Banzel

Banzel information, interactions and side effects, BANZEL (rufinamide) is a triazole derivative structurally unrelated to currently marketed antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Rufinamide has the chemical name 1-[(2,6-difluorophenyl)methyl]-1H-1,2,3-triazole-4 carboxamide. It has an empirical formula of C10H8F2N4O and a molecular weight of 238.2. The drug substance is a white, crystalline, odorless, and slightly bitter tasting neutral powder. Rufinamide is practically insoluble in water, slightly soluble in tetrahydrofuran and in methanol, and very slightly soluble in ethanol and in acetonitrile.

banzel1

BANZEL is available for oral administration in film-coated tablets, scored on both sides, containing 200 and 400 mg of rufinamide. Inactive ingredients are colloidal silicon dioxide, corn starch crosscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and sodium lauryl sulphate. The film coating contains hypromellose, iron oxide red, polyethylene glycol, talc, and titanium dioxide.

BANZEL is also available for oral administration as a liquid containing rufinamide at a concentration of 40 mg/mL. Inactive ingredients include microcrystalline cellulose and carboxymethylcellulose sodium, hydroxyethylcellulose, anhydrous citric acid, simethicone emulsion 30%, poloxamer 188, methylparaben, propylparaben, propylene glycol, potassium sorbate, noncrystallizing sorbitol solution 70%, and an orange flavor.

INDICATIONS

BANZEL is indicated for adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome in pediatric patients 1 year of age and older and in adults.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Dosage Information

Pediatric Patients (1 Year to less than 17 Years)

The recommended starting daily dose of BANZEL in pediatric patients with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome is approximately 10 mg/kg administered in two equally divided doses. The dose should be increased by approximately 10 mg/kg increments every other day until a maximum daily dose of 45 mg/kg, not to exceed 3200 mg, administered in two equally divided doses, is reached. It is not known whether doses lower than the target doses are effective.

Adults (17 Years and Older)

The recommended starting daily dose of BANZEL in adults with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome is 400 to 800 mg per day administered in two equally divided doses. The dose should be increased by 400-800 mg every other day until a maximum daily dose of 3200 mg, administered in two equally divided doses, is reached. It is not known whether doses lower than 3200 mg are effective.

Administration Information

Administer BANZEL with food. BANZEL film-coated tablets can be administered whole, as half tablets or crushed.

BANZEL oral suspension should be shaken well before every administration. The provided adapter and calibrated oral dosing syringe should be used to administer the oral suspension. The adapter which is supplied in the product carton should be inserted firmly into the neck of the bottle before use and remain in place for the duration of the usage of the bottle. The dosing syringe should be inserted into the adapter and the dose withdrawn from the inverted bottle. The cap should be replaced after each use. The cap fits properly when the adapter is in place [see PATIENT INFORMATION].

Dosing In Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis

Hemodialysis may reduce exposure to a limited (about 30%) extent. Accordingly, adjusting the BANZEL dose during the dialysis process should be considered [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Dosing In Patients With Hepatic Disease

Use of BANZEL in patients with hepatic impairment has not been studied. Therefore, use in patients with severe hepatic impairment is not recommended. Caution should be exercised in treating patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment [see Use in Specific Populations].

Dosing In Patients Taking Valproate

Patients taking valproate should begin BANZEL at a dose lower than 10 mg/kg per day in pediatric patients or 400 mg per day in adults [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].

HOW SUPPLIED

Dosage Forms And Strengths

Film-coated Tablets: 200 mg (pink) and 400 mg (pink). Tablets are scored on both sides.

Oral Suspension: 40 mg/mL.

BANZEL 200 mg tablets (containing 200 mg rufinamide) are pink in color, film-coated, oblong-shape tablets, with a score on both sides, imprinted with “ 262” on one side. They are available in bottles of 120 (NDC 62856-582-52).

BANZEL 400 mg tablets (containing 400 mg rufinamide) are pink in color, film-coated, oblong-shape tablets, with a score on both sides, imprinted with “ 263” on one side. They are available in bottles of 120 (NDC 62856-583-52).

BANZEL Oral Suspension is an orange flavored liquid supplied in a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle with child-resistant closure. The oral suspension is packaged with a dispenser set which contains a calibrated oral dosing syringe and an adapter. Store the oral suspension in an upright position. Use within 90 days of first opening the bottle, then discard any remainder. The oral suspension is available in bottles of 460 mL (NDC 62856-584-46).

Storage And Handling

Store the tablets at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°- 30°C (59°F – 86°F). Protect from moisture. Replace cap securely after opening.

Store the oral suspension at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°- 30°C (59°F – 86°F). Replace cap securely after opening. The cap fits properly in place when the adapter is in place.

SIDE EFFECTS

The following serious adverse reactions are described below and elsewhere in the labeling:

  • Suicidal Behavior and Ideation [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Central Nervous System Reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • QT Shortening [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Multi-Organ Hypersensitivity/Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Leukopenia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trials Experience

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

Adverse Reactions in Adult and Pediatric Patients ages 3 to 17 Years of Age

In the pooled, double-blind, adjunctive therapy studies in adult and pediatric patients ages 3 to 17 years of age, the most common ( ≥ 10%) adverse reactions in BANZEL-treated patients, in all doses studied (200 to 3200 mg per day) with a higher frequency than in patients on placebo were: headache, dizziness, fatigue, somnolence, and nausea.

Table 2 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 3% of pediatric patients (ages 3 to less than 17 years) with epilepsy treated with BANZEL in controlled adjunctive studies and were numerically more common in patients treated with BANZEL than in patients on placebo.

At the target dose of 45 mg/kg per day for adjunctive therapy in pediatric patients (ages 3 to less than 17 years), the most common ( ≥ 3%) adverse reactions with an incidence greater than in placebo for BANZEL were somnolence, vomiting, and headache.

Table 2: Adverse Reactions in Pediatric Patients (Ages 3 to less than 17 years) in Pooled Double-Blind Adjunctive Trials

 

Adverse Reaction BANZEL
(N=187) %
Placebo
(N=182) %
Somnolence 17 9
Vomiting 17 7
Headache 16 8
Fatigue 9 8
Dizziness 8 6
Nausea 7 3
Influenza 5 4
Nasopharyngitis 5 3
Decreased Appetite 5 2
Rash 4 2
Ataxia 4 1
Diplopia 4 1
Bronchitis 3 2
Sinusitis 3 2
Psychomotor Hyperactivity 3 1
Upper Abdominal Pain 3 2
Aggression 3 2
Ear Infection 3 1
Disturbance in Attention 3 1
Pruritis 3 0

Table 3 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 3% of adult patients with epilepsy treated with BANZEL (up to 3200 mg per day) in adjunctive controlled studies and were numerically more common in patients treated with BANZEL than in patients on placebo. In these studies, either BANZEL or placebo was added to the current AED therapy.

At all doses studied of up to 3200 mg per day given as adjunctive therapy in adults, the most common ( ≥ 3%) adverse reactions, and with the greatest increase in incidence compared to placebo, for BANZEL were dizziness, fatigue, nausea, diplopia, vision blurred, and ataxia.

Table 3: Adverse Reactions in Adults in Pooled Double-Blind Adjunctive Trials

 

Adverse Reaction BANZEL
(N=823) %
Placebo
(N=376) %
Headache 27 26
Dizziness 19 12
Fatigue 16 10
Nausea 12 9
Somnolence 11 9
Diplopia 9 3
Tremor 6 5
Nystagmus 6 5
Blurred Vision 6 2
Vomiting 5 4
Ataxia 4 0
Upper Abdominal Pain 3 2
Anxiety 3 2
Constipation 3 2
Dyspepsia 3 2
Back Pain 3 1
Gait Disturbance 3 1
Vertigo 3 1

 

Discontinuation in Controlled Clinical Studies

In controlled, double-blind, adjunctive clinical studies, 9% of pediatric and adult patients receiving BANZEL as adjunctive therapy and 4% receiving placebo discontinued as a result of an adverse reaction. The adverse reactions most commonly leading to discontinuation of BANZEL ( > 1%) used as adjunctive therapy were generally similar in adults and pediatric patients.

In pediatric patients (ages 4 to less than 17 years) double-blind adjunctive clinical studies, 8% of patients receiving BANZEL as adjunctive therapy (at the recommended dose of 45 mg/kg per day) and 2% receiving placebo discontinued as a result of an adverse reaction. The adverse reactions most commonly leading to discontinuation of BANZEL ( > 1%) used as adjunctive therapy are presented in Table 4.

Table 4: Most Common Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation in Pediatric Patients (Ages 4 to less than 17 years) in Pooled Double-Blind Adjunctive Trials

 

Adverse Reaction BANZEL
(N=187) %
Placebo
(N=182) %
Convulsion 2 1
Rash 2 1
Fatigue 2 0
Vomiting 1 0

In adult double-blind, adjunctive clinical studies, 10% of patients receiving BANZEL as adjunctive therapy (at doses up to 3200 mg per day) and 6% receiving placebo discontinued as a result of an adverse reaction. The adverse reactions most commonly leading to discontinuation of BANZEL ( > 1%) used as adjunctive therapy are presented in Table 5.

Table 5: Most Common Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation in Adult Patients in Pooled Double-Blind Adjunctive Trials

 

Adverse Reaction BANZEL
(N=823) %
Placebo
(N=376) %
Dizziness 3 1
Fatigue 2 1
Headache 2 1
Nausea 1 0
Ataxia 1 0

 

Pediatric Patients Ages 1 to Less Than 4 Years

In a multicenter, parallel group, open-label study comparing BANZEL (45 mg/kg per day) adjunctive treatment (n=25) to the adjunctive treatment with an AED of the investigator’s choice (n=11) in pediatric patients (1 year to less than 4 years of age) with inadequately controlled Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, the adverse reaction profile was generally similar to that observed in adults and pediatric patients 4 years of age and older treated with BANZEL. Adverse reactions that occurred in at least 2 (8 %) BANZEL-treated patients and with a higher frequency than in the AED comparator group were: vomiting (24%), somnolence (16%), bronchitis (12%), constipation (12%), cough (12%), decreased appetite (12%), rash (12%), otitis media (8%), pneumonia (8%), decreased weight (8%), gastroenteritis (8%), nasal congestion (8%), and pneumonia aspiration (8%).

Other Adverse Reactions Observed During Clinical Trials

BANZEL has been administered to 1978 individuals during all epilepsy clinical trials (placebo-controlled and open-label). Adverse reactions occurring during these studies were recorded by the investigators using terminology of their own choosing. To provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of patients having adverse reactions, these events were grouped into standardized categories using the MedDRA dictionary. Adverse events occurring at least three times and considered possibly related to treatment are included in the System Organ Class listings below. Terms not included in the listings are those already included in the tables above, those too general to be informative, those related to procedures, and terms describing events common in the population. Some events occurring fewer than 3 times are also included based on their medical significance. Because the reports include events observed in open-label, uncontrolled observations, the role of BANZEL in their causation cannot be reliably determined.

Events are classified by body system and listed in order of decreasing frequency as follows: frequent adverse events—those occurring in at least 1/100 patients; infrequent adverse events—those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1000 patients; rare—those occurring in fewer than 1/1000 patients.

Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders: Frequent: anemia. Infrequent: lymphadenopathy, leukopenia, neutropenia, iron deficiency anemia, thrombocytopenia.

Cardiac Disorders: Infrequent: bundle branch block right, atrioventricular block first degree.

Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders: Frequent: decreased appetite, increased appetite.

Renal and Urinary Disorders: Frequent: pollakiuria. Infrequent: urinary incontinence, dysuria, hematuria, nephrolithiasis, polyuria, enuresis, nocturia, incontinence.

Postmarketing Experience

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

Dermatologic: Stevens-Johnson syndrome and other serious skin rashes with mucosal involvement.

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Effects Of BANZEL On Other AEDs

Population pharmacokinetic analysis of average concentration at steady state of carbamazepine, lamotrigine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, topiramate, and valproate showed that typical rufinamide Cavss levels had little effect on the pharmacokinetics of other AEDs. Any effects, when they occur, have been more marked in the pediatric population.

Table 6 summarizes the drug-drug interactions of BANZEL with other AEDs.

Table 6: Summary of drug-drug interactions of BANZEL with other antiepileptic drugs

 

AED Co-administered Influence of Rufinamide on AED concentrationa Influence of AED on Rufinamide concentration
Carbamazepine Decrease by 7 to 13%b Decrease by 19 to 26% Dependent on dose of carbamazepine
Lamotrigine Decrease by 7 to 13%b No Effect
Phenobarbital Increase by 8 to 13%b Decrease by 25 to 46%c, d Independent of dose or concentration of phenobarbital
Phenytoin Increase by 7 to 21%b Decrease by 25 to 46%c, dIndependent of dose or concentration of phenytoin
Topiramate No Effect No Effect
Valproate No Effect Increase by < 16 to 70%c Dependent on concentration of valproate
Primidone Not Investigated Decrease by 25 to 46%c, dIndependent of dose or concentration of primidone
Benzodiazepinese Not Investigated No Effect
a Predictions are based on BANZEL concentrations at the maximum recommended dose of BANZEL.
b Maximum changes predicted to be in pediatric patients and in adult patients who achieve significantly higher levels of BANZEL, as the effect of rufinamide on these AEDs is concentration-dependent.
c Larger effects in pediatric patients at high doses/concentrations of AEDs.
d Phenobarbital, primidone and phenytoin were treated as a single covariate (phenobarbital-type inducers) to examine the effect of these agents on BANZEL clearance.
e All compounds of the benzodiazepine class were pooled to examine for ‘class effect’ on BANZEL clearance.

 

Phenytoin: The decrease in clearance of phenytoin estimated at typical levels of rufinamide (Cavss 15 μg/mL) is predicted to increase plasma levels of phenytoin by 7 to 21%. As phenytoin is known to have non-linear pharmacokinetics (clearance becomes saturated at higher doses), it is possible that exposure will be greater than the model prediction.

Effects Of Other AEDs On BANZEL

Potent cytochrome P450 enzyme inducers, such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, primidone, and phenobarbital, appear to increase the clearance of BANZEL (see Table 6). Given that the majority of clearance of BANZEL is via a non-CYP-dependent route, the observed decreases in blood levels seen with carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, and primidone are unlikely to be entirely attributable to induction of a P450 enzyme. Other factors explaining this interaction are not understood. Any effects, where they occurred, were likely to be more marked in the pediatric population.

Valproate

Patients stabilized on BANZEL before being prescribed valproate should begin valproate therapy at a low dose, and titrate to a clinically effective dose. Similarly, patients on valproate should begin at a BANZEL dose lower than 10 mg/kg per day (pediatric patients) or 400 mg per day (adults) [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Effects Of BANZEL On Hormonal Contraceptives

Female patients of childbearing age should be warned that the concurrent use of BANZEL with hormonal contraceptives may render this method of contraception less effective. Additional non-hormonal forms of contraception are recommended when using BANZEL [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and PATIENT INFORMATION].

PRECAUTIONS

Suicidal Behavior And Ideation

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including BANZEL, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.

Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono- and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI:1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as 1 week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed.

The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5-100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed. Table 1 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs.

Table 1: Absolute and Relative Risk of Suicidal Behavior and Ideation

 

Indication Placebo Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Relative Risk: Incidence of Events in Drug Patients/Incidence in Placebo Patients Risk Difference: Additional Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients
Epilepsy 1.0 3.4 3.5 2.4
Psychiatric 5.7 8.5 1.5 2.9
Other 1.0 1.8 1.9 0.9
Total 2.4 4.3 1.8 1.9

The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications.

Anyone considering prescribing BANZEL or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated.

Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.

Central Nervous System Reactions

Use of BANZEL has been associated with central nervous system-related adverse reactions in the controlled clinical trial of patients 4 years or older with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. The most significant of these can be classified into two general categories: 1) somnolence or fatigue, and 2) coordination abnormalities, dizziness, gait disturbances, and ataxia.

Somnolence was reported in 24% of BANZEL-treated patients compared to 13% of patients on placebo, and led to study discontinuation in 3% of BANZEL-treated patients compared to 0% of patients on placebo. Fatigue was reported in 10% of BANZEL-treated patients compared to 8% of patients on placebo patients. It led to study discontinuation in 1% of BANZEL-treated patients and 0% of patients on placebo patients.

Dizziness was reported in 2.7% of BANZEL-treated patients compared to 0% of patients on placebo, and did not lead to study discontinuation.

Ataxia and gait disturbance were reported in 5.4% and 1.4% of BANZEL-treated patients, respectively, compared to no patient on placebo. None of these reactions led to study discontinuation.

Accordingly, patients should be advised not to drive or operate machinery until they have gained sufficient experience on BANZEL to gauge whether it adversely affects their ability to drive or operate machinery.

QT Shortening

Formal cardiac ECG studies demonstrated shortening of the QT interval (mean = 20 msec, for doses ≥ 2400 mg twice daily) with BANZEL. In a placebo-controlled study of the QT interval, a higher percentage of BANZEL-treated subjects (46% at 2400 mg, 46% at 3200 mg, and 65% at 4800 mg) had a QT shortening of greater than 20 msec at Tmax compared to placebo (5-10%).

Reductions of the QT interval below 300 msec were not observed in the formal QT studies with doses up to 7200 mg per day. Moreover, there was no signal for drug-induced sudden death or ventricular arrhythmias.

The degree of QT shortening induced by BANZEL is without any known clinical risk. Familial Short QT syndrome is associated with an increased risk of sudden death and ventricular arrhythmias, particularly ventricular fibrillation. Such events in this syndrome are believed to occur primarily when the corrected QT interval falls below 300 msec. Non-clinical data also indicate that QT shortening is associated with ventricular fibrillation.

Patients with Familial Short QT syndrome should not be treated with BANZEL. Caution should be used when administering BANZEL with other drugs that shorten the QT interval [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].

Multi-organ Hypersensitivity/Drug Reaction With Eosinophilia And Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), also known as multi-organ hypersensitivity, has been reported in patients taking antiepileptic drugs, including BANZEL. DRESS may be fatal or life-threatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, and/or lymphadenopathy, in association with other organ system involvement, such as hepatitis, nephritis, hematological abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis, sometimes resembling an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity, such as fever or lymphadenopathy, may be present even though rash is not evident. Because this disorder is variable in its expression, other organ systems not noted here may be involved.

All cases of DRESS identified in clinical trials with BANZEL occurred in pediatric patients less than 12 years of age, occurred within 4 weeks of treatment initiation, and resolved or improved with BANZEL discontinuation. DRESS has also been reported in adult and pediatric patients taking BANZEL in the postmarketing setting.

If DRESS is suspected, the patient should be evaluated immediately, BANZEL should be discontinued, and alternative treatment should be started.

Withdrawal Of AEDs

As with all antiepileptic drugs, BANZEL should be withdrawn gradually to minimize the risk of precipitating seizures, seizure exacerbation, or status epilepticus. If abrupt discontinuation of the drug is medically necessary, the transition to another AED should be made under close medical supervision. In clinical trials, BANZEL discontinuation was achieved by reducing the dose by approximately 25% every 2 days.

Status Epilepticus

Estimates of the incidence of treatment emergent status epilepticus among patients treated with BANZEL are difficult because standard definitions were not employed. In a controlled Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome trial, 3 of 74 (4.1%) BANZEL-treated patients had episodes that could be described as status epilepticus in the BANZEL-treated patients compared with none of the 64 patients in the placebo-treated patients. In all controlled trials that included patients with different epilepsies, 11 of 1240 (0.9%) BANZEL-treated patients had episodes that could be described as status epilepticus compared with none of 635 patients in the placebo-treated patients.

Leukopenia

BANZEL has been shown to reduce white cell count. Leukopenia (white cell count < 3X109 L) was more commonly observed in BANZEL-treated patients 43 of 1171 (3.7%) than placebo-treated patients, 7 of 579 (1.2%) in all controlled trials.

Patient Counseling Information

Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide and Instructions for Use).

Administration Information
  • Advise patients to take BANZEL with food [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
  • Advise patients who are prescribed the oral suspension to shake the bottle vigorously before every administration and to use the adaptor and oral dosing syringe [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Suicidal Thinking and Behavior

Inform patients, their caregivers, and families that antiepileptic drugs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Central Nervous System Reactions

Inform patients about the potential for somnolence or dizziness and advise them not to drive or operate machinery until they have gained sufficient experience on BANZEL to gauge whether it adversely affects their mental and/or motor performance [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Multi-Organ Hypersensitivity Reactions

Advise patients to notify their physician if they experience a rash associated with fever [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Drug Interactions
  • Inform female patients of childbearing age that the concurrent use of BANZEL with hormonal contraceptives may render this method of contraception less effective. Recommend patients use additional non-hormonal forms of contraception when using BANZEL [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
  • Inform patients that alcohol in combination with BANZEL may cause additive central nervous system effects.
Pregnancy

Advise patients to notify their physician if they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during therapy. Encourage patients to enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry if they become pregnant. To enroll, patients can call the toll free number 1-888-233-2334 [see Use In Specific Populations].

Breast-feeding

Advise patients to notify their physician if they are breast-feeding or intend to breast-feed [see Use In Specific Populations].

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Carcinogenesis

Rufinamide was given in the diet to mice at 40, 120, and 400 mg/kg per day and to rats at 20, 60, and 200 mg/kg per day for 2 years. The doses in mice were associated with plasma AUCs 0.1 to 1 times the human plasma AUC at the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD, 3200 mg/day). Increased incidences of tumors (benign bone tumors (osteomas) and/or hepatocellular adenomas and carcinomas) were observed in mice at all doses. Increased incidences of thyroid follicular adenomas were observed in rats at all but the low dose; the low dose is < 0.1 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis.

Mutagenesis

Rufinamide was not mutagenic in the in vitro bacterial reverse mutation (Ames) assay or the in vitro mammalian cell point mutation assay. Rufinamide was not clastogenic in the in vitro mammalian cell chromosomal aberration assay or the in vivo rat bone marrow micronucleus assay.

Impairment of Fertility

Oral administration of rufinamide (doses of 20, 60, 200, and 600 mg/kg per day) to male and female rats prior to mating and throughout mating, and continuing in females up to day 6 of gestation resulted in impairment of fertility (decreased conception rates and mating and fertility indices; decreased numbers of corpora lutea, implantations, and live embryos; increased preimplantation loss; decreased sperm count and motility) at all doses tested. Therefore, a no-effect dose was not established. The lowest dose tested was associated with a plasma AUC ≈ 0.2 times the human plasma AUC at the MRHD.

Use In Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. BANZEL should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Rufinamide produced developmental toxicity when administered orally to pregnant animals at clinically relevant doses.

Rufinamide was administered orally to rats at doses of 20, 100, and 300 mg/kg per day and to rabbits at doses of 30, 200, and 1000 mg/kg/day during the period of organogenesis (implantation to closure of the hard palate); the high doses are associated with plasma AUCs ≈2 times the human plasma AUC at the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD, 3200 mg per day). Decreased fetal weights and increased incidences of fetal skeletal abnormalities were observed in rats at doses associated with maternal toxicity. In rabbits, embryo-fetal death, decreased fetal body weights, and increased incidences of fetal visceral and skeletal abnormalities occurred at all but the low dose. The highest dose tested in rabbits was associated with abortion. The no-effect doses for adverse effects on rat and rabbit embryo-fetal development (20 and 30 mg/kg per day, respectively) were associated with plasma AUCs ≈ 0.2 times that in humans at the MRHD.

In a rat pre- and post-natal development study (dosing from implantation through weaning) conducted at oral doses of 5, 30, and 150 mg/kg per day (associated with plasma AUCs up to ≈1.5 times that in humans at the MRHD), decreased offspring growth and survival were observed at all doses tested. A no-effect dose for adverse effects on pre- and post-natal development was not established. The lowest dose tested was associated with plasma AUC < 0.1 times that in humans at the MRHD.

Pregnancy Registry

To provide information regarding the effects of in utero exposure to BANZEL, physicians are advised to recommend that pregnant patients taking BANZEL enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. This can be done by calling the toll free number 1-888-233-2334, and must be done by patients themselves. Information on the registry can also be found at the website http://www.aedpregnancyregistry.org/.

Nursing Mothers

Rufinamide is likely to be excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from BANZEL, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness have been established in pediatric patients 1 to 17 years of age. The effectiveness of BANZEL in pediatric patients 4 years of age and older was based upon an adequate and well-controlled trial of BANZEL that included both adults and pediatric patients, 4 years of age and older, with Lennox Gastaut Syndrome. The effectiveness in patients 1 to less than 4 years was based upon a bridging pharmacokinetic and safety study [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, ADVERSE REACTIONS, and Clinical Studies]. The pharmacokinetics of rufinamide in the pediatric patients, ages 1 to less than 4 years of age is similar to children older than 4 years of age and adults [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 1 year has not been established.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of BANZEL did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. 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.

Pharmacokinetics of rufinamide in the elderly are similar to that in the young subjects [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Renal Impairment

Rufinamide pharmacokinetics in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance < 30 mL/min) was similar to that of healthy subjects. Dose adjustment in patients undergoing dialysis should be considered [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Hepatic Impairment

Use of BANZEL in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh score 10 to 15) is not recommended. Caution should be exercised in treating patients with mild (Child-Pugh score 5 to 6) to moderate (Child-Pugh score 7 to 9) hepatic impairment.

OVERDOSE

Because strategies for the management of overdose are continually evolving, it is advisable to contact a Certified Poison Control Center to determine the latest recommendations for the management of an overdose of any drug.

One overdose of 7200 mg per day BANZEL was reported in an adult during the clinical trials. The overdose was associated with no major signs or symptoms, no medical intervention was required, and the patient continued in the study at the target dose.

Treatment or Management of Overdose: There is no specific antidote for overdose with BANZEL. If clinically indicated, elimination of unabsorbed drug should be attempted by induction of emesis or gastric lavage. Usual precautions should be observed to maintain the airway. General supportive care of the patient is indicated including monitoring of vital signs and observation of the clinical status of the patient.

Hemodialysis: Standard hemodialysis procedures may result in limited clearance of rufinamide. Although there is no experience to date in treating overdose with hemodialysis, the procedure may be considered when indicated by the patient’s clinical state.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

BANZEL is contraindicated in patients with Familial Short QT syndrome [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

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