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SINGULAIR is not indicated for use in the reversal of bronchospasm in acute asthma attacks, including status asthmaticus. Patients should be advised to have appropriate rescue medication available. Therapy with SINGULAIR can be continued during acute exacerbations of asthma. Patients who have exacerbations of asthma after exercise should have available for rescue a short-acting inhaled β-agonist.
Concomitant Corticosteroid Use
While the dose of inhaled corticosteroid may be reduced gradually under medical supervision, SINGULAIR should not be abruptly substituted for inhaled or oral corticosteroids.
Patients with known aspirin sensitivity should continue avoidance of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents while taking SINGULAIR. Although SINGULAIR is effective in improving airway function in asthmatics with documented aspirin sensitivity, it has not been shown to truncate bronchoconstrictor response to aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in aspirin-sensitive asthmatic patients [see Clinical Studies].
Neuropsychiatric events have been reported in adult, adolescent, and pediatric patients taking SINGULAIR. Post-marketing reports with SINGULAIR use include agitation, aggressive behavior or hostility, anxiousness, depression, disorientation, dream abnormalities, hallucinations, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, somnambulism, suicidal thinking and behavior (including suicide), and tremor.
The clinical details of some post-marketing reports involving SINGULAR appear consistent with a drug-induced effect.
Patients and prescribers should be alert for neuropsychiatric events. Patients should be instructed to notify their prescriber if these changes occur. Prescribers should carefully evaluate the risks and benefits of continuing treatment with SINGULAR if such events occur [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Patients with asthma on therapy with SINGULAR 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. A causal association between SINGULAR and these underlying conditions has not been established [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Phenylketonuric patients should be informed that the 4-mg and 5-mg chewable tablets contain phenylalanine (a component of aspartame), 0.674 and 0.842 mg per 4-mg and 5-mg chewable tablet, respectively.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION).
Information for Patients
- Patients should be advised to take SINGULAIR daily as prescribed, even when they are asymptomatic, as well as during periods of worsening asthma, and to contact their physicians if their asthma is not well controlled.
- Patients should be advised that oral SINGULAIR is not for the treatment of acute asthma attacks. They should have appropriate short-acting inhaled β-agonist medication available to treat asthma exacerbations. Patients who have exacerbations of asthma after exercise should be instructed to have available for rescue a short-acting inhaled β-agonist. Daily administration of SINGULAIR for the chronic treatment of asthma has not been established to prevent acute episodes of EIB.
- Patients should be advised that, while using SINGULAIR, medical attention should be sought if short-acting inhaled bronchodilators are needed more often than usual, or if more than the maximum number of inhalations of short-acting bronchodilator treatment prescribed for a 24-hour period are needed.
- Patients receiving SINGULAIR should be instructed not to decrease the dose or stop taking any other anti-asthma medications unless instructed by a physician.
- Patients should be instructed to notify their physician if neuropsychiatric events occur while using SINGULAIR.
- Patients with known aspirin sensitivity should be advised to continue avoidance of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents while taking SINGULAIR.
- Phenylketonuric patients should be informed that the 4-mg and 5-mg chewable tablets contain phenylalanine (a component of aspartame).
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
No evidence of tumorigenicity was seen in carcinogenicity studies of either 2 years in Sprague-Dawley rats or 92 weeks in mice at oral gavage doses up to 200 mg/kg/day or 100 mg/kg/day, respectively. The estimated exposure in rats was approximately 120 and 75 times the AUC for adults and children, respectively, at the maximum recommended daily oral dose. The estimated exposure in mice was approximately 45 and 25 times the AUC for adults and children, respectively, at the maximum recommended daily oral dose.
Montelukast demonstrated no evidence of mutagenic or clastogenic activity in the following assays: the microbial mutagenesis assay, the V-79 mammalian cell mutagenesis assay, the alkaline elution assay in rat hepatocytes, the chromosomal aberration assay in Chinese hamster ovary cells, and in the in vivo mouse bone marrow chromosomal aberration assay.
In fertility studies in female rats, montelukast produced reductions in fertility and fecundity indices at an oral dose of 200 mg/kg (estimated exposure was approximately 70 times the AUC for adults at the maximum recommended daily oral dose). No effects on female fertility or fecundity were observed at an oral dose of 100 mg/kg (estimated exposure was approximately 20 times the AUC for adults at the maximum recommended daily oral dose). Montelukast had no effects on fertility in male rats at oral doses up to 800 mg/kg (estimated exposure was approximately 160 times the AUC for adults at the maximum recommended daily oral dose).
Use In Specific Populations
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, SINGULAIR 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].
During worldwide marketing experience, congenital limb defects have been rarely reported in the offspring of women being treated with SINGULAIR during pregnancy. Most of these women were also taking other asthma medications during their pregnancy. A causal relationship between these events and SINGULAIR has not been established.
Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., maintains a registry to monitor the pregnancy outcomes of women exposed to SINGULAIR while pregnant. Patients and healthcare providers are encouraged to report any prenatal exposure to SINGULAIR by calling the Pregnancy Registry at 1-800-986-8999.
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 SINGULAIR is given to a nursing mother.
Safety and efficacy of SINGULAIR 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, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Special Populations, and Clinical Studies].
The efficacy of SINGULAR for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis in pediatric patients 2 to 14 years of age and for the treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis in pediatric patients 6 months 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 SINGULAIR 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]. Efficacy of SINGULAIR 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 SINGULAIR 4-mg oral granules in pediatric patients 12 to 23 months of age with asthma has been demonstrated in an analysis of 172 pediatric patients, 124 of whom were treated with SINGULAIR, in a 6-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Efficacy of SINGULAIR in this age group is extrapolated from the demonstrated efficacy in patients 6 years of age and older with asthma based on similar mean systemic exposure (AUC), and that the disease course, pathophysiology and the drug's effect are substantially similar among these populations, supported by efficacy data from a safety trial in which efficacy was an exploratory assessment.
The safety of SINGULAIR 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]. The safety of SINGULAIR 4-mg oral granules in pediatric patients as young as 6 months of age with perennial allergic rhinitis is supported by extrapolation from safety data obtained from studies conducted in pediatric patients 6 months to 23 months of age with asthma and from pharmacokinetic data comparing systemic exposures in patients 6 months to 23 months of age to systemic exposures in adults.
The safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 12 months with asthma, 6 months with perennial allergic rhinitis, and 6 years with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction have not been established.
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 SINGULAIR on growth rate in 360 patients with mild asthma, aged 6 to 8 years. Treatment groups included SINGULAIR 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 SINGULAIR and placebo groups. Growth rates, expressed as least-squares (LS) mean (95% Cl) in cm/year, for the SINGULAIR, 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% Cl) in cm/year, for SINGULAIR minus placebo, beclomethasone minus placebo, and SINGULAIR 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)
*The standard errors of the treatment group means in change in height are too small to be visible on the plot
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.
No dosage adjustment is required in patients with mild-to-moderate hepatic insufficiency [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
No dosage adjustment is recommended in patients with renal insufficiency [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Last reviewed on RxList: 8/6/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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