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Warnings
Precautions

WARNINGS

Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.

PRECAUTIONS

Paradoxical Bronchospasm

PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol can produce paradoxical bronchospasm that may be life threatening. If paradoxical bronchospasm occurs, PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol should be discontinued immediately and alternative therapy instituted. It should be recognized that paradoxical bronchospasm, when associated with inhaled formulations, frequently occurs with the first use of a new canister.

Deterioration of Asthma

Asthma may deteriorate acutely over a period of hours or chronically over several days or longer. If the patient needs more doses of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol than usual, this may be a marker of destabilization of asthma and requires re-evaluation of the patient and treatment regimen, giving special consideration to the possible need for anti-inflammatory treatment, e.g., corticosteroids.

Use of Anti-inflammatory Agents

The use of beta-adrenergic-agonist bronchodilators alone may not be adequate to control asthma in many patients. Early consideration should be given to adding antiinflammatory agents, e.g., corticosteroids, to the therapeutic regimen.

Cardiovascular Effects

PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol, like other beta-adrenergic agonists, can produce clinically significant cardiovascular effects in some patients as measured by pulse rate, blood pressure, and/or symptoms. Although such effects are uncommon after administration of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol at recommended doses, if they occur, the drug 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, PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol, like all sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and hypertension.

Do Not Exceed Recommended Dose

Fatalities have been reported in association with excessive use of inhaled sympathomimetic drugs in patients with asthma. The exact cause of death is unknown, but cardiac arrest following an unexpected development of a severe acute asthmatic crisis and subsequent hypoxia is suspected.

Immediate Hypersensitivity Reactions

Immediate hypersensitivity reactions may occur after administration of albuterol sulfate, as demonstrated by rare cases of urticaria, angioedema, rash, bronchospasm, anaphylaxis, and oropharyngeal edema. The potential for hypersensitivity must be considered in the clinical evaluation of patients who experience immediate hypersensitivity reactions while receiving PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol.

Coexisting Conditions

PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol, like all sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and hypertension; in patients with convulsive disorders, hyperthyroidism, or diabetes mellitus; and in patients who are unusually responsive to sympathomimetic amines. Clinically significant changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure have been seen in individual patients and could be expected to occur in some patients after use of any beta-adrenergic bronchodilator. Large doses of intravenous albuterol have been reported to aggravate preexisting diabetes mellitus and ketoacidosis.

Hypokalemia

As with other beta-agonists, PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol may produce significant hypokalemia in some patients, possibly through intracellular shunting, which has the potential to produce adverse cardiovascular effects. The decrease is usually transient, not requiring supplementation.

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-Approved Patient Labeling

Patients should be given the following information:

Frequency of Use

The action of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol should last for 4 to 6 hours. Do not use PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol more frequently than recommended. Instruct patients to not increase the dose or frequency of doses of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol without consulting the physician. If patients find that treatment with PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol becomes less effective for symptomatic relief, symptoms become worse, and/or they need to use the product more frequently than usual, they should seek medical attention immediately.

Priming and Cleaning

Priming: Priming is essential to ensure appropriate albuterol content in each actuation. Instruct patients to prime the inhaler before using for the first time and in cases where the inhaler has not been used for more than 2 weeks by releasing three sprays into the air, away from the face.

Cleaning: To ensure proper dosing and prevent actuator orifice blockage, instruct patients to wash the red plastic actuator mouthpiece and dry thoroughly at least once a week. Detailed cleaning instructions are included in the illustrated Information for the Patient leaflet.

Paradoxical Bronchospasm

Inform patients that PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol can produce paradoxical bronchospasm. Instruct patients to discontinue PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol if paradoxical bronchospasm occurs.

Concomitant Drug Use

While patients are taking PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol, other inhaled drugs and asthma medications should be taken only as directed by a physician.

Common Adverse Events

Common adverse effects of treatment with inhaled albuterol include palpitations, chest pain, rapid heart rate, tremor, or nervousness.

Pregnancy

Patients who are pregnant or nursing should contact their physician about the use of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol.

General Information on Use

Effective and safe use of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol includes an understanding of the way that it should be administered.

Shake well before each spray.

Use PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol only with the actuator supplied with the product. Discard the canister after 200 sprays have been used. Never immerse the canister in water to determine how full the canister is (“float test”).

In general, the technique for administering PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol to children is similar to that for adults. Children should use PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol under adult supervision, as instructed by the patient's physician.

FDA-Approved Patient Labeling

See illustrated Information for the Patient leaflet below.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

In a 2-year study in Sprague-Dawley rats, albuterol sulfate caused a dose-related increase in the incidence of benign leiomyomas of the mesovarium at and above dietary doses of 2 mg/kg (approximately 15 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose for adults on a mg/m² basis and approximately 6 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose for children on a mg/m² basis). In another study this effect was blocked by the coadministration of propranolol, a non-selective beta-adrenergic antagonist. In an 18-month study in CD-1 mice, albuterol sulfate showed no evidence of tumorigenicity at dietary doses of up to 500 mg/kg (approximately 1,600 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose for adults on a mg/m² basis and approximately 740 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose for children on a mg/m² basis). In a 22-month study in Golden Hamsters, albuterol sulfate showed no evidence of tumorigenicity at dietary doses of up to 50 mg/kg (approximately 210 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose for adults on a mg/m² basis and approximately 100 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose for children on a mg/m² basis).

Albuterol sulfate was not mutagenic in the Ames test or a mutation test in yeast. Albuterol sulfate was not clastogenic in a human peripheral lymphocyte assay or in an AH1 strain mouse micronucleus assay.

Reproduction studies in rats demonstrated no evidence of impaired fertility at oral doses up to 50 mg/kg (approximately 310 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose for adults on a mg/m² basis).

Use In Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category C

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol or albuterol sulfate in pregnant women. During worldwide marketing experience, various congenital anomalies, including cleft palate and limb defects, have been reported in the offspring of patients treated with albuterol. Some of the mothers were taking multiple medications during their pregnancies. No consistent pattern of defects can be discerned, and a relationship between albuterol use and congenital anomalies has not been established. Animal reproduction studies in mice and rabbits revealed evidence of teratogenicity. PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

In a mouse reproduction study, subcutaneously administered albuterol sulfate produced cleft palate formation in 5 of 111 (4.5%) fetuses at an exposure approximately eight-tenths of the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) for adults on a mg/m² basis and in 10 of 108 (9.3%) fetuses at approximately 8 times the MRHD. Similar effects were not observed at approximately one-thirteenth of the MRHD. Cleft palate also occurred in 22 of 72 (30.5%) fetuses from females treated subcutaneously with isoproterenol (positive control).

In a rabbit reproduction study, orally administered albuterol sulfate induced cranioschisis in 7 of 19 fetuses (37%) at approximately 630 times the MRHD.

In a rat reproduction study, an albuterol sulfate/HFA-134a formulation administered by inhalation did not produce any teratogenic effects at exposures approximately 65 times the MRHD [see Nonclinical Toxicology].

Labor and Delivery

Because of the potential for beta-agonist interference with uterine contractility, use of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol for relief of bronchospasm during labor should be restricted to those patients in whom the benefits clearly outweigh the risk. PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol has not been approved for the management of pre-term labor. The benefit:risk ratio when albuterol is administered for tocolysis has not been established. Serious adverse reactions, including pulmonary edema, have been reported during or following treatment of premature labor with beta2-agonists, including albuterol.

Nursing Mothers

Plasma levels of albuterol sulfate and HFA-134a after inhaled therapeutic doses are very low in humans, but it is not known whether the components of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol are excreted in human milk.

Caution should be exercised when PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol is administered to a nursing woman. Because of the potential for tumorigenicity shown for albuterol in animal studies and lack of experience with the use of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol by nursing mothers, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol for the treatment or prevention of bronchospasm in children 12 years of age and older with reversible obstructive airway disease is based on one 6-week clinical trial in 116 patients 12 years of age and older with asthma comparing doses of 180 mcg four times daily with placebo, and one single-dose crossover study comparing doses of 90, 180, and 270 mcg with placebo in 58 patients [see Clinical Studies]. The safety and effectiveness of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol for treatment of exercise-induced bronchospasm in children 12 years of age and older is based on one single-dose crossover study in 24 adults and adolescents with exercise-induced bronchospasm comparing doses of 180 mcg with placebo [see Clinical Studies].

The safety of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol in children 4 to 11 years of age is based on one 3-week clinical trial in 50 patients 4 to 11 years of age with asthma using the same formulation of albuterol as in PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol comparing doses of 180 mcg four times daily with placebo. The effectiveness of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol in children 4 to 11 years of age is extrapolated from clinical trials in patients 12 years of age and older with asthma and exercise-induced bronchospasm, based on data from a single-dose study comparing the bronchodilatory effect of PROAIR HFA 90 mcg and 180 mcg with placebo in 55 patients with asthma and a 3-week clinical trial using the same formulation of albuterol as in PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol in 95 asthmatic children 4 to 11 years of age comparing a dose of 180 mcg albuterol four times daily with placebo [see Clinical Studies].

The safety and effectiveness of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol in pediatric patients below the age of 4 years have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of PROAIR HFA Inhalation Aerosol did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

All beta2-adrenergic agonists, including albuterol, are known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/13/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Warnings
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