Levalbuterol is used to prevent and treat wheezing and shortness of breath caused by breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). It is a quick-relief drug. Levalbuterol belongs to a class of drugs known as bronchodilators. It works in the airways by opening breathing passages and relaxing muscles. Controlling symptoms of breathing problems can decrease time lost from work or school.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. This medication is used with a special machine called a nebulizer that changes the solution to a fine mist that you inhale. Learn how to prepare the solution and use the nebulizer properly. If a child is using this medication, a parent or other responsible adult may need to help the child use the nebulizer properly. If you have any questions, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist.
This product should be clear and colorless. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.
Using the nebulizer, inhale this medication into your lungs as directed by your doctor, usually 3 times a day. Each treatment usually takes about 5 to 15 minutes. Use this medication only through a nebulizer. Do not swallow or inject the solution. Do not mix with other medicines in the nebulizer. To prevent infections, clean the nebulizer and mouthpiece/face mask according to the manufacturer's directions.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often than prescribed without your doctor's approval.
Learn which of your inhalers/medications you should use every day (controller drugs) and which you should use if your breathing suddenly worsens (quick-relief drugs). Ask your doctor ahead of time what you should do if you have new or worsening cough or shortness of breath, wheezing, increased sputum, worsening peak flow meter readings, waking up at night with trouble breathing, if you use your quick-relief inhaler/medication more often (more than 2 days a week), or if your quick-relief inhaler/medication does not seem to be working well. Learn when you can treat sudden breathing problems by yourself and when you must get medical help right away.
Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen.
Nervousness, dizziness, shaking (tremor), trouble sleeping, headache, nausea, dry mouth, increased coughing, or runny nose may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest pain, rapid breathing, confusion.
Rarely, this medication has caused severe (rarely fatal), sudden worsening of breathing problems/asthma (paradoxical bronchospasm). If you experience sudden wheezing, get medical help right away.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before taking levalbuterol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to similar drugs (such as albuterol, metaproterenol, salmeterol); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: diabetes, heart problems (such as irregular heartbeat, angina, previous heart attack), high blood pressure, kidney disease, seizure, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Levalbuterol is very similar to albuterol. Do not use inhaled medications containing albuterol while using levalbuterol.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: chest pain, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, headache, shaking (tremors), nervousness, weakness, severe dizziness, seizures.
Do not share this medication with others.
Avoid allergens/irritants that can worsen breathing problems, such as smoke, pollen, pet dander, dust, or molds.
Learn to use a peak flow meter, use it daily, and promptly report worsening breathing problems (such as readings in the yellow/red range, increased use of quick-relief inhalers).
Because the flu virus can worsen breathing problems, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should have a flu shot every year.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store vials in the foil pouch at room temperature away from light and heat. Do not store in the bathroom. After the foil pouch is opened, use the medication right away. Throw away any vials if the solution is discolored. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised April 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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