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Zarzio (filgrastim) – Summary of product characteristics - L03AA02

Updated on site: 11-Oct-2017

Medication nameZarzio
ATC CodeL03AA02
Substancefilgrastim
ManufacturerSandoz GmbH

1.NAME OF THE MEDICINAL PRODUCT

Zarzio 30 MU/0.5 ml solution for injection or infusion in pre-filled syringe

Zarzio 48 MU/0.5 ml solution for injection or infusion in pre-filled syringe

2.QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE COMPOSITION

Zarzio 30 MU/0.5 ml solution for injection or infusion in pre-filled syringe

Each ml of solution contains 60 million units (MU) (equivalent to 600 micrograms [μg]) filgrastim*. Each pre-filled syringe contains 30 MU (equivalent to 300 μg) filgrastim in 0.5 ml.

Zarzio 48 MU/0.5 ml solution for injection or infusion in pre-filled syringe

Each ml of solution contains 96 million units (MU) (equivalent to 960 micrograms [μg]) filgrastim*. Each pre-filled syringe contains 48 MU (equivalent to 480 μg) filgrastim in 0.5 ml.

* recombinant methionylated human granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) produced in E. coli by recombinant DNA technology.

Excipient with known effect:

Each ml of solution contains 50 mg sorbitol (E420).

For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.

3.PHARMACEUTICAL FORM

Solution for injection or infusion in pre-filled syringe (injection or infusion).

Clear, colourless to slightly yellowish solution.

4.CLINICAL PARTICULARS

4.1Therapeutic indications

-Reduction in the duration of neutropenia and the incidence of febrile neutropenia in patients treated with established cytotoxic chemotherapy for malignancy (with the exception of chronic myeloid leukaemia and myelodysplastic syndromes) and reduction in the duration of neutropenia in patients undergoing myeloablative therapy followed by bone marrow transplantation considered to be at increased risk of prolonged severe neutropenia.

The safety and efficacy of filgrastim are similar in adults and children receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy.

-Mobilisation of peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPCs).

-In patients, children or adults, with severe congenital, cyclic, or idiopathic neutropenia with an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) of ≤ 0.5 x 109/l, and a history of severe or recurrent infections, long term administration of filgrastim is indicated to increase neutrophil counts and to reduce the incidence and duration of infection-related events.

-Treatment of persistent neutropenia (ANC ≤ 1.0 x 109/l) in patients with advanced HIV infection, in order to reduce the risk of bacterial infections when other options to manage neutropenia are inappropriate.

4.2Posology and method of administration

Filgrastim therapy should only be given in collaboration with an oncology centre which has experience in G-CSF treatment and haematology and has the necessary diagnostic facilities. The mobilisation and apheresis procedures should be performed in collaboration with an oncology-haematology centre with acceptable experience in this field and where the monitoring of haematopoietic progenitor cells can be correctly performed.

Established cytotoxic chemotherapy

Posology

The recommended dose of filgrastim is 0.5 MU/kg/day (5 μg/kg/day). The first dose of filgrastim should be administered at least 24 hours after cytotoxic chemotherapy. In randomised clinical trials, a subcutaneous dose of 230 μg/m2/day (4.0 to 8.4 μg/kg/day) was used.

Daily dosing with filgrastim should continue until the expected neutrophil nadir is passed and the neutrophil count has recovered to the normal range. Following established chemotherapy for solid tumours, lymphomas, and lymphoid leukaemia, it is expected that the duration of treatment required to fulfil these criteria will be up to 14 days. Following induction and consolidation treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia the duration of treatment may be substantially longer (up to 38 days) depending on the type, dose and schedule of cytotoxic chemotherapy used.

In patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy, a transient increase in neutrophil counts is typically seen 1 - 2 days after initiation of filgrastim therapy. However, for a sustained therapeutic response, filgrastim therapy should not be discontinued before the expected nadir has passed and the neutrophil count has recovered to the normal range. Premature discontinuation of filgrastim therapy, prior to the time of the expected neutrophil nadir, is not recommended.

Method of administration

Filgrastim may be given as a daily subcutaneous injection or as a daily intravenous infusion diluted in 5% glucose solution given over 30 minutes (see section 6.6). The subcutaneous route is preferred in most cases. There is some evidence from a study of single dose administration that intravenous dosing may shorten the duration of effect. The clinical relevance of this finding to multiple dose administration is not clear. The choice of route should depend on the individual clinical circumstance.

In patients treated with myeloablative therapy followed by bone marrow transplantation

Posology

The recommended starting dose of filgrastim is 1.0 MU/kg/day (10 μg/kg/day). The first dose of filgrastim should be administered at least 24 hours following cytotoxic chemotherapy and at least 24 hours after bone marrow infusion.

Once the neutrophil nadir has been passed, the daily dose of filgrastim should be titrated against the neutrophil response as follows:

Neutrophil count

Filgrastim dose adjustment

> 1.0 x 109/l for 3 consecutive days

Reduce to 0.5 MU/kg/day (5 μg/kg/day)

Then, if ANC remains > 1.0 x 109/l for

Discontinue filgrastim

3 more consecutive days

 

If the ANC decreases to < 1.0 x 109/l during the treatment period, the dose of filgrastim should be re-escalated according to the above steps

ANC = absolute neutrophil count

Method of administration

Filgrastim may be given as a 30 minute or 24 hour intravenous infusion or given by continuous 24 hour subcutaneous infusion. Filgrastim should be diluted in 20 ml of 5% glucose solution (see section 6.6).

For the mobilisation of PBPCs in patients undergoing myelosuppressive or myeloablative therapy followed by autologous PBPC transplantation

Posology

The recommended dose of filgrastim for PBPC mobilisation when used alone is 1.0 MU/kg/day (10 μg/kg/day) for 5 - 7 consecutive days. Timing of leukapheresis:

1 or 2 leukaphereses on days 5 and 6 are often sufficient. In other circumstances, additional leukaphereses may be necessary. Filgrastim dosing should be maintained until the last leukapheresis.

The recommended dose of filgrastim for PBPC mobilisation after myelosuppressive chemotherapy is 0.5 MU/kg/day (5 μg/kg/day) from the first day after completion of chemotherapy until the expected neutrophil nadir is passed and the neutrophil count has recovered to the normal range. Leukapheresis should be performed during the period when the ANC rises from < 0.5 x 109/l to > 5.0 x 109/l. For patients who have not had extensive chemotherapy, one leukapheresis is often sufficient. In other circumstances, additional leukaphereses are recommended.

Method of administration

Filgrastim for PBPC mobilisation when used alone:

Filgrastim may be given as a 24 hour subcutaneous continuous infusion or subcutaneous injection. For infusions filgrastim should be diluted in 20 ml of 5% glucose solution (see section 6.6).

Filgrastim for PBPC mobilisation after myelosuppressive chemotherapy:

Filgrastim should be given by subcutaneous injection.

For the mobilisation of PBPCs in normal donors prior to allogeneic PBPC transplantation

Posology

For PBPC mobilisation in normal donors, filgrastim should be administered at

1.0 MU/kg/day (10 μg/kg/day) for 4 - 5 consecutive days. Leukapheresis should be started at day 5 and continued until day 6 if needed in order to collect 4 x 106 CD34+ cells/kg recipient bodyweight.

Method of administration

Filgrastim should be given by subcutaneous injection.

In patients with severe chronic neutropenia (SCN)

Posology

Congenital neutropenia:

The recommended starting dose is 1.2 MU/kg/day (12 μg/kg/day) as a single dose or in divided doses.

Idiopathic or cyclic neutropenia:

The recommended starting dose is 0.5 MU/kg/day (5 μg/kg/day) as a single dose or in divided doses.

Dose adjustment:

Filgrastim should be administered daily by subcutaneous injection until the neutrophil count has reached and can be maintained at more than 1.5 x 109/l. When the response has been obtained, the minimal effective dose to maintain this level should be established. Long-term daily administration is

required to maintain an adequate neutrophil count. After 1 - 2 weeks of therapy, the initial dose may be doubled or halved depending upon the patient's response. Subsequently the dose may be individually adjusted every 1 - 2 weeks to maintain the average neutrophil count between 1.5 x 109/l and 10 x 109/l. A faster schedule of dose escalation may be considered in patients presenting with severe infections. In clinical trials, 97% of patients who responded had a complete response at doses ≤ 24 μg/kg/day. The long-term safety of filgrastim administration above 24 μg/kg/day in patients with SCN has not been established.

Method of administration

Congenital, idiopathic or cyclic neutropenia: Filgrastim should be given by subcutaneous injection.

In patients with HIV infection

Posology

For reversal of neutropenia:

The recommended starting dose of filgrastim is 0.1 MU/kg/day (1 μg/kg/day), with titration up to a maximum of 0.4 MU/kg/day (4 μg/kg/day) until a normal neutrophil count is reached and can be maintained (ANC > 2.0 x 109/l). In clinical studies, > 90% of patients responded at these doses, achieving reversal of neutropenia in a median of 2 days.

In a small number of patients (< 10%), doses up to 1.0 MU/kg/day (10 μg/kg/day) were required to achieve reversal of neutropenia.

For maintaining normal neutrophil counts:

When reversal of neutropenia has been achieved, the minimal effective dose to maintain a normal neutrophil count should be established. Initial dose adjustment to alternate day dosing with

30 MU/day (300 μg/day) is recommended. Further dose adjustment may be necessary, as determined by the patient's ANC, to maintain the neutrophil count at > 2.0 x 109/l. In clinical studies, dosing with 30 MU/day (300 μg/day) on 1 - 7 days per week was required to maintain the ANC > 2.0 x 109/l, with the median dose frequency being 3 days per week. Long-term administration may be required to maintain the ANC > 2.0 x 109/l.

Method of administration

Reversal of neutropenia or maintaining normal neutrophil counts: Filgrastim should be given by subcutaneous injection.

Elderly

Clinical trials with filgrastim have included a small number of elderly patients but special studies have not been performed in this group and therefore specific dosage recommendations cannot be made.

Renal impairment

Studies of filgrastim in patients with severe impairment of renal or hepatic function demonstrate that it exhibits a similar pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile to that seen in normal individuals. Dose adjustment is not required in these circumstances.

Paediatric use in the SCN and cancer settings

Sixty-five percent of the patients studied in the SCN trial program were under 18 years of age. The efficacy of treatment was clear for this age-group, which included most patients with congenital neutropenia. There were no differences in the safety profiles for paediatric patients treated for SCN.

Data from clinical studies in paediatric patients indicate that the safety and efficacy of filgrastim are similar in both adults and children receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy.

The dosage recommendations in paediatric patients are the same as those in adults receiving myelosuppressive cytotoxic chemotherapy.

4.3Contraindications

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

4.4Special warnings and precautions for use

Special warnings

Filgrastim should not be used to increase the dose of cytotoxic chemotherapy beyond established dosage regimens (see below).

Filgrastim should not be administered to patients with severe congenital neutropenia who develop leukaemia or have evidence of leukaemic evolution.

Hypersensitivity, including anaphylactic reactions, occurring on initial or subsequent treatment have been reported in patients treated with filgrastim. Permanently discontinue Zarzio in patients with clinically significant hypersensitivity. Do not administer Zarzio to patients with a history of hypersensitivity to filgrastim or pegfilgrastim.

As with all therapeutic proteins, there is a potential for immunogenicity. Rates of generation of antibodies against filgrastim is generally low. Binding antibodies do occur as expected with all biologics; however, they have not been associated with neutralising activity at present.

Established cytotoxic chemotherapy

Malignant cell growth

G-CSF can promote growth of myeloid cells in vitro and similar effects may be seen on some non- myeloid cells in vitro.

The safety and efficacy of filgrastim administration in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, or chronic myelogenous leukaemia have not been established. Filgrastim is not indicated for use in these conditions. Particular care should be taken to distinguish the diagnosis of blast transformation of chronic myeloid leukaemia from acute myeloid leukaemia.

In view of limited safety and efficacy data in patients with secondary acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML), filgrastim should be administered with caution.

The safety and efficacy of filgrastim administration in de novo AML patients aged < 55 years with good cytogenetics [t(8;21), t(15;17), and inv(16)] have not been established.

Special precautions in cancer patients

Cases of splenomegaly and splenic rupture have been reported uncommonly following administration of filgrastim. Some cases of splenic rupture were fatal. Individuals receiving filgrastim who report left upper abdominal and/ or shoulder tip pain should be evaluated for an enlarged spleen or splenic rupture.

Leukocytosis

White blood cell counts of 100 x 109/l or greater have been observed in less than 5% of patients receiving filgrastim at doses above 0.3 MU/kg/day (3 μg/kg/day). No undesirable effects directly attributable to this degree of leukocytosis have been reported. However, in view of the potential risks associated with severe leukocytosis, a white blood cell count should be performed at regular intervals

during filgrastim therapy. If leukocyte counts exceed 50 x 109/l after the expected nadir, filgrastim should be discontinued immediately. However, during the period of administration of filgrastim for PBPC mobilisation, it should be discontinued or its dosage should be reduced if the leukocyte counts rise to > 70 x 109/l.

Risks associated with increased doses of chemotherapy

Special caution should be used when treating patients with high-dose chemotherapy because improved tumour outcome has not been demonstrated and intensified doses of chemotherapeutic agents may lead to increased toxicities including cardiac, pulmonary, neurologic, and dermatologic effects (please refer to the Summary of Product Characteristics of the specific chemotherapy agents used).

Treatment with filgrastim alone does not preclude thrombocytopenia and anaemia due to myelosuppressive chemotherapy. Because of the potential of receiving higher doses of chemotherapy (e.g. full doses on the prescribed schedule) the patient may be at greater risk of thrombocytopenia and anaemia. Regular monitoring of platelet count and haematocrit is recommended. Special care should be taken when administering single or combination chemotherapeutic agents which are known to cause severe thrombocytopenia.

The use of filgrastim-mobilised PBPCs has been shown to reduce the depth and duration of thrombocytopenia following myelosuppressive or myeloablative chemotherapy.

Other special precautions

The effects of filgrastim in patients with substantially reduced myeloid progenitors have not been studied. Filgrastim acts primarily on neutrophil precursors to exert its effect in elevating neutrophil counts. Therefore, in patients with reduced precursors, neutrophil response may be diminished (such as those treated with extensive radiotherapy or chemotherapy, or those with bone marrow infiltration by tumour).

Vascular disorders, including veno-occlusive disease and fluid volume disturbances, have been reported occasionally in patients undergoing high dose chemotherapy followed by transplantation.

There have been reports of Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) and fatalities in patients receiving G-CSF after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (see section 4.8 and 5.1).

Increased haematopoietic activity of the bone marrow in response to growth factor therapy has been associated with transient abnormal bone scans. This should be considered when interpreting bone- imaging results.

Mobilisation of PBPC

There are no prospectively randomised comparisons of the two recommended mobilisation methods (Filgrastim alone, or in combination with myelosuppressive chemotherapy) within the same patient population. The degree of variation between individual patients and between laboratory assays of CD34+ cells mean that direct comparison between different studies is difficult. It is therefore difficult to recommend an optimum method. The choice of mobilisation method should be considered in relation to the overall objectives of treatment for an individual patient.

Prior exposure to cytotoxic agents

Patients who have undergone very extensive prior myelosuppressive therapy may not show sufficient mobilisation of PBPC to achieve the recommended minimum yield (≥ 2.0 x 106 CD34+ cells/kg) or acceleration of platelet recovery to the same degree.

Some cytotoxic agents exhibit particular toxicities to the haematopoietic progenitor pool and may adversely affect progenitor mobilisation. Agents such as melphalan, carmustine (BCNU) and carboplatin, when administered over prolonged periods prior to attempts at progenitor mobilisation may reduce progenitor yield. However, the administration of melphalan, carboplatin or BCNU together with filgrastim has been shown to be effective for progenitor mobilisation. When a PBPC

transplantation is envisaged it is advisable to plan the stem cell mobilisation procedure early in the treatment course of the patient. Particular attention should be paid to the number of progenitors mobilised in such patients before the administration of high-dose chemotherapy. If yields are inadequate, as measured by the criteria above, alternative forms of treatment not requiring progenitor support should be considered.

Assessment of progenitor cell yields

In assessing the number of progenitor cells harvested in patients treated with filgrastim, particular attention should be paid to the method of quantitation. The results of flow cytometric analysis of CD34+ cell numbers vary depending on the precise methodology used and therefore, recommendations of numbers based on studies in other laboratories need to be interpreted with caution.

Statistical analysis of the relationship between the number of CD34+ cells re-infused and the rate of platelet recovery after high-dose chemotherapy indicates a complex but continuous relationship.

The recommendation of a minimum yield of ≥ 2.0 x 106 CD34+ cells/kg is based on published experience resulting in adequate haematologic reconstitution. Yields in excess of this minimum yield appear to correlate with more rapid recovery, those below with slower recovery.

Normal donors undergoing PBPC mobilisation

Mobilisation of PBPC does not provide a direct clinical benefit to normal donors and should only be considered for the purposes of allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

PBPC mobilisation should be considered only in donors who meet normal clinical and laboratory eligibility criteria for stem cell donation with special attention to haematological values and infectious disease.

The safety and efficacy of filgrastim have not been assessed in normal donors < 16 years or > 60 years.

Thrombocytopenia has been reported very commonly in patients receiving filgrastim. Platelet counts should therefore be monitored closely.

Transient thrombocytopenia (platelets < 100 x 109/l) following filgrastim administration and leukapheresis was observed in 35% of subjects studied. Among these, two cases of platelets < 50 x 109/l were reported and attributed to the leukapheresis procedure.

If more than one leukapheresis is required, particular attention should be paid to donors with platelets < 100 x 109/l prior to leukapheresis; in general apheresis should not be performed if platelets < 75 x 109/l.

Leukapheresis should not be performed in donors who are anticoagulated or who have known defects in haemostasis.

Filgrastim administration should be discontinued or its dosage should be reduced if the leukocyte counts rise to > 70 x 109/l.

Donors who receive G-CSFs for PBPC mobilisation should be monitored until haematological indices return to normal.

Transient cytogenetic abnormalities have been observed in normal donors following G-CSF use. The significance of these changes is unknown. Nevertheless, a risk of promotion of a malignant myeloid clone cannot be excluded. It is recommended that the apheresis centre perform a systematic record and tracking of the stem cell donors for at least 10 years to ensure monitoring of long-term safety.

Common but generally asymptomatic cases of splenomegaly and uncommon cases of splenic rupture have been reported in healthy donors (and patients) following administration of G-CSFs. Some cases

of splenic rupture were fatal. Therefore, spleen size should be carefully monitored (e.g. clinical examination, ultrasound). A diagnosis of splenic rupture should be considered in donors and/or patients reporting left upper abdominal pain or shoulder tip pain.

In normal donors, dyspnoea has been reported commonly and other pulmonary adverse events (haemoptysis, pulmonary haemorrhage, lung infiltrates and hypoxia) have been reported uncommonly. In case of suspected or confirmed pulmonary adverse events, discontinuation of treatment with filgrastim should be considered and appropriate medical care given.

Recipients of allogeneic PBPCs mobilised with filgrastim

Current data indicate that immunological interactions between the allogeneic PBPC graft and the recipient may be associated with an increased risk of acute and chronic GvHD when compared with bone marrow transplantation.

SCN

Blood cell counts

Thrombocytopenia has been reported commonly in patients receiving filgrastim. Platelet counts should be monitored closely, especially during the first few weeks of filgrastim therapy. Consideration should be given to intermittent cessation or decreasing the dose of filgrastim in patients who develop thrombocytopenia, i.e. platelets consistently < 100,000/mm3.

Other blood cell changes occur, including anaemia and transient increases in myeloid progenitors, which require close monitoring of cell counts.

Transformation to leukaemia or myelodysplastic syndrome

Special care should be taken in the diagnosis of SCNs to distinguish them from other haematopoietic disorders such as aplastic anaemia, myelodysplasia, and myeloid leukaemia. Complete blood cell counts with differential and platelet counts, and an evaluation of bone marrow morphology and karyotype should be performed prior to treatment.

There was a low frequency (approximately 3%) of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or leukaemia in clinical trial patients with SCN treated with filgrastim. This observation has only been made in patients with congenital neutropenia. MDS and leukaemias are natural complications of the disease and are of uncertain relation to filgrastim therapy. A subset of approximately 12% of patients who had normal cytogenetic evaluations at baseline was subsequently found to have abnormalities, including monosomy 7, on routine repeat evaluation. It is currently unclear whether long-term treatment of patients with SCN will predispose patients to cytogenetic abnormalities, MDS or leukaemic transformation. It is recommended to perform morphologic and cytogenetic bone marrow examinations in patients at regular intervals (approximately every 12 months).

Other special precautions

Causes of transient neutropenia, such as viral infections should be excluded.

Cases of splenomegaly have been reported very commonly and cases of splenic rupture have been reported commonly following administration of filgrastim. Individuals receiving filgrastim who report left upper abdominal and/ or shoulder tip pain should be evaluated for an enlarged spleen or splenic rupture.

Splenomegaly is a direct effect of treatment with filgrastim. Thirty-one percent (31%) of patients in studies were documented as having palpable splenomegaly. Increases in volume, measured radiographically, occurred early during filgrastim therapy and tended to plateau. Dose reductions were noted to slow or stop the progression of splenic enlargement, and in 3% of patients a splenectomy was required. Spleen size should be evaluated regularly. Abdominal palpation should be sufficient to detect abnormal increases in splenic volume.

Haematuria was common and proteinuria occurred in a small number of patients. Regular urine analyses should be performed to monitor this event.

The safety and efficacy in neonates and patients with autoimmune neutropenia have not been established.

HIV infection

Cases of splenomegaly have been reported commonly following administration of filgrastim. Individuals receiving filgrastim who report left upper abdominal and/ or shoulder tip pain should therefore be evaluated for an enlarged spleen or splenic rupture.

Blood cell counts

Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) should be monitored closely, especially during the first few weeks of filgrastim therapy. Some patients may respond very rapidly and with a considerable increase in neutrophil count to the initial dose of filgrastim. It is recommended that the ANC is measured daily for the first 2 - 3 days of filgrastim administration. Thereafter, it is recommended that the ANC is measured at least twice per week for the first 2 weeks and subsequently once per week or once every other week during maintenance therapy. During intermittent dosing with 30 MU/day (300 μg/day) of filgrastim, there can be wide fluctuations in the patient's ANC over time. In order to determine a patient's trough or nadir ANC, it is recommended that blood samples are taken for ANC measurement immediately prior to any scheduled dosing with filgrastim.

Risk associated with increased doses of myelosuppressive medicinal products

Treatment with filgrastim alone does not preclude thrombocytopenia and anaemia due to myelosuppressive treatments. As a result of the potential to receive higher doses or a greater number of these medicinal products with filgrastim therapy, the patient may be at higher risk of developing thrombocytopenia and anaemia. Regular monitoring of blood counts is recommended (see above).

Infections and malignancies causing myelosuppression

Neutropenia may be due to bone marrow-infiltrating opportunistic infections such as Mycobacterium avium complex or malignancies such as lymphoma. In patients with known bone marrow-infiltrating infections or malignancy, consider appropriate therapy for treatment of the underlying condition in addition to administration of filgrastim for treatment of neutropenia. The effects of filgrastim on neutropenia due to bone marrow-infiltrating infection or malignancy have not been well established.

Sickle cell trait and sickle cell disease

Sickle cells crises, in some cases fatal, have been reported with the use of filgrastim in patients with sickle cell trait or sickle cell disease. Physicians should use caution when prescribing filgrastim in patients with sickle cell trait or sickle cell disease.

Other special precautions

Pulmonary adverse reactions, in particular interstitial lung disease, have been reported after G-CSF administration. Patients with a recent history of lung infiltrates or pneumonia may be at higher risk. The onset of pulmonary signs, such as cough, fever and dyspnoea in association with radiological signs of pulmonary infiltrates and deterioration in pulmonary function may be preliminary signs of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Filgrastim should be discontinued and appropriate treatment given in these cases.

Monitoring of bone density may be indicated in patients with underlying osteoporotic bone diseases who undergo continuous therapy with filgrastim for more than 6 months.

Capillary leak syndrome has been reported after granulocyte colony-stimulating factor administration and is characterised by hypotension, hypoalbuminaemia, oedema and hemoconcentration. Patients who develop symptoms of capillary leak syndrome should be closely monitored and receive standard symptomatic treatment, which may include a need for intensive care (see section 4.8).

Glomerulonephritis has been reported in patients receiving filgrastim or pegfilgrastim. Generally, events of glomerulonephritis resolved after dose reduction or withdrawal of filgrastim or pegfilgrastim. Urinalysis monitoring is recommended.

Latex-sensitive individuals

The removable needle cap of this pre-filled syringe contains a derivative of natural rubber latex. No natural rubber latex has to date been detected in the removable needle cap. Nevertheless, the use of Zarzio solution for injection in pre-filled syringe in latex-sensitive individuals has not been studied and thus there is a potential risk for hypersensitivity reactions which cannot be completely ruled out.

Excipients

Zarzio contains sorbitol (E420). Patients with rare hereditary problems of fructose intolerance should not use this medicinal product.

In order to improve the traceability of granulocyte-colony stimulating factors (G-CSFs), the trade name of the administered product should be clearly recorded in the patient file.

4.5Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

The safety and efficacy of filgrastim given on the same day as myelosuppressive cytotoxic chemotherapy have not been definitively established. In view of the sensitivity of rapidly dividing myeloid cells to myelosuppressive cytotoxic chemotherapy, the use of filgrastim is not recommended in the period from 24 hours before to 24 hours after chemotherapy. Preliminary evidence from a small number of patients treated concomitantly with filgrastim and 5-fluorouracil indicates that the severity of neutropenia may be exacerbated.

Possible interactions with other haematopoietic growth factors and cytokines have not yet been investigated in clinical trials.

Since lithium promotes the release of neutrophils, lithium is likely to potentiate the effect of filgrastim. Although this interaction has not been formally investigated, there is no evidence that such an interaction is harmful.

4.6Fertility, pregnancy and lactation

Pregnancy

There are no or limited amount of data from the use of filgrastim in pregnant women. Studies in animals have shown reproductive toxicity. An increased incidence of embryo-loss has been observed in rabbits at high multiples of the clinical exposure and in the presence of maternal toxicity (see section 5.3). There are reports in the literature where the transplacental passage of filgrastim in pregnant women has been demonstrated.

Zarzio is not recommended during pregnancy.

Breast-feeding

It is unknown whether filgrastim/metabolites are excreted in human milk. A risk to the newborns/infants cannot be excluded. A decision must be made whether to discontinue breast-feeding or to discontinue/abstain from Zarzio therapy taking into account the benefit of breast feeding for the child and the benefit of therapy for the woman.

Fertility

Filgrastim did not affect reproductive performance or fertility in male or female rats (see section 5.3).

4.7Effects on ability to drive and use machines

No studies on the effects on the ability to drive and use machines have been performed.

4.8Undesirable effects

Summary of the safety profile

In clinical trials in cancer patients the most frequent undesirable effect was musculoskeletal pain which was mild or moderate in 10%, and severe in 3% of patients.

Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) has also been reported (see below).

In PBPC mobilisation in normal donors the most commonly reported undesirable effect was musculoskeletal pain. Leukocytosis was observed in donors and thrombocytopenia following filgrastim and leukapheresis was also observed in donors. Splenomegaly and splenic rupture were also reported. Some cases of splenic rupture were fatal.

In SCN patients the most frequent undesirable effects attributable to filgrastim were bone pain, general musculoskeletal pain and splenomegaly. Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) or leukaemia have developed in patients with congenital neutropaenia treated with filgrastim (see section 4.4).

Capillary Leak Syndrome, which can be life-threatening if treatment is delayed, has been reported uncommonly (≥ 1/1000 to < 1/100) in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and healthy donors undergoing peripheral blood progenitor cell mobilisation following administration of granulocyte colony-stimulating factors; see below and section 4.4.

In clinical studies in patients with HIV, the only undesirable effects that were consistently considered to be related to filgrastim administration were musculoskeletal pain, bone pain and myalgia.

Tabulated summary of adverse reactions

The data in the tables below describe adverse reactions reported from clinical trials and spontaneous reporting. Within each frequency grouping, undesirable effects are presented in order of decreasing seriousness. Data are presented separately for cancer patients, PBPC mobilisation in normal donors, SCN patients and patients with HIV, reflecting the different adverse reaction profiles in these populations.

Table 1. Cancer patients

MedDRA system

Adverse reactions

 

 

 

 

organ class

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very common

 

Common

Uncommon

Rare

Very rare

 

 

 

(≥ 1/10)

 

(≥ 1/100 to

(≥ 1/1,000 to

(≥ 1/10,000

(< 1/10,000)

 

 

 

< 1/10)

< 1/100)

to

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 1/1,000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blood and

 

 

 

Splenic rupturea

 

 

lymphatic

 

 

 

Splenomegalya, e

 

 

system disorders

 

 

 

Sickle cell crisisa

 

 

Immune system

 

 

Drug

Graft versus

 

 

disorders

 

 

hypersensitivitya

Host Diseaseb

 

 

MedDRA system

Adverse reactions

 

 

 

 

organ class

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very common

 

Common

Uncommon

Rare

Very rare

 

 

 

(≥ 1/10)

 

(≥ 1/100 to

(≥ 1/1,000 to

(≥ 1/10,000

(< 1/10,000)

 

 

 

< 1/10)

< 1/100)

to

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 1/1,000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metabolism and

Blood uric acid

 

 

Pseudogouta

 

 

nutrition

increased

 

 

 

 

 

disorders

Blood lactate

 

 

 

 

 

 

dehydrogenase

 

 

 

 

 

 

increased

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decreased

 

 

 

 

 

 

appetitea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nervous system

Headachea

 

 

 

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vascular

 

 

Hypotension

Veno-occlusive

 

 

Disorders

 

 

 

diseased

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fluid volume

 

 

 

 

 

 

disturbances

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capillary leak

 

 

 

 

 

 

syndromea

 

 

Respiratory,

Oropharyngeal

 

Haemoptysise

Acute respiratory

 

 

thoracic and

paina

 

 

distress

 

 

mediastinal

Cougha

 

 

syndromea

 

 

disorders

Dyspnoea

 

 

Respiratory

 

 

 

 

 

 

failurea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pulmonary

 

 

 

 

 

 

oedemaa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interstitial lung

 

 

 

 

 

 

diseasea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lung infiltrationa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pulmonary

 

 

 

 

 

 

haemorrhage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gastrointestinal

Diarrhoeaa

 

 

 

 

 

disorders

Vomitinga

 

 

 

 

 

 

Constipationa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nauseaa

 

 

 

 

 

Hepatobiliary

Gamma-glutamyl

 

 

 

 

 

disorders

transferase

 

 

 

 

 

 

increased

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blood alkaline

 

 

 

 

 

 

phosphatase

 

 

 

 

 

 

increased

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skin and

Rasha

 

 

Sweets syndrome

 

 

subcutaneous

Alopeciaa

 

 

Cutaneous

 

 

tissue disorders

 

 

 

vasculitisa

 

 

Musculoskeletal

Musculoskeletal

 

 

Exacerbation of

 

 

and connective

painc

 

 

rheumatoid

 

 

MedDRA system

Adverse reactions

 

 

 

 

organ class

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very common

 

Common

Uncommon

Rare

Very rare

 

 

 

(≥ 1/10)

 

(≥ 1/100 to

(≥ 1/1,000 to

(≥ 1/10,000

(< 1/10,000)

 

 

 

< 1/10)

< 1/100)

to

 

 

 

 

 

 

< 1/1,000)

 

tissue disorders

 

 

 

arthritis

 

 

Renal and

 

 

Dysuria

Urine

 

 

urinary

 

 

 

abnormality

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

Glomerulonephri

 

 

 

 

 

 

tis

 

 

General

Astheniaa

 

Chest paina

 

 

 

disorders and

Fatiguea

 

 

 

 

 

administration

Mucosal

 

 

 

 

 

site conditions

inflammationa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paina

 

 

 

 

 

aSee below

bThere have been reports of GvHD and fatalities in patients after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (see below)

cIncludes bone pain, back pain, arthralgia, myalgia, pain in extremity, musculoskeletal pain, musculoskeletal chest pain, neck pain

dCases were observed in the post-marketing setting in patients undergoing bone marrow transplant or PBPC mobilization

eCases were observed in the clinical trial setting

Table 2. PBPC mobilisation in normal donors

MedDRA system

Adverse reactions

 

 

 

 

organ class

 

 

 

 

 

Very common

Common

Uncommon

Rare

Very rare

 

 

(≥ 1/10)

(≥ 1/100 to

(≥ 1/1,000 to

(≥ 1/10,000

(< 1/10,000)

 

 

< 1/10)

< 1/100)

to

 

 

 

 

 

< 1/1,000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blood and

Thrombocytopeniaa

Splenomegalya

Splenic rupturea

 

 

lymphatic system

Leukocytosisa

 

Sickle cell crisisa

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immune system

 

 

Anaphylactic

 

 

disorders

 

 

reaction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metabolism and

 

Blood lactate

Hyperuricaemia

 

 

nutrition

 

dehydrogenase

(blood uric acid

 

 

disorders

 

increased

increased)

 

 

Nervous system

Headache

 

 

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vascular

 

 

Capillary leak

 

 

disorders

 

 

syndromea

 

 

Respiratory,

 

Dyspnoea

Pulmonary

 

 

thoracic and

 

 

haemorrhage

 

 

mediastinal

 

 

Haemoptysis

 

 

disorders

 

 

Lung infiltration

 

 

 

 

 

Hypoxia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MedDRA system

Adverse reactions

 

 

 

 

organ class

 

 

 

 

 

Very common

Common

Uncommon

Rare

Very rare

 

 

(≥ 1/10)

(≥ 1/100 to

(≥ 1/1,000 to

(≥ 1/10,000

(< 1/10,000)

 

 

< 1/10)

< 1/100)

to

 

 

 

 

 

< 1/1,000)

 

Hepatobiliary

 

Blood alkaline

Aspartate

 

 

disorders

 

phosphatase

aminotransferase

 

 

 

 

increased

increased

 

 

Musculoskeletal

Musculoskeletal

 

Rheumatoid

 

 

and connective

painb

 

arthritis

 

 

tissue disorders

 

 

aggravated

 

 

Renal and

 

 

Glomerulonephri

 

 

urinary

 

 

tis

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

aSee below

bIncludes bone pain, back pain, arthralgia, myalgia, pain in extremity, musculoskeletal pain, musculoskeletal chest pain, neck pain

Table 3. SCN patients

MedDRA system

Adverse reactions

 

 

 

organ class

 

 

 

 

 

Very common

Common

Uncommon

Rare

Very rare

 

 

(≥ 1/10)

(≥ 1/100 to < 1/10)

(≥ 1/1,000

(≥ 1/10,000

(< 1/10,000)

 

 

 

to < 1/100)

to < 1/1,000)

 

Blood and

Splenomegalya

Splenic rupturea

Sickle cell

 

 

lymphatic system

Anaemia

Thrombocytopeniaa

crisisa

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

Metabolism and

Hyperuricaemia

 

 

 

 

nutrition

Blood glucose

 

 

 

 

disorders

decreased

 

 

 

 

 

Blood lactate

 

 

 

 

 

dehydrogenase

 

 

 

 

 

increased

 

 

 

 

Nervous system

Headache

 

 

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

Respiratory,

Epistaxis

 

 

 

 

thoracic and

 

 

 

 

 

mediastinal

 

 

 

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

Gastrointestinal

Diarrhoea

 

 

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

Hepatobiliary

Hepatomegaly

 

 

 

 

disorders

Blood alkaline

 

 

 

 

 

phosphatase

 

 

 

 

 

increased

 

 

 

 

Skin and

Rash

Cutaneous vasculitis

 

 

 

subcutaneous

 

Alopecia

 

 

 

tissue disorders

 

 

 

 

 

Musculoskeletal

Musculoskeletal

Osteoporosis

 

 

 

and connective

painb

 

 

 

 

tissue disorders

Arthralgia

 

 

 

 

Renal and

 

Haematuria

Proteinuria

 

 

urinary

 

Glomerulonephritis

 

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

General

 

Injection site reaction

 

 

 

disorders and

 

 

 

 

 

administration

 

 

 

 

 

site conditions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

aSee below

bIncludes bone pain, back pain, arthralgia, myalgia, pain in extremity, musculoskeletal pain, musculoskeletal chest pain, neck pain

Table 4. Patients with HIV

MedDRA

Adverse reactions

 

 

 

system organ

 

 

 

 

 

Very common

Common

Uncommon

Rare

Very rare

class

 

(≥ 1/10)

(≥ 1/100 to

(≥ 1/1,000

(≥ 1/10,000

(< 1/10,000)

 

 

< 1/10)

to < 1/100)

to < 1/1,000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blood and

 

Splenomegalya

Sickle cell

 

 

lymphatic

 

 

crisisa

 

 

system

 

 

 

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

Musculoskeletal

Musculoskeletal

 

 

 

 

and connective

painb

 

 

 

 

tissue disorders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renal and

 

 

 

 

Glomerulonephritis

urinary

 

 

 

 

 

disorders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

aSee below

bIncludes bone pain, back pain, arthralgia, myalgia, pain in extremity, musculoskeletal pain, musculoskeletal chest pain, neck pain

Description of selected adverse reactions

There have been reports of GvHD and fatalities in patients receiving G-CSF after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (see section 4.4 and 5.1).

Cases of capillary leak syndrome have been reported in the post marketing setting with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor use. These have generally occurred in patients with advanced malignant diseases, sepsis, taking multiple chemotherapy medications or undergoing apheresis (see section 4.4).

Cancer patients

In randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials, filgrastim did not increase the incidence of undesirable effects associated with cytotoxic chemotherapy. In those clinical trials, undesirable effects reported with equal frequency in patients treated with filgrastim/chemotherapy and placebo/chemotherapy included nausea and vomiting, alopecia, diarrhoea, fatigue, anorexia (decreased appetite), mucosal inflammation, headache, cough, rash, chest pain, asthenia, pharyngolaryngeal pain (oropharyngeal pain) and constipation.

In the post-marketing setting cutaneous vasculitis has been reported in patients treated with filgrastim. The mechanism of vasculitis in patients receiving filgrastim is unknown.The frequency is estimated as uncommon from clinical trial data.

Cases of Sweets syndrome (acute febrile dermatosis) have been reported in the post-marketing setting. The frequency is estimated as uncommon from clinical trial data.

In clinical studies and the post-marketing setting pulmonary adverse effects including interstitial lung disease, pulmonary oedema, and lung infiltration have been reported in some cases with an outcome of respiratory failure or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which may be fatal (see section 4.4).

Cases of splenomegaly and splenic rupture have been reported uncommonly following administration of filgrastim. Some cases of splenic rupture were fatal (see section 4.4).

Hypersensitivity-type reactions including anaphylaxis, rash, urticaria, angioedema, dyspnoea and hypotension occurring on initial or subsequent treatment have been reported in clinical studies and in post marketing experience. Overall, reports were more common after intravenous administration. In some cases, symptoms have recurred with rechallenge, suggesting a causal relationship. Filgrastim should be permanently discontinued in patients who experience a serious allergic reaction.

In the post-marketing setting, isolated cases of sickle cell crises have been reported in patients with sickle cell trait or sickle cell disease (see section 4.4). The frequency is estimated as uncommon from clinical trial data.

Pseudogout has been reported in patients with cancer treated with filgrastim. The frequency is estimated as uncommon from clinical trial data.

PBPC mobilisation in normal donors

Common but generally asymptomatic cases of splenomegaly and uncommon cases of splenic rupture have been reported in healthy donors and patients following administration of filgrastim. Some cases of splenic rupture were fatal (see section 4.4).

Pulmonary adverse events (haemoptysis, pulmonary haemorrhage, lung infiltration, dyspnoea and hypoxia) have been reported (see section 4.4).

Exacerbation of arthritic symptoms has been uncommonly observed.

Leukocytosis (WBC > 50 x 109/l) was observed in 41% of donors and transient thrombocytopenia (platelets < 100 x 109/l) following filgrastim and leukapheresis was observed in 35% of donors (see section 4.4).

In SCN patients

Undesirable effects seen include splenomegaly, which may be progressive in a minority of cases, splenic rupture and thrombocytopenia (see section 4.4).

Undesirable effects possibly related to filgrastim therapy and typically occurring in < 2% of SCN patients were injection site reaction, headache, hepatomegaly, arthralgia, alopecia, osteoporosis, and rash.

During long term use cutaneous vasculitis has been reported in 2% of SCN patients.

In patients with HIV

Splenomegaly was reported to be related to filgrastim therapy in < 3% of patients. In all cases this was mild or moderate on physical examination and the clinical course was benign; no patients had a diagnosis of hyperplenism and no patients underwent splenectomy. As splenomegaly is a common finding in patients with HIV infection and is present to varying degrees in most patients with AIDS, the relationship to filgrastim treatment is unclear (see section 4.4).

Paediatric population

Data from clinical studies in paediatric patients indicate that the safety and efficacy of filgrastim are similar in both adults and children receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy suggesting no age-related differences in the pharmacokinetics of filgrastim. The only consistently reported adverse event was musculoskeletal pain‚ which is no different from the experience in the adult population.

There is insufficient data to further evaluate filgrastim use in paediatric subjects.

Other special populations

Geriatric use

No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between subjects over 65 years of age compared to younger adult (> 18 years of age) subjects receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy and clinical

experience has not identified differences in the responses between elderly and younger adult patients. There is insufficient data to evaluate filgrastim use in geriatric subjects for other approved filgrastim indications.

Paediatric SCN patients

Cases of decreased bone density and osteoporosis have been reported in paediatric patients with severe chronic neutropenia receiving chronic treatment with filgrastim. The frequency is estimated as 'common' from clinical trial data.

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

The effects of filgrastim overdosage have not been established. Discontinuation of filgrastim therapy usually results in a 50% decrease in circulating neutrophils within 1 to 2 days, with a return to normal levels in 1 to 7 days.

5.PHARMACOLOGICAL PROPERTIES

5.1Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Immunostimulants, colony stimulating factors, ATC Code: L03AA02

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

Human G-CSF is a glycoprotein which regulates the production and release of functional neutrophils from the bone marrow. Zarzio containing r-metHuG-CSF (filgrastim) causes marked increases in peripheral blood neutrophil counts within 24 hours, with minor increases in monocytes. In some SCN patients filgrastim can also induce a minor increase in the number of circulating eosinophils and basophils relative to baseline; some of these patients may present with eosinophilia or basophilia already prior to treatment. Elevations of neutrophil counts are dose-dependent at recommended doses. Neutrophils produced in response to filgrastim show normal or enhanced function as demonstrated by tests of chemotactic and phagocytic function. Following termination of filgrastim therapy, circulating neutrophil counts decrease by 50% within 1 - 2 days, and to normal levels within 1 - 7 days.

Use of filgrastim in patients undergoing cytotoxic chemotherapy leads to significant reductions in the incidence, severity and duration of neutropenia and febrile neutropenia. Treatment with filgrastim significantly reduces the duration of febrile neutropenia, antibiotic use and hospitalisation after induction chemotherapy for acute myelogenous leukaemia or myeloablative therapy followed by bone marrow transplantation. The incidence of fever and documented infections were not reduced in either setting. The duration of fever was not reduced in patients undergoing myeloablative therapy followed by bone marrow transplantation.

Use of filgrastim, either alone, or after chemotherapy, mobilises haematopoietic progenitor cells into the peripheral blood. These autologous PBPCs may be harvested and infused after high-dose cytotoxic therapy, either in place of, or in addition to bone marrow transplantation. Infusion of PBPC accelerates haematopoietic recovery reducing the duration of risk for haemorrhagic complications and the need for platelet transfusions.

Recipients of allogeneic PBPCs mobilised with filgrastim experienced significantly more rapid haematological recovery, leading to a significant decrease in time to unsupported platelet recovery when compared with allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.

One retrospective European study evaluating the use of G-CSF after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in patients with acute leukaemias suggested an increase in the risk of GvHD, treatment related mortality (TRM) and mortality when G-CSF was administered. In a separate retrospective international study in patients with acute and chronic myelogenous leukaemias, no effect on the risk of GvHD, TRM and mortality was seen. A meta-analysis of allogeneic transplant studies, including the results of nine prospective randomized trials, eight retrospective studies and one case-controlled study, did not detect an effect on the risks of acute GvHD, chronic GvHD or early treatment-related mortality.

Relative Risk (95% CI) of GvHD and TRM

Following treatment with G-CSF after bone marrow transplantation

Publication

Period of

N

Acute Grade

Chronic

TRM

Study

II - IV GvHD

GvHD

 

 

 

Meta-Analysis

 

 

1.08

1.02

0.70

(2003)

1986 - 2001a

(0.87, 1.33)

(0.82, 1.26)

(0.38, 1.31)

European

 

 

 

 

 

Retrospective

 

 

1.33

1.29

1.73

Study (2004)

1992 - 2002b

(1.08, 1.64)

(1.02, 1.61)

(1.30, 2.32)

International

 

 

 

 

 

Retrospective

 

 

1.11

1.10

1.26

Study (2006)

1995 - 2000b

(0.86, 1.42)

(0.86, 1.39)

(0.95, 1.67)

aAnalysis includes studies involving BM transplant during this period; some studies used GM-CSF bAnalysis includes patients receiving BM transplant during this period

Use of filgrastim for the mobilisation of PBPCs in normal donors prior to allogeneic PBPC transplantation

In normal donors, a 1 MU/kg/day (10 μg/kg/day) dose administered subcutaneously for

4 - 5 consecutive days allows a collection of ≥ 4 x 106 CD34+ cells/kg recipient BW in the majority of the donors after two leukaphereses.

Use of filgrastim in patients, children or adults, with SCN (severe congenital, cyclic, and idiopathic neutropenia) induces a sustained increase in ANCs in peripheral blood and a reduction of infection and related events.

Use of filgrastim in patients with HIV infection maintains normal neutrophil counts to allow scheduled dosing of antiviral and/or other myelosuppressive medication. There is no evidence that patients with HIV infection treated with filgrastim show an increase in HIV replication.

As with other haematopoietic growth factors, G-CSF has shown in vitro stimulating properties on human endothelial cells.

5.2Pharmacokinetic properties

Randomised, double-blind, single and multiple dose, crossover studies in 204 healthy volunteers showed that the pharmacokinetic profile of Zarzio was comparable to that of the reference product after subcutaneous and intravenous administration.

Absorption

A single subcutaneous dose of 0.5 MU/kg (5 µg/kg) resulted in maximum serum concentrations after a tmax of 4.5 ± 0.9 hours (mean ± SD).

Distribution

The volume of distribution in blood is approximately 150 ml/kg. Following subcutaneous administration of recommended doses, serum concentrations were maintained above 10 ng/ml for 8 - 16 hours. There is a positive linear correlation between the dose and the serum concentration of filgrastim, whether administered intravenously or subcutaneously.

Elimination

The median serum elimination half-life (t1/2) of filgrastim after single subcutaneous doses ranged from 2.7 hours (1.0 MU/kg, 10 µg/kg) to 5.7 hours (0.25 MU/kg, 2.5 µg/kg) and was prolonged after 7 days of dosing to 8.5 - 14 hours, respectively.

Continuous infusion with filgrastim over a period of up to 28 days, in patients recovering from autologous bone-marrow transplantation, resulted in no evidence of drug accumulation and comparable elimination half-lives.

5.3Preclinical safety data

Filgrastim was studied in repeated dose toxicity studies up to 1 year in duration which revealed changes attributable to the expected pharmacological actions including increases in leukocytes, myeloid hyperplasia in bone marrow, extramedullary granulopoiesis and splenic enlargement. These changes all reversed after discontinuation of treatment.

Effects of filgrastim on prenatal development have been studied in rats and rabbits. Intravenous (80 µg/kg/day) administration of filgrastim to rabbits during the period of organogenesis was

maternally toxic and increased spontaneous abortion, post-implantation loss, and decreased mean live litter size and foetal weight were observed.

Based on reported data for another filgrastim product similar to the reference filgrastim product, comparable findings plus increased foetal malformations were observed at 100 µg/kg/day, a maternally toxic dose which corresponded to a systemic exposure of approximately 50 – 90 times the exposures observed in patients treated with the clinical dose of 5 µg/kg/day. The observed adverse effect level for embryo-foetal toxicity in this study was 10 µg/kg/day, which corresponded to a systemic exposure of approximately 3 – 5 times the exposures observed in patients treated with the clinical dose.

In pregnant rats, no maternal or foetal toxicity was observed at doses up to 575 µg/kg/day. Offspring of rats administered filgrastim during the peri-natal and lactation periods, exhibited a delay in external differentiation and growth retardation (≥20 µg/kg/day) and slightly reduced survival rate

(100 µg/kg/day).

Filgrastim had no observed effect on the fertility of male or female rats.

6.PHARMACEUTICAL PARTICULARS

6.1List of excipients

Glutamic acid

Sorbitol (E420)

Polysorbate 80

Water for injections

6.2Incompatibilities

Zarzio must not be diluted with sodium chloride solution.

This medicinal product must not be mixed with other medicinal products except those mentioned in section 6.6.

Diluted filgrastim may be adsorbed to glass and plastic materials, unless it is diluted in glucose 50 mg/ml (5%) solution (see section 6.6).

6.3Shelf life

36 months.

After dilution: Chemical and physical in-use stability of the diluted solution for infusion has been demonstrated for 24 hours at 2°C to 8°C. From a microbiological point of view, the product should be used immediately. If not used immediately, in-use storage times and conditions prior to use are the responsibility of the user and would normally not be longer than 24 hours at 2°C to 8°C, unless dilution has taken place in controlled and validated aseptic conditions.

6.4Special precautions for storage

Store in a refrigerator (2°C - 8°C).

Keep the pre-filled syringe in the outer carton in order to protect from light.

Within its shelf-life and for the purpose of ambulatory use, the patient may remove the product from the refrigerator and store it at room temperature (not above 25°C) for one single period of up to 72 hours. At the end of this period, the product should not be put back in the refrigerator and should be disposed of.

For storage conditions after dilution of the medicinal product, see section 6.3.

6.5Nature and contents of container

Pre-filled syringe (type I glass) with injection needle (stainless steel), with or without a needle safety guard, containing 0.5 ml solution.

Pack sizes of 1, 3, 5 or 10 pre-filled syringes.

Not all pack sizes may be marketed.

6.6Special precautions for disposal and other handling

The solution should be visually inspected prior to use. Only clear solutions without particles should be used.

The inner part of the needle cap of the syringe may contain dry rubber (latex). Persons sensitive to latex should take special care with Zarzio (see section 4.4).

Accidental exposure to freezing temperatures does not adversely affect the stability of filgrastim.

Zarzio contains no preservative. In view of the possible risk of microbial contamination, Zarzio syringes are for single use only.

Dilution prior to administration (optional)

If required, Zarzio may be diluted in glucose 50 mg/ml (5%) solution.

Dilution to a final concentration < 0.2 MU/ml (2 μg/ml) is not recommended at any time.

For patients treated with filgrastim diluted to concentrations < 1.5 MU/ml (15 μg/ml), human serum albumin (HSA) should be added to a final concentration of 2 mg/ml.

Example: In a final volume of 20 ml, total doses of filgrastim less than 30 MU (300 μg) should be given with 0.2 ml of human serum albumin 200 mg/ml (20%) solution Ph. Eur. added.

When diluted in glucose 50 mg/ml (5%) solution, filgrastim is compatible with glass and a variety of plastics including polyvinylchloride, polyolefin (a copolymer of polypropylene and polyethylene) and polypropylene.

Using the pre-filled syringe with a needle safety guard

The needle safety guard covers the needle after injection to prevent needle stick injury. This does not affect normal operation of the syringe. Depress the plunger slowly and evenly until the entire dose has been given and the plunger cannot be depressed any further. While maintaining pressure on the plunger, remove the syringe from the patient. The needle safety guard will cover the needle when releasing the plunger.

Using the pre-filled syringe without a needle safety guard

Administer the dose as per standard protocol.

Disposal

Any unused product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.

7.MARKETING AUTHORISATION HOLDER

Sandoz GmbH

Biochemiestrasse 10

A-6250 Kundl

Austria

8.MARKETING AUTHORISATION NUMBERS

Zarzio 30 MU/0.5 ml solution for injection or infusion in pre-filled syringe

EU/1/08/495/001

EU/1/08/495/002

EU/1/08/495/003

EU/1/08/495/004

EU/1/08/495/009

EU/1/08/495/010

EU/1/08/495/011

EU/1/08/495/012

Zarzio 48 MU/0.5 ml solution for injection or infusion in pre-filled syringe

EU/1/08/495/005

EU/1/08/495/006

EU/1/08/495/007

EU/1/08/495/008

EU/1/08/495/013

EU/1/08/495/014

EU/1/08/495/015

EU/1/08/495/016

9.DATE OF FIRST AUTHORISATION/RENEWAL OF THE AUTHORISATION

Date of first authorisation: 06 February 2009

Date of latest renewal: 13 November 2013

10.DATE OF REVISION OF THE TEXT

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