Drugs Details

Drugs Info of VFEND
Drugs Details
  • Drugs Type  : FDA
  • Date : 8th Jul 2015 06:51 am
  • Brand Name : VFEND
  • Generic Name : voriconazole (Pronunciation: vor i KON a zole)
Descriptions

VFEND® (voriconazole), an azole antifungal agent is available as a lyophilized powder for solution for intravenous infusion, film-coated tablets for oral administration, and as a powder for oral suspension. The structural formula is:

 

VFEND® (voriconazole) Structural Formula Illustration

 

Voriconazole is designated chemically as (2R,3S)-2-(2, 4-difluorophenyl)-3-(5-fluoro-4-pyrimidinyl)-1-(1H-1,2,4triazol-1-yl)-2-butanol with an empirical formula of C16H14F3N5O and a molecular weight of 349.3.

Voriconazole drug substance is a white to light-colored powder.

VFEND I.V. is a white lyophilized powder containing nominally 200 mg voriconazole and 3200 mg sulfobutyl ether beta-cyclodextrin sodium in a 30 mL Type I clear glass vial.

VFEND I.V. is intended for administration by intravenous infusion. It is a single-dose, unpreserved product. Vials containing 200 mg lyophilized voriconazole are intended for reconstitution with Water for Injection to produce a solution containing 10 mg/mL VFEND and 160 mg/mL of sulfobutyl ether beta-cyclodextrin sodium. The resultant solution is further diluted prior to administration as an intravenous infusion [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

VFEND Tablets contain 50 mg or 200 mg of voriconazole. The inactive ingredients include lactose monohydrate, pregelatinized starch, croscarmellose sodium, povidone, magnesium stearate and a coating containing hypromellose, titanium dioxide, lactose monohydrate and triacetin.

VFEND for Oral Suspension is a white to off-white powder providing a white to off-white orange-flavored suspension when reconstituted. Bottles containing 45 g powder for oral suspension are intended for reconstitution with water to produce a suspension containing 40 mg/mL voriconazole. The inactive ingredients include colloidal silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide, xanthan gum, sodium citrate dihydrate, sodium benzoate, anhydrous citric acid, natural orange flavor, and sucrose.

 

What are the possible side effects of voriconazole (VFEND)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • sudden behavior changes, problems with thinking or speech;
  • upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • bone pain, swelling;
  • uneven heart rate, chest pain, general ill feeling;...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Vfend »

What are the precautions when taking voriconazole (Vfend)?

Before taking voriconazole, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other azole antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, recent chemotherapy, certain hereditary problems with digesting/absorbing the sugar galactose (e.g., galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency, glucose-galactose malabsorption), untreated electrolyte imbalance (e.g., low calcium levels), heart problems (e.g., irregular heartbeat, cardiomyopathy).

Voriconazole may cause a condition...

Read All Potential Precautions of Vfend »

Indications

VFEND is indicated for use in patients 12 years of age and older in the treatment of the following fungal infections:

Invasive Aspergillosis

In clinical trials, the majority of isolates recovered were Aspergillus fumigatus. There was a small number of cases of culture-proven disease due to species of Aspergillus other than A. fumigatus [see Clinical Studies and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Candidemia In Non-neutropenic Patients And The Following CandidaInfections: Disseminated Infections In Skin and Infections In Abdomen, Kidney, Bladder Wall, And Wounds

[see Clinical Studies and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]

Esophageal Candidiasis

[see Clinical Studies and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]

Serious Fungal Infections Caused By Scedosporium apiospermum(Asexual Form Of Pseudallescheria Boydii) And Fusarium spp. Including Fusarium solani, In Patients Intolerant of, Or Refractory To, Other Therapy

[see Clinical Studies and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]

Specimens for fungal culture and other relevant laboratory studies (including histopathology) should be obtained prior to therapy to isolate and identify causative organism(s). Therapy may be instituted before the results of the cultures and other laboratory studies are known. However, once these results become available, antifungal therapy should be adjusted accordingly.

Dosage Administration

Instructions For Use In All Patients

VFEND Tablets or Oral Suspension should be taken at least one hour before or after a meal.

VFEND I.V. for Injection requires reconstitution to 10 mg/mL and subsequent dilution to 5 mg/mL or less prior to administration as an infusion, at a maximum rate of 3 mg/kg per hour over 1 to 2 hours.

Do not administer as an IV bolus injection.

Use Of VFEND I.V. With Other Parenteral Drug Products

Blood Products And Concentrated Electrolytes

VFEND I.V. must not be infused concomitantly with any blood product or short-term infusion of concentrated electrolytes, even if the two infusions are running in separate intravenous lines (or cannulas).Electrolyte disturbances such as hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia andhypocalcemia should be corrected prior to initiation of and during VFEND therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Intravenous Solutions Containing (Non-Concentrated) Electrolytes

VFEND I.V. can be infused at the same time as other intravenous solutions containing (non-concentrated) electrolytes, but must be infused through a separate line.

Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)

VFEND I.V. can be infused at the same time as total parenteral nutrition, but must be infused in a separate line. If infused through a multiple-lumen catheter, TPN needs to be administered using a different port from the one used for VFEND I.V.

Recommended Dosing In Adults

Invasive Aspergillosis And Serious Fungal Infections Due To Fusarium Spp. And Scedosporium Apiospermum

See Table 1. Therapy must be initiated with the specified loading dose regimen of intravenous VFEND on Day 1 followed by the recommended maintenance dose regimen. Intravenous treatment should be continued for at least 7 days. Once the patient has clinically improved and can tolerate medication given by mouth, the oral tablet form or oral suspension form of VFEND may be utilized. The recommended oral maintenance dose of 200 mg achieves a voriconazole exposure similar to 3 mg/kg IV; a 300 mg oral dose achieves an exposure similar to 4 mg/kg IV.

Switching between the intravenous and oral formulations is appropriate because of the high bioavailability of the oral formulation in adults [seeCLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Candidemia In Non-Neutropenic Patients And Other Deep Tissue Candida Infections

See Table 1. Patients should be treated for at least 14 days following resolution of symptoms or following last positive culture, whichever is longer.

Esophageal Candidiasis

See Table 1. Patients should be treated for a minimum of 14 days and for at least 7 days following resolution of symptoms.

Table 1: Recommended Dosing Regimen

INFECTION LOADING DOSE MAINTENANCE DOSEA,B
IV IV ORALC
Invasive Aspergillosisd 6 mg/kg q12h for the first 24 hours 4 mg/kg q12h 200 mg q12h
Candidemia in nonneutropenic patients and other deep tissueCandida infections 6 mg/kg q12h for the first 24 hours 3-4 mg/kg q12he 200 mg q12h
Esophageal Candidiasis f f 200 mg q12h
Scedosporiosis and Fusariosis 6 mg/kg q12h for the first 24 hours 4 mg/kg q12h 200 mg q12h
aIncrease dose when VFEND is co-administered with phenytoin or efavirenz (7); Decrease dose in patients with hepatic impairment (2.7) 
bIn healthy volunteer studies, the 200 mg oral q12h dose provided an exposure (AUCτ) similar to a 3 mg/kg IV q12h dose; the 300 mg oral q12h dose provided an exposure (AUCτ) similar to a 4 mg/kg IV q12h dose [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. 
cAdult patients who weigh less than 40 kg should receive half of the oral maintenance dose. 
dIn a clinical study of invasive aspergillosis, the median duration of IV VFEND therapy was 10 days (range 2-85 days). The median duration of oral VFEND therapy was 76 days (range 2-232 days) [see Clinical Studies]. 
eIn clinical trials, patients with candidemia received 3 mg/kg IV q12h as primary therapy, while patients with other deep tissue Candida infections received 4 mg/kg q12h as salvage therapy. Appropriate dose should be based on the severity and nature of the infection. 
fNot evaluated in patients with esophageal candidiasis.

 

Dosage Adjustment

If patient response is inadequate, the oral maintenance dose may be increased from 200 mg every 12 hours (similar to 3 mg/kg IV q12h) to 300 mg every 12 hours (similar to 4 mg/kg IV q12h). For adult patients weighing less than 40 kg, the oral maintenance dose may be increased from 100 mg every 12 hours to 150 mg every 12 hours. If patient is unable to tolerate 300 mg orally every 12 hours, reduce the oral maintenance dose by 50 mg steps to a minimum of 200 mg every 12 hours (or to 100 mg every 12 hours for adult patients weighing less than 40 kg).

If patient is unable to tolerate 4 mg/kg IV q12h, reduce the intravenous maintenance dose to 3 mg/kg q12h.

The maintenance dose of voriconazole should be increased when co-administered with phenytoin or efavirenz [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].

The maintenance dose of voriconazole should be reduced in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment, Child-Pugh Class A and B [see Use in Patients With Hepatic Impairment]. There are no PK data to allow for dosage adjustment recommendations in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class C).

Duration of therapy should be based on the severity of the patient's underlying disease, recovery from immunosuppression, and clinical response.

Intravenous Administration

Reconstitution

The powder is reconstituted with 19 mL of Water For Injection to obtain an extractable volume of 20 mL of clear concentrate containing 10 mg/mL of voriconazole. It is recommended that a standard 20 mL (non-automated) syringe be used to ensure that the exact amount (19.0 mL) of Water for Injection is dispensed. Discard the vial if a vacuum does not pull the diluent into the vial. Shake the vial until all the powder is dissolved.

Dilution

VFEND must be infused over 1-2 hours, at a concentration of 5 mg/mL or less. Therefore, the required volume of the 10 mg/mL VFEND concentrate should be further diluted as follows (appropriate diluents listed below):

  1. Calculate the volume of 10 mg/mL VFEND concentrate required based on the patient's weight (see Table 2).
  2. In order to allow the required volume of VFEND concentrate to be added, withdraw and discard at least an equal volume of diluent from the infusion bag or bottle to be used. The volume of diluent remaining in the bag or bottle should be such that when the 10 mg/mL VFEND concentrate is added, the final concentration is not less than 0.5 mg/mL nor greater than 5 mg/mL.
  3. Using a suitable size syringe and aseptic technique, withdraw the required volume of VFEND concentrate from the appropriate number of vials and add to the infusion bag or bottle. Discard Partially Used Vials.

The final VFEND solution must be infused over 1-2 hours at a maximum rate of 3 mg/kg per hour.

Table 2: Required Volumes of 10 mg/mL VFEND Concentrate

BODY WEIGHT (KG) VOLUME OF VFEND CONCENTRATE (10 MG/ML) REQUIRED FOR:
3 MG/KG DOSE (NUMBER OF VIALS) 4 MG/KG DOSE (NUMBER OF VIALS) 6 MG/KG DOSE (NUMBER OF VIALS)
30 9.0 mL (1) 12 mL (1) 18 mL (1)
35 10.5 mL (1) 14 mL (1) 21 mL (2)
40 12.0 mL (1) 16 mL (1) 24 mL (2)
45 13.5 mL (1) 18 mL (1) 27 mL (2)
50 15.0 mL (1) 20 mL (1) 30 mL (2)
55 16.5 mL (1) 22 mL (2) 33 mL (2)
60 18.0 mL (1) 24 mL (2) 36 mL (2)
65 19.5 mL (1) 26 mL (2) 39 mL (2)
70 21.0 mL (2) 28 mL (2) 42 mL (3)
75 22.5 mL (2) 30 mL (2) 45 mL (3)
80 24.0 mL (2) 32 mL (2) 48 mL (3)
85 25.5 mL (2) 34 mL (2) 51 mL (3)
90 27.0 mL (2) 36 mL (2) 54 mL (3)
95 28.5 mL (2) 38 mL (2) 57 mL (3)
100 30.0 mL (2) 40 mL (2) 60 mL (3)

 

VFEND I.V. for Injection is a single dose unpreserved sterile lyophile. Therefore, from a microbiological point of view, once reconstituted, 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 should not be longer than 24 hours at 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F). This medicinal product is for single use only and any unused solution should be discarded. Only clear solutions without particles should be used.

The reconstituted solution can be diluted with:

9 mg/mL (0.9%) Sodium Chloride USP
Lactated Ringers USP
5% Dextrose and Lactated Ringers USP
5% Dextrose and 0.45% Sodium Chloride USP
5% Dextrose USP
5% Dextrose and 20 mEq Potassium Chloride USP
0.45% Sodium Chloride USP
5% Dextrose and 0.9% Sodium Chloride USP

The compatibility of VFEND I.V. with diluents other than those described above is unknown (see Incompatibilities below).

Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit.

Incompatibilities

VFEND I.V. must not be diluted with 4.2% Sodium Bicarbonate Infusion. The mildly alkaline nature of this diluent caused slight degradation of VFEND after 24 hours storage at room temperature. Although refrigerated storage is recommended following reconstitution, use of this diluent is not recommended as a precautionary measure. Compatibility with other concentrations is unknown.

Oral Suspension

Reconstitution

Tap the bottle to release the powder. Add 46 mL of water to the bottle. Shake the closed bottle vigorously for about 1 minute. Remove child-resistant cap and push bottle adaptor into the neck of the bottle. Replace the cap. Write the date of expiration of the reconstituted suspension on the bottle label (the shelf-life of the reconstituted suspension is 14 days at controlled room temperature 15-30°C [59-86°F]).

Instructions for use

Shake the closed bottle of reconstituted suspension for approximately 10 seconds before each use. The reconstituted oral suspension should only be administered using the oral dispenser supplied with each pack.

Incompatibilities

VFEND for Oral Suspension and the 40 mg/mL reconstituted oral suspension should not be mixed with any other medication or additional flavoring agent. It is not intended that the suspension be further diluted with water or other vehicles.

Use In Patients With Hepatic Impairment

In the clinical program, patients were included who had baseline liver function tests (ALT, AST) up to 5 times the upper limit of normal. No dose adjustment is necessary in patients with this degree of abnormal liver function, but continued monitoring of liver function tests for further elevations is recommended [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

It is recommended that the standard loading dose regimens be used but that the maintenance dose be halved in patients with mild to moderate hepaticcirrhosis (Child-Pugh Class A and B) [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

VFEND has not been studied in patients with severe hepatic cirrhosis (Child-Pugh Class C) or in patients with chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis Cdisease. VFEND has been associated with elevations in liver function tests and clinical signs of liver damage, such as jaundice, and should only be used in patients with severe hepatic impairment if the benefit outweighs the potential risk. Patients with hepatic insufficiency must be carefully monitored for drug toxicity.

Use In Patients With Renal Impairment

The pharmacokinetics of orally administered VFEND are not significantly affected by renal impairment. Therefore, no adjustment is necessary for oral dosing in patients with mild to severe renal impairment [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

In patients with moderate or severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance < 50 mL/min), accumulation of the intravenous vehicle, SBECD, occurs. Oral voriconazole should be administered to these patients, unless an assessment of the benefit/risk to the patient justifies the use of intravenous voriconazole. Serum creatinine levels should be closely monitored in these patients, and, if increases occur, consideration should be given to changing to oral voriconazole therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Voriconazole is hemodialyzed with clearance of 121 mL/min. The intravenous vehicle, SBECD, is hemodialyzed with clearance of 55 mL/min. A 4-hourhemodialysis session does not remove a sufficient amount of voriconazole to warrant dose adjustment.

How Supplied

Dosage Forms And Strengths

Powder for Solution for Injection

VFEND I.V. for Injection is supplied in a single use vial as a sterile lyophilized powder equivalent to 200 mg VFEND and 3200 mg sulfobutyl ether beta-cyclodextrin sodium (SBECD).

Tablets

VFEND 50 mg tablets; white, film-coated, round, debossed with “Pfizer” on one side and “VOR50” on the reverse.

VFEND 200 mg tablets; white, film-coated, capsule shaped, debossed with “Pfizer” on one side and “VOR200” on the reverse.

Powder for Oral Suspension

VFEND for Oral Suspension is supplied in 100 mL high density polyethylene (HDPE) bottles. Each bottle contains 45 g of powder for oral suspension. Following reconstitution, the volume of the suspension is 75 mL, providing a usable volume of 70 mL (40 mg voriconazole/mL). A 5 mL oral dispenser and a press-in bottle adaptor are also provided.

Storage And Handling

Powder For Solution For Injection

VFEND I.V. for Injection is supplied in a single use vial as a sterile lyophilized powder equivalent to 200 mg VFEND and 3200 mg sulfobutyl ether beta-cyclodextrin sodium (SBECD).

Individually packaged vials of 200 mg VFEND I.V.

(NDC 0049-3190-28)

Tablets

VFEND 50 mg tablets; white, film-coated, round, debossed with “Pfizer” on one side and “VOR50” on the reverse.

Bottles of 30 (NDC 0049-3170-30)

VFEND 200 mg tablets; white, film-coated, capsule shaped, debossed with “Pfizer” on one side and “VOR200” on the reverse.

Bottles of 30 (NDC 0049-3180-30)

Powder for Oral Suspension

VFEND for Oral Suspension is supplied in 100 mL high density polyethylene (HDPE) bottles. Each bottle contains 45 g of powder for oral suspension. Following reconstitution, the volume of the suspension is 75 mL, providing a usable volume of 70 mL (40 mg voriconazole/mL). A 5 mL oral dispenser and a press-in bottle adaptor are also provided.

(NDC 0049-3160-44)

Storage

VFEND I.V. for Injection unreconstituted vials should be stored at 15° -30°C (59° -86°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature]. VFEND is a single dose unpreserved sterile lyophile. From a microbiological point of view, following reconstitution of the lyophile with Water for Injection, the reconstituted solution should be used immediately. If not used immediately, in-use storage times and conditions prior to use are the responsibility of the user and should not be longer than 24 hours at 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F). Chemical and physical in-use stability has been demonstrated for 24 hours at 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F). This medicinal product is for single use only and any unused solution should be discarded. Only clear solutions without particles should be used [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

VFEND Tablets should be stored at 15° -30°C (59° -86°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature].

VFEND Powder for Oral Suspension should be stored at 2° -8°C (36°-46° F) (in a refrigerator) before reconstitution. The shelf-life of the powder for oral suspension is 18 months.

The reconstituted suspension should be stored at 15° -30°C (59° -86°F) [seeUSP Controlled Room Temperature]. Do not refrigerate or freeze. Keep the container tightly closed. The shelf-life of the reconstituted suspension is 14 days. Any remaining suspension should be discarded 14 days after reconstitution.

Distributed by:Roerig Division of Pfizer Inc., NY, NY 10017. Revised February 2015

Side Effects

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in 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 practice.

Overview

The most frequently reported adverse events (all causalities) in the therapeutic trials were visual disturbances (18.7%), fever (5.7%), nausea (5.4%), rash (5.3%), vomiting (4.4%), chills (3.7%), headache (3.0%), liver function test increased (2.7%), tachycardia (2.4%), hallucinations (2.4%). The treatment-related adverse events which most often led to discontinuation of voriconazole therapy were elevated liver function tests, rash, and visual disturbances [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Clinical Trial Experience In Adults

The data described in Table 3 reflect exposure to voriconazole in 1655 patients in the therapeutic studies. This represents a heterogeneous population, including immunocompromised patients, e.g., patients with hematological malignancy or HIV and non-neutropenic patients. This subgroup does not include healthy subjects and patients treated in thecompassionate use and non-therapeutic studies. This patient population was 62% male, had a mean age of 46 years (range 11-90, including 51 patients aged 12-18 years), and was 78% White and 10% Black. Five hundred sixty one patients had a duration of voriconazole therapy of greater than 12 weeks, with 136 patients receiving voriconazole for over six months. Table 3 includes all adverse events which were reported at an incidence of ≥ 2% during voriconazole therapy in the all therapeutic studies population, studies 307/602 and 608 combined, or study 305, as well as events of concern which occurred at an incidence of < 2%.

In study 307/602, 381 patients (196 on voriconazole, 185 on amphotericin B) were treated to compare voriconazole to amphotericin B followed by other licensed antifungal therapy in the primary treatment of patients with acute invasive aspergillosis. The rate of discontinuation from voriconazole study medication due to adverse events was 21.4% (42/196 patients). In study 608, 403 patients with candidemia were treated to compare voriconazole (272 patients) to the regimen of amphotericin B followed by fluconazole (131 patients). The rate of discontinuation from voriconazole study medication due to adverse events was 19.5% out of 272 patients. Study 305 evaluated the effects of oral voriconazole (200 patients) and oral fluconazole (191 patients) in the treatment of esophageal candidiasis. The rate of discontinuation from voriconazole study medication in Study 305 due to adverse events was 7% (14/200 patients). Laboratory test abnormalities for these studies are discussed under Clinical Laboratory Values below.

Table 3: Treatment Emergent Adverse Events Rate ≥ 2% on Voriconazole or Adverse Events of Concern in All Therapeutic Studies Population, Studies 307/602-608 Combined, or Study 305. Possibly Related to Therapy or Causality Unknown†

View Enlarged Table

 

Visual Disturbances

Voriconazole treatment-related visual disturbances are common. In therapeutic trials, approximately 21% of patients experienced abnormal vision, color vision change and/or photophobia. Visual disturbances may be associated with higher plasma concentrations and/or doses.

There have been post-marketing reports of prolonged visual adverse events, including optic neuritis and papilledema [see WARNINGS ANDPRECAUTIONS].

The mechanism of action of the visual disturbance is unknown, although the site of action is most likely to be within the retina. In a study in healthy subjects investigating the effect of 28-day treatment with voriconazole on retinal function, voriconazole caused a decrease in the electroretinogram(ERG) waveform amplitude, a decrease in the visual field, and an alteration in color perception. The ERG measures electrical currents in the retina. The effects were noted early in administration of voriconazole and continued through the course of study drug dosing. Fourteen days after end of dosing, ERG, visual fields and color perception returned to normal [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Dermatological Reactions

Dermatological reactions were common in the patients treated with voriconazole. The mechanism underlying these dermatologic adverse events remains unknown.

Serious cutaneous reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxicepidermal necrolysis and erythema multiforme have been reported during treatment with VFEND. If a patient develops an exfoliative cutaneous reaction, VFEND should be discontinued.

In addition, VFEND has been associated with photosensitivity skin reactions. Patients should avoid strong, direct sunlight during VFEND therapy. In patients with photosensitivity skin reactions, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin and melanoma have been reported during long-term therapy. If a patient develops a skin lesion consistent with squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma, VFEND should be discontinued [see WARNINGS ANDPRECAUTIONS].

Less Common Adverse Events

The following adverse events occurred in < 2% of all voriconazole-treated patients in all therapeutic studies (N=1655). This listing includes events where a causal relationship to voriconazole cannot be ruled out or those which may help the physician in managing the risks to the patients. The list does not include events included in Table 5 above and does not include every event reported in the voriconazole clinical program.

Body as a Whole: abdominal pain, abdomen enlarged, allergic reaction, anaphylactoid reaction [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS], ascites,asthenia, back pain, chest pain, cellulitis, edema, face edema, flank pain, flu syndrome, graft versus host reaction, granuloma, infection, bacterial infection, fungal infection, injection site pain, injection site infection/inflammation, mucous membrane disorder, multi-organ failure, pain,pelvic pain, peritonitis, sepsis, substernal chest pain.

Cardiovascular: atrial arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, AV block complete, bigeminy, bradycardia, bundle branch block, cardiomegaly, cardiomyopathy,cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral ischemia, cerebrovascular accident,congestive heart failure, deep thrombophlebitis, endocarditis, extrasystoles, heart arrest, hypertension, hypotension, myocardial infarction, nodal arrhythmia, palpitation, phlebitis, postural hypotension, pulmonary embolus, QT interval prolonged, supraventricular extrasystoles, supraventricular tachycardia, syncope, thrombophlebitis, vasodilatation, ventriculararrhythmia, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia (including torsade de pointes) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Digestive: anorexia, cheilitis, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, constipation, diarrhea, duodenal ulcer perforation, duodenitis, dyspepsia, dysphagia, dry mouth, esophageal ulcer, esophagitis, flatulence, gastroenteritis,gastrointestinal hemorrhage, GGT/LDH elevated, gingivitis, glossitis, gum hemorrhage, gum hyperplasia, hematemesis, hepatic coma, hepatic failure,hepatitis, intestinal perforation, intestinal ulcer, jaundice, enlarged liver,melena, mouth ulceration, pancreatitis, parotid gland enlargement,periodontitis, proctitis, pseudomembranous colitis, rectal disorder, rectal hemorrhage, stomach ulcer, stomatitis, tongue edema.

Endocrine: adrenal cortex insufficiency, diabetes insipidus, hyperthyroidism,hypothyroidism.

Hemic and Lymphatic: agranulocytosis, anemia (macrocytic, megaloblastic,microcytic, normocytic), aplastic anemia, hemolytic anemia, bleeding time increased, cyanosis, DIC, ecchymosis, eosinophilia, hypervolemia,leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, lymphangitis, marrow depression,pancytopenia, petechia, purpura, enlarged spleen, thrombocytopenia, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Metabolic and Nutritional: albuminuria, BUN increased, creatinephosphokinase increased, edema, glucose tolerance decreased,hypercalcemia, hypercholesteremia, hyperglycemia, hyperkalemia,hypermagnesemia, hypernatremia, hyperuricemia, hypocalcemia,hypoglycemia, hypomagnesemia, hyponatremia, hypophosphatemia, peripheral edema, uremia.

Musculoskeletal: arthralgia, arthritis, bone necrosis, bone pain, leg cramps,myalgia, myasthenia, myopathy, osteomalacia, osteoporosis.

Nervous System: abnormal dreams, acute brain syndrome, agitation,akathisia, amnesia, anxiety, ataxia, brain edema, coma, confusion,convulsion, delirium, dementia, depersonalization, depression, diplopia, dizziness, encephalitis, encephalopathy, euphoria, Extrapyramidal Syndrome,grand mal convulsion, Guillain-Barré syndrome, hypertonia, hypesthesia, insomnia, intracranial hypertension, libido decreased, neuralgia, neuropathy,nystagmus, oculogyric crisis, paresthesia, psychosis, somnolence, suicidal ideation, tremor, vertigo.

Respiratory System: cough increased, dyspnea, epistaxis, hemoptysis,hypoxia, lung edema, pharyngitis, pleural effusion, pneumonia, respiratory disorder, respiratory distress syndrome, respiratory tract infection, rhinitis,sinusitis, voice alteration.

Skin and Appendages: alopecia, angioedema, contact dermatitis, discoid lupus erythematosis, eczema, erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, fixed drug eruption, furunculosis, herpes simplex, maculopapular rash, melanoma, melanosis, photosensitivity skin reaction, pruritus, pseudoporphyria, psoriasis, skin discoloration, skin disorder, skin dry, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, squamous cell carcinoma, sweating, toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria.

Special Senses: abnormality of accommodation, blepharitis, color blindness,conjunctivitis, corneal opacity, deafness, ear pain, eye pain, eye hemorrhage, dry eyes, hypoacusis, keratitis, keratoconjunctivitis, mydriasis,night blindness, optic atrophy, optic neuritis, otitis externa, papilledema, retinal hemorrhage, retinitis, scleritis, taste loss, taste perversion, tinnitus,uveitis, visual field defect.

Urogenital: anuria, blighted ovum, creatinine clearance decreased, dysmenorrhea, dysuria, epididymitis, glycosuria, hemorrhagic cystitis,hematuria, hydronephrosis, impotence, kidney pain, kidney tubular necrosis,metrorrhagia, nephritis, nephrosis, oliguria, scrotal edema, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, urinary tract infection, uterine hemorrhage, vaginal hemorrhage.

Clinical Laboratory Values

The overall incidence of clinically significant transaminase abnormalities in all therapeutic studies was 12.4% (206/1655) of patients treated with voriconazole. Increased incidence of liver function test abnormalities may be associated with higher plasma concentrations and/or doses. The majority of abnormal liver function tests either resolved during treatment without dose adjustment or following dose adjustment, including discontinuation of therapy.

Voriconazole has been infrequently associated with cases of serious hepatic toxicity including cases of jaundice and rare cases of hepatitis and hepatic failure leading to death. Most of these patients had other serious underlying conditions.

Liver function tests should be evaluated at the start of and during the course of VFEND therapy. Patients who develop abnormal liver function tests during VFEND therapy should be monitored for the development of more severe hepatic injury. Patient management should include laboratory evaluation of hepatic function (particularly liver function tests and bilirubin). Discontinuation of VFEND must be considered if clinical signs and symptoms consistent withliver disease develop that may be attributable to VFEND [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Acute renal failure has been observed in severely ill patients undergoing treatment with VFEND. Patients being treated with voriconazole are likely to be treated concomitantly with nephrotoxic medications and have concurrent conditions that may result in decreased renal function. It is recommended that patients are monitored for the development of abnormal renal function. This should include laboratory evaluation, particularly serum creatinine.

Tables 4 to 6 show the number of patients with hypokalemia and clinically significant changes in renal and liver function tests in three randomized, comparative multicenter studies. In study 305, patients with esophageal candidiasis were randomized to either oral voriconazole or oral fluconazole. In study 307/602, patients with definite or probable invasive aspergillosis were randomized to either voriconazole or amphotericin B therapy. In study 608, patients with candidemia were randomized to either voriconazole or the regimen of amphotericin B followed by fluconazole.

Table 4: Protocol 305 – Patients with Esophageal Candidiasis Clinically Significant Laboratory Test Abnormalities

  CRITERIA* VORICONAZOLE
N/N (%)
FLUCONAZOLE
N /N (%)
T. Bilirubin > 1.5x ULN 8/185 (4.3) 7/186 (3.8)
AST > 3.0x ULN 38/187 (20.3) 15/186 (8.1)
ALT > 3.0x ULN 20/187 (10.7) 12/186 (6.5)
Alk phos > 3.0x ULN 19/187 (10.2) 14/186 (7.5)
* Without regard to baseline value 
n = number of patients with a clinically significant abnormality while on study therapy 
N = total number of patients with at least one observation of the given lab test while on study therapy 
ULN = upper limit of normal

 

Table 5: Protocol 307/602 – Primary Treatment of Invasive Aspergillosis Clinically Significant Laboratory Test Abnormalities

  CRITERIA* VORICONAZOLE N/N (%) AMPHOTERICIN B** N/N (%)
T. Bilirubin > 1.5x ULN 35/180 (19.4) 46/173 (26.6)
AST > 3.0x ULN 21/180 (11.7) 18/174 (10.3)
ALT > 3.0x ULN 34/180 (18.9) 40/173 (23.1)
Alk phos > 3.0x ULN 29/181 (16.0) 38/173 (22.0)
Creatinine > 1.3x ULN 39/182 (21.4) 102/177 (57.6)
Potassium < 0.9x LLN 30/181 (16.6) 70/178 (39.3)
* Without regard to baseline value 
**Amphotericin B followed by other licensed antifungal therapy 
n = number of patients with a clinically significant abnormality while on study therapy 
N = total number of patients with at least one observation of the given lab test while on study therapy 
ULN = upper limit of normal 
LLN = lower limit of normal

 

Table 6: Protocol 608 – Treatment of Candidemia Clinically Significant Laboratory Test Abnormalities

  CRITERIA* VORICONAZOLE 
N/N (%)
AMPHOTERICIN B FOLLOWED BY FLUCONAZOLE 
N/N (%)
T. Bilirubin > 1.5x ULN 50/261 (19.2) 31/115 (27.0)
AST > 3.0x ULN 40/261 (15.3) 16/116 (13.8)
ALT > 3.0x ULN 22/261 (8.4) 15/116 (12.9)
Alk phos > 3.0x ULN 59/261 (22.6) 26/115 (22.6)
Creatinine > 1.3x ULN 39/260 (15.0) 32/118 (27.1)
Potassium < 0.9x LLN 43/258 (16.7) 35/118 (29.7)
* Without regard to baseline value 
n = number of patients with a clinically significant abnormality while on study therapy 
N = total number of patients with at least one observation of the given lab test while on study therapy 
ULN = upper limit of normal 
LLN = lower limit of normal

 

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of voriconazole. 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.

Skeletal: fluorosis and periostitis have been reported during long-term voriconazole therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Interactions

Table 7: Effect of Other Drugs on Voriconazole Pharmacokinetics [seeCLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]

View Enlarged Table

 

Table 8: Effect of Voriconazole on Pharmacokinetics of Other Drugs [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]

Warnings

Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.

Precautions

Drug Interactions

See Table 7 for a listing of drugs that may significantly alter voriconazole concentrations. Also, see Table 8 for a listing of drugs that may interact with voriconazole resulting in altered pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics of the other drug [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Hepatic Toxicity

In clinical trials, there have been uncommon cases of serious hepatic reactions during treatment with VFEND (including clinical hepatitis, cholestasis and fulminant hepatic failure, including fatalities).Instances of hepatic reactions were noted to occur primarily in patients with serious underlying medical conditions (predominantly hematologicalmalignancy). Hepatic reactions, including hepatitis and jaundice, have occurred among patients with no other identifiable risk factors. Liver dysfunction has usually been reversible on discontinuation of therapy [seePatients With Hepatic Impairment and ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Measure serum transaminase levels and bilirubin at the initiation of VFEND therapy and monitor at least weekly for the first month of treatment. Monitoring frequency can be reduced to monthly during continued use if no clinically significant changes are noted. If liver function tests become markedly elevated compared to baseline, VFEND should be discontinued unless the medical judgment of the benefit-risk of the treatment for the patient justifies continued use [see Patients With Hepatic Impairment,DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, and ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Visual Disturbances

The effect of VFEND on visual function is not known if treatment continues beyond 28 days. There have been post-marketing reports of prolonged visual adverse events, including optic neuritis and papilledema. If treatment continues beyond 28 days, visual function including visual acuity,visual field and color perception should be monitored [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

Voriconazole can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman.

In animals, voriconazole administration was associated with teratogenicity, embryotoxicity, increased gestational length, dystocia and embryomortality. Please refer to section 8.1 (Use in Pregnancy) for additional details.

If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be informed of the potential hazard to the fetus.

Galactose Intolerance

VFEND tablets contain lactose and should not be given to patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption.

Arrhythmias And QT Prolongation

Some azoles, including voriconazole, have been associated with prolongation of the QT interval on the electrocardiogram. During clinical development and post-marketing surveillance, there have been rare cases of arrhythmias, (including ventricular arrhythmias such as torsade de pointes), cardiac arrests and sudden deaths in patients taking voriconazole. These cases usually involved seriously ill patients with multiple confounding risk factors, such as history of cardiotoxic chemotherapy, cardiomyopathy, hypokalemiaand concomitant medications that may have been contributory.

Voriconazole should be administered with caution to patients with potentially proarrhythmic conditions, such as:

  • Congenital or acquired QT-prolongation
  • Cardiomyopathy, in particular when heart failure is present
  • Sinus bradycardia
  • Existing symptomatic arrhythmias
  • Concomitant medicinal product that is known to prolong QT interval [seeCONTRAINDICATIONS, DRUG INTERACTIONS, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]

Rigorous attempts to correct potassium, magnesium and calcium should be made before starting and during voriconazole therapy [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Infusion Related Reactions

During infusion of the intravenous formulation of voriconazole in healthy subjects, anaphylactoid-type reactions, including flushing, fever, sweating,tachycardia, chest tightness, dyspnea, faintness, nausea, pruritus and rash, have occurred uncommonly. Symptoms appeared immediately upon initiating the infusion. Consideration should be given to stopping the infusion should these reactions occur.

Laboratory Tests

Electrolyte disturbances such as hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia andhypocalcemia should be corrected prior to initiation of and during VFEND therapy.

Patient management should include laboratory evaluation of renal (particularly serum creatinine) and hepatic function (particularly liver function tests and bilirubin).

Patients With Hepatic Impairment

It is recommended that the standard loading dose regimens be used but that the maintenance dose be halved in patients with mild to moderate hepaticcirrhosis (Child-Pugh Class A and B) receiving VFEND [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

VFEND has not been studied in patients with severe cirrhosis (Child-Pugh Class C). VFEND has been associated with elevations in liver function tests and clinical signs of liver damage, such as jaundice, and should only be used in patients with severe hepatic insufficiency if the benefit outweighs the potential risk. Patients with hepatic insufficiency must be carefully monitored for drug toxicity.

Patients With Renal Impairment

In patients with moderate to severe renal dysfunction (creatinine clearance < 50 mL/min), accumulation of the intravenous vehicle, SBECD, occurs. Oral voriconazole should be administered to these patients, unless an assessment of the benefit/risk to the patient justifies the use of intravenous voriconazole. Serum creatinine levels should be closely monitored in these patients, and if increases occur, consideration should be given to changing to oral voriconazole therapy [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Monitoring Of Renal Function

Acute renal failure has been observed in patients undergoing treatment with VFEND. Patients being treated with voriconazole are likely to be treated concomitantly with nephrotoxic medications and have concurrent conditions that may result in decreased renal function.

Patients should be monitored for the development of abnormal renal function. This should include laboratory evaluation, particularly serum creatinine.

Monitoring Of Pancreatic Function

Patients with risk factors for acute pancreatitis (e.g., recent chemotherapy,hematopoietic stem cell transplantation [HSCT]) should be monitored for the development of pancreatitis during VFEND treatment.

Dermatological Reactions

Serious exfoliative cutaneous reactions, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, have been reported during treatment with VFEND. If a patient develops an exfoliative cutaneous reaction, VFEND should be discontinued.

VFEND has been associated with photosensitivity skin reaction. Patients, including children, should avoid exposure to direct sunlight during VFEND treatment and should use measures such as protective clothing andsunscreen with high sun protection factor (SPF). If phototoxic reactions occur, the patient should be referred to a dermatologist and

VFEND discontinuation should be considered. If VFEND is continued despite the occurrence of phototoxicityrelated lesions, dermatologic evaluation should be performed on a systematic and regular basis to allow early detection and management of premalignant lesions. Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin and melanoma have been reported during long-term VFEND therapy in patients with photosensitivity skin reactions. If a patient develops a skin lesion consistent with premalignant skin lesions, squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma, VFEND should be discontinued.

The frequency of phototoxicity reactions is higher in the pediatric population. Because squamous cell carcinoma has been reported in patients who experience photosensitivity reactions, stringent measures for photoprotection are warranted in children. In children experiencing photoaging injuries such as lentigines or ephelides, sun avoidance and dermatologic follow-up are recommended even after treatment discontinuation.

Skeletal Adverse Events

Fluorosis and periostitis have been reported during long-term voriconazole therapy. If a patient develops skeletal pain and radiologic findings compatible with fluorosis or periostitis, voriconazole should be discontinued [seeADVERSE REACTIONS].

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-Approved Patient Labeling

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Two-year carcinogenicity studies were conducted in rats and mice. Rats were given oral doses of 6, 18 or 50 mg/kg voriconazole, or 0.2, 0.6, or 1.6 times the recommended maintenance dose (RMD) on a mg/m² basis. Hepatocellular adenomas were detected in females at 50 mg/kg and hepatocellular carcinomas were found in males at 6 and 50 mg/kg. Mice were given oral doses of 10, 30 or 100 mg/kg voriconazole, or 0.1, 0.4, or 1.4 times the RMD on a mg/m² basis. In mice, hepatocellular adenomas were detected in males and females and hepatocellular carcinomas were detected in males at 1.4 times the RMD of voriconazole.

Voriconazole demonstrated clastogenic activity (mostly chromosome breaks) in human lymphocyte cultures in vitro. Voriconazole was not genotoxic in the Ames assay, CHO assay, the mouse micronucleus assay or the DNA repairtest (Unscheduled DNA Synthesis assay).

Voriconazole administration induced no impairment of male or female fertility in rats dosed at 50 mg/kg, or 1.6 times the RMD (recommended maintenance dose).

Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy category D [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Use In Specific Populations].

Use In Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category D

Voriconazole can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman and should not be taken in pregnancy except in patients where the benefit to the mother clearly outweighs the potential risk to the fetus. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.

If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patients should be informed of the potential hazard to the fetus [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Animal Data

Voriconazole was teratogenic in rats (cleft palates,hydronephrosis/hydroureter) from 10 mg/kg (0.3 times the recommended maintenance dose (RMD) on a mg/m² basis) and embryotoxic in rabbits at 100 mg/kg (6 times the RMD). Other effects in rats included reducedossification of sacral and caudal vertebrae, skull, pubic and hyoid bone,supernumerary ribs, anomalies of the sternebrae and dilatation of theureter/renal pelvis. Plasma estradiol in pregnant rats was reduced at all dose levels. Voriconazole treatment in rats produced increased gestational length and dystocia, which were associated with increased perinatal pup mortality at the 10 mg/kg dose. The effects seen in rabbits were an increased embryomortality, reduced fetal weight and increased incidences of skeletal variations, cervical ribs and extrasternebral ossification sites.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether voriconazole 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 VFEND, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 12 years have not been established.

A total of 22 patients aged 12 to 18 years with invasive aspergillosis were included in the therapeutic studies. Twelve out of 22 (55%) patients had successful response after treatment with a maintenance dose of voriconazole 4 mg/kg q12h.

Sparse plasma sampling for pharmacokinetics in adolescents was conducted in the therapeutic studies [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

There have been postmarketing reports of pancreatitis in pediatric patients.

Geriatric Use

In multiple dose therapeutic trials of voriconazole, 9.2% of patients were ≥ 65 years of age and 1.8% of patients were ≥ 75 years of age. In a study in healthy subjects, the systemic exposure (AUC) and peak plasma concentrations (Cmax) were increased in elderly males compared to young males. Pharmacokinetic data obtained from 552 patients from 10 voriconazole therapeutic trials showed that voriconazole plasma concentrations in the elderly patients were approximately 80% to 90% higher than those in younger patients after either IV or oral administration. However, the overall safety profile of the elderly patients was similar to that of the young so no dosage adjustment is recommended [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Women of Childbearing Potential

Women of childbearing potential should use effective contraception during treatment. The coadministration of voriconazole with the oral contraceptive,Ortho-Novum® (35 mcg ethinyl estradiol and 1 mg norethindrone), results in an interaction between these two drugs, but is unlikely to reduce the contraceptive effect. Monitoring for adverse events associated with oral contraceptives and voriconazole is recommended [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

OverDose

In clinical trials, there were three cases of accidental overdose. All occurred in pediatric patients who received up to five times the recommended intravenous dose of voriconazole. A single adverse event of photophobia of 10 minutes duration was reported.

There is no known antidote to voriconazole.

Voriconazole is hemodialyzed with clearance of 121 mL/min. The intravenous vehicle, SBECD, is hemodialyzed with clearance of 55 mL/min. In an overdose, hemodialysis may assist in the removal of voriconazole and SBECD from the body.

The minimum lethal oral dose in mice and rats was 300 mg/kg (equivalent to 4 and 7 times the recommended maintenance dose (RMD), based on body surface area). At this dose, clinical signs observed in both mice and rats included salivation, mydriasis, titubation (loss of balance while moving), depressed behavior, prostration, partially closed eyes, and dyspnea. Other signs in mice were convulsions, corneal opacification and swollen abdomen.

ContrainDications

  • VFEND is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to voriconazole or its excipients. There is no information regarding cross-sensitivity between VFEND (voriconazole) and other azole antifungalagents. Caution should be used when prescribing VFEND to patients with hypersensitivity to other azoles.
  • Coadministration of terfenadine, astemizole, cisapride, pimozide or quinidine with VFEND is contraindicated because increased plasma concentrations of these drugs can lead to QT prolongation and rare occurrences of torsade de pointes [see DRUG INTERACTIONS andCLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
  • Coadministration of VFEND with sirolimus is contraindicated because VFEND significantly increases sirolimus concentrations [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
  • Coadministration of VFEND with rifampin, carbamazepine and long-acting barbiturates is contraindicated because these drugs are likely to decrease plasma voriconazole concentrations significantly [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
  • Coadministration of standard doses of voriconazole with efavirenz doses of 400 mg q24h or higher is contraindicated, because efavirenz significantly decreases plasma voriconazole concentrations in healthy subjects at these doses. Voriconazole also significantly increases efavirenz plasma concentrations [see DRUG INTERACTIONS andCLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
  • Coadministration of VFEND with high-dose ritonavir (400 mg q12h) is contraindicated because ritonavir (400 mg q12h) significantly decreases plasma voriconazole concentrations. Coadministration of voriconazole and low-dose ritonavir (100 mg q12h) should be avoided, unless an assessment of the benefit/risk to the patient justifies the use of voriconazole [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
  • Coadministration of VFEND with rifabutin is contraindicated since VFEND significantly increases rifabutin plasma concentrations and rifabutin also significantly decreases voriconazole plasma concentrations [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
  • Coadministration of VFEND with ergot alkaloids (ergotamine and dihydroergotamine) is contraindicated because VFEND may increase the plasma concentration of ergot alkaloids, which may lead to ergotism[see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
  • Coadministration of VFEND with St. John's Wort is contraindicated because this herbal supplement may decrease voriconazole plasma concentration [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Clinical Pharamacology

Mechanism Of Action

Voriconazole is an antifungal drug [see Microbiology]

Pharmacokinetics

General Pharmacokinetic Characteristics

The pharmacokinetics of voriconazole have been characterized in healthy subjects, special populations and patients.

During oral administration of 200 mg or 300 mg twice daily for 14 days in patients at risk of aspergillosis (mainly patients with malignant neoplasms oflymphatic or hematopoietic tissue), the observed pharmacokinetic characteristics were similar to those observed in healthy subjects.

The pharmacokinetics of voriconazole are non-linear due to saturation of itsmetabolism. The interindividual variability of voriconazole pharmacokinetics is high. Greater than proportional increase in exposure is observed with increasing dose. It is estimated that, on average, increasing the oral dose from 200 mg q12h to 300 mg q12h leads to an approximately 2.5-fold increase in exposure (AUCτ); similarly, increasing the intravenous dose from 3 mg/kg q12h to 4 mg/kg q12h produces an approximately 2.5-fold increase in exposure (Table 9).

Table 9: Geometric Mean (%CV) Plasma Voriconazole Pharmacokinetic Parameters in Adults Receiving Different Dosing Regimens

  6 MG/KG IV (LOADING DOSE) 3 MG/KG IV Q12H 4 MG/KG IV Q12H 400 MG ORAL (LOADING DOSE) 200 MG ORAL Q12H 300 MG ORAL Q12H
N 35 23 40 17 48 16
AUC12 (μg•h/mL) 13.9 (32) 13.7 (53) 33.9 (54) 9.31 (38) 12.4 (78) 34.0 (53)
Cmax (μg/mL) 3.13 (20) 3.03 (25) 4.77 (36) 2.30 (19) 2.31 (48) 4.74 (35)
Cmin (μg/mL) -- 0.46 (97) 1.73 (74) -- 0.46 (120) 1.63 (79)
Note: Parameters were estimated based on non-compartmental analysis from 5 pharmacokinetic studies. AUC12 = area under the curve over 12 hour dosing interval, Cmax = maximum plasma concentration, Cmin = minimum plasma concentration. CV = coefficient of variation.

 

Sparse plasma sampling for pharmacokinetics was conducted in the therapeutic studies in patients aged 12-18 years. In 11 adolescent patients who received a mean voriconazole maintenance dose of 4 mg/kg IV, the median of the calculated mean plasma concentrations was 1.60 μg/mL (inter-quartile range 0.28 to 2.73 μg/mL). In 17 adolescent patients for whom mean plasma concentrations were calculated following a mean oral maintenance dose of 200 mg q12h, the median of the calculated mean plasma concentrations was 1.16 μg/mL (inter-quartile range 0.85 to 2.14 μg/mL).

When the recommended intravenous loading dose regimen is administered to healthy subjects, plasma concentrations close to steady state are achieved within the first 24 hours of dosing (eg, 6 mg/kg IV q12h on day 1 followed by 3 mg/kg IV q12h). Without the loading dose, accumulation occurs during twice-daily multiple dosing with steady-state plasma voriconazole concentrations being achieved by day 6 in the majority of subjects.

Absorption

The pharmacokinetic properties of voriconazole are similar following administration by the intravenous and oral routes. Based on a population pharmacokinetic analysis of pooled data in healthy subjects (N=207), the oral bioavailability of voriconazole is estimated to be 96% (CV 13%). Bioequivalence was established between the 200 mg tablet and the 40 mg/mL oral suspension when administered as a 400 mg q12h loading dose followed by a 200 mg q12h maintenance dose.

Maximum plasma concentrations (Cmax) are achieved 1-2 hours after dosing. When multiple doses of voriconazole are administered with high-fat meals, the mean Cmax and AUCτ are reduced by 34% and 24%, respectively when administered as a tablet and by 58% and 37% respectively when administered as the oral suspension [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

In healthy subjects, the absorption of voriconazole is not affected by coadministration of oral ranitidine, cimetidine, or omeprazole, drugs that are known to increase gastric pH.

Distribution

The volume of distribution at steady state for voriconazole is estimated to be 4.6 L/kg, suggesting extensive distribution into tissues. Plasma protein binding is estimated to be 58% and was shown to be independent of plasma concentrations achieved following single and multiple oral doses of 200 mg or 300 mg (approximate range: 0.9-15 μg/mL). Varying degrees of hepatic and renal insufficiency do not affect the protein binding of voriconazole.

Metabolism

In vitro studies showed that voriconazole is metabolized by the human hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes, CYP2C19, CYP2C9 and CYP3A4 [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].

In vivo studies indicated that CYP2C19 is significantly involved in the metabolism of voriconazole. This enzyme exhibits genetic polymorphism. For example, 15-20% of Asian populations may be expected to be poor metabolizers. For Caucasians and Blacks, the prevalence of poor metabolizers is 3-5%. Studies conducted in Caucasian and Japanese healthy subjects have shown that poor metabolizers have, on average, 4-fold higher voriconazole exposure (AUCτ) than their homozygous extensive metabolizer counterparts. Subjects who are heterozygous extensive metabolizers have, on average, 2-fold higher voriconazole exposure than their homozygous extensive metabolizer counterparts.

The major metabolite of voriconazole is the N-oxide, which accounts for 72% of the circulating radiolabelled metabolites in plasma. Since this metabolite has minimal antifungal activity, it does not contribute to the overall efficacy of voriconazole.

Excretion

Voriconazole is eliminated via hepatic metabolism with less than 2% of the dose excreted unchanged in the urine. After administration of a single radiolabelled dose of either oral or IV voriconazole, preceded by multiple oral or IV dosing, approximately 80% to 83% of the radioactivity is recovered in the urine. The majority ( > 94%) of the total radioactivity is excreted in the first 96 hours after both oral and intravenous dosing.

As a result of non-linear pharmacokinetics, the terminal half-life of voriconazole is dose dependent and therefore not useful in predicting the accumulation or elimination of voriconazole.

Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Relationships

Clinical Efficacy and Safety

In 10 clinical trials, the median values for the average and maximum voriconazole plasma concentrations in individual patients across these studies (N=1121) was 2.51 μg/mL (inter-quartile range 1.21 to 4.44 μg/mL) and 3.79 μg/mL (inter-quartile range 2.06 to 6.31 μg/mL), respectively. A pharmacokineticpharmacodynamic analysis of patient data from 6 of these 10 clinical trials (N=280) could not detect a positive association between mean, maximum or minimum plasma voriconazole concentration and efficacy. However, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic analyses of the data from all 10 clinical trials identified positive associations between plasma voriconazole concentrations and rate of both liver function test abnormalities and visual disturbances [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Electrocardiogram

A placebo-controlled, randomized, crossover study to evaluate the effect on the QT interval of healthy male and female subjects was conducted with three single oral doses of voriconazole and ketoconazole. Serial ECGs and plasma samples were obtained at specified intervals over a 24-hour post dose observation period. The placebo-adjusted mean maximum increases in QTc from baseline after 800, 1200 and 1600 mg of voriconazole and after ketoconazole 800 mg were all < 10 msec. Females exhibited a greater increase in QTc than males, although all mean changes were < 10 msec. Age was not found to affect the magnitude of increase in QTc. No subject in any group had an increase in QTc of ≥ 60 msec from baseline. No subject experienced an interval exceeding the potentially clinically relevant threshold of 500 msec. However, the QT effect of voriconazole combined with drugs known to prolong the QT interval is unknown [see CONTRAINDICATIONSand DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Pharmacokinetics in Special Populations

Gender

In a multiple oral dose study, the mean Cmax and AUCτ for healthy young females were 83% and 113% higher, respectively, than in healthy young males (18-45 years), after tablet dosing. In the same study, no significant differences in the mean Cmax and AUCτ were observed between healthy elderly males and healthy elderly females ( > 65 years). In a similar study, after dosing with the oral suspension, the mean AUC for healthy young females was 45% higher than in healthy young males whereas the mean Cmax was comparable between genders. The steady state trough voriconazole concentrations (Cmin) seen in females were 100% and 91% higher than in males receiving the tablet and the oral suspension, respectively.

In the clinical program, no dosage adjustment was made on the basis of gender. The safety profile and plasma concentrations observed in male and female subjects were similar. Therefore, no dosage adjustment based on gender is necessary.

Geriatric

In an oral multiple dose study the mean Cmax and AUCτ in healthy elderly males ( ≥ 65 years) were 61% and 86% higher, respectively, than in young males (18-45 years). No significant differences in the mean Cmax and AUCτ were observed between healthy elderly females ( ≥ 65 years) and healthy young females (18-45 years).

In the clinical program, no dosage adjustment was made on the basis of age. An analysis of pharmacokinetic data obtained from 552 patients from 10 voriconazole clinical trials showed that the median voriconazole plasma concentrations in the elderly patients ( > 65 years) were approximately 80% to 90% higher than those in the younger patients ( ≤ 65 years) after either IV or oral administration. However, the safety profile of voriconazole in young and elderly subjects was similar and, therefore, no dosage adjustment is necessary for the elderly [see Use in Special Populations].

Pediatric

A population pharmacokinetic analysis was conducted on pooled data from 35 immunocompromised pediatric patients aged 2 to < 12 years old who were included in two pharmacokinetic studies of intravenous voriconazole (single dose and multiple dose). Twenty-four of these patients received multiple intravenous maintenance doses of 3 mg/kg and 4 mg/kg. A comparison of the pediatric and adult population pharmacokinetic data revealed that the predicted average steady state plasma concentrations were similar at the maintenance dose of 4 mg/kg every 12 hours in children and 3 mg/kg every 12 hours in adults (medians of 1.19 μg/mL and 1.16 μg/mL in children and adults, respectively) [see Use in Specific Populations].

Hepatic Impairment

After a single oral dose (200 mg) of voriconazole in 8 patients with mild (Child-Pugh Class A) and 4 patients with moderate (Child-Pugh Class B) hepatic insufficiency, the mean systemic exposure (AUC) was 3.2-fold higher than in age and weight matched controls with normal hepatic function. There was no difference in mean peak plasma concentrations (Cmax) between the groups. When only the patients with mild (Child-Pugh Class A) hepatic insufficiency were compared to controls, there was still a 2.3-fold increase in the mean AUC in the group with hepatic insufficiency compared to controls.

In an oral multiple dose study, AUCτ was similar in 6 subjects with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class B) given a lower maintenance dose of 100 mg twice daily compared to 6 subjects with normal hepatic function given the standard 200 mg twice daily maintenance dose. The mean peak plasma concentrations (Cmax) were 20% lower in the hepatically impaired group.

It is recommended that the standard loading dose regimens be used but that the maintenance dose be halved in patients with mild to moderate hepaticcirrhosis (Child-Pugh Class A and B) receiving voriconazole. No pharmacokinetic data are available for patients with severe hepatic cirrhosis (Child-Pugh Class C) [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Renal Impairment

In a single oral dose (200 mg) study in 24 subjects with normal renal function and mild to severe renal impairment, systemic exposure (AUC) and peak plasma concentration (Cmax) of voriconazole were not significantly affected by renal impairment. Therefore, no adjustment is necessary for oral dosing in patients with mild to severe renal impairment.

In a multiple dose study of IV voriconazole (6 mg/kg IV loading dose x 2, then 3 mg/kg IV x 5.5 days) in 7 patients with moderate renal dysfunction (creatinine clearance 30-50 mL/min), the systemic exposure (AUC) and peak plasma concentrations (Cmax) were not significantly different from those in 6 subjects with normal renal function.

However, in patients with moderate renal dysfunction (creatinine clearance 30-50 mL/min), accumulation of the intravenous vehicle, SBECD, occurs. The mean systemic exposure (AUC) and peak plasma concentrations (Cmax) of SBECD were increased 4-fold and almost 50%, respectively, in the moderately impaired group compared to the normal control group.

Intravenous voriconazole should be avoided in patients with moderate or severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance < 50 mL/min), unless an assessment of the benefit/risk to the patient justifies the use of intravenous voriconazole [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

A pharmacokinetic study in subjects with renal failure undergoinghemodialysis showed that voriconazole is dialyzed with clearance of 121 mL/min. The intravenous vehicle, SBECD, is hemodialyzed with clearance of 55 mL/min. A 4-hour hemodialysis session does not remove a sufficient amount of voriconazole to warrant dose adjustment.

Drug Interactions

Effects of Other Drugs on Voriconazole

Voriconazole is metabolized by the human hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes CYP2C19, CYP2C9, and CYP3A4. Results of in vitro metabolism studies indicate that the affinity of voriconazole is highest for CYP2C19, followed by CYP2C9, and is appreciably lower for CYP3A4. Inhibitors or inducers of these three enzymes may increase or decrease voriconazole systemic exposure (plasma concentrations), respectively.

The systemic exposure to voriconazole is significantly reduced or is expected to be reduced by the concomitant administration of the following agents and their use is contraindicated:

Rifampin (potent CYP450 inducer)–Rifampin (600 mg once daily) decreased the steady state Cmax and AUCτ of voriconazole (200 mg q12h x 7 days) by an average of 93% and 96%, respectively, in healthy subjects. Doubling the dose of voriconazole to 400 mg q12h does not restore adequate exposure to voriconazole during coadministration with rifampin.Coadministration of voriconazole and rifampin is contraindicated [seeCONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Ritonavir (potent CYP450 inducer; CYP3A4 inhibitor and substrate)–The effect of the coadministration of voriconazole and ritonavir (400 mg and 100 mg) was investigated in two separate studies. High-dose ritonavir (400 mg q12h for 9 days) decreased the steady state Cmax and AUCτ of oral voriconazole (400 mg q12h for 1 day, then 200 mg q12h for 8 days) by an average of 66% and 82%, respectively, in healthy subjects. Low-dose ritonavir (100 mg q12h for 9 days) decreased the steady state Cmax and AUCτ of oral voriconazole (400 mg q12h for 1 day, then 200 mg q12h for 8 days) by an average of 24% and 39%, respectively, in healthy subjects. Although repeat oral administration of voriconazole did not have a significant effect on steady state Cmax and AUCτ of high-dose ritonavir in healthy subjects, steady state Cmax and AUCτ of low-dose ritonavir decreased slightly by 24% and 14% respectively, when administered concomitantly with oral voriconazole in healthy subjects. Coadministration of voriconazole and high-dose ritonavir (400 mg q12h) is contraindicated. Coadministration of voriconazole and low-dose ritonavir (100 mg q12h) should be avoided, unless an assessment of the benefit/risk to the patient justifies the use of voriconazole [seeCONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

St. John's Wort (CYP450 inducer; P-gp inducer)–In an independent published study in healthy volunteers who were given multiple oral doses of St. John's Wort (300 mg LI 160 extract three times daily for 15 days) followed by a single 400 mg oral dose of voriconazole, a 59% decrease in mean voriconazole AUC0-∞ was observed. In contrast, coadministration of single oral doses of St. John's Wort and voriconazole had no appreciable effect on voriconazole AUC0-∞. Because long-term use of St. John's Wort could lead to reduced voriconazole exposure, concomitant use of voriconazole with St. John's Wort is contraindicated [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].

Carbamazepine and long-acting barbiturates (potent CYP450 inducers)–Although not studied in vitro or in vivo, carbamazepine and long-acting barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital, mephobarbital) are likely to significantly decrease plasma voriconazole concentrations.Coadministration of voriconazole with carbamazepine or long-acting barbiturates is contraindicated [see CONTRAINDICATIONS andWARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Significant drug interactions that may require voriconazole dosage adjustment, or frequent monitoring of voriconazole-related adverse events/toxicity:

Fluconazole (CYP2C9, CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 inhibitor): Concurrent administration of oral voriconazole (400 mg q12h for 1 day, then 200 mg q12h for 2.5 days) and oral fluconazole (400 mg on day 1, then 200 mg q24h for 4 days) to 6 healthy male subjects resulted in an increase in Cmax and AUCτ of voriconazole by an average of 57% (90% CI: 20%, 107%) and 79% (90% CI: 40%, 128%), respectively. In a follow-on clinical study involving 8 healthy male subjects, reduced dosing and/or frequency of voriconazole and fluconazole did not eliminate or diminish this effect. Concomitant administration of voriconazole and fluconazole at any dose is not recommended. Close monitoring for adverse events related to voriconazole is recommended if voriconazole is used sequentially after fluconazole, especially within 24 hours of the last dose of fluconazole [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Minor or no significant pharmacokinetic interactions that do not require dosage adjustment:

Cimetidine (non-specific CYP450 inhibitor and increases gastric pH)–Cimetidine (400 mg q12h x 8 days) increased voriconazole steady state Cmax and AUCτ by an average of 18% (90% CI: 6%, 32%) and 23% (90% CI: 13%, 33%), respectively, following oral doses of 200 mg q12h x 7 days to healthy subjects.

Ranitidine (increases gastric pH)–Ranitidine (150 mg q12h) had no significant effect on voriconazole Cmax and AUCτ following oral doses of 200 mg q12h x 7 days to healthy subjects.

Macrolide antibiotics–Coadministration of erythromycin (CYP3A4 inhibitor; 1g q12h for 7 days) or azithromycin (500 mg q24h for 3 days) with voriconazole 200 mg q12h for 14 days had no significant effect on voriconazole steady state Cmax and AUCτ in healthy subjects. The effects of voriconazole on the pharmacokinetics of either erythromycin or azithromycin are not known.

Effects of Voriconazole on Other Drugs

In vitro studies with human hepatic microsomes show that voriconazole inhibits the metabolic activity of the cytochrome P450 enzymes CYP2C19, CYP2C9, and CYP3A4. In these studies, the inhibition potency of voriconazole for CYP3A4 metabolic activity was significantly less than that of two other azoles, ketoconazole and itraconazole. In vitro studies also show that the major metabolite of voriconazole, voriconazole N-oxide, inhibits the metabolic activity of CYP2C9 and CYP3A4 to a greater extent than that of CYP2C19. Therefore, there is potential for voriconazole and its major metabolite to increase the systemic exposure (plasma concentrations) of other drugs metabolized by these CYP450 enzymes.

The systemic exposure of the following drugs is significantly increased or is expected to be significantly increased by coadministration of voriconazole and their use is contraindicated:

Sirolimus (CYP3A4 substrate)–Repeat dose administration of oral voriconazole (400 mg q12h for 1 day, then 200 mg q12h for 8 days) increased the Cmax and AUC of sirolimus (2 mg single dose) an average of 7-fold (90% CI: 5.7, 7.5) and 11-fold (90% CI: 9.9, 12.6), respectively, in healthy male subjects. Coadministration of voriconazole and sirolimus is contraindicated [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS ANDPRECAUTIONS].

Terfenadine, astemizole, cisapride, pimozide and quinidine (CYP3A4 substrates)–Although not studied in vitro or in vivo, concomitant administration of voriconazole with terfenadine, astemizole, cisapride, pimozide or quinidine may result in inhibition of the metabolism of these drugs. Increased plasma concentrations of these drugs can lead to QT prolongation and rare occurrences of torsade de pointes. Coadministration of voriconazole and terfenadine, astemizole, cisapride, pimozide and quinidine is contraindicated [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS ANDPRECAUTIONS].

Ergot alkaloids–Although not studied in vitro or in vivo, voriconazole may increase the plasma concentration of ergot alkaloids (ergotamine and dihydroergotamine) and lead to ergotism. Coadministration of voriconazole with ergot alkaloids is contraindicated [see CONTRAINDICATIONS andWARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Everolimus (CYP3A4 substrate, P-gp substrate)–Although not studied in vitro or in vivo, voriconazole may increase plasma concentrations of everolimus, which could potentially lead to exacerbation of everolimus toxicity. Currently there are insufficient data to allow dosing recommendations in this situation. Therefore, co-administration of voriconazole with everolimus is not recommended [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Coadministration of voriconazole with the following agents results in increased exposure or is expected to result in increased exposure to these drugs. Therefore, careful monitoring and/or dosage adjustment of these drugs is needed:

Alfentanil (CYP3A4 substrate)–Coadministration of multiple doses of oral voriconazole (400 mg q12h on day 1, 200 mg q12h on day 2) with a single 20 mcg/kg intravenous dose of alfentanil with concomitant naloxone resulted in a 6-fold increase in mean alfentanil AUC0-∞ and a 4-fold prolongation of mean alfentanil elimination half-life, compared to when alfentanil was given alone. An increase in the incidence of delayed and persistent alfentanilassociated nausea and vomiting during co-administration of voriconazole and alfentanil was also observed. Reduction in the dose of alfentanil or other opiates that are also metabolized by CYP3A4 (e.g., sufentanil), and extended close monitoring of patients for respiratory and other opiate-associated adverse events, may be necessary when any of these opiates is coadministered with voriconazole [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Fentanyl (CYP3A4 substrate): In an independent published study, concomitant use of voriconazole (400 mg q12h on Day 1, then 200 mg q12h on Day 2) with a single intravenous dose of fentanyl (5 μg/kg) resulted in an increase in the mean AUC0-∞ of fentanyl by 1.4-fold (range 0.81-to 2.04-fold). When voriconazole is co-administered with fentanyl IV, oral or transdermal dosage forms, extended and frequent monitoring of patients for respiratory depression and other fentanyl-associated adverse events is recommended, and fentanyl dosage should be reduced if warranted [seeWARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Oxycodone (CYP3A4 substrate): In an independent published study, coadministration of multiple doses of oral voriconazole (400 mg q12h, on Day 1 followed by five doses of 200 mg q12h on Days 2 to 4) with a single 10 mg oral dose of oxycodone on Day 3 resulted in an increase in the mean Cmax and AUC0–∞ of oxycodone by 1.7-fold (range 1.4-to 2.2-fold) and 3.6-fold (range 2.7-to 5.6-fold), respectively. The mean elimination half-life of oxycodone was also increased by 2.0-fold (range 1.4-to 2.5-fold). Voriconazole also increased the visual effects (heterophoria and miosis) of oxycodone. A reduction in oxycodone dosage may be needed during voriconazole treatment to avoid opioid related adverse effects. Extended and frequent monitoring for adverse effects associated with oxycodone and other long-acting opiates metabolized by CYP3A4 is recommended [seeWARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Cyclosporine (CYP3A4 substrate)–In stable renal transplant recipients receiving chronic cyclosporine therapy, concomitant administration of oral voriconazole (200 mg q12h for 8 days) increased cyclosporine Cmax and AUCτ an average of 1.1 times (90% CI: 0.9, 1.41) and 1.7 times (90% CI: 1.5, 2.0), respectively, as compared to when cyclosporine was administered without voriconazole. When initiating therapy with voriconazole in patients already receiving cyclosporine, it is recommended that the cyclosporine dose be reduced to one-half of the original dose and followed with frequent monitoring of the cyclosporine blood levels. Increased cyclosporine levels have been associated with nephrotoxicity. When voriconazole is discontinued, cyclosporine levels should be frequently monitored and the dose increased as necessary [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Methadone (CYP3A4, CYP2C19, CYP2C9 substrate)–Repeat dose administration of oral voriconazole (400 mg q12h for 1 day, then 200 mg q12h for 4 days) increased the Cmax and AUCτ of pharmacologically active Rmethadone by 31% (90% CI: 22%, 40%) and 47% (90% CI: 38%, 57%), respectively, in subjects receiving a methadone maintenance dose (30-100 mg q24h). The Cmax and AUC of (S)-methadone increased by 65% (90% CI: 53%, 79%) and 103% (90% CI: 85%, 124%), respectively. Increased plasma concentrations of methadone have been associated with toxicity including QT prolongation. Frequent monitoring for adverse events and toxicity related to methadone is recommended during coadministration. Dose reduction of methadone may be needed [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Tacrolimus (CYP3A4 substrate)–Repeat oral dose administration of voriconazole (400 mg q12h x 1 day, then 200 mg q12h x 6 days) increased tacrolimus (0.1 mg/kg single dose) Cmax and AUCτ in healthy subjects by an average of 2-fold (90% CI: 1.9, 2.5) and 3-fold (90% CI: 2.7, 3.8), respectively. When initiating therapy with voriconazole in patients already receiving tacrolimus, it is recommended that the tacrolimus dose be reduced to one-third of the original dose and followed with frequent monitoring of the tacrolimus blood levels. Increased tacrolimus levels have been associated with nephrotoxicity. When voriconazole is discontinued, tacrolimus levels should be carefully monitored and the dose increased as necessary [seeWARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Warfarin (CYP2C9 substrate)–Coadministration of voriconazole (300 mg q12h x 12 days) with warfarin (30 mg single dose) significantly increased maximum prothrombin time by approximately 2 times that of placebo in healthy subjects. Close monitoring of prothrombin time or other suitable anticoagulation tests is recommended if warfarin and voriconazole are coadministered and the warfarin dose adjusted accordingly [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Oral Coumarin Anticoagulants (CYP2C9, CYP3A4 substrates)–Although not studied in vitro or in vivo, voriconazole may increase the plasma concentrations of coumarin anticoagulants and therefore may cause an increase in prothrombin time. If patients receiving coumarin preparations are treated simultaneously with voriconazole, the prothrombin time or other suitable anti-coagulation tests should be monitored at close intervals and the dosage of anticoagulants adjusted accordingly [see WARNINGS ANDPRECAUTIONS].

Statins (CYP3A4 substrates)–Although not studied clinically, voriconazole has been shown to inhibit lovastatin metabolism in vitro (human liver microsomes). Therefore, voriconazole is likely to increase the plasma concentrations of statins that are metabolized by CYP3A4. It is recommended that dose adjustment of the statin be considered during coadministration. Increased statin concentrations in plasma have been associated withrhabdomyolysis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Benzodiazepines (CYP3A4 substrates)–Although not studied clinically, voriconazole has been shown to inhibit midazolam metabolism in vitro (human liver microsomes). Therefore, voriconazole is likely to increase the plasma concentrations of benzodiazepines that are metabolized by CYP3A4 (e.g., midazolam, triazolam, and alprazolam) and lead to a prolonged sedativeeffect. It is recommended that dose adjustment of the benzodiazepine be considered during coadministration [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Calcium Channel Blockers (CYP3A4 substrates)–Although not studied clinically, voriconazole has been shown to inhibit felodipine metabolism in vitro (human liver microsomes). Therefore, voriconazole may increase the plasma concentrations of calcium channel blockers that are metabolized by CYP3A4. Frequent monitoring for adverse events and toxicity related to calcium channel blockers is recommended during coadministration. Dose adjustment of the calcium channel blocker may be needed [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Sulfonylureas (CYP2C9 substrates)–Although not studied in vitro or in vivo, voriconazole may increase plasma concentrations of sulfonylureas (e.g., tolbutamide, glipizide, and glyburide) and therefore cause hypoglycemia. Frequent monitoring of blood glucose and appropriate adjustment (i.e., reduction) of the sulfonylurea dosage is recommended during coadministration [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Vinca Alkaloids (CYP3A4 substrates)–Although not studied in vitro or in vivo, voriconazole may increase the plasma concentrations of the vinca alkaloids (e.g., vincristine and vinblastine) and lead to neurotoxicity. Therefore, it is recommended that dose adjustment of the vinca alkaloid be considered [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs; CYP2C9 substrates):In two independent published studies, single doses of ibuprofen (400 mg) and diclofenac (50 mg) were coadministered with the last dose of voriconazole (400 mg q12h on Day 1, followed by 200 mg q12h on Day 2). Voriconazole increased the mean Cmax and AUC of the pharmacologically active isomer, S (+)-ibuprofen by 20% and 100%, respectively. Voriconazole increased the mean Cmax and AUC of diclofenac by 114% and 78%, respectively.

A reduction in ibuprofen and diclofenac dosage may be needed during concomitant administration with voriconazole. Patients receiving voriconazole concomitantly with other NSAIDs (e.g., celecoxib, naproxen, lornoxicam, meloxicam) that are also metabolized by CYP2C9 should be carefully monitored for NSAID-related adverse events and toxicity, and dosage reduction should be made if warranted [see WARNINGS ANDPRECAUTIONS].

No significant pharmacokinetic interactions were observed when voriconazole was coadministered with the following agents. Therefore, no dosage adjustment for these agents is recommended:

Prednisolone (CYP3A4 substrate)–Voriconazole (200 mg q12h x 30 days) increased Cmax and AUC of prednisolone (60 mg single dose) by an average of 11% and 34%, respectively, in healthy subjects.

Digoxin (P-glycoprotein mediated transport)–Voriconazole (200 mg q12h x 12 days) had no significant effect on steady state Cmax and AUCτ of digoxin (0.25 mg once daily for 10 days) in healthy subjects.

Mycophenolic acid (UDP-glucuronyl transferase substrate)–Voriconazole (200 mg q12h x 5 days) had no significant effect on the Cmax and AUCτ of mycophenolic acid and its major metabolite, mycophenolic acid glucuronide after administration of a 1 g single oral dose of mycophenolate mofetil.

Two-Way Interactions

Concomitant use of the following agents with voriconazole is contraindicated:

Rifabutin (potent CYP450 inducer)–Rifabutin (300 mg once daily) decreased the Cmax and AUCτ of voriconazole at 200 mg twice daily by an average of 67% (90% CI: 58%, 73%) and 79% (90% CI: 71%, 84%), respectively, in healthy subjects. During coadministration with rifabutin (300 mg once daily), the steady state Cmax and AUCτ of voriconazole following an increased dose of 400 mg twice daily were on average approximately 2 times higher, compared with voriconazole alone at 200 mg twice daily. Coadministration of voriconazole at 400 mg twice daily with rifabutin 300 mg twice daily increased the Cmax and AUCτ of rifabutin by an average of 3-times (90% CI: 2.2, 4.0) and 4 times (90% CI: 3.5, 5.4), respectively, compared to rifabutin given alone. Coadministration of voriconazole and rifabutin is contraindicated [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].

Significant drug interactions that may require dosage adjustment, frequent monitoring of drug levels and/or frequent monitoring of drug-related adverse events/toxicity:

Efavirenz, a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (CYP450 inducer; CYP3A4 inhibitor and substrate)–Standard doses of voriconazole and efavirenz (400 mg q24h or higher) must not be coadministered [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Steady state efavirenz (400 mg PO q24h) decreased the steady state Cmax and AUCτ of voriconazole (400 mg PO q12h for 1 day, then 200 mg PO q12h for 8 days) by an average of 61% and 77%, respectively, in healthy male subjects. Voriconazole at steady state (400 mg PO q12h for 1 day, then 200 mg q12h for 8 days) increased the steady state Cmax and AUCτ of efavirenz (400 mg PO q24h for 9 days) by an average of 38% and 44%, respectively, in healthy subjects.

The pharmacokinetics of adjusted doses of voriconazole and efavirenz were studied in healthy male subjects following administration of voriconazole (400 mg PO q12h on Days 2 to 7) with efavirenz (300 mg PO q24h on Days 1-7), relative to steady-state administration of voriconazole (400 mg for 1 day, then 200 mg PO q12h for 2 days) or efavirenz (600 mg q24h for 9 days). Coadministration of voriconazole 400 mg q12h with efavirenz 300 mg q24h, decreased voriconazole AUCτ by 7% (90% CI: -23%, 13%) and increased Cmax by 23% (90% CI: -1%, 53%); efavirenz AUCτ was increased by 17% (90% CI: 6%, 29%) and Cmax was equivalent.

Coadministration of standard doses of voriconazole and efavirenz (400 mg q24h or higher) is contraindicated.

Voriconazole may be coadministered with efavirenz if the voriconazole maintenance dose is increased to 400 mg q12h and the efavirenz dose is decreased to 300 mg q24h. When treatment with voriconazole is stopped, the initial dosage of efavirenz should be restored [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, CONTRAINDICATIONS, and DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Phenytoin (CYP2C9 substrate and potent CYP450 inducer)–Repeat dose administration of phenytoin (300 mg once daily) decreased the steady state Cmax and AUCτ of orally administered voriconazole (200 mg q12h x 14 days) by an average of 50% and 70%, respectively, in healthy subjects. Administration of a higher voriconazole dose (400 mg q12h x 7 days) with phenytoin (300 mg once daily) resulted in comparable steady state voriconazole Cmax and AUCτ estimates as compared to when voriconazole was given at 200 mg q12h without phenytoin.

Phenytoin may be coadministered with voriconazole if the maintenance dose of voriconazole is increased from 4 mg/kg to 5 mg/kg intravenously every 12 hours or from 200 mg to 400 mg orally, every 12 hours (100 mg to 200 mg orally, every 12 hours in patients less than 40 kg) [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Repeat dose administration of voriconazole (400 mg q12h x 10 days) increased the steady state Cmax and AUCτ of phenytoin (300 mg once daily) by an average of 70% and 80%, respectively, in healthy subjects. The increase in phenytoin Cmax and AUC when coadministered with voriconazole may be expected to be as high as 2 times the Cmax and AUC estimates when phenytoin is given without voriconazole. Therefore, frequent monitoring of plasma phenytoin concentrations and phenytoin-related adverse effects is recommended when phenytoin is coadministered with voriconazole [seeWARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Omeprazole (CYP2C19 inhibitor; CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 substrate)–Coadministration of omeprazole (40 mg once daily x 10 days) with oral voriconazole (400 mg q12h x 1 day, then 200 mg q12h x 9 days) increased the steady state Cmax and AUCτ of voriconazole by an average of 15% (90% CI: 5%, 25%) and 40% (90% CI: 29%, 55%), respectively, in healthy subjects. No dosage adjustment of voriconazole is recommended.

Coadministration of voriconazole (400 mg q12h x 1 day, then 200 mg x 6 days) with omeprazole (40 mg once daily x 7 days) to healthy subjects significantly increased the steady state Cmax and AUCτ of omeprazole an average of 2 times (90% CI: 1.8, 2.6) and 4 times (90% CI: 3.3, 4.4), respectively, as compared to when omeprazole is given without voriconazole. When initiating voriconazole in patients already receiving omeprazole doses of 40 mg or greater, it is recommended that the omeprazole dose be reduced by one-half [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

The metabolism of other proton pump inhibitors that are CYP2C19 substrates may also be inhibited by voriconazole and may result in increased plasma concentrations of these drugs.

Oral Contraceptives (CYP3A4 substrate; CYP2C19 inhibitor)–Coadministration of oral voriconazole (400 mg q12h for 1 day, then 200 mg q12h for 3 days) and oral contraceptive (Ortho-Novum1/35® consisting of 35 mcg ethinyl estradiol and 1 mg norethindrone, q24h) to healthy female subjects at steady state increased the Cmax and AUCτ of ethinyl estradiol by an average of 36% (90% CI: 28%, 45%) and 61% (90% CI: 50%, 72%), respectively, and that of norethindrone by 15% (90% CI: 3%, 28%) and 53% (90% CI: 44%, 63%), respectively in healthy subjects. Voriconazole Cmax and AUCτ increased by an average of 14% (90% CI: 3%, 27%) and 46% (90% CI: 32%, 61%), respectively. Monitoring for adverse events related to oral contraceptives, in addition to those for voriconazole, is recommended during coadministration [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

No significant pharmacokinetic interaction was seen and no dosage adjustment of these drugs is recommended:

Indinavir (CYP3A4 inhibitor and substrate)–Repeat dose administration of indinavir (800 mg TID for 10 days) had no significant effect on voriconazole Cmax and AUC following repeat dose administration (200 mg q12h for 17 days) in healthy subjects.

Repeat dose administration of voriconazole (200 mg q12h for 7 days) did not have a significant effect on steady state Cmax and AUCτ of indinavir following repeat dose administration (800 mg TID for 7 days) in healthy subjects.

Other Two-Way Interactions Expected to be Significant Based on In Vitro and In Vivo Findings:

Other HIV Protease Inhibitors (CYP3A4 substrates and inhibitors)–In vitro studies (human liver microsomes) suggest that voriconazole may inhibit the metabolism of HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., saquinavir, amprenavir and nelfinavir). In vitro studies (human liver microsomes) also show that the metabolism of voriconazole may be inhibited by HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., saquinavir and amprenavir). Patients should be frequently monitored for drug toxicity during the coadministration of voriconazole and HIV protease inhibitors [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Other Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs) (CYP3A4 substrates, inhibitors or CYP450 inducers)–In vitro studies (human liver microsomes) show that the metabolism of voriconazole may be inhibited by a NNRTI (e.g., delavirdine). The findings of a clinical voriconazole-efavirenz drug interaction study in healthy male subjects suggest that the metabolism of voriconazole may be induced by a NNRTI. This in vivo study also showed that voriconazole may inhibit the metabolism of a NNRTI [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Patients should be frequently monitored for drug toxicity during the coadministration of voriconazole and other NNRTIs (e.g., nevirapine and delavirdine) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Dose adjustments are required when voriconazole is co-administered with efavirenz [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Microbiology

Mechanism of Action

Voriconazole is an azole antifungal agent. The primary mode of action of voriconazole is the inhibition of fungal cytochrome P-450-mediated 14 alpha-lanosterol demethylation, an essential step in fungal ergosterol biosynthesis. The accumulation of 14 alpha-methyl sterols correlates with the subsequent loss of ergosterol in the fungal cell wall and may be responsible for the antifungal activity of voriconazole.

Drug Resistance

Voriconazole drug resistance development has not been adequately studiedin vitro against Candida, Aspergillus, Scedosporium and Fusarium species. The frequency of drug resistance development for the various fungi for which this drug is indicated is not known.

Fungal isolates exhibiting reduced susceptibility to fluconazole or itraconazole may also show reduced susceptibility to voriconazole, suggesting cross-resistance can occur among these azoles. The relevance of cross-resistance and clinical outcome has not been fully characterized. Clinical cases where azole cross-resistance is demonstrated may require alternative antifungal therapy.

Activity In Vitro and In Vivo

Voriconazole has been shown to be active against most strains of the following microorganisms, both in vitro and in clinical infections.

Aspergillus fumigatus 
Aspergillus flavus 

Aspergillus niger 

Aspergillus terreus 

Candida albicans 

Candida glabrata 
(In clinical studies, the voriconazole MIC90 was 4 μg/mL)*
Candida krusei 

Candida parapsilosis 

Candida tropicalis 

Fusarium 
spp. including Fusarium solani 
Scedosporium apiospermum

* In clinical studies, voriconazole MIC90 for C. glabrata baseline isolates was 4 μg/mL; 13/50 (26%) C. glabrata baseline isolates were resistant (MIC ≥ 4 μg/mL) to voriconazole. However, based on 1054 isolates tested in surveillance studies the MIC90 was 1 μg/mL (see Table 12).

The following data are available, but their clinical significance is unknown.

Voriconazole exhibits in vitro minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 1 μg/mL or less against most ( ≥ 90%) isolates of the following microorganisms; however, the safety and effectiveness of voriconazole in treating clinical infections due to these Candida species have not been established in adequate and well-controlled clinical trials:

Candida lusitaniae 
Candida guilliermondii

Susceptibility Testing Methods1,2

Aspergillus Species and Other Filamentous Fungi

No interpretive criteria have been established for Aspergillus species and other filamentous fungi.

Candida Species

The interpretive standards for voriconazole against Candida species are applicable only to tests performed using Clinical Laboratory and Standards Institute (CLSI) microbroth dilution reference method M27 for MIC read at 48 hours or disk diffusion reference method M44 for zone diameter read at 24 hours.1,2

Broth Microdilution Techniques–Quantitative methods are used to determine antifungal minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs). These MICs provide estimates of the susceptibility of Candida spp. to antifungal agents. MICs should be determined using a standardized procedure at 48 hours.1Standardized procedures are based on a microdilution method (broth) with standardized inoculum concentrations and standardized concentrations of voriconazole powder. The MIC values should be interpreted according to the criteria provided in Table 10.

Diffusion Techniques–Qualitative methods that require measurement of zone diameters also provide reproducible estimates of the susceptibility ofCandida spp. to an antifungal agent. One such standardized procedure requires the use of standardized inoculum concentrations.2 This procedure uses paper disks impregnated with 1 μg of voriconazole to test the susceptibility of yeasts to voriconazole at 24 hours. Disk diffusion interpretive criteria are also provided in Table 10.

Table 10: Susceptibility Interpretive Criteria for Voriconazole1,2

View Enlarged Table

 

NOTE: Shown are the breakpoints (μg/mL) for voriconazole against Candidaspecies.

A report of Susceptible (S) indicates that the antimicrobial drug is likely to inhibit growth of the microorganism if the antimicrobial drug reaches the concentration usually achievable at the site of infection. A report ofintermediate (I) implies that an infection due to the isolate may be appropriately treated in body sites where the drugs are physiologically concentrated or when a high dosage of drug is used. A report of Resistant (R) indicates that the antimicrobial is not likely to inhibit growth of thepathogen if the antimicrobial drug reaches the concentrations usually achievable at the infection site; other therapy should be selected.

Quality Control

Standardized susceptibility test procedures require the use of quality control organisms to ensure the accuracy of the technical aspects of the test procedures. Standard voriconazole powder and 1 μg disks should provide the following range of values noted in Table 11.

NOTE: Quality control microorganisms are specific strains of organisms withintrinsic biological properties relating to resistance mechanisms and their genetic expression within fungi; the specific strains used for microbiological control are not clinically significant.

Table 11: Acceptable Quality Control Ranges for Voriconazole to be used in Validation of Susceptibility Test Results

QC STRAIN BROTH MICRODILUTION (MIC IN ΜG/ML) AT 48-HOUR DISK DIFFUSION (ZONE DIAMETER IN MM) AT 24-HOUR
Candida parapsilosis ATCC 22019 0.03-0.25 28-37
Candida krusei ATCC 6258 0.12-1.0 16-25
Candida albicans ATCC 90028 * 31-42
* Quality control ranges have not been established for this strain/antifungal agent combination due to their extensive interlaboratory variation during initial quality control studies. 
ATCC is a registered trademark of the American Type Culture Collection.

 

Clinical Studies

Voriconazole, administered orally or parenterally, has been evaluated as primary or salvage therapy in 520 patients aged 12 years and older with infections caused by Aspergillus spp., Fusarium spp., and Scedosporium spp.

Invasive Aspergillosis

Voriconazole was studied in patients for primary therapy of invasive aspergillosis (randomized, controlled study 307/602), for primary and salvage therapy of aspergillosis (non-comparative study 304) and for treatment of patients with invasive aspergillosis who were refractory to, or intolerant of, other antifungal therapy (non-comparative study 309/604).

Study 307/602 – Primary Therapy of Invasive Aspergillosis

The efficacy of voriconazole compared to amphotericin B in the primary treatment of acute invasive aspergillosis was demonstrated in 277 patients treated for 12 weeks in a randomized, controlled study (Study 307/602). The majority of study patients had underlying hematologic malignancies, includingbone marrow transplantation. The study also included patients with solid organ transplantation, solid tumors, and AIDS. The patients were mainly treated for definite or probable invasive aspergillosis of the lungs. Other aspergillosis infections included disseminated disease, CNS infections andsinus infections. Diagnosis of definite or probable invasive aspergillosis was made according to criteria modified from those established by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Mycoses Study Group/European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (NIAID MSG/EORTC).

Voriconazole was administered intravenously with a loading dose of 6 mg/kg every 12 hours for the first 24 hours followed by a maintenance dose of 4 mg/kg every 12 hours for a minimum of seven days. Therapy could then be switched to the oral formulation at a dose of 200 mg q12h. Median duration of IV voriconazole therapy was 10 days (range 2-85 days). After IV voriconazole therapy, the median duration of PO voriconazole therapy was 76 days (range 2-232 days).

Patients in the comparator group received conventional amphotericin B as a slow infusion at a daily dose of 1.0-1.5 mg/kg/day. Median duration of IV amphotericin therapy was 12 days (range 1-85 days). Treatment was then continued with other licensed antifungal therapy (OLAT), including itraconazole and lipid amphotericin B formulations. Although initial therapy with conventional amphotericin B was to be continued for at least two weeks, actual duration of therapy was at the discretion of the investigator. Patients who discontinued initial randomized therapy due to toxicity or lack of efficacy were eligible to continue in the study with OLAT treatment.

A satisfactory global response at 12 weeks (complete or partial resolution of all attributable symptoms, signs, radiographic/bronchoscopic abnormalities present at baseline) was seen in 53% of voriconazole treated patients compared to 32% of amphotericin B treated patients (Table 14). A benefit of voriconazole compared to amphotericin B on patient survival at Day 84 was seen with a 71% survival rate on voriconazole compared to 58% on amphotericin B (Table 12).

Table 12 also summarizes the response (success) based on mycological confirmation and species.

Table 12: Overall Efficacy and Success by Species in the Primary Treatment of Acute Invasive Aspergillosis Study 307/602

Patient Information

VFEND® /VEE-fend/ 
(voriconazole) IV Injection, Tablets, Liquid

Read the Patient Information that comes with VFEND before you start taking it and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking with your healthcare provider about your condition or treatment.

What is VFEND?

VFEND is a prescription medicine used to treat certain serious fungal infections in your blood and body. These infections are called “aspergillosis,” “esophageal candidiasis,” “Scedosporium,” “Fusarium,” and “candidemia”.

It is not known if VFEND is safe and effective in children younger than 12 years old.

Who should not take VFEND?

Do not take VFEND if you:

  • are allergic to voriconazole or any of the ingredients in VFEND.See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in VFEND.
  • are taking any of the following medicines:
    • cisapride (Propulsid®)
    • pimozide (Orap®)
    • quinidine (like Quinaglute®)
    • sirolimus (Rapamune®)
    • rifampin (Rifadin®)
    • carbamazepine (Tegretol®)
    • long-acting barbiturates like phenobarbital (Luminal®)
    • efavirenz (Sustiva®)
    • ritonavir (Norvir®)
    • rifabutin (Mycobutin®)
    • ergotamine, dihydroergotamine (ergot alkaloids)
    • St. John's Wort (herbal supplement)

Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Do not start taking a new medicine without talking to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking VFEND?

Before you take VFEND, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • have or ever had heart disease, or an abnormal heart rate or rhythm. Your healthcare provider may order a test to check your heart (EKG) before starting VFEND.
  • have liver or kidney problems. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to make sure you can take VFEND.
  • have trouble digesting dairy products, lactose (milk sugar), or regular table sugar. VFEND tablets contain lactose. VFEND liquid contains sucrose (table sugar).
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. VFEND can harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Women who can become pregnant should use effective birth control while taking VFEND.
  • are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. It is not known if VFEND passes into breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you take VFEND.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take,including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

VFEND may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how VFEND works.

Know what medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare provider or pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

How should I take VFEND?

  • VFEND may be prescribed to you as:
    • VFEND I.V. (intravenous infusion) or
    • VFEND tablets or
    • VFEND oral suspension
  • VFEND I.V. will be given to you by a healthcare provider over 1 to 2 hours.
  • Take VFEND tablets or oral suspension exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to.
  • Take VFEND tablets or oral suspension at least 1 hour before or at least 1 hour after meals.

VFEND oral suspension will be mixed for you by your pharmacist. Do not mix VFEND oral suspension with any other medicine, flavored liquid, or syrup.

  • If you take too much VFEND, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

What should I avoid while taking VFEND?

  • You should not drive at night while taking VFEND. VFEND can cause changes in your vision such as blurring or sensitivity to light.
  • Do not drive or operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how VFEND affects you.
  • Avoid direct sunlight. VFEND can make your skin sensitive to the sun and the light from sunlamps and tanning beds. You could get a severe sunburn. Use sunscreen and wear a hat and clothes that cover your skin if you have to be in sunlight. Talk to your healthcare provider if you get sunburn.

What are possible side effects of VFEND?

VFEND may cause serious side effects including:

  • liver problems. Symptoms of liver problems may include:
    • itchy skin
    • yellowing of your eyes
    • feeling very tired
    • flu-like symptoms
    • nausea or vomiting
  • vision changes. Symptoms of vision changes may include:
    • blurred vision
    • changes in the way you see colors
    • sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • serious heart problems. VFEND may cause changes in your heart rate or rhythm, including your heart stopping (cardiac arrest). 40
  • allergic reactions. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
    • fever
    • sweating
    • feels like your heart is beating fast (tachycardia)
    • chest tightness
    • trouble breathing
    • feel faint
    • nausea
    • itching
    • skin rash
  • kidney problems. VFEND may cause new or worse problems with kidney function, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should check your kidney function while you are taking VFEND. Your healthcare provider will decide if you can keep taking VFEND
  • serious skin reactions. Symptoms of serious skin reactions may include:
    • rash or hives
    • mouth sores
    • blistering or peeling of your skin
    • trouble swallowing or breathing

Call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

The most common side effects of VFEND include:

  • vision changes
  • rash
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • headache
  • fast heart beat (tachycardia)
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
  • abnormal liver function tests

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of VFEND. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How should I store VFEND?

  • Store VFEND tablets and liquid at room temperature, 59o to 86o F (15° to 30°C). Do not refrigerate or freeze.
  • VFEND suspension should be thrown away (discarded) after 14 days.
  • Keep VFEND tablets and oral suspension in a tightly closed container.
  • Safely throw away medicine that is out of date or no longer needed.
  • Keep VFEND, as well as all other medicines, out of the reach of children.

General information about the safe and effective use of VFEND

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use VFEND for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give VFEND to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them.

This Patient Information leaflet summarizes the most important information about VFEND. If you would like more information, talk to your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about VFEND that is written for health professionals.

This product's label may have been updated. For current full prescribing information, please visit www.pfizer.com.

What are the ingredients of VFEND?

Active ingredient: voriconazole

Inactive ingredients:

VFEND IV: sulfobutyl ether beta-cyclodextrin sodium

VFEND tablets: lactose monohydrate, pregelatinized starch, croscarmellose sodium, povidone, magnesium stearate, and a coating containing hypromellose, titanium dioxide, lactose monohydrate, and triacetin

VFEND oral suspension: colloidal silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide, xanthan gum, sodium citrate dihydrate, sodium benzoate, anhydrous citric acid, natural orange flavor, and sucrose

Consumer Overview Uses

IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

 

VORICONAZOLE - ORAL

 

(vor-ih-CON-ah-zole)

 

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Vfend

 

USES: Voriconazole is an azole antifungal used to treat a variety of fungal infections.

 

HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking voriconazole and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth, at least 1 hour before or 1 hour after meals, usually every 12 hours or as directed by your doctor.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to therapy, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

This medication works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals.

Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished. Stopping the medication too early may result in a return of the infection.

Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Consumer Overview Side Effect

SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, and headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: vision changes (e.g., blurred vision, color vision changes), sensitivity of eyes to light (photophobia), bone/muscle/joint pain, weakness, mental/mood changes, muscle stiffness/spasm, restlessness, swelling of the ankles/feet, tiredness, easy bleeding/bruising, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat).

Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, change in the amount of urine, confusion, slurred speech, trouble breathing, chest/jaw/left arm pain, seizures.

Voriconazole may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver problems. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Voriconazole can commonly cause a mild rash that is usually not serious. However, you may not be able to tell it apart from a rare rash that could be a sign of a severe allergic reaction. Therefore, seek immediate medical attention if you develop any rash.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

 

Read the Vfend (voriconazole) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

Learn More »
 

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking voriconazole, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other azole antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, recent chemotherapy, certain hereditary problems with digesting/absorbing the sugar galactose (e.g., galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency, glucose-galactose malabsorption), untreated electrolyte imbalance (e.g., low calcium levels), heart problems (e.g., irregular heartbeat, cardiomyopathy).

Voriconazole may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can infrequently result in serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.

The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using voriconazole, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).

Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using voriconazole safely.

This drug may cause vision changes. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Do not drive at night.

Avoid alcoholic beverages since they can increase the risk of serious liver problems.

This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation (see above).

Children may be at greater risk for being more sensitive to the sun while using this drug (see above).

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control (such as condoms, birth control pills) with your doctor.

It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. Breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Consumer Overview Missed Dose

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: ergot alkaloids (such as ergotamine, dihydroergotamine), sirolimus, a certain combination HIV medication (such as efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir).

Many drugs besides voriconazole may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including amiodarone, dofetilide, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), among others.

This medication can slow down the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include certain alpha blockers (such as alfuzosin, silodosin, tamsulosin), birth control pills, cisapride, dronedarone, eletriptan, eplerenone, lurasidone, ranolazine, certain "statin" drugs (such as lovastatin, simvastatin), ticagrelor, tolvaptan, among others.

Other medications can affect the removal of voriconazole from your body, which may affect how voriconazole works. Examples include certain barbiturates (such as mephobarbital, phenobarbital), carbamazepine, enzalutamide, primidone, rifamycins (such as rifabutin, rifampin), ritonavir, St. John's wort, among others.

 

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

 

NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.

This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless told to do so by your doctor. A different medication may be necessary in that case.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

 

MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

 

STORAGE: Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

 

Information last revised February 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.

Patient Detailed Side Effect

Brand Names: VFEND

Generic Name: voriconazole (Pronunciation: vor i KON a zole)

  • What is voriconazole (Vfend)?
  • What are the possible side effects of voriconazole (Vfend)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about voriconazole (Vfend)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking voriconazole (Vfend)?
  • How should I take voriconazole (Vfend)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Vfend)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Vfend)?
  • What should I avoid while taking voriconazole (Vfend)?
  • What other drugs will affect voriconazole (Vfend)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is voriconazole (Vfend)?

 

Voriconazole is an antifungal medication.

Voriconazole is used to treat infections caused by yeast or other types of fungus.

Voriconazole may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of voriconazole (Vfend)?

 

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • sudden behavior changes, problems with thinking or speech;
  • upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • bone pain, swelling;
  • uneven heart rate, chest pain, general ill feeling; or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • vision problems such as blurred vision, eyes being more sensitive to light;
  • fever;
  • mild nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
  • headache; or
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Vfend (voriconazole) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

Learn More »
 

What is the most important information I should know about voriconazole (Vfend)?

 

Do not use voriconazole if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

There are many other medicines that can cause serious or life-threatening drug interactions with voriconazole. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use.

Before taking voriconazole, tell your doctor if you have heart rhythm problems, an electrolyte imbalance, liver or kidney disease, or a history of allergy to other antifungal medications such as fluconazole (Diflucan), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or itraconazole (Sporanox).

Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Voriconazole will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Voriconazole can cause problems with your vision. If you use this medicine for more than 28 days, you may need to have your eyes checked.

Patient Detailed How Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking voriconazole (Vfend)?

 

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to voriconazole, or if you are taking any of the following drugs:

  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol);
  • cisapride (Propulsid);
  • pimozide (Orap);
  • quinidine (Quin-G);
  • sirolimus (Rapamune);
  • mephobarbital (Mebaral) or phenobarbital (Solfoton);
  • ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra) in high doses;
  • rifabutin (Mycobutin) or rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater);
  • St. John's wort; or
  • an ergot medicine such as ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot, Ercaf, Wigraine, others) or dihydroergotamine (D.H.E., Migranal).

The drugs listed above can cause dangerous serious or life-threatening drug interactions with voriconazole. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you are using.

To make sure you can safely take voriconazole, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • heart rhythm problems;
  • a metabolic disorder such as high or low levels of calcium, potassium, or magnesium;
  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease; or
  • a history of allergy to other antifungal medications such as fluconazole (Diflucan), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or itraconazole (Sporanox).

Voriconazole tablets contain lactose. Before taking a voriconazole tablet, tell your doctor if you have a hereditary form of galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency, or glucose-galactose malabsorption.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use voriconazole if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known if voriconazole passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take voriconazole (Vfend)?

 

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take voriconazole at least one hour before or after eating a meal.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Do not mix the oral suspension with any other medicine or liquid.

Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Voriconazole will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

To be sure voriconazole is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

Voriconazole can cause problems with your vision. If you use this medicine for more than 28 days, you may need to have your eyes checked.

Store voriconazole tablets at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Store the oral liquid at room temperature for up to 14 days. Throw away any unused liquid after 14 days.

Patient Detailed Avoid Taking

What happens if I miss a dose (Vfend)?

 

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Vfend)?

 

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include vision problems, excessive mouth watering, enlarged pupils, weakness, loss of balance, shortness of breath, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking voriconazole (Vfend)?

 

Voriconazole may cause changes in vision including blurred vision and sensitivity to light. Wear sunglasses during the day to protect your eyes from bright light. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to have clear vision.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Voriconazole can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

What other drugs will affect voriconazole (Vfend)?

 

Many drugs can interact with voriconazole. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • clopidogrel (Plavix);
  • cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral);
  • phenytoin (Dilantin);
  • prednisolone (Orapred, Pediapred, Predalone, Veripred, and others);
  • tacrolimus (Prograf);
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • birth control pills;
  • medication to treat HIV or AIDS, especially efavirenz (Atripla, Sustiva);
  • alfentanil (Alfenta) or fentanyl (Abstral, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Lazanda, Onsolis);
  • omeprazole (Prilosec) and other stomach acid reducers;
  • cancer medicine such as vinblastine (Velban), vincristine (Oncovin), or vinorelbine (Navelbine);
  • methadone (Diskets, Methadose, Dolophine) or oxycodone (OxyContin, Combunox, Roxicodone, Percocet);
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, Naprelan, Treximet), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Pennsaid, Solareze), indomethacin (Indocin), meloxicam (Mobic), and others;
  • tranquilizers or sedatives such as alprazolam (Xanax), midazolam (Versed), triazolam (Halcion), and others;
  • cholesterol-lowering medicines such as atorvastatin (Lipitor, Caduet), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), or simvastatin (Zocor, Simcor, Vytorin);
  • heart or blood pressure medicine such as amlodipine (Norvasc, Caduet, Exforge, Lotrel, Tekamlo, Tribenzor, Twynsta, Amturnide), felodipine (Plendil), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), and others; or
  • an oral diabetes medicine such as glipizide (Glucotrol, Metaglip), glyburide (DiaBeta, Micronase, Glucovance), or tolbutamide (Orinase).

This list is not complete and there are many other drugs that can interact with voriconazole. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

 

Your pharmacist can provide more information about voriconazole.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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  VORICONAZOLE
N/N (%)
AMPHO B C
N/N (%)
STRATIFIED DIFFERENCE (95% CI)D
Efficacy as Primary Therapy
Satisfactory Global Responsea 76/144 (53) 42/133 (32) 21.8% 
(10.5%, 33.0%) 
p < 0.0001
Survival at Day 84 b 102/144 (71) 77/133 (58) 13.1% 
(2.1%, 24.2%)
Success by Species
  Success n/N (%)  
  Overall success 76/144 (53) 42/133 (32)  
Mycologically confirmede 37/84 (44) 16/67 (24)  
Aspergillus spp.f      
A. fumigatus 28/63 (44)