WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
In clinical trials, the development of localized infections of the mouth and pharynx with Candida albicans occurred in 195 of 3007 patients treated with ASMANEX TWISTHALER. If oropharyngeal candidiasis develops, it should be treated with appropriate local or systemic (i.e., oral) antifungal therapy while remaining on treatment with ASMANEX TWISTHALER therapy, but at times therapy with the ASMANEX TWISTHALER may need to be interrupted. Advise patients to rinse the mouth after inhalation of ASMANEX TWISTHALER.
Acute Asthma Episodes
ASMANEX TWISTHALER is not a bronchodilator and is not indicated for rapid relief of bronchospasm or other acute episodes of asthma. Instruct patients to contact their physician immediately if episodes of asthma that are not responsive to bronchodilators occur during the course of treatment with ASMANEX TWISTHALER. During such episodes, patients may require therapy with oral corticosteroids.
Hypersensitivity Reactions Including Anaphylaxis
Hypersensitivity reactions including rash, pruritus, angioedema, and anaphylactic reaction have been reported with use of ASMANEX TWISTHALER. Discontinue ASMANEX TWISTHALER if such reactions occur [see Contraindications and Postmarketing Experience].
ASMANEX TWISTHALER contains small amounts of lactose, which contains trace levels of milk proteins. In postmarketing experience with ASMANEX TWISTHALER, anaphylactic reactions in patients with milk protein allergy have been reported [see Contraindications and, Postmarketing Experience].
Persons who are using drugs that suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chickenpox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in susceptible children or adults using corticosteroids. In such children or adults who have not had these diseases or who are not properly immunized, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route, and duration of corticosteroid administration affect the risk of developing a disseminated infection is not known. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed to chickenpox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chickenpox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered.
Inhaled corticosteroids should be used with caution, if at all, in patients with active or quiescent tuberculosis infection of the respiratory tract, untreated systemic fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections; or ocular herpes simplex.
Transferring Patients from Systemic Corticosteroid Therapy
Particular care is needed for patients who are transferred from systemically active corticosteroids to ASMANEX TWISTHALER because deaths due to adrenal insufficiency have occurred in asthmatic patients during and after transfer from systemic corticosteroids to less systemically available inhaled corticosteroids. After withdrawal from systemic corticosteroids, a number of months are required for recovery of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function.
Patients who have been previously maintained on 20 mg or more per day of prednisone (or its equivalent) may be most susceptible, particularly when their systemic corticosteroids have been almost completely withdrawn. During this period of HPA suppression, patients may exhibit signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency when exposed to trauma, surgery, or infection (particularly gastroenteritis) or other conditions associated with severe electrolyte loss. Although ASMANEX TWISTHALER may improve control of asthma symptoms during these episodes, in recommended doses it supplies less than normal physiological amounts of corticosteroid systemically and does NOT provide the mineralocorticoid activity necessary for coping with these emergencies.
During periods of stress or severe asthma attack, patients who have been withdrawn from systemic corticosteroids should be instructed to resume oral corticosteroids (in large doses) immediately and to contact their physicians for further instruction. These patients should also be instructed to carry a medical identification card indicating that they may need supplementary systemic corticosteroids during periods of stress or severe asthma attack.
Patients requiring oral corticosteroids should be weaned slowly from systemic corticosteroid use after transferring to ASMANEX TWISTHALER. Prednisone reduction can be accomplished by reducing the daily prednisone dose by 2.5 mg on a weekly basis during treatment with ASMANEX TWISTHALER [see Dosage and Administration (2)
]. Lung function (FEV1 or PEFR), beta-agonist use, and asthma symptoms should be carefully monitored during withdrawal of oral corticosteroids. In addition to monitoring asthma signs and symptoms, patients should be observed for signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency such as fatigue, lassitude, weakness, nausea and vomiting, and hypotension.
Transfer of patients from systemic corticosteroid therapy to ASMANEX TWISTHALER may unmask allergic conditions previously suppressed by the systemic corticosteroid therapy, e.g., rhinitis, conjunctivitis, eczema, arthritis, and eosinophilic conditions.
During withdrawal from oral corticosteroids, some patients may experience symptoms of systemically active corticosteroid withdrawal, e.g., joint and/or muscular pain, lassitude, and depression, despite maintenance or even improvement of respiratory function.
Hypercorticism and Adrenal Suppression
ASMANEX TWISTHALER will often help control asthma symptoms with less suppression of HPA function than therapeutically similar oral doses of prednisone. Since individual sensitivity to effects on cortisol production exists, physicians should consider this information when prescribing ASMANEX TWISTHALER. Particular care should be taken in observing patients postoperatively or during periods of stress for evidence of inadequate adrenal response. It is possible that systemic corticosteroid effects such as hypercorticism and adrenal suppression may appear in a small number of patients, particularly when ASMANEX TWISTHALER is administered at higher than recommended doses over prolonged periods of time. If such effects occur, the dosage of ASMANEX TWISTHALER should be reduced slowly, consistent with accepted procedures for reducing systemic corticosteroids and for management of asthma.
Reduction in Bone Mineral Density
Decreases in bone mineral density (BMD) have been observed with long-term administration of products containing inhaled corticosteroids, including mometasone furoate. The clinical significance of small changes in BMD with regard to long-term outcomes is unknown. Patients with major risk factors for decreased bone mineral content, such as prolonged immobilization, family history of osteoporosis, or chronic use of drugs that can reduce bone mass (e.g., anticonvulsants and corticosteroids) should be monitored and treated with established standards of care.
In a 2-year double-blind study in 103 male and female asthma patients 18 to 50 years of age previously maintained on bronchodilator therapy (baseline FEV1 85%–88% predicted), treatment with ASMANEX TWISTHALER 220 mcg twice daily resulted in significant reductions in lumbar spine (LS) BMD at the end of the treatment period compared to placebo. The mean change from baseline to endpoint in the lumbar spine BMD was -0.015 (-1.43%) for the ASMANEX TWISTHALER group compared to 0.002 (0.25%) for the placebo group. In another 2-year double-blind study in 87 male and female asthma patients 18 to 50 years of age previously maintained on bronchodilator therapy (baseline FEV1 82%–83% predicted), treatment with ASMANEX TWISTHALER 440 mcg twice daily demonstrated no statistically significant changes in lumbar spine BMD at the end of the treatment period compared to placebo. The mean change from baseline to endpoint in the lumbar spine BMD was -0.018 (-1.57%) for the ASMANEX TWISTHALER group compared to -0.006 (-0.43%) for the placebo group.
Effect on Growth
Orally inhaled corticosteroids, including ASMANEX TWISTHALER, may cause a reduction in growth velocity when administered to pediatric patients. Monitor the growth of pediatric patients receiving ASMANEX TWISTHALER routinely (e.g., via stadiometry). To minimize the systemic effects of orally inhaled corticosteroids, including ASMANEX TWISTHALER, titrate each patient's dose to the lowest dosage that effectively controls his/her symptoms [see Use in Specific Populations
Glaucoma and Cataracts
In clinical trials glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, and cataracts have been reported in 8 of 3007 patients following the administration of ASMANEX TWISTHALER. Close monitoring is warranted in patients with a change in vision or with a history of increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, and/or cataracts.
As with other inhaled asthma medications, bronchospasm may occur with an immediate increase in wheezing after dosing. If bronchospasm occurs following dosing with ASMANEX TWISTHALER, it should be treated immediately with a fast-acting inhaled bronchodilator.
Treatment with ASMANEX TWISTHALER should be discontinued and alternative therapy instituted.
USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
Pregnancy Category C:
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of ASMANEX TWISTHALER use in pregnant women. Animal reproduction studies in mice, rats, and rabbits revealed evidence of teratogenicity. Asthma is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. Poorly controlled asthma during pregnancy is associated with adverse outcomes for mother and fetus. ASMANEX TWISTHALER should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
There is a natural increase in corticosteroid production during pregnancy; therefore most women require a lower exogenous corticosteroid dose and may not need corticosteroid treatment during pregnancy. Infants born to mothers taking substantial oral corticosteroid doses during pregnancy should be monitored for signs of hypoadrenalism.
When administered to pregnant mice, rats, and rabbits, mometasone furoate increased fetal malformations and decreased fetal growth (measured by lower fetal weights and/or delayed ossification). Dystocia and related complications were also observed when mometasone furoate was administered to rats late in gestation. However, experience with oral corticosteroids suggests that rodents are more prone to teratogenic effects from corticosteroid exposure than humans.
In a mouse reproduction study, subcutaneous mometasone furoate produced cleft palate at approximately one-third of the maximum recommended daily human dose (MRHD) for adults on an mcg/m2 basis and decreased fetal survival at approximately 1 time the MRHD. No toxicity was observed at approximately one-tenth of the MRHD.
In a rat reproduction study, mometasone furoate produced umbilical hernia at topical dermal doses approximately 6 times the MRHD and delays in ossification at approximately 3 times the MRHD.
In another study, rats received subcutaneous doses of mometasone throughout pregnancy or late in gestation. Treated animals had prolonged and difficult labor, fewer live births, lower birth weight, and reduced early pup survival at a dose that was approximately 6 times the MRHD for adults on an area under the curve (AUC) basis. Similar effects were not observed at approximately 3 times the MRHD.
In rabbits, mometasone furoate caused multiple malformations (e.g., flexed front paws, gallbladder agenesis, umbilical hernia, hydrocephaly) at topical dermal doses approximately 3 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose in adults on an mcg/m2 basis. In an oral study, mometasone furoate increased resorptions and caused cleft palate and/or head malformations (hydrocephaly and domed head) at a dose less than the MRHD for adults based on AUC. At a dose approximately 2 times the MRHD in adults based on AUC, most litters were aborted or resorbed [see Nonclinical Toxicology
Systemic absorption of a single inhaled 400 mcg mometasone dose was less than 1%. It is not known if mometasone furoate is excreted in human milk. Because other corticosteroids are excreted in human milk, caution should be used when ASMANEX TWISTHALER is administered to nursing women.
The safety and effectiveness of ASMANEX TWISTHALER have been established in children 4 years of age and older. Use of ASMANEX TWISTHALER in children 12 years of age and older is supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled clinical trials in this patient population [see Clinical Studies and Adverse Reactions
Use of ASMANEX TWISTHALER in pediatric patients 4 to 11 years of age is supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled clinical trials of 12 weeks duration in 630 patients 4 to 11 years of age receiving ASMANEX TWISTHALER and one 52-week safety trial in 152 patients [see Clinical Studies (14. 1) and Adverse Reactions
Controlled clinical studies have shown that inhaled corticosteroids may cause a reduction in growth in pediatric patients. In these studies, the mean reduction in growth velocity was approximately 1 cm per year (range: 0.3–1.8 per year) and appears to depend upon dose and duration of exposure. This effect was observed in the absence of laboratory evidence of HPA axis suppression, suggesting that growth velocity is a more sensitive indicator of systemic corticosteroid exposure in pediatric patients than some commonly used tests of HPA axis function. The long-term effects of this reduction in growth velocity associated with orally inhaled corticosteroids, including the impact on final adult height, are unknown. The potential for "catch-up" growth following discontinuation of treatment with orally inhaled corticosteroids has not been adequately studied. The growth of children and adolescents (4 years of age and older) receiving orally inhaled corticosteroids, including ASMANEX TWISTHALER, should be monitored routinely (e.g., via stadiometry).
A 52-week, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study was conducted to assess the potential growth effects of ASMANEX TWISTHALER in 187 prepubescent children (131 males and 56 females) 4 to 9 years of age with asthma who were previously maintained on an inhaled beta-agonist. Treatment groups included ASMANEX TWISTHALER 110 mcg twice daily (n=44), 220 mcg once daily in the morning (n=50), 110 mcg once daily in the morning (n=48), and placebo (n=45). For each patient, an average growth rate was determined using an individual regression approach. The mean growth rates, expressed as least-squares mean in cm per year, for ASMANEX TWISTHALER 110 mcg twice daily, 220 mcg once daily in the morning, 110 mcg once daily in the morning, and placebo were 5.34, 5.93, 6.15, and 6.44, respectively. The differences from placebo and the corresponding 2-sided 95% CI of growth rates for ASMANEX TWISTHALER 110 mcg twice daily, 220 mcg once daily in the morning, and 110 mcg once daily in the morning were -1.11 (95% CI: -2.34, 0.12), -0.51 (95% CI: -1.69, 0.67), and -0.30 (95% CI: -1.48, 0.89), respectively.
The potential growth effects of prolonged treatment with orally inhaled corticosteroids should be weighed against clinical benefits obtained and the availability of safe and effective noncorticosteroid treatment alternatives. To minimize the systemic effects of orally inhaled corticosteroids, including ASMANEX TWISTHALER, each patient should be titrated to his/her lowest effective dose.
A total of 175 patients 65 years of age and over (23 of whom were 75 years of age and older) have been treated with ASMANEX TWISTHALER in controlled clinical trials. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these and younger patients, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Concentrations of mometasone furoate appear to increase with severity of hepatic impairment [see Clinical Pharmacology