The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of montelukast sodium. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Blood and lymphatic system disorders: increased bleeding tendency, thrombocytopenia.
Immune system disorders: hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis, hepatic eosinophilic infiltration.
Psychiatric disorders: agitation including aggressive behavior or hostility, anxiousness, depression, disorientation, dream abnormalities, hallucinations, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, somnambulism, suicidal thinking and behavior (including suicide), tremor [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].
Nervous system disorders: drowsiness, paraesthesia/hypoesthesia, seizures.
Cardiac disorders: palpitations.
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: epistaxis.
Gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea, dyspepsia, nausea, pancreatitis, vomiting.
Hepatobiliary disorders: Cases of cholestatic hepatitis, hepatocellular liver-injury, and mixed-pattern liver injury have been reported in patients treated with montelukast sodium. Most of these occurred in combination with other confounding factors, such as use of other medications, or when montelukast sodium was administered to patients who had underlying potential for liver disease such as alcohol use or other forms of hepatitis.
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: angioedema, bruising, erythema multiforme, erythema nodosum, pruritus, Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria.
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: arthralgia, myalgia including muscle cramps.
General disorders and administration site conditions: edema.
Patients with asthma on therapy with montelukast sodium may present with systemic eosinophilia, sometimes presenting with clinical features of vasculitis consistent with Churg-Strauss syndrome, a condition which is often treated with systemic corticosteroid therapy. These events usually, but not always, have been associated with the reduction of oral corticosteroid therapy. Physicians should be alert to eosinophilia, vasculitic rash, worsening pulmonary symptoms, cardiac complications, and/or neuropathy presenting in their patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
No dose adjustment is needed when montelukast sodium is co-administered with theophylline, prednisone, prednisolone, oral contraceptives, terfenadine, digoxin, warfarin, thyroid hormones, sedative hypnotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, benzodiazepines, decongestants, and Cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme inducers [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Pregnancy Category B: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, montelukast sodium should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Teratogenic Effect: No teratogenicity was observed in rats and rabbits at doses approximately 100 and 110 times, respectively, the maximum recommended daily oral dose in adults based on AUCs [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.2)].
During worldwide marketing experience, congenital limb defects have been rarely reported in the offspring of women being treated with montelukast sodium during pregnancy. Most of these women were also taking other asthma medications during their pregnancy. A causal relationship between these events and montelukast sodium has not been established.
Studies in rats have shown that montelukast is excreted in milk. It is not known if montelukast is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when montelukast sodium is given to a nursing mother.
Safety and efficacy of montelukast sodium have been established in adequate and well-controlled studies in pediatric patients with asthma 6 to 14 years of age. Safety and efficacy profiles in this age group are similar to those seen in adults [see Adverse Reactions (6.1), Clinical Pharmacology, Special Populations (12.3), and Clinical Studies (14.1)].
The efficacy of montelukast sodium for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis in pediatric patients 2 years to 14 years of age and for the treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis in pediatric patients 2 years to 14 years of age is supported by extrapolation from the demonstrated efficacy in patients 15 years of age and older with allergic rhinitis as well as the assumption that the disease course, pathophysiology and the drug’s effect are substantially similar among these populations.
The safety of montelukast sodium 4 mg chewable tablets in pediatric patients 2 to 5 years of age with asthma has been demonstrated by adequate and well-controlled data [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. Efficacy of montelukast sodium in this age group is extrapolated from the demonstrated efficacy in patients 6 years of age and older with asthma and is based on similar pharmacokinetic data, as well as the assumption that the disease course, pathophysiology and the drug’s effect are substantially similar among these populations. Efficacy in this age group is supported by exploratory efficacy assessments from a large, well-controlled safety study conducted in patients 2 to 5 years of age.
The safety of montelukast sodium 4 mg and 5 mg chewable tablets in pediatric patients aged 2 to 14 years with allergic rhinitis is supported by data from studies conducted in pediatric patients aged 2 to 14 years with asthma. A safety study in pediatric patients 2 to 14 years of age with seasonal allergic rhinitis demonstrated a similar safety profile [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
The safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 12 months with asthma and 6 months with perennial allergic rhinitis have not been established. The safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 6 years with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction have not been established.
Pediatric use information for patients ages 6 to 14 years of age for acute prevention of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) is approved for Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp’s montelukast tablet products. However, due to Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp’s marketing exclusivity rights, this drug product is not labeled with that pediatric information.
Growth Rate in Pediatric Patients: A 56-week, multi-center, double-blind, randomized, active- and placebo-controlled parallel group study was conducted to assess the effect of montelukast sodium on growth rate in 360 patients with mild asthma, aged 6 to 8 years. Treatment groups included montelukast sodium 5 mg once daily, placebo, and beclomethasone dipropionate administered as 168 mcg twice daily with a spacer device. For each subject, a growth rate was defined as the slope of a linear regression line fit to the height measurements over 56 weeks. The primary comparison was the difference in growth rates between montelukast sodium and placebo groups. Growth rates, expressed as least-squares (LS) mean (95% CI) in cm/year, for the montelukast sodium, placebo, and beclomethasone treatment groups were 5.67 (5.46, 5.88), 5.64 (5.42, 5.86), and 4.86 (4.64, 5.08), respectively. The differences in growth rates, expressed as least-squares (LS) mean (95% CI) in cm/year, for montelukast sodium minus placebo, beclomethasone minus placebo, and montelukast sodium minus beclomethasone treatment groups were 0.03 (-0.26, 0.31), -0.78 (-1.06, -0.49); and 0.81 (0.53, 1.09), respectively. Growth rate (expressed as mean change in height over time) for each treatment group is shown in FIGURE 1.
Figure 1: Change in Height (cm) from Randomization Visit by Scheduled Week (Treatment Group Mean ± Standard Error* of the Mean)
Of the total number of subjects in clinical studies of montelukast, 3.5% were 65 years of age and over, and 0.4% were 75 years of age and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out. The pharmacokinetic profile and the oral bioavailability of a single 10 mg oral dose of montelukast are similar in elderly and younger adults. The plasma half-life of montelukast is slightly longer in the elderly. No dosage adjustment in the elderly is required.
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