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The following serious adverse reactions of Kevzara are discussed in greater detail in other sections:
• Serious infections
• Neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, elevated liver enzymes, lipid abnormalities
• Gastrointestinal perforation
• Immunosuppression
• Hypersensitivity reactions

The following information comes from DailyMed, the official FDA label information provider for drugs.

WARNING: RISK OF SERIOUS INFECTIONS

Patients treated with KEVZARA are at increased risk for developing serious infections that may lead to hospitalization or death. Opportunistic infections have also been reported in patients receiving KEVZARA. Most patients who developed infections were taking concomitant immunosuppressants such as methotrexate or corticosteroids.

Avoid the use of KEVZARA in patients with an active infection.

Reported infections include:
– Active tuberculosis, which may present with pulmonary or extrapulmonary disease. Patients should be tested for latent tuberculosis before KEVZARA use and during therapy. Treatment for latent infection should be initiated prior to KEVZARA use.

– Invasive fungal infections, such as candidiasis, and pneumocystis. Patients with invasive fungal infections may present with disseminated, rather than localized, disease.

– Bacterial, viral and other infections due to opportunistic pathogens.

Patients treated with KEVZARA are at increased risk for developing serious infections that may lead to hospitalization or death. Opportunistic infections have also been reported in patients receiving KEVZARA. Most patients who developed infections were taking concomitant immunosuppressants such as methotrexate or corticosteroids.

Closely monitor patients for signs and symptoms of infection during treatment with KEVZARA. If a serious infection develops, interrupt KEVZARA until the infection is controlled.

Consider the risks and benefits of treatment with KEVZARA prior to initiating therapy in patients with chronic or recurrent infection.

Clinical Trials Experience

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

All patients in the safety data described below had moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. 

The safety of KEVZARA in combination with conventional DMARDs was evaluated based on data from seven studies, of which two were placebo-controlled, consisting of 2887 patients (long-term safety population). Of these, 2170 patients received KEVZARA for at least 24 weeks, 1546 for at least 48 weeks, 1020 for at least 96 weeks, and 624 for at least 144 weeks.

The pre-rescue placebo-controlled population includes patients from the two Phase 3 efficacy studies (Studies 1 and 2) from weeks 0 to 16 for Study 1 and weeks 0 to 12 for Study 2, and was used to assess common adverse reactions and laboratory abnormalities prior to patients being permitted to switch from placebo to KEVZARA. In this population, 582 patients, 579 patients, and 579 patients received KEVZARA 200 mg, KEVZARA 150 mg, or placebo once every two weeks, respectively, in combination with conventional DMARDs. 

The 52-week placebo-controlled population includes patients from one Phase 2 study of 12 week duration and two Phase 3 efficacy studies (one of 24 week duration and the other of 52 week duration). This placebo-controlled population includes all subjects from the double-blind, placebo-controlled periods from each study and was analyzed under their original randomization assignment. In this population, 661 patients, 660 patients, and 661 patients received KEVZARA 200 mg, KEVZARA 150 mg, or placebo once every two weeks, respectively, in combination with conventional DMARDs.

Most safety data are described for the pre-rescue population. For rarer events, the 52-week placebo-controlled population is used. 

The most common serious adverse reactions were infections.

The most frequent adverse reactions (occurring in at least 3% of patients treated with KEVZARA in combination with DMARDs) observed with KEVZARA in the clinical studies were neutropenia, increased ALT, injection site erythema, upper respiratory infections, and urinary tract infections. 

In the pre-rescue placebo-controlled population, premature discontinuation due to adverse reactions occurred in 8%, 6% and 3% of patients treated with KEVZARA 200 mg, KEVZARA 150 mg, and placebo, respectively. 

The most common adverse reaction (greater than 1%) that resulted in discontinuation of therapy with KEVZARA was neutropenia. 

The use of KEVZARA as monotherapy was assessed in 132 patients, of which 67 received KEVZARA 200 mg and 65 patients received KEVZARA 150 mg without concomitant DMARDs. The safety profile was generally consistent with that in the population receiving concomitant DMARDs.

Overall Infections

In the pre-rescue placebo-controlled population, the rate of infections in the 200 mg and 150 mg KEVZARA + DMARD group was 110 and 105 events per 100 patient-years, respectively, compared to 81 events per 100 patient-years in the placebo + DMARD group. The most commonly reported infections (2% to 4% of patients) were upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, and nasopharyngitis.

In the 52-week placebo-controlled population, 0.8% of patients (5 patients) treated with KEVZARA 200 mg + DMARD, 0.6% (4 patients) treated with KEVZARA 150 mg + DMARD and 0.5% (3 patients) treated with placebo + DMARD had an event of herpes zoster.

The overall rate of infections with KEVZARA + DMARD in the long-term safety population
was consistent with rates in the controlled periods of the studies.

Serious Infections

In the pre-rescue population, the rate of serious infections in the 200 mg and 150 mg KEVZARA – DMARD group was 3.8 and 4.4 events per 100 patient-years, respectively, compared to 2.5 events per 100 patient-years in the placebo + DMARD group. In the 52-week placebo-controlled population, the rate of serious infections in the 200 mg and 150 mg KEVZARA + DMARD group was 4.3 and 3.0 events per 100 patient-years, respectively, compared to 3.1 events per 100 patient-years in the placebo + DMARD group.

In the long-term safety population, the overall rate of serious infections was consistent with rates in the controlled periods of the studies. The most frequently observed serious infections included pneumonia and cellulitis. Cases of opportunistic infection have been reported.

Gastrointestinal Perforation

In the 52-week placebo-controlled population, one patient on KEVZARA therapy experienced a gastrointestinal (GI) perforation (0.11 events per 100 patient-years).

In the long-term safety population, the overall rate of GI perforation was consistent with rates in the controlled periods of the studies. Reports of GI perforation were primarily reported as complications of diverticulitis including lower GI perforation and abscess. Most patients who developed GI perforations were taking concomitant nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids. The contribution of these concomitant medications relative to KEVZARA in the development of GI perforations is not known.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

In the pre-rescue placebo-controlled population, the proportion of patients who discontinued treatment due to hypersensitivity reactions was higher among those treated with KEVZARA (0.3% in 200 mg, 0.2% in 150 mg) than placebo (0%). The rate of discontinuations due to hypersensitivity in the long-term safety population was consistent with the placebo-controlled period.

Injection Site Reactions

In the pre-rescue placebo-controlled population, injection site reactions were reported in 7% of patients receiving KEVZARA 200 mg, 6% receiving KEVZARA 150 mg, and 1% receiving placebo. These injection site reactions (including erythema and pruritus) were mild in severity for the majority of patients and necessitated drug discontinuation in 2 (0.2%) patients receiving KEVZARA.

Laboratory Abnormalities

Decreased Neutrophil Count 

In the pre-rescue placebo-controlled population, decreases in neutrophil counts less than 1000 per mm3 occurred in 6% and 4% of patients in the 200 mg KEVZARA + DMARD and 150 mg KEVZARA + DMARD group, respectively, compared to no patients in the placebo + DMARD groups. Decreases in neutrophil counts less than 500 per mm3 occurred in 0.7% of patients in both the 200 mg KEVZARA + DMARD and 150 mg KEVZARA + DMARD groups. Decrease in ANC was not associated with the occurrence of infections, including serious infections.

In the long-term safety population, the observations on neutrophil counts were consistent with what was seen in the placebo-controlled clinical studies.

Decreased Platelet Count

In the pre-rescue placebo-controlled population, decreases in platelet counts less than 100,000 per mm3 occurred in 1% and 0.7% of patients on 200 mg and 150 mg KEVZARA + DMARD, respectively, compared to no patients on placebo + DMARD, without associated bleeding events.

In the long-term safety population, the observations on platelet counts were consistent with what was seen in the placebo-controlled clinical studies.

Elevated Liver Enzymes

Liver enzyme elevations in the pre-rescue placebo-controlled population. In patients experiencing liver enzyme elevation, modification of treatment regimen, such as interruption of KEVZARA or reduction in dose, resulted in a decrease or normalization of liver enzymes. These elevations were not associated with clinically relevant increases in direct bilirubin, nor were they associated with clinical evidence of hepatitis or hepatic impairment.

Malignancies

In the 52-week placebo-controlled population, 9 malignancies (exposure-adjusted event rate of 1.0 event per 100 patient-years) were diagnosed in patients receiving KEVZARA+ DMARD compared to 4 malignancies in patients in the control group (exposure-adjusted event rate of 1.0 event per 100 patient-years).

In the long-term safety population, the rate of malignancies was consistent with the rate observed in the placebo-controlled period.

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