Health Guide
Drug Guide

Levalbuterol (Inhalation route)

Pronunciation:

lee-val-BUE-ter-ol

Brand Names:

Dosage Forms:

Classifications:

Therapeutic

Bronchodilator

Pharmacologic

Beta-2 Adrenergic Agonist

Uses of This Medicine:

Levalbuterol is used to prevent or treat bronchospasm in patients with asthma and other lung diseases. .

Levalbuterol belongs to the family of medicines known as adrenergic bronchodilators. Adrenergic bronchodilators are medicines that are breathed in through the mouth to open up the bronchial tubes (air passages) in the lungs. They relieve cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and troubled breathing by increasing the flow of air through the bronchial tubes.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of levalbuterol solution in children younger than 6 years of age, and levalbuterol aerosol in children younger than 4 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established in these age groups.

Older adults

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of levalbuterol in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving levalbuterol.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast-feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Use this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. Also, do not stop using this medicine or any asthma medicine without telling your doctor. To do so may increase the chance for breathing problems.

The levalbuterol inhalation solution should be used with a jet nebulizer that is connected to an air compressor with good air flow. The inhalation solution and nebulizer will come with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

To use the inhalation solution in the nebulizer:

For patients using levalbuterol inhalation aerosol:

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

If your dosing schedule is different from all of the above and you miss a dose of this medicine, or if you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Keep the medicine in the foil pouch until you are ready to use it. Store at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze.

Keep the inhalation solution in the foil pouch until you are ready to use it. The rest of the vials in the pouch should be used within 2 weeks after the foil pouch has been opened.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

If you will be using this medicine for a long time, it is important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to check for any unwanted effects.

This medicine should not be used together with other inhaled medicines that are similar, such as albuterol (Accuneb®), isoproterenol (Isuprel®), metaproterenol (Alupent®), pirbuterol (Maxair®), or terbutaline (Brethaire®).

This medicine may cause paradoxical bronchospasm, which means your breathing or wheezing will get worse. Paradoxical bronchospasm may be life-threatening. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing after using this medicine.

Talk to your doctor or get medical help right away if:

You or your child may also be taking an antiinflammatory medicine, such as a steroid (cortisone-like medicine), together with this medicine. Do not stop taking the antiinflammatory medicine, even if your asthma seems better, unless you are told to do so by your doctor.

Levalbuterol may cause serious types of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child develop a skin rash, hives, itching, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.

Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have more than one of the following symptoms: convulsions, decreased urine, dry mouth, increased thirst, irregular heartbeat, loss of appetite, mood changes, muscle pain or cramps, nausea or vomiting, numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips, shortness of breath, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems, and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Fast heartbeat
Less common or rare
Chest pain or tightness
dizziness
feeling “faint”
lightheadedness
troubled breathing
Incidence not known
Cough
difficult or labored breathing
difficulty swallowing
extra heartbeats
fainting
fast, pounding, slow, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
hives, welts, itching, or rash
large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
noisy breathing
redness of the skin
tightness in the chest
unusual tiredness or weakness

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose
Chest pain
dizziness
dry mouth
general feeling of discomfort or illness
headache
impaired consciousness
irregular or fast heartbeat
lightheadedness
nausea
nervousness
seizures
sleeplessness
sweating
tremor

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Accidental injury (in children 4 to 11 years of age)
anxiety
body aches or pain
chills
congestion
cough or hoarseness
dryness or soreness of the throat
fever
general aches and pains
headache
hoarseness
increased cough
leg cramps
loss of appetite
migraines or other headaches
muscle tightness
nervousness
runny or stuffy nose
Less common or rare
Abdominal or stomach pain
abnormal growth filled with fluid or semisolid material
blemishes on the skin
blood in the urine
bloody nose
burning, dry, or itching eyes
burning or stinging of the skin
cough producing mucus
cramps
diarrhea
difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
discharge from the eye
dry mouth or throat
ear pain
excessive tearing
eye itch
heavy menstrual bleeding
muscle pain
night sweats
numbness or decreased sensitivity of the hand
pain
painful cold sores or blisters on the lips, nose, eyes, or genitals
pimples
redness, pain, or swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
sleeplessness
tingling sensation in the arms or legs
vaginal yeast infection
weight loss

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

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


Last Updated: 10/12/2016

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