PULMICORT FLEXHALER

PULMICORT FLEXHALER- budesonide aerosol, powder
Rebel Distributors Corp

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Treatment of Asthma

PULMICORT FLEXHALER is indicated for the maintenance treatment of asthma as prophylactic therapy in patients six years of age or older.

Important Limitations of Use:

PULMICORT FLEXHALER is NOT indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm.

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

PULMICORT FLEXHALER should be administered twice daily by the orally inhaled route only. After inhalation, the patient should rinse the mouth with water without swallowing [see Patient Counseling Information (17.1)].

Patients should be instructed to prime PULMICORT FLEXHALER prior to its initial use, and instructed to inhale deeply and forcefully each time the device is used.

The safety and efficacy of PULMICORT FLEXHALER when administered in excess of recommended doses have not been established.

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 who do not respond adequately to the starting dose after 1-2 weeks of therapy with PULMICORT FLEXHALER, increasing the dose may provide additional asthma control.

2.1 Asthma

If asthma symptoms arise in the period between doses, an inhaled, short-acting beta2 -agonist should be taken for immediate relief.

Patients 18 Years of Age and Older: For patients 18 years of age and older, the recommended starting dosage is 360 mcg twice daily. In some adult patients, a starting dose of 180 mcg twice daily may be adequate. The maximum dosage should not exceed 720 mcg twice daily.

Patients 6 to 17 Years of Age: The recommended starting dosage is 180 mcg twice daily. In some pediatric patients, a starting dose of 360 mcg twice daily may be appropriate. The maximum dosage should not exceed 360 mcg twice daily.

For all patients, it is desirable to titrate to the lowest effective dose after adequate asthma stability is achieved.

Improvement in asthma control following inhaled administration of budesonide can occur within 24 hours of initiation of treatment, although maximum benefit may not be achieved for 1 to 2 weeks, or longer. Individual patients will experience a variable onset and degree of symptom relief.

If a previously effective dosage regimen of PULMICORT FLEXHALER fails to provide adequate control of asthma, the therapeutic regimen should be re-evaluated and additional therapeutic options (e.g. replacing the lower strength of PULMICORT FLEXHALER with the higher strength or initiating oral corticosteroids) should be considered.

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

PULMICORT FLEXHALER is available as a dry powder for inhalation containing budesonide in the following 2 strengths: 90 mcg and 180 mcg. Each inhaler contains 60 or 120 actuations.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

The use of PULMICORT FLEXHALER is contraindicated in the following conditions:

Primary treatment of status asthmaticus or other acute episodes of asthma where intensive measures are required.
Severe hypersensitivity to milk proteins or any ingredients of PULMICORT FLEXHALER [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Description (11)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Local Effects

In clinical studies, the development of localized infections of the mouth and pharynx with Candida albicans has occurred in patients treated with PULMICORT FLEXHALER. When such an infection develops, it should be treated with appropriate local or systemic (i.e. oral antifungal) therapy while treatment with PULMICORT FLEXHALER continues, but at times, therapy with PULMICORT FLEXHALER may need to be interrupted. Patients should rinse the mouth after inhalation of PULMICORT FLEXHALER.

5.2 Deterioration of Asthma or Acute Episodes

PULMICORT FLEXHALER is not a bronchodilator and is not indicated for the rapid relief of bronchospasm or other acute episodes of asthma. Patients should be instructed to contact their physician immediately if episodes of asthma not responsive to their usual doses of bronchodilators occur during the course of treatment with PULMICORT FLEXHALER. During such episodes, patients may require therapy with oral corticosteroids.

An inhaled short acting beta2 -agonist, not PULMICORT FLEXHALER, should be used to relieve acute symptoms such as shortness of breath. When prescribing PULMICORT FLEXHALER, 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 PULMICORT FLEXHALER.

5.3 Hypersensitivity Reactions Including Anaphylaxis

Hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis, rash, contact dermatitis, urticaria, angioedema, and bronchospasm have been reported with use of PULMICORT FLEXHALER. Discontinue PULMICORT FLEXHALER if such reactions occur [see Contraindications (4)and Adverse Reactions (6)].

PULMICORT FLEXHALER contains small amounts of lactose, which contains trace levels of milk proteins. It is possible that cough, wheezing, or bronchospasm may occur in patients who have a severe milk protein allergy [see Contraindications (4)and Adverse Reactions, Post-marketing Experience (6.2)].

5.4 Immunosuppression

Patients who are on drugs that suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infection than healthy individuals. Chicken pox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in susceptible children or adults using corticosteroids. In children or adults who have not had these diseases or been properly immunized, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route, and duration of corticosteroid administration affects 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 chicken pox, therapy with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) or pooled intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), as appropriate, 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 chicken pox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered. The immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine was evaluated in pediatric patients with asthma ages 12 months to 8 years with budesonide inhalation suspension.

An open-label, nonrandomized clinical study examined the immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine in 243 asthma patients 12 months to 8 years of age who were treated with budesonide inhalation suspension 0.25 mg to 1 mg daily (n=151) or non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (n=92) (i.e., beta2 -agonists, leukotriene receptor antagonists, cromones). The percentage of patients developing a seroprotective antibody titer of ≥5.0 (gpELISA value) in response to the vaccination was similar in patients treated with budesonide inhalation suspension (85%), compared to patients treated with non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (90%). No patient treated with budesonide inhalation suspension developed chicken pox as a result of vaccination.

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 PULMICORT FLEXHALER 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 PULMICORT FLEXHALER may provide control of asthma symptoms during these episodes, in recommended doses it supplies less than normal physiological amounts of glucocorticoid systemically and does NOT provide the mineralocorticoid activity that is necessary for coping with these emergencies.

During periods of stress or a 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 a severe asthma attack.

Patients requiring oral corticosteroids should be weaned slowly from systemic corticosteroid use after transferring to PULMICORT FLEXHALER. Prednisone reduction can be accomplished by reducing the daily prednisone dose by 2.5 mg on a weekly basis during therapy with PULMICORT FLEXHALER. Lung function (mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1 ] or morning peak expiratory flow [PEF]), 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 PULMICORT FLEXHALER may unmask allergic conditions previously suppressed by the systemic corticosteroid therapy, (e.g., rhinitis, conjunctivitis, eczema, arthritis, eosinophilic conditions). Some patients may experience symptoms of systemically active corticosteroid withdrawal (e.g., joint and/or muscular pain, lassitude, depression) despite maintenance or even improvement of respiratory function.

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