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Data from a large placebo-controlled study in asthma patients showed that long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists 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 long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists.
A 28-week, placebo-controlled US study comparing the safety of salmeterol with placebo, each added to usual asthma therapy, showed an increase in asthma-related deaths in patients receiving salmeterol (13/13,176 in patients treated with salmeterol vs. 3/13,179 in patients treated with placebo; RR 4.37, 95% CI 1.25, 15.34). The increased risk of asthma-related death is considered a class effect of the long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists, including PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution. No study adequate to determine whether the rate of asthma related death is increased in patients treated with PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution has been conducted. The safety and efficacy of PERFOROMIST in patients with asthma have not been established. All LABA, including PERFOROMIST, are contraindicated in patients with asthma without use of a long-term asthma control medication. [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Clinical studies with formoterol fumarate administered as a dry powder inhaler suggested a higher incidence of serious asthma exacerbations in patients who received formoterol than in those who received placebo. The sizes of these studies were not adequate to precisely quantify the differences in serious asthma exacerbation rates between treatment groups.
Deterioration of Disease and Acute Episodes
PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution should not be initiated in patients with acutely deteriorating COPD, which may be a life-threatening condition. PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution has not been studied in patients with acutely deteriorating COPD. The use of PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution in this setting is inappropriate.
PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution should not be used for the relief of acute symptoms, i.e., as rescue therapy for the treatment of acute episodes of bronchospasm. PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution 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 PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution, patients who have been taking inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonists on a regular basis (e.g., four times a day) should be instructed to discontinue the regular use of these drugs and use them only for symptomatic relief of acute respiratory symptoms. When prescribing PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution, the healthcare provider should also prescribe an inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonist and instruct the patient how it should be used. Increasing inhaled 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 PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution no longer controls the symptoms of bronchoconstriction, or the patient's inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonist becomes less effective or the patient needs more inhalation of 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 dosage of PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution beyond the recommended 20 mcg twice daily dose is not appropriate in this situation.
Excessive Use and Use with Other Long-Acting Beta2-Agonists
As with other inhaled beta2-adrenergic drugs, PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution should not be used more often, at higher doses than recommended, or in conjunction with other medications containing long-acting beta2-agonists, as an overdose may result. Clinically significant cardiovascular effects and fatalities have been reported in association with excessive use of inhaled sympathomimetic drugs.
As with other inhaled beta2-agonists, PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution can produce paradoxical bronchospasm that may be life-threatening. If paradoxical bronchospasm occurs, PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution should be discontinued immediately and alternative therapy instituted.
PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution, like other beta2-agonists, can produce a clinically significant cardiovascular effect in some patients as measured by increases in pulse rate, systolic and/or diastolic blood pressure, and/or symptoms. If such effects occur, PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution may need to be discontinued. In addition, beta-agonists have been reported to produce 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. Therefore, PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution, like other sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and hypertension.
PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution, like other sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with convulsive disorders or thyrotoxicosis, and in patients who are unusually responsive to sympathomimetic amines. Doses of the related beta2- agonist albuterol, when administered intravenously, have been reported to aggravate preexisting diabetes mellitus and ketoacidosis.
Hypokalemia and Hyperglycemia
Beta-agonist medications may produce significant hypokalemia in some patients, possibly through intracellular shunting, which has the potential to produce adverse cardiovascular effects [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. The decrease in serum potassium is usually transient, not requiring supplementation. Beta-agonist medications may produce transient hyperglycemia in some patients. Clinically significant changes in serum potassium and blood glucose were infrequent during clinical studies with long-term administration of PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution at the recommended dose.
Immediate Hypersensitivity Reactions
Immediate hypersensitivity reactions may occur after administration of PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution, as demonstrated by cases of anaphylactic reactions, urticaria, angiodema, rash, and bronchospasm.
Patient Counseling Information
Patients should be informed that long acting beta agonist, such as PERFOROMIST, increase the risk of asthma-related death. All LABA, including PERFOROMIST, should not be used in patients with asthma without use of a long-term asthma control medication.
Acute Exacerbations or Deteriorations
PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution is not indicated for 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 (the healthcare provider should provide the patient with such medication and instruct the patient in how it should be used). Patients should be instructed to seek medical attention if their symptoms worsen despite recommended doses of PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution, if PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution treatment becomes less effective, or if they need more inhalations of a short-acting beta2-agonist than usual.
Patients should not stop using PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution unless told to do so by a healthcare provider because symptoms may get worse. Patients should not inhale more than the prescribed number of vials at any one time. The daily dosage of PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution should not exceed one vial twice daily (40 mcg total daily dose). Excessive use of sympathomimetics may cause significant cardiovascular effects, and may be fatal.
Patients who have been taking inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonists (e.g., albuterol) on a regular basis should be instructed to discontinue the regular use of these products and use them only for symptomatic relief of acute symptoms. PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution should not be used in conjunction with other inhaled medications containing long-acting beta2-agonists. Patients should be warned not to stop or change the dose of other concomitant COPD therapy without medical advice, even if symptoms improve after initiating treatment with PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution.
Common Adverse Reactions with Beta2-agonists
Patients should be informed that treatment with beta2-agonists may lead to adverse reactions that include palpitations, chest pain, rapid heart rate, increased or decreased blood pressure, headache, tremor, nervousness, dry mouth, muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, malaise, low blood potassium, high blood sugar, high blood acid, or trouble sleeping [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Instructions for Administration
It is important that patients understand how to use PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution with a nebulizer appropriately [see the accompanying Medication Guide]. Patients should be instructed not to mix other medications with PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution or ingest PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution. Patients should throw the plastic dispensing container away immediately after use. Due to their small size, the container and top pose a danger of choking to young children.
FDA-Approved Medication Guide
See the accompanying Medication Guide.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
The carcinogenic potential of formoterol fumarate has been evaluated in 2-year drinking water and dietary studies in both rats and mice. In rats, the incidence of ovarian leiomyomas was increased at doses of 15 mg/kg and above in the drinking water study and at 20 mg/kg in the dietary study (AUC exposure approximately 2300 times human exposure at the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose), but not at dietary doses up to 5 mg/kg (AUC exposure approximately 570 times human exposure at the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose). In the dietary study, the incidence of benign ovarian theca-cell tumors was increased at doses of 0.5 mg/kg (AUC exposure was approximately 57 times human exposure at the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose) and above. This finding was not observed in the drinking water study, nor was it seen in mice (see below). In mice, the incidence of adrenal subcapsular adenomas and carcinomas was increased in males at doses of 69 mg/kg (AUC exposure approximately 1000 times human exposure at the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose) and above in the drinking water study, but not at doses up to 50 mg/kg (AUC exposure approximately 750 times human exposure at the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose) in the dietary study. The incidence of hepatocarcinomas was increased in the dietary study at doses of 20 and 50 mg/kg in females (AUC exposures approximately 300 and 750 times human exposure at the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose, respectively) and 50 mg/kg in males, but not at doses up to 5 mg/kg (AUC exposure approximately 75 times human exposure at the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose). Also in the dietary study, the incidence of uterine leiomyomas and leiomyosarcomas was increased at doses of 2 mg/kg (AUC exposure was approximately 30 times human exposure at the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose) and above. Increases in leiomyomas of the rodent female genital tract have been similarly demonstrated with other beta-agonist drugs. Formoterol fumarate was not mutagenic or clastogenic in the following tests: mutagenicity tests in bacterial and mammalian cells, chromosomal analyses in mammalian cells, unscheduled DNA synthesis repair tests in rat hepatocytes and human fibroblasts, transformation assay in mammalian fibroblasts and micronucleus tests in mice and rats. Reproduction studies in rats revealed no impairment of fertility at oral doses up to 3 mg/kg (approximately 600 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation powder dose in humans on a mg/m² basis).
Studies in laboratory animals (minipigs, rodents, and dogs) have demonstrated the occurrence of cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death (with histologic evidence of myocardial necrosis) when beta-agonists and methylxanthines are administered concurrently. The clinical significance of these findings is unknown. [See DRUG INTERACTIONS, Xanthine Derivatives, Steroids, or Diuretics]
Use In Specific Populations
Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category C
Formoterol fumarate administered throughout organogenesis did not cause malformations in rats or rabbits following oral administration. However, formoterol fumarate was found to be teratogenic in rats and rabbits in other testing laboratories. When given to rats throughout organogenesis, oral doses of 0.2 mg/kg (approximately 40 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose in humans on a mg/m² basis) and above delayed ossification of the fetus, and doses of 6 mg/kg (approximately 1200 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose in humans on a mg/m²basis) and above decreased fetal weight. Formoterol fumarate has been shown to cause stillbirth and neonatal mortality at oral doses of 6 mg/kg and above in rats receiving the drug during the late stage of pregnancy. These effects, however, were not produced at a dose of 0.2 mg/kg. Because there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women, PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Women should be advised to contact their physician if they become pregnant while taking PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution.
Labor and Delivery
There are no adequate and well-controlled human studies that have investigated the effects of PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution during labor and delivery.
Because beta-agonists may potentially interfere with uterine contractility, PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution should be used during labor only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.
In reproductive studies in rats, formoterol was excreted in the milk. It is not known whether formoterol is excreted in human milk, but because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised if PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution is administered to nursing women. There are no well-controlled human studies of the use of PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution in nursing mothers. Women should be advised to contact their physician if they are nursing while taking PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution.
PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution is not indicated for use in children. The safety and effectiveness of PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution in pediatric patients have not been established. The pharmacokinetics of formoterol fumarate has not been studied in pediatric patients.
Of the 586 subjects who received PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution in clinical studies, 284 were 65 years and over, while 89 were 75 years and over. Of the 123 subjects who received PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution in the 12-week safety and efficacy trial, 48 (39%) were 65 years of age or older. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger adult patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out. The pharmacokinetics of PERFOROMIST Inhalation Solution has not been studied in elderly subjects.
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/20/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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