Albuterol

ALBUTEROL- albuterol sulfate tablet
Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC

DESCRIPTION

Albuterol tablets, USP contain albuterol sulfate, USP, the racemic form of albuterol and a relatively selective beta2 -adrenergic bronchodilator. Albuterol sulfate has the chemical name α1 -[(tert -Butylamino) methyl]- 4-hydroxy-m -xylene-α,α’-diol sulfate (2:1) (salt) and the following structural formula:

structure
(click image for full-size original)

The molecular weight of albuterol sulfate is 576.71, and the molecular formula is (C13 H21 NO3 )2 •H2 SO4 .

Albuterol sulfate, USP is a white or practically white powder, freely soluble in water and slightly soluble in ethanol. The World Health Organization recommended name for albuterol base is salbutamol.

Each albuterol tablet, USP for oral administration contains 2 mg or 4 mg of albuterol as 2.4 mg or 4.8 mg of albuterol sulfate, USP respectively.

Each tablet also contains the following inactive ingredients: lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, pregelatinized (corn) starch and sodium lauryl sulfate.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

The primary action of beta-adrenergic agonist drugs, including albuterol, is to stimulate adenyl cyclase, the enzyme which catalyzes the formation of cyclic-3′,5′- adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP) from adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in beta-adrenergic cells. The cyclic AMP thus formed mediates the cellular responses. Increased cyclic AMP levels are associated with relaxation of bronchial smooth muscle and inhibition of release of mediators of immediate hypersensitivity from cells, especially from mast cells.

In vitro studies and in vivo pharmacologic studies have demonstrated that albuterol has a preferential effect on beta2 -adrenergic receptors compared with isoproterenol. While it is recognized that beta2 — adrenergic receptors are the predominant receptors in bronchial smooth muscle, data indicate that there is a population of beta2 -receptors in the human heart existing in a concentration between 10% and 50%. The precise function of these receptors has not been established.

In controlled clinical trials, albuterol has been shown to have more effect on the respiratory tract, in the form of bronchial smooth muscle relaxation, than isoproterenol at comparable doses while producing fewer cardiovascular effects. Controlled clinical studies and other clinical experience have shown that inhaled albuterol, like other beta-adrenergic agonist drugs, can produce a significant cardiovascular effect in some patients, as measured by pulse rate, blood pressure, symptoms, and/or ECG changes.

Albuterol is longer acting than isoproterenol in most patients by any route of administration because it is not a substrate for the cellular uptake processes for catecholamines nor for catechol-O -methyl transferase.

Preclinical

Intravenous studies in rats with albuterol sulfate have demonstrated that albuterol crosses the blood-brain barrier and reaches brain concentrations amounting to approximately 5% of the plasma concentrations. In structures outside the blood-brain barrier (pineal and pituitary glands), albuterol concentrations were found to be 100 times those in the whole brain.

Studies in laboratory animals (minipigs, rodents, and dogs) have demonstrated the occurrence of cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death (with histologic evidence of myocardial necrosis) when beta-agonists and methylxanthines are administered concurrently. The clinical significance of these findings is unknown.

Pharmacokinetics

Albuterol is rapidly and well absorbed following oral administration.

In studies involving normal volunteers, the mean steady-state peak and trough plasm levels of albuterol were 6.7 and 3.8 ng/mL, respectively, following dosing with a 2 mg albuterol tablet every 6 hours and 14.8 and 8.6 ng/mL, respectively following dosing with a 4 mg albuterol tablet every 6 hours. Maximum albuterol plasma levels are usually obtained between 2 and 3 hours after dosing, and the elimination half-life is 5 to 6 hours. These data indicate that albuterol administered orally is dose proportional and exhibits dose independent pharmacokinetics.

Albuterol extended-release tablets have been formulated to provide a duration of action of up to 12 hours. In studies conducted in normal volunteers, the mean steady-state peak and trough plasma levels of albuterol were 6.5 and 3.0 ng/mL, respectively, following dosing with a 4 mg albuterol extended-release tablet every 12 hours. In addition, it has been shown that administration of a 4 mg albuterol extended-release tablets every 12 hours, and a 2 mg albuterol tablet every 6 hours for 5 days gave comparable peak albuterol levels and similar extent of absorption at steady state.

In other studies, the analysis of urine samples of patients given tritiated albuterol (4 mg to 10 mg) orally showed that 65% to 90% of the dose was excreted over 3 days, with the majority of the dose being excreted within the first 24 hours. Sixty percent of this radioactivity was shown to be the metabolite. Feces collected over this period contained 4% of the administered dose.

Clinical Trials

In controlled clinical trials in patients with asthma, the onset of improvement in pulmonary function, as measured by maximum midexpiratory flow rate (MMEF), was noted within 30 minutes after a dose of albuterol tablets, with peak improvement occurring between 2 and 3 hours. In controlled clinical trials in which measurements were conducted for 6 hours, significant clinical improvement in pulmonary function (defined as maintaining a 15% or more increase in FEV1 and a 20% or more increase in MMEF over baseline values) was observed in 60% of patients at 4 hours and in 40% at 6 hours. In other single-dose, controlled clinical trials, clinically significant improvement was observed in at least 40% of the patients at 8 hours with the 4 mg albuterol tablet. No decrease in the effectiveness of albuterol tablets has been reported in patients who received long-term treatment with the drug in uncontrolled studies for periods up to 6 months.

In another controlled clinical study in asthmatic patients, it has been demonstrated that the initiation of therapy with either the 4 mg albuterol extended-release tablet dosed every 12 hours, or the 2 mg albuterol tablet dosed every 6 hours, achieve therapeutically comparable effects.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Albuterol tablets, USP are indicated for the relief of bronchospasm in adults and children 6 years of age and older with reversible obstructive airway disease.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Albuterol tablets are contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to albuterol, or any of their components.

WARNINGS

Paradoxical Bronchospasm

Albuterol tablets can produce paradoxical bronchospasm, which may be life threatening. If paradoxical bronchospasm occurs, albuterol tablets should be discontinued immediately and alternative therapy instituted.

Deterioration of Asthma

Asthma may deteriorate acutely over a period of hours, or chronically over several days or longer. If the patient needs more doses of albuterol tablets than usual, this may be a marker of destabilization of asthma and requires re-evaluation of the patient and the treatment regimen, giving special consideration to the possible need for anti-inflammatory treatment, e.g., corticosteroids.

Use of Anti-Inflammatory Agents

The use of beta-adrenergic agonist bronchodilators alone may not be adequate to control asthma in many patients. Early consideration should be given to adding anti-inflammatory agents, e.g., corticosteroids.

Cardiovascular Effects

Albuterol tablets, like all other beta-adrenergic agonists, can produce a clinically significant cardiovascular effect in some patients as measured by pulse rate, blood pressure, and/or symptoms. Although such effects are uncommon after administration of albuterol tablets at recommended doses, if they occur, the drug may need to be discontinued. In addition, beta-agonists have been reported to produce electrocardiogram (ECG) changes, such as flattening of the T wave, prolongation of the QTc interval, and ST segment depression. The clinical significance of these findings is unknown. Therefore, albuterol tablets, like all sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and hypertension.

Immediate Hypersensitivity Reactions

Immediate hypersensitivity reactions may occur after administration of albuterol, as demonstrated by rare cases of urticaria, angioedema, rash, bronchospasm, anaphylaxis and oropharyngeal edema.

Rarely, erythema multiforme and Stevens-Johnson syndrome have been associated with the administration of oral albuterol sulfate in children.

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