CANCIDAS Powder for solution for infusion Ref.[6558] Active ingredients: Caspofungin

Source: European Medicines Agency (EU)  Revision Year: 2018  Publisher: Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V., Waarderweg 39, 2031 BN Haarlem, The Netherlands


Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.

Special warnings and precautions for use

Anaphylaxis has been reported during administration of caspofungin. If this occurs, caspofungin should be discontinued and appropriate treatment administered. Possibly histamine-mediated adverse reactions, including rash, facial swelling, angioedema, pruritus, sensation of warmth, or bronchospasm have been reported and may require discontinuation and/or administration of appropriate treatment.

Limited data suggest that less common non-Candida yeasts and non-Aspergillus moulds are not covered by caspofungin. The efficacy of caspofungin against these fungal pathogens has not been established.

Concomitant use of caspofungin with cyclosporin has been evaluated in healthy adult volunteers and in adult patients. Some healthy adult volunteers who received two 3 mg/kg doses of cyclosporin with caspofungin showed transient increases in alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) of less than or equal to 3-fold the upper limit of normal (ULN) that resolved with discontinuation of the treatment. In a retrospective study of 40 patients treated during marketed use with caspofungin and cyclosporin for 1 to 290 days (median 17.5 days), no serious hepatic adverse reactions were noted. These data suggest that caspofungin can be used in patients receiving cyclosporin when the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk. Close monitoring of liver enzymes should be considered if caspofungin and cyclosporin are used concomitantly.

In adult patients with mild and moderate hepatic impairment, the AUC is increased about 20% and 75 %, respectively. A reduction of the daily dose to 35 mg is recommended for adults with moderate hepatic impairment. There is no clinical experience in adults with severe hepatic impairment or in paediatric patients with any degree of hepatic impairment. A higher exposure than in moderate hepatic impairment is expected and caspofungin should be used with caution in these patients (see sections 4.2 and 5.2).

Laboratory abnormalities in liver function tests have been seen in healthy volunteers and adult and paediatric patients treated with caspofungin. In some adult and paediatric patients with serious underlying conditions who were receiving multiple concomitant medications with caspofungin, cases of clinically significant hepatic dysfunction, hepatitis and hepatic failure have been reported; a causal relationship to caspofungin has not been established. Patients who develop abnormal liver function tests during caspofungin therapy should be monitored for evidence of worsening hepatic function and the risk/benefit of continuing caspofungin therapy should be re-evaluated.

This medicinal product contains sucrose. Patients with rare hereditary problems of fructose intolerance or sucrase-isomaltase insufficiency should not take this medicinal product (see section 2).

Cases of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) have been reported after post-marketing use of caspofungin. Caution should apply in patients with history of allergic skin reaction (see section 4.8).

Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

Studies in vitro show that caspofungin is not an inhibitor of any enzyme in the cytochrome P450 (CYP) system. In clinical studies, caspofungin did not induce the CYP3A4 metabolism of other substances. Caspofungin is not a substrate for P-glycoprotein and is a poor substrate for cytochrome P450 enzymes. However, caspofungin has been shown to interact with other medicinal products in pharmacological and clinical studies (see below).

In two clinical studies performed in healthy adult subjects, cyclosporin A (one 4 mg/kg dose or two 3 mg/kg doses 12 hours apart) increased the AUC of caspofungin by approximately 35 %. These AUC increases are probably due to reduced uptake of caspofungin by the liver. Caspofungin did not increase the plasma levels of cyclosporin. There were transient increases in liver ALT and AST of less than or equal to 3-fold the upper limit of normal (ULN) when caspofungin and cyclosporin were co-administered, that resolved with discontinuation of the medicinal products. In a retrospective study of 40 patients treated during marketed use with caspofungin and cyclosporin for 1 to 290 days (median 17.5 days), no serious hepatic adverse reactions were noted (see section 4.4). Close monitoring of liver enzymes should be considered if the two medicinal products are used concomitantly.

Caspofungin reduced the trough concentration of tacrolimus by 26% in healthy adult volunteers. For patients receiving both therapies, standard monitoring of tacrolimus blood concentrations and appropriate tacrolimus dosage adjustments are mandatory.

Clinical studies in healthy adult volunteers show that the pharmacokinetics of caspofungin are not altered to a clinically relevant extent by itraconazole, amphotericin B, mycophenolate, nelfinavir, or tacrolimus. Caspofungin did not influence the pharmacokinetics of amphotericin B, itraconazole, rifampicin or mycophenolate mofetil. Although safety data are limited it appears that no special precautions are needed when amphotericin B, itraconazole, nelfinavir or mycophenolate mofetil are co-administered with caspofungin.

Rifampicin caused a 60% increase in AUC and 170% increase in trough concentration of caspofungin on the first day of co-administration when both medicinal products were initiated together in healthy adult volunteers. Caspofungin trough levels gradually decreased upon repeated administration. After two weeks' administration rifampicin had limited effect on AUC, but trough levels were 30% lower than in adult subjects who received caspofungin alone. The mechanism of interaction could possibly be due to an initial inhibition and subsequent induction of transport proteins. A similar effect could be expected for other medicinal products that induce metabolic enzymes.

Limited data from population pharmacokinetics studies indicate that concomitant use of caspofungin with the inducers efavirenz, nevirapine, rifampicin, dexamethasone, phenytoin, or carbamazepine may result in a decrease in caspofungin AUC. When co-administering inducers of metabolic enzymes, an increase in the daily dose of caspofungin to 70 mg, following the 70 mg loading dose, should be considered in adult patients (see section 4.2).

All adult drug-drug interaction studies described above were conducted at a 50 or 70 mg daily caspofungin dose. The interaction of higher doses of caspofungin with other medicinal products has not been formally studied.

In paediatric patients, results from regression analyses of pharmacokinetic data suggest that co-administration of dexamethasone with caspofungin may result in clinically meaningful reductions in caspofungin trough concentrations. This finding may indicate that paediatric patients will have similar reductions with inducers as seen in adults. When caspofungin is co-administered to paediatric patients (12 months to 17 years of age) with inducers of drug clearance, such as rifampicin, efavirenz, nevirapine, phenytoin, dexamethasone, or carbamazepine, a caspofungin dose of 70-mg/m² daily (not to exceed an actual daily dose of 70 mg) should be considered.

Fertility, pregnancy and lactation


There are no or limited data from the use of caspofungin in pregnant women. Caspofungin should not be used during pregnancy unless clearly necessary. Animal studies have shown developmental toxicity (see section 5.3). Caspofungin has been shown to cross the placental barrier in animal studies.


It is unknown whether caspofungin is excreted in human milk. Available pharmacodynamic/toxicological data in animals have shown excretion of caspofungin in milk. Women receiving caspofungin should not breast-feed.


For caspofungin, there were no effects on fertility in studies conducted in male and female rats (see section 5.3). There are no clinical data for caspofungin to assess its impact on fertility.

Effects on ability to drive and use machines

No studies on the effects on the ability to drive and use machines have been performed.

Undesirable effects

Hypersensitivity reactions (anaphylaxis and possibly histamine-mediated adverse reactions) have been reported (see section 4.4).

Also reported in patients with invasive aspergillosis were pulmonary oedema, adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and radiographic infiltrates.

Adult patients

In clinical studies, 1,865 adult individuals received single or multiple doses of caspofungin: 564 febrile neutropaenic patients (empirical therapy study), 382 patients with invasive candidiasis, 228 patients with invasive aspergillosis, 297 patients with localised Candida infections, and 394 individuals enrolled in Phase I studies. In the empirical therapy study patients had received chemotherapy for malignancy or had undergone hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (including 39 allogeneic transplantations). In the studies involving patients with documented Candida infections, the majority of the patients with invasive Candida infections had serious underlying medical conditions (e.g. haematologic or other malignancy, recent major surgery, HIV) requiring multiple concomitant medications. Patients in the non-comparative Aspergillus study often had serious predisposing medical conditions (e.g. bone marrow or peripheral stem cell transplants, haematologic malignancy, solid tumours or organ transplants) requiring multiple concomitant medications.

Phlebitis was a commonly reported local injection-site adverse reaction in all patient populations. Other local reactions included erythema, pain/tenderness, itching, discharge, and a burning sensation.

Reported clinical and laboratory abnormalities among all adults treated with caspofungin (total 1,780) were typically mild and rarely led to discontinuation.

Tabulated list of adverse reactions

The following adverse reactions were reported during clinical studies and/or post-marketing use:

Common (≥1/100 to <1/10)
Uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100)
Not known (cannot be estimated from available data)

Blood and lymphatic system disorders

Common: haemoglobin decreased, haematocrit decreased, white blood cell count decreased

Uncommon: anaemia, thrombocytopaenia, coagulopathy, leukopaenia, eosinophil count increased, platelet count decreased, platelet count increased, lymphocyte count decreased, white blood cell count increased, neutrophil count decreased

Metabolism and nutrition disorders

Common: hypokalemia

Uncommon: fluid overload, hypomagnesaemia, anorexia, electrolyte imbalance, hyperglycaemia, hypocalcaemia, metabolic acidosis

Psychiatric disorders

Uncommon: anxiety, disorientation, insomnia

Nervous system disorders

Common: headache

Uncommon: dizziness, dysgeusia, paraesthesia, somnolence, tremor, hypoaesthesia

Eye disorders

Uncommon: ocular icterus, vision blurred, eyelid oedema, lacrimation increased

Cardiac disorders

Uncommon: palpitations, tachycardia, arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, cardiac failure congestive

Vascular disorders

Common: phlebitis

Uncommon: thrombophlebitis, flushing, hot flush, hypertension, hypotension

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders

Common: dyspnoea

Uncommon: nasal congestion, pharyngolaryngeal pain, tachypnoea, bronchospasm, cough, dyspnoea paroxysmal nocturnal, hypoxia, rales, wheezing

Gastrointestinal disorders

Common: nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting

Uncommon: abdominal pain, abdominal pain upper, dry mouth, dyspepsia, stomach discomfort, abdominal distension, ascites, constipation, dysphagia, flatulence

Hepatobiliary disorders

Common: elevated liver values (alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotranserase, blood alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin conjugated, blood bilirubin)

Uncommon: cholestasis, hepatomegaly, hyperbilirubinaemia, jaundice, hepatic function abnormal, hepatotoxicity, liver disorder, gamma-glutamyltransferase increased

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders

Common: rash, pruritus, erythema, hyperhidrosis

Uncommon: erythema multiforme, rash macular, rash maculo-papular, rash pruritic, urticaria, dermatitis allergic, pruritus generalised, rash erythematous, rash generalised, rash morbilliform, skin lesion

Not known: Toxic epidermal necrolysis and StevensJohnson syndrome (see section 4.4)

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders

Common: arthralgia

Uncommon: back pain, pain in extremity, bone pain, muscular weakness, myalgia

Renal and urinary disorders

Uncommon: renal failure, renal failure acute

General disorders and administration site conditions

Common: pyrexia, chills, infusion-site pruritus

Uncommon: pain, catheter site pain, fatigue, feeling cold, feeling hot, infusion site erythema, infusion site induration, infusion site pain, infusion site swelling, injection site phlebitis, oedema peripheral, tenderness, chest discomfort, chest pain, face oedema, feeling of body temperature change, induration, infusion site extravasation, infusion site irritation, infusion site phlebitis, infusion site rash, infusion site urticaria, injection site erythema, injection site oedema, injection site pain, injection site swelling, malaise, oedema


Common: blood potassium decreased, blood albumin decreased

Uncommon: blood creatinine increased, red blood cells urine positive, protein total decreased, protein urine present, prothrombin time prolonged, prothrombin time shortened, blood sodium decreased, blood sodium increased, blood calcium decreased, blood calcium increased, blood chloride decreased, blood glucose increased, blood magnesium decreased, blood phosphorus decreased, blood phosphorus increased, blood urea increased, activated partial thromboplastin time prolonged, blood bicarbonate decreased, blood chloride increased, blood potassium increased, blood pressure increased, blood uric acid decreased, blood urine present, breath sounds abnormal, carbon dioxide decreased, immunosuppressant drug level increased, international normalised ratio increased, urinary casts, white blood cells urine positive, and pH urine increased.

Caspofungin has also been evaluated at 150 mg daily (for up to 51 days) in 100 adult patients (see section 5.1). The study compared caspofungin at 50 mg daily (following a 70-mg loading dose on Day 1) versus 150 mg daily in the treatment of invasive candidiasis. In this group of patients, the safety of caspofungin at this higher dose appeared generally similar to patients receiving the 50-mg daily dose of caspofungin. The proportion of patients with a serious drug-related adverse reaction or a drug-related adverse reaction leading to caspofungin discontinuation was comparable in the 2 treatment groups.

Paediatric Patients

Data from 5 clinical studies completed in 171 paediatric patients suggest that the overall incidence of clinical adverse experiences (26.3%; 95% CI -19.9, 33.6) is not worse than reported for adults treated with caspofungin (43.1%; 95% CI -40.0, 46.2). However, paediatric patients probably have a different adverse event profile compared to adult patients. The most common drug-related clinical adverse experiences reported in paediatric patients treated with caspofungin were pyrexia (11.7%), rash (4.7%) and headache (2.9%).

Tabulated list of adverse reactions

The following adverse reactions were reported:

Very common (≥1/10)
Common (≥1/100 to <1/10)

Blood and lymphatic system disorders

Common: eosinophil count increased

Nervous system disorders

Common: headache

Cardiac disorders

Common: tachycardia

Vascular disorders

Common: flushing, hypotension

Hepatobiliary disorders

Common: elevated liver enzyme levels (AST, ALT)

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders

Common: rash, pruritus

General disorders and administration site conditions

Very common: fever

Common: chills, catheter site pain


Common: decreased potassium, hypomagnesemia, increased glucose, decreased phosphorus, and increased phosphorus

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the national reporting system listed in Appendix V.


Do not mix with diluents containing glucose, as CANCIDAS is not stable in diluents containing glucose. In the absence of compatibility studies, this medicinal product must not be mixed with other medicinal products.

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