ASMANEX HFA

ASMANEX HFA- mometasone furoate aerosol
Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Treatment of Asthma

ASMANEX® HFA is indicated for the maintenance treatment of asthma as prophylactic therapy in patients 5 years of age and older.

Important Limitations of Use

  • ASMANEX HFA is NOT indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm.

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Administration Information

Administer ASMANEX HFA only by the orally inhaled route [see Instructions for Use in the Patient Information leaflet]. After each dose, advise patients to rinse their mouth with water and, without swallowing, spit out the contents to help reduce the risk of oropharyngeal candidiasis.

Remove the cap from the mouthpiece of the actuator before using ASMANEX HFA.

Prime ASMANEX HFA before using for the first time by releasing 4 test sprays into the air, away from the face, shaking well before each spray. In cases where the inhaler has not been used for more than 5 days, prime the inhaler again by releasing 4 test sprays into the air, away from the face, shaking well before each spray.

Only use the ASMANEX HFA canister with the ASMANEX HFA actuator. Do not use the ASMANEX HFA actuator with any other inhalation drug product. Do not use actuators from other products with the ASMANEX HFA canister.

2.2 Recommended Dosage

Administer ASMANEX HFA as two inhalations twice daily every day (morning and evening) by the orally inhaled route. Shake well prior to each inhalation. If symptoms arise between doses, use an inhaled short-acting beta2 -agonist for immediate relief. The maximum benefit may not be achieved for 1 week or longer after beginning treatment. Individual patients may experience a variable time to onset and degree of symptom relief.

Adult and Adolescent Patients Aged 12 Years and Older

For patients 12 years of age and older, the dosage is either 2 inhalations twice daily of ASMANEX HFA 100 mcg or 200 mcg. The starting dosage is based on previous asthma therapy and disease severity, including considerations of the patients’ current control of asthma symptoms and risk of future exacerbations. The recommended starting dosage for patients 12 years of age and older who are not on an inhaled corticosteroid is ASMANEX HFA 100 mcg, 2 inhalations twice daily. It is recommended that patients currently receiving chronic oral corticosteroid therapy (e.g., prednisone) begin with ASMANEX HFA 200 mcg (2 inhalations twice daily). For patients who do not respond adequately to the initial dosage after 2 weeks of therapy, increasing the dosage may provide additional asthma control. The maximum daily recommended dose is two inhalations of ASMANEX HFA 200 mcg twice daily (maximum of 800 mcg a day).

After asthma stability has been achieved, it may be desirable to titrate to the lowest effective dosage to reduce the possibility of side effects.

If a dosage regimen of ASMANEX HFA fails to provide adequate control of asthma, re-evaluate the therapeutic regimen and consider additional therapeutic options, e.g., replacing the current strength of ASMANEX HFA with a higher strength, initiating an inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta2 -agonist combination product, or initiating oral corticosteroids.

Pediatric Patients Aged 5 to Less Than 12 Years

For patients aged 5 to less than 12 years, the dosage is 2 inhalations of ASMANEX HFA 50 mcg twice daily. The maximum daily dosage is 200 mcg.

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

ASMANEX HFA is a pressurized metered dose inhaler (MDI) that is available in 2 strengths (100 mcg and 200 mcg) for adult and adolescent patients aged 12 years and older; and 1 strength (50 mcg) for pediatric patients aged 5 to less than 12 years.

ASMANEX HFA 50 mcg delivers 50 mcg of mometasone furoate per actuation.

ASMANEX HFA 100 mcg delivers 100 mcg of mometasone furoate per actuation.

ASMANEX HFA 200 mcg delivers 200 mcg of mometasone furoate per actuation.

Each strength of ASMANEX HFA is supplied with a blue colored actuator and pink dust cap [see How Supplied/Storage and Handling (16.1)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

4.1 Status Asthmaticus

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

4.2 Hypersensitivity

ASMANEX HFA is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to mometasone furoate or any of the ingredients in ASMANEX HFA [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Deterioration of Asthma and Acute Episodes

ASMANEX HFA is not indicated for the relief of acute symptoms, i.e., as rescue therapy for the treatment of acute episodes of bronchospasm. An inhaled, short-acting beta2 -agonist, not ASMANEX HFA, should be used to relieve acute symptoms such as shortness of breath. When prescribing ASMANEX HFA, the physician must also provide the patient with an inhaled, short-acting beta2 -agonist (e.g., albuterol) for treatment of acute symptoms, despite regular twice-daily (morning and evening) use of ASMANEX HFA. 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 HFA. During such episodes, patients may require therapy with oral corticosteroids.

5.2 Local Effects

In clinical trials, the development of localized infections of the mouth and pharynx with Candida albicans have occurred in patients treated with ASMANEX HFA. If oropharyngeal candidiasis develops, treat with appropriate local or systemic (i.e., oral) antifungal therapy while remaining on treatment with ASMANEX HFA therapy, but at times therapy with ASMANEX HFA may need to be interrupted. To reduce the risk of oropharyngeal candidiasis, after dosing with ASMANEX HFA, advise patients to rinse their mouth with water and spit out the contents without swallowing.

5.3 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) or pooled intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) 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.

5.4 Transferring Patients from Systemic Corticosteroid Therapy

Particular care is needed for patients who are transferred from systemically active corticosteroids to ASMANEX HFA 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 HFA 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 or other systemic corticosteroids should be weaned slowly from oral or other systemic corticosteroid use after transferring to ASMANEX HFA. Lung function (FEV1 or PEF), beta-agonist use, and asthma symptoms should be carefully monitored during withdrawal of oral or other systemic 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 HFA 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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