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Significant potential of late- and mid-stage Novartis hematology portfolio to be showcased at upcoming ASH meeting
Date:12/2/2009

, interrupt EXJADE use. Once the creatinine has returned to within the normal range, therapy with EXJADE may be reinitiated at a lower dose followed by gradual dose escalation, if the clinical benefit is expected to outweigh potential risks.

Intermittent proteinuria (urine protein/creatinine ratio >0.6 mg/mg) occurred in 18.6% of EXJADE-treated patients, compared to 7.2% of deferoxamine-treated patients in Study 1, and monthly monitoring is recommended.

Cytopenias: There have been postmarketing reports of cytopenias (including agranulocytosis, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia) in patients treated with EXJADE. Some of these patients died. The relationship of these episodes to treatment with EXJADE is uncertain. Most of these patients had pre-existing hematologic disorders that are frequently associated with bone marrow failure. In line with standard clinical management, monitor blood counts regularly. Consider interrupting treatment with EXJADE in patients who develop unexplained cytopenia. Reintroduction of therapy with EXJADE may be considered once the cause of the cytopenia has been elucidated.

Hepatic: There have been postmarketing reports of hepatic failure, some with a fatal outcome, in patients treated with EXJADE. Most of these events occurred in patients greater than 55 years of age. Most reports of hepatic failure involved patients with significant comorbidities, including liver cirrhosis and multi-organ failure. Serum transaminases and bilirubin should be monitored before the initiation of treatment, every 2 weeks during the first month and monthly thereafter. Consider dose modifications or interruption of treatment for severe or persistent elevations. In Study 1, seventeen (5.7%) patients treated with EXJADE developed elevations in SGPT/ALT levels >5 times the upper limit of normal at 2 consecutive visits versus five (1.7%) patients treated with deferoxamine.

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