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Side Effects & Adverse Reactions
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Insulin-dependent post-transplant diabetes mellitus (PTDM) was reported in 20% of Prograf-treated kidney transplant patients without pretransplant history of diabetes mellitus in the Phase III study (See Tables Below). The median time to onset of PTDM was 68 days. Insulin dependence was reversible in 15% of these PTDM patients at one year and in 50% at 2 years post transplant. Black and Hispanic kidney transplant patients were at an increased risk of development of PTDM.
|Status of PTDM*||Prograf||CBIR|
|Patients without pretransplant history of diabetes mellitus.||151||151|
|New onset PTDM*, 1st Year||30/151 (20%)||6/151 (4%)|
|Still insulin dependent at one year in those without prior history of diabetes.||25/151 (17%)||5/151 (3%)|
|New onset PTDM* post 1 year||1||0|
|Patients with PTDM* at 2 years||16/151 (11%)||5/151 (3%)|
|No. of Patients at Risk||Patients Who Developed PTDM*||No. of Patients At Risk||Patients Who Developed PTDM*|
|Black||41||15 (37%)||36||3 (8%)|
|Caucasian||82||10 (12%)||87||1 (1%)|
|Other||11||0 (0%)||10||1 (10%)|
|Total||151||30 (20%)||151||6 (4%)|
Insulin-dependent post-transplant diabetes mellitus was reported in 18% and 11% of Prograf-treated liver transplant patients and was reversible in 45% and 31% of these patients at 1 year post transplant, in the U.S. and European randomized studies, respectively (See Table below). Hyperglycemia was associated with the use of Prograf in 47% and 33% of liver transplant recipients in the U.S. and European randomized studies, respectively, and may require treatment (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
|Status of PTDM*||US Study||European Study|
|Patients at risk†||239||236||239||249|
|New Onset PTDM*||42 (18%)||30 (13%)||26 (11%)||12 (5%)|
|Patients still on insulin at 1 year||23 (10%)||19 (8%)||18 (8%)||6 (2%)|
Insulin-dependent post-transplant diabetes mellitus was reported in 13% and 22% of Prograf-treated heart transplant patients receiving mycophenolate mofetil or azathioprine and was reversible in 30% and 17% of these patients at one year post transplant, in the US and European randomized studies, respectively (See Table below). Hyperglycemia defined as two fasting plasma glucose levels ≥126 mg/dL was reported with the use of Prograf plus mycophenolate mofetil or azathioprine in 32% and 35% of heart transplant recipients in the US and European randomized studies, respectively, and may require treatment (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
|Status of PTDM*||US Study||European Study|
|Patients at risk†||85||75||83||132||138|
|New Onset PTDM*||21 (25%)||10 (13%)||6 (7%)||29 (22%)||5 (4%)|
|Patients still on insulin at 1 year‡||10 (12%)||7 (9%)||1 (1%)||24 (18%)||4 (3%)|
Prograf can cause nephrotoxicity, particularly when used in high doses. Nephrotoxicity was reported in approximately 52% of kidney transplantation patients and in 40% and 36% of liver transplantation patients receiving Prograf in the U.S. and European randomized trials, respectively, and in 59% of heart transplantation patients in a European randomized trial (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Use of Prograf with sirolimus in heart transplantation patients in a US study was associated with increased risk of renal function impairment, and is not recommended (See CLINICAL STUDIES). More overt nephrotoxicity is seen early after transplantation, characterized by increasing serum creatinine and a decrease in urine output. Patients with impaired renal function should be monitored closely as the dosage of Prograf may need to be reduced. In patients with persistent elevations of serum creatinine who are unresponsive to dosage adjustments, consideration should be given to changing to another immunosuppressive therapy. Care should be taken in using tacrolimus with other nephrotoxic drugs. In particular, to avoid excess nephrotoxicity, Prograf should not be used simultaneously with cyclosporine. Prograf or cyclosporine should be discontinued at least 24 hours prior to initiating the other. In the presence of elevated Prograf or cyclosporine concentrations, dosing with the other drug usually should be further delayed.
Mild to severe hyperkalemia was reported in 31% of kidney transplant recipients and in 45% and 13% of liver transplant recipients treated with Prograf in the U.S. and European randomized trials, respectively, and in 8% of heart transplant recipients in a European randomized trial and may require treatment (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Serum potassium levels should be monitored and potassium-sparing diuretics should not be used during Prograf therapy (see PRECAUTIONS).
Prograf can cause neurotoxicity, particularly when used in high doses. Neurotoxicity, including tremor, headache, and other changes in motor function, mental status, and sensory function were reported in approximately 55% of liver transplant recipients in the two randomized studies. Tremor occurred more often in Prograf-treated kidney transplant patients (54%) and heart transplant patients (15%) compared to cyclosporine-treated patients. The incidence of other neurological events in kidney transplant and heart transplant patients was similar in the two treatment groups (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Tremor and headache have been associated with high whole-blood concentrations of tacrolimus and may respond to dosage adjustment. Seizures have occurred in adult and pediatric patients receiving Prograf (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Coma and delirium also have been associated with high plasma concentrations of tacrolimus.
Patients treated with tacrolimus have been reported to develop posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). Symptoms indicating PRES include headache, altered mental status, seizures, visual disturbances and hypertension. Diagnosis may be confirmed by radiological procedure. If PRES is suspected or diagnosed, blood pressure control should be maintained and immediate reduction of immunosuppression is advised. This syndrome is characterized by reversal of symptoms upon reduction or discontinuation of immunosuppression.
As in patients receiving other immunosuppressants, patients receiving Prograf are at increased risk of developing lymphomas and other malignancies, particularly of the skin. The risk appears to be related to the intensity and duration of immunosuppression rather than to the use of any specific agent. A lymphoproliferative disorder (LPD) related to Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) infection has been reported in immunosuppressed organ transplant recipients. The risk of LPD appears greatest in young children who are at risk for primary EBV infection while immunosuppressed or who are switched to Prograf following long-term immunosuppression therapy. Because of the danger of oversuppression of the immune system which can increase susceptibility to infection, combination immunosuppressant therapy should be used with caution.
Immunosuppressed patients are at increased risk for opportunistic infections, including activation of latent viral infections. These include BK virus associated nephropathy and JC virus associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) which have been observed in patients receiving tacrolimus. These infections may lead to serious, including fatal, outcomes.
The use of full-dose Prograf with sirolimus (2 mg per day) in heart transplant recipients was associated with increased risk of wound healing complications, renal function impairment, and insulin-dependent post-transplant diabetes mellitus, and is not recommended (see CLINICAL STUDIES).
A few patients receiving Prograf injection have experienced anaphylactic reactions. Although the exact cause of these reactions is not known, other drugs with castor oil derivatives in the formulation have been associated with anaphylaxis in a small percentage of patients. Because of this potential risk of anaphylaxis, Prograf injection should be reserved for patients who are unable to take Prograf capsules.
Patients receiving Prograf injection should be under continuous observation for at least the first 30 minutes following the start of the infusion and at frequent intervals thereafter. If signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis occur, the infusion should be stopped. An aqueous solution of epinephrine should be available at the bedside as well as a source of oxygen.
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Prograf is indicated for the prophylaxis of organ rejection in patients receiving allogeneic liver, kidney, or heart transplants. It is recommended that Prograf be used concomitantly with adrenal corticosteroids. Because of the risk of anaphylaxis, Prograf injection should be reserved for patients unable to take Prograf capsules orally. In heart and kidney transplant recipients, it is recommended that Prograf be used in conjunction with azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil (MMF). The safety and efficacy of the use of Prograf with sirolimus has not been established (see CLINICAL STUDIES).
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Prograf is available for oral administration as capsules (tacrolimus capsules) containing the equivalent of 0.5 mg, 1 mg or 5 mg of anhydrous tacrolimus. Inactive ingredients include lactose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, croscarmellose sodium, and magnesium stearate. The 0.5 mg capsule shell contains gelatin, titanium dioxide and ferric oxide, the 1 mg capsule shell contains gelatin and titanium dioxide, and the 5 mg capsule shell contains gelatin, titanium dioxide and ferric oxide.
Prograf is also available as a sterile solution (tacrolimus injection) containing the equivalent of 5 mg anhydrous tacrolimus in 1 mL for administration by intravenous infusion only. Each mL contains polyoxyl 60 hydrogenated castor oil (HCO-60), 200 mg, and dehydrated alcohol, USP, 80.0% v/v. Prograf injection must be diluted with 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection or 5% Dextrose Injection before use.
Tacrolimus, previously known as FK506, is the active ingredient in Prograf. Tacrolimus is a macrolide immunosuppressant produced by Streptomyces tsukubaensis. Chemically, tacrolimus is designated as [3S-[3R*[E(1S*,3S*,4S*)], 4S*,5R*,8S*,9E,12R*,14R*,15S*,16R*,18S*,19S*,26aR*]] -5,6,8,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,24,25,26,26a-hexadecahydro-5,19-dihydroxy-3-[2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxycyclohexyl)-1-methylethenyl]-14,16-dimethoxy-4,10,12,18-tetramethyl-8-(2-propenyl)-15,19-epoxy-3H-pyrido[2,1-c][1,4] oxaazacyclotricosine-1,7,20,21(4H,23H)-tetrone, monohydrate.
The chemical structure of tacrolimus is:
Tacrolimus has an empirical formula of C44H69NO12•H2O and a formula weight of 822.03. Tacrolimus appears as white crystals or crystalline powder. It is practically insoluble in water, freely soluble in ethanol, and very soluble in methanol and chloroform.