DIFLUCAN® (Fluconazole)

DIFLUCAN® (Fluconazole)

DIFLUCAN® (Fluconazole)

DIFLUCAN® (fluconazole), the first of a new subclass of synthetic triazole antifungal agents, is available as tablets for oral administration, as a powder for oral suspension.

Fluconazole is designated chemically as 2,4-difluoro-α,α1-bis(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-ylmethyl) benzyl alcohol with an empirical formula of C13H12F2N6O and molecular weight of 306.3.

DIFLUCAN Tablets contain 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, or 200 mg of fluconazole and the following inactive ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, dibasic calcium phosphate anhydrous, povidone, croscarmellose sodium, FD&C Red No. 40 aluminum lake dye, and magnesium stearate.

DIFLUCAN for Oral Suspension contains 350 mg or 1400 mg of fluconazole and the following inactive ingredients: sucrose, sodium citrate dihydrate, citric acid anhydrous, sodium benzoate, titanium dioxide, colloidal silicon dioxide, xanthan gum, and natural orange flavor. After reconstitution with 24 mL of distilled water or Purified Water (USP), each mL of reconstituted suspension contains 10 mg or 40 mg of fluconazole.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

DIFLUCAN (fluconazole) is indicated for the treatment of:

1. Vaginal candidiasis (vaginal yeast infections due to Candida).

2. Oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiasis. In open noncomparative studies of relatively small numbers of patients, DIFLUCAN was also effective for the treatment of Candida urinary tract infections, peritonitis, and systemic Candida infections including candidemia, disseminated candidiasis, and pneumonia.

3. Cryptococcal meningitis. Before prescribing DIFLUCAN (fluconazole) for AIDS patients with cryptococcal meningitis. Studies comparing DIFLUCAN to amphotericin B in non-HIV infected patients have not been conducted.

Prophylaxis: DIFLUCAN is also indicated to decrease the incidence of candidiasis in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation who receive cytotoxic chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

Specimens for fungal culture and other relevant laboratory studies (serology, histopathology) should be obtained prior to therapy to isolate and identify causative organisms. Therapy may be instituted before the results of the cultures and other laboratory studies are known; however, once these results become available, anti-infective therapy should be adjusted accordingly.

Mechanism of Action

Fluconazole is a highly selective inhibitor of fungal cytochrome P450 dependent enzyme lanosterol 14-α-demethylase. This enzyme functions to convert lanosterol to ergosterol. The subsequent loss of normal sterols correlates with the accumulation of 14-α-methyl sterols in fungi and may be responsible for the fungistatic activity of fluconazole. Mammalian cell demethylation is much less sensitive to fluconazole inhibition.

Antimicrobial Activity

Fluconazole has been shown to be active against most isolates of the following microorganisms both in vitro and in clinical infections.

  • Candida albicans
  • Candida glabrata (Many isolates are intermediately susceptible)
  • Candida parapsilosis
  • Candida tropicalis
  • Cryptococcus neoformans

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Vaginal candidiasis: The recommended dosage of DIFLUCAN for vaginal candidiasis is 150 mg as a single oral dose.

Oropharyngeal candidiasis: The recommended dosage of DIFLUCAN for oropharyngeal candidiasis is 200 mg on the first day, followed by 100 mg once daily. Clinical evidence of oropharyngeal candidiasis generally resolves within several days, but treatment should be continued for at least 2 weeks to decrease the likelihood of relapse.

Esophageal candidiasis: The recommended dosage of DIFLUCAN for esophageal candidiasis is 200 mg on the first day, followed by 100 mg once daily. Doses up to 400 mg/day may be used, based on medical judgment of the patient’s response to therapy. Patients with esophageal candidiasis should be treated for a minimum of three weeks and for at least two weeks following resolution of symptoms.

Systemic Candida infections: For systemic Candida infections including candidemia, disseminated candidiasis, and pneumonia, optimal therapeutic dosage and duration of therapy have not been established. In open, noncomparative studies of small numbers of patients, doses of up to 400 mg daily have been used.

Urinary tract infections and peritonitis: For the treatment of Candida urinary tract infections and peritonitis, daily doses of 50 to 200 mg have been used in open, noncomparative studies of small numbers of patients.

Cryptococcal meningitis: The recommended dosage for treatment of acute cryptococcal meningitis is 400 mg on the first day, followed by 200 mg once daily. A dosage of 400 mg once daily may be used, based on medical judgment of the patient’s response to therapy. The recommended duration of treatment for initial therapy of cryptococcal meningitis is 10 to 12 weeks after the cerebrospinal fluid becomes culture negative. The recommended dosage of DIFLUCAN for suppression of relapse of cryptococcal meningitis in patients with AIDS is 200 mg once daily.

Prophylaxis in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation: The recommended DIFLUCAN daily dosage for the prevention of candidiasis in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation is 400 mg, once daily. Patients who are anticipated to have severe granulocytopenia (less than 500 neutrophils cells/mm3) should start DIFLUCAN prophylaxis several days before the anticipated onset of neutropenia, and continue for 7 days after the neutrophil count rises above 1000 cells/mm3.

Dosage and Administration in Children:

Oropharyngeal candidiasis: The recommended dosage of DIFLUCAN for oropharyngeal candidiasis in children is 6 mg/kg on the first day, followed by 3 mg/kg once daily. Treatment should be administered for at least 2 weeks to decrease the likelihood of relapse.

Esophageal candidiasis: For the treatment of esophageal candidiasis, the recommended dosage of DIFLUCAN in children is 6 mg/kg on the first day, followed by 3 mg/kg once daily. Doses up to 12 mg/kg/day may be used, based on medical judgment of the patient’s response to therapy. Patients with esophageal candidiasis should be treated for a minimum of three weeks and for at least 2 weeks following the resolution of symptoms.

Systemic Candida infections: For the treatment of candidemia and disseminated Candida infections, daily doses of 6 to 12 mg/kg/day have been used in an open, noncomparative study of a small number of children.

Cryptococcal meningitis: For the treatment of acute cryptococcal meningitis, the recommended dosage is 12 mg/kg on the first day, followed by 6 mg/kg once daily. A dosage of 12 mg/kg once daily may be used, based on medical judgment of the patient’s response to therapy. The recommended duration of treatment for initial therapy of cryptococcal meningitis is 10 to 12 weeks after the cerebrospinal fluid becomes culture negative. For suppression of relapse of cryptococcal meningitis in children with AIDS, the recommended dose of DIFLUCAN is 6 mg/kg once daily.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

DIFLUCAN (fluconazole) is contraindicated in patients who have shown hypersensitivity to fluconazole or to any of its excipients. There is no information regarding cross-hypersensitivity between fluconazole and other azole antifungal agents. Caution should be used in prescribing DIFLUCAN to patients with hypersensitivity to other azoles. Coadministration of other drugs known to prolong the QT interval and which are metabolized via the enzyme CYP3A4 such as erythromycin, pimozide, and quinidine are contraindicated in patients receiving fluconazole.

Warnings

Hepatic injury: DIFLUCAN should be administered with caution to patients with liver dysfunction. DIFLUCAN has been associated with rare cases of serious hepatic toxicity, including fatalities primarily in patients with serious underlying medical conditions. In cases of DIFLUCAN-associated hepatotoxicity, no obvious relationship to total daily dose, duration of therapy, sex, or age of the patient has been observed. DIFLUCAN hepatotoxicity has usually, but not always, been reversible on discontinuation of therapy.

Anaphylaxis: In rare cases, anaphylaxis has been reported.

Dermatologic: Exfoliative skin disorders during treatment with DIFLUCAN have been reported. Fatal outcomes have been reported in patients with serious underlying diseases. Patients with deep seated fungal infections who develop rashes during treatment with DIFLUCAN should be monitored closely and the drug discontinued if lesions progress.

Potential for fetal harm: There are no adequate and well-controlled clinical trials of DIFLUCAN in pregnant women. Case reports describe a pattern of distinct congenital anomalies in infants exposed in utero to high dose maternal fluconazole (400 to 800 mg/day) during most or all of the first trimester. These reported anomalies are similar to those seen in animal studies. If DIFLUCAN is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking the drug, the patient should be informed of the potential hazard to the fetus.

Drug Interactions

Alfentanil: A study observed a reduction in clearance and distribution volume as well as prolongation of t½ of alfentanil following concomitant treatment with fluconazole. A possible mechanism of action is fluconazole’s inhibition of CYP3A4. Dosage adjustment of alfentanil may be necessary.

Amiodarone: Concomitant administration of fluconazole with amiodarone may increase QT prolongation. Caution must be exercised if the concomitant use of fluconazole and amiodarone is necessary, notably with high-dose fluconazole (800 mg).

Amitriptyline, nortriptyline: Fluconazole increases the effect of amitriptyline and nortriptyline.

5-Nortriptyline and/or S-amitriptyline may be measured at initiation of the combination therapy and after 1 week. Dosage of amitriptyline/nortriptyline should be adjusted, if necessary.

Amphotericin B: Concurrent administration of fluconazole and amphotericin B in infected normal and immunosuppressed mice showed the following results: a small additive antifungal effect in systemic infection with Candida albicans, no interaction in intracranial infection with Cryptococcus neoformans, and antagonism of the two drugs in systemic infection with A. fumigatus. The clinical significance of results obtained in these studies is unknown.

Azithromycin: An open-label, randomized, three-way crossover study in 18 healthy subjects assessed the effect of a single 1200 mg oral dose of azithromycin on the pharmacokinetics of a single 800 mg oral dose of fluconazole as well as the effects of fluconazole on the pharmacokinetics of azithromycin. There was no significant pharmacokinetic interaction between fluconazole and azithromycin.

Calcium channel blockers: Certain calcium channel antagonists (nifedipine, isradipine, amlodipine, verapamil, and felodipine) are metabolized by CYP3A4. Fluconazole has the potential to increase the systemic exposure of the calcium channel antagonists. Frequent monitoring for adverse events is recommended.

Carbamazepine: Fluconazole inhibits the metabolism of carbamazepine and an increase in serum carbamazepine of 30% has been observed. There is a risk of developing carbamazepine toxicity. Dosage adjustment of carbamazepine may be necessary depending on concentration measurements/effect.

Celecoxib: During concomitant treatment with fluconazole (200 mg daily) and celecoxib (200 mg), the celecoxib Cmax and AUC increased by 68% and 134%, respectively. Half of the celecoxib dose may be necessary when combined with fluconazole.

Coumarin-type anticoagulants: Prothrombin time may be increased in patients receiving concomitant DIFLUCAN and coumarin-type anticoagulants. In post-marketing experience, as with other azole antifungals, bleeding events (bruising, epistaxis, gastrointestinal bleeding, hematuria, and melena) have been reported in association with increases in prothrombin time in patients receiving fluconazole concurrently with warfarin. Careful monitoring of prothrombin time in patients receiving DIFLUCAN and coumarin-type anticoagulants is recommended. Dose adjustment of warfarin may be necessary.

Cyclophosphamide: Combination therapy with cyclophosphamide and fluconazole results in an increase in serum bilirubin and serum creatinine. The combination may be used while taking increased consideration to the risk of increased serum bilirubin and serum creatinine.

Cyclosporine: DIFLUCAN significantly increases cyclosporine levels in renal transplant patients with or without renal impairment. Careful monitoring of cyclosporine concentrations and serum creatinine is recommended in patients receiving DIFLUCAN and cyclosporine. This combination may be used by reducing the dosage of cyclosporine depending on cyclosporine concentration.

Fentanyl: One fatal case of possible fentanyl-fluconazole interaction was reported. The author judged that the patient died from fentanyl intoxication. Furthermore, in a randomized crossover study with 12 healthy volunteers, it was shown that fluconazole delayed the elimination of fentanyl significantly. Elevated fentanyl concentration may lead to respiratory depression.

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors: The risk of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis increases when fluconazole is coadministered with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors metabolized through CYP3A4, such as atorvastatin and simvastatin, or through CYP2C9, such as fluvastatin. If concomitant therapy is necessary, the patient should be observed for symptoms of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis and creatinine kinase should be monitored. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors should be discontinued if a marked increase in creatinine kinase is observed or myopathy/rhabdomyolysis is diagnosed or suspected.

Hydrochlorothiazide: In a pharmacokinetic interaction study, coadministration of multiple-dose hydrochlorothiazide to healthy volunteers receiving fluconazole increased plasma concentrations of fluconazole by 40%. An effect of this magnitude should not necessitate a change in the fluconazole dose regimen in subjects receiving concomitant diuretics.

Ibrutinib: Moderate inhibitors of CYP3A4 such as fluconazole may increase plasma ibrutinib concentrations and increase risk of adverse reactions associated with ibrutinib. If ibrutinib and fluconazole are concomitantly administered, reduce the dose of ibrutinib as instructed in ibrutinib prescribing information and the patient should be frequently monitored for any adverse reactions associated with ibrutinib.

Lemborexant: Concomitant administration of fluconazole increased lemborexant Cmax and AUC by approximately 1.6- and 4.2-fold, respectively which is expected to increase risk of adverse reactions, such as somnolence. Avoid concomitant use of DIFLUCAN with lemborexant.

Losartan: Fluconazole inhibits the metabolism of losartan to its active metabolite (E-31 74) which is responsible for most of the angiotensin Il-receptor antagonism which occurs during treatment with losartan. Patients should have their blood pressure monitored continuously.

Methadone: Fluconazole may enhance the serum concentration of methadone. Dosage adjustment of methadone may be necessary.

Olaparib: Moderate inhibitors of CYP3A4 such as fluconazole increase olaparib plasma concentrations; concomitant use is not recommended. If the combination cannot be avoided, reduce the dose of olaparib as instructed in the LYNPARZA® (Olaparib) Prescribing Information.

Oral contraceptives: Two pharmacokinetic studies with a combined oral contraceptive have been performed using multiple doses of fluconazole. There were no relevant effects on hormone level in the 50 mg fluconazole study, while at 200 mg daily, the AUCs of ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel were increased 40% and 24%, respectively. Thus, multiple-dose use of fluconazole at these doses is unlikely to have an effect on the efficacy of the combined oral contraceptive.

Oral hypoglycemics: Clinically significant hypoglycemia may be precipitated by the use of DIFLUCAN with oral hypoglycemic agents; one fatality has been reported from hypoglycemia in association with combined DIFLUCAN and glyburide use. DIFLUCAN reduces the metabolism of tolbutamide, glyburide, and glipizide and increases the plasma concentration of these agents. When DIFLUCAN is used concomitantly with these or other sulfonylurea oral hypoglycemic agents, blood glucose concentrations should be carefully monitored and the dose of the sulfonylurea should be adjusted as necessary.

Phenytoin: DIFLUCAN increases the plasma concentrations of phenytoin. Careful monitoring of phenytoin concentrations in patients receiving DIFLUCAN and phenytoin is recommended.

Quinidine: Although not studied in vitro or in vivo, concomitant administration of fluconazole with quinidine may result in inhibition of quinidine metabolism. Use of quinidine has been associated with QT prolongation and rare occurrences of torsade de pointes. Coadministration of fluconazole and quinidine is contraindicated.

Use in specific populations

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects.

Potential for Fetal Harm: Use in pregnancy should be avoided except in patients with severe or potentially life-threatening fungal infections in whom fluconazole may be used if the anticipated benefit outweighs the possible risk to the fetus.

Nursing Mothers

Fluconazole was present in low levels in breast milk following administration of a single 150 mg dose, based on data from a study in 10 breastfeeding women who temporarily or permanently discontinued breastfeeding 5 days to 19 months postpartum. Caution should be exercised when DIFLUCAN is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

An open-label, randomized, controlled trial has shown DIFLUCAN to be effective in the treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis in children 6 months to 13 years of age.

Adverse reactions

Immunologic: In rare cases, anaphylaxis (including angioedema, face edema and pruritus) has been reported.

Body as a Whole: Asthenia, fatigue, fever, malaise.

Cardiovascular: QT prolongation, torsade de pointes.

Central Nervous System: Seizures, dizziness.

Hematopoietic and Lymphatic: Leukopenia, including neutropenia and agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia.

Metabolic: Hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hypokalemia.

Gastrointestinal: Cholestasis, dry mouth, hepatocellular damage, dyspepsia, vomiting.

Other Senses: Taste perversion.

Musculoskeletal System: myalgia.

Nervous System: Insomnia, paresthesia, somnolence, tremor, vertigo.

Skin and Appendages: Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, drug eruption including fixed drug eruption, increased sweating, exfoliative skin disorders including Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), alopecia.

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