Strength: 50mg

Pack Size: 1 vial

Drug Class: Antineoplastics, Alkylating

Dosage and Administration:

The usual IV dose is 16 mg/m2. Dosage reduction of up to 50% should be considered in patients with renal insufficiency (BUN ≥30 mg/dL) (. The drug is administered as a single infusion over 15 to 20 minutes. Melphalan is administered at 2-week intervals for 4 doses, then, after adequate recovery from toxicity, at 4-week intervals. Available evidence suggests about one third to one half of the patients with multiple myeloma show a favorable response to the drug. Experience with oral melphalan suggests that repeated courses should be given since improvement may continue slowly over many months, and the maximum benefit may be missed if treatment is abandoned prematurely. Dose adjustment on the basis of blood cell counts at the nadir and day of treatment should be considered.

Administration Precautions

As with other toxic compounds, caution should be exercised in handling and preparing the solution of Melphalan Hydrochloride. Skin reactions associated with accidental exposure may occur. The use of gloves is recommended. If the solution of Melphalan Hydrochloride contacts the skin or mucosa, immediately wash the skin or mucosa thoroughly with soap and water.

Procedures for proper handling and disposal of anticancer drugs should be considered. Several guidelines on this subject have been published. 1-4 There is no general agreement that all of the procedures recommended in the guidelines are necessary or appropriate.

Parenteral drug products should be visually inspected for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit. If either occurs, do not use this product.

Care should be taken to avoid possible extravasation of melphalan and in cases of poor peripheral venous access, consideration should be given to use of a central venous line.

Preparation for Administration/Stability

1. Melphalan Hydrochloride for Injection must be reconstituted by rapidly injecting 10 mL of the supplied diluent directly into the vial of lyophilized powder using a sterile needle (20-gauge or larger needle diameter) and syringe. Immediately shake vial vigorously until a clear solution is obtained. This provides a 5-mg/mL solution of melphalan. Rapid addition of the diluent followed by immediate vigorous shaking is important for proper dissolution.
2. Immediately dilute the dose to be administered in 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP, to a concentration not greater than 0.45 mg/mL.
3. Administer the diluted product over a minimum of 15 minutes.
4. Complete administration within 60 minutes of reconstitution. The time between reconstitution/dilution and administration of Melphalan Hydrochloride for Injection should be kept to a minimum because reconstituted and diluted solutions of Melphalan Hydrochloride for Injection are unstable. Over as short a time as 30 minutes, a citrate derivative of melphalan has been detected in reconstituted material from the reaction of Melphalan Hydrochloride with Sterile Diluent for Melphalan Hydrochloride for Injection. Upon further dilution with saline, nearly 1% label strength of melphalan hydrolyzes every 10 minutes. A precipitate forms if the reconstituted solution is stored at 5°C. DO NOT REFRIGERATE THE RECONSTITUTED PRODUCT. Discard unused portion

Cold Storage: yes

Melphalan, also known as L-phenylalanine mustard, phenylalanine mustard, L-PAM, or Lsarcolysin, is a phenylalanine derivative of nitrogen mustard. Melphalan is a bifunctional alkylating agent that is active against selected human neoplastic diseases. It is known chemically as 4-[bis(2-chloroethyl)amino]-L-phenylalanine. The molecular formula is C13H18Cl2N2O2 and the molecular weight is 305.20. The structural formula is:

Melphalan Structural Formula

Melphalan is the active L-isomer of the compound and was first synthesized in 1953 by Bergel and Stock; the D-isomer, known as medphalan, is less active against certain animal tumors, and the dose needed to produce effects on chromosomes is larger than that required with the L-isomer. The racemic (DL-) form is known as merphalan or sarcolysin.

Melphalan is practically insoluble in water and has a pKa1 of ~2.5.

Melphalan Hydrochloride for Injection is supplied as a sterile, nonpyrogenic, freeze-dried powder.

Melphalan Hydrochloride for Injection is indicated for the palliative treatment of patients with multiple myeloma for whom oral therapy is not appropriate

Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) after high-dose melphalan conditioning is considered a standard of care procedure for patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Current formulations of melphalan (eg, Alkeran for Injection [melphalan hydrochloride]; GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA) have marginal solubility and limited chemical stability upon reconstitution. Alkeran requires the use of propylene glycol as a co-solvent, which itself has been reported to cause such complications as metabolic/renal dysfunction and arrhythmias. EVOMELA (propylene glycol-free melphalan HCl; Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Irvine, CA, USA) is a new i.v. melphalan formulation that incorporates Captisol (Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc., La Jolla, CA, USA), a specially modified cyclodextrin that improves the solubility and stability of melphalan and eliminates the need for propylene glycol. This new formulation has been shown to be bioequivalent to Alkeran. EVOMELA (200 mg/m(2)) was administered as 2 doses of 100 mg/m(2) each in a phase IIb, open-label, multicenter study to confirm its safety and efficacy as a high-dose conditioning regimen for patients with MM undergoing ASCT. At 5 centers, 61 patients (26 women) with a median age of 62 years (range, 32-73) were enrolled. All patients achieved myeloablation with a median time of 5 days post-ASCT, and all successfully achieved neutrophil and platelet engraftment with median times of 12 days post-ASCT and 13 days post-ASCT, respectively; treatment-related mortality on day 100 was 0%. Overall response rate (according to independent, blinded review) was high (100%), with an overall complete response rate of 21% (13% stringent complete response; 8% complete response) and overall partial response rate of 79% (61% very good partial response; 18% partial response). The incidence of grade 3 mucositis and stomatitis was low (10% and 5%, respectively) with no grade 4 mucositis or stomatitis reported (graded according to National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events). Based on investigators’ assessment of mucositis using the World Health Organization (WHO) oral toxicity scale, 75% of patients had a shift in mucositis score from WHO grade 0 at baseline to a higher grade on study, of which 13% of patients reported WHO grade 3 as the worst post-treatment mucositis over the course of the study; there were no reports of WHO grade 4 mucositis during the study. This study confirms the efficacy and acceptable safety profile of EVOMELA, a new propylene glycol-free melphalan formulation, as a high-dose conditioning regimen for ASCT in patients with MM.

Melphalan should be used with extreme caution 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.Dose reduction should be considered in patients with renal insufficiency receiving IV melphalan.Administration of live vaccines to immunocompromised patients should be avoided.

Information for patients

Patients should be informed that the major acute toxicities of melphalan are related to bone marrow suppression, hypersensitivity reactions, gastrointestinal toxicity, and pulmonary toxicity. The major long-term toxicities are related to infertility and secondary malignancies. Patients should never be allowed to take the drug without close medical supervision and should be advised to consult their physicians if they experience skin rash, signs or symptoms of vasculitis, bleeding, fever, persistent cough, nausea, vomiting, amenorrhea, weight loss, or unusual lumps/masses. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant.

Laboratory Tests

Periodic complete blood counts with differentials should be performed during the course of treatment with melphalan. At least 1 determination should be obtained prior to each dose. Patients should be observed closely for consequences of bone marrow suppression, which include severe infections, bleeding, and symptomatic anemia.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. IV melphalan should not be given to nursing mothers.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of Melphalan Hydrochloride for Injection 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.

Drug Interactions

The development of severe renal failure has been reported in patients treated with a single dose of IV melphalan followed by standard oral doses of cyclosporine. Cisplatin may affect melphalan kinetics by inducing renal dysfunction and subsequently altering melphalan clearance. IV melphalan may also reduce the threshold for BCNU lung toxicity. When nalidixic acid and IV melphalan are given simultaneously, the incidence of severe hemorrhagic necrotic enterocolitis has been reported to increase in pediatric patients.