1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE FINACEA® (azelaic acid) Gel, 15% is indicated for topical treatment of the inflammatory papules and pustules of mild to moderate rosacea. Although some reduction of erythema which was present in patients with papules and pustules of rosacea occurred in clinical studies, efficacy for treatment of erythema in rosacea in the absence of papules and pustules has not been evaluated. FINACEA® (azelaic acid) Gel, 15% is indicated for topical treatment of the inflammatory papules and pustules of mild to moderate rosacea. Efficacy for treatment of erythema in rosacea in the absence of papules and pustules has not been evaluated. (1)
3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS FINACEA (azelaic acid) Gel, 15% is a white to yellowish white opaque gel. Each gram of FINACEA Gel contains 0.15 gm of azelaic acid (15% w/w). Gel, 15% (3)
4 CONTRAINDICATIONS None. None. (4)
5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS •In case of known hypersensitivity to any component of the gel, avoid the use of FINACEA Gel. If hypersensitivity develops during treatment, discontinue FINACEA Gel and institute appropriate therapy. (5.1) •Skin irritation (i.e. pruritus, burning or stinging) may occur, usually during the first few weeks of treatment with FINACEA Gel. If sensitivity or severe irritation develops and persists, discontinue treatment and institute appropriate therapy. (5.2) •There have been isolated reports of hypopigmentation after the use of azelaic acid. Since azelaic acid has not been well-studied in patients with dark complexion, monitor these patients for early signs of hypopigmentation. (5.2) •FINACEA Gel has been reported to cause irritation of the eyes. Therefore, avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes. (5.3) 5.1 Hypersensitivity Cases of adverse skin reactions due to hypersensitivity have been reported during post marketing surveillance. In case of known hypersensitivity to any component of the gel, avoid the use of FINACEA Gel. If hypersensitivity develops during treatment, discontinue FINACEA Gel and institute appropriate therapy. 5.2 Skin Reactions Skin irritation (i.e. pruritus, burning or stinging) may occur during use of FINACEA Gel, usually during the first few weeks of treatment. If sensitivity or severe irritation develops and persists, discontinue treatment and institute appropriate therapy. There have been isolated reports of hypopigmentation after use of azelaic acid. Since azelaic acid has not been well studied in patients with dark complexion, monitor these patients for early signs of hypopigmentation. 5.3 Eye and Mucous Membranes Irritation Avoid contact with the eyes, mouth and other mucous membranes. If FINACEA Gel does come in contact with the eyes, wash the eyes with large amounts of water and consult a physician if eye irritation persists [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].
6 ADVERSE REACTIONS The most common adverse reactions are burning/stinging/tingling (29%), pruritus (11%), scaling/dry skin/xerosis (8%) and erythema/irritation (4%). (6) To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Bayer HealthCare at 1-866-463-3634 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. 6.1 Clinical Trials Experience Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. In two vehicle-controlled and one active-controlled U.S. clinical trials, treatment safety was monitored in 788 subjects who used twice-daily FINACEA Gel for 12 weeks (N=333) or 15 weeks (N=124), or the gel vehicle (N=331) for 12 weeks. In all three trials, the most common treatment-related adverse events were: burning/stinging/tingling (29%), pruritus (11%), scaling/dry skin/xerosis (8%) and erythema/irritation (4%). In the active-controlled trial, overall adverse reactions (including burning, stinging/tingling, dryness/tightness/scaling, itching, and erythema/irritation/redness) were 19.4% (24/124) for FINACEA Gel compared to 7.1% (9/127) for the active comparator gel at 15 weeks. Table 1: Adverse Events Occurring in ≥1% of Subjects in the Rosacea Trials by Treatment Group and Maximum Intensity* FINACEA Gel, 15% N=457 (100%) Vehicle N=331 (100%) Mild N=99 (22%) Moderate N=61 (13%) Severe N=27 (6%) Mild N=46 (14%) Moderate N=30 (9%) Severe N=5 (2%) Burning/stinging/tingling 71 (16%) 42 (9%) 17 (4%) 8 (2%) 6 (2%) 2 (1%) Pruritus 29 (6%) 18 (4%) 5 (1%) 9 (3%) 6 (2%) 0 (0%) Scaling/dry skin/xerosis 21 (5%) 10 (2%) 5 (1%) 31 (9%) 14 (4%) 1 (<1%) Erythema/irritation 6 (1%) 7 (2%) 2 (<1%) 8 (2%) 4 (1%) 2 (1%) Contact dermatitis 2 (<1%) 3 (1%) 0 (0%) 1 (<1%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) Edema 3 (1%) 2 (<1%) 0 (0%) 3 (1%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) Acne 3 (1%) 1 (<1%) 0 (0%) 1 (<1%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) *Subjects may have >1 cutaneous adverse event; thus, the sum of the frequencies of preferred terms may exceed the number of subjects with at least 1 cutaneous adverse event. In patients using azelaic acid formulations, the following adverse events have been reported: worsening of asthma, vitiligo, depigmentation, small depigmented spots, hypertrichosis, reddening (signs of keratosis pilaris) and exacerbation of recurrent herpes labialis. Local Tolerability Studies FINACEA Gel and its vehicle caused irritant reactions at the application site in human dermal safety studies. FINACEA Gel caused significantly more irritation than its vehicle in a cumulative irritation study. Some improvement in irritation was demonstrated over the course of the clinical trials, but this improvement might be attributed to subject dropouts. No phototoxicity or photoallergenicity were reported in human dermal safety studies. 6.2 Post-Marketing Experience The following adverse reactions have been identified post approval of FINACEA Gel. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate the frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure: Eyes: iridocyclitis upon accidental exposure of the eyes to FINACEA Gel Hypersensitivity: Adverse skin reactions due to hypersensitivity have been reported during post-marketing surveillance.
7 DRUG INTERACTIONS There have been no formal studies of the interaction of FINACEA Gel with other drugs.
8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS 8.1 Pregnancy Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category B There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Therefore, FINACEA Gel should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Dermal embryofetal developmental toxicology studies have not been performed with azelaic acid, 15% gel. Oral embryofetal developmental studies were conducted with azelaic acid in rats, rabbits, and cynomolgus monkeys. Azelaic acid was administered during the period of organogenesis in all three animal species. Embryotoxicity was observed in rats, rabbits, and monkeys at oral doses of azelaic acid that generated some maternal toxicity. Embryotoxicity was observed in rats given 2500 mg/kg/day [162 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) based on body surface area (BSA)], rabbits given 150 or 500 mg/kg/day (19 or 65 times the MRHD based on BSA) and cynomolgus monkeys given 500 mg/kg/day (65 times the MRHD based on BSA) azelaic acid. No teratogenic effects were observed in the oral embryofetal developmental studies conducted in rats, rabbits and cynomolgus monkeys. An oral peri- and post-natal developmental study was conducted in rats. Azelaic acid was administered from gestational day 15 through day 21 postpartum up to a dose level of 2500 mg/kg/day. Embryotoxicity was observed in rats at an oral dose of 2500 mg/kg/day (162 times the MRHD based on BSA) that generated some maternal toxicity. In addition, slight disturbances in the post-natal development of fetuses was noted in rats at oral doses that generated some maternal toxicity (500 and 2500 mg/kg/day; 32 and 162 times the MRHD based on BSA). No effects on sexual maturation of the fetuses were noted in this study. 8.3 Nursing Mothers It is not known whether azelaic acid is excreted in human milk; however, in vitro studies using equilibrium dialysis were conducted to assess the potential for human milk partitioning. The studies demonstrated that, at an azelaic acid concentration of 25 µg/mL, the milk/plasma distribution coefficient was 0.7 and the milk/buffer distribution was 1.0. These data indicate that passage of drug into maternal milk may occur. Since less than 4% of a topically applied dose of 20% azelaic acid cream is systemically absorbed, the uptake of azelaic acid into maternal milk is not expected to cause a significant change from baseline azelaic acid levels in the milk. Nevertheless, a decision should be made to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. 8.4 Pediatric Use Safety and effectiveness of FINACEA Gel in pediatric patients have not been established. 8.5 Geriatric Use Clinical studies of FINACEA Gel did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects.