Busulfan (oral)

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Busulfan (oral)
Black Box Warning
Adult Indications & Dosage
Pediatric Indications & Dosage
Contraindications
Warnings & Precautions
Adverse Reactions
Drug Interactions
Use in Specific Populations
Administration & Monitoring
Overdosage
Pharmacology
Clinical Studies
How Supplied
Images
Patient Counseling Information
Precautions with Alcohol
Brand Names
Look-Alike Names

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Ammu Susheela, M.D. [2]

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Black Box Warning

WARNING
See full prescribing information for complete Boxed Warning.
* Busulfan is a potent drug. It should not be used unless a diagnosis of chronic myelogenous leukemia has been adequately established and the responsible physician is knowledgeable in assessing response to chemotherapy.
  • Busulfan can induce severe bone marrow hypoplasia. Reduce or discontinue the dosage immediately at the first sign of any unusual depression of bone marrow function as reflected by an abnormal decrease in any of the formed elements of the blood. A bone marrow examination should be performed if the bone marrow status is uncertain.

Overview

Busulfan (oral) is a antineoplastic agent that is FDA approved for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (myeloid, myelocytic, granulocytic). There is a Black Box Warning for this drug as shown here. Common adverse reactions include rash, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, stomatitis, vomiting, asthenia, dizziness, and headache.

Adult Indications and Dosage

FDA-Labeled Indications and Dosage (Adult)

  • Busulfan is indicated for the palliative treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (myeloid, myelocytic, granulocytic).
  • Busulfan is administered orally. The usual adult dose range for remission induction is 4 to 8 mg, total dose, daily. Dosing on a weight basis is the same for both pediatric patients and adults, approximately 60 mcg/kg of body weight or 1.8 mg/m2 of body surface, daily. Since the rate of fall of the leukocyte count is dose related, daily doses exceeding 4 mg per day should be reserved for patients with the most compelling symptoms; the greater the total daily dose, the greater is the possibility of inducing bone marrow aplasia.
  • A decrease in the leukocyte count is not usually seen during the first 10 to 15 days of treatment; the leukocyte count may actually increase during this period and it should not be interpreted as resistance to the drug, nor should the dose be increased. Since the leukocyte count may continue to fall for more than 1 month after discontinuing the drug, it is important that busulfan be discontinued prior to the total leukocyte count falling into the normal range. When the total leukocyte count has declined to approximately 15,000/mcL, the drug should be withheld.
  • With a constant dose of busulfan, the total leukocyte count declines exponentially; a weekly plot of the leukocyte count on semi-logarithmic graph paper aids in predicting the time when therapy should be discontinued. With the recommended dose of busulfan, a normal leukocyte count is usually achieved in 12 to 20 weeks.
  • During remission, the patient is examined at monthly intervals and treatment resumed with the induction dosage when the total leukocyte count reaches approximately 50,000/mcL. When remission is shorter than 3 months, maintenance therapy of 1 to 3 mg daily may be advisable in order to keep the hematological status under control and prevent rapid relapse.
  • Procedures for proper handling and disposal of anticancer drugs should be considered. Several guidelines on this subject have been published.
  • There is no general agreement that all of the procedures recommended in the guidelines are necessary or appropriate.

Off-Label Use and Dosage (Adult)

Guideline-Supported Use

There is limited information regarding Off-Label Guideline-Supported Use of Busulfan (oral) in adult patients.

Non–Guideline-Supported Use

There is limited information regarding Off-Label Non–Guideline-Supported Use of Busulfan (oral) in adult patients.

Pediatric Indications and Dosage

FDA-Labeled Indications and Dosage (Pediatric)

There is limited information regarding FDA-Labeled Use of Busulfan (oral) in pediatric patients.

Off-Label Use and Dosage (Pediatric)

Guideline-Supported Use

There is limited information regarding Off-Label Guideline-Supported Use of Busulfan (oral) in pediatric patients.

Non–Guideline-Supported Use

There is limited information regarding Off-Label Non–Guideline-Supported Use of Busulfan (oral) in pediatric patients.

Contraindications

  • Busulfan is contraindicated in patients in whom a definitive diagnosis of chronic myelogenous leukemia has not been firmly established.

Warnings

WARNING
See full prescribing information for complete Boxed Warning.
* Busulfan is a potent drug. It should not be used unless a diagnosis of chronic myelogenous leukemia has been adequately established and the responsible physician is knowledgeable in assessing response to chemotherapy.
  • Busulfan can induce severe bone marrow hypoplasia. Reduce or discontinue the dosage immediately at the first sign of any unusual depression of bone marrow function as reflected by an abnormal decrease in any of the formed elements of the blood. A bone marrow examination should be performed if the bone marrow status is uncertain.
  • The most frequent, serious side effect of treatment with busulfan is the induction of bone marrow failure (which may or may not be anatomically hypoplastic) resulting in severe pancytopenia. The pancytopenia caused by busulfan may be more prolonged than that induced with other alkylating agents. It is generally felt that the usual cause of busulfan-induced pancytopenia is the failure to stop administration of the drug soon enough; individual idiosyncrasy to the drug does not seem to be an important factor. Busulfan should be used with extreme caution and exceptional vigilance in patients whose bone marrow reserve may have been compromised by prior irradiation or chemotherapy, or whose marrow function is recovering from previous cytotoxic therapy. Although recovery from busulfan-induced pancytopenia may take from 1 month to 2 years, this complication is potentially reversible, and the patient should be vigorously supported through any period of severe pancytopenia.
  • A rare, important complication of busulfan therapy is the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia with pulmonary fibrosis. Symptoms have been reported to occur within 8 months to 10 years after initiation of therapy—the average duration of therapy being 4 years. The histologic findings associated with “busulfan lung” mimic those seen following pulmonary irradiation. Clinically, patients have reported the insidious onset of cough, dyspnea, and low-grade fever. In some cases, however, onset of symptoms may be acute. Pulmonary function studies have revealed diminished diffusion capacity and decreased pulmonary compliance. It is important to exclude more common conditions (such as opportunistic infections or leukemic infiltration of the lungs) with appropriate diagnostic techniques. If measures such as sputum cultures, virologic studies, and exfoliative cytology fail to establish an etiology for the pulmonary infiltrates, lung biopsy may be necessary to establish the diagnosis. Treatment of established busulfan-induced pulmonary fibrosis is unsatisfactory; in most cases the patients have died within 6 months after the diagnosis was established. There is no specific therapy for this complication. Busulfan should be discontinued if this lung toxicity develops. The administration of corticosteroids has been suggested, but the results have not been impressive or uniformly successful.
  • Busulfan may cause cellular dysplasia in many organs in addition to the lung. Cytologic abnormalities characterized by giant, hyperchromatic nuclei have been reported in lymph nodes, pancreas, thyroid, adrenal glands, liver, and bone marrow. This cytologic dysplasia may be severe enough to cause difficulty in interpretation of exfoliative cytologic examinations from the lung, bladder, breast, and the uterine cervix.
  • In addition to the widespread epithelial dysplasia that has been observed during busulfan therapy, chromosome aberrations have been reported in cells from patients receiving busulfan.
  • Busulfan is mutagenic in mice and, possibly, in humans.
  • Malignant tumors and acute leukemias have been reported in patients who have received busulfan therapy, and this drug may be a human carcinogen. The World Health Organization has concluded that there is a causal relationship between busulfan exposure and the development of secondary malignancies. Four cases of acute leukemia occurred among 243 patients treated with busulfan as adjuvant chemotherapy following surgical resection of bronchogenic carcinoma. All 4 cases were from a subgroup of 19 of these 243 patients who developed pancytopenia while taking busulfan 5 to 8 years before leukemia became clinically apparent. These findings suggest that busulfan is leukemogenic, although its mode of action is uncertain.
  • Ovarian suppression and amenorrhea with menopausal symptoms commonly occur during busulfan therapy in premenopausal patients. Busulfan has been associated with ovarian failure including failure to achieve puberty in females. Busulfan interferes with spermatogenesis in experimental animals, and there have been clinical reports of sterility, azoospermia, and testicular atrophy in male patients.
  • Hepatic veno-occlusive disease, which may be life threatening, has been reported in patients receiving busulfan, usually in combination with cyclophosphamide or other chemotherapeutic agents prior to bone marrow transplantation. Possible risk factors for the development of hepatic veno-occlusive disease include: total busulfan dose exceeding 16 mg/kg based on ideal body weight, and concurrent use of multiple alkylating agents (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and Drug Interactions).
  • A clear cause-and-effect relationship with busulfan has not been demonstrated. Periodic measurement of serum transaminases, alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin is indicated for early detection of hepatotoxicity. A reduced incidence of hepatic veno-occlusive disease and other regimen-related toxicities have been observed in patients treated with high-dose Busulfan and cyclophosphamide when the first dose of cyclophosphamide has been delayed for >24 hours after the last dose of busulfan.
  • Cardiac tamponade has been reported in a small number of patients with thalassemia (2% in one series) who received busulfan and cyclophosphamide as the preparatory regimen for bone marrow transplantation. In this series, the cardiac tamponade was often fatal. Abdominal pain and vomiting preceded the tamponade in most patients.

Adverse Reactions

Clinical Trials Experience

Hematological Effects
Pulmonary
  • Interstitial pulmonary fibrosis has been reported rarely, but it is a clinically significant adverse effect when observed and calls for immediate discontinuation of further administration of the drug. The role of corticosteroids in arresting or reversing the fibrosis has been reported to be beneficial in some cases and without effect in others.
Cardiac
Ocular
  • Busulfan is capable of inducing cataracts in rats and there have been several reports indicating that this is a rare complication in humans.
Dermatologic
  • Hyperpigmentation is the most common adverse skin reaction and occurs in 5% to 10% of patients, particularly those with a dark complexion.
Metabolic
  • In a few cases, a clinical syndrome closely resembling adrenal insufficiency and characterized by weakness, severe fatigue, anorexia, weight loss, nausea and vomiting, and melanoderma has developed after prolonged busulfan therapy. The symptoms have sometimes been reversible when busulfan was withdrawn. Adrenal responsiveness to exogenously administered ACTH has usually been normal. However, pituitary function testing with metyrapone revealed a blunted urinary 17-hydroxycorticosteroid excretion in 2 patients. Following the discontinuation of busulfan (which was associated with clinical improvement), rechallenge with metyrapone revealed normal pituitary-adrenal function.
  • Hyperuricemia and/or hyperuricosuria are not uncommon in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia. Additional rapid destruction of granulocytes may accompany the initiation of chemotherapy and increase the urate pool. Adverse effects can be minimized by increased hydration, urine alkalinization, and the prophylactic administration of a xanthine oxidase inhibitor such as allopurinol.
Hepatic Effects
  • Esophageal varices have been reported in patients receiving continuous busulfan and thioguanine therapy for treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia. Hepatic veno-occlusive disease has been observed in patients receiving busulfan.
Miscellaneous

Postmarketing Experience

Drug Interactions

  • Busulfan may cause additive myelosuppression when used with other myelosuppressive drugs.
  • In one study, 12 of approximately 330 patients receiving continuous busulfan and thioguanine therapy for treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia were found to have portal hypertension and esophageal varices associated with abnormal liver function tests. Subsequent liver biopsies were performed in 4 of these patients, all of which showed evidence of nodular regenerative hyperplasia. Duration of combination therapy prior to the appearance of esophageal varices ranged from 6 to 45 months. With the present analysis of the data, no cases of hepatotoxicity have appeared in the busulfan-alone arm of the study. Long-term continuous therapy with thioguanine and busulfan should be used with caution.
  • Busulfan-induced pulmonary toxicity may be additive to the effects produced by other cytotoxic agents.
  • The concomitant systemic administration of itraconazole to patients receiving high-dose Busulfan may result in reduced busulfan clearance. Patients should be monitored for signs of busulfan toxicity when itraconazole is used concomitantly with Busulfan .

Use in Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category (FDA): D

  • Pregnancy Category


Pregnancy Category (AUS):

  • Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC) Pregnancy Category

There is no Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC) guidance on usage of Busulfan (oral) in women who are pregnant.

Labor and Delivery

There is no FDA guidance on use of Busulfan (oral) during labor and delivery.

Nursing Mothers

  • It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for tumorigenicity shown for busulfan in animal and human studies, 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.

Pediatric Use

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Busulfan (oral) with respect to pediatric patients.

Geriatic Use

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

Gender

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Busulfan (oral) with respect to specific gender populations.

Race

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Busulfan (oral) with respect to specific racial populations.

Renal Impairment

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Busulfan (oral) in patients with renal impairment.

Hepatic Impairment

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Busulfan (oral) in patients with hepatic impairment.

Females of Reproductive Potential and Males

There is no FDA guidance on the use of Busulfan (oral) in women of reproductive potentials and males.

Immunocompromised Patients

There is no FDA guidance one the use of Busulfan (oral) in patients who are immunocompromised.

Administration and Monitoring

Administration

Monitoring

There is limited information regarding Monitoring of Busulfan (oral) in the drug label.

IV Compatibility

There is limited information regarding IV Compatibility of Busulfan (oral) in the drug label.

Overdosage

  • There is no known antidote to busulfan. The principal toxic effects are bone marrow depression and pancytopenia. The hematologic status should be closely monitored and vigorous supportive measures instituted if necessary. Induction of vomiting or gastric lavage followed by administration of charcoal would be indicated if ingestion were recent. Dialysis may be considered in the management of overdose as there is 1 report of successful dialysis of busulfan.
  • Gastrointestinal toxicity with mucositis, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea has been observed when Busulfan was used in association with bone marrow transplantation.
  • Oral LD50 single doses in mice are 120 mg/kg. Two distinct types of toxic response are seen at median lethal doses given intraperitoneally. Within a matter of hours there are signs of stimulation of the central nervous system with convulsions and death on the first day. Mice are more sensitive to this effect than are rats. With doses at the LD50 there is also delayed death due to damage to the bone marrow. At 3 times the LD50, atrophy of the mucosa of the large intestine is found after a week, whereas that of the small intestine is little affected. After doses in the order of 10 times those used therapeutically were added to the diet of rats, irreversible cataracts were produced after several weeks. Small doses had no such effect.

Pharmacology

There is limited information regarding Busulfan (oral) Pharmacology in the drug label.

Mechanism of Action

Structure

  • Busulfan (busulfan) is a bifunctional alkylating agent. Busulfan is known chemically as 1,4-butanediol dimethanesulfonate and has the following structural formula:
  • CH3SO2O(CH2)4OSO2CH3
  • Busulfan is not a structural analog of the nitrogen mustards. Busulfan is available in tablet form for oral administration. Each film-coated tablet contains 2 mg busulfan and the inactive ingredients hypromellose, lactose (anhydrous), magnesium stearate, pregelatinized starch, triacetin, and titanium dioxide.

Pharmacodynamics

There is limited information regarding Pharmacodynamics of Busulfan (oral) in the drug label.

Pharmacokinetics

  • The pharmacokinetics of busulfan were studied in 59 patients participating in a prospective trial of a busulfan-cyclophosphamide preparatory regimen prior to allogeneic hematopoietic progenitor stem cell transplantation. Patients received 0.8 mg/kg busulfan every six hours, for a total of 16 doses over four days. Fifty-five of fifty-nine patients (93%) administered busulfan maintained AUC values below the target value (<1500 µM∙min).
Busulfan Steady State Pharmacokinetic Parameters.png
  • Busulfan pharmacokinetics showed consistency between dose 9 and dose 13 as demonstrated by reproducibility of steady state Cmax and a low coefficient of variation for this parameter.
  • In a pharmacokinetic study of busulfan in 24 pediatric patients, the population pharmacokinetic (PPK) estimates of busulfan for clearance (CL) and volume of distribution (V) were determined. For actual body weight, PPK estimates of CL and V were 4.04 L/hr/20 kg (3.37 mL/min/kg; interpatient variability 23%); and 12.8 L/20 kg (0.64 L/kg; interpatient variability 11%).
Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion
  • Studies of distribution, metabolism, and elimination of busulfan have not been done; however, the literature on oral busulfan is relevant. Additionally, for modulating effects on pharmacodynamic parameters see DRUG INTERACTIONS.
Distribution
  • Busulfan achieves concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid approximately equal to those in plasma. Irreversible binding to plasma elements, primarily albumin, has been estimated to be 32.4±2.2% which is consistent with the reactive electrophilic properties of busulfan.
Metabolism
  • Busulfan is predominantly metabolized by conjugation with glutathione, both spontaneously and by glutathione S-transferase (GST) catalysis. This conjugate undergoes further extensive oxidative metabolism in the liver.
Excretion
  • Following administration of 14C‑labeled busulfan to humans, approximately 30% of the radioactivity was excreted into the urine over 48 hours; negligible amounts were recovered in feces. The incomplete recovery of radioactivity may be due to the formation of long-lived metabolites or due to nonspecific alkylation of macromolecules.

Nonclinical Toxicology

There is limited information regarding Nonclinical Toxicology of Busulfan (oral) in the drug label.

Clinical Studies

There is limited information regarding Clinical Studies of Busulfan (oral) in the drug label.

How Supplied

  • White, film-coated, round, biconvex tablets containing 2 mg busulfan in amber glass bottles with child-resistant closures. One side is imprinted with "GX EF3" and the other side is imprinted with an "M.”
  • Bottle of 25 (NDC 76388-713-25).

Storage

  • Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15° to 30°C (59° to 86°F)

Images

Drug Images

MYLERAN NDC 01730713.jpg

Drug Name: MYLERAN
Ingredient(s): BUSULFAN[BUSULFAN]
Imprint: GX;EF3;M
Dosage: 2 mg
Color(s): White
Shape: Round
Size (mm): 7
Score: 1
NDC:01730713

Drug Label Author: GlaxoSmithKline LLC

This pill image is provided by the National Library of Medicine's PillBox.
MYLERAN NDC 763880713.jpg

Drug Name: MYLERAN
Ingredient(s): BUSULFAN[BUSULFAN]
Imprint: GX;EF3;M
Dosage: 2 mg
Color(s): White
Shape: Round
Size (mm): 7
Score: 1
NDC:763880713

Drug Label Author: Aspen Global Inc.

This pill image is provided by the National Library of Medicine's PillBox.

Package and Label Display Panel

This image is provided by the National Library of Medicine.
This image is provided by the National Library of Medicine.
File:DailyMed Busulfan busulfan tablet film coated.png
This image is provided by the National Library of Medicine.
This image of the FDA label is provided by the National Library of Medicine.

Patient Counseling Information

There is limited information regarding Patient Counseling Information of Busulfan (oral) in the drug label.

Precautions with Alcohol

  • Alcohol-Busulfan (oral) interaction has not been established. Talk to your doctor about the effects of taking alcohol with this medication.

Brand Names

Look-Alike Drug Names

There is limited information regarding Busulfan (oral) Look-Alike Drug Names in the drug label.

Drug Shortage Status

Price

References

The contents of this FDA label are provided by the National Library of Medicine.

  1. "MYLERAN- busulfan tablet, film coated".

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