ASMANEX

ASMANEX- mometasone furoate inhalant
Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Treatment of Asthma

ASMANEX® TWISTHALER ® is indicated for the maintenance treatment of asthma as prophylactic therapy in patients 4 years of age and older.

Important Limitations of Use

ASMANEX TWISTHALER is NOT indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm.

ASMANEX TWISTHALER is NOT indicated in children less than 4 years of age.

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Administer ASMANEX TWISTHALER by the orally inhaled route only. Instruct patients to inhale rapidly and deeply. Advise patients to rinse the mouth after inhalation. Individual patients will experience a variable time to onset and degree of symptom relief. Maximum benefit may not be achieved for 1 to 2 weeks or longer after initiation of treatment. After asthma stability has been achieved, it is desirable to titrate to the lowest effective dosage to reduce the possibility of side effects. For patients ≥12 years of age who do not respond adequately to the starting dose after 2 weeks of therapy, higher doses may provide additional asthma control. The safety and efficacy of ASMANEX TWISTHALER when administered in excess of recommended doses have not been established.

2.1 Recommended Dosages in Patients 4 Years of Age and Older

The recommended starting doses and highest recommended daily dose for ASMANEX TWISTHALER treatment based on prior asthma therapy are provided in Table 1.

Table 1: Recommended Dosages for ASMANEX TWISTHALER Treatment
Previous Therapy Recommended Starting Dose Highest Recommended Daily Dose
*
When administered once daily, ASMANEX TWISTHALER should be taken only in the evening.
The 440 mcg daily dose may be administered in divided doses of 220 mcg twice daily or as 440 mcg once daily.
For Patients Currently Receiving Chronic Oral Corticosteroid Therapy: Prednisone should be reduced no faster than 2.5 mg/day on a weekly basis, beginning after at least 1 week of ASMANEX TWISTHALER therapy. Monitor patients carefully for signs of asthma instability, including serial objective measures of airflow, and for signs of adrenal insufficiency during steroid taper and following discontinuation of oral corticosteroid therapy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
§
Recommended pediatric dosage is 110 mcg once daily in the evening regardless of prior therapy.
Patients ≥12 years who received bronchodilators alone 220 mcg once daily in the evening * 440 mcg
Patients ≥12 years who received inhaled corticosteroids 220 mcg once daily in the evening * 440 mcg
Patients ≥12 years who received oral corticosteroids 440 mcg twice daily 880 mcg
Children 4-11 years of age § 110 mcg once daily in the evening * 110 mcg *

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

ASMANEX TWISTHALER is a dry powder for inhalation that is available in 2 strengths.

ASMANEX TWISTHALER 220 mcg delivers 200 mcg mometasone furoate per actuation from the mouthpiece.

ASMANEX TWISTHALER 110 mcg delivers 100 mcg mometasone furoate per actuation from the mouthpiece.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

4.1 Status Asthmaticus

ASMANEX TWISTHALER therapy is contraindicated in the primary treatment of status asthmaticus or other acute episodes of asthma where intensive measures are required.

4.2 Hypersensitivity

ASMANEX TWISTHALER is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to milk proteins or any ingredients of ASMANEX TWISTHALER [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) and Description (11)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Local Effects

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.

5.2 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.

5.3 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 (4.2) and Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

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 (4.2) and Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

5.4 Immunosuppression

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.

5.5 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 (2.1)]. 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.

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