Fluticasone propionate, a component of Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS, will often help control asthma symptoms with less suppression of HPA function than therapeutically equivalent oral doses of prednisone. Since fluticasone propionate is absorbed into the circulation and can be systemically active at higher doses, the beneficial effects of Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS in minimizing HPA dysfunction may be expected only when recommended dosages are not exceeded and individual patients are titrated to the lowest effective dose. A relationship between plasma levels of fluticasone propionate and inhibitory effects on stimulated cortisol production has been shown after 4 weeks of treatment with fluticasone propionate inhalation aerosol. Since individual sensitivity to effects on cortisol production exists, physicians should consider this information when prescribing Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS.
Because of the possibility of significant systemic absorption of ICS in sensitive patients, patients treated with Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS should be observed carefully for any evidence of systemic corticosteroid effects. 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 (including adrenal crisis) may appear in a small number of patients who are sensitive to these effects. If such effects occur, Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS should be reduced slowly, consistent with accepted procedures for reducing systemic corticosteroids, and other treatments for management of asthma symptoms should be considered.
The use of strong cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir, atazanavir, clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, saquinavir, ketoconazole, telithromycin) with Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS is not recommended because increased systemic corticosteroid and increased cardiovascular adverse effects may occur [see Drug Interactions (7.1), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
As with other inhaled medicines, Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS can produce paradoxical bronchospasm, which may be life threatening. If paradoxical bronchospasm occurs following dosing with Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS, it should be treated immediately with an inhaled, short-acting bronchodilator; Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS should be discontinued immediately; and alternative therapy should be instituted. Upper airway symptoms of laryngeal spasm, irritation, or swelling, such as stridor and choking, have been reported in patients receiving fluticasone propionate/salmeterol DISKUS.
Immediate hypersensitivity reactions (e.g., urticaria, angioedema, rash, bronchospasm, hypotension), including anaphylaxis, may occur after administration of Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS. There have been reports of anaphylactic reactions in patients with severe milk protein allergy after inhalation of powder products containing lactose; therefore, patients with severe milk protein allergy should not use Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS [see Contraindications (4)].
Excessive beta-adrenergic stimulation has been associated with seizures, angina, hypertension or hypotension, tachycardia with rates up to 200 beats/min, arrhythmias, nervousness, headache, tremor, palpitation, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, malaise, and insomnia [see Overdosage (10.2)]. Therefore, Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS, like all products containing sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and hypertension.
Salmeterol, a component of Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS, 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 salmeterol 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. Large doses of inhaled or oral salmeterol (12 to 20 times the recommended dose) have been associated with clinically significant prolongation of the QTc interval, which has the potential for producing ventricular arrhythmias. Fatalities have been reported in association with excessive use of inhaled sympathomimetic drugs.
Decreases in bone mineral density (BMD) have been observed with long-term administration of products containing ICS. The clinical significance of small changes in BMD with regard to long-term consequences such as fracture is unknown. Patients with major risk factors for decreased bone mineral content, such as prolonged immobilization, family history of osteoporosis, postmenopausal status, tobacco use, advanced age, poor nutrition, or chronic use of drugs that can reduce bone mass (e.g., anticonvulsants, oral corticosteroids), should be monitored and treated with established standards of care. Since patients with COPD often have multiple risk factors for reduced BMD, assessment of BMD is recommended prior to initiating Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS and periodically thereafter. If significant reductions in BMD are seen and Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS is still considered medically important for that patient’s COPD therapy, use of medicine to treat or prevent osteoporosis should be strongly considered.
2-Year Fluticasone Propionate Trial
A 2-year trial in 160 subjects (females aged 18 to 40 years, males 18 to 50) with asthma receiving chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-propelled fluticasone propionate inhalation aerosol 88 or 440 mcg twice daily demonstrated no statistically significant changes in BMD at any time point (24, 52, 76, and 104 weeks of double-blind treatment) as assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at lumbar regions L1 through L4.
3-Year Bone Mineral Density Trial
Effects of treatment with fluticasone propionate/salmeterol DISKUS 250/50 mcg or salmeterol 50 mcg on BMD at the L1 -L4 lumbar spine and total hip were evaluated in 186 subjects with COPD (aged 43 to 87 years) in a 3-year double-blind trial. Of those enrolled, 108 subjects (72 males and 36 females) were followed for the entire 3 years. BMD evaluations were conducted at baseline and at 6-month intervals. Conclusions cannot be drawn from this trial regarding BMD decline in subjects treated with fluticasone propionate/salmeterol DISKUS versus salmeterol due to the inconsistency of treatment differences across gender and between lumbar spine and total hip.
In this trial there were 7 non-traumatic fractures reported in 5 subjects treated with fluticasone propionate/salmeterol DISKUS and 1 non-traumatic fracture in 1 subject treated with salmeterol. None of the non-traumatic fractures occurred in the vertebrae, hip, or long bones.
3-Year Survival Trial
Effects of treatment with fluticasone propionate/salmeterol DISKUS 500/50 mcg, fluticasone propionate 500 mcg, salmeterol 50 mcg, or placebo on BMD was evaluated in a subset of 658 subjects (females and males aged 40 to 80 years) with COPD in the 3-year survival trial. BMD evaluations were conducted at baseline and at 48, 108, and 158 weeks. Conclusions cannot be drawn from this trial because of the large number of dropouts (>50%) before the end of the follow-up and the maldistribution of covariates among the treatment groups that can affect BMD.
Fracture risk was estimated for the entire population of subjects with COPD in the survival trial (N = 6,184). The probability of a fracture over 3 years was 6.3% for fluticasone propionate/salmeterol DISKUS, 5.4% for fluticasone propionate, 5.1% for salmeterol, and 5.1% for placebo.
Orally inhaled corticosteroids may cause a reduction in growth velocity when administered to pediatric patients. Monitor the growth of pediatric patients receiving Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS routinely (e.g., via stadiometry). To minimize the systemic effects of orally inhaled corticosteroids, including Fluticasone Propionate/Salmeterol DISKUS, titrate each patient’s dosage to the lowest dosage that effectively controls his/her symptoms [see Dosage and Administration (2.1), Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].
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