FLIXOTIDE 50 Inhaler is pressurised metered-dose inhalers, which deliver 50 micrograms of fluticasone propionate respectively per actuation.
FLIXOTIDE has a marked anti-inflammatory effect in the lungs. It reduces symptoms of asthma in patients previously treated with bronchodilator alone or with other prophylactic therapy.
Severe asthma requires regular medical assessment as death may occur. Patients with severe asthma have constant symptoms and frequent exacerbations, with limited physical capacity, and PEF values below 60% predicted at baseline with greater than 30% variability, usually not returning entirely to normal after a bronchodilator. These patients will require high dose inhaled or oral corticosteroid therapy.
Sudden worsening of symptoms may require increased corticosteroid dosage which should be administered under urgent medical supervision.
Adults: Prophylactic management in: Mild asthma (PEF values greater than 80% predicted at baseline with less than 20% variability): Patients requiring intermittent symptomatic bronchodilator asthma medication on more than an occasional basis.
Moderate asthma (PEF values 60-80% predicted at baseline with 20-30% variability): Patients requiring regular asthma medication and patients with unstable or worsening asthma on currently available prophylactic therapy or bronchodilator alone.
Severe asthma (PEF values less than 60% predicted at baseline with greater than 30% variability): Patients with severe chronic asthma.
On introduction of inhaled FLIXOTIDE many patients who are dependent on systemic corticosteroids for adequate control of symptoms may be able to reduce significantly or to eliminate their requirement for oral corticosteroids.
Children: Any child who requires to control asthma symptoms, including patients not controlled on currently available prophylactic medication.
Patients should be made aware of the prophylactic nature of therapy with inhaled FLIXOTIDE and that it should be taken regularly even when they are asymptomatic.
FLIXOTIDE is for inhalation by oral inhalation only. It is intended that each prescribed dose is given by a minimum of two inhalations. In patients who find co-ordination of a pressurised metered dose inhaler difficult a spacer may be used with FLIXOTIDE Inhaler.
ASTHMA: The onset of therapeutic effect is four to seven days, although some benefit may be apparent as soon as 24 h for patients who have not previously received inhaled steroids.
If patients find that relief with short-acting bronchodilator treatment becomes less effective or they need more inhalations than usual, medical attention must be sought.
Adults and children over 16 years of age: 100 to 1000 micrograms twice daily. Patients should be given a starting dose of inhaled FLIXOTIDE which is appropriate for the severity of their disease: Mild asthma: 100 to 250 micrograms twice daily.
Moderate asthma: 250 to 500 micrograms twice daily.
Severe asthma: 500 to 1000 micrograms twice daily.
The dose may then be adjusted until control is achieved or reduced to the minimum effective dose, according to the individual response. Alternatively, the starting dose of fluticasone propionate may be gauged at half the total daily dose of beclomethasone dipropionate or equivalent as administered by metered-dose inhaler.
Children 4 years of age and over: Many children's asthma will be well controlled using the 50 to 100 micrograms twice daily dosing regime. Children should be given a starting dose of inhaled FLIXOTIDE which is appropriate for the severity of their disease. The dose may then be adjusted until control is achieved or reduced to the minimum effective dose according to the individual response.
Children aged 1 to 4 years: Inhaled FLIXOTIDE is of benefit to younger children in the control of frequent and persistent asthma symptoms. Clinical trials in 1 to 4 years old children have shown that the optimal control of asthma symptoms is achieved with 100 micrograms twice daily, administered via a paediatric spacer device with a face mask (such as the BABYHALER). The diagnosis and treatment of asthma should be kept under regular review.
Special patient groups: There is no need to adjust the dose in elderly patients or in those with hepatic or renal impairment.
Acute inhalation of FLIXOTIDE doses in excess of those approved may lead to temporary suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. This does not usually require emergency action, as normal adrenal function typically recovers within a few days. If higher than approved doses are continued over prolonged periods, significant adrenocortical suppression is possible. There have been very rare reports of acute adrenal crisis occurring in children exposed to higher than approved doses (typically 1000 micrograms daily and above), over prolonged periods (several months or years); observed features included hypoglycaemia and sequelae of decreased consciousness and/or convulsions. Situations which could potentially trigger acute adrenal crisis include exposure to trauma, surgery, infection or any rapid reduction in dosage. Patients receiving higher than approved doses should be managed closely and the dose reduced gradually.
Hypersensitivity to any ingredient of the preparation.
Increasing use of short-acting inhaled beta2-agonists to control asthma symptoms indicates deterioration of asthma control. Under these conditions, the patient's therapy plan should be reassessed. Sudden and progressive deterioration in asthma control is potentially life-threatening and consideration should be given to increasing corticosteroid dosage. In patients considered at risk, daily peak flow monitoring may be instituted. There was an increased reporting of pneumonia in studies of patients with COPD receiving FLIXOTIDE 500 micrograms (see Adverse Reactions). Physicians should remain vigilant for the possible development of pneumonia in patients with COPD as the clinical features of pneumonia and exacerbation frequently overlap. Systemic effects may occur with any inhaled corticosteroid, particularly at high doses prescribed for long periods; these effects are much less likely to occur than with oral corticosteroids. Possible systemic effects include Cushing's syndrome, Cushingoid features, adrenal suppression, growth retardation in children and adolescents, decrease in bone mineral density, cataract and glaucoma. It is important, therefore, that the dose of inhaled corticosteroid is titrated to the lowest dose at which effective control is maintained (see Adverse Reactions).
It is recommended that the height of children receiving prolonged treatment with inhaled corticosteroid is regularly monitored. Because of the possibility of impaired adrenal response, patients transferring from oral steroid therapy to inhaled FLIXOTIDE therapy should be treated with special care, and adrenocortical function regularly monitored. Following introduction of inhaled FLIXOTIDE, withdrawal of systemic therapy should be gradual and patients encouraged to carry a steroid warning card indicating the possible need for additional therapy in times of stress. The possibility of impaired adrenal response should always be considered in emergency situations (including surgery), and also in elective situations likely to produce stress, especially in patients taking high doses for an extended duration of time.
Additional corticosteroid treatment appropriate to a given clinical situation must be considered. Similarly replacement of systemic steroid treatment with inhaled therapy may unmask allergies such as allergic rhinitis or eczema previously controlled by the systemic drug. Treatment with FLIXOTIDE should not be stopped abruptly. There have been very rare reports of increases in blood glucose levels and this should be considered when prescribing to patients with a history of diabetes mellitus. As with all inhaled corticosteroids, special care is necessary in patients with active or quiescent pulmonary tuberculosis.
During post-marketing use, there have been reports of clinically significant drug interactions in patients receiving fluticasone propionate and ritonavir, resulting in systemic corticosteroid effects including Cushing's syndrome and adrenal suppression. Therefore, concomitant use of fluticasone propionate and ritonavir should be avoided, unless the potential benefit to the patient outweighs the risk of systemic corticosteroid side-effects. As with other inhalation therapy, paradoxical bronchospasm may occur with an immediate increase in wheezing after dosing. This should be treated immediately with a fast-acting inhaled bronchodilator. Flixotide Inhaler should be discontinued immediately, the patient assessed, and alternative therapy instituted if necessary. Patients' inhaler technique should be checked to make sure that inhaler actuation is synchronised with inspiration to ensure optimum delivery of the drug to the lungs.
Use in pregnancy: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of fluticasone propionate in pregnant women. The effect of fluticasone propionate on human pregnancy is unknown. Reproductive studies in animals have shown only those effects characteristic of glucocorticosteroids at systemic exposures in excess of those seen at the recommended inhaled therapeutic dose. Tests for genotoxicity have shown no mutagenic potential. However, as with other drugs the administration of fluticasone propionate during pregnancy should only be considered if the expected benefit to the mother is greater than any possible risk to the foetus. The excretion of fluticasone propionate into human breast milk has not been investigated. When measurable plasma levels were obtained in lactating laboratory rats following subcutaneous administration there was evidence of fluticasone propionate in the breast milk. However, plasma levels in patients following inhaled application of fluticasone propionate at recommended doses are likely to be low.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of fluticasone propionate in pregnant women. The effect of fluticasone propionate on human pregnancy is unknown. Reproductive studies in animals have shown only those effects characteristic of glucocorticosteroids at systemic exposures in excess of those seen at the recommended inhaled therapeutic dose. Tests for genotoxicity have shown no mutagenic potential. However, as with other drugs the administration of fluticasone propionate during pregnancy should only be considered if the expected benefit to the mother is greater than any possible risk to the foetus. The excretion of fluticasone propionate into human breast milk has not been investigated. When measurable plasma levels were obtained in lactating laboratory rats following subcutaneous administration there was evidence of fluticasone propionate in the breast milk. However, plasma levels in patients following inhaled application of fluticasone propionate at recommended doses are likely to be low.
Infections and infestations:
Very common: Candidiasis of mouth and throat. Candidiasis of the mouth and throat (thrush) occurs in some patients. Such patients may find it helpful to rinse out their mouth with water after using their medication. Symptomatic candidiasis can be treated with topical anti-fungal therapy whilst still continuing with FLIXOTIDE. Common: Pneumonia (in COPD patients).
Immune system disorders:
Hypersensitivity reactions with the following manifestations have been reported: Uncommon: Cutaneous hypersensitivity reactions. Very rare: Angioedema (mainly facial and oropharyngeal oedema), respiratory symptoms (dyspnoea and/or bronchospasm) and anaphylactic reactions.
Possible systemic effects include: Very rare: Cushing's syndrome, Cushingoid features, adrenal suppression, growth retardation, decreased bone mineral density, cataract, glaucoma.
Metabolism and nutrition disorders:
Very rare: Hyperglycaemia.
Very rare: Anxiety, sleep disorders and behavioural changes, including hyperactivity and irritability (predominantly in children).
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders:
Common: Hoarseness. In some patients inhaled FLIXOTIDE may cause hoarseness. It may be helpful to rinse out the mouth with water immediately after inhalation. Very rare: Paradoxical bronchospasm.
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders:
Under normal circumstances, low plasma concentrations of fluticasone propionate are achieved after inhaled dosing, due to extensive first pass metabolism and high systemic clearance mediated by cytochrome P450 3A4 in the gut and liver. Hence, clinically significant drug interactions mediated by fluticasone propionate are unlikely.
A drug interaction study in healthy subjects has shown that ritonavir (a highly potent cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitor) can greatly increase fluticasone propionate plasma concentrations, resulting in markedly reduced serum cortisol concentrations. During post-marketing use, there have been reports of clinically significant drug interactions in patients receiving intranasal or inhaled fluticasone propionate and ritonavir, resulting in systemic corticosteroid effects including Cushing's syndrome and adrenal suppression. Therefore, concomitant use of fluticasone propionate and ritonavir should be avoided, unless the potential benefit to the patient outweighs the risk of systemic corticosteroid side-effects.
Studies have shown that other inhibitors of cytochrome P450 3A4 produce negligible (erythromycin) and minor (ketoconazole) increases in systemic exposure to fluticasone propionate without notable reductions in serum cortisol concentrations. Nevertheless, care is advised when co-administering potent cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors (e.g. ketoconazole) as there is potential for increased systemic exposure to fluticasone propionate.
Before using for the first time or if the inhaler has not been used for a week or more remove the mouthpiece cover by gently squeezing the sides of the cover, shake the inhaler well, and release one puff into the air to make sure that it works.
Using the inhaler: 1. Remove the mouthpiece cover by gently squeezing the sides of the cover.
2. Check inside and outside of the inhaler including the mouthpiece for the presence of loose objects.
3. Shake the inhaler well to ensure that any loose objects are removed and that the contents of the inhaler are evenly mixed.
4. Hold the inhaler upright between fingers and thumb with the thumb on the base, below the mouthpiece.
5. Breathe out as far as is comfortable and then place the mouthpiece in the mouth between the teeth and close the lips around it but do not bite it.
6. Just after starting to breathe in through the mouth press down on the top of the inhaler to release FLIXOTIDE while still breathing in steadily and deeply.
7. While holding the breath, take the inhaler from the mouth and take the finger from the top of the inhaler. Continue holding the breath for as long as is comfortable.
If the patient is to take further puffs keep the inhaler upright and wait about half a minute before repeating steps 3 to 7.
8. Afterwards, rinse the mouth with water and spit it out.
9. Replace the mouthpiece cover by firmly pushing and snapping the cap into position.
Do not rush stages 5, 6 and 7. It is important that the patient start to breathe in as slowly as possible just before operating the inhaler. Practise in front of a mirror for the first few times. If the patient see "mist" coming from the top of the inhaler or the sides of the mouth the patient should start again from stage 2.
If the doctor has given the patient different instructions for using the inhaler, follow them carefully. Tell the doctor if the patient have any difficulties.
Children: Young children may need help and an adult may need to operate the inhaler for them. Encourage the child to breathe out and operate the inhaler just after the child starts to breathe in.
Practice the technique together. Older children or people with weak hands should hold the inhaler with both hands. Put the two forefingers on top of the inhaler and both thumbs on the base below the mouthpiece.
Replace the mouthpiece cover firmly and snap it into position. FLIXOTIDE Inhaler should not be stored above 30ºC. Protect from frost and direct sunlight.
As with most inhaled medications in pressurised canisters, the therapeutic effect of this medication may decrease when the canister is cold.
The canister should not be punctured, broken or burnt even when apparently empty.
R03BA05 - fluticasone ; Belongs to the class of other inhalants used in the treatment of obstructive airway diseases, glucocorticoids.
Flixotide Inhaler 50 mcg/puff