Levalbuterol (By breathing)

Introduction

Levalbuterol (lee-val-BUE-ter-ol)

Treats asthma and other lung problems such as chronic bronchitis.

Brand Name(s)

Xopenex, Xopenex Pediatric, Xopenex HFA

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use if you have had an allergic reaction to levalbuterol or albuterol (Ventolin®, Proventil®).

How to Use This Medicine

Spray, Powder Under Pressure

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You will use this medicine with an inhaler device called a nebulizer. The nebulizer turns the medicine into a fine mist that you breathe in through your mouth and to your lungs. Your caregiver will show you how to use your nebulizer.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about how to use the nebulizer.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine vials in their foil pouch at room temperature, away from heat or direct light. Open a vial only when you are ready to use the nebulizer. Once the foil pouch has been opened, the rest of the vials in the pouch should be used within 2 weeks. Do not use the medicine after the expiration date stamped on the product has passed.
  • Carefully follow the patient instructions about cleaning and caring for your nebulizer.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using digoxin (Lanoxin®), or any blood pressure medicine or diuretics (water pills).
  • Tell your doctor if you have used medicine for depression such as amitriptyline or an MAO inhibitor (Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®) within the past 2 weeks.
  • This medicine should not be used together with similar inhaled medicines such as metaproterenol (Alupent®), isoproterenol (Isuprel®), albuterol (Proventil®, Ventolin®), pirbuterol (Maxair®), or terbutaline (Brethaire®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have diabetes, heart disease, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, overactive thyroid, or seizures.
  • Your doctor may order other medicines for you to take to treat and control your asthma. Take all of your medicines as your doctor ordered.
  • If you use any type of corticosteroid medicine to control your asthma, keep using it as ordered by your doctor. This includes corticosteroid medicines that are taken by mouth or inhaled (such as prednisone, Azmacort®, Deltasone®, Flovent®).
  • If any of your asthma medicines do not seem to be working as well as usual, call your doctor right away. Do not change your doses or stop using your medicines without asking your doctor.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, fast heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, sore throat, cough
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Seizures
  • Tremors, shaking

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dry mouth
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Nervousness, trouble sleeping

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

         
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