Gablofen Dosage

Generic name: baclofen
Dosage form: injection

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      Use Only with Medtronic SynchroMed® II Programmable Pump (or other pumps labeled for intrathecal administration of Gablofen (baclofen injection))

Gablofen is approved only for use with the Medtronic SynchroMed® II Programmable Pump or other pumps labeled for intrathecal administration of Gablofen (baclofen injection). Refer to the manufacturer's manual for specific instructions and precautions for programming the pump and/or refilling the reservoir. It is important to select the appropriate refill kit for the pump used to administer Gablofen. Gablofen is not to be compounded with other medications.

      Screening Phase

Prior to pump implantation and initiation of chronic infusion of Gablofen, patients must demonstrate a positive clinical response to a Gablofen bolus dose administered intrathecally in a screening trial. The screening trial employs Gablofen at a concentration of 50 mcg/mL. A 1 mL syringe (50 mcg/mL) is available for use in the screening trial. The screening procedure is as follows. An initial bolus containing
50 micrograms in a volume of 1 milliliter is administered into the intrathecal space by barbotage over a period of not less than one minute. The patient is observed over the ensuing 4 to 8 hours. A positive response consists of a significant decrease in muscle tone and/or frequency and/or severity of spasms. If the initial response is less than desired, a second bolus injection may be administered 24 hours after the first. The second screening bolus dose consists of 75 micrograms in 1.5 milliliters. Again, the patient should be observed for an interval of 4 to 8 hours. If the response is still inadequate, a final bolus screening dose of 100 micrograms in 2 milliliters may be administered 24 hours later.

Pediatric Patients: The starting screening dose for pediatric patients is the same as in adult patients, i.e., 50 mcg. However, for very small patients, a screening dose of 25 mcg may be tried first.

Patients who do not respond to a 100 mcg intrathecal bolus should not be considered candidates for an implanted pump for chronic infusion.

      Dose Titration

Post-Implant Dose Titration Period: To determine the initial total daily dose of Gablofen following implant, the screening dose that gave a positive effect should be doubled and administered over a 24-hour period, unless the efficacy of the bolus dose was maintained for more than 8 hours, in which case the starting daily dose should be the screening dose delivered over a 24-hour period. No dose increases should be given in the first 24 hours (i.e., until the steady state is achieved). In most patients, it will be necessary to increase the dose gradually over time to maintain effectiveness; a sudden requirement for substantial dose escalation typically indicates a catheter complication (i.e., catheter kink or dislodgement).

Adult Patients with Spasticity of Spinal Cord Origin: After the first 24 hours, for adult patients, the daily dosage should be increased slowly by 10% to 30% increments and only once every 24 hours, until the desired clinical effect is achieved.

Adult Patients with Spasticity of Cerebral Origin: After the first 24 hours, the daily dose should be increased slowly by 5% to 15% only once every 24 hours, until the desired clinical effect is achieved.

Pediatric Patients: After the first 24 hours, the daily dose should be increased slowly by 5% to 15% only once every 24 hours, until the desired clinical effect is achieved. If there is not a substantive clinical response to increases in the daily dose, check for proper pump function and catheter patency. Patients must be monitored closely in a fully equipped and staffed environment during the screening phase and dose-titration period immediately following implant. Resuscitative equipment should be immediately available for use in case of life-threatening or intolerable side effects.

Additional Considerations Pertaining to Dosage Adjustment: Careful dose titration of Gablofen is needed when spasticity is necessary to sustain upright posture and balance in locomotion or whenever spasticity is used to obtain optimal function and care. It may be important to titrate the dose to maintain some degree of muscle tone and allow occasional spasms to: 1) help support circulatory function, 2) possibly prevent the formation of deep vein thrombosis, 3) optimize activities of daily living and ease of care.

Except in overdose related emergencies, the dose of Gablofen should ordinarily be reduced slowly if the drug is discontinued for any reason.

An attempt should be made to discontinue concomitant oral antispasticity medication to avoid possible overdose or adverse drug interactions, either prior to screening or following implant and initiation of chronic Gablofen infusion. Reduction and discontinuation of oral anti-spasmotics should be done slowly and with careful monitoring by the physician. Abrupt reduction or discontinuation of concomitant antispastics should be avoided.

      Maintenance Therapy

Spasticity of Spinal Cord Origin Patients: The clinical goal is to maintain muscle tone as close to normal as possible, and to minimize the frequency and severity of spasms to the extent possible, without inducing intolerable side effects. Very often, the maintenance dose needs to be adjusted during the first few months of therapy while patients adjust to changes in lifestyle due to the alleviation of spasticity. During periodic refills of the pump, the daily dose may be increased by 10% to 40%, but no more than 40%, to maintain adequate symptom control. The daily dose may be reduced by 10% to 20% if patients experience side effects. Most patients require gradual increases in dose over time to maintain optimal response during chronic therapy. A sudden large requirement for dose escalation suggests a catheter complication (i.e., catheter kink or dislodgement).

Maintenance dosage for long term continuous infusion of intrathecal baclofen has ranged from 12 mcg/day to 2,003 mcg/day, with most patients adequately maintained on 300 micrograms to 800 micrograms per day. There is limited experience with daily doses greater than 1,000 mcg/day. Determination of the optimal Gablofen dose requires individual titration. The lowest dose with an optimal response should be used.

Spasticity of Cerebral Origin Patients: The clinical goal is to maintain muscle tone as close to normal as possible and to minimize the frequency and severity of spasms to the extent possible, without inducing intolerable side effects, or to titrate the dose to the desired degree of muscle tone for optimal functions. Very often the maintenance dose needs to be adjusted during the first few months of therapy while patients adjust to changes in lifestyle due to the alleviation of spasticity.

During periodic refills of the pump, the daily dose may be increased by 5% to 20%, but no more than 20%, to maintain adequate symptom control. The daily dose may be reduced by 10% to 20% if patients experience side effects. Many patients require gradual increases in dose over time to maintain optimal response during chronic therapy. A sudden large requirement for dose escalation suggests a catheter complication (i.e., catheter kink or dislodgement).

Maintenance dosage for long term continuous infusion of intrathecal baclofen has ranged from 22 mcg/day to 1,400 mcg/day, with most patients adequately maintained on 90 micrograms to 703 micrograms per day. In clinical trials, only 3 of 150 patients required daily doses greater than 1,000 mcg/day.

Pediatric Patients: Use same dosing recommendations for patients with spasticity of cerebral origin. Pediatric patients under 12 years seemed to require a lower daily dose in clinical trials. Average daily dose for patients under 12 years was 274 mcg/day, with a range of 24 mcg/day to 1,199 mcg/day. Dosage requirement for pediatric patients over 12 years does not seem to be different from that of adult patients. Determination of the optimal Gablofen dose requires individual titration. The lowest dose with an optimal response should be used.

Potential Need for Dose Adjustments in Chronic Use: During long term treatment, approximately 5% (28/627) of patients become refractory to increasing doses. There is not sufficient experience to make firm recommendations for tolerance treatment; however, this “tolerance” has been treated on occasion, in hospital, by a “drug holiday” consisting of the gradual reduction of intrathecal baclofen over a 2 to 4 week period and switching to alternative methods of spasticity management. After the “drug holiday,” intrathecal baclofen may be restarted at the initial continuous infusion dose.

      Particulate Matter and Discoloration

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

2.6       Preparation Instruction

Screening
Use the 1 mL screening syringe only (50 mcg/mL) for bolus injection into the subarachnoid space. For a 50 mcg bolus dose, use 1 mL of the screening syringe. Use 1.5 mL of 50 mcg/mL baclofen injection for a 75 mcg bolus dose. For the maximum screening dose of 100 mcg, use 2 mL of 50 mcg/mL baclofen injection (2 screening syringes).

Maintenance
The specific concentration that should be used depends upon the total daily dose required as well as the delivery rate of the pump. For patients who require concentrations other than 500 mcg/mL, 1,000 mcg/mL or 2,000 mcg/mL, Gablofen must be diluted with sterile preservative free Sodium Chloride for Injection, USP.

      Delivery Regimen

Intrathecal baclofen is most often administered in a continuous infusion mode immediately following implant. For those patients implanted with programmable pumps who have achieved relatively satisfactory control on continuous infusion, further benefit may be attained using more complex schedules of Gablofen delivery. For example, patients who have increased spasms at night may require a 20% increase in their hourly infusion rate. Changes in flow rate should be programmed to start two hours before the time of desired clinical effect.

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