April 27, 2017
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Side Effects


Long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists increase the risk of asthma-related death [see BOXED WARNING and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Beta2-Agonist Adverse Reaction Profile

Adverse reactions to BROVANA Inhalation Solution are expected to be similar in nature to other beta2- adrenergic receptor agonists including: angina, hypertension or hypotension, tachycardia, arrhythmias, nervousness, headache, tremor, dry mouth, palpitation, muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, malaise, hypokalemia, hyperglycemia, metabolic acidosis and insomnia.

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

Adults With COPD In Short-Term Trials (12 weeks)

The safety data described below for adults ≥ 35 years of age are based on 2 clinical trials of 12 weeks. In the 2 trials of 12 weeks duration, 1456 patients (860 males and 596 females, ages 34 to 89 years old) with COPD were treated with BROVANA Inhalation Solution 15 mcg twice daily, 25 mcg twice daily, 50 mcg once daily, salmeterol 42 mcg twice daily, or placebo. The racial/ethnic distribution in these two trials included 1383 Caucasians, 49 Blacks, 10 Asians, and 10 Hispanics, and 4 patients classified as Other. Among the 1,456 COPD patients in two 12-week, placebo-controlled trials, 288 were treated with BROVANA Inhalation Solution 15 mcg twice daily and 293 were treated with placebo. Doses of 25 mcg twice daily and 50 mcg once daily were also evaluated.

Table 1 shows adverse reaction rates among patients from these two trials where the frequency was greater than or equal to 2% in the BROVANA Inhalation Solution 15 mcg twice daily group and where the rate in the BROVANA Inhalation Solution 15 mcg twice daily group exceeded the rate in the placebo group. The total number and percent of patients who reported adverse events were 202 (70%) in the 15 mcg twice daily and 219 (75%) in the placebo groups. Ten adverse events demonstrated a dose relationship: asthenia, fever, bronchitis, COPD, headache, vomiting, hyperkalemia, leukocytosis, nervousness, and tremor.

Table 1: Number of Patients Experiencing Adverse Events from Two 12-Week, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials

T otal Patients BROVANA Inhalation Solution 15 mcg twice daily Placebo
n (%) n (%)
288 (100) 293 (100)
Pain 23 (8) 16 (5)
Chest Pain 19 (7) 19 (6)
Back Pain 16 (6) 6 (2)
Diarrhea 16 (6) 13 (4)
Sinusitis 13 (5) 11 (4)
Leg Cramps 12 (4) 6 (2)
Dyspnea 11 (4) 7 (2)
Rash 11 (4) 5 (2)
Flu Syndrome 10 (3) 4 (1)
Peripheral Edema 8 (3) 7 (2)
Lung Disorder* 7 (2) 2 (1)
* Reported terms coded to “Lung Disorder” were predominantly pulmonary or chest congestion.

Adverse events occurring in patients treated with BROVANA Inhalation Solution 15 mcg twice daily with a frequency of < 2%, but greater than placebo, were as follows:

Body as a Whole: abscess, allergic reaction, digitalis intoxication, fever, hernia, injection site pain, neck rigidity, neoplasm, pelvic pain, retroperitoneal hemorrhage

Cardiovascular: arteriosclerosis, atrial flutter, AV block, congestive heart failure, heart block, myocardial infarct, QT interval prolonged, supraventricular tachycardia, inverted T-wave

Digestive: constipation, gastritis, melena, oral moniliasis, periodontal abscess, rectal hemorrhage

Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders : dehydration, edema, glucose tolerance decreased, gout, hyperglycemia, hyperlipemia, hypoglycemia, hypokalemia

Musculoskeletal: arthralgia, arthritis, bone disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, tendinous contracture

Nervous : agitation, cerebral infarct, circumoral paresthesia, hypokinesia, paralysis, somnolence, tremor

Respiratory: carcinoma of the lung, respiratory disorder, voice alteration

Skin and Appendages : dry skin, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, skin discoloration, skin hypertrophy

Special Senses : abnormal vision, glaucoma

Urogenital: breast neoplasm, calcium crystalluria, cystitis, glycosuria, hematuria, kidney calculus, nocturia, PSA increase, pyuria, urinary tract disorder, urine abnormality.

In these trials, the overall frequency of all cardiovascular adverse events was 6.9% in BROVANA Inhalation Solution 15 mcg twice daily and 13.3% in the placebo group. There were no frequently occurring specific cardiovascular adverse events for BROVANA Inhalation Solution (frequency ≥ 1% and greater than placebo). The rate of COPD exacerbations was also comparable between the BROVANA Inhalation Solution 15 mcg twice daily and placebo groups, 12.2% and 15.1%, respectively.

Adults With COPD In Long-Term (52-week) Safety Trial

BROVANA Inhalation Solution was evaluated in one 52 week double-blind, randomized, placebocontrolled, safety trial conducted in patients with moderate to severe COPD. The primary endpoint was time to either respiratory death or first COPD exacerbation-related hospitalization, whichever occurred first. The event had to be a death or hospitalization for which the patient's respiratory status was predominant and/or inciting contributor, as determined by the clinical investigator. The objective of the trial was to demonstrate that the risk of respiratory death or COPD exacerbation-related hospitalization for patients treated with BROVANA Inhalation Solution was not greater than 40% more than the risk for patient treated with placebo. A total of 841 patients (479 males and 361 females, ages 41 to 94 years old) with COPD were randomized: 420 to BROVANA Inhalation Solution 15 mcg twice daily and 421 to placebo. Of the randomized patients, 255 (61%) in the BROVANA Inhalation Solution group and 211 (50%) in the placebo group, completed one year of treatment. The trial objective was met demonstrating that COPD patients treated with BROVANA Inhalation Solution are not at an increased risk of respiratory death or COPD exacerbation-related hospitalizations compared to placebo.

Read the Brovana (arformoterol tartrate inhalation solution) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


Adrenergic Drugs

If additional adrenergic drugs are to be administered by any route, they should be used with caution because the sympathetic effects of arformoterol may be potentiated [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Xanthine Derivatives, Steroids, Or Diuretics

Concomitant treatment with methylxanthine (aminophylline, theophylline), steroids, or diuretics may potentiate any hypokalemic effect of adrenergic agonists including BROVANA Inhalation Solution [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

The concurrent use of intravenously or orally administered methylxanthines (e.g., aminophylline, theophylline) by patients receiving BROVANA Inhalation Solution has not been completely evaluated. In two combined 12-week, placebo-controlled trials that included BROVANA Inhalation Solution doses of 15 mcg twice daily, 25 mcg twice daily, and 50 mcg once daily, 54 of 873 BROVANA Inhalation Solution-treated subjects received concomitant theophylline at study entry. In a 12-month controlled trial that included a 50 mcg once daily BROVANA Inhalation Solution dose, 30 of the 528 BROVANA Inhalation Solution-treated subjects received concomitant theophylline at study entry. In these trials, heart rate and systolic blood pressure were approximately 2-3 bpm and 6-8 mm Hg higher, respectively, in subjects on concomitant theophylline compared with the overall population.

Non-potassium Sparing Diuretics

The ECG changes and/or hypokalemia that may result from the administration of non-potassium sparing diuretics (such as loop or thiazide diuretics) can be acutely worsened by beta-agonists, especially when the recommended dose of the beta-agonist is exceeded. Although the clinical significance of these effects is not known, caution is advised in the co-administration of beta-agonists, including BROVANA Inhalation Solution, with non-potassium sparing diuretics.

MAO Inhibitors, Tricyclic Antidepressants, QTc Prolonging Drugs

BROVANA Inhalation Solution, as with other beta-agonists, should be administered with extreme caution to patients being treated with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, or drugs known to prolong the QTc interval because of the effect of adrenergic agonists on the cardiovascular system may be potentiated by these agents. Drugs that are known to prolong the QTc interval have an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias.


Beta-adrenergic receptor antagonists (beta-blockers) and BROVANA Inhalation Solution may inhibit the effect of each other when administered concurrently. Beta-blockers not only block the therapeutic effects of beta-agonists, but may produce severe bronchospasm in COPD patients. Therefore, patients with COPD should not normally be treated with beta-blockers. However, under certain circumstances, e.g., as prophylaxis after myocardial infarction, there may be no acceptable alternatives to the use of beta-blockers in patients with COPD. In this setting, cardioselective beta-blockers could be considered, although they should be administered with caution.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

There were no reported cases of abuse or evidence of drug dependence with the use of BROVANA Inhalation Solution in the clinical trials.

Read the Brovana Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 7/21/2016

Side Effects

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