

 

Ocular

eye

 

 

 

 

hyperaemia

Photopsia

 

 

 

 

Blurred vision

 

 

 

 

 

Visual acuity

 

 

 

 

 

reduced

 

 

Ear and

 

 

Vertigo

 

 

labyrinth

 

 

Tinnitus

 

 

disorders

 

 

Ear discomfort

 

 

Cardiac

 

Tachycardia

Bradycardia

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

Vascular

 

Hypotension

Flushing

 

 

disorders

 

Hypertension

Hot flush

 

 

Respiratory,

 

Dyspnoea

Respiratory

 

Respiratory

thoracic and

 

Pharyngolaryn-

depression

 

arrest*

mediastinal

 

geal pain

Sleep apnoea

 

 

disorders

 

 

syndrome

 

 

Gastro-

Nausea

Constipation

Ileus

Oral mucosal

 

intestinal

Vomiting

Stomatitis

Mouth

blistering

 

disorders

 

Dry mouth

ulceration

Dry lip

 

 

 

Diarrhoea

Oral

 

 

 

 

Abdominal pain

hypoaesthesia

 

 

 

 

Gastro-

Oral

 

 

 

 

oesophageal

discomfort

 

 

 

 

reflux disease

Oral mucosal

 

 

 

 

Stomach

discolouration

 

 

 

 

discomfort

Oral soft tissue

 

 

 

 

Dyspepsia

disorder

 

 

 

 

Toothache

Glossodynia

 

 

 

 

 

Tongue

 

 

 

 

 

blistering

 

 

 

 

 

Gingival pain

 

 

 

 

 

Tongue

 

 

 

 

 

ulceration

 

 

 

 

 

Tongue

 

 

 

 

 

disorder

 

 

 

 

 

Oesophagitis

 

 

 

 

 

Chapped lips

 

 

 

 

 

Tooth disorder

 

 

Hepatobiliary

 

 

Biliary

 

 

disorders

 

 

dilatation

 

 

Skin and

 

Pruritus

Cold sweat

Onychorrhexis

 

subcutaneous

 

Hyperhidrosis

Facial

 

 

tissue

 

Rash

swelling

 

 

disorders

 

 

Generalised

 

 

 

 

 

pruritus

 

 

 

 

 

Alopecia

 

 

Musculoskel

 

Myalgia

Muscle

 

 

etal and

 

Back pain

twitching

 

 

connective

 

 

Muscular

 

 

tissue

 

 

weakness

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very common

Common

Uncommon

Rare

Not known

Renal and

 

 

Urinary

 

 

urinary

 

 

retention

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

General

Application

Peripheral

Malaise

 

Pyrexia

disorders and

site reactions

oedema

Sluggishness

 

Neonatal

administration

including

Fatigue

Chest

 

withdrawal

site conditions

bleeding, pain,

Asthenia

discomfort

 

syndrome

 

ulcer,

Drug

Feeling

 

(see

 

irritation,

withdrawal

abnormal

 

section 4.6)

 

paraesthesia,

syndrome*

Feeling jittery

 

 

 

anaesthesia,

Chills

Thirst

 

 

 

erythema,

 

Feeling cold

 

 

 

oedema,

 

Feeling hot

 

 

 

swelling and

 

 

 

 

 

vesicles

 

 

 

 

Investigations

 

Weight

Platelet count

 

 

 

 

decreased

decreased

 

 

 

 

 

Heart rate

 

 

 

 

 

increased

 

 

 

 

 

Haematocrit

 

 

 

 

 

decreased

 

 

 

 

 

Haemoglobin

 

 

 

 

 

decreased

 

 

Injury,

 

Fall

 

 

 

poisoning and

 

 

 

 

 

procedural

 

 

 

 

 

complications

 

 

 

 

 

* See section Description of selected adverse reactions

Description of selected adverse reactions

Tolerance, physical and/or psychological dependence may develop upon repeated administration of opioids such as fentanyl (see section 4.4).

Opioid withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anxiety, chills, tremor and sweating have been observed with transmucosal fentanyl.

Loss of consciousness and respiratory arrest have been observed in the context of overdose (see section 4.9).

Hypersensitivity reactions have been reported in post-marketing experience, including rash, erythema, lip and face swelling, and urticaria (see section 4.4).

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. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the national reporting system listed in Appendix V.

4.9Overdose

Symptoms

The symptoms of fentanyl overdose are expected to be similar in nature to those of intravenous fentanyl and other opioids, and are an extension of its pharmacological actions, with the most serious

significant effects being altered mental status, loss of consciousness, hypotension, respiratory depression, respiratory distress, and respiratory failure, which have resulted in death.

Management

Immediate management of opioid overdose includes removal of the Effentora buccal tablet, if still in the mouth, ensuring a patent airway, physical and verbal stimulation of the patient, assessment of the level of consciousness, ventilatory and circulatory status, and assisted ventilation (ventilatory support) if necessary.

Overdose (accidental ingestion) in the opioid-naive person

For treatment of overdose (accidental ingestion) in the opioid-naive person, intravenous access should be obtained and naloxone or other opioid antagonists should be employed as clinically indicated. The duration of respiratory depression following overdose may be longer than the effects of the opioid antagonist’s action (e.g., the half-life of naloxone ranges from 30 to 81 minutes) and repeated administration may be necessary. Consult the Summary of Product Characteristics of the individual opioid antagonist for details about such use.

Overdose in opioid-maintained patients

For treatment of overdose in opioid-maintained patients, intravenous access should be obtained. The judicious use of naloxone or another opioid antagonist may be warranted in some instances, but it is associated with the risk of precipitating an acute withdrawal syndrome.

Although muscle rigidity interfering with respiration has not been seen following the use of Effentora, this is possible with fentanyl and other opioids. If it occurs, it should be managed by the use of assisted ventilation, by an opioid antagonist, and as a final alternative, by a neuromuscular blocking agent.

5.PHARMACOLOGICAL PROPERTIES

5.1Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: analgesics; opioids; ATC code N02AB03.

Mechanism of action and pharmacodynamic effects

Fentanyl is an opioid analgesic, interacting predominantly with the opioid µ-receptor. Its primary therapeutic actions are analgesia and sedation. Secondary pharmacological effects are respiratory depression, bradycardia, hypothermia, constipation, miosis, physical dependence and euphoria.

The analgesic effects of fentanyl are related to its plasma level. In general, the effective concentration and the concentration at which toxicity occurs increase with increasing tolerance to opioids. The rate of development of tolerance varies widely among individuals. As a result, the dose of Effentora should be individually titrated to achieve the desired effect (see section 4.2).

All opioid µ-receptor agonists, including fentanyl, produce dose dependent respiratory depression. The risk of respiratory depression is less in patients receiving chronic opioid therapy as these patients will develop tolerance to respiratory depressant effects.

Opioids may influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal or –gonadal axes. Some changes that can be seen include an increase in serum prolactin, and decreases in plasma cortisol and testosterone. Clinical signs and symptoms may be manifest from these hormonal changes (see also section 4.8).

Clinical efficacy and safety

The safety and efficacy of Effentora have been evaluated in patients taking the drug at the onset of the breakthrough pain episode. Pre-emptive use of Effentora for predictable pain episodes was not

investigated in the clinical trials. Two double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover studies have been conducted involving a total of 248 patients with BTP and cancer who experienced on average 1 to 4 episodes of BTP per day while taking maintenance opioid therapy. During an initial open-label phase, patients were titrated to an effective dose of Effentora. Patients who identified an effective dose entered the double-blind phase of the study. The primary efficacy variable was the patient’s assessment of pain intensity. Patients assessed pain intensity on a 11-point scale. For each BTP episode, pain intensity was assessed prior to and at several time points after treatment.

Sixty-seven percent of the patients were able to be titrated to an effective dose.

In the pivotal clinical study (study 1), the primary endpoint was the average sum of differences in pain intensity scores from dosing to 60 minutes, inclusive (SPID60), which was statistically significant compared to placebo (p<0.0001).

In the second pivotal study (study 2), the primary endpoint was SPID30, which was also statistically significant compared to placebo (p<0.0001).

Statistically significant improvement in pain intensity difference was seen with Effentora versus placebo as early as 10 minutes in Study 1 and as early as 15 minutes (earliest time point measured) in Study 2. These differences continued to be significant at each subsequent time point in each individual study.

5.2Pharmacokinetic properties

General introduction

Fentanyl is highly lipophilic and can be absorbed very rapidly through the oral mucosa and more slowly by the conventional gastrointestinal route. It is subject to first-pass hepatic and intestinal metabolism and the metabolites do not contribute to fentanyl’s therapeutic effects.

Effentora employs a delivery technology which utilises an effervescent reaction which enhances the rate and extent of fentanyl absorbed through the buccal mucosa. Transient pH changes accompanying the effervescent reaction may optimise dissolution (at a lower pH) and membrane permeation (at a higher pH).

Dwell time (defined as the length of time that the tablet takes to fully disintegrate following buccal administration), does not affect early systemic exposure to fentanyl. A comparison study between one 400 mcg Effentora tablet administered either buccally (i.e., between the cheek and the gum) or sublingually met the criteria of bioequivalence.

The effect of renal or hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of Effentora has not been studied.

Absorption:

Following oromucosal administration of Effentora, fentanyl is readily absorbed with an absolute bioavailability of 65%. The absorption profile of Effentora is largely the result of an initial rapid absorption from the buccal mucosa, with peak plasma concentrations following venous sampling generally attained within an hour after oromucosal administration. Approximately 50% of the total dose administered is rapidly absorbed transmucosally and becomes systemically available. The remaining half of the total dose is swallowed and slowly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. About 30% of the amount swallowed (50% of the total dose) escapes hepatic and intestinal first-pass elimination and becomes systemically available.

The main pharmacokinetic parameters are shown in the following table.

Pharmacokinetic Parameters* in Adult Subjects Receiving Effentora

Pharmacokinetic

Effentora 400 micrograms

parameter (mean)

 

 

 

 

Absolute

65% (±20%)

bioavailability

 

 

 

 

Fraction

48% (±31.8%)

absorbed transmucosally

 

 

 

 

 

Tmax (minute) **

46.8

(20-240)

 

 

 

Cmax (ng/ml)

1.02

(± 0.42)

 

 

 

AUC0-tmax (ng.hr/ml)

0.40

(± 0.18)

 

 

 

AUC0-inf (ng.hr/ml)

6.48

(± 2.98)

*Based on venous blood samples (plasma). Fentanyl concentrations obtained in serum were higher than in plasma: Serum AUC and Cmax were approximately 20% and 30% higher than plasma AUC and Cmax, respectively. The reason of this difference is unknown.

**Data for Tmax presented as median (range).

In pharmacokinetic studies that compared the absolute and relative bioavailability of Effentora and oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate (OTFC), the rate and extent of fentanyl absorption in Effentora demonstrated exposure that was between 30% to 50% greater than that for oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate. If switching from another oral fentanyl citrate product, independent dose titration with Effentora is required as bioavailability between products differs significantly. However, in these patients, a starting dose higher than 100 micrograms may be considered.

Mean Plasma Concentration Versus Time

Profiles Following Singles Doses of EFFENTORA and OTFC in Healthy Subjects

 

 

 

 

 

 

400 mcg EFFENTORA

 

 

1.0

 

 

 

 

OTFC (normalized to 400 mcg)

 

 

1.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

(ng/mL)

0.8

0.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concentration

0.6

0.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.4

0.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fentanyl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plasma

0.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time after Dose Administration (hours)

OTFC data was dose adjusted (800 mcg to 400 mcg)

Differences in exposure with Effentora were observed in a clinical study with patients with grade 1 mucositis. Cmax and AUC0-8 were 1% and 25% higher in patients with mucositis compared to those without mucositis, respectively. The differences observed were not clinically significant.

Distribution

Fentanyl is highly lipophilic and is well distributed beyond the vascular system, with a large apparent volume of distribution. After buccal administration of Effentora, fentanyl undergoes initial rapid distribution that represents an equilibration of fentanyl between plasma and the highly perfused tissues (brain, heart and lungs). Subsequently, fentanyl is redistributed between the deep tissue compartment (muscle and fat) and the plasma.

The plasma protein binding of fentanyl is 80% to 85%. The main binding protein is alpha-1-acid glycoprotein, but both albumin and lipoproteins contribute to some extent. The free fraction of fentanyl increases with acidosis.

Biotransformation

The metabolic pathways following buccal administration of Effentora have not been characterised in clinical studies. Fentanyl is metabolised in the liver and in the intestinal mucosa to norfentanyl by CYP3A4 isoform. Norfentanyl is not pharmacologically active in animal studies. More than 90% of the administered dose of fentanyl is eliminated by biotransformation to N-dealkylated and hydroxylated inactive metabolites.

Elimination

Following the intravenous administration of fentanyl, less than 7% of the administered dose is excreted unchanged in the urine, and only about 1% is excreted unchanged in the faeces. The metabolites are mainly excreted in the urine, while faecal excretion is less important.

Following the administration of Effentora, the terminal elimination phase of fentanyl is the result of the redistribution between plasma and a deep tissue compartment. This phase of elimination is slow, resulting in a median terminal elimination half-life t1/2 of approximately 22 hours following buccal administration of the effervescent formulation and approximately 18 hours following intravenous administration. The total plasma clearance of fentanyl following intravenous administration is approximately 42 L/h.

Linearity/non-linearity

Dose proportionality from 100 micrograms to 1000 micrograms has been demonstrated.

5.3Preclinical safety data

Non-clinical data reveal no special hazard for humans based on conventional studies of safety pharmacology, repeated dose toxicity, genotoxicity and carcinogenicity.

Embryo-foetal developmental toxicity studies conducted in rats and rabbits revealed no compound- induced malformations or developmental variations when administered during the period of organogenesis.

In a fertility and early embryonic development study in rats, a male-mediated effect was observed at high doses (300 mcg/kg/day, s.c.) and is considered secondary to the sedative effects of fentanyl in animal studies.

In studies on pre and postnatal development in rats the survival rate of offspring was significantly reduced at doses causing severe maternal toxicity. Further findings at maternally toxic doses in F1 pups were delayed physical development, sensory functions, reflexes and behaviour. These effects could either be indirect effects due to altered maternal care and/or decreased lactation rate or a direct effect of fentanyl on the pups.

Carcinogenicity studies (26-week dermal alternative bioassay in Tg.AC transgenic mice; two-year subcutaneous carcinogenicity study in rats) with fentanyl did not reveal any findings indicative of oncogenic potential. Evaluation of brain slides from the carcinogenicity study in rats revealed brain lesions in animals administered high doses of fentanyl citrate. The relevance of these findings to humans is unknown.

6.PHARMACEUTICAL PARTICULARS

6.1List of excipients

Mannitol

Sodium starch glycolate type A

Sodium hydrogen carbonate

Sodium carbonate anhydrous

Citric acid anhydrous

Magnesium stearate

6.2Incompatibilities

Not applicable.

6.3Shelf life

3 years

6.4Special precautions for storage

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

6.5Nature and contents of container

Aluminium laminated blister of PVC/Al foil/Polyamide/PVC with paper/polyester lidding.

Blister packs are supplied in cartons of 4 or 28 tablets. Not all pack-sizes may be marketed.

6.6Special precautions for disposal

Patients and carers must be advised to dispose of any unopened tablets remaining from a prescription as soon as they are no longer needed.

Any used or unused but no longer required medicinal product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.

7.MARKETING AUTHORISATION HOLDER

TEVA B.V.

Swensweg 5

2031 GA Haarlem

Netherlands

8.MARKETING AUTHORISATION NUMBER(S)

Effentora 100 micrograms buccal tablets

EU/1/08/441/001-002

Effentora 200 micrograms buccal tablets

EU/1/08/441/003-004

Effentora 400 micrograms buccal tablets

EU/1/08/441/005-006

Effentora 600 micrograms buccal tablets

EU/1/08/441/007-008

Effentora 800 micrograms buccal tablets

EU/1/08/441/009-010

9.DATE OF FIRST AUTHORISATION/RENEWAL OF THE AUTHORISATION

Date of first authorisation: 04 April 2008

Date of latest renewal: 20 February 2013

10.DATE OF REVISION OF THE TEXT

Detailed information on this medicinal product is available on the website of the European Medicines Agency http://www.ema.europa.eu.

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