"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Opsumit (macitentan), a new drug to treat adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a chronic, progressive and debilitating disease that can lead to death or the need for lung transpla"...
- Data from a large placebo-controlled trial in subjects with asthma showed that LABA may increase the risk of asthma-related death. Data are not available to determine whether the rate of death in patients with COPD is increased by LABA.
- A 28-week, placebo-controlled, US trial comparing the safety of another LABA (salmeterol) with placebo, each added to usual asthma therapy, showed an increase in asthma-related deaths in subjects receiving salmeterol (13/13,176 in subjects treated with salmeterol vs 3/13,179 in subjects treated with placebo; relative risk: 4.37 [95% CI: 1.25, 15.34]). The increased risk of asthma-related death is considered a class effect of LABA, including vilanterol, one of the active ingredients in BREO ELLIPTA.
- No study adequate to determine whether the rate of asthma-related death is increased in subjects treated with BREO ELLIPTA has been conducted. The safety and efficacy of BREO ELLIPTA in patients with asthma have not been established. BREO ELLIPTA is not indicated for the treatment of asthma.
Deterioration Of Disease And Acute Episodes
BREO ELLIPTA should not be initiated in patients during rapidly deteriorating or potentially life-threatening episodes of COPD. BREO ELLIPTA has not been studied in patients with acutely deteriorating COPD. The initiation of BREO ELLIPTA in this setting is not appropriate.
BREO ELLIPTA should not be used for the relief of acute symptoms, i.e., as rescue therapy for the treatment of acute episodes of bronchospasm. BREO ELLIPTA has not been studied in the relief of acute symptoms and extra doses should not be used for that purpose. Acute symptoms should be treated with an inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonist.
When beginning treatment with BREO ELLIPTA, patients who have been taking oral or inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonists on a regular basis (e.g., 4 times a day) should be instructed to discontinue the regular use of these drugs and to use them only for symptomatic relief of acute respiratory symptoms. When prescribing BREO ELLIPTA, the healthcare provider should also prescribe an inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonist and instruct the patient on how it should be used. Increasing inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonist use is a signal of deteriorating disease for which prompt medical attention is indicated.
COPD may deteriorate acutely over a period of hours or chronically over several days or longer. If BREO ELLIPTA no longer controls symptoms of bronchoconstriction; the patient's inhaled, short-acting, beta2-agonist becomes less effective; or the patient needs more short-acting beta2-agonist than usual, these may be markers of deterioration of disease. In this setting a re-evaluation of the patient and the COPD treatment regimen should be undertaken at once. Increasing the daily dose of BREO ELLIPTA beyond the recommended dose is not appropriate in this situation.
Excessive Use Of BREO ELLIPTA And Use With Other Long-Acting Beta2-Agonists
BREO ELLIPTA should not be used more often than recommended, at higher doses than recommended, or in conjunction with other medicines containing LABA, as an overdose may result. Clinically significant cardiovascular effects and fatalities have been reported in association with excessive use of inhaled sympathomimetic drugs. Patients using BREO ELLIPTA should not use another medicine containing a LABA (e.g., salmeterol, formoterol fumarate, arformoterol tartrate, indacaterol) for any reason.
Local Effects Of Inhaled Corticosteroids
In clinical trials, the development of localized infections of the mouth and pharynx with Candida albicans has occurred in subjects treated with BREO ELLIPTA. When such an infection develops, it should be treated with appropriate local or systemic (i.e., oral) antifungal therapy while treatment with BREO ELLIPTA continues, but at times therapy with BREO ELLIPTA may need to be interrupted. Advise the patient to rinse his/her mouth without swallowing following inhalation to help reduce the risk of oropharyngeal candidiasis.
An increase in the incidence of pneumonia has been observed in subjects with COPD receiving the fluticasone furoate/vilanterol combination, including BREO ELLIPTA 100 mcg/25 mcg, in clinical trials. There was also an increased incidence of pneumonias resulting in hospitalization. In some incidences these pneumonia events were fatal. Physicians should remain vigilant for the possible development of pneumonia in patients with COPD as the clinical features of such infections overlap with the symptoms of COPD exacerbations.
In replicate 12-month trials in 3,255 subjects with COPD who had experienced a COPD exacerbation in the previous year, there was a higher incidence of pneumonia reported in subjects receiving the fluticasone furoate/vilanterol combination (50 mcg/25 mcg: 6% [48 of 820 subjects]; 100 mcg/25 mcg: 6% [51 of 806 subjects]; or 200 mcg/25 mcg: 7% [55 of 811 subjects]) than in subjects receiving vilanterol 25 mcg (3% [27 of 818 subjects]). There was no fatal pneumonia in subjects receiving vilanterol or fluticasone furoate/vilanterol 50 mcg/25 mcg. There was fatal pneumonia in 1 subject receiving fluticasone furoate/vilanterol 100 mcg/25 mcg and in 7 subjects receiving fluticasone furoate/vilanterol 200 mcg/25 mcg (less than 1% for each treatment group).
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 been 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 a patient is exposed to chickenpox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If a patient is 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 infections of the respiratory tract; systemic fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections; or ocular herpes simplex.
Transferring Patients From Systemic Corticosteroid Therapy
Particular care is needed for patients who have been transferred from systemically active corticosteroids to inhaled corticosteroids because deaths due to adrenal insufficiency have occurred in patients with asthma 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 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 BREO ELLIPTA may control COPD symptoms during these episodes, in recommended doses it supplies less than normal physiological amount 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 COPD exacerbation, 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 warning card indicating that they may need supplementary systemic corticosteroids during periods of stress or severe COPD exacerbation.
Patients requiring oral corticosteroids should be weaned slowly from systemic corticosteroid use after transferring to BREO ELLIPTA. Prednisone reduction can be accomplished by reducing the daily prednisone dose by 2.5 mg on a weekly basis during therapy with BREO ELLIPTA. Lung function (mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1]), beta-agonist use, and COPD symptoms should be carefully monitored during withdrawal of oral corticosteroids. In addition, 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 BREO ELLIPTA may unmask allergic conditions previously suppressed by the systemic corticosteroid therapy (e.g., rhinitis, conjunctivitis, eczema, arthritis, 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, depression) despite maintenance or even improvement of respiratory function.
Hypercorticism And Adrenal Suppression
Inhaled fluticasone furoate is absorbed into the circulation and can be systemically active. Effects of fluticasone furoate on the HPA axis are not observed with the therapeutic dose of BREO ELLIPTA. However, exceeding the recommended dosage or coadministration with a strong cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) inhibitor may result in HPA dysfunction [see Drug Interactions With Strong Cytochrome P450 3A4 Inhibitors below, DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Because of the possibility of significant systemic absorption of inhaled corticosteroids in sensitive patients, patients treated with BREO ELLIPTA 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, BREO ELLIPTA should be reduced slowly, consistent with accepted procedures for reducing systemic corticosteroids, and other treatments for management of COPD symptoms should be considered.
Drug Interactions With Strong Cytochrome P450 3A4 Inhibitors
Caution should be exercised when considering the coadministration of BREO ELLIPTA with long-term ketoconazole and other known strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir, clarithromycin, conivaptan, indinavir, itraconazole, lopinavir, nefazodone, nelfinavir, saquinavir, telithromycin, troleandomycin, voriconazole) because increased systemic corticosteroid and increased cardiovascular adverse effects may occur [see DRUG INTERACTIONS, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
As with other inhaled medicines, BREO ELLIPTA can produce paradoxical bronchospasm, which may be life threatening. If paradoxical bronchospasm occurs following dosing with BREO ELLIPTA, it should be treated immediately with an inhaled, short-acting bronchodilator; BREO ELLIPTA should be discontinued immediately; and alternative therapy should be instituted.
Hypersensitivity Reactions, Including Anaphylaxis
Hypersensitivity reactions such as anaphylaxis, angioedema, rash, and urticaria may occur after administration of BREO ELLIPTA. Discontinue BREO ELLIPTA if such reactions occur. There have been reports of anaphylactic reactions in patients with severe milk protein allergy after inhalation of other powder medications containing lactose; therefore, patients with severe milk protein allergy should not use BREO ELLIPTA [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Vilanterol, like other beta2-agonists, can produce a clinically significant cardiovascular effect in some patients as measured by increases in pulse rate, systolic or diastolic blood pressure, and also cardiac arrhythmias, such as supraventricular tachycardia and extrasystoles. If such effects occur, BREO ELLIPTA may need to be discontinued. In addition, beta-agonists have been reported to produce electrocardiographic changes, such as flattening of the T wave, prolongation of the QTc interval, and ST segment depression, although the clinical significance of these findings is unknown. In healthy subjects, large doses of inhaled fluticasone furoate/vilanterol (4 times the recommended dose of vilanterol, representing a 12-fold higher systemic exposure than seen in patients with COPD) have been associated with clinically significant prolongation of the QTc interval, which has the potential for producing ventricular arrhythmias. Therefore, BREO ELLIPTA, like other sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and hypertension.
Reduction In Bone Mineral Density
Decreases in bone mineral density (BMD) have been observed with long-term administration of products containing inhaled corticosteroids. 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 BREO ELLIPTA and periodically thereafter. If significant reductions in BMD are seen and BREO ELLIPTA is still considered medically important for that patient's COPD therapy, use of medicine to treat or prevent osteoporosis should be strongly considered.
In replicate 12-month trials in 3,255 subjects with COPD, bone fractures were reported by 2% of subjects receiving the fluticasone furoate/vilanterol combination (50 mcg/25 mcg: 2% [14 of 820 subjects]; 100 mcg/25 mcg: 2% [19 of 806 subjects]; or 200 mcg/25 mcg: 2% [14 of 811 subjects]) than in subjects receiving vilanterol 25 mcg alone (less than 1% [8 of 818 subjects]).
Glaucoma And Cataracts
Glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, and cataracts have been reported in patients with COPD following the long-term administration of inhaled corticosteroids. Therefore, close monitoring is warranted in patients with a change in vision or with a history of increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, and/or cataracts.
In replicate 12-month trials in 3,255 subjects with COPD, similar incidences of ocular effects (including glaucoma and cataracts) were reported in subjects receiving the fluticasone furoate/vilanterol combination (50 mcg/25 mcg: less than 1% [7 of 820 subjects]; 100 mcg/25 mcg: 1% [12 of 806 subjects]; 200 mcg/25 mcg: less than 1% [7 of 811 subjects]) as those receiving vilanterol 25 mcg alone (1% [9 of 818 subjects]).
BREO ELLIPTA, like all medicines containing sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with convulsive disorders or thyrotoxicosis and in those who are unusually responsive to sympathomimetic amines. Doses of the related beta2-adrenoceptor agonist albuterol, when administered intravenously, have been reported to aggravate preexisting diabetes mellitus and ketoacidosis.
Hypokalemia And Hyperglycemia
Beta-adrenergic agonist medicines may produce significant hypokalemia in some patients, possibly through intracellular shunting, which has the potential to produce adverse cardiovascular effects. The decrease in serum potassium is usually transient, not requiring supplementation. Beta-agonist medications may produce transient hyperglycemia in some patients. In 4 clinical trials of 6- and 12-month duration evaluating BREO ELLIPTA in subjects with COPD, there was no evidence of a treatment effect on serum glucose or potassium.
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide and Instructions for Use).
Patients should be informed that LABA, such as vilanterol, one of the active ingredients in BREO ELLIPTA, increase the risk of asthma-related death. BREO ELLIPTA is not indicated for the treatment of asthma.
Not for Acute Symptoms
BREO ELLIPTA is not meant to relieve acute symptoms of COPD and extra doses should not be used for that purpose. Acute symptoms should be treated with a rescue inhaler such as albuterol. The physician should provide the patient with such medicine and instruct the patient in how it should be used.
Patients should be instructed to notify their physicians immediately if they experience any of the following:
- Symptoms get worse
- Need for more inhalations than usual of their rescue inhaler
- Significant decrease in lung function as outlined by the physician
Patients should not stop therapy with BREO ELLIPTA without physician/provider guidance since symptoms may recur after discontinuation.
Do Not Use Additional Long-Acting Beta2-Agonists
When patients are prescribed BREO ELLIPTA, other medicines containing a LABA should not be used.
Risks Associated With Corticosteroid Therapy
Patients should be advised that localized infections with Candida albicans occurred in the mouth and pharynx in some patients. If oropharyngeal candidiasis develops, it should be treated with appropriate local or systemic (i.e., oral) antifungal therapy while still continuing therapy with BREO ELLIPTA, but at times therapy with BREO ELLIPTA may need to be temporarily interrupted under close medical supervision. Rinsing the mouth without swallowing after inhalation is advised to help reduce the risk of thrush.
Patients with COPD who have received BREO ELLIPTA have a higher risk of pneumonia and should be instructed to contact their healthcare providers if they develop symptoms of pneumonia (e.g., fever, chills, change in sputum color, increase in breathing problems).
Patients who are on immunosuppressant doses of corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chickenpox or measles and, if exposed, to consult their physicians without delay. Patients should be informed of potential worsening of existing tuberculosis, fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections, or ocular herpes simplex.
Hypercorticism and Adrenal Suppression
Patients should be advised that BREO ELLIPTA may cause systemic corticosteroid effects of hypercorticism and adrenal suppression. Additionally, patients should be instructed that deaths due to adrenal insufficiency have occurred during and after transfer from systemic corticosteroids.
Reduction in Bone Mineral Density
Patients who are at an increased risk for decreased BMD should be advised that the use of corticosteroids may pose an additional risk.
Long-term use of inhaled corticosteroids may increase the risk of some eye problems (cataracts or glaucoma); regular eye examinations should be considered.
Risks Associated With Beta-Agonist Therapy
Hypersensitivity Reactions, Including Anaphylaxis
Advise patients that hypersensitivity reactions (e.g., anaphylaxis, angioedema, rash, urticaria) may occur after administration of BREO ELLIPTA. Instruct patients to discontinue BREO ELLIPTA if such reactions occur. There have been reports of anaphylactic reactions in patients with severe milk protein allergy after inhalation of other powder medications containing lactose; therefore, patients with severe milk protein allergy should not use BREO ELLIPTA.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
No studies of carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, or impairment of fertility were conducted with BREO ELLIPTA; however, studies are available for the individual components, fluticasone furoate and vilanterol, as described below.
Fluticasone furoate produced no treatment-related increases in the incidence of tumors in 2-year inhalation studies in rats and mice at inhaled doses up to 9 and 19 mcg/kg/day, respectively (approximately equal to the MRHDID in adults on a mcg/m basis).
Fluticasone furoate did not induce gene mutation in bacteria or chromosomal damage in a mammalian cell mutation test in mouse lymphoma L5178Y cells in vitro. There was also no evidence of genotoxicity in the in vivo micronucleus test in rats.
No evidence of impairment of fertility was observed in male and female rats at inhaled fluticasone furoate doses up to 29 and 91 mcg/kg/day, respectively (approximately 3 and 9 times, respectively, the MRHDID in adults on a mcg/m basis).
In a 2-year carcinogenicity study in mice, vilanterol caused a statistically significant increase in ovarian tubulostromal adenomas in females at an inhalation dose of 29,500 mcg/kg/day (approximately 8,750 times the MRHDID in adults on an AUC basis). No increase in tumors was seen at an inhalation dose of 615 mcg/kg/day (approximately 530 times the MRHDID in adults on an AUC basis).
In a 2-year carcinogenicity study in rats, vilanterol caused statistically significant increases in mesovarian leiomyomas in females and shortening of the latency of pituitary tumors at inhalation doses greater than or equal to 84.4 mcg/kg/day (greater than or equal to approximately 45 times the MRHDID in adults on an AUC basis). No tumors were seen at an inhalation dose of 10.5 mcg/kg/day (approximately 2 times the MRHDID in adults on an AUC basis).
These tumor findings in rodents are similar to those reported previously for other betaadrenergic agonist drugs. The relevance of these findings to human use is unknown.
Vilanterol tested negative in the following genotoxicity assays: the in vitro Ames assay, in vivo rat bone marrow micronucleus assay, in vivo rat unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) assay, and in vitro Syrian hamster embryo (SHE) cell assay. Vilanterol tested equivocal in the in vitro mouse lymphoma assay.
No evidence of impairment of fertility was observed in reproductive studies conducted in male and female rats at inhaled vilanterol doses up to 31,500 and 37,100 mcg/kg/day, respectively (approximately 12,000 and 14,000 times, respectively, the MRHDID in adults on a mcg/m basis).
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled trials with BREO ELLIPTA in pregnant women. Corticosteroids and beta2-agonists have been shown to be teratogenic in laboratory animals when administered systemically at relatively low dosage levels. Because animal studies are not always predictive of human response, BREO ELLIPTA should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Women should be advised to contact their physicians if they become pregnant while taking BREO ELLIPTA.
Fluticasone Furoate and Vilanterol: There was no evidence of teratogenic interactions between fluticasone furoate and vilanterol in rats at approximately 9 and 40 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human daily inhalation dose (MRHDID) in adults (on a mcg/m basis at maternal inhaled doses of fluticasone furoate and vilanterol, alone or in combination, up to approximately 95 mcg/kg/day).
Fluticasone Furoate: There were no teratogenic effects in rats and rabbits at approximately 9 and 2 times, respectively, the MRHDID in adults (on a mcg/m basis at maternal inhaled doses up to 91 and 8 mcg/kg/day in rats and rabbits, respectively). There were no effects on perinatal and postnatal development in rats at approximately 3 times the MRHDID in adults (on a mcg/m basis at maternal doses up to 27 mcg/kg/day).
Vilanterol: There were no teratogenic effects in rats and rabbits at approximately 13,000 and 160 times, respectively, the MRHDID in adults (on a mcg/m basis at maternal inhaled doses up to 33,700 mcg/kg/day in rats and on an AUC basis at maternal inhaled doses up to 591 mcg/kg/day in rabbits). However, fetal skeletal variations were observed in rabbits at approximately 1,000 times the MRHDID in adults (on an AUC basis at maternal inhaled or subcutaneous doses of 5,740 or 300 mcg/kg/day, respectively). The skeletal variations included decreased or absent ossification in cervical vertebral centrum and metacarpals. There were no effects on perinatal and postnatal development in rats at approximately 3,900 times the MRHDID in adults (on a mcg/m basis at maternal oral doses up to 10,000 mcg/kg/day).
Hypoadrenalism may occur in infants born of mothers receiving corticosteroids during pregnancy. Such infants should be carefully monitored.
Labor And Delivery
There are no adequate and well-controlled human trials that have investigated the effects of BREO ELLIPTA during labor and delivery.
Because beta-agonists may potentially interfere with uterine contractility, BREO ELLIPTA should be used during labor only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.
It is not known whether fluticasone furoate or vilanterol are excreted in human breast milk. However, other corticosteroids and beta2-agonists have been detected in human milk. Since there are no data from controlled trials on the use of BREO ELLIPTA by nursing mothers, caution should be exercised when it is administered to a nursing woman.
BREO ELLIPTA is not indicated for use in children. The safety and efficacy in pediatric patients have not been established.
Based on available data, no adjustment of the dosage of BREO ELLIPTA in geriatric patients is necessary, but greater sensitivity in some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Clinical trials of BREO ELLIPTA for COPD included 2,508 subjects aged 65 and older and 564 subjects aged 75 and older. 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 subjects.
Fluticasone furoate systemic exposure increased by up to 3-fold in subjects with hepatic impairment compared with healthy subjects. Hepatic impairment had no effect on vilanterol systemic exposure. Use BREO ELLIPTA with caution in patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment. Monitor patients for corticosteroid-related side effects [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
There were no significant increases in either fluticasone furoate or vilanterol exposure in subjects with severe renal impairment (CrCl < 30 mL/min) compared with healthy subjects. No dosage adjustment is required in patients with renal impairment [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/20/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Breo Ellipta Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Find out what women really need.