Asthma-related death: Long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists increase the risk. Prescribe only for recommended patient populations. (5.1) Deterioration of disease and acute episodes: Do not initiate in acutely deteriorating asthma or to treat acute symptoms. (5.2) Use with additional long-acting beta2-agonist: Do not use in combination because of risk of overdose. (5.3) Localized infections: Candida albicans infection of the mouth and throat may occur. Monitor patients periodically for signs of adverse effects on the oral cavity. Advise patients to rinse the mouth following inhalation. (5.4) Immunosuppression: Potential worsening of existing tuberculosis, fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection; or ocular herpes simplex infections. More serious or even fatal course of chickenpox or measles can occur in susceptible patients. Use with caution in patients with these infections because of the potential for worsening of these infections. (5.5) Transferring patients from systemic corticosteroids: Risk of impaired adrenal function when transferring from oral steroids. Taper patients slowly from systemic corticosteroids if transferring to DULERA. (5.6) Hypercorticism and adrenal suppression: May occur with very high dosages or at the regular dosage in susceptible individuals. If such changes occur, discontinue DULERA slowly. (5.7) Strong cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir): Risk of increased systemic corticosteroid effects. Exercise caution when used with DULERA. (5.8) Paradoxical bronchospasm: Discontinue DULERA and institute alternative therapy if paradoxical bronchospasm occurs. (5.9) Patients with cardiovascular disorders: Use with caution because of beta-adrenergic stimulation. (5.11) Decreases in bone mineral density: Monitor patients with major risk factors for decreased bone mineral content. (5.12) Effects on growth: Monitor growth of pediatric patients. (5.13) Glaucoma and cataracts: Monitor patients with change in vision or with a history of increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, and/or cataracts closely. (5.14) Coexisting conditions: Use with caution in patients with aneurysm, pheochromocytoma, convulsive disorders, thyrotoxicosis, diabetes mellitus, and ketoacidosis. (5.15) Hypokalemia and hyperglycemia: Be alert to hypokalemia and hyperglycemia. (5.16) 5.1 Asthma-Related Death Long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists, such as formoterol, one of the active ingredients in DULERA, increase the risk of asthma-related death. Currently available data are inadequate to determine whether concurrent use of inhaled corticosteroids or other long-term asthma control drugs mitigates the increased risk of asthma-related death from LABA. Available data from controlled clinical trials suggest that LABA increase the risk of asthma-related hospitalization in pediatric and adolescent patients. Therefore, when treating patients with asthma, physicians should only prescribe DULERA for patients with asthma not adequately controlled on a long-term asthma control medication, such as an inhaled corticosteroid or whose disease severity clearly warrants initiation of treatment with both an inhaled corticosteroid and LABA. Once asthma control is achieved and maintained, assess the patient at regular intervals and step down therapy (e.g., discontinue DULERA) if possible without loss of asthma control, and maintain the patient on a long-term asthma control medication, such as an inhaled corticosteroid. Do not use DULERA for patients whose asthma is adequately controlled on low or medium dose inhaled corticosteroids. A 28-week, placebo-controlled US study comparing the safety of salmeterol with placebo, each added to usual asthma therapy, showed an increase in asthma-related deaths in patients receiving salmeterol (13/13,176 in patients treated with salmeterol vs. 3/13,179 in patients treated with placebo; RR 4.37, 95% CI 1.25, 15.34). This finding with salmeterol is considered a class effect of the LABAs, including formoterol, one of the active ingredients in DULERA. No study adequate to determine whether the rate of asthma-related death is increased with DULERA has been conducted. Clinical studies with formoterol suggested a higher incidence of serious asthma exacerbations in patients who received formoterol fumarate than in those who received placebo. The sizes of these studies were not adequate to precisely quantify the differences in serious asthma exacerbation rates between treatment groups. 5.2 Deterioration of Disease and Acute Episodes DULERA should not be initiated in patients during rapidly deteriorating or potentially life-threatening episodes of asthma. DULERA has not been studied in patients with acutely deteriorating asthma. The initiation of DULERA in this setting is not appropriate. Increasing use of inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonists is a marker of deteriorating asthma. In this situation, the patient requires immediate re-evaluation with reassessment of the treatment regimen, giving special consideration to the possible need for replacing the current strength of DULERA with a higher strength, adding additional inhaled corticosteroid, or initiating systemic corticosteroids. Patients should not use more than 2 inhalations twice daily (morning and evening) of DULERA. DULERA is not indicated for the relief of acute symptoms, i.e., as rescue therapy for the treatment of acute episodes of bronchospasm. An inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonist, not DULERA, should be used to relieve acute symptoms such as shortness of breath. When prescribing DULERA, the physician must also provide the patient with an inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonist (e.g., albuterol) for treatment of acute symptoms, despite regular twice-daily (morning and evening) use of DULERA. When beginning treatment with DULERA, patients who have been taking oral or inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonists on a regular basis (e.g., 4 times a day) should be instructed to discontinue the regular use of these drugs. 5.3 Excessive Use of DULERA and Use with Other Long-Acting Beta2-Agonists As with other inhaled drugs containing beta2-adrenergic agents, DULERA should not be used more often than recommended, at higher doses than recommended, or in conjunction with other medications containing long-acting beta2-agonists, as an overdose may result. Clinically significant cardiovascular effects and fatalities have been reported in association with excessive use of inhaled sympathomimetic drugs. Patients using DULERA should not use an additional long-acting beta2-agonist (e.g., salmeterol, formoterol fumarate, arformoterol tartrate) for any reason, including prevention of exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) or the treatment of asthma. 5.4 Local Effects In clinical trials, the development of localized infections of the mouth and pharynx with Candida albicans have occurred in patients treated with DULERA. If oropharyngeal candidiasis develops, it should be treated with appropriate local or systemic (i.e., oral) antifungal therapy while remaining on treatment with DULERA therapy, but at times therapy with DULERA may need to be interrupted. Advise patients to rinse the mouth after inhalation of DULERA. 5.5 Immunosuppression Persons who are using drugs that suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chickenpox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in susceptible children or adults using corticosteroids. In such children or adults who have not had these diseases or who are not properly immunized, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route, and duration of corticosteroid administration affect the risk of developing a disseminated infection is not known. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed to chickenpox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) or pooled intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chickenpox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered. DULERA should be used with caution, if at all, in patients with active or quiescent tuberculosis infection of the respiratory tract, untreated systemic fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections; or ocular herpes simplex. 5.6 Transferring Patients from Systemic Corticosteroid Therapy Particular care is needed for patients who are transferred from systemically active corticosteroids to DULERA because deaths due to adrenal insufficiency have occurred in asthmatic patients during and after transfer from systemic corticosteroids to less systemically available inhaled corticosteroids. After withdrawal from systemic corticosteroids, a number of months are required for recovery of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function. Patients who have been previously maintained on 20 mg or more per day of prednisone (or its equivalent) may be most susceptible, particularly when their systemic corticosteroids have been almost completely withdrawn. During this period of HPA suppression, patients may exhibit signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency when exposed to trauma, surgery, or infection (particularly gastroenteritis) or other conditions associated with severe electrolyte loss. Although DULERA may improve control of asthma symptoms during these episodes, in recommended doses it supplies less than normal physiological amounts of corticosteroid systemically and does NOT provide the mineralocorticoid activity necessary for coping with these emergencies. During periods of stress or severe asthma attack, patients who have been withdrawn from systemic corticosteroids should be instructed to resume oral corticosteroids (in large doses) immediately and to contact their physicians for further instruction. These patients should also be instructed to carry a medical identification card indicating that they may need supplementary systemic corticosteroids during periods of stress or severe asthma attack. Patients requiring systemic corticosteroids should be weaned slowly from systemic corticosteroid use after transferring to DULERA. Lung function (FEV1 or PEF), beta-agonist use, and asthma symptoms should be carefully monitored during withdrawal of systemic corticosteroids. In addition to monitoring asthma signs and symptoms, patients should be observed for signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency such as fatigue, lassitude, weakness, nausea and vomiting, and hypotension. Transfer of patients from systemic corticosteroid therapy to DULERA may unmask allergic conditions previously suppressed by the systemic corticosteroid therapy, e.g., rhinitis, conjunctivitis, eczema, arthritis, and eosinophilic conditions. During withdrawal from oral corticosteroids, some patients may experience symptoms of systemically active corticosteroid withdrawal, e.g., joint and/or muscular pain, lassitude, and depression, despite maintenance or even improvement of respiratory function. 5.7 Hypercorticism and Adrenal Suppression Mometasone furoate, a component of DULERA, will often help control asthma symptoms with less suppression of HPA function than therapeutically equivalent oral doses of prednisone. Since mometasone furoate is absorbed into the circulation and can be systemically active at higher doses, the beneficial effects of DULERA in minimizing HPA dysfunction may be expected only when recommended dosages are not exceeded and individual patients are titrated to the lowest effective dose. Because of the possibility of systemic absorption of inhaled corticosteroids, patients treated with DULERA should be observed carefully for any evidence of systemic corticosteroid effects. Particular care should be taken in observing patients postoperatively or during periods of stress for evidence of inadequate adrenal response. It is possible that systemic corticosteroid effects such as hypercorticism and adrenal suppression (including adrenal crisis) may appear in a small number of patients, particularly when mometasone furoate is administered at higher than recommended doses over prolonged periods of time. If such effects occur, the dosage of DULERA should be reduced slowly, consistent with accepted procedures for reducing systemic corticosteroids and for management of asthma symptoms. 5.8 Drug Interactions with Strong Cytochrome P450 3A4 Inhibitors Caution should be exercised when considering the coadministration of DULERA with ketoconazole, and other known strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir, atazanavir, clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, saquinavir, telithromycin) because adverse effects related to increased systemic exposure to mometasone furoate may occur [see Drug Interactions (7.1) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. 5.9 Paradoxical Bronchospasm and Upper Airway Symptoms DULERA may produce inhalation induced bronchospasm with an immediate increase in wheezing after dosing that may be life-threatening. If inhalation induced bronchospasm occurs, it should be treated immediately with an inhaled, short-acting bronchodilator. DULERA should be discontinued immediately and alternative therapy instituted. 5.10 Immediate Hypersensitivity Reactions Immediate hypersensitivity reactions may occur after administration of DULERA, as demonstrated by cases of urticaria, flushing, allergic dermatitis, and bronchospasm. 5.11 Cardiovascular and Central Nervous System Effects Excessive beta-adrenergic stimulation has been associated with seizures, angina, hypertension or hypotension, tachycardia with rates up to 200 beats/min, arrhythmias, nervousness, headache, tremor, palpitation, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, malaise, and insomnia. Therefore, DULERA should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and hypertension. Formoterol fumarate, a component of DULERA, can produce a clinically significant cardiovascular effect in some patients as measured by pulse rate, blood pressure, and/or symptoms. Although such effects are uncommon after administration of DULERA 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. Fatalities have been reported in association with excessive use of inhaled sympathomimetic drugs. 5.12 Reduction in Bone Mineral Density Decreases in bone mineral density (BMD) have been observed with long-term administration of products containing inhaled corticosteroids, including mometasone furoate, one of the components of DULERA. The clinical significance of small changes in BMD with regard to long-term outcomes, such as fracture, is unknown. Patients with major risk factors for decreased bone mineral content, such as prolonged immobilization, family history of osteoporosis, or chronic use of drugs that can reduce bone mass (e.g., anticonvulsants and corticosteroids) should be monitored and treated with established standards of care. In a 2-year double-blind study in 103 male and female asthma patients 18 to 50 years of age previously maintained on bronchodilator therapy (Baseline FEV1 85%–88% predicted), treatment with mometasone furoate dry powder inhaler 200 mcg twice daily resulted in significant reductions in lumbar spine (LS) BMD at the end of the treatment period compared to placebo. The mean change from Baseline to Endpoint in the lumbar spine BMD was -0.015 (-1.43%) for the mometasone furoate group compared to 0.002 (0.25%) for the placebo group. In another 2-year double-blind study in 87 male and female asthma patients 18 to 50 years of age previously maintained on bronchodilator therapy (Baseline FEV1 82%–83% predicted), treatment with mometasone furoate 400 mcg twice daily demonstrated no statistically significant changes in lumbar spine BMD at the end of the treatment period compared to placebo. The mean change from Baseline to Endpoint in the lumbar spine BMD was -0.018 (-1.57%) for the mometasone furoate group compared to -0.006 (-0.43%) for the placebo group. 5.13 Effect on Growth Orally inhaled corticosteroids, including DULERA, may cause a reduction in growth velocity when administered to pediatric patients. Monitor the growth of pediatric patients receiving DULERA routinely (e.g., via stadiometry). To minimize the systemic effects of orally inhaled corticosteroids, including DULERA, titrate each patient's dose to the lowest dosage that effectively controls his/her symptoms [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)]. 5.14 Glaucoma and Cataracts Glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, and cataracts have been reported following the use of long-term administration of inhaled corticosteroids, including mometasone furoate, a component of DULERA. Therefore, close monitoring is warranted in patients with a change in vision or with a history of increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, and/or cataracts [see Adverse Reactions (6)]. 5.15 Coexisting Conditions DULERA, like other medications containing sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with aneurysm, pheochromocytoma, convulsive disorders, or thyrotoxicosis; and in patients who are unusually responsive to sympathomimetic amines. Doses of the related beta2-agonist albuterol, when administered intravenously, have been reported to aggravate preexisting diabetes mellitus and ketoacidosis. 5.16 Hypokalemia and Hyperglycemia Beta2-agonist medications may produce significant hypokalemia in some patients, possibly through intracellular shunting, which has the potential to produce adverse cardiovascular effects. The decrease in serum potassium is usually transient, not requiring supplementation. Clinically significant changes in blood glucose and/or serum potassium were seen infrequently during clinical studies with DULERA at recommended doses.