SINGULAIR - Warnings montelukast sodium

The FDA requires all potential medication risks for SINGULAIR (montelukast sodium tablet, film coated) be disclosed to consumers, no matter how rare. Here are the warnings and precautions for SINGULAIR.

Warnings & Precautions

Serious neuropsychiatric (NP) events have been reported with the use of SINGULAIR. The types of events reported were highly variable, and included, but were not limited to, agitation, aggression, depression, sleep disturbances, suicidal thoughts and behavior (including suicide). The mechanisms underlying NP events associated with SINGULAIR use are currently not well understood [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Because of the risk of NP events, the benefits of SINGULAIR may not outweigh the risks in some patients, particularly when the symptoms of disease may be mild and adequately treated with alternative therapies. Reserve use of SINGULAIR for patients with allergic rhinitis who have an inadequate response or intolerance to alternative therapies [see Indications and Usage (1.3)]. In patients with asthma or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, consider the benefits and risks before prescribing SINGULAIR.

Discuss the benefits and risks of SINGULAIR with patients and caregivers when prescribing SINGULAIR. Advise patients and/or caregivers to be alert for changes in behavior or new NP symptoms when taking SINGULAIR. If changes in behavior are observed, or if new NP symptoms or suicidal thoughts and/or behavior occur, advise patients to discontinue SINGULAIR and contact a healthcare provider immediately [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

WARNING: SERIOUS NEUROPSYCHIATRIC EVENTS

See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning.

  • Serious neuropsychiatric events have been reported in patients taking SINGULAIR (5.1).
  • Discuss benefits and risks of SINGULAIR with patients and caregivers (5.1).
  • Monitor for neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients taking SINGULAIR (5.1).
  • Discontinue SINGULAIR immediately if neuropsychiatric symptoms occur (5.1).
  • Because the benefits of SINGULAIR may not outweigh the potential risk of neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with allergic rhinitis, reserve use for patients who have an inadequate response or intolerance to alternative therapies (1.3, 5.1).

Warnings & Precautions

  • Do not prescribe SINGULAIR to treat an acute asthma attack (5.2).
  • Advise patients to have appropriate rescue medication available (5.2).
  • Inhaled corticosteroid may be reduced gradually. Do not abruptly substitute SINGULAIR for inhaled or oral corticosteroids (5.3).
  • Patients with known aspirin sensitivity should continue to avoid aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents while taking SINGULAIR (5.4).
  • Systemic eosinophilia, sometimes presenting with clinical features of vasculitis consistent with Churg-Strauss syndrome, has been reported. These events have been sometimes associated with the reduction of oral corticosteroid therapy (5.5 and 6.2).
  • Inform patients with phenylketonuria that the 4-mg and 5-mg chewable tablets contain phenylalanine (5.6).

neuropsychiatric events

Serious neuropsychiatric (NP) events have been reported with use of SINGULAIR. These postmarketing reports have been highly variable and included, but were not limited to, agitation, aggressive behavior or hostility, anxiousness, depression, disorientation, disturbance in attention, dream abnormalities, dysphemia (stuttering), hallucinations, insomnia, irritability, memory impairment, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, restlessness, somnambulism, suicidal thoughts and behavior (including suicide), tic, and tremor. NP events have been reported in adult, adolescent, and pediatric patients with and without a previous history of psychiatric disorder. NP events have been reported mostly during SINGULAIR treatment, but some were reported after SINGULAIR discontinuation. Animal studies showed that montelukast distributes into the brain in rats [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]; however, the mechanisms underlying SINGULAIR-associated NP events are currently not well understood. Based upon the available data, it is difficult to identify risk factors for or quantify the risk of NP events with SINGULAIR use.

Because of the risk of NP events, the benefits of SINGULAIR may not outweigh the risks in some patients, particularly when the symptoms of disease may be mild and adequately treated with alternative therapies. Reserve use of SINGULAIR for patients with allergic rhinitis who have an inadequate response or intolerance to alternative therapies [see Indications and Usage (1.3)]. In patients with asthma or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, consider the benefits and risks before prescribing SINGULAIR.

Discuss the benefits and risks of SINGULAIR use with patients and caregivers when prescribing SINGULAIR. Advise patients and/or caregivers to be alert for changes in behavior or for new NP symptoms when taking SINGULAIR. If changes in behavior are observed, or if new NP symptoms or suicidal thoughts and/or behavior occur, advise patients to discontinue SINGULAIR and contact a healthcare provider immediately. In many cases, symptoms resolved after stopping SINGULAIR therapy; however, in some cases symptoms persisted after discontinuation of SINGULAIR. Therefore, continue to monitor and provide supportive care until symptoms resolve. Re-evaluate the benefits and risks of restarting treatment with SINGULAIR if such events occur.

acute asthma

SINGULAIR is not indicated for use in the reversal of bronchospasm in acute asthma attacks, including status asthmaticus. Patients should be advised to have appropriate rescue medication available. Therapy with SINGULAIR can be continued during acute exacerbations of asthma. Patients who have exacerbations of asthma after exercise should have available for rescue a short-acting inhaled β-agonist.

concomitant corticosteroid use

While the dose of inhaled corticosteroid may be reduced gradually under medical supervision, SINGULAIR should not be abruptly substituted for inhaled or oral corticosteroids.

aspirin sensitivity

Patients with known aspirin sensitivity should continue avoidance of aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents while taking SINGULAIR. Although SINGULAIR is effective in improving airway function in asthmatics with documented aspirin sensitivity, it has not been shown to truncate bronchoconstrictor response to aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in aspirin-sensitive asthmatic patients [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].

eosinophilic conditions

Patients with asthma on therapy with SINGULAIR may present with systemic eosinophilia, sometimes presenting with clinical features of vasculitis consistent with Churg-Strauss syndrome, a condition which is often treated with systemic corticosteroid therapy. These events have been sometimes associated with the reduction of oral corticosteroid therapy. Physicians should be alert to eosinophilia, vasculitic rash, worsening pulmonary symptoms, cardiac complications, and/or neuropathy presenting in their patients. A causal association between SINGULAIR and these underlying conditions has not been established [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

risk in patients with phenylketonuria

SINGULAIR contains aspartame, a source of phenylalanine. Phenylalanine can be harmful to patients with phenylketonuria (PKU). Each 4 mg and 5 mg chewable tablet contains 0.674 mg and 0.842 mg of phenylalanine, respectively. Before prescribing SINGULAIR to a patient with PKU, consider the combined daily amount of phenylalanine from all sources, including SINGULAIR.

This drug label information is as submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is intended for informational purposes only. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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