AUDIENCE: Infectious Disease, Pharmacy
ISSUE: FDA is warning health care professionals about the risk for dosing errors with the intravenous antibacterial drug Avycaz (ceftazidime and avibactam) due to confusion about the drug strength displayed on the vial and carton labels. Avycaz was initially approved with the vial and carton labels displaying the individual strengths of the two active ingredients (i.e., 2 gram/0.5 gram); however, the product is dosed based on the sum of the active ingredients (i.e., 2.5 gram). To prevent medication errors, FDA revised the labels to indicate that each vial contains Avycaz 2.5 gram, equivalent to ceftazidime 2 gram and avibactam 0.5 gram.
Since Avycaz’s approval in February 2015, FDA received reports of three medication error cases related to confusion on how the strength was displayed on the Avycaz vial and carton labels. Two cases stated that the errors occurred during preparation of the dose in the pharmacy. The third case described concern about the potential for confusion because the strength displayed for Avycaz differs from how the strength is displayed for other beta-lactam/beta-lactamase drugs. Based on the information provided in the reports, FDA is aware that at least one of the patients received a higher-than-intended dose of Avycaz. No adverse events were reported.
BACKGROUND: Avycaz is approved for intravenous administration to treat complicated infections in the urinary tract, or in combination with the antibacterial drug metronidazole to treat complicated infections in the abdomen in patients with limited or no alternative treatment options.
RECOMMENDATION: Due to reports of medication errors associated with Avycaz, the vial and carton labels have been revised to indicate that each vial contains Avycaz 2.5 gram, equivalent to ceftazidime 2 gram and avibactam 0.5 gram.
Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:
- Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report
- Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178