Data from FDA - Curated by EPG Health - Last updated 05 July 2018

Indication(s)

INDICATIONS AND USAGE Cytarabine Injection in combination with other approved anti-cancer drugs is indicated for remission induction in acute non-lymphocytic leukemia of adults and pediatric patients. It has also been found useful in the treatment of acute lymphocytic leukemia and the blast phase of chronic myelocytic leukemia. Intrathecal administration of Cytarabine Injection (preservative free preparations only) is indicated in the prophylaxis and treatment of meningeal leukemia.

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Advisory information

contraindications
CONTRAINDICATIONS Cytarabine Injection is contraindicated in those patients who are hypersensitive to the drug.
Special warnings and precautions
PRECAUTIONS 1. General Precautions Patients receiving Cytarabine Injection must be monitored closely. Frequent platelet and leucocyte counts and bone marrow examinations are mandatory. Consider suspending or modifying therapy when drug-induced marrow depression has resulted in a platelet count under 50,000 or a polymorphonuclear granulocyte count under 1000/mm3. Counts of formed elements in the peripheral blood may continue to fall after the drug is stopped and reach lowest values after drug-free intervals of 12 to 24 days. When indicated, restart therapy when definite signs of marrow recovery appear (on successive bone marrow studies). Patients whose drug is withheld until "normal" peripheral blood values are attained may escape from control. When large intravenous doses are given too quickly, patients are frequently nauseated and may vomit for several hours post-injection. This problem tends to be less severe when the drug is infused. The human liver apparently detoxifies a substantial fraction of an administered dose. In particular, patients with renal or hepatic function impairment may have a higher likelihood of CNS toxicity after high-dose cytarabine injection treatment. Use the drug with caution and possibly at reduced dose in patients whose liver or kidney function is poor. Periodic checks of bone marrow, liver and kidney functions should be performed in patients receiving cytarabine injection. Like other cytotoxic drugs, Cytarabine Injection may induce hyperuricemia secondary to rapid lysis of neoplastic cells. The clinician should monitor the patient's blood uric acid level and be prepared to use such supportive and pharmacologic measures as might be necessary to control this problem. Acute pancreatitis has been reported to occur in a patient receiving Cytarabine Injection by continuous infusion and in patients being treated with Cytarabine Injection who have had prior treatment with L-asparaginase. 2. Information for patient Not applicable. 3. Laboratory tests See General Precautions . 4. Drug Interactions Reversible decreases in steady-state plasma digoxin concentrations and renal glycoside excretion were observed in patients receiving beta-acetyldigoxin and chemotherapy regimens containing cyclophosphamide, vincristine and prednisone with or without cytarabine injection or procarbazine. Steady-state plasma digitoxin concentrations did not appear to change. Therefore, monitoring of plasma digoxin levels may be indicated in patients receiving similar combination chemotherapy regimens. The utilization of digitoxin for such patients may be considered as an alternative. An in vitro interaction study between gentamicin and cytarabine showed a cytarabine related antagonism for the susceptibility of K. pneumoniae strains. This study suggests that in patients on cytarabine being treated with gentamicin for a K. pneumoniae infection, the lack of a prompt therapeutic response may indicate the need for re-evaluation of antibacterial therapy. Clinical evidence in one patient showed possible inhibition of fluorocytosine efficacy during therapy with cytarabine injection. This may be due to potential competitive inhibition of its uptake. 5. Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility Extensive chromosomal damage, including chromatoid breaks have been produced by cytarabine and malignant transformation of rodent cells in culture has been reported. 6. Pregnancy See WARNINGS . 7. Labor and delivery Not applicable. 8. Nursing mothers It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from cytarabine, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. 9. Pediatric use See INDICATIONS AND USAGE .
Adverse reactions
ADVERSE REACTIONS Expected Reactions Because cytarabine is a bone marrow suppressant, anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, megaloblastosis and reduced reticulocytes can be expected as a result of administration with Cytarabine Injection. The severity of these reactions are dose and schedule dependent. Cellular changes in the morphology of bone marrow and peripheral smears can be expected. Following 5-day constant infusions or acute injections of 50 mg/m2 to 600 mg/m2, white cell depression follows a biphasic course. Regardless of initial count, dosage level, or schedule, there is an initial fall starting the first 24 hours with a nadir at days 7–9. This is followed by a brief rise which peaks around the twelfth day. A second and deeper fall reaches nadir at days 15–24. Then there is a rapid rise to above baseline in the next 10 days. Platelet depression is noticeable at 5 days with a peak depression occurring between days 12–15. Thereupon, a rapid rise to above baseline occurs in the next 10 days. Infectious Complications Injection Viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or saprophytic infections, in any location in the body may be associated with the use of cytarabine injection alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents following immunosuppressant doses that affect cellular or humoral immunity. These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. The Cytarabine (Ara-C) Syndrome A cytarabine syndrome has been described by Castleberry. It is characterized by fever, myalgia, bone pain, occasionally chest pain, maculopapular rash, conjunctivitis and malaise. It usually occurs 6–12 hours following drug administration. Corticosteroids have been shown to be beneficial in treating or preventing this syndrome. If the symptoms of the syndrome are deemed treatable, corticosteroids should be contemplated as well as continuation of therapy with Cytarabine Injection. Most Frequent Adverse Reactions anorexia oral and anal inflammation rash nausea or ulceration thrombophlebitis vomiting hepatic dysfunction bleeding (all sites) diarrhea fever Nausea and vomiting are most frequent following rapid intravenous injection. Less Frequent Adverse Reactions sepsis sore throat conjunctivitis (may occur with rash) pneumonia esophageal ulceration dizziness cellulitis at injection site esophagitis alopecia skin ulceration chest pain anaphylaxis (see WARNINGS ) urinary retention pericarditis allergic edema renal dysfunction bowel necrosis pruritis neuritis abdominal pain shortness of breath neural toxicity pancreatitis urticaria freckling headache jaundice Experimental Doses Severe and at times fatal CNS, GI and pulmonary toxicity (different from that seen with conventional therapy regimens of cytarabine injection) has been reported following some experimental dose schedules of cytarabine injection. These reactions include reversible corneal toxicity and hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, which may be prevented or diminished by prophylaxis with a local corticosteroid eye drop; cerebral and cerebellar dysfunction, including personality changes, somnolence and coma, usually reversible; severe gastrointestinal ulceration, including pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis leading to peritonitis; sepsis and liver abscess; pulmonary edema, liver damage with increased hyperbilirubinemia; bowel necrosis; and necrotizing colitis. Rarely, severe skin rash, leading to desquamation has been reported. Complete alopecia is more commonly seen with experimental high dose therapy than with standard treatment programs using cytarabine. If experimental high dose therapy is used, do not use a preparation containing benzyl alcohol. Cases of cardiomyopathy with subsequent death have been reported following experimental high dose therapy with cytarabine in combination with cyclophosphamide when used for bone marrow transplant preparation. This cardiac toxicity may be schedule dependent. A syndrome of sudden respiratory distress, rapidly progressing to pulmonary edema and radiographically pronounced cardiomegaly has been reported following experimental high dose therapy with cytarabine used for the treatment of relapsed leukemia from one institution in 16/72 patients. The outcome of this syndrome can be fatal. Two patients with adult acute non-lymphocytic leukemia developed peripheral motor and sensory neuropathies after consolidation with high-dose cytarabine, daunorubicin, and asparaginase. Patients treated with high-dose cytarabine should be observed for neuropathy since dose schedule alterations may be needed to avoid irreversible neurologic disorders. Ten patients treated with experimental intermediate doses of cytarabine (1 g/m2) with and without other chemotherapeutic agents (meta-AMSA, daunorubicin, etoposide) at various dose regimes developed a diffuse interstitial pneumonitis without clear cause that may have been related to the cytarabine. Two cases of pancreatitis have been reported following experimental doses of cytarabine injection and numerous other drugs. Cytarabine injection could have been the causative agent.

Usage information

Dosing and administration
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION Cytarabine Injection is not active orally. The schedule and method of administration varies with the program of therapy to be used. Cytarabine Injection may be given by intravenous infusion or injection, subcutaneously, or intrathecally (preservative free preparation only). Thrombophlebitis has occurred at the site of drug injection or infusion in some patients, and rarely patients have noted pain and inflammation at subcutaneous injection sites. In most instances, however, the drug has been well tolerated. Patients can tolerate higher total doses when they receive the drug by rapid intravenous injection as compared with slow infusion. This phenomenon is related to the drug's rapid inactivation and brief exposure of susceptible normal and neoplastic cells to significant levels after rapid injection. Normal and neoplastic cells seem to respond in somewhat parallel fashion to these different modes of administration and no clear-cut clinical advantage has been demonstrated for either. In the induction therapy of acute non-lymphocytic leukemia, the usual cytarabine dose in combination with other anti-cancer drugs is 100 mg/m2/day by continuous intravenous infusion (Days 1–7) or 100 mg/m2 intravenous every 12 hours (Days 1–7). The literature should be consulted for the current recommendations for use in acute lymphocytic leukemia. Intrathecal Use in Meningeal Leukemia Cytarabine injection has been used intrathecally in acute leukemia in doses ranging from 5 mg/m2 to 75 mg/m2 of body surface area. The frequency of administration varied from once a day for 4 days to once every 4 days. The most frequently used dose was 30 mg/m2 every 4 days until cerebrospinal fluid findings were normal, followed by one additional treatment. The dosage schedule is usually governed by the type and severity of central nervous system manifestations and the response to previous therapy. Cytarabine injection given intrathecally may cause systemic toxicity and careful monitoring of the hematopoietic system is indicated. Modification of other anti-leukemia therapy may be necessary. Major toxicity is rare. The most frequently reported reactions after intrathecal administration were nausea, vomiting and fever; these reactions are mild and self-limiting. Paraplegia has been reported. Necrotizing leukoencephalopathy occurred in 5 children; these patients had also been treated with intrathecal methotrexate and hydrocortisone, as well as by central nervous system radiation. Isolated neurotoxicity has been reported. Blindness occurred in two patients in remission whose treatment had consisted of combination systemic chemotherapy, prophylactic central nervous system radiation and intrathecal cytarabine injection. When cytarabine injection is administered both intrathecally and intravenously within a few days, there is an increased risk of spinal cord toxicity, however, in serious life-threatening disease, concurrent use of intravenous and intrathecal Cytarabine Injection is left to the discretion of the treating physician. Focal leukemic involvement of the central nervous system may not respond to intrathecal cytarabine injection and may better be treated with radiotherapy. Chemical Stability of Infusion Solutions Chemical stability studies were performed by ultraviolet assay on Cytarabine Injection in infusion solutions. These studies showed that when Cytarabine Injection was added to Water for Injection, 5% Dextrose in Water or Sodium Chloride Injection, 94 to 96 percent of the cytarabine was present after 192 hours storage at room temperature. Parenteral drugs should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration, prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit.
Pregnancy and lactation
8. Nursing mothers It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from cytarabine, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Interactions

4. Drug Interactions Reversible decreases in steady-state plasma digoxin concentrations and renal glycoside excretion were observed in patients receiving beta-acetyldigoxin and chemotherapy regimens containing cyclophosphamide, vincristine and prednisone with or without cytarabine injection or procarbazine. Steady-state plasma digitoxin concentrations did not appear to change. Therefore, monitoring of plasma digoxin levels may be indicated in patients receiving similar combination chemotherapy regimens. The utilization of digitoxin for such patients may be considered as an alternative. An in vitro interaction study between gentamicin and cytarabine showed a cytarabine related antagonism for the susceptibility of K. pneumoniae strains. This study suggests that in patients on cytarabine being treated with gentamicin for a K. pneumoniae infection, the lack of a prompt therapeutic response may indicate the need for re-evaluation of antibacterial therapy. Clinical evidence in one patient showed possible inhibition of fluorocytosine efficacy during therapy with cytarabine injection. This may be due to potential competitive inhibition of its uptake.

More information

Category Value
Authorisation number ANDA071868
Agency product number 04079A1RDZ
Orphan designation No
Product NDC 61703-305
Date Last Revised 18-06-2018
Type HUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG
RXCUI 1731355
Storage and handling STORAGE CONDITIONS Protect from light. Retain in carton until time of use. Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F) [USP Controlled Room Temperature].
Marketing authorisation holder Hospira, Inc.
Warnings WARNING Only physicians experienced in cancer chemotherapy should use Cytarabine Injection. For induction therapy patients should be treated in a facility with laboratory and supportive resources sufficient to monitor drug tolerance and protect and maintain a patient compromised by drug toxicity. The main toxic effect of cytarabine injection is bone marrow suppression with leukopenia, thrombocytopenia and anemia. Less serious toxicity includes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, oral ulceration, and hepatic dysfunction. The physician must judge possible benefit to the patient against known toxic effects of this drug in considering the advisability of therapy with Cytarabine Injection. Before making this judgement or beginning treatment, the physician should be familiar with the following text.