Components:
Cyclosporine
Method of action:
Immunosuppressive, Ophthalmologicals
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Medically reviewed by Oliinyk Elizabeth Ivanovna, Pharmacy Last updated on 2019.06.24

Name of the medicinal product

Genfar

Qualitative and quantitative composition

Cyclosporine

Pharmaceutical form

Capsule, soft

Therapeutic indications

The information provided in Therapeutic indications of Genfar is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genfar of the medicine (Cyclosporine). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Therapeutic indications in the instructions to the drug Genfar directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Capsule; Injectable; Injection; Solution
Capsule, Liquid Filled
Eye drops, emulsion

Genfar (cyclosporine) is indicated for the prophylaxis of organ rejection in kidney, liver, and heart allogeneic transplants. It is always to be used with adrenal corticosteroids. The drug may also be used in the treatment of chronic rejection in patients previously treated with other immunosuppressive agents.

Because of the risk of anaphylaxis, Genfar Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) should be reserved for patients who are unable to take the soft gelatin capsules or oral solution.

Sandimmune (cyclosporine) is indicated for the prophylaxis of organ rejection in kidney, liver, and heart allogeneic transplants. It is always to be used with adrenal corticosteroids. The drug may also be used in the treatment of chronic rejection in patients previously treated with other immunosuppressive agents.

Because of the risk of anaphylaxis, Sandimmune Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) should be reserved for patients who are unable to take the soft gelatin capsules or oral solution.

Treatment of severe keratitis in adult patients with dry eye disease, which has not improved despite treatment with tear substitutes.

Dosage (Posology) and method of administration

The information provided in Dosage (Posology) and method of administration of Genfar is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genfar of the medicine (Cyclosporine). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Dosage (Posology) and method of administration in the instructions to the drug Genfar directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
more... close
Capsule; Injectable; Injection; Solution
Capsule, Liquid Filled
Eye drops, emulsion

Genfar Soft Gelatin Capsules (cyclosporine capsules, USP) and Genfar Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP)

Genfar Soft Gelatin Capsules (cyclosporine capsules, USP) and Genfar Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP) have decreased bioavailability in comparison to Neoral Soft Gelatin Capsules (cyclosporine capsules, USP) MODIFIED and Neoral Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP) MODIFIED. Genfar and Neoral are not bioequivalent and cannot be used interchangeably without physician supervision.

The initial oral dose of Genfar (cyclosporine) should be given 4 to 12 hours prior to transplantation as a single dose of 15 mg/kg. Although a daily single dose of 14 to 18 mg/kg was used in most clinical trials, few centers continue to use the highest dose, most favoring the lower end of the scale. There is a trend towards use of even lower initial doses for renal transplantation in the ranges of 10 to 14 mg/kg/day. The initial single daily dose is continued postoperatively for 1 to 2 weeks and then tapered by 5% per week to a maintenance dose of 5 to 10 mg/kg/day. Some centers have successfully tapered the maintenance dose to as low as 3 mg/kg/day in selected renal transplant patients without an apparent rise in rejection rate.

(See Blood Concentration Monitoring, below)

Specific Populations

Renal Impairment

Cyclosporine undergoes minimal renal elimination and its pharmacokinetics do not appear to be significantly altered in patients with end-stage renal disease who receive routine hemodialysis treatments (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). However, due to its nephrotoxic potential (See WARNINGS), careful monitoring of renal function is recommended; cyclosporine dosage should be reduced if indicated. (See WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS)

Hepatic Impairment

The clearance of cyclosporine may be significantly reduced in severe liver disease patients (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Dose reduction may be necessary in patients with severe liver impairment to maintain blood concentrations within the recommended target range. (See WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS)

Pediatrics

In pediatric usage, the same dose and dosing regimen may be used as in adults although in several studies, children have required and tolerated higher doses than those used in adults.

Adjunct therapy with adrenal corticosteroids is recommended. Different tapering dosage schedules of prednisone appear to achieve similar results. A dosage schedule based on the patient's weight started with 2.0 mg/kg/day for the first 4 days tapered to 1.0 mg/kg/day by 1 week, 0.6 mg/kg/day by 2 weeks, 0.3 mg/kg/day by 1 month, and 0.15 mg/kg/day by 2 months and thereafter as a maintenance dose. Another center started with an initial dose of 200 mg tapered by 40 mg/day until reaching 20 mg/day. After 2 months at this dose, a further reduction to 10 mg/day was made. Adjustments in dosage of prednisone must be made according to the clinical situation.

To make Genfar Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP) more palatable, the oral solution may be diluted with milk, chocolate milk, or orange juice preferably at room temperature. Patients should avoid switching diluents frequently. Genfar Soft Gelatin Capsules and Oral Solution should be administered on a consistent schedule with regard to time of day and relation to meals.

Take the prescribed amount of Genfar (cyclosporine) from the container using the dosage syringe supplied after removal of the protective cover, and transfer the solution to a glass of milk, chocolate milk, or orange juice. Stir well and drink at once. Do not allow to stand before drinking. It is best to use a glass container and rinse it with more diluent to ensure that the total dose is taken. After use, replace the dosage syringe in the protective cover. Do not rinse the dosage syringe with water or other cleaning agents either before or after use. If the dosage syringe requires cleaning, it must be completely dry before resuming use. Introduction of water into the product by any means will cause variation in dose.

Genfar® Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP)

FOR INFUSION ONLY

Note: Anaphylactic reactions have occurred with Genfar Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP). (See WARNINGS)

Patients unable to take Genfar Soft Gelatin Capsules or Oral Solution pre-or postoperatively may be treated with the intravenous (IV) concentrate. Genfar Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) is administered at 1/3 the oral dose. The initial dose of Genfar Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) should be given 4 to 12 hours prior to transplantation as a single intravenous dose of 5 to 6 mg/kg/day. This daily single dose is continued postoperatively until the patient can tolerate the soft gelatin capsules or oral solution. Patients should be switched to Genfar Soft Gelatin Capsules or Oral Solution as soon as possible after surgery. In pediatric usage, the same dose and dosing regimen may be used, although higher doses may be required.

Adjunct steroid therapy is to be used. (See aforementioned.)

Immediately before use, the intravenous concentrate should be diluted 1 mL Genfar Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) in 20 mL to 100 mL 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection or 5% Dextrose Injection and given in a slow intravenous infusion over approximately 2 to 6 hours.

Diluted infusion solutions should be discarded after 24 hours.

The Cremophor® EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil) contained in the concentrate for intravenous infusion can cause phthalate stripping from PVC.

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

Blood Concentration Monitoring

Several study centers have found blood concentration monitoring of cyclosporine useful in patient management. While no fixed relationships have yet been established, in one series of 375 consecutive cadaveric renal transplant recipients, dosage was adjusted to achieve specific whole blood 24-hour trough concentrations of 100 to 200 ng/mL as determined by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC).

Of major importance to blood concentration analysis is the type of assay used. The above concentrations are specific to the parent cyclosporine molecule and correlate directly to the new monoclonal specific radioimmunoassays (mRIA-sp). Nonspecific assays are also available which detect the parent compound molecule and various of its metabolites. Older studies often cited concentrations using a nonspecific assay which were roughly twice those of specific assays. Assay results are not interchangeable and their use should be guided by their approved labeling. If plasma specimens are employed, concentrations will vary with the temperature at the time of separation from whole blood. Plasma concentrations may range from ½ to 1/5 of whole blood concentrations. Refer to individual assay labeling for complete instructions. In addition, Transplantation Proceedings (June 1990) contains position papers and a broad consensus generated at the Cyclosporine-Therapeutic Drug Monitoring conference that year. Blood concentration monitoring is not a replacement for renal function monitoring or tissue biopsies.

Sandimmune Soft Gelatin Capsules (cyclosporine capsules, USP) and Sandimmune Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP)

Sandimmune Soft Gelatin Capsules (cyclosporine capsules, USP) and Sandimmune Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP) have decreased bioavailability in comparison to Neoral Soft Gelatin Capsules (cyclosporine capsules, USP) MODIFIED and Neoral Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP) MODIFIED. Sandimmune and Neoral are not bioequivalent and cannot be used interchangeably without physician supervision.

The initial oral dose of Sandimmune (cyclosporine) should be given 4 to 12 hours prior to transplantation as a single dose of 15 mg/kg. Although a daily single dose of 14 to 18 mg/kg was used in most clinical trials, few centers continue to use the highest dose, most favoring the lower end of the scale. There is a trend towards use of even lower initial doses for renal transplantation in the ranges of 10 to 14 mg/kg/day. The initial single daily dose is continued postoperatively for 1 to 2 weeks and then tapered by 5% per week to a maintenance dose of 5 to 10 mg/kg/day. Some centers have successfully tapered the maintenance dose to as low as 3 mg/kg/day in selected renal transplant patients without an apparent rise in rejection rate.

(See Blood Concentration Monitoring, below)

Specific Populations

Renal Impairment

Cyclosporine undergoes minimal renal elimination and its pharmacokinetics do not appear to be significantly altered in patients with end-stage renal disease who receive routine hemodialysis treatments (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). However, due to its nephrotoxic potential (See WARNINGS), careful monitoring of renal function is recommended; cyclosporine dosage should be reduced if indicated. (See WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS)

Hepatic Impairment

The clearance of cyclosporine may be significantly reduced in severe liver disease patients (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Dose reduction may be necessary in patients with severe liver impairment to maintain blood concentrations within the recommended target range. (See WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS)

Pediatrics

In pediatric usage, the same dose and dosing regimen may be used as in adults although in several studies, children have required and tolerated higher doses than those used in adults.

Adjunct therapy with adrenal corticosteroids is recommended. Different tapering dosage schedules of prednisone appear to achieve similar results. A dosage schedule based on the patient's weight started with 2.0 mg/kg/day for the first 4 days tapered to 1.0 mg/kg/day by 1 week, 0.6 mg/kg/day by 2 weeks, 0.3 mg/kg/day by 1 month, and 0.15 mg/kg/day by 2 months and thereafter as a maintenance dose. Another center started with an initial dose of 200 mg tapered by 40 mg/day until reaching 20 mg/day. After 2 months at this dose, a further reduction to 10 mg/day was made. Adjustments in dosage of prednisone must be made according to the clinical situation.

To make Sandimmune Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP) more palatable, the oral solution may be diluted with milk, chocolate milk, or orange juice preferably at room temperature. Patients should avoid switching diluents frequently. Sandimmune Soft Gelatin Capsules and Oral Solution should be administered on a consistent schedule with regard to time of day and relation to meals.

Take the prescribed amount of Sandimmune (cyclosporine) from the container using the dosage syringe supplied after removal of the protective cover, and transfer the solution to a glass of milk, chocolate milk, or orange juice. Stir well and drink at once. Do not allow to stand before drinking. It is best to use a glass container and rinse it with more diluent to ensure that the total dose is taken. After use, replace the dosage syringe in the protective cover. Do not rinse the dosage syringe with water or other cleaning agents either before or after use. If the dosage syringe requires cleaning, it must be completely dry before resuming use. Introduction of water into the product by any means will cause variation in dose.

Sandimmune® Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP)

FOR INFUSION ONLY

Note: Anaphylactic reactions have occurred with Sandimmune Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP). (See WARNINGS)

Patients unable to take Sandimmune Soft Gelatin Capsules or Oral Solution pre-or postoperatively may be treated with the intravenous (IV) concentrate. Sandimmune Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) is administered at 1/3 the oral dose. The initial dose of Sandimmune Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) should be given 4 to 12 hours prior to transplantation as a single intravenous dose of 5 to 6 mg/kg/day. This daily single dose is continued postoperatively until the patient can tolerate the soft gelatin capsules or oral solution. Patients should be switched to Sandimmune Soft Gelatin Capsules or Oral Solution as soon as possible after surgery. In pediatric usage, the same dose and dosing regimen may be used, although higher doses may be required.

Adjunct steroid therapy is to be used. (See aforementioned.)

Immediately before use, the intravenous concentrate should be diluted 1 mL Sandimmune Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) in 20 mL to 100 mL 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection or 5% Dextrose Injection and given in a slow intravenous infusion over approximately 2 to 6 hours.

Diluted infusion solutions should be discarded after 24 hours.

The Cremophor® EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil) contained in the concentrate for intravenous infusion can cause phthalate stripping from PVC.

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

Blood Concentration Monitoring

Several study centers have found blood concentration monitoring of cyclosporine useful in patient management. While no fixed relationships have yet been established, in one series of 375 consecutive cadaveric renal transplant recipients, dosage was adjusted to achieve specific whole blood 24-hour trough concentrations of 100 to 200 ng/mL as determined by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC).

Of major importance to blood concentration analysis is the type of assay used. The above concentrations are specific to the parent cyclosporine molecule and correlate directly to the new monoclonal specific radioimmunoassays (mRIA-sp). Nonspecific assays are also available which detect the parent compound molecule and various of its metabolites. Older studies often cited concentrations using a nonspecific assay which were roughly twice those of specific assays. Assay results are not interchangeable and their use should be guided by their approved labeling. If plasma specimens are employed, concentrations will vary with the temperature at the time of separation from whole blood. Plasma concentrations may range from ½ to 1/5 of whole blood concentrations. Refer to individual assay labeling for complete instructions. In addition, Transplantation Proceedings (June 1990) contains position papers and a broad consensus generated at the Cyclosporine-Therapeutic Drug Monitoring conference that year. Blood concentration monitoring is not a replacement for renal function monitoring or tissue biopsies.

Genfar treatment must be initiated by an ophthalmologist or a healthcare professional qualified in ophthalmology.

Posology

Adults

The recommended dose is one drop of Genfar once daily to be applied to the affected eye(s) at bedtime.

Response to treatment should be reassessed at least every 6 months.

If a dose is missed, treatment should be continued on the next day as normal. Patients should be advised not to instil more than one drop in the affected eye(s).

Elderly patients

The elderly population has been studied in clinical studies. No dose adjustment is required.

Patients with renal or hepatic impairment

The effect of Genfar has not been studied in patients with hepatic or renal impairment. However, no special considerations are needed in these populations.

Paediatric population

There is no relevant use of Genfar in children and adolescents aged below 18 in the treatment of severe keratitis in patients with dry eye disease, which has not improved despite treatment with tear substitutes.

Method of administration

Ocular use.

Precautions to be taken before administering the medicinal product

Patients should be instructed to first wash their hands.

Prior to administration, the single-dose container should be gently shaken.

For single use only. Each single-dose container is sufficient to treat both eyes. Any unused emulsion should be discarded immediately.

Patients should be instructed to use nasolacrimal occlusion and to close the eyelids for 2 minutes after instillation, to reduce the systemic absorption. This may result in a decrease in systemic undesirable effects and an increase in local activity.

If more than one topical ophthalmic medicinal product is being used, the medicinal products must be administered at least 15 minutes apart. Genfar should be administered last.

Contraindications

The information provided in Contraindications of Genfar is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genfar of the medicine (Cyclosporine). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Contraindications in the instructions to the drug Genfar directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Capsule; Injectable; Injection; Solution
Capsule, Liquid Filled
Eye drops, emulsion

Genfar Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) is contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to Genfar (cyclosporine) and/or Cremophor® EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil).

Sandimmune Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) is contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to Sandimmune (cyclosporine) and/or Cremophor® EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil).

Active or suspected ocular or peri-ocular infection.

Special warnings and precautions for use

The information provided in Special warnings and precautions for use of Genfar is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genfar of the medicine (Cyclosporine). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Special warnings and precautions for use in the instructions to the drug Genfar directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
more... close
Capsule; Injectable; Injection; Solution
Capsule, Liquid Filled
Eye drops, emulsion

WARNINGS

Kidney, Liver, And Heart Transplant

(See BOXED WARNING): Genfar (cyclosporine), when used in high doses, can cause hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity.

Nephrotoxicity

It is not unusual for serum creatinine and BUN levels to be elevated during Genfar (cyclosporine) therapy. These elevations in renal transplant patients do not necessarily indicate rejection, and each patient must be fully evaluated before dosage adjustment is initiated.

Nephrotoxicity has been noted in 25% of cases of renal transplantation, 38% of cases of cardiac transplantation, and 37% of cases of liver transplantation. Mild nephrotoxicity was generally noted 2 to 3 months after transplant and consisted of an arrest in the fall of the preoperative elevations of BUN and creatinine at a range of 35 to 45 mg/dl and 2.0 to 2.5 mg/dl, respectively. These elevations were often responsive to dosage reduction.

More overt nephrotoxicity was seen early after transplantation and was characterized by a rapidly rising BUN and creatinine. Since these events are similar to rejection episodes, care must be taken to differentiate between them. This form of nephrotoxicity is usually responsive to Genfar (cyclosporine) dosage reduction.

Although specific diagnostic criteria which reliably differentiate renal graft rejection from drug toxicity have not been found, a number of parameters have been significantly associated to one or the other. It should be noted however, that up to 20% of patients may have simultaneous nephrotoxicity and rejection.

Parameter Nephrotoxicity Rejection
History Donor > 50 years old or hypotensive Prolonged kidney preservation Prolonged anastomosis time Concomitant nephrotoxic drugs Antidonor immune response Retransplant patient
Clinical Often > 6 weeks postopbProlonged initial nonfunction (acute tubular necrosis) Often < 4 weeks postopb Fever > 37.5°C
Laboratory CyA serum trough level > 200 ng/mL Gradual rise in Cr ( < 0.15 mg/dL/day)a Cr plateau < 25% above baseline BUN/Cr ≥ 20 Weight gain > 0.5 kg Graft swelling and tenderness Decrease in daily urine volume > 500 mL (or 50%) CyA serum trough level < 150 ng/mL Rapid rise in Cr ( > 0.3 mg/dL/day)a Cr > 25% above baseline BUN/Cr < 20
Biopsy Arteriolopathy (medial hypertrophya, hyalinosis, nodular deposits, intimal thickening, endothelial vacuolization, progressive scarring) Endovasculitisc (proliferationa, intimal arteritisb, necrosis, sclerosis)
Tubular atrophy, isometric vacuolization, isolated calcifications Minimal edema Mild focal infiltratesc Diffuse interstitial fibrosis, often striped form Tubulitis with RBCb and WBCb casts, some irregular vacuolization Interstitial edemac and hemorrhageb Diffuse moderate to severe mononuclear infiltratesd Glomerulitis (mononuclear cells)c
Aspiration Cytology CyA deposits in tubular and endothelial cells Inflammatory infiltrate with mononuclear phagocytes, macrophages, lymphoblastoid cells, and activated T-cells
Fine isometric vacuolization of tubular cells These strongly express HLA-DR antigens
Urine Cytology Tubular cells with vacuolization and granularization Degenerative tubular cells, plasma cells, and lymphocyturia > 20% of sediment
Manometry Ultrasonography Intracapsular pressure < 40 mm Hgb Unchanged graft cross-sectional area Intracapsular pressure > 40 mm Hgb Increase in graft cross-sectional area AP diameter ≥ Transverse diameter
Magnetic Resonance Imagery Normal appearance Loss of distinct corticomedullary junction, swelling, image intensity of parachyma approaching that of psoas, loss of hilar fat
Radionuclide Scan Normal or generally decreased perfusion Decrease in tubular function (131 I-hippuran) > decrease in perfusion (99m Tc DTPA) Patchy arterial flow Decrease in perfusion > decrease in tubular function Increased uptake of Indium 111 labeled platelets or Tc-99m in colloid
Therapy Responds to decreased Genfar® (cyclosporine) Responds to increased steroids or antilymphocyte globulin
ap < 0.05, bp < 0.01, cp < 0.001, dp < 0.0001

A form of chronic progressive cyclosporine-associated nephrotoxicity is characterized by serial deterioration in renal function and morphologic changes in the kidneys. From 5% to 15% of transplant recipients will fail to show a reduction in a rising serum creatinine despite a decrease or discontinuation of cyclosporine therapy. Renal biopsies from these patients will demonstrate an interstitial fibrosis with tubular atrophy. In addition, toxic tubulopathy, peritubular capillary congestion, arteriolopathy, and a striped form of interstitial fibrosis with tubular atrophy may be present. Though none of these morphologic changes is entirely specific, a histologic diagnosis of chronic progressive cyclosporine-associated nephrotoxicity requires evidence of these.

When considering the development of chronic nephrotoxicity it is noteworthy that several authors have reported an association between the appearance of interstitial fibrosis and higher cumulative doses or persistently high circulating trough concentrations of cyclosporine. This is particularly true during the first 6 posttransplant months when the dosage tends to be highest and when, in kidney recipients, the organ appears to be most vulnerable to the toxic effects of cyclosporine. Among other contributing factors to the development of interstitial fibrosis in these patients must be included, prolonged perfusion time, warm ischemia time, as well as episodes of acute toxicity, and acute and chronic rejection. The reversibility of interstitial fibrosis and its correlation to renal function have not yet been determined.

Impaired renal function at any time requires close monitoring, and frequent dosage adjustment may be indicated. In patients with persistent high elevations of BUN and creatinine who are unresponsive to dosage adjustments, consideration should be given to switching to other immunosuppressive therapy. In the event of severe and unremitting rejection, it is preferable to allow the kidney transplant to be rejected and removed rather than increase the Genfar (cyclosporine) dosage to a very high level in an attempt to reverse the rejection.

Due to the potential for additive or synergistic impairment of renal function, caution should be exercised when coadministering Genfar with other drugs that may impair renal function. (See PRECAUTIONS: DRUG INTERACTIONS)

Thrombotic Microangiopathy

Occasionally patients have developed a syndrome of thrombocytopenia and microangiopathic hemolytic anemia which may result in graft failure. The vasculopathy can occur in the absence of rejection and is accompanied by avid platelet consumption within the graft as demonstrated by Indium 111 labeled platelet studies. Neither the pathogenesis nor the management of this syndrome is clear. Though resolution has occurred after reduction or discontinuation of Genfar (cyclosporine) and 1) administration of streptokinase and heparin or 2) plasmapheresis, this appears to depend upon early detection with Indium 111 labeled platelet scans. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS)

Hyperkalemia

Significant hyperkalemia (sometimes associated with hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis) and hyperuricemia have been seen occasionally in individual patients.

Hepatotoxicity

Cases of hepatotoxicity and liver injury including cholestasis, jaundice, hepatitis, and liver failure have been reported in patients treated with cyclosporine. Most reports included patients with significant co­morbidities, underlying conditions and other confounding factors including infectious complications and comedications with hepatotoxic potential. In some cases, mainly in transplant patients, fatal outcomes have been reported (See ADVERSE REACTIONS, Postmarketing Experience)

Hepatotoxicity, usually manifested by elevations in hepatic enzymes and bilirubin, was reported in patients treated with cyclosporine in clinical trials: 4% in renal transplantation, 7% in cardiac transplantation, and 4% in liver transplantation. This was usually noted during the first month of therapy when high doses of Genfar (cyclosporine) were used. The chemistry elevations usually decreased with a reduction in dosage.

Malignancies

As in patients receiving other immunosuppressants, those patients receiving Genfar (cyclosporine) are at increased risk for development of lymphomas and other malignancies, particularly those of the skin. The increased risk appears related to the intensity and duration of immunosuppression rather than to the use of specific agents. Because of the danger of oversuppression of the immune system, which can also increase susceptibility to infection, Genfar (cyclosporine) should not be administered with other immunosuppressive agents except adrenal corticosteroids. The efficacy and safety of cyclosporine in combination with other immunosuppressive agents have not been determined. Some malignancies may be fatal. Transplant patients receiving cyclosporine are at increased risk for serious infection with fatal outcome.

Serious Infections

Patients receiving immunosuppressants, including Genfar, are at increased risk of developing bacterial, viral, fungal, and protozoal infections, including opportunistic infections. These infections may lead to serious, including fatal, outcomes (See BOXED WARNING, and ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Polyoma Virus Infections

Patients receiving immunosuppressants, including Genfar, are at increased risk for opportunistic infections, including polyoma virus infections. Polyoma virus infections in transplant patients may have serious, and sometimes, fatal outcomes. These include cases of JC virus-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), and polyoma virus-associated nephropathy (PVAN), especially due to BK virus infection, which have been observed in patients receiving cyclosporine.

PVAN is associated with serious outcomes, including deteriorating renal function and renal graft loss, (See ADVERSE REACTIONS/Postmarketing Experience). Patient monitoring may help detect patients at risk for PVAN.

Cases of PML have been reported in patients treated with cyclosporine_ PML, which is sometimes fatal, commonly presents with hemiparesis, apathy, confusion, cognitive deficiencies and ataxia. Risk factors for PML include treatment with immunosuppressant therapies and impairment of immune function. In immunosuppressed patients, physicians should consider PML in the differential diagnosis in patients reporting neurological symptoms and consultation with a neurologist should be considered as clinically indicated.

Consideration should be given to reducing the total immunosuppression in transplant patients who develop PML or PVAN. However, reduced immunosuppression may place the graft at risk.

Neurotoxicity

There have been reports of convulsions in adult and pediatric patients receiving cyclosporine, particularly in combination with high-dose methylprednisolone.

Encephalopathy, including Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES), has been described both in postmarketing reports and in the literature. Manifestations include impaired consciousness, convulsions, visual disturbances (including blindness), loss of motor function, movement disorders and psychiatric disturbances. In many cases, changes in the white matter have been detected using imaging techniques and pathologic specimens. Predisposing factors such as hypertension, hypomagnesemia, hypocholesterolemia, high-dose corticosteroids, high cyclosporine blood concentrations, and graft-versus-host disease have been noted in many but not all of the reported cases. The changes in most cases have been reversible upon discontinuation of cyclosporine, and in some cases, improvement was noted after reduction of dose. It appears that patients receiving liver transplant are more susceptible to encephalopathy than those receiving kidney transplant. Another rare manifestation of cyclosporine-induced neurotoxicity is optic disc edema including papilloedema, with possible visual impairment, secondary to benign intracranial hypertension.

Specific Excipients

Anaphylactic Reactions

Rarely (approximately 1 in 1000), patients receiving Genfar Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) have experienced anaphylactic reactions. Although the exact cause of these reactions is unknown, it is believed to be due to the Cremophor EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil) used as the vehicle for the intravenous (IV) formulation. These reactions can consist of flushing of the face and upper thorax, and noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, with acute respiratory distress, dyspnea, wheezing, blood pressure changes, and tachycardia. One patient died after respiratory arrest and aspiration pneumonia. In some cases, the reaction subsided after the infusion was stopped.

Patients receiving Genfar Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) should be under continuous observation for at least the first 30 minutes following the start of the infusion and at frequent intervals thereafter. If anaphylaxis occurs, the infusion should be stopped. An aqueous solution of epinephrine 1:1000 should be available at the bedside as well as a source of oxygen.

Anaphylactic reactions have not been reported with the soft gelatin capsules or oral solution which lack Cremophor EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil). In fact, patients experiencing anaphylactic reactions have been treated subsequently with the soft gelatin capsules or oral solution without incident.

Alcohol (ethanol)

The alcohol content (See DESCRIPTION) of Genfar should be taken into account when given to patients in whom alcohol intake should be avoided or minimized, e.g. pregnant or breastfeeding women, in patients presenting with liver disease or epilepsy, in alcoholic patients, or pediatric patients. For an adult weighing 70 kg, the maximum daily oral dose would deliver about 1 gram of alcohol which is approximately 6% of the amount of alcohol contained in a standard drink. The daily intravenous dose would deliver approximately 15% of the amount of alcohol contained in a standard drink.

Care should be taken in using Genfar (cyclosporine) with nephrotoxic drugs. (See PRECAUTIONS)

Conversion from Neoral to Genfar

Because Genfar (cyclosporine) is not bioequivalent to Neoral, conversion from Neoral to Genfar (cyclosporine) using a 1:1 ratio (mg/kg/day) may result in a lower cyclosporine blood concentration. Conversion from Neoral to Genfar (cyclosporine) should be made with increased blood concentration monitoring to avoid the potential of underdosing.

PRECAUTIONS

General

Patients with malabsorption may have difficulty in achieving therapeutic concentrations with Genfar Soft Gelatin Capsules or Oral Solution.

Hypertension

Hypertension is a common side effect of Genfar (cyclosporine) therapy. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS) Mild or moderate hypertension is more frequently encountered than severe hypertension and the incidence decreases over time. Antihypertensive therapy may be required. Control of blood pressure can be accomplished with any of the common antihypertensive agents. However, since cyclosporine may cause hyperkalemia, potassium-sparing diuretics should not be used. While calcium antagonists can be effective agents in treating cyclosporine-associated hypertension, care should be taken since interference with cyclosporine metabolism may require a dosage adjustment. (See DRUG INTERACTIONS)

Vaccination

During treatment with Genfar (cyclosporine), vaccination may be less effective and the use of live attenuated vaccines should be avoided.

Laboratory Tests

Renal and liver functions should be assessed repeatedly by measurement of BUN, serum creatinine, serum bilirubin, and liver enzymes.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, And Impairment Of Fertility

Cyclosporine gave no evidence of mutagenic or teratogenic effects in appropriate test systems. Only at dose levels toxic to dams, were adverse effects seen in reproduction studies in rats. (See Pregnancy)

Carcinogenicity studies were carried out in male and female rats and mice. In the 78-week mouse study, at doses of 1, 4, and 16 mg/kg/day, evidence of a statistically significant trend was found for lymphocytic lymphomas in females, and the incidence of hepatocellular carcinomas in mid-dose males significantly exceeded the control value. In the 24–month rat study, conducted at 0.5, 2, and 8 mg/kg/day, pancreatic islet cell adenomas significantly exceeded the control rate in the low-dose level. The hepatocellular carcinomas and pancreatic islet cell adenomas were not dose related.

No impairment in fertility was demonstrated in studies in male and female rats.

Cyclosporine has not been found mutagenic/genotoxic in the Ames Test, the V79-HGPRT Test, the micronucleus test in mice and Chinese hamsters, the chromosome-aberration tests in Chinese hamster bone marrow, the mouse dominant lethal assay, and the DNA-repair test in sperm from treated mice. A recent study analyzing sister chromatid exchange (SCE) induction by cyclosporine using human lymphocytes in vitro gave indication of a positive effect (i.e., induction of SCE), at high concentrations in this system. In two published research studies, rabbits exposed to cyclosporine in utero (10 mg/kg/day subcutaneously) demonstrated reduced numbers of nephrons, renal hypertrophy, systemic hypertension and progressive renal insufficiency up to 35 weeks of age. Pregnant rats which received 12 mg/kg/day of cyclosporine intravenously (twice the recommended human intravenous dose) had fetuses with an increased incidence of ventricular septal defect. These findings have not been demonstrated in other species and their relevance for humans is unknown.

An increased incidence of malignancy is a recognized complication of immunosuppression in recipients of organ transplants. The most common forms of neoplasms are non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and carcinomas of the skin. The risk of malignancies in cyclosporine recipients is higher than in the normal, healthy population, but similar to that in patients receiving other immunosuppressive therapies. It has been reported that reduction or discontinuance of immunosuppression may cause the lesions to regress.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C

Animal studies have shown reproductive toxicity in rats and rabbits. Cyclosporine gave no evidence of mutagenic or teratogenic effects in the standard test systems with oral application (rats up to 17 mg/kg and rabbits up to 30 mg/kg per day orally). Genfar Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP) has been shown to be embryo-and fetotoxic in rats and rabbits when given in doses 2-5 times the human dose. At toxic doses (rats at 30 mg/kg/day and rabbits at 100 mg/kg/day), Genfar Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP) was embryo-and fetotoxic as indicated by increased pre-and postnatal mortality and reduced fetal weight together with related skeletal retardations. In the well-tolerated dose range (rats at up to 17 mg/kg/day and rabbits at up to 30 mg/kg/day), Genfar Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP) proved to be without any embryolethal or teratogenic effects.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women and therefore, Genfar (cyclosporine) should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefit to the mother justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

In pregnant transplant recipients who are being treated with immunosuppressants, the risk of premature birth is increased. The following data represent the reported outcomes of 116 pregnancies in women receiving Genfar (cyclosporine) during pregnancy, 90% of whom were transplant patients, and most of whom received Genfar (cyclosporine) throughout the entire gestational period. Since most of the patients were not prospectively identified, the results are likely to be biased toward negative outcomes. The only consistent patterns of abnormality were premature birth (gestational period of 28 to 36 weeks) and low birth weight for gestational age. It is not possible to separate the effects of Genfar (cyclosporine) on these pregnancies from the effects of the other immunosuppressants, the underlying maternal disorders, or other aspects of the transplantation milieu. Sixteen fetal losses occurred. Most of the pregnancies (85 of 100) were complicated by disorders; including, preeclampsia, eclampsia, premature labor, abruptio placentae, oligohydramnios, Rh incompatibility and fetoplacental dysfunction. Preterm delivery occurred in 47%. Seven malformations were reported in 5 viable infants and in 2 cases of fetal loss. Twenty-eight percent of the infants were small for gestational age. Neonatal complications occurred in 27%. In a report of 23 children followed up to 4 years, postnatal development was said to be normal. More information on cyclosporine use in pregnancy is available from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

A limited number of observations in children exposed to cyclosporine in utero are available, up to an age of approximately 7 years. Renal function and blood pressure in these children were normal.

The alcohol content of the Genfar formulations should also be taken into account in pregnant women. (See WARNINGS, Special Excipients)

Nursing Mothers

Cyclosporine is present in breast milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse drug reactions in nursing infants from Genfar, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. Genfar contains ethanol. Ethanol will be present in human milk at levels similar to that found in maternal serum and if present in breast milk will be orally absorbed by a nursing infant. (See WARNINGS)

Pediatric Use

Although no adequate and well-controlled studies have been conducted in children, patients as young as 6 months of age have received the drug with no unusual adverse effects.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of Genfar (cyclosporine) did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

WARNINGS

Kidney, Liver, And Heart Transplant

(See BOXED WARNING): Sandimmune (cyclosporine), when used in high doses, can cause hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity.

Nephrotoxicity

It is not unusual for serum creatinine and BUN levels to be elevated during Sandimmune (cyclosporine) therapy. These elevations in renal transplant patients do not necessarily indicate rejection, and each patient must be fully evaluated before dosage adjustment is initiated.

Nephrotoxicity has been noted in 25% of cases of renal transplantation, 38% of cases of cardiac transplantation, and 37% of cases of liver transplantation. Mild nephrotoxicity was generally noted 2 to 3 months after transplant and consisted of an arrest in the fall of the preoperative elevations of BUN and creatinine at a range of 35 to 45 mg/dl and 2.0 to 2.5 mg/dl, respectively. These elevations were often responsive to dosage reduction.

More overt nephrotoxicity was seen early after transplantation and was characterized by a rapidly rising BUN and creatinine. Since these events are similar to rejection episodes, care must be taken to differentiate between them. This form of nephrotoxicity is usually responsive to Sandimmune (cyclosporine) dosage reduction.

Although specific diagnostic criteria which reliably differentiate renal graft rejection from drug toxicity have not been found, a number of parameters have been significantly associated to one or the other. It should be noted however, that up to 20% of patients may have simultaneous nephrotoxicity and rejection.

Parameter Nephrotoxicity Rejection
History Donor > 50 years old or hypotensive Prolonged kidney preservation Prolonged anastomosis time Concomitant nephrotoxic drugs Antidonor immune response Retransplant patient
Clinical Often > 6 weeks postopbProlonged initial nonfunction (acute tubular necrosis) Often < 4 weeks postopb Fever > 37.5°C
Laboratory CyA serum trough level > 200 ng/mL Gradual rise in Cr ( < 0.15 mg/dL/day)a Cr plateau < 25% above baseline BUN/Cr ≥ 20 Weight gain > 0.5 kg Graft swelling and tenderness Decrease in daily urine volume > 500 mL (or 50%) CyA serum trough level < 150 ng/mL Rapid rise in Cr ( > 0.3 mg/dL/day)a Cr > 25% above baseline BUN/Cr < 20
Biopsy Arteriolopathy (medial hypertrophya, hyalinosis, nodular deposits, intimal thickening, endothelial vacuolization, progressive scarring) Endovasculitisc (proliferationa, intimal arteritisb, necrosis, sclerosis)
Tubular atrophy, isometric vacuolization, isolated calcifications Minimal edema Mild focal infiltratesc Diffuse interstitial fibrosis, often striped form Tubulitis with RBCb and WBCb casts, some irregular vacuolization Interstitial edemac and hemorrhageb Diffuse moderate to severe mononuclear infiltratesd Glomerulitis (mononuclear cells)c
Aspiration Cytology CyA deposits in tubular and endothelial cells Inflammatory infiltrate with mononuclear phagocytes, macrophages, lymphoblastoid cells, and activated T-cells
Fine isometric vacuolization of tubular cells These strongly express HLA-DR antigens
Urine Cytology Tubular cells with vacuolization and granularization Degenerative tubular cells, plasma cells, and lymphocyturia > 20% of sediment
Manometry Ultrasonography Intracapsular pressure < 40 mm Hgb Unchanged graft cross-sectional area Intracapsular pressure > 40 mm Hgb Increase in graft cross-sectional area AP diameter ≥ Transverse diameter
Magnetic Resonance Imagery Normal appearance Loss of distinct corticomedullary junction, swelling, image intensity of parachyma approaching that of psoas, loss of hilar fat
Radionuclide Scan Normal or generally decreased perfusion Decrease in tubular function (131 I-hippuran) > decrease in perfusion (99m Tc DTPA) Patchy arterial flow Decrease in perfusion > decrease in tubular function Increased uptake of Indium 111 labeled platelets or Tc-99m in colloid
Therapy Responds to decreased Sandimmune® (cyclosporine) Responds to increased steroids or antilymphocyte globulin
ap < 0.05, bp < 0.01, cp < 0.001, dp < 0.0001

A form of chronic progressive cyclosporine-associated nephrotoxicity is characterized by serial deterioration in renal function and morphologic changes in the kidneys. From 5% to 15% of transplant recipients will fail to show a reduction in a rising serum creatinine despite a decrease or discontinuation of cyclosporine therapy. Renal biopsies from these patients will demonstrate an interstitial fibrosis with tubular atrophy. In addition, toxic tubulopathy, peritubular capillary congestion, arteriolopathy, and a striped form of interstitial fibrosis with tubular atrophy may be present. Though none of these morphologic changes is entirely specific, a histologic diagnosis of chronic progressive cyclosporine-associated nephrotoxicity requires evidence of these.

When considering the development of chronic nephrotoxicity it is noteworthy that several authors have reported an association between the appearance of interstitial fibrosis and higher cumulative doses or persistently high circulating trough concentrations of cyclosporine. This is particularly true during the first 6 posttransplant months when the dosage tends to be highest and when, in kidney recipients, the organ appears to be most vulnerable to the toxic effects of cyclosporine. Among other contributing factors to the development of interstitial fibrosis in these patients must be included, prolonged perfusion time, warm ischemia time, as well as episodes of acute toxicity, and acute and chronic rejection. The reversibility of interstitial fibrosis and its correlation to renal function have not yet been determined.

Impaired renal function at any time requires close monitoring, and frequent dosage adjustment may be indicated. In patients with persistent high elevations of BUN and creatinine who are unresponsive to dosage adjustments, consideration should be given to switching to other immunosuppressive therapy. In the event of severe and unremitting rejection, it is preferable to allow the kidney transplant to be rejected and removed rather than increase the Sandimmune (cyclosporine) dosage to a very high level in an attempt to reverse the rejection.

Due to the potential for additive or synergistic impairment of renal function, caution should be exercised when coadministering Sandimmune with other drugs that may impair renal function. (See PRECAUTIONS: DRUG INTERACTIONS)

Thrombotic Microangiopathy

Occasionally patients have developed a syndrome of thrombocytopenia and microangiopathic hemolytic anemia which may result in graft failure. The vasculopathy can occur in the absence of rejection and is accompanied by avid platelet consumption within the graft as demonstrated by Indium 111 labeled platelet studies. Neither the pathogenesis nor the management of this syndrome is clear. Though resolution has occurred after reduction or discontinuation of Sandimmune (cyclosporine) and 1) administration of streptokinase and heparin or 2) plasmapheresis, this appears to depend upon early detection with Indium 111 labeled platelet scans. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS)

Hyperkalemia

Significant hyperkalemia (sometimes associated with hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis) and hyperuricemia have been seen occasionally in individual patients.

Hepatotoxicity

Cases of hepatotoxicity and liver injury including cholestasis, jaundice, hepatitis, and liver failure have been reported in patients treated with cyclosporine. Most reports included patients with significant co­morbidities, underlying conditions and other confounding factors including infectious complications and comedications with hepatotoxic potential. In some cases, mainly in transplant patients, fatal outcomes have been reported (See ADVERSE REACTIONS, Postmarketing Experience)

Hepatotoxicity, usually manifested by elevations in hepatic enzymes and bilirubin, was reported in patients treated with cyclosporine in clinical trials: 4% in renal transplantation, 7% in cardiac transplantation, and 4% in liver transplantation. This was usually noted during the first month of therapy when high doses of Sandimmune (cyclosporine) were used. The chemistry elevations usually decreased with a reduction in dosage.

Malignancies

As in patients receiving other immunosuppressants, those patients receiving Sandimmune (cyclosporine) are at increased risk for development of lymphomas and other malignancies, particularly those of the skin. The increased risk appears related to the intensity and duration of immunosuppression rather than to the use of specific agents. Because of the danger of oversuppression of the immune system, which can also increase susceptibility to infection, Sandimmune (cyclosporine) should not be administered with other immunosuppressive agents except adrenal corticosteroids. The efficacy and safety of cyclosporine in combination with other immunosuppressive agents have not been determined. Some malignancies may be fatal. Transplant patients receiving cyclosporine are at increased risk for serious infection with fatal outcome.

Serious Infections

Patients receiving immunosuppressants, including Sandimmune, are at increased risk of developing bacterial, viral, fungal, and protozoal infections, including opportunistic infections. These infections may lead to serious, including fatal, outcomes (See BOXED WARNING, and ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Polyoma Virus Infections

Patients receiving immunosuppressants, including Sandimmune, are at increased risk for opportunistic infections, including polyoma virus infections. Polyoma virus infections in transplant patients may have serious, and sometimes, fatal outcomes. These include cases of JC virus-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), and polyoma virus-associated nephropathy (PVAN), especially due to BK virus infection, which have been observed in patients receiving cyclosporine.

PVAN is associated with serious outcomes, including deteriorating renal function and renal graft loss, (See ADVERSE REACTIONS/Postmarketing Experience). Patient monitoring may help detect patients at risk for PVAN.

Cases of PML have been reported in patients treated with cyclosporine_ PML, which is sometimes fatal, commonly presents with hemiparesis, apathy, confusion, cognitive deficiencies and ataxia. Risk factors for PML include treatment with immunosuppressant therapies and impairment of immune function. In immunosuppressed patients, physicians should consider PML in the differential diagnosis in patients reporting neurological symptoms and consultation with a neurologist should be considered as clinically indicated.

Consideration should be given to reducing the total immunosuppression in transplant patients who develop PML or PVAN. However, reduced immunosuppression may place the graft at risk.

Neurotoxicity

There have been reports of convulsions in adult and pediatric patients receiving cyclosporine, particularly in combination with high-dose methylprednisolone.

Encephalopathy, including Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES), has been described both in postmarketing reports and in the literature. Manifestations include impaired consciousness, convulsions, visual disturbances (including blindness), loss of motor function, movement disorders and psychiatric disturbances. In many cases, changes in the white matter have been detected using imaging techniques and pathologic specimens. Predisposing factors such as hypertension, hypomagnesemia, hypocholesterolemia, high-dose corticosteroids, high cyclosporine blood concentrations, and graft-versus-host disease have been noted in many but not all of the reported cases. The changes in most cases have been reversible upon discontinuation of cyclosporine, and in some cases, improvement was noted after reduction of dose. It appears that patients receiving liver transplant are more susceptible to encephalopathy than those receiving kidney transplant. Another rare manifestation of cyclosporine-induced neurotoxicity is optic disc edema including papilloedema, with possible visual impairment, secondary to benign intracranial hypertension.

Specific Excipients

Anaphylactic Reactions

Rarely (approximately 1 in 1000), patients receiving Sandimmune Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) have experienced anaphylactic reactions. Although the exact cause of these reactions is unknown, it is believed to be due to the Cremophor EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil) used as the vehicle for the intravenous (IV) formulation. These reactions can consist of flushing of the face and upper thorax, and noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, with acute respiratory distress, dyspnea, wheezing, blood pressure changes, and tachycardia. One patient died after respiratory arrest and aspiration pneumonia. In some cases, the reaction subsided after the infusion was stopped.

Patients receiving Sandimmune Injection (cyclosporine injection, USP) should be under continuous observation for at least the first 30 minutes following the start of the infusion and at frequent intervals thereafter. If anaphylaxis occurs, the infusion should be stopped. An aqueous solution of epinephrine 1:1000 should be available at the bedside as well as a source of oxygen.

Anaphylactic reactions have not been reported with the soft gelatin capsules or oral solution which lack Cremophor EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil). In fact, patients experiencing anaphylactic reactions have been treated subsequently with the soft gelatin capsules or oral solution without incident.

Alcohol (ethanol)

The alcohol content (See DESCRIPTION) of Sandimmune should be taken into account when given to patients in whom alcohol intake should be avoided or minimized, e.g. pregnant or breastfeeding women, in patients presenting with liver disease or epilepsy, in alcoholic patients, or pediatric patients. For an adult weighing 70 kg, the maximum daily oral dose would deliver about 1 gram of alcohol which is approximately 6% of the amount of alcohol contained in a standard drink. The daily intravenous dose would deliver approximately 15% of the amount of alcohol contained in a standard drink.

Care should be taken in using Sandimmune (cyclosporine) with nephrotoxic drugs. (See PRECAUTIONS)

Conversion from Neoral to Sandimmune

Because Sandimmune (cyclosporine) is not bioequivalent to Neoral, conversion from Neoral to Sandimmune (cyclosporine) using a 1:1 ratio (mg/kg/day) may result in a lower cyclosporine blood concentration. Conversion from Neoral to Sandimmune (cyclosporine) should be made with increased blood concentration monitoring to avoid the potential of underdosing.

PRECAUTIONS

General

Patients with malabsorption may have difficulty in achieving therapeutic concentrations with Sandimmune Soft Gelatin Capsules or Oral Solution.

Hypertension

Hypertension is a common side effect of Sandimmune (cyclosporine) therapy. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS) Mild or moderate hypertension is more frequently encountered than severe hypertension and the incidence decreases over time. Antihypertensive therapy may be required. Control of blood pressure can be accomplished with any of the common antihypertensive agents. However, since cyclosporine may cause hyperkalemia, potassium-sparing diuretics should not be used. While calcium antagonists can be effective agents in treating cyclosporine-associated hypertension, care should be taken since interference with cyclosporine metabolism may require a dosage adjustment. (See DRUG INTERACTIONS)

Vaccination

During treatment with Sandimmune (cyclosporine), vaccination may be less effective and the use of live attenuated vaccines should be avoided.

Laboratory Tests

Renal and liver functions should be assessed repeatedly by measurement of BUN, serum creatinine, serum bilirubin, and liver enzymes.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, And Impairment Of Fertility

Cyclosporine gave no evidence of mutagenic or teratogenic effects in appropriate test systems. Only at dose levels toxic to dams, were adverse effects seen in reproduction studies in rats. (See Pregnancy)

Carcinogenicity studies were carried out in male and female rats and mice. In the 78-week mouse study, at doses of 1, 4, and 16 mg/kg/day, evidence of a statistically significant trend was found for lymphocytic lymphomas in females, and the incidence of hepatocellular carcinomas in mid-dose males significantly exceeded the control value. In the 24–month rat study, conducted at 0.5, 2, and 8 mg/kg/day, pancreatic islet cell adenomas significantly exceeded the control rate in the low-dose level. The hepatocellular carcinomas and pancreatic islet cell adenomas were not dose related.

No impairment in fertility was demonstrated in studies in male and female rats.

Cyclosporine has not been found mutagenic/genotoxic in the Ames Test, the V79-HGPRT Test, the micronucleus test in mice and Chinese hamsters, the chromosome-aberration tests in Chinese hamster bone marrow, the mouse dominant lethal assay, and the DNA-repair test in sperm from treated mice. A recent study analyzing sister chromatid exchange (SCE) induction by cyclosporine using human lymphocytes in vitro gave indication of a positive effect (i.e., induction of SCE), at high concentrations in this system. In two published research studies, rabbits exposed to cyclosporine in utero (10 mg/kg/day subcutaneously) demonstrated reduced numbers of nephrons, renal hypertrophy, systemic hypertension and progressive renal insufficiency up to 35 weeks of age. Pregnant rats which received 12 mg/kg/day of cyclosporine intravenously (twice the recommended human intravenous dose) had fetuses with an increased incidence of ventricular septal defect. These findings have not been demonstrated in other species and their relevance for humans is unknown.

An increased incidence of malignancy is a recognized complication of immunosuppression in recipients of organ transplants. The most common forms of neoplasms are non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and carcinomas of the skin. The risk of malignancies in cyclosporine recipients is higher than in the normal, healthy population, but similar to that in patients receiving other immunosuppressive therapies. It has been reported that reduction or discontinuance of immunosuppression may cause the lesions to regress.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C

Animal studies have shown reproductive toxicity in rats and rabbits. Cyclosporine gave no evidence of mutagenic or teratogenic effects in the standard test systems with oral application (rats up to 17 mg/kg and rabbits up to 30 mg/kg per day orally). Sandimmune Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP) has been shown to be embryo-and fetotoxic in rats and rabbits when given in doses 2-5 times the human dose. At toxic doses (rats at 30 mg/kg/day and rabbits at 100 mg/kg/day), Sandimmune Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP) was embryo-and fetotoxic as indicated by increased pre-and postnatal mortality and reduced fetal weight together with related skeletal retardations. In the well-tolerated dose range (rats at up to 17 mg/kg/day and rabbits at up to 30 mg/kg/day), Sandimmune Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP) proved to be without any embryolethal or teratogenic effects.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women and therefore, Sandimmune (cyclosporine) should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefit to the mother justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

In pregnant transplant recipients who are being treated with immunosuppressants, the risk of premature birth is increased. The following data represent the reported outcomes of 116 pregnancies in women receiving Sandimmune (cyclosporine) during pregnancy, 90% of whom were transplant patients, and most of whom received Sandimmune (cyclosporine) throughout the entire gestational period. Since most of the patients were not prospectively identified, the results are likely to be biased toward negative outcomes. The only consistent patterns of abnormality were premature birth (gestational period of 28 to 36 weeks) and low birth weight for gestational age. It is not possible to separate the effects of Sandimmune (cyclosporine) on these pregnancies from the effects of the other immunosuppressants, the underlying maternal disorders, or other aspects of the transplantation milieu. Sixteen fetal losses occurred. Most of the pregnancies (85 of 100) were complicated by disorders; including, preeclampsia, eclampsia, premature labor, abruptio placentae, oligohydramnios, Rh incompatibility and fetoplacental dysfunction. Preterm delivery occurred in 47%. Seven malformations were reported in 5 viable infants and in 2 cases of fetal loss. Twenty-eight percent of the infants were small for gestational age. Neonatal complications occurred in 27%. In a report of 23 children followed up to 4 years, postnatal development was said to be normal. More information on cyclosporine use in pregnancy is available from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

A limited number of observations in children exposed to cyclosporine in utero are available, up to an age of approximately 7 years. Renal function and blood pressure in these children were normal.

The alcohol content of the Sandimmune formulations should also be taken into account in pregnant women. (See WARNINGS, Special Excipients)

Nursing Mothers

Cyclosporine is present in breast milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse drug reactions in nursing infants from Sandimmune, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. Sandimmune contains ethanol. Ethanol will be present in human milk at levels similar to that found in maternal serum and if present in breast milk will be orally absorbed by a nursing infant. (See WARNINGS)

Pediatric Use

Although no adequate and well-controlled studies have been conducted in children, patients as young as 6 months of age have received the drug with no unusual adverse effects.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of Sandimmune (cyclosporine) did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

Genfar has not been studied in patients with a history of ocular herpes and should therefore be used with caution in such patients.

Contact lenses

Patients wearing contact lenses have not been studied. Careful monitoring of patients with severe keratitis is recommended. Contact lenses should be removed before instillation of the eye drops at bedtime and may be reinserted at wake-up time.

Concomitant therapy

There is limited experience with Genfar in the treatment of patients with glaucoma. Caution should be exercised when treating these patients concomitantly with Genfar, especially with beta-blockers which are known to decrease tear secretion.

Effects on the immune system

Medicinal products, which affect the immune system, including ciclosporin, may affect host defences against infections and malignancies.

Co-administration of Genfar with eye drops containing corticosteroids could potentiate the effects of Genfar on the immune system.

Excipient

Genfar contains cetalkonium chloride which may cause eye irritation.

Effects on ability to drive and use machines

The information provided in Effects on ability to drive and use machines of Genfar is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genfar of the medicine (Cyclosporine). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Effects on ability to drive and use machines in the instructions to the drug Genfar directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Genfar has moderate influence on the ability to drive and use machines.

This medicinal product may induce temporary blurred vision or other visual disturbances which may affect the ability to drive or use machines. Patients should be advised not to drive or use machines until their vision has cleared.

Undesirable effects

The information provided in Undesirable effects of Genfar is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genfar of the medicine (Cyclosporine). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Undesirable effects in the instructions to the drug Genfar directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Capsule; Injectable; Injection; Solution
Capsule, Liquid Filled
Eye drops, emulsion

The principal adverse reactions of Genfar (cyclosporine) therapy are renal dysfunction, tremor, hirsutism, hypertension, and gum hyperplasia.

Hypertension

Hypertension, which is usually mild to moderate, may occur in approximately 50% of patients following renal transplantation and in most cardiac transplant patients.

Glomerular Capillary Thrombosis

Glomerular capillary thrombosis has been found in patients treated with cyclosporine and may progress to graft failure. The pathologic changes resemble those seen in the hemolytic-uremic syndrome and include thrombosis of the renal microvasculature, with platelet-fibrin thrombi occluding glomerular capillaries and afferent arterioles, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and decreased renal function. Similar findings have been observed when other immunosuppressives have been employed post transplantation.

Hypomagnesemia

Hypomagnesemia has been reported in some, but not all, patients exhibiting convulsions while on cyclosporine therapy. Although magnesium-depletion studies in normal subjects suggest that hypomagnesemia is associated with neurologic disorders, multiple factors, including hypertension, high-dose methylprednisolone, hypocholesterolemia, and nephrotoxicity associated with high plasma concentrations of cyclosporine appear to be related to the neurological manifestations of cyclosporine toxicity.

Clinical Studies

The following reactions occurred in 3% or greater of 892 patients involved in clinical trials of kidney, heart, and liver transplants:

Body System/ Adverse Reactions Randomized Kidney Patients All Sandiimmune (cyclosporine) Patients
Genfar
(N=227) %
Azathioprine
(N=228) %
Kidney
(N=705) %
Heart
(N=112) %
Liver
(N=75) %
Genitourinary
  Renal Dysfunction 32 6 25 38 37
Cardiovascular
  Hypertension 26 18 13 53 27
  Cramps 4 < 1 2 < 1 0
Skin
  Hirsutism 21 < 1 21 28 45
  Acne 6 8 2 2 1
Central Nervous System
  Tremor 12 0 21 31 55
  Convulsions 3 1 1 4 5
  Headache 2 < 1 2 15 4
Gastrointestinal
  Gum Hyperplasia 4 0 9 5 16
  Diarrhea 3 < 1 3 4 8
  Nausea/Vomiting 2 < 1 4 10 4
 Hepatotoxicity < 1 < 1 4 7 4
  Abdominal Discomfort < 1 0 < 1 7 0
Autonomic Nervous System
 Paresthesia 3 0 1 2 1
  Flushing < 1 0 4 0 4
Hematopoietic
  Leukopenia 2 19 < 1 6 0
  Lymphoma < 1 0 1 6 1
Respiratory
  Sinusitis < 1 0 4 3 7
Miscellaneous
  Gynecomastia < 1 0 < 1 4 3

The following reactions occurred in 2% or less of patients: allergic reactions, anemia, anorexia, confusion, conjunctivitis, edema, fever, brittle fingernails, gastritis, hearing loss, hiccups, hyperglycemia, muscle pain, peptic ulcer, thrombocytopenia, tinnitus.

The following reactions occurred rarely: anxiety, chest pain, constipation, depression, hair breaking, hematuria, joint pain, lethargy, mouth sores, myocardial infarction, night sweats, pancreatitis, pruritus, swallowing difficulty, tingling, upper GI bleeding, visual disturbance, weakness, weight loss.

Renal Transplant Patients in Whom Therapy Was Discontinued

Reason for Discontinuation Randomized Patients All Genfar Patients
Genfar
(N=227) %
Azathioprine
(N=228) %
(N=705) %
Renal Toxicity 5.7 0 5.4
Infection 0 0.4 0.9
Lack of Efficacy 2.6 0.9 1.4
Acute Tubular Necrosis 2.6 0 1.0
Lymphoma/Lymphoproliferative Disease 0.4 0 0.3
Hypertension 0 0 0.3
Hematological Abnormalities 0 0.4 0
Other 0 0 0.7

Genfar (cyclosporine) was discontinued on a temporary basis and then restarted in 18 additional patients.

Patients receiving immunosuppressive therapies, including cyclosporine and cyclosporine -containing regimens, are at increased risk of infections (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic). Both generalized and localized infections can occur. Pre-existing infections may also be aggravated. Fatal outcomes have been reported. (See WARNINGS)

Infectious Complications in the Randomized Renal Transplant Patients

Complication Genfar Treatment
(N=227) % of Complications
Standard Treatment*
(N=228) % of Complications
Septicemia 5.3 4.8
Abscesses 4.4 5.3
Systemic Fungal Infection 2.2 3.9
Local Fungal Infection 7.5 9.6
Cytomegalovirus 4.8 12.3
Other Viral Infections 15.9 18.4
Urinary Tract Infections 21.1 20.2
Wound and Skin Infections 7.0 10.1
Pneumonia 6.2 9.2
*Some patients also received ALG.

Cremophor® EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil) is known to cause hyperlipemia and electrophoretic abnormalities of lipoproteins. These effects are reversible upon discontinuation of treatment but are usually not a reason to stop treatment.

Postmarketing Experience

Hepatotoxicity

Cases of hepatotoxicity and liver injury including cholestasis, jaundice, hepatitis and liver failure; serious and/or fatal outcomes have been reported. (See WARNINGS, Hepatotoxicity)

Increased Risk of Infections

Cases of JC virus-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), sometimes fatal; and polyoma virus-associated nephropathy (PVAN), especially BK virus resulting in graft loss have been reported. (See WARNINGS, Polyoma Virus Infection)

Headache, including Migraine

Cases of migraine have been reported. In some cases, patients have been unable to continue cyclosporine, however, the final decision on treatment discontinuation should be made by the treating physician following the careful assessment of benefits versus risks.

Pain of Lower Extremities

Isolated cases of pain of lower extremities have been reported in association with cyclosporine. Pain of lower extremities has also been noted as part of Calcineurin-Inhibitor Induced Pain Syndrome (CIPS) as described in the literature.

The principal adverse reactions of Sandimmune (cyclosporine) therapy are renal dysfunction, tremor, hirsutism, hypertension, and gum hyperplasia.

Hypertension

Hypertension, which is usually mild to moderate, may occur in approximately 50% of patients following renal transplantation and in most cardiac transplant patients.

Glomerular Capillary Thrombosis

Glomerular capillary thrombosis has been found in patients treated with cyclosporine and may progress to graft failure. The pathologic changes resemble those seen in the hemolytic-uremic syndrome and include thrombosis of the renal microvasculature, with platelet-fibrin thrombi occluding glomerular capillaries and afferent arterioles, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and decreased renal function. Similar findings have been observed when other immunosuppressives have been employed post transplantation.

Hypomagnesemia

Hypomagnesemia has been reported in some, but not all, patients exhibiting convulsions while on cyclosporine therapy. Although magnesium-depletion studies in normal subjects suggest that hypomagnesemia is associated with neurologic disorders, multiple factors, including hypertension, high-dose methylprednisolone, hypocholesterolemia, and nephrotoxicity associated with high plasma concentrations of cyclosporine appear to be related to the neurological manifestations of cyclosporine toxicity.

Clinical Studies

The following reactions occurred in 3% or greater of 892 patients involved in clinical trials of kidney, heart, and liver transplants:

Body System/ Adverse Reactions Randomized Kidney Patients All Sandiimmune (cyclosporine) Patients
Sandimmune
(N=227) %
Azathioprine
(N=228) %
Kidney
(N=705) %
Heart
(N=112) %
Liver
(N=75) %
Genitourinary
  Renal Dysfunction 32 6 25 38 37
Cardiovascular
  Hypertension 26 18 13 53 27
  Cramps 4 < 1 2 < 1 0
Skin
  Hirsutism 21 < 1 21 28 45
  Acne 6 8 2 2 1
Central Nervous System
  Tremor 12 0 21 31 55
  Convulsions 3 1 1 4 5
  Headache 2 < 1 2 15 4
Gastrointestinal
  Gum Hyperplasia 4 0 9 5 16
  Diarrhea 3 < 1 3 4 8
  Nausea/Vomiting 2 < 1 4 10 4
 Hepatotoxicity < 1 < 1 4 7 4
  Abdominal Discomfort < 1 0 < 1 7 0
Autonomic Nervous System
 Paresthesia 3 0 1 2 1
  Flushing < 1 0 4 0 4
Hematopoietic
  Leukopenia 2 19 < 1 6 0
  Lymphoma < 1 0 1 6 1
Respiratory
  Sinusitis < 1 0 4 3 7
Miscellaneous
  Gynecomastia < 1 0 < 1 4 3

The following reactions occurred in 2% or less of patients: allergic reactions, anemia, anorexia, confusion, conjunctivitis, edema, fever, brittle fingernails, gastritis, hearing loss, hiccups, hyperglycemia, muscle pain, peptic ulcer, thrombocytopenia, tinnitus.

The following reactions occurred rarely: anxiety, chest pain, constipation, depression, hair breaking, hematuria, joint pain, lethargy, mouth sores, myocardial infarction, night sweats, pancreatitis, pruritus, swallowing difficulty, tingling, upper GI bleeding, visual disturbance, weakness, weight loss.

Renal Transplant Patients in Whom Therapy Was Discontinued

Reason for Discontinuation Randomized Patients All Sandimmune Patients
Sandimmune
(N=227) %
Azathioprine
(N=228) %
(N=705) %
Renal Toxicity 5.7 0 5.4
Infection 0 0.4 0.9
Lack of Efficacy 2.6 0.9 1.4
Acute Tubular Necrosis 2.6 0 1.0
Lymphoma/Lymphoproliferative Disease 0.4 0 0.3
Hypertension 0 0 0.3
Hematological Abnormalities 0 0.4 0
Other 0 0 0.7

Sandimmune (cyclosporine) was discontinued on a temporary basis and then restarted in 18 additional patients.

Patients receiving immunosuppressive therapies, including cyclosporine and cyclosporine -containing regimens, are at increased risk of infections (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic). Both generalized and localized infections can occur. Pre-existing infections may also be aggravated. Fatal outcomes have been reported. (See WARNINGS)

Infectious Complications in the Randomized Renal Transplant Patients

Complication Sandimmune Treatment
(N=227) % of Complications
Standard Treatment*
(N=228) % of Complications
Septicemia 5.3 4.8
Abscesses 4.4 5.3
Systemic Fungal Infection 2.2 3.9
Local Fungal Infection 7.5 9.6
Cytomegalovirus 4.8 12.3
Other Viral Infections 15.9 18.4
Urinary Tract Infections 21.1 20.2
Wound and Skin Infections 7.0 10.1
Pneumonia 6.2 9.2
*Some patients also received ALG.

Cremophor® EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil) is known to cause hyperlipemia and electrophoretic abnormalities of lipoproteins. These effects are reversible upon discontinuation of treatment but are usually not a reason to stop treatment.

Postmarketing Experience

Hepatotoxicity

Cases of hepatotoxicity and liver injury including cholestasis, jaundice, hepatitis and liver failure; serious and/or fatal outcomes have been reported. (See WARNINGS, Hepatotoxicity)

Increased Risk of Infections

Cases of JC virus-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), sometimes fatal; and polyoma virus-associated nephropathy (PVAN), especially BK virus resulting in graft loss have been reported. (See WARNINGS, Polyoma Virus Infection)

Headache, including Migraine

Cases of migraine have been reported. In some cases, patients have been unable to continue cyclosporine, however, the final decision on treatment discontinuation should be made by the treating physician following the careful assessment of benefits versus risks.

Pain of Lower Extremities

Isolated cases of pain of lower extremities have been reported in association with cyclosporine. Pain of lower extremities has also been noted as part of Calcineurin-Inhibitor Induced Pain Syndrome (CIPS) as described in the literature.

Summary of the safety profile

In five clinical studies including 532 patients who received Genfar and 398 who received Genfar vehicle (control), Genfar was administered at least once a day in both eyes, for up to one year. The most common adverse reactions were eye pain (19.2%), eye irritation (17.8%), lacrimation (6.4%), ocular hyperaemia (5.5%) and eyelid erythema (1.7%) which were usually transitory and occurred during instillation.

The majority of adverse reactions reported in clinical studies with the use of Genfar were ocular and mild to moderate in severity.

Tabulated list of adverse reactions

The following adverse reactions listed below were observed in clinical studies. They are ranked according to system organ class and classified according to the following convention: very common (>1/10), common (>1/100 to <1/10), uncommon (>1/1,000 to <1/100), rare (>1/10,000 to <1/1,000), very rare (<1/10,000), or not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).

Infections and infestations

Uncommon

Keratitis bacterial, herpes zoster ophthalmic.

Eye disorders

Common

Erythema of eyelid, lacrimation increased, ocular hyperaemia, vision blurred, eyelid oedema, conjunctival hyperaemia, eye irritation, eye pain.

Uncommon

Conjunctival oedema, lacrimal disorder, eye discharge, eye pruritus, conjunctival irritation, conjunctivitis, foreign body sensation in eyes, deposit eye, keratitis, blepharitis, corneal decompensation, chalazion, corneal infiltrates, corneal scar, eyelid pruritus, iridocyclitis.

General disorders and administration site conditions

Very common

Instillation site pain.

Common

Instillation site irritation, instillation site erythema, instillation site lacrimation.

Uncommon

Instillation site reaction, instillation site discomfort, instillation site pruritus, instillation site foreign body sensation.

Description of selected adverse reactions

Instillation site pain was a frequently reported local adverse reaction associated with the use of Genfar during clinical trials. It is likely to be attributable to ciclosporin.

One case of severe epithelial erosion of the cornea identified as corneal decompensation by the investigator resolved without sequeleae was reported.

Patients receiving immunosuppressive therapies, including ciclosporin, are at increased risk of infections.

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions (see contact details below).

Ireland

HPRA Pharmacovigilance

Earlsfort Terrace

IRL - Dublin 2

Tel: +353 1 6764971

Fax: +353 1 6762517

Website: www.hpra.ie

e-mail: [email protected]

United Kingdom

Yellow Card Scheme

Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.

Overdose

The information provided in Overdose of Genfar is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genfar of the medicine (Cyclosporine). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Overdose in the instructions to the drug Genfar directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Capsule; Injectable; Injection; Solution
Capsule, Liquid Filled
Eye drops, emulsion

There is a minimal experience with overdosage. Because of the slow absorption of Genfar Soft Gelatin Capsules or Oral Solution, forced emesis and gastric lavage would be of value up to 2 hours after administration. Transient hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity may occur which should resolve following drug withdrawal. Oral doses of cyclosporine up to 10 g (about 150 mg/kg) have been tolerated with relatively minor clinical consequences, such as vomiting, drowsiness, headache, tachycardia and, in a few patients, moderately severe, reversible impairment of renal function. However, serious symptoms of intoxication have been reported following accidental parenteral overdosage with cyclosporine in premature neonates. General supportive measures and symptomatic treatment should be followed in all cases of overdosage. Genfar (cyclosporine) is not dialyzable to any great extent, nor is it cleared well by charcoal hemoperfusion. The oral LD50 is 2329 mg/kg in mice, 1480 mg/kg in rats, and > 1000 mg/kg in rabbits. The intravenous (IV) LD50 is 148 mg/kg in mice, 104 mg/kg in rats, and 46 mg/kg in rabbits.

There is a minimal experience with overdosage. Because of the slow absorption of Sandimmune Soft Gelatin Capsules or Oral Solution, forced emesis and gastric lavage would be of value up to 2 hours after administration. Transient hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity may occur which should resolve following drug withdrawal. Oral doses of cyclosporine up to 10 g (about 150 mg/kg) have been tolerated with relatively minor clinical consequences, such as vomiting, drowsiness, headache, tachycardia and, in a few patients, moderately severe, reversible impairment of renal function. However, serious symptoms of intoxication have been reported following accidental parenteral overdosage with cyclosporine in premature neonates. General supportive measures and symptomatic treatment should be followed in all cases of overdosage. Sandimmune (cyclosporine) is not dialyzable to any great extent, nor is it cleared well by charcoal hemoperfusion. The oral LD50 is 2329 mg/kg in mice, 1480 mg/kg in rats, and > 1000 mg/kg in rabbits. The intravenous (IV) LD50 is 148 mg/kg in mice, 104 mg/kg in rats, and 46 mg/kg in rabbits.

A topical overdose is not likely to occur after ocular administration. If overdose with Genfar occurs, treatment should be symptomatic and supportive.

Pharmacodynamic properties

The information provided in Pharmacodynamic properties of Genfar is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genfar of the medicine (Cyclosporine). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Pharmacodynamic properties in the instructions to the drug Genfar directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Pharmacotherapeutic group: Ophthalmologicals, other ophthalmologicals, ATC code: S01XA18.

Mechanism of action and pharmacodynamic effects

Ciclosporin (also known as ciclosporin A) is a cyclic polypeptide immunomodulator with immunosuppressant properties. It has been shown to prolong survival of allogeneic transplants in animals and significantly improved graft survival in all types of solid organ transplantation in man.

Ciclosporin has also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Studies in animals suggest that ciclosporin inhibits the development of cell-mediated reactions. Ciclosporin has been shown to inhibit the production and/or release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin 2 (IL-2) or T-cell growth factor (TCGF). It is also known to up-regulate the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Ciclosporin appears to block the resting lymphocytes in the G0 or G1 phase of the cell cycle. All available evidence suggests that ciclosporin acts specifically and reversibly on lymphocytes and does not depress haematopoiesis or has any effect on the function of phagocytic cells..

In patients with dry eye disease, a condition that may be considered to have an inflammatory immunological mechanism, following ocular administration, ciclosporin is passively absorbed into T-lymphocyte infiltrates in the cornea and conjunctiva and inactivates calcineurin phosphatase. Ciclosporin-induced inactivation of calcineurin inhibits the dephosphorylation of the transcription factor NF-AT and prevents NF-AT translocation into the nucleus, thus blocking the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-2.

Clinical efficacy and safety

The efficacy and safety of Genfar were evaluated in two randomised, double-masked, vehicle-controlled clinical studies in adult patients with dry eye disease (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) who met the International Dry Eye Workshop (DEWS) criteria.

In the 12 month, double-masked, vehicle controlled, pivotal clinical trial (SANSIKA study), 246 Dry Eye Disease (DED) patients with severe keratitis (defined as a corneal fluorescein staining (CFS) score of 4 on the modified Oxford scale) were randomised to one drop of Genfar or vehicle daily at bedtime for 6 months. Patients randomised to the vehicle group were switched to Genfar after 6 months. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients achieving by Month 6 at least a two-grade improvement in keratitis (CFS) and a 30% improvement in symptoms, measured with the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI). The proportion of responders in the Genfar group was 28.6%, compared to 23.1% in the vehicle group. The difference was not statistically significant (p=0.326).

The severity of keratitis, assessed using CFS, improved significantly from baseline at Month 6 with Genfar compared to vehicle (mean change from baseline was -1.764 with Genfar vs. -1.418 with vehicle, p=0.037). The proportion of Genfar-treated patients with a 3-grade improvement in CFS score at Month 6 (from 4 to 1) was 28.8%, compared to 9.6% of vehicle-treated subjects, but this was a post-hoc analysis, which limits the robustness of this outcome. The beneficial effect on keratitis was maintained in the open phase of the study, from Month 6 and up to Month 12.

The mean change from baseline in the 100-point OSDI score was -13.6 with Genfar and -14.1 with vehicle at Month 6 (p=0.858). In addition, no improvement was observed for Genfar compared to vehicle at Month 6 for other secondary endpoints, including ocular discomfort score, Schirmer test, use of concomitant artificial tears, investigator's global evaluation of efficacy, tear break-up time, lissamine green staining, quality of life score, and tear osmolarity.

A reduction in the ocular surface inflammation assessed with Human Leukocyte Antigen-DR (HLA-DR) expression (an exploratory endpoint), was observed at Month 6 in favour of Genfar (p=0.021).

In the 6 month, double-masked, vehicle controlled, supportive clinical trial (SICCANOVE study), 492 DED patients with moderate to severe keratitis (defined as a CFS score of 2 to 4) were also randomised to Genfar or vehicle daily at bedtime for 6 months. The co-primary endpoints were the change in CFS score, and the change in global score of ocular discomfort unrelated to study medication instillation, both measured at Month 6. A small but statistically significant difference in CFS improvement was observed between the treatment groups at Month 6 in favour of Genfar (mean change from baseline in CFS -1.05 with Genfar and -0.82 with vehicle, p=0.009).

The mean change from baseline in ocular discomfort score (assessed using a Visual Analogic Scale) was -12.82 with Genfar and -11.21 with vehicle (p=0.808).

In both studies, no significant improvement of symptoms was observed for Genfar compared to vehicle after 6 months of treatment, whether using a visual analogue scale or the OSDI.

In both studies one third of the patients in average had Sjögren's syndrome; as for the overall population, a statistically significant improvement in CFS in favour of Genfar was observed in this subgroup of patients.

At completion of the SANSIKA study (12 month study), patients were asked to enter the Post SANSIKA study. This study was an open-label, non-randomized, one-arm, 24-month study extension of the Sansika Study. In Post SANSIKA study patients alternatively received Genfar treatment or no treatment depending on CFS score (patients received Genfar when there was a worsening of keratitis).

This study was designed to monitor the long-term efficacy and relapse rates in patients who have previously received Genfar.

The primary objective of the study was to assess the duration of the improvement following Genfar treatment discontinuation once the patient was improved with respect to the baseline of the SANSIKA study (i.e. at least 2 grade improvement on the modified Oxford scale).

67 patients were enrolled (37.9% of the 177 patients having ended Sansika). After the 24-month period, 61.3% of 62 patients included in the primary efficacy population did not experience a relapse based on CFS scores. Percentage of patients who experienced a severe keratitis recurrence was 35% and 48% in patients treated 12 months and 6 months with Genfar respectively in the SANSIKA study.

Based on the first quartile (the median could not be estimated due to the small number of relapses), time to relapse (back to CFS grade 4) was ≤224 days and ≤175 days in patients previously treated 12 months and 6 months with Genfar, respectively. Patients spent more time on CFS grade 2 (Median 12.7 weeks/year) and grade 1 (Median 6.6 weeks/year) than CFS grade 3 (Median 2.4 weeks/year), CFS grades 4 and 5 (Median time 0 week/year).

Assessment of DED symptoms by VAS showed a worsening of patient's discomfort from the time treatment was first stopped to the time it was restarted except pain which remained relatively low and stable. The median global VAS score increased from the time treatment was first stopped (23.3%) to the time treatment was restarted (45.1%).

No significant changes have been observed in the other secondary endpoints (TBUT, lissamine green staining and Schirmer test, NEI-VFQ and EQ-5D) over the course of the extension study.

Paediatric population

).

Pharmacokinetic properties

The information provided in Pharmacokinetic properties of Genfar is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genfar of the medicine (Cyclosporine). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Pharmacokinetic properties in the instructions to the drug Genfar directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Formal pharmacokinetic studies have not been conducted in humans with Genfar.

Blood concentrations of Genfar were measured using a specific high-pressure liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry assay. In 374 patients from the two efficacy studies, plasma concentrations of ciclosporin were measured before administration and after 6 months (SICCANOVE study and SANSIKA study) and 12 months of treatment (SANSIKA study). After 6 months of ocular instillation of Genfar once per day, 327 patients had values below the lower limit of detection (0.050 ng/mL) and 35 patients were below the lower limit of quantification (0.100 ng/mL). Measurable values not exceeding 0.206 ng/mL were measured in eight patients, values considered to be negligible. Three patients had values above the upper limit of quantification (5 ng/mL) however they were already taking oral ciclosporin at a stable dose, which was allowed by the studies' protocol. After 12 months of treatment, values were below the low limit of detection for 56 patients and below the low limit of quantification in 19 patients. Seven patients had measurable values (from 0.105 to 1.27 ng/mL), all considered to be negligible values. Two patients had values above the upper limit of quantification, however they were also on oral ciclosporin at a stable dose since their inclusion in the study.

Pharmacotherapeutic group

The information provided in Pharmacotherapeutic group of Genfar is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genfar of the medicine (Cyclosporine). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Pharmacotherapeutic group in the instructions to the drug Genfar directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Ophthalmologicals, other ophthalmologicals, ATC code: S01XA18.

Preclinical safety data

The information provided in Preclinical safety data of Genfar is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genfar of the medicine (Cyclosporine). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Preclinical safety data in the instructions to the drug Genfar directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Non-clinical data reveal no special hazard for humans based on conventional studies of safety pharmacology, repeated dose toxicity, phototoxicity and photoallergy, genotoxicity, carcinogenic potential, toxicity to reproduction and development.

Effects in non-clinical studies were observed only with systemic administration or at exposures considered sufficiently in excess of the maximum human exposure indicating little relevance to clinical use.

Incompatibilities

The information provided in Incompatibilities of Genfar is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genfar of the medicine (Cyclosporine). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Incompatibilities in the instructions to the drug Genfar directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Not applicable.

Special precautions for disposal and other handling

The information provided in Special precautions for disposal and other handling of Genfar is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Genfar of the medicine (Cyclosporine). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Special precautions for disposal and other handling in the instructions to the drug Genfar directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Any unused medicinal product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.