Albuterol Sulfate

ALBUTEROL SULFATE- albuterol sulfate solution
Holopack International

DESCRIPTION

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

Image from Drug Label Content

Albuterol sulfate has a molecular weight of 576.71, and the molecular formula is (C13 H21 NO3 )2 • H2 SO4 . Albuterol sulfate is a white crystalline powder, soluble in water and slightly soluble in ethanol.

The World Health Organization recommended name for albuterol base is salbutamol.

Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution requires no dilution before administration by nebulization.

Each milliliter of Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution contains 0.83 mg of albuterol (as 1 mg of albuterol sulfate) in an isotonic, sterile, aqueous solution containing sodium chloride; sulfuric acid is used to adjust the pH to between 3 and 5. Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution contains no sulfiting agents or preservatives.

Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution is a clear, colorless to light yellow solution.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

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 10% to 50% of the beta-receptors in the human heart may be beta2 -receptors. The precise function of these receptors has not been established.

The pharmacologic effects of beta-adrenergic agonist drugs, including albuterol, are at least in part attributable to stimulation through beta-adrenergic receptors of intracellular adenyl cyclase, the enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to cyclic-3′,5′-adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP). 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.

Albuterol has been shown in most controlled clinical trials 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 electrocardiographic 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.

Pharmacokinetics

Studies in asthmatic patients have shown that less than 20% of a single albuterol dose was absorbed following either IPPB (intermittent positive-pressure breathing) or nebulizer administration; the remaining amount was recovered from the nebulizer and apparatus and expired air. Most of the absorbed dose was recovered in the urine 24 hours after drug administration. Following a 3-mg dose of nebulized albuterol in adults, the maximum albuterol plasma levels at 0.5 hours were 2.1 ng/mL (range, 1.4 to 3.2 ng/mL). There was a significant dose-related response in FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in one second) and peak flow rate. It has been demonstrated that following oral administration of 4 mg of albuterol, the elimination half-life was 5 to 6 hours.

Preclinical

Intravenous studies in rats with albuterol sulfate have demonstrated that albuterol crosses the blood-brain barrier and reaches brain concentrations amounting to approximately 5.0% 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 were administered concurrently. The clinical significance of these findings is unknown.

Clinical Trials

In controlled clinical trials in adults, most patients exhibited an onset of improvement in pulmonary function within 5 minutes as determined by FEV1 . FEV1 measurements also showed that the maximum average improvement in pulmonary function usually occurred at approximately 1 hour following inhalation of 2.5 mg of albuterol by compressor-nebulizer and remained close to peak for 2 hours. Clinically significant improvement in pulmonary function (defined as maintenance of a 15% or more increase in FEV1 over baseline values) continued for 3 to 4 hours in most patients, with some patients continuing up to 6 hours.

Published reports of trials in asthmatic children aged 3 years or older have demonstrated significant improvement in either FEV1 or PEFR within 2 to 20 minutes following single doses of albuterol inhalation solution. An increase of 15% or more in baseline FEV1 has been observed in children aged 5 to 11 years up to 6 hours after treatment with doses of 0.10 mg/kg or higher of albuterol inhalation solution. Single doses of 3, 4, or 10 mg resulted in improvement in baseline PEFR that was comparable in extent and duration to a 2-mg dose, but doses above 3 mg were associated with heart rate increases of more than 10%.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution is indicated for the relief of bronchospasm in patients 2 years of age and older with reversible obstructive airway disease and acute attacks of bronchospasm.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution is contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to albuterol or any of its components.

WARNINGS

Paradoxical Bronchospasm

Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution can produce paradoxical bronchospasm, which may be life threatening. If paradoxical bronchospasm occurs, Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution should be discontinued immediately and alternative therapy instituted. It should be recognized that paradoxical bronchospasm, when associated with inhaled formulations, frequently occurs with the first use of a new canister or vial.

Cardiovascular Effects

Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution, 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 Sulfate Inhalation Solution 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 Sulfate Inhalation Solution, like all sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and hypertension.

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 Sulfate Inhalation Solution than usual, this may be a marker of destabilization of asthma and requires reevaluation of the patient and treatment regimen, giving special consideration to the possible need for anti-inflammatory treatment, e.g., corticosteroids.

Immediate Hypersensitivity Reactions

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

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.

PRECAUTIONS

General

Albuterol, as with all sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and hypertension; in patients with convulsive disorders, hyperthyroidism, or diabetes mellitus; and in patients who are unusually responsive to sympathomimetic amines. Clinically significant changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure have been seen in individual patients and could be expected to occur in some patients after use of any beta-adrenergic bronchodilator.

Large doses of intravenous albuterol have been reported to aggravate pre-existing diabetes mellitus and ketoacidosis. As with other beta-agonists, albuterol may produce significant hypokalemia in some patients, possibly through intracellular shunting, which has the potential to produce adverse cardiovascular effects. The decrease is usually transient, not requiring supplementation.

Repeated dosing with 0.15 mg/kg of albuterol inhalation solution in children aged 5 to 17 years who were initially normokalemic has been associated with an asymptomatic decline of 20% to 25% in serum potassium levels.

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