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PULMICORT FLEXHALER

Read time: 2 mins
Marketing start date: 27 May 2024

Summary of product characteristics


Adverse Reactions

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS Systemic and inhaled corticosteroid use may result in the following: • Candida albicans Infection [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) ] • Hypersensitivity Including Anaphylaxis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) ] • Immunosuppression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4) ] • Hypercorticism and Adrenal Suppression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6) ] • Reduction in Bone Mineral Density [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8) ] • Growth Effects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9) , Use in Specific Populations (8.4) ] • Glaucoma and Cataracts [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10) ] • Eosinophilic Conditions and Churg-Strauss [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12) ] Most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥1%) are nasopharyngitis, nasal congestion, pharyngitis, rhinitis allergic, viral upper respiratory tract infection, nausea, viral gastroenteritis, otitis media, oral candidiasis ( 6.1 ) To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact the Safety Call Center at 1-888-994-8116 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch 6.1 Clinical Trials Experience Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the 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 practice. PULMICORT FLEXHALER Patients 6 years and older The incidence of common adverse reactions in Table 1 is based upon pooled data reported in patients treated with PULMICORT FLEXHALER 180 or 90 mcg in two double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials in which 226 patients (106 females and 120 males) with mild to moderate asthma, previously receiving bronchodilators, inhaled corticosteroids, or both, were treated with PULMICORT FLEXHALER, administered as 360 mcg twice daily for 12 weeks. In these trials, the patients on PULMICORT FLEXHALER had a mean age of 28 years (range 6-80 years) and were predominantly Caucasian (59.7%) and Asian (31.4%). Table 1 includes all adverse reactions (regardless of investigator causality assessment) that occurred at a rate of ≥1% in the PULMICORT FLEXHALER group and more commonly than the placebo group. Table 1 - Adverse Reactions occurring at an incidence of ≥1% and more commonly than placebo in the PULMICORT FLEXHALER group: pooled data from two 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical asthma trials in patients 6 years and older Adverse Event PULMICORT FLEXHALER 360 mcg twice daily N=226 % Placebo N=230 % Nasopharyngitis 9.3 8.3 Nasal congestion 2.7 0.4 Pharyngitis 2.7 1.7 Rhinitis allergic 2.2 1.3 Viral upper respiratory tract infection 2.2 1.3 Nausea 1.8 0.9 Viral gastroenteritis 1.8 0.4 Otitis media 1.3 0.9 Oral candidiasis 1.3 0.4 Average exposure duration (days) 76.2 68.2 Long-Term Safety in Patients 6 years of age and older Non-placebo controlled long-term studies in children (at doses up to 360 mcg daily), and adolescent and adult subjects (at doses up to 720 mcg daily), treated for up to one year with PULMICORT FLEXHALER, revealed a similar pattern and incidence of adverse events. PULMICORT TURBUHALER; a different PULMICORT DPI The following adverse reactions occurred in placebo-controlled clinical trials with similar or lower doses with inhaled budesonide via a different PULMICORT dry powder inhaler with an incidence of ≥1% in the budesonide group and were more common than in the placebo group: ≥3%: respiratory infection, sinusitis, headache, pain, back pain, fever. ≥1-3%: neck pain, syncope, abdominal pain, dry mouth, vomiting, weight gain, fracture, myalgia, hypertonia, migraine, ecchymosis, insomnia, infection, taste perversion, voice alteration. Higher doses of inhaled budesonide (800 mcg twice daily) via a different PULMICORT dry powder inhaler resulted in an increased incidence of voice alteration, flu syndrome, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis, nausea, and back pain, compared with doses of 400 mcg twice daily. In a 20-week trial in adult asthmatics who previously required oral corticosteroids, the incidence of adverse reactions was evaluated with 400 mcg twice daily (N=53) and 800 mcg twice daily (N=53) of inhaled budesonide via a different PULMICORT dry powder inhaler and compared with placebo (N=53). In considering these data, the increased average duration of exposure for inhaled budesonide patients (78 days for inhaled budesonide vs. 41 days for placebo) should be taken into account. Adverse reactions, regardless of investigator causality assessment, reported in more than five patients in the budesonide group and which occurred more commonly than the placebo group in decreasing order of frequency include: respiratory infection, sinusitis, headache, oral candidiasis, pain, asthenia, dyspepsia, arthralgia, cough increased, nausea and rhinitis. 6.2 Postmarketing Experience The following adverse reactions have been reported during post-approval use of PULMICORT FLEXHALER. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. Immune system disorders: immediate and delayed hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylactic reaction, angioedema, bronchospasm, rash, contact dermatitis, urticaria, and cough, wheezing or bronchospasm in patients with severe milk protein hypersensitivity [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) , Contraindications (4) ] Endocrine disorders: symptoms of hypocorticism and hypercorticism [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6) ] Eye disorders: cataracts, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10) ] Psychiatric disorders: psychiatric symptoms including psychosis, depression, aggressive reactions, irritability, nervousness, restlessness, and anxiety Respiratory, thoracic, and mediastinal disorders: throat irritation Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: skin bruising

Contraindications

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS The use of PULMICORT FLEXHALER is contraindicated in the following conditions: • Primary treatment of status asthmaticus or other acute episodes of asthma where intensive measures are required. • Severe hypersensitivity to milk proteins or any ingredients of PULMICORT FLEXHALER [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) , Description (11) ]. • Primary treatment of status asthmaticus or other acute episodes of asthma where intensive measures are required ( 4 ) • Severe hypersensitivity to milk proteins and any of the ingredients in PULMICORT FLEXHALER ( 4 )

Description

11 DESCRIPTION Budesonide, the active component of PULMICORT FLEXHALER, is a corticosteroid designated chemically as (RS)-11β, 16α, 17,21-Tetrahydroxypregna-1,4-diene-3,20-dione cyclic 16,17-acetal with butyraldehyde. Budesonide is provided as a mixture of two epimers (22R and 22S). The empirical formula of budesonide is C 25 H 34 O 6 and its molecular weight is 430.5. Its structural formula is: Budesonide is a white to off-white, tasteless, odorless powder that is practically insoluble in water and in heptane, sparingly soluble in ethanol, and freely soluble in chloroform. Its partition coefficient between octanol and water at pH 7.4 is 1.6 x 10 3 . PULMICORT FLEXHALER is an inhalation-driven multi-dose dry powder inhaler containing a formulation of 1 mg per actuation of micronized budesonide and micronized lactose monohydrate which contains trace levels of milk proteins [see Contraindications (4) , Adverse Reactions (6.2) ] . Each actuation of PULMICORT FLEXHALER 180 mcg delivers 160 mcg budesonide from the mouthpiece and each actuation of PULMICORT FLEXHALER 90 mcg delivers 80 mcg budesonide from the mouthpiece (based on in vitro testing at 60 L/min for 2 sec). Each PULMICORT FLEXHALER 180 mcg contains 120 actuations and each PULMICORT FLEXHALER 90 mcg contains 60 actuations. In vitro testing has shown that the dose delivery for PULMICORT FLEXHALER is dependent on airflow through the device, as evidenced by a decrease in the fine particle dose at a flow rate of 30 L/min to a value that is approximately 40-50% of that produced at 60 L/min. At a flow rate of 40 L/min, the fine particle dose is approximately 70% of that produced at 60 L/min. Patient factors such as inspiratory flow rates will also affect the dose delivered to the lungs of patients in actual use [see Patient Information and Instructions for Use ] . In asthmatic children age 6 to 17 (N=516, FEV 1 2.29 [0.97– 4.28]) peak inspiratory flow (PIF) through PULMICORT FLEXHALER was 72.5 [19.1 – 103.6] L/min). Inspiratory flows were not measured in the adult pivotal study. Patients should be carefully instructed on the use of this drug product to assure optimal dose delivery. structural formula

Dosage And Administration

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION PULMICORT FLEXHALER should be administered twice daily by the orally inhaled route only. After inhalation, the patient should rinse the mouth with water without swallowing [see Patient Counseling Information (17.1) ] . Patients should be instructed to prime PULMICORT FLEXHALER prior to its initial use, and instructed to inhale deeply and forcefully each time the device is used. The safety and efficacy of PULMICORT FLEXHALER when administered in excess of recommended doses have not been established. After asthma stability has been achieved, it is desirable to titrate to the lowest effective dosage to reduce the possibility of side effects. For patients who do not respond adequately to the starting dose after 1-2 weeks of therapy with PULMICORT FLEXHALER, increasing the dose may provide additional asthma control. For oral inhalation only. • Patients 18 Years of Age and Older: For patients 18 years of age and older, the recommended starting dosage is 360 mcg twice daily. In some adult patients, a starting dose of 180 mcg twice daily may be adequate. The maximum dosage should not exceed 720 mcg twice daily ( 2.1 ) • Patients 6 to 17 Years of Age: The recommended starting dosage is 180 mcg twice daily. In some pediatric patients, a starting dose of 360 mcg twice daily may be appropriate. The maximum dosage should not exceed 360 mcg twice daily ( 2.1 ) 2.1 Asthma If asthma symptoms arise in the period between doses, an inhaled, short-acting beta 2 -agonist should be taken for immediate relief. Patients 18 Years of Age and Older: For patients 18 years of age and older, the recommended starting dosage is 360 mcg twice daily. In some adult patients, a starting dose of 180 mcg twice daily may be adequate. The maximum dosage should not exceed 720 mcg twice daily. Patients 6 to 17 Years of Age: The recommended starting dosage is 180 mcg twice daily. In some pediatric patients, a starting dose of 360 mcg twice daily may be appropriate. The maximum dosage should not exceed 360 mcg twice daily. For all patients, it is desirable to titrate to the lowest effective dose after adequate asthma stability is achieved. Improvement in asthma control following inhaled administration of budesonide can occur within 24 hours of initiation of treatment, although maximum benefit may not be achieved for 1 to 2 weeks, or longer. Individual patients will experience a variable onset and degree of symptom relief. If a previously effective dosage regimen of PULMICORT FLEXHALER fails to provide adequate control of asthma, the therapeutic regimen should be re-evaluated and additional therapeutic options (e.g., replacing the lower strength of PULMICORT FLEXHALER with the higher strength or initiating oral corticosteroids) should be considered.

Indications And Usage

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE PULMICORT FLEXHALER is a corticosteroid indicated for: • Maintenance treatment of asthma as prophylactic therapy in adult and pediatric patients six years of age or older ( 1 ) Limitations of Use: Not indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm ( 1 ) 1.1 Treatment of Asthma PULMICORT FLEXHALER is indicated for the maintenance treatment of asthma as prophylactic therapy in patients six years of age or older. Limitations of Use: •PULMICORT FLEXHALER is NOT indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm.

Overdosage

10 OVERDOSAGE The potential for acute toxic effects following overdose of PULMICORT FLEXHALER is low. If used at excessive doses for prolonged periods, systemic corticosteroid effects such as hypercorticism may occur [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6) ] . Another budesonide-containing dry powder inhaler at 3200 mcg daily administered for 6 weeks caused a significant reduction (27%) in the plasma cortisol response to a 6-hour infusion of ACTH compared with placebo (+1%). The corresponding effect of 10 mg prednisone daily was a 35% reduction in the plasma cortisol response to ACTH. Postmarketing experience showed that acute overdose of inhaled budesonide commonly remained asymptomatic. The use of excessive doses (up to 6400 mcg daily) for prolonged periods showed systemic corticosteroid effects such as hypercorticism.

Adverse Reactions Table

Table 1 - Adverse Reactions occurring at an incidence of ≥1% and more commonly than placebo in the PULMICORT FLEXHALER group: pooled data from two 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical asthma trials in patients 6 years and older

Adverse Event

PULMICORT FLEXHALER

360 mcg twice daily

N=226

%

Placebo

N=230

%

Nasopharyngitis

9.3

8.3

Nasal congestion

2.7

0.4

Pharyngitis

2.7

1.7

Rhinitis allergic

2.2

1.3

Viral upper respiratory tract infection

2.2

1.3

Nausea

1.8

0.9

Viral gastroenteritis

1.8

0.4

Otitis media

1.3

0.9

Oral candidiasis

1.3

0.4

Average exposure duration (days)

76.2

68.2

Drug Interactions

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS • Strong Cytochrome P450 3A4 Inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir): Use with caution. May cause increased systemic corticosteroid effects ( 5.7 , 7.1 ) 7.1 Inhibitors of Cytochrome P450 3A4 The main route of metabolism of corticosteroids, including budesonide, is via cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzyme 3A4 (CYP3A4). After oral administration of ketoconazole, a strong inhibitor of CYP3A4, the mean plasma concentration of orally administered budesonide increased. Concomitant administration of CYP3A4 may inhibit the metabolism of, and increase the systemic exposure to, budesonide. Caution should be exercised when considering the co-administration of PULMICORT FLEXHALER with long-term ketoconazole and other known strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir, atazanavir, clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, saquinavir, telithromycin) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7) ] .

Clinical Pharmacology

12 CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY 12.1 Mechanism of Action Budesonide is an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid that exhibits potent glucocorticoid activity and weak mineralocorticoid activity. In standard in vitro and animal models, budesonide has approximately a 200-fold higher affinity for the glucocorticoid receptor and a 1000-fold higher topical anti-inflammatory potency than cortisol (rat croton oil ear edema assay). As a measure of systemic activity, budesonide is 40 times more potent than cortisol when administered subcutaneously and 25 times more potent when administered orally in the rat thymus involution assay. The clinical significance of this is unknown. The activity of PULMICORT FLEXHALER is due to the parent drug, budesonide. In glucocorticoid receptor affinity studies, the 22R form was two times as active as the 22S epimer. In vitro studies indicated that the two forms of budesonide do not interconvert. The precise mechanism of corticosteroid actions on inflammation in asthma is not known. Inflammation is an important component in the pathogenesis of asthma. Corticosteroids have a wide range of inhibitory activities against multiple cell types (e.g., mast cells, eosinophils, neutrophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes) and mediators (e.g., histamine, eicosanoids, leukotrienes, and cytokines) involved in allergic and non-allergic-mediated inflammation. These anti-inflammatory actions of corticosteroids may contribute to their efficacy in asthma. Studies in asthmatic patients have shown a favorable ratio between topical anti-inflammatory activity and systemic corticosteroid effects over a wide range of doses of inhaled budesonide. This is explained by a combination of a relatively high local anti-inflammatory effect, extensive first pass hepatic degradation of orally absorbed drug (85-95%), and the low potency of formed metabolites (see below). 12.2 Pharmacodynamics To confirm that systemic absorption is not a significant factor in the clinical efficacy of inhaled budesonide, a clinical study in patients with asthma was performed comparing 400 mcg budesonide administered via a pressurized metered-dose inhaler with a tube spacer to 1400 mcg of oral budesonide and placebo. The study demonstrated the efficacy of inhaled budesonide but not orally administered budesonide, even though systemic budesonide exposure was comparable for both treatments, indicating that the inhaled treatment is working locally in the lung. Thus, the therapeutic effect of conventional doses of orally inhaled budesonide are largely explained by its direct action on the respiratory tract. Inhaled budesonide has been shown to decrease airway reactivity in various challenge models, including histamine, methacholine, sodium metabisulfite, and adenosine monophosphate in patients with hyperreactive airways. The clinical relevance of these models is not certain. Pre-treatment with inhaled budesonide 1600 mcg daily (800 mcg twice daily) for 2 weeks reduced the acute (early-phase reaction) and delayed (late-phase reaction) decrease in FEV 1 following inhaled allergen challenge. HPA Axis effects: The effects of inhaled budesonide on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis were studied in 905 adults and 404 pediatric patients with asthma. For most patients, the ability to increase cortisol production in response to stress, as assessed by cosyntropin (ACTH) stimulation test, remained intact with inhaled budesonide treatment at recommended doses. For adult patients treated with 100, 200, 400, or 800 mcg twice daily for 12 weeks, 4%, 2%, 6%, and 13% respectively, had an abnormal stimulated cortisol response (peak cortisol <14.5 mcg/dL assessed by liquid chromatography following short-cosyntropin test) as compared with 8% of patients treated with placebo. Similar results were obtained in pediatric patients. In another study in adults, doses of 400, 800 and 1600 mcg of inhaled budesonide twice daily for 6 weeks were examined; 1600 mcg twice daily (twice the maximum recommended dose) resulted in a 27% reduction in stimulated cortisol (6-hour ACTH infusion) while 10 mg prednisone resulted in a 35% reduction. In this study, no patient taking doses of 400 and 800 mcg twice daily met the criterion for an abnormal stimulated cortisol response (peak cortisol <14.5 mcg/dL assessed by liquid chromatography) following ACTH infusion. An open-label, long-term follow-up of 1133 patients for up to 52 weeks confirmed the minimal effect on the HPA axis (both basal and stimulated plasma cortisol) of inhaled budesonide when administered at doses ranging from 100 to 800 mcg twice daily. In patients who had previously been oral steroid-dependent, use of inhaled budesonide at doses ranging from 100 to 800 mcg twice daily was associated with higher stimulated cortisol response compared with baseline following 1 year of therapy. 12.3 Pharmacokinetics Absorption After oral administration of budesonide, peak plasma concentration was achieved in about 1 to 2 hours and the absolute systemic availability was 6-13%. In contrast, most of budesonide delivered to the lungs is systemically absorbed. In healthy subjects, 34% of the metered dose was deposited in the lungs (as assessed by plasma concentration method and using a different budesonide containing dry-powder inhaler) with an absolute systemic availability of 39% of the metered dose. Peak steady-state plasma concentrations of budesonide delivered from PULMICORT FLEXHALER in adults with asthma (n=39) occurred at approximately 10 minutes post-dose and averaged 0.6 and 1.6 nmol/L at doses of 180 mcg once daily and 360 mcg twice daily, respectively. In asthmatic patients, budesonide showed a linear increase in AUC and C max with increasing dose after both a single dose and repeated dosing of inhaled budesonide. Distribution The volume of distribution of budesonide was approximately 3 L/kg. It was 85-90% bound to plasma proteins. Protein binding was constant over the concentration range (1-100 nmol/L) achieved with, and exceeding, recommended doses of PULMICORT FLEXHALER. Budesonide showed little or no binding to corticosteroid binding globulin. Budesonide rapidly equilibrated with red blood cells in a concentration independent manner with a blood/plasma ratio of about 0.8. Metabolism In vitro studies with human liver homogenates have shown that budesonide is rapidly and extensively metabolized. Two major metabolites formed via cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzyme 3A4 (CYP3A4) catalyzed biotransformation have been isolated and identified as 16α-hydroxyprednisolone and 6β-hydroxybudesonide. The corticosteroid activity of each of these two metabolites is less than 1% of that of the parent compound. No qualitative differences between the in vitro and in vivo metabolic patterns have been detected. Negligible metabolic inactivation was observed in human lung and serum preparations. Excretion/Elimination The 22R form of budesonide was preferentially cleared by the liver with systemic clearance of 1.4 L/min vs. 1.0 L/min for the 22S form. The terminal half-life, 2 to 3 hours, was the same for both epimers and was independent of dose. Budesonide was excreted in urine and feces in the form of metabolites. Approximately 60% of an intravenous radiolabeled dose was recovered in the urine. No unchanged budesonide was detected in the urine. Special Populations No clinically relevant pharmacokinetic differences have been identified due to race, sex, or advanced age. Geriatric The pharmacokinetics of PULMICORT FLEXHALER in geriatric patients have not been specifically studied. Pediatric Following intravenous dosing in pediatric patients age 10-14 years, plasma half-life was shorter than in adults (1.5 hours vs. 2.0 hours in adults). In the same population following inhalation of budesonide via a pressurized metered-dose inhaler, absolute systemic availability was similar to that in adults. Peak steady-state plasma concentrations of budesonide delivered via PULMICORT FLEXHALER in children and adolescents with asthma (n=14) occurred at approximately 15 to 30 minutes post-dose and averaged 0.4 and 1.5 nmol/L at doses of 180 mcg once daily and 360 mcg twice daily, respectively. Nursing Mothers The disposition of budesonide when delivered by inhalation from a dry powder inhaler at doses of 200 or 400 mcg twice daily for at least 3 months was studied in eight lactating women with asthma from 1 to 6 months postpartum. Systemic exposure to budesonide in these women appears to be comparable to that in non-lactating women with asthma from other studies. Breast milk obtained over eight hours post-dose revealed that the maximum concentration of budesonide for the 400 and 800 mcg doses was 0.39 and 0.78 nmol/L, respectively, and occurred within 45 minutes after dosing. The estimated oral daily dose of budesonide from breast milk to the infant is approximately 0.007 and 0.014 mcg/kg/day for the two dose regimens used in this study, which represents approximately 0.3% to 1% of the dose inhaled by the mother. Budesonide levels in plasma samples obtained from five infants at about 90 minutes after breastfeeding (and about 140 minutes after drug administration to the mother) were below quantifiable levels (<0.02 nmol/L in four infants and <0.04 nmol/L in one infant) [see Use In Specific Populations (8.2) ] . Renal or Hepatic Insufficiency There are no data regarding the specific use of PULMICORT FLEXHALER in patients with hepatic or renal impairment. Reduced liver function may affect the elimination of corticosteroids. The pharmacokinetics of budesonide were affected by compromised liver function as evidenced by a doubled systemic availability after oral ingestion. The intravenous pharmacokinetics of budesonide were, however, similar in cirrhotic patients and in healthy subjects. Drug-Drug Interactions Inhibitors of cytochrome P450 enzymes Ketoconazole: Ketoconazole, a strong inhibitor of cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzyme 3A4 (CYP3A4), the main metabolic enzyme for corticosteroids, increased plasma levels of orally ingested budesonide [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7) , Drug Interactions (7.1) ] . Cimetidine: At recommended doses, cimetidine, a nonspecific inhibitor of CYP enzymes, had a slight but clinically insignificant effect on the pharmacokinetics of oral budesonide.

Mechanism Of Action

12.1 Mechanism of Action Budesonide is an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid that exhibits potent glucocorticoid activity and weak mineralocorticoid activity. In standard in vitro and animal models, budesonide has approximately a 200-fold higher affinity for the glucocorticoid receptor and a 1000-fold higher topical anti-inflammatory potency than cortisol (rat croton oil ear edema assay). As a measure of systemic activity, budesonide is 40 times more potent than cortisol when administered subcutaneously and 25 times more potent when administered orally in the rat thymus involution assay. The clinical significance of this is unknown. The activity of PULMICORT FLEXHALER is due to the parent drug, budesonide. In glucocorticoid receptor affinity studies, the 22R form was two times as active as the 22S epimer. In vitro studies indicated that the two forms of budesonide do not interconvert. The precise mechanism of corticosteroid actions on inflammation in asthma is not known. Inflammation is an important component in the pathogenesis of asthma. Corticosteroids have a wide range of inhibitory activities against multiple cell types (e.g., mast cells, eosinophils, neutrophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes) and mediators (e.g., histamine, eicosanoids, leukotrienes, and cytokines) involved in allergic and non-allergic-mediated inflammation. These anti-inflammatory actions of corticosteroids may contribute to their efficacy in asthma. Studies in asthmatic patients have shown a favorable ratio between topical anti-inflammatory activity and systemic corticosteroid effects over a wide range of doses of inhaled budesonide. This is explained by a combination of a relatively high local anti-inflammatory effect, extensive first pass hepatic degradation of orally absorbed drug (85-95%), and the low potency of formed metabolites (see below).

Pharmacodynamics

12.2 Pharmacodynamics To confirm that systemic absorption is not a significant factor in the clinical efficacy of inhaled budesonide, a clinical study in patients with asthma was performed comparing 400 mcg budesonide administered via a pressurized metered-dose inhaler with a tube spacer to 1400 mcg of oral budesonide and placebo. The study demonstrated the efficacy of inhaled budesonide but not orally administered budesonide, even though systemic budesonide exposure was comparable for both treatments, indicating that the inhaled treatment is working locally in the lung. Thus, the therapeutic effect of conventional doses of orally inhaled budesonide are largely explained by its direct action on the respiratory tract. Inhaled budesonide has been shown to decrease airway reactivity in various challenge models, including histamine, methacholine, sodium metabisulfite, and adenosine monophosphate in patients with hyperreactive airways. The clinical relevance of these models is not certain. Pre-treatment with inhaled budesonide 1600 mcg daily (800 mcg twice daily) for 2 weeks reduced the acute (early-phase reaction) and delayed (late-phase reaction) decrease in FEV 1 following inhaled allergen challenge. HPA Axis effects: The effects of inhaled budesonide on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis were studied in 905 adults and 404 pediatric patients with asthma. For most patients, the ability to increase cortisol production in response to stress, as assessed by cosyntropin (ACTH) stimulation test, remained intact with inhaled budesonide treatment at recommended doses. For adult patients treated with 100, 200, 400, or 800 mcg twice daily for 12 weeks, 4%, 2%, 6%, and 13% respectively, had an abnormal stimulated cortisol response (peak cortisol <14.5 mcg/dL assessed by liquid chromatography following short-cosyntropin test) as compared with 8% of patients treated with placebo. Similar results were obtained in pediatric patients. In another study in adults, doses of 400, 800 and 1600 mcg of inhaled budesonide twice daily for 6 weeks were examined; 1600 mcg twice daily (twice the maximum recommended dose) resulted in a 27% reduction in stimulated cortisol (6-hour ACTH infusion) while 10 mg prednisone resulted in a 35% reduction. In this study, no patient taking doses of 400 and 800 mcg twice daily met the criterion for an abnormal stimulated cortisol response (peak cortisol <14.5 mcg/dL assessed by liquid chromatography) following ACTH infusion. An open-label, long-term follow-up of 1133 patients for up to 52 weeks confirmed the minimal effect on the HPA axis (both basal and stimulated plasma cortisol) of inhaled budesonide when administered at doses ranging from 100 to 800 mcg twice daily. In patients who had previously been oral steroid-dependent, use of inhaled budesonide at doses ranging from 100 to 800 mcg twice daily was associated with higher stimulated cortisol response compared with baseline following 1 year of therapy.

Pharmacokinetics

12.3 Pharmacokinetics Absorption After oral administration of budesonide, peak plasma concentration was achieved in about 1 to 2 hours and the absolute systemic availability was 6-13%. In contrast, most of budesonide delivered to the lungs is systemically absorbed. In healthy subjects, 34% of the metered dose was deposited in the lungs (as assessed by plasma concentration method and using a different budesonide containing dry-powder inhaler) with an absolute systemic availability of 39% of the metered dose. Peak steady-state plasma concentrations of budesonide delivered from PULMICORT FLEXHALER in adults with asthma (n=39) occurred at approximately 10 minutes post-dose and averaged 0.6 and 1.6 nmol/L at doses of 180 mcg once daily and 360 mcg twice daily, respectively. In asthmatic patients, budesonide showed a linear increase in AUC and C max with increasing dose after both a single dose and repeated dosing of inhaled budesonide. Distribution The volume of distribution of budesonide was approximately 3 L/kg. It was 85-90% bound to plasma proteins. Protein binding was constant over the concentration range (1-100 nmol/L) achieved with, and exceeding, recommended doses of PULMICORT FLEXHALER. Budesonide showed little or no binding to corticosteroid binding globulin. Budesonide rapidly equilibrated with red blood cells in a concentration independent manner with a blood/plasma ratio of about 0.8. Metabolism In vitro studies with human liver homogenates have shown that budesonide is rapidly and extensively metabolized. Two major metabolites formed via cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzyme 3A4 (CYP3A4) catalyzed biotransformation have been isolated and identified as 16α-hydroxyprednisolone and 6β-hydroxybudesonide. The corticosteroid activity of each of these two metabolites is less than 1% of that of the parent compound. No qualitative differences between the in vitro and in vivo metabolic patterns have been detected. Negligible metabolic inactivation was observed in human lung and serum preparations. Excretion/Elimination The 22R form of budesonide was preferentially cleared by the liver with systemic clearance of 1.4 L/min vs. 1.0 L/min for the 22S form. The terminal half-life, 2 to 3 hours, was the same for both epimers and was independent of dose. Budesonide was excreted in urine and feces in the form of metabolites. Approximately 60% of an intravenous radiolabeled dose was recovered in the urine. No unchanged budesonide was detected in the urine. Special Populations No clinically relevant pharmacokinetic differences have been identified due to race, sex, or advanced age. Geriatric The pharmacokinetics of PULMICORT FLEXHALER in geriatric patients have not been specifically studied. Pediatric Following intravenous dosing in pediatric patients age 10-14 years, plasma half-life was shorter than in adults (1.5 hours vs. 2.0 hours in adults). In the same population following inhalation of budesonide via a pressurized metered-dose inhaler, absolute systemic availability was similar to that in adults. Peak steady-state plasma concentrations of budesonide delivered via PULMICORT FLEXHALER in children and adolescents with asthma (n=14) occurred at approximately 15 to 30 minutes post-dose and averaged 0.4 and 1.5 nmol/L at doses of 180 mcg once daily and 360 mcg twice daily, respectively. Nursing Mothers The disposition of budesonide when delivered by inhalation from a dry powder inhaler at doses of 200 or 400 mcg twice daily for at least 3 months was studied in eight lactating women with asthma from 1 to 6 months postpartum. Systemic exposure to budesonide in these women appears to be comparable to that in non-lactating women with asthma from other studies. Breast milk obtained over eight hours post-dose revealed that the maximum concentration of budesonide for the 400 and 800 mcg doses was 0.39 and 0.78 nmol/L, respectively, and occurred within 45 minutes after dosing. The estimated oral daily dose of budesonide from breast milk to the infant is approximately 0.007 and 0.014 mcg/kg/day for the two dose regimens used in this study, which represents approximately 0.3% to 1% of the dose inhaled by the mother. Budesonide levels in plasma samples obtained from five infants at about 90 minutes after breastfeeding (and about 140 minutes after drug administration to the mother) were below quantifiable levels (<0.02 nmol/L in four infants and <0.04 nmol/L in one infant) [see Use In Specific Populations (8.2) ] . Renal or Hepatic Insufficiency There are no data regarding the specific use of PULMICORT FLEXHALER in patients with hepatic or renal impairment. Reduced liver function may affect the elimination of corticosteroids. The pharmacokinetics of budesonide were affected by compromised liver function as evidenced by a doubled systemic availability after oral ingestion. The intravenous pharmacokinetics of budesonide were, however, similar in cirrhotic patients and in healthy subjects. Drug-Drug Interactions Inhibitors of cytochrome P450 enzymes Ketoconazole: Ketoconazole, a strong inhibitor of cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzyme 3A4 (CYP3A4), the main metabolic enzyme for corticosteroids, increased plasma levels of orally ingested budesonide [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7) , Drug Interactions (7.1) ] . Cimetidine: At recommended doses, cimetidine, a nonspecific inhibitor of CYP enzymes, had a slight but clinically insignificant effect on the pharmacokinetics of oral budesonide.

Effective Time

20231107

Version

2

Dosage Forms And Strengths

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS PULMICORT FLEXHALER is available as a dry powder for inhalation containing budesonide in the following 2 strengths: 90 mcg and 180 mcg. Each inhaler contains 60 or 120 actuations. FLEXHALER device containing budesonide (90 mcg or 180 mcg) as an inhalation powder ( 3 )

Spl Product Data Elements

PULMICORT FLEXHALER Budesonide BUDESONIDE BUDESONIDE LACTOSE, UNSPECIFIED FORM

Carcinogenesis And Mutagenesis And Impairment Of Fertility

13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility In a 104-week oral study in Sprague-Dawley rats, a statistically significant increase in the incidence of gliomas was observed in male rats receiving an oral dose of 50 mcg/kg/day (approximately 0.3 times the MRHDID in adults and children 6 to 17 years of age on a mcg/m 2 basis). No tumorigenicity was seen in male rats at oral doses up to 25 mcg/kg (approximately 0.2 times the MRHDID in adults and children 6 to 17 years of age, on a mcg/m 2 basis) and in female rats at oral doses up to 50 mc/kg (approximately 0.3 times, the MRHDID doses in adults and children 6 to 17 years of age, respectively, on a mcg/m 2 basis). In two additional two-year studies in male Fischer and Sprague-Dawley rats, budesonide caused no gliomas at an oral dose of 50 mcg/kg (approximately 0.3 times the MRHDID in adults and children 6 to 17 years of age, respectively, on a mcg/m 2 basis). However, in the male Sprague-Dawley rats, budesonide caused a statistically significant increase in the incidence of hepatocellular tumors at an oral dose of 50 mcg/kg (approximately 0.3 times the MRHDID in adults and children 6 to 17 years of age on a mcg/m2 basis). The concurrent reference corticosteroids (prednisone and triamcinolone acetonide) in these two studies showed similar findings. There was no evidence of a carcinogenic effect when budesonide was administered orally for 91 weeks to mice at doses up to 200 mcg/kg/day (approximately 0.7 times the MRHDID in adults and children 6 to 17 years of age on a mcg/m 2 basis). Budesonide was not mutagenic or clastogenic in six different test systems: Ames Salmonella/microsome plate test, mouse micronucleus test, mouse lymphoma test, chromosome aberration test in human lymphocytes, sex-linked recessive lethal test in Drosophila melanogaster, and DNA repair analysis in rat hepatocyte culture. Fertility and reproductive performance were unaffected in rats at subcutaneous doses up to 80 mcg/kg (approximately 0.5 times the MRHDID in adults on a mcg/m2 basis). At a subcutaneous dose of 20 mcg/kg/day (approximately 0.1 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose in adults on a mcg/m2 basis), decreases in maternal body weight gain, prenatal viability, and viability of the young at birth and during lactation were observed. No such effects were noted at 5 mcg/kg (approximately 0.03 times the MRHDID in adults on a mcg/m2 basis).

Nonclinical Toxicology

13 NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY 13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility In a 104-week oral study in Sprague-Dawley rats, a statistically significant increase in the incidence of gliomas was observed in male rats receiving an oral dose of 50 mcg/kg/day (approximately 0.3 times the MRHDID in adults and children 6 to 17 years of age on a mcg/m 2 basis). No tumorigenicity was seen in male rats at oral doses up to 25 mcg/kg (approximately 0.2 times the MRHDID in adults and children 6 to 17 years of age, on a mcg/m 2 basis) and in female rats at oral doses up to 50 mc/kg (approximately 0.3 times, the MRHDID doses in adults and children 6 to 17 years of age, respectively, on a mcg/m 2 basis). In two additional two-year studies in male Fischer and Sprague-Dawley rats, budesonide caused no gliomas at an oral dose of 50 mcg/kg (approximately 0.3 times the MRHDID in adults and children 6 to 17 years of age, respectively, on a mcg/m 2 basis). However, in the male Sprague-Dawley rats, budesonide caused a statistically significant increase in the incidence of hepatocellular tumors at an oral dose of 50 mcg/kg (approximately 0.3 times the MRHDID in adults and children 6 to 17 years of age on a mcg/m2 basis). The concurrent reference corticosteroids (prednisone and triamcinolone acetonide) in these two studies showed similar findings. There was no evidence of a carcinogenic effect when budesonide was administered orally for 91 weeks to mice at doses up to 200 mcg/kg/day (approximately 0.7 times the MRHDID in adults and children 6 to 17 years of age on a mcg/m 2 basis). Budesonide was not mutagenic or clastogenic in six different test systems: Ames Salmonella/microsome plate test, mouse micronucleus test, mouse lymphoma test, chromosome aberration test in human lymphocytes, sex-linked recessive lethal test in Drosophila melanogaster, and DNA repair analysis in rat hepatocyte culture. Fertility and reproductive performance were unaffected in rats at subcutaneous doses up to 80 mcg/kg (approximately 0.5 times the MRHDID in adults on a mcg/m2 basis). At a subcutaneous dose of 20 mcg/kg/day (approximately 0.1 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation dose in adults on a mcg/m2 basis), decreases in maternal body weight gain, prenatal viability, and viability of the young at birth and during lactation were observed. No such effects were noted at 5 mcg/kg (approximately 0.03 times the MRHDID in adults on a mcg/m2 basis).

Application Number

NDA021949

Brand Name

PULMICORT FLEXHALER

Generic Name

Budesonide

Product Ndc

50090-6796

Product Type

HUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG

Route

RESPIRATORY (INHALATION)

Package Label Principal Display Panel

budesonide aerosol Label Image

Information For Patients

17 PATIENT COUNSELING INFORMATION Patients being treated with PULMICORT FLEXHALER should receive the following information and instructions. This information is intended to aid the patient in the safe and effective use of the medication. It is not a disclosure of all possible adverse or intended effects. For proper use of PULMICORT FLEXHALER and to attain maximum improvement, the patient should read and follow the accompanying FDA Approved Patient Labeling. 17.1 Oral Candidiasis 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 PULMICORT FLEXHALER, but at times therapy with PULMICORT FLEXHALER may need to be temporarily interrupted under close medical supervision. Rinsing the mouth after inhalation is advised [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) ] . 17.2 Not for Acute Symptoms PULMICORT FLEXHALER is not meant to relieve acute asthma symptoms and extra doses should not be used for that purpose. Acute symptoms should be treated with an inhaled, short-acting beta 2 -agonist such as albuterol (the physician should provide the patient with such medication and instruct the patient in how it should be used). Patients should be instructed to notify their physician immediately if they experience any of the following: Decreasing effectiveness of inhaled, short-acting beta 2 -agonists Need for more inhalations than usual of inhaled, short-acting beta 2 -agonists Significant decrease in lung function as outlined by the physician Patients should not stop therapy with PULMICORT FLEXHALER without physician/provider guidance since symptoms may recur after discontinuation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) ] . 17.3 Hypersensitivity Including Anaphylaxis Hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis, rash, contact dermatitis, urticaria, angioedema, and bronchospasm have been reported with use of PULMICORT FLEXHALER. Discontinue PULMICORT FLEXHALER if such reactions occur [see Contraindications (4) , Warnings and Precautions (5.3) , Adverse Reactions (6) ] . PULMICORT FLEXHALER contains small amounts of lactose, which contains trace levels of milk proteins. It is possible that cough, wheezing, or bronchospasm may occur in patients who have a severe milk protein allergy [see Contraindications (4) ] . 17.4 Immunosuppression Patients who are on immunosuppressant doses of corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chickenpox or measles and, if exposed, to consult their physician without delay. Patients should be informed of potential worsening of existing tuberculosis, fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections, or ocular herpes simplex [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4) ] . 17.5 Hypercorticism and Adrenal Suppression Patients should be advised that PULMICORT FLEXHALER 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. Patients should taper slowly from systemic corticosteroids if transferring to PULMICORT FLEXHALER [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5, 5.6) ] . 17.6 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 [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8) ] . 17.7 Reduced Growth Velocity Patients should be informed that orally inhaled corticosteroids, including budesonide inhalation powder, may cause a reduction in growth velocity when administered to pediatric patients. Physicians should closely follow the growth of children and adolescents taking corticosteroids by any route [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9) ] . 17.8 Ocular Effects Long-term use of inhaled corticosteroids may increase the risk of some eye problems (cataracts or glaucoma); regular eye examinations should be considered [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10) ] . 17.9 Use Daily Patients should be advised to use PULMICORT FLEXHALER at regular intervals, since its effectiveness depends on regular use. Maximum benefit may not be achieved for 1 to 2 weeks or longer after starting treatment. If symptoms do not improve in that time frame or if the condition worsens, patients should be instructed to contact their physician. 17.10 How to Use Pulmicort Flexhaler Patients should be carefully instructed on the use of this drug product to assure optimal dose delivery. The patient may not sense the presence of any medication entering their lungs when inhaling from PULMICORT FLEXHALER. This lack of sensation does not mean that they did not get the medication. They should not repeat their inhalation even if they did not feel the medication when inhaling [see Patient Information ]. Patient Information

Spl Patient Package Insert Table

Important Note: This medicine is to only be inhaled through the mouth (by oral inhalation only).

Clinical Studies

14 CLINICAL STUDIES 14.1 Asthma The safety and efficacy of PULMICORT FLEXHALER were evaluated in two 12-week, double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled clinical studies conducted at sites in the United States and Asia involving 1137 patients aged 6 to 80 years with mild to moderate asthma. Study 1 evaluated PULMICORT FLEXHALER 180 mcg, PULMICORT TURBUHALER 200 mcg, and placebo, each administered as 1 inhalation once daily or 2 inhalations twice daily in patients 18 years of age and older with mild to moderate asthma previously treated with inhaled corticosteroids. The delivered dose of PULMICORT FLEXHALER 180 mcg and PULMICORT TURBUHALER 200 mcg are the same; each delivers 160 mcg from the mouthpiece. Study 2 evaluated PULMICORT FLEXHALER 90 mcg, 2 inhalations once daily or 4 inhalations twice daily, PULMICORT TURBUHALER 200 mcg, 1 inhalation once daily or 2 inhalations twice daily, and placebo in pediatric patients aged 6 to 17 years with mild to moderate asthma. Both of the studies had a 2-week placebo treatment run-in period followed by a 12-week randomized treatment period. The primary endpoint was the difference between baseline and the mean of the treatment-period FEV 1 (adults) or FEV 1 % predicted (children). Patients ≥ 18 years of age and older (Study 1) This study enrolled 621 patients aged ≥18 to 80 years with mild-to-moderate asthma (mean baseline % predicted FEV 1 64.3%) whose symptoms were previously controlled on inhaled corticosteroids. Mean change from baseline in FEV 1 in the PULMICORT FLEXHALER 180 mcg, 2 inhalations twice-daily group was 0.28 liters, as compared to 0.10 liters in the placebo group (p<0.001). Secondary endpoints of morning and evening peak expiratory flow rate, daytime asthma symptom severity, nighttime asthma symptom severity, daily rescue medication use, and the percentage of patients who met predefined asthma related withdrawal criteria showed differences from baseline favoring PULMICORT FLEXHALER over placebo (p<0.001). 12-Week Trial in Adult Patients with Mild to Moderate Asthma (Study 1) Mean Change from Baseline in FEV 1 (L) Footnote: PULMICORT TURBUHALER; a different PULMICORT DPI. Statistical model is analysis of covariance with treatment and region (US/Asia) as factors and the baseline value as the covariate. Patients 6 to 17 years of age (Study 2) This study enrolled 516 patients aged 6 to 17 years with mild asthma (mean baseline % predicted FEV 1 84.9%). The study population included patients previously treated with inhaled corticosteroids for no more than 30 days before the study began (4%) and patients who were naïve to inhaled corticosteroids (96%). Mean change from baseline in % predicted FEV 1 during the 12-week treatment period in the PULMICORT FLEXHALER 90 mcg, 4 inhalations twice daily treatment group was 5.6 compared with 0.2 in the placebo group (p<0.001). Secondary endpoints of morning and evening PEF showed differences from baseline favoring PULMICORT FLEXHALER over placebo (p<0.001). 12-Week Trial in Pediatric Patients With Mild Asthma (Study 2) Mean Change from Baseline in Percent Predicted FEV 1 Footnote: PULMICORT TURBUHALER; a different PULMICORT DPI. Statistical model is analysis of covariance with treatment and region (US/Asia) as factors and the baseline value as the covariate. figure 1 figure 2

Geriatric Use

8.5 Geriatric Use Of the total number of patients in controlled clinical studies receiving inhaled budesonide, 153 (n=11 treated with PULMICORT FLEXHALER) were 65 years of age or older and one was age 75 years or older. No overall differences in safety were observed between these patients and younger patients. Clinical studies did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 years and over to determine differences in efficacy between elderly and younger patients. Other reported clinical or medical surveillance experience has not identified differences in responses between the 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.

Pediatric Use

8.4 Pediatric Use In a 12-week pivotal study, 204 patients 6 to 17 years of age were treated with PULMICORT FLEXHALER twice daily [see Clinical Studies (14.1) ] . Efficacy results in this age group were similar to those observed in patients 18 years and older. There were no obvious differences in the type or frequency of adverse events reported in this age group compared with patients 18 years of age and older. The safety and effectiveness of PULMICORT FLEXHALER in asthma patients below 6 years of age have not been established. Controlled clinical studies have shown that orally inhaled corticosteroids, including budesonide, may cause a reduction in growth velocity in pediatric patients. This effect has been observed in the absence of laboratory evidence of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, suggesting that growth velocity is a more sensitive indicator of systemic corticosteroid exposure in pediatric patients than some commonly used tests of HPA-axis function. The long-term effects of this reduction in growth velocity associated with orally inhaled corticosteroids including the impact on final adult height are unknown. The potential for “catch up” growth following discontinuation of treatment with orally inhaled corticosteroids has not been adequately studied. In a study of asthmatic children 5-12 years of age, those treated with inhaled budesonide via a different PULMICORT dry powder inhaler 200 mcg twice daily (n=311) had a 1.1-centimeter reduction in growth compared with those receiving placebo (n=418) at the end of one year; the difference between these two treatment groups did not increase further over three years of additional treatment. By the end of four years, children treated with a different PULMICORT dry powder inhaler and children treated with placebo had similar growth velocities. Conclusions drawn from this study may be confounded by the unequal use of corticosteroids in the treatment groups and inclusion of data from patients attaining puberty during the course of the study. The administration of inhaled budesonide via a different PULMICORT dry-powder inhaler in doses up to 800 mcg/day (mean daily dose 445 mcg/day) or via a pressurized metered-dose inhaler in doses up to 1200 mcg/day (mean daily dose 620 mcg/day) to 216 pediatric patients (age 3 to 11 years) for 2 to 6 years had no significant effect on statural growth compared with non-corticosteroid therapy in 62 matched control patients. However, the long-term effect of inhaled budesonide on growth is not fully known. The growth of pediatric patients receiving orally inhaled corticosteroids, including PULMICORT FLEXHALER, should be monitored (e.g., via stadiometry). If a child or adolescent on any corticosteroid appears to have growth suppression, the possibility that he/she is particularly sensitive to this effect should be considered. The potential growth effects of prolonged treatment should be weighed against clinical benefits obtained. To minimize the systemic effects of inhaled corticosteroids, including PULMICORT FLEXHALER, each patient should be titrated to the lowest dose that effectively controls his/her asthma [see Dosage and Administration (2) ] .

Pregnancy

8.1 Pregnancy Risk Summary There are no adequate well-controlled studies of PULMICORT FLEXHALER in pregnant women. However, there are published studies on the use of budesonide, the active ingredient in PULMICORT FLEXHALER, in pregnant women. In animal reproduction studies, budesonide, administered by the subcutaneous route, caused structural abnormalities, was embryocidal, and reduced fetal weights in rats and rabbits at less than the maximum recommended human daily inhalation dose (MRHDID), but these effects were not seen in rats that received inhaled doses approximately 2 times the MRHDID ( see Data ). Studies of pregnant women have not shown that inhaled budesonide increases the risk of abnormalities when administered during pregnancy. Experience with oral corticosteroids suggests that rodents are more prone to structural abnormalities from corticosteroid exposure than humans. The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage of the indicated populations is unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively. Clinical Considerations Disease-Associated Maternal and/or Embryo/Fetal risk In women with poorly or moderately controlled asthma, there is an increased risk of several perinatal adverse outcomes such as preeclampsia in the mother and prematurity, low birth weight, and small for gestational age in the neonate. Pregnant women with asthma should be closely monitored and medication adjusted as necessary to maintain optimal asthma control. Labor or Delivery There are no well-controlled human studies that have investigated the effects of PULMICORT FLEXHALER during labor and delivery. Data Human Data Studies of pregnant women have not shown that inhaled budesonide increases the risk of abnormalities when administered during pregnancy. The results from a large population-based prospective cohort epidemiological study reviewing data from three Swedish registries covering approximately 99% of the pregnancies from 1995-1997 (i.e., Swedish Medical Birth Registry; Registry of Congenital Malformations; Child Cardiology Registry) indicate no increased risk for congenital malformations from the use of inhaled budesonide during early pregnancy. Congenital malformations were studied in 2014 infants born to mothers reporting the use of inhaled budesonide for asthma in early pregnancy (usually 10-12 weeks after the last menstrual period), the period when most major organ malformations occur. The rate of recorded congenital malformations was similar compared to the general population rate (3.8% vs. 3.5%, respectively). In addition, after exposure to inhaled budesonide, the number of infants born with orofacial clefts was similar to the expected number in the normal population (4 children vs. 3.3, respectively). These same data were utilized in a second study bringing the total to 2534 infants whose mothers were exposed to inhaled budesonide. In this study, the rate of congenital malformations among infants whose mothers were exposed to inhaled budesonide during early pregnancy was not different from the rate for all newborn babies during the same period (3.6%). Animal Data In a fertility and reproduction study, male rats were subcutaneously dosed for 9 weeks and females for 2 weeks prior to pairing and throughout the mating period. Females were dosed up until weaning of their offspring. Budesonide caused a decrease in prenatal viability and viability in the pups at birth and during lactation, along with a decrease in maternal body-weight gain, at doses 0.1 times the MRHDID (on a mcg/m 2 basis at maternal subcutaneous doses of 20 mcg/kg/day and above). No such effects were noted at a dose 0.03 times the MRHDID (on a mcg/m 2 basis at a maternal subcutaneous dose of 5 mcg/kg/day). In an embryo-fetal development study in pregnant rabbits dosed during the period of organogenesis from gestation days 6-18, budesonide produced fetal loss, decreased fetal weight, and skeletal abnormalities at doses 0.3 times the MRHDID (on a mcg/m 2 basis at a maternal subcutaneous dose of 25 mcg/kg/day). In an embryo-fetal development study in pregnant rats dosed during the period of organogenesis from gestation days 6-15, budesonide produced similar adverse fetal effects at doses approximately 4 times the MRHDID (on a mcg/m 2 basis at a maternal subcutaneous dose of 500 mcg/kg/day). In another embryo-fetal development study in pregnant rats, no structural abnormalities or embryocidal effects were seen at doses approximately 2 times the MRHDID (on a mcg/m 2 basis at maternal inhalation doses up to 250 mcg/kg/day). In a peri-and post-natal development study, rats dosed from gestation day 15 to postpartum day 21, budesonide had no effects on delivery, but did have an effect on growth and development of offspring. Offspring survival was reduced and surviving offspring had decreased mean body weights at birth and during lactation at doses 0.1 times the MRHDID and higher (on a mcg/m 2 basis at maternal subcutaneous doses of 20 mcg/kg/day and higher). These findings occurred in the presence of maternal toxicity.

Use In Specific Populations

8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS 8.1 Pregnancy Risk Summary There are no adequate well-controlled studies of PULMICORT FLEXHALER in pregnant women. However, there are published studies on the use of budesonide, the active ingredient in PULMICORT FLEXHALER, in pregnant women. In animal reproduction studies, budesonide, administered by the subcutaneous route, caused structural abnormalities, was embryocidal, and reduced fetal weights in rats and rabbits at less than the maximum recommended human daily inhalation dose (MRHDID), but these effects were not seen in rats that received inhaled doses approximately 2 times the MRHDID ( see Data ). Studies of pregnant women have not shown that inhaled budesonide increases the risk of abnormalities when administered during pregnancy. Experience with oral corticosteroids suggests that rodents are more prone to structural abnormalities from corticosteroid exposure than humans. The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage of the indicated populations is unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively. Clinical Considerations Disease-Associated Maternal and/or Embryo/Fetal risk In women with poorly or moderately controlled asthma, there is an increased risk of several perinatal adverse outcomes such as preeclampsia in the mother and prematurity, low birth weight, and small for gestational age in the neonate. Pregnant women with asthma should be closely monitored and medication adjusted as necessary to maintain optimal asthma control. Labor or Delivery There are no well-controlled human studies that have investigated the effects of PULMICORT FLEXHALER during labor and delivery. Data Human Data Studies of pregnant women have not shown that inhaled budesonide increases the risk of abnormalities when administered during pregnancy. The results from a large population-based prospective cohort epidemiological study reviewing data from three Swedish registries covering approximately 99% of the pregnancies from 1995-1997 (i.e., Swedish Medical Birth Registry; Registry of Congenital Malformations; Child Cardiology Registry) indicate no increased risk for congenital malformations from the use of inhaled budesonide during early pregnancy. Congenital malformations were studied in 2014 infants born to mothers reporting the use of inhaled budesonide for asthma in early pregnancy (usually 10-12 weeks after the last menstrual period), the period when most major organ malformations occur. The rate of recorded congenital malformations was similar compared to the general population rate (3.8% vs. 3.5%, respectively). In addition, after exposure to inhaled budesonide, the number of infants born with orofacial clefts was similar to the expected number in the normal population (4 children vs. 3.3, respectively). These same data were utilized in a second study bringing the total to 2534 infants whose mothers were exposed to inhaled budesonide. In this study, the rate of congenital malformations among infants whose mothers were exposed to inhaled budesonide during early pregnancy was not different from the rate for all newborn babies during the same period (3.6%). Animal Data In a fertility and reproduction study, male rats were subcutaneously dosed for 9 weeks and females for 2 weeks prior to pairing and throughout the mating period. Females were dosed up until weaning of their offspring. Budesonide caused a decrease in prenatal viability and viability in the pups at birth and during lactation, along with a decrease in maternal body-weight gain, at doses 0.1 times the MRHDID (on a mcg/m 2 basis at maternal subcutaneous doses of 20 mcg/kg/day and above). No such effects were noted at a dose 0.03 times the MRHDID (on a mcg/m 2 basis at a maternal subcutaneous dose of 5 mcg/kg/day). In an embryo-fetal development study in pregnant rabbits dosed during the period of organogenesis from gestation days 6-18, budesonide produced fetal loss, decreased fetal weight, and skeletal abnormalities at doses 0.3 times the MRHDID (on a mcg/m 2 basis at a maternal subcutaneous dose of 25 mcg/kg/day). In an embryo-fetal development study in pregnant rats dosed during the period of organogenesis from gestation days 6-15, budesonide produced similar adverse fetal effects at doses approximately 4 times the MRHDID (on a mcg/m 2 basis at a maternal subcutaneous dose of 500 mcg/kg/day). In another embryo-fetal development study in pregnant rats, no structural abnormalities or embryocidal effects were seen at doses approximately 2 times the MRHDID (on a mcg/m 2 basis at maternal inhalation doses up to 250 mcg/kg/day). In a peri-and post-natal development study, rats dosed from gestation day 15 to postpartum day 21, budesonide had no effects on delivery, but did have an effect on growth and development of offspring. Offspring survival was reduced and surviving offspring had decreased mean body weights at birth and during lactation at doses 0.1 times the MRHDID and higher (on a mcg/m 2 basis at maternal subcutaneous doses of 20 mcg/kg/day and higher). These findings occurred in the presence of maternal toxicity. 8.2 Lactation Risk Summary There are no available data on the effects of PULMICORT FLEXHALER on the breastfed child or on milk production. Budesonide, like other inhaled corticosteroids, is present in human milk [see Data] . The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for PULMICORT FLEXHALER and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from PULMICORT FLEXHALER or from the underlying maternal condition. Data Human data with budesonide delivered via dry powder inhaler indicates that the total daily oral dose of budesonide available in breast milk to the infant is approximately 0.3% to 1% of the dose inhaled by the mother [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) ]. 8.4 Pediatric Use In a 12-week pivotal study, 204 patients 6 to 17 years of age were treated with PULMICORT FLEXHALER twice daily [see Clinical Studies (14.1) ] . Efficacy results in this age group were similar to those observed in patients 18 years and older. There were no obvious differences in the type or frequency of adverse events reported in this age group compared with patients 18 years of age and older. The safety and effectiveness of PULMICORT FLEXHALER in asthma patients below 6 years of age have not been established. Controlled clinical studies have shown that orally inhaled corticosteroids, including budesonide, may cause a reduction in growth velocity in pediatric patients. This effect has been observed in the absence of laboratory evidence of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, suggesting that growth velocity is a more sensitive indicator of systemic corticosteroid exposure in pediatric patients than some commonly used tests of HPA-axis function. The long-term effects of this reduction in growth velocity associated with orally inhaled corticosteroids including the impact on final adult height are unknown. The potential for “catch up” growth following discontinuation of treatment with orally inhaled corticosteroids has not been adequately studied. In a study of asthmatic children 5-12 years of age, those treated with inhaled budesonide via a different PULMICORT dry powder inhaler 200 mcg twice daily (n=311) had a 1.1-centimeter reduction in growth compared with those receiving placebo (n=418) at the end of one year; the difference between these two treatment groups did not increase further over three years of additional treatment. By the end of four years, children treated with a different PULMICORT dry powder inhaler and children treated with placebo had similar growth velocities. Conclusions drawn from this study may be confounded by the unequal use of corticosteroids in the treatment groups and inclusion of data from patients attaining puberty during the course of the study. The administration of inhaled budesonide via a different PULMICORT dry-powder inhaler in doses up to 800 mcg/day (mean daily dose 445 mcg/day) or via a pressurized metered-dose inhaler in doses up to 1200 mcg/day (mean daily dose 620 mcg/day) to 216 pediatric patients (age 3 to 11 years) for 2 to 6 years had no significant effect on statural growth compared with non-corticosteroid therapy in 62 matched control patients. However, the long-term effect of inhaled budesonide on growth is not fully known. The growth of pediatric patients receiving orally inhaled corticosteroids, including PULMICORT FLEXHALER, should be monitored (e.g., via stadiometry). If a child or adolescent on any corticosteroid appears to have growth suppression, the possibility that he/she is particularly sensitive to this effect should be considered. The potential growth effects of prolonged treatment should be weighed against clinical benefits obtained. To minimize the systemic effects of inhaled corticosteroids, including PULMICORT FLEXHALER, each patient should be titrated to the lowest dose that effectively controls his/her asthma [see Dosage and Administration (2) ] . 8.5 Geriatric Use Of the total number of patients in controlled clinical studies receiving inhaled budesonide, 153 (n=11 treated with PULMICORT FLEXHALER) were 65 years of age or older and one was age 75 years or older. No overall differences in safety were observed between these patients and younger patients. Clinical studies did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 years and over to determine differences in efficacy between elderly and younger patients. Other reported clinical or medical surveillance experience has not identified differences in responses between the 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. 8.6 Hepatic Impairment Formal pharmacokinetic studies using PULMICORT FLEXHALER have not been conducted in patients with hepatic impairment. However, since budesonide is predominantly cleared by hepatic metabolism, impairment of liver function may lead to accumulation of budesonide in the plasma. Therefore, patients with hepatic disease should be closely monitored.

How Supplied

16 HOW SUPPLIED/STORAGE AND HANDLING Product: 50090-6796 NDC: 50090-6796-0 120 AEROSOL, POWDER in a INHALER / 1 in a CARTON

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