Gemcitabine for Injection: Indications, Dosage, Precautions, Adverse Effects
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Gemcitabine for Injection - Product Information

Manufacture: Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC
Country: United States
Condition: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer
Class: Antimetabolites
Form: Liquid solution, Intravenous (IV)
Ingredients: Gemcitabine Hydrochloride, Mannitol, Sodium Acetate, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrochloric Acid

Indications & Usage

Ovarian Cancer

Gemcitabine for Injection, USP in combination with carboplatin is indicated for the treatment of patients with advanced ovarian cancer that has relapsed at least 6 months after completion of platinum-based therapy.

Breast Cancer

Gemcitabine for Injection, USP in combination with paclitaxel is indicated for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer after failure of prior anthracycline-containing adjuvant chemotherapy, unless anthracyclines were clinically contraindicated.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Gemcitabine for Injection, USP is indicated in combination with cisplatin for the first-line treatment of patients with inoperable, locally advanced (Stage IIIA or IIIB), or metastatic (Stage IV) non-small cell lung cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer

Gemcitabine for Injection, USP is indicated as first-line treatment for patients with locally advanced (nonresectable Stage II or Stage III) or metastatic (Stage IV) adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Gemcitabine for injection is indicated for patients previously treated with 5-FU.

Dosage & Administration

Ovarian Cancer

Recommended Dose and Schedule

The recommended dose of gemcitabine for injection is 1,000 mg/m2 as an intravenous infusion over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle, in combination with carboplatin AUC 4 intravenously after gemcitabine for injection, USP administration on Day 1 of each 21-day cycle. Refer to carboplatin prescribing information for additional information.

Dose Modifications

Recommended gemcitabine for injection dose modifications for myelosuppression are described Table 1 and Table 2 [see Warnings and Precautions]. Refer to Dosage and Administration for recommendations for non-hematologic adverse reactions.

Table 1: Dosage Reduction Guidelines for Gemcitabine for Injection for Myelosuppression on Day of Treatment in Ovarian Cancer
Treatment Day Absolute granulocyte count (x 106 /L)   Platelet count (x 106 /L) % of full dose
Day 1 ≥1,500
<1,500
and
or
≥100,000
<100,000
100%
Delay Treatment Cycle
Day 8 ≥1,500
1,000 to 1,499
<1,000
and
or
or
≥100,000
75,000 to 99,999
<75,000
100%
50%
Hold
Table 2: Gemcitabine for Injection Dose Modification for Myelosuppression in Previous Cycle in Ovarian Cancer
Occurrence Myelosuppression During Treatment Cycle Dose Modification
Initial Occurrence Absolute granulocyte count less than 500 x 106 /L for more than 5 days
Absolute granulocyte count less than 100 x 106 /L for more than 3 days
Febrile neutropenia
Platelets less than 25,000×106 /L
Cycle delay of more than one week due to toxicity
Permanently reduce gemcitabine for injection to 800 mg/m2 on Days 1 and 8
Subsequent Occurrence If any of the above toxicities occur after the initial dose reduction Permanently reduce gemcitabine for injection dose to 800 mg/m2 on Day 1 only

Breast Cancer

Recommended Dose and Schedule

The recommended dose of gemcitabine for injection is 1,250 mg/m2 intravenously over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 of each 21-day cycle that includes paclitaxel. Paclitaxel should be administered at 175 mg/m2 on Day 1 as a 3 hour intravenous infusion before gemcitabine for injection, USP administration.

Dose Modifications

Recommended dose modifications for gemcitabine for injection for myelosuppression are described in Table 3 [see Warnings and Precautions]. Refer to Dosage and Administration for recommendations for non-hematologic adverse reactions.

Table 3: Recommended Dose Reductions for Gemcitabine for Injection for Myelosuppression on Day of Treatment in Breast Cancer
Treatment Day Absolute granulocyte count (x 106 /L)   Platelet count(x 106 /L) % of full dose
Day 1 ≥1,500M
less than 1,500
and
or
≥100,000
less than 100,000
100%
Hold
Day 8 ≥1,200
1,000 to 1,199
700 to 999
<700
and
or
and
or
>75,000
50,000 to 75,000
≥50,000
<50,000
100%
75%
50%
Hold

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Recommended Dose and Schedule

Every 4-week schedule

The recommended dose of gemcitabine for injection is 1,000 mg/m2 intravenously over 30 minutes on Days 1, 8, and 15 in combination with cisplatin therapy. Administer cisplatin intravenously at 100 mg/m2 on Day 1 after the infusion of gemcitabine for injection.

Every 3-week schedule

The recommended dose of gemcitabine for injection is 1,250 mg/m2 intravenously over 30 minutes on Days 1 and 8 in combination with cisplatin therapy. Administer cisplatin intravenously at 100 mg/m2 on Day 1 after the infusion of gemcitabine for injection.

Dose Modifications

Recommended dose modifications for gemcitabine for injection myelosuppression are described in Table 4 [see Warnings and Precautions]. Refer to Dosage and Administration for gemcitabine for injection recommendations for non-hematologic adverse reactions.

Pancreatic Cancer

Recommended Dose and Schedule

The recommended dose of gemcitabine for injection is 1,000 mg/m2 over 30 minutes intravenously. The recommended treatment schedule is as follows:

  • Weeks 1 to 8: weekly dosing for the first 7 weeks followed by one week rest.
  • After week 8: weekly dosing on Days 1, 8, and 15 of 28-day cycles.

Dose Modifications

>Recommended dose modifications for gemcitabine for injection for myelosuppression are described in Table 4 [see Warnings and Precautions]. Refer to Dosage and Administration for recommendations for non-hematologic adverse reactions.

Patients receiving gemcitabine for injection should be monitored prior to each dose with a complete blood count (CBC), including differential and platelet count. If marrow suppression is detected, therapy should be modified or suspended according to the guidelines in Table 4.

Table 4: Recommended Dose Reductions for Gemcitabine for Injection for Myelosuppression in Pancreatic Cancer and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Absolute granulocyte count (x 106 /L)   Platelet count (x 106 /L) % of full dose
≥1,000 And ≥100,000 100 %
500 to 999 Or 50,000 to 99,999 75 %
<500 Or <50,000 Hold

Dose Modifications for Non-Hematologic Adverse Reactions

Permanently discontinue gemcitabine for injection for any of the following

  • Unexplained dyspnea or other evidence of severe pulmonary toxicity
  • Severe hepatic toxicity
  • Hemolytic-uremic syndrome
  • Capillary leak syndrome
  • Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome

Withhold gemcitabine for injection or reduce dose by 50% for other severe (Grade 3 or 4) non-hematological toxicity until resolved. No dose modifications are recommended for alopecia, nausea, or vomiting.

Preparation and Administration Precautions

Exercise caution and wear gloves when preparing gemcitabine for injection solutions. Immediately wash the skin thoroughly or rinse the mucosa with copious amounts of water if gemcitabine for injection contacts the skin or mucus membranes. Death has occurred in animal studies due to dermal absorption. For further guidance on handling gemcitabine for injection go to “OSHA Hazardous Drugs” (refer to antineoplastic weblinks including OSHA Technical Manual) at OSHA.http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardousdrugs/index.html.

Preparation for Intravenous Infusion Administration

The recommended diluent for reconstitution of gemcitabine is 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection without preservatives. Due to solubility considerations, the maximum concentration for gemcitabine upon reconstitution is 40 mg/mL. Reconstitution at concentrations greater than 40 mg/mL may result in incomplete dissolution, and should be avoided.

To reconstitute, add 5 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection to the 200-mg vial, 25 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection to the 1-g vial or 50 mL of 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection to the 2-g vial. Shake to dissolve. These dilutions each yield a gemcitabine concentration of 38 mg/mL which includes accounting for the displacement volume of the lyophilized powder (0.26 mL for the 200-mg vial, 1.3 mL for the 1-g vial or 2.6 mL for the 2-g vial. The total volume upon reconstitution will be 5.26 mL, 26.3 mL or 52.6 mL, respectively. Complete withdrawal of the vial contents will provide 200 mg, 1 g or 2 g of gemcitabine, respectively. Prior to administration the appropriate amount of drug must be diluted with 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection. Final concentrations may be as low as 0.1 mg/mL.

Reconstituted gemcitabine is a clear, colorless to light straw-colored solution. After reconstitution with 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, the pH of the resulting solution lies in the range of 2.7 to 3.3. The solution should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution or container permit. If particulate matter or discoloration is found, do not administer.

When prepared as directed, gemcitabine solutions are stable for 24 hours at controlled room temperature 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature]. Discard unused portion. Solutions of reconstituted gemcitabine should not be refrigerated, as crystallization may occur.

No incompatibilities have been observed with infusion bottles or polyvinyl chloride bags and administration sets.

Dosage Forms & Strengths

Gemcitabine for Injection is a white to off-white lyophilized powder available in sterile single-use vials containing 200 mg or 1 g gemcitabine.

Contraindications

Gemcitabine for injection is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to gemcitabine.

Warnings And Precaution

Schedule-dependent Toxicity

In clinical trials evaluating the maximum tolerated dose of gemcitabine, prolongation of the infusion time beyond 60 minutes or more frequent than weekly dosing resulted in an increased incidence of clinically significant hypotension, severe flu-like symptoms, myelosuppression, and asthenia. The half-life of gemcitabine is influenced by the length of the infusion [see Clinical Pharmacology].

Myelosuppression

Myelosuppression manifested by neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia occurs with gemcitabine as a single agent and the risks are increased when gemcitabine is combined with other cytotoxic drugs. In clinical trials, Grade 3-4 neutropenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia occurred in 25%, 8%, and 5%, respectively of patients receiving single-agent gemcitabine. The frequencies of Grade 3-4 neutropenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia varied from 48% to 71%, 8 to 28%, and 5 to 55%, respectively, in patients receiving gemcitabine in combination with another drug.

Pulmonary Toxicity and Respiratory Failure

Pulmonary toxicity, including interstitial pneumonitis, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary edema, and adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), has been reported. In some cases, these pulmonary events can lead to fatal respiratory failure despite discontinuation of therapy. The onset of pulmonary symptoms may occur up to 2 weeks after the last dose of gemcitabine. Discontinue gemcitabine in patients who develop unexplained dyspnea, with or without bronchospasm, or have any evidence of pulmonary toxicity [see Adverse Reactions].

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

Hemolytic uremic syndrome to include fatalities from renal failure or the requirement for dialysis, can occur in patients treated with gemcitabine. In clinical trials, HUS was reported in 6 of 2, 429 patients (0.25%). Most fatal cases of renal failure were due to HUS [see Adverse Reactions]. Assess renal function prior to initiation of gemcitabine for injection and periodically during treatment. Consider the diagnosis of HUS in patients who develops anemia with evidence of microangiopathic hemolysis, elevation of bilirubin or LDH, or reticulocytosis; severe thrombocytopenia; or evidence of renal failure (elevation of serum creatinine or BUN) [see Dosage and Administration and Use in Specific Populations]. Permanently discontinue gemcitabine in patients with HUS or severe renal impairment. Renal failure may not be reversible even with discontinuation of therapy.

Hepatic Toxicity

Drug-induced liver injury, including liver failure and death, has been reported in patients receiving gemcitabine alone or in combination with other potentially hepatotoxic drugs[see Adverse Reactions]. Administration of gemcitabine for injection in patients with concurrent liver metastases or a pre-existing medical history or hepatitis, alcoholism, or liver cirrhosis can lead to exacerbation of the underlying hepatic insufficiency [see Use in Specific Populations]. Assess hepatic function prior to initiation of gemcitabine for injection and periodically during treatment. Discontinue gemcitabine in patients that develop severe liver injury.

Embryofetal Toxicity

Gemcitabine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman, based on its mechanism of action. Gemcitabine was teratogenic, embryotoxic, and fetotoxic in mice and rabbits. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if a woman becomes pregnant while taking gemcitabine, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus. [see Use in Specific Populations]

Exacerbation of Radiation Therapy Toxicity

Gemcitabine is not indicated for use in combination with radiation therapy.

Concurrent (given together or ≤7 days apart)

Life-threatening mucositis, especially esophagitis and pneumonitis occurred in a trial in which gemcitabine was administered at a dose of 1,000 mg/m2 to patients with non-small cell lung cancer for up to 6 consecutive weeks concurrently with thoracic radiation.

Non-concurrent (given >7 days apart)

Excessive toxicity has not been observed when gemcitabine is administered more than 7 days before or after radiation. Radiation recall has been reported in patients who receive gemcitabine for injection after prior radiation.

Capillary Leak Syndrome

Capillary leak syndrome (CLS) with severe consequences has been reported in patients receiving gemcitabine as a single agent or in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents. Discontinue gemcitabine if CLS develops during therapy.

Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome

Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) has been reported in patients receiving gemcitabine as a single agent or in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents. PRES can present with headache, seizure, lethargy, hypertension, confusion, blindness, and other visual and neurologic disturbances. Confirm the diagnosis of PRES with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and discontinue gemcitabine for injection if PRES develops during therapy.

Adverse Reactions

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in another section of the label

  • Schedule-Dependent Toxicity [see Warnings and Precautions]
  • Myelosuppression [see Warnings and Precautions]
  • Pulmonary Toxicity and Respiratory Failure[see Warnings and Precautions]
  • Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions]
  • Hepatic Toxicity [see Warnings and Precautions]
  • Embryo-fetal Toxicity [see Warnings and Precautions ,Use in Specific Populations , and Nonclinical Toxicology]
  • Exacerbation of Radiation Toxicity [see Warnings and Precautions]
  • Capillary Leak Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions]
  • Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions]

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

Single-Agent Use

The data described below reflect exposure to gemcitabine for injection as a single agent administered at doses between 800 mg/m2 to 1,250 mg/m2over 30 minutes intravenously, once weekly, in 979 patients with a variety of malignancies. The most common (≥20%) adverse reactions of single-agent gemcitabine for injection are nausea/vomiting, anemia, increased ALT, increased AST, neutropenia, increased alkaline phosphatase, proteinuria, fever, hematuria, rash, thrombocytopenia, dyspnea, and edema. The most common (≥5%) Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions were neutropenia, nausea/vomiting; increased ALT, increase alkaline phosphatase, anemia, increased AST, and thrombocytopenia. Approximately 10% of the 979 patients discontinued gemcitabine for injection due to adverse reactions. Adverse reactions resulting in discontinuation of gemcitabine for injection in 2% of 979 patients were cardiovascular adverse events (myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, arrhythmia, and hypertension) and adverse reactions resulting in discontinuation of gemcitabine for injection in less than 1% of the 979 patients were anemia, thrombocytopenia, hepatic dysfunction, renal dysfunction, nausea/vomiting, fever, rash, dyspnea, hemorrhage, infection, stomatitis, somnolence, flu-like syndrome, and edema.

Table 5 presents the incidence of adverse reactions reported in 979 patients with various malignancies receiving single-agent gemcitabine for injection across 5 clinical trials. Table 5 includes all clinical adverse reactions, reported in at least 10% of patients. A listing of clinically significant adverse reactions is provided following the table.

Table 5: Selected Per-Patient Incidence of Advers e Events in Patients Receiving Single-Agent Gemcitabine for Injectiona
  All Patientsb
All Grades Grade 3 Grade 4
Laboratoryc
Hematologic
Anemia
Neutropenia
Thrombocytopenia


68
63
24


7
19
4


1
6
1
Hepatic
Increased ALT
Increased AST
Increased Alkaline Phosphatase
Hyperbilirubinemia 

68
67
55
13

8
6
7
2

2
2
2
<1
Renal
Proteinuria
Hematuria
Increased BUN
Increased Creatinine 

45
35
16
8

<1
<1
0
<1 

0
0
0
0
Non-laboratoryd
Nausea and Vomiting
Fever
Rash
Dyspnea
Diarrhea
Hemorrhage
Infection
Alopecia
Stomatitis
Somnolence
Paresthesias 

69
41
30
23
19
17
16
15
11
11
10

13
2
<1
3
1
<1
1
<1
<1
<1
<1

1
0
0
<1
0
<1
<1
0
0
<1
0

a Grade based on criteria from the World Health Organization (WHO).

b N=699 to 974; all patients with laboratory or non-laboratory data.

c Regardless of causality.

d For approximately 60% of patients, non-laboratory adverse events were graded only if assessed to be possibly drug-related.

  • Transfusion requirements — Red blood cell transfusions (19%); platelet transfusions (<1%)
  • Fever — Fever occurred in the absence of clinical infection and frequently in combination with other flu-like symptoms.
  • Pulmonary — Dyspnea unrelated to underlying disease and sometimes accompanied by bronchospasm.
  • Edema — Edema (13%), peripheral edema (20%), and generalized edema (<1%); <1% of patients. discontinued gemcitabine for injection due to edema.
  • Flu-like Symptoms — Characterized by fever, asthenia, anorexia, headache, cough, chills, myalgia, asthenia insomnia, rhinitis, sweating, and/or malaise (19%); <1% of patients discontinued gemcitabine for injection due to flu-like symptoms
  • Infection — Sepsis (<1%)
  • Extravasation — Injection-site reactions (4%)
  • Allergic — Bronchospasm (<2%); anaphylactoid reactions [see Contraindications].

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Table 6 presents the incidence of selected adverse reactions, occurring in ≥10% of gemcitabine for injection-treated patients and at a higher incidence in the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm, reported in a randomized trial of gemcitabine plus cisplatin (n=262) administered in 28-day cycles as compared to cisplatin alone (n=260) in patients receiving first-line treatment for locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)[see Clinical Studies].

Patients randomized to gemcitabine plus cisplatin received a median of 4 cycles of treatment and those randomized to cisplatin received a median of 2 cycles of treatment. In this trial, the requirement for dose adjustments (>90% versus 16%), discontinuation of treatment for adverse reactions (15% versus 8%), and the proportion of patients hospitalized (36% versus 23%) were all higher for patients receiving gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm compared to those receiving cisplatin alone. The incidence of febrile neutropenia (9/262 versus 2/260), sepsis (4% versus 1%), Grade 3 cardiac dysrhythmias (3% versus <1%)were all higher in the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm compared to the cisplatin alone arm. The two-drug combination was more myelosuppressive with 4 (1.5%) possibly treatment-related deaths, including 3 resulting from myelosuppression with infection and one case of renal failure associated with pancytopenia and infection. No deaths due to treatment were reported on the cisplatin arm.

Table 6: Per-Patient Incidence of Selected Adverse Reactions from Randomized Trial of Gemcitabine plus Cisplatin versus Single-Agent Cisplatin in Patients with NSCLC Occurring at Higher Incidence in Gemcitabine -Treated Patients [Between Arm Difference of ≥5% (All Grades) or ≥2% (Grades 3-4)]a
  Gemcitabine plus Cisplatinb Cisplatinc

All Grades Grade 3 Grade 4 All Grades Grade 3 Grade 4
Laboratoryd
Hematologic
Anemia
RBC Transfusionse
Neutropenia
Thrombocytopenia
Platelet Transfusionse
Lymphopenia


89
39
79
85
21
75


22

22
25

25


3

35
25

18


67
13
20
13
<1
51


6

3
3

12


1

1
1

5
Hepatic
Increased Transaminases
Increased Alkaline Phosphatase 

22
19

2
1

1
0

10
13

1
0

0
0
Renal
Proteinuria
Hematuria
Elevated creatinine 

23
15
38

0
0
4

0
0
<1

18
13
31

0
0
2

0
0
<1
Other Laboratory
Hyperglycemia
Hypomagnesemia
Hypocalcemia 

30
30
18

4
4
2

0
3
0

23
17
7

3
2
0

0
0
<1
Non-laboratoryf
Nausea
Vomiting
Alopecia
Neuro Motor
Diarrhea
Neuro Sensory
Infection
Fever
Neuro Cortical
Neuro Mood
Local
Neuro Headache
Stomatitis
Hemorrhage
Hypotension
Rash

93
78
53
35
24
23
18
16
16
16
15
14
14
14
12
11

25
11
1
12
2
1
3
0
3
1
0
0
1
1
1
0

2
12
0
0
2
0
2
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

87
71
33
15
13
18
12
5
9
10
6
7
5
4
7
3

20
10
0
3
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
0

<1
9
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

a National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria (CTC) for severity grading.

b N=217 to 253; all gemcitabine plus cisplatin patients with laboratory or non-laboratory data gemcitabine at 1000 mg/m2 on Days 1, 8, and 15 and cisplatin at 100 mg/m2 on Day 1 every 28 days.

c N=213 to 248; all cisplatin patients with laboratory or non-laboratory data. Cisplatin at 100 mg/m2 on Day 1 every 28 days.

d Regardless of causality.

e Percent of patients receiving transfusions. Percent transfusions are not CTC-graded events.

f Non-laboratory events were graded only if assessed to be possibly drug-related.

Table 7 presents the incidence of selected adverse reactions, occurring in ≥10% of gemcitabine treated patients and at a higher incidence in the gemcitabine plus cisplatin arm, reported in a randomized trial of gemcitabine plus cisplatin (n=69) administered in 21-day cycles as compared to etoposide plus cisplatin alone (n=66) in patients receiving first-line treatment for locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)[see Clinical Studies]. A listing of clinically significant adverse reactions is provided following the table.

Patients in the gemcitabine cisplatin (GC) arm received a median of 5 cycles and those in the etoposide/cisplatin (EC) arm received a median of 4 cycles. The majority of patients receiving more than one cycle of treatment required dose adjustments; 81% in the (GC) arm and 68% in the (EC) arm. The incidence of hospitalizations for treatment-related adverse events was 22% (GC) and 27% in the (EC) arm. The proportion of discontinuation of treatment for treatment-related adverse reactions was higher for patients in the (GC) arm (14% versus 8%). The proportion of patients hospitalized for febrile neutropenia was lower in the (GC) arm (7% versus 12%). There was one death attributed to treatment, a patient with febrile neutropenia and renal failure, which occurred in the gemcitabine /cisplatin arm.

Table 7: Per-Patient Incidence of Selected Advers e Reactions in Randomized Trial of Gemcitabine plus Cisplatin versus Etopos ide plus Cisplatin in Patients with NSCLCa
Gemcitabine plus Cisplatinb Etoposide plus Cisplatinc
All Grades Grade 3 Grade 4 All Grades Grade 3 Grade 4
Laboratoryd            
Hematologic            
Anemia 88 22 0 77 13 2
RBC Transfusionse 29 - - 21 - -
Neutropenia 88 36 28 87 20 56
Thrombocytopenia 81 39 16 45 8 5
Platelet Transfusionse 3 - - 8 - -
Hepatic            
Increased ALT 6 0 0 12 0 0
Increased AST 3 0 0 11 0 0
Increased Alkaline Phosphatase 16 0 0 11 0 0
Bilirubin 0 0 0 0 0 0
Renal            
Proteinuria 12 0 0 5 0 0
Hematuria 22 0 0 10 0 0
BUN 6 0 0 4 0 0
Creatinine 2 0 0 2 0 0
Non-laboratoryf            
Nausea and Vomiting 96 35 4 86 19 7
Fever 6 0 0 3 0 0
Rash 10 0 0 3 0 0
Dyspnea 1 0 1 3 0 0
Diarrhea 14 1 1 13 0 2
Hemorrhage 9 0 3 3 0 3
Infection 28 3 1 21 8 0
Alopecia 77 13 0 92 51 0
Stomatitis 20 4 0 18 2 0
Somnolence 3 0 0 3 2 0
Paresthesias 38 0 0 16 2 0
Flu-like syndromeg 3 - - 0 - -
Edemag 12 - - 2 -

a Grade based on criteria from the World Health Organization(WHO).

b N=67 to 69; all gemcitabine plus cisplatin patients with laboratory or non-laboratory data. Gemcitabine at 1,250 mg/m2 on Days 1 and 8 and cisplatin at 100 mg/m2 on Day 1 every 21 days.

c N=57 to 63; all cisplatin plus etoposide patients with laboratory or non-laboratory data. Cisplatin at 100 mg/m2 on Day 1 and intravenous etoposide at 100 mg/m2 on Days 1, 2, and 3 every 21 days.

d Regardless of causality.

e WHO grading scale not applicable to proportion of patients with transfusions

f Non-laboratory events were graded only if assessed to be possibly drug-related. Pain data were not collected.

g Flu-like syndrome and edema were not graded.

Breast Cancer

Table 8 presents the incidence of selected adverse reactions, occurring in ≥10% of gemcitabine treated patients and at a higher incidence in the gemcitabine plus paclitaxel arm, reported in a randomized trial of gemcitabine plus paclitaxel (n=262) compared to paclitaxel alone (n=259) for the first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in women who received anthracycline-containing chemotherapy in the adjuvant/neo-adjuvant setting or for whom anthracyclines were contraindicated. [see Clinical Studies].

The requirement for dose reduction of paclitaxel were higher for patients in the gemcitabine /paclitaxel arm (5% versus 2%). The number of paclitaxel doses omitted (<1%), the proportion of patients discontinuing treatment for treatment-related adverse reactions (7% versus 5%), and the number of treatment-related deaths (1 patient in each arm) were similar between the two arms.

Table 8: Per-Patient Incidence of Selected Advers e Reactions from Comparative Trial of Gemcitabine plus Paclitaxel versus Single-Agent Paclitaxel in Breas t Cancera Occurring at Higher Incidence in Gemcitabine-Treated Patients [Between Arm Difference of ≥5% (All Grades ) or ≥2% (Grades 3-4)]

Gemcitabine plus Paclitaxel
(N=262)
Paclitaxel
(N=259)
All Grades Grade 3 Grade 4 All Grades Grade 3 Grade 4
Laboratoryb
Hematologic
Anemia
Neutropenia
Thrombocytopenia


69
69
26


6
31
5


1
17
<1


51
31
7


3
4
<1


<1
7
<1
Hepatobiliary
Increased ALT
Increased AST

18
16

5
2

<1
0

6
5

<1
<1

0
0
Non-laboratory c
Alopecia
Neuropathy-sensory
Nausea
Fatigue
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Anorexia
Neuropathy-motor
Stomatitis/pharyngitis
Fever
Rash/desquamation

90
64
50
40
29
20
17
15
13
13
11


14
5
1
6
2
3
0
2
1
<1
<1

4
<1
0
<1
0
0
0
<1
<1
0
<1

92
58
31
28
15
13
12
10
8
3
5

19
3
2
1
2
2
<1
<1
<1
0
0

3
0
0
<1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Febrile neutropenia 6 5 <1 2 1 0

a Severity grade based on National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria (CTC) Version 2.0

b Regardless of Causality.

C Non-laboratory events were graded only if assessed to be possibly drug-related.

Clinically relevant Grade 3 or 4 dyspnea occurred with a higher incidence in the gemcitabine plus paclitaxel arm compared with the paclitaxel arm (1.9% versus 0).

Ovarian Cancer

Table 9 presents the incidence of selected adverse reactions, occurring in ≥10% of gemcitabine-treated patients and at a higher incidence in the gemcitabine plus carboplatin arm, reported in a randomized trial of gemcitabine plus carboplatin (n=175) compared to carboplatin alone (n=174) for the second-line treatment of ovarian cancer in women with disease that had relapsed more than 6 months following first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. [see Clinical Studies]. Additional clinically significant adverse reactions, occurring in less than 10% of patients, are provided following Table 9.

The proportion of patients with dose adjustments for carboplatin (1.8% versus 3.8%), doses of carboplatin omitted (0.2% versus 0), and discontinuing treatment for treatment-related adverse reactions (10.9% versus 9.8%), were similar between arms. Dose adjustment for gemcitabine occurred in 10.4% of patients and gemcitabine dose was omitted in 13.7% of patients in the gemcitabine /carboplatin arm.

Table 9: Per-Patient Incidence of Advers e Reactions in Randomized Trial of Gemcitabine plus Carboplatin versus Carboplatin in Ovarian Cancera Occurring at Higher Incidence in Gemcitabine-Treated Patients [Between Arm Difference of ≥5% (All Grades ) or ≥2% (Grades 3-4)]
Gemcitabine plus Carboplatin
(N=175)
Carboplatin
(N=174)
All Grades Grade 3 Grade 4 All Grades Grade 3 Grade 4
Laboratoryb
Hematologic
Neutropenia
Anemia
Thrombocytopenia
RBC Transfusionsc
Platelet Transfusionsc


90
86
78
38
9


42
22
30


29
6
5


58
75
57
15
3


11
9
10


1
2
1
Non-laboratoryb
Nausea
Alopecia
Vomiting
Constipation
Fatigue
Diarrhea
Stomatitis/pharyngitis

69
49
46
42
40
25
22

6
0
6
6
3
3
<1

0
0
0
1
<1
0
0

61
17
36
37
32
14
13

3
0
2
3
5
<1
0

0
0
<1
0
0
0
0

a Grade based on Common Toxicity Criteria (CTC) Version 2.0.

b Regardless of causality.

c Percent of patients receiving transfusions. Transfusions are not CTC-graded events. Blood transfusions included both packed red blood cells and whole blood.

Hematopoietic growth factors were administered more frequently in the gemcitabine-containing arm: granulocyte growth factors (23.6% and 10.1%) and erythropoietic agents (7.3% and 3.9%).

The following clinically relevant, Grade 3 and 4 adverse reactions occurred more frequently in the gemcitabine plus carboplatin arm: dyspnea (3.4% versus 2.9%), febrile neutropenia (1.1% versus 0), hemorrhagic event (2.3% versus 1.1%), motor neuropathy (1.1% versus 0.6%), and rash/desquamation (0.6% versus 0).

Post-Marketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of gemcitabine. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Cardiovascular — Congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, supraventricular arrhythmias

Vascular Disorders — Peripheral vasculitis, gangrene, and capillary leak syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions]

Skin — Cellulitis, severe skin reactions, including desquamation and bullous skin eruptions

Hepatic — Hepatic failure, hepatic veno-occlusive disease

Pulmonary — Interstitial pneumonitis, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary edema, and adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

Nervous System — Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) [see Warnings and Precautions]

Drug Interactions

No drug interaction studies have been conducted.

Use in Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category D [see Warnings and Precautions]

Risk Summary

Gemcitabine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Based on its mechanism of action, gemcitabine is expected to result in adverse reproductive effects. Gemcitabine was teratogenic, embryotoxic, and fetotoxic in mice and rabbits. If gemcitabine is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking gemcitabine, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus.

Animal Data

Gemcitabine is embryotoxic causing fetal malformations (cleft palate, incomplete ossification) at doses of 1.5 mg/kg/day in mice (approximately 0.005 times the recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis). Gemcitabine is fetotoxic causing fetal malformations (fused pulmonary artery, absence of gall bladder) at doses of 0.1 mg/kg/day in rabbits (about 0.002 times the recommended human dose on a mg/m2basis). Embryotoxicity was characterized by decreased fetal viability, reduced live litter sizes, and developmental delays. [see Warnings and Precautions].

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 gemcitabine, 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.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of gemcitabine have not been established in pediatric patients. The safety and pharmacokinetics of gemcitabine were evaluated in a trial in pediatric patients with refractory leukemia. The maximum tolerated dose was 10 mg/m2 /min for 360 minutes three times weekly followed by a one week rest period. The safety and activity of gemcitabine were evaluated in a trial of pediatric patients with relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (22 patients) and acute myelogenous leukemia (10 patients) at a dose of 10 mg/m2 /min administered over 360 minutes three times weekly followed by a one-week rest period. Toxicities observed included bone marrow suppression, febrile neutropenia, elevation of serum transaminases, nausea, and rash/desquamation. No meaningful clinical activity was observed in this trial.

Geriatric Use

In clinical studies of gemcitabine , enrolling 979 patients with various cancers who received gemcitabine for injection as a single agent, no overall differences in safety were observed between patients aged 65 and older and younger patients, with the exception of a higher rate of Grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia in older patients as compared to younger patients. In a randomized trial in women with ovarian cancer, 175 women received gemcitabine plus carboplatin, of which 29% were age 65 years or older. Similar effectiveness was observed between older and younger women. There was significantly higher Grade 3/4 neutropenia in women 65 years of age or older.

Gemcitabine clearance is affected by age, however there are no recommended dose adjustments based on patients’ age [see Clinical Pharmacology].

Renal Impairment

No clinical studies have been conducted with gemcitabine in patients with decreased renal function.

Hepatic Impairment

No clinical studies have been conducted with gemcitabine in patients with decreased hepatic function.

Gender

Gemcitabine clearance is affected by gender [see Clinical Pharmacology]. In single-agent studies of gemcitabine, women, especially older women, were more likely not to proceed to a subsequent cycle and to experience Grade 3/4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia.

Overdosage

Myelosuppression, paresthesias, and severe rash were the principal toxicities seen when a single dose as high as 5,700 mg/m2 was administered by intravenous infusion over 30 minutes every 2 weeks to several patients in a dose-escalation study.

How Supplied/Storage and Handling

How Supplied

Gemcitabine for Injection, USP is supplied as a sterile, lyophilized powder as follows:

Product No. NDC No. Strength  
PRX 101210 63323-102-94 200 mg per vial 10 mL single use vial packaged individually.
PRX 102550 63323-125-94 1 gram per vial 50 mL single use vial packaged individually.

Storage and Handling

Unopened vials of gemcitabine for injection, USP are stable until the expiration date indicated on the package when stored at controlled room temperature 20º to 25º C (68º to 77ºF) and that allows for excursions between 15º and 30ºC (59º and 86ºF) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature] [see Dosage and Administration].

This container closure is not made with natural rubber latex.

Patient Counseling Information

  • Advise patients of the risks of low blood cell counts and the potential need for blood transfusions and increased susceptibility to infections. Instruct patients to immediately contact their healthcare provided for development of signs or symptoms of infection, fever, prolonged or unexpected bleeding, bruising, or shortness of breath [see Warnings and Precautions].
  • Advise patients of the risks of pulmonary toxicity including respiratory failure and death. Instruct patients to immediately contact their healthcare provider for development of shortness of breath, wheezing, or cough [see Warnings and Precautions].
  • Advise patients of the risks of hemolytic-uremic syndrome and associated renal failure. Instruct patients to immediately contact their healthcare provider for changes in the color or volume of urine output or for increased bruising or bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions].
  • Advise patients of the risks of hepatic toxicity including liver failure and death. Instruct patients to immediately contact their healthcare provider for signs of jaundice or for pain/tenderness in the right upper abdominal quadrant [see Warnings and Precautions].

PremierProRx is a registered trademark of Premier, Inc., used under license.

Manufactured By

Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC

Lake Zurich, IL 60047

Made in India

For Product Inquiry:

1-800-551-7176 or www.fresenius-kabi.us