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etanercept FDA Alerts

The FDA Alert(s) below may be specifically about etanercept or relate to a group or class of drugs which include etanercept.

MedWatch Safety Alerts are distributed by the FDA and published by Drugs.com. Following is a list of possible medication recalls, market withdrawals, alerts and warnings. For the latest FDA MedWatch alerts, go here.

Recent FDA Alert(s) for etanercept

Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) blockers, Azathioprine and/or Mercaptopurine: Update on Reports of Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma in Adolescents and Young Adults

Nov 4, 2011

Audience: Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Oncology, Dermatology

 

[UPDATED 11/04/2011]  Healthcare professionals should remain vigilant for cases of malignancy in patients treated with TNF blockers, and report such cases to MedWatch. The reports should include:

  • patient characteristics (age, gender, no patient identifiers)
  • risk factors for malignancy
  • exposure to other immune suppressing products or products with risk of malignancy
  • indication for TNF blocker treatment
  • TNF blocker exposure (duration, dose)
  • cancer diagnosis (date of diagnosis, stage)
  • biopsy results
  • outcomes of malignancy (treatments, event outcome)

 

[Posted 04/14/2011]

ISSUE: FDA continues to receive reports of a rare cancer of white blood cells (known as Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma or HSTCL, primarily in adolescents and young adults being treated for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with medicines known as tumor necrosis factors (TNF) blockers, as well as with azathioprine, and/or mercaptopurine.  TNF blockers include Remicade (infliximab), Enbrel (etanercept), Humira (adalimumab), Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) and Simponi (golimumab).

BACKGROUND: HSTCL is an aggressive (fast-growing) cancer and is usually fatal. The majority of cases reported were in patients being treated for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, but also included a patient being treated for psoriasis and two patients being treated for rheumatoid arthritis. FDA is now updating the number of reported cases of HSTCL.

Although most reported cases of HSTCL occurred in patients treated with a combination of medicines known to suppress the immune system, including the TNF blockers, azathioprine, and/or mercaptopurine, there have been cases reported in patients receiving azathioprine or mercaptopurine alone.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Educate patients and caregivers about the signs and symptoms of malignancies such as HSTCL so that they are aware of and can seek evaluation and treatment of any signs or symptoms. These may include splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, abdominal pain, persistent fever, night sweats, and weight loss.
  • Monitor for the emergence of malignancies when a patient has been treated with TNF blockers, azathioprine, and/or mercaptopurine.
  • Know that people with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis may be more likely to develop lymphoma than the general U.S. population. Therefore, it may be difficult to measure the added risk of TNF blockers, azathioprine, and/or meracaptopurine.

Read the Drug Safety Communications for other specific recommendations for Healthcare Professionals and Patients and the Data Summary for additional information.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

 

[11/03/2011 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]
[04/14/2011 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]

Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNFα) Blockers: Label Change - Boxed Warning Updated for Risk of Infection from Legionella and Listeria

Sep 7, 2011

Audience: Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Oncology

including Remicade (infliximab), Enbrel (etanercept), Humira (adalimumab), Cimzia (certolizumab pegol), and Simponi (golimumab)

ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals that the Boxed Warning for the entire class of Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNFα) blockers has been updated to include the risk of infection from two bacterial pathogens, Legionella and Listeria. In addition, the Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions sections of the labels for all of the TNFα blockers have been revised so that they contain consistent information about the risk for serious infections and the associated disease-causing pathogens.

Patients treated with TNFα blockers are at increased risk for developing serious infections involving multiple organ systems and sites that may lead to hospitalization or death due to bacterial, mycobacterial, fungal, viral, parasitic, and other opportunistic pathogens.

BACKGROUND: The class of TNFα blockers are used to treat Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and/or juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

RECOMMENDATION: The risks and the benefits of TNFα blockers should be considered prior to initiating therapy in patients with chronic or recurrent infection and patients with underlying conditions that may predispose them to infection. See the Drug Safety Communication for a listing of recommendations for healthcare professionals and patients, as well as a data summary.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) blockers, Azathioprine and/or Mercaptopurine: Update on Reports of Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma in Adolescents and Young Adults

Apr 14, 2011

Audience: Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Oncology, Dermatology

[Posted 04/14/2011]

ISSUE: FDA continues to receive reports of a rare cancer of white blood cells (known as Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma or HSTCL, primarily in adolescents and young adults being treated for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with medicines known as tumor necrosis factors (TNF) blockers, as well as with azathioprine, and/or mercaptopurine.  TNF blockers include Remicade (infliximab), Enbrel (etanercept), Humira (adalimumab), Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) and Simponi (golimumab).

BACKGROUND: HSTCL is an aggressive (fast-growing) cancer and is usually fatal. The majority of cases reported were in patients being treated for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, but also included a patient being treated for psoriasis and two patients being treated for rheumatoid arthritis. FDA is now updating the number of reported cases of HSTCL.

Although most reported cases of HSTCL occurred in patients treated with a combination of medicines known to suppress the immune system, including the TNF blockers, azathioprine, and/or mercaptopurine, there have been cases reported in patients receiving azathioprine or mercaptopurine alone.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Educate patients and caregivers about the signs and symptoms of malignancies such as HSTCL so that they are aware of and can seek evaluation and treatment of any signs or symptoms. These may include splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, abdominal pain, persistent fever, night sweats, and weight loss.
  • Monitor for the emergence of malignancies when a patient has been treated with TNF blockers, azathioprine, and/or mercaptopurine.
  • Know that people with rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis may be more likely to develop lymphoma than the general U.S. population. Therefore, it may be difficult to measure the added risk of TNF blockers, azathioprine, and/or meracaptopurine.

Read the Drug Safety Communications for other specific recommendations for Healthcare Professionals and Patients and the Data Summary for additional information.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

 

[04/14/2011 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]

Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Blockers (marketed as Remicade, Enbrel, Humira, and Cimzia)

Jun 4, 2008

Audience: Rheumatologists, gastroenterologists, oncologists, other healthcare professionals

[Posted 06/03/2008] FDA issued an Early Communication About an Ongoing Safety Review to inform healthcare professionals that the Agency is investigating a possible association between the use of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) blockers and the development of lymphoma and other cancers in children and young adults. FDA is investigating approximately 30 reports of cancer in children and young adults. These reports were submitted to FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System over a ten-year interval, beginning in 1998 through April 29, 2008. These reports describe cancer occurring in children and young adults who began taking TNF blockers (along with other immuno-suppressive medicines such as methotrexate, azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine), when they were ages 18 or less, to treat juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Crohn's disease or other diseases. Approximately half of the cancers were lymphomas, including both Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Long-term studies are necessary to provide definitive answers about whether TNF blockers increase the occurrence of cancers in children because cancers may take a long time to develop and may not be detected in short-term studies. Until the evaluation is completed, healthcare providers, parents, and caregivers should be aware of the possible risk of lymphoma and other cancers in children and young adults when deciding how to best treat these patients.

[June 04, 2008 - Early Communication About an Ongoing Safety Review of TNF Blockers - FDA]

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