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Drugs & Medications

epinephrine base (refill) inhalation

GENERIC NAME(S): EPINEPHRINE

Uses

Epinephrine is used to treat wheezing and shortness of breath that commonly occur with asthma. Controlling these symptoms can decrease time lost from work or school. Epinephrine is a bronchodilator that works by opening breathing passages to make breathing easier. Use this medication only if you have been told by your doctor that you have asthma.

How to use epinephrine base (refill) inhalation

Read the Patient Information Leaflet for instructions on proper use of this medication and the proper cleaning of the mouthpiece. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Shake the canister well before each inhalation. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist. If you take other asthma drugs by mouth or with inhaling devices, ask your doctor about how to correctly take this medication with your other asthma medicines.

Use this medication exactly as directed in the product package. Inhale by mouth as needed. Take the cap off the mouthpiece. Place the mouthpiece near your mouth and exhale. Place the mouthpiece fully into your mouth and press the inhaler as you breathe in deeply. Hold your breath for as long as comfortable to allow the drug to be absorbed. If more than one inhalation is needed, wait at least 1 full minute between inhalations. Do not use again for three hours. If your breathing does not get better in 20 minutes after using this medication, or if your breathing worsens, seek immediate medical attention.

Rinse mouth after using this medication to help prevent dryness and throat irritation. Do not take more of this medication or take it more often than recommended by the product package or your doctor.

Clean the mouthpiece after each use as directed in the Patient Information Leaflet. It should also be cleaned at any time that it appears to be clogged or is not working correctly.

Try to keep track of the number of inhalations used from each canister. Discard the canister after you have used the number of inhalations marked on the product package. Do not float the inhaler in water to test if any more drug is left in it.

Side Effects

Headache, nausea, vomiting, nervousness, dizziness, shaking (tremor), trouble sleeping, stomach upset, sweating, dry mouth, bad taste, cough, or sore throat may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that 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.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, weakness, mental/mood changes (e.g., anxiety, hallucinations).

Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain.

Rarely, this medication has caused severe (rarely fatal), sudden worsening of breathing problems/asthma (paradoxical bronchospasm). If you experience sudden wheezing, seek immediate medical attention.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

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

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before taking epinephrine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to similar bronchodilators (e.g., albuterol, levalbuterol, salmeterol); or to sympathomimetic drugs (e.g., pseudoephedrine); 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.

If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product: heart disease (e.g., high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, coronary insufficiency), seizures, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes, low blood potassium level (hypokalemia), glaucoma (narrow-angle), Parkinson's disease, urination problems (e.g., trouble urinating due to enlarged prostate).

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.

Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the effects on the heart.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

If you are taking this product under your doctor's direction, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) or tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, nortriptyline) within 2 weeks before, during, and after treatment with this medication. In some cases a serious, possibly fatal drug interaction may occur.

Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you use any of the following: other asthma drugs (e.g., levalbuterol, salmeterol), some beta blockers (such as propranolol), inhaled anesthetics (e.g., halothane, isoflurane), other sympathomimetic drugs (e.g., ephedrine), certain "water pills" (diuretics that cause potassium loss such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide).

Caffeine can increase the side effects of this medication. Limit drinking large amounts of beverages containing caffeine (coffee, tea, colas) or eating large amounts of chocolate.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

Overdose

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.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Avoid allergens, irritants, smoking, and other factors that make asthma worse.

Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments. Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, EKG, blood potassium levels) may be performed from time to time to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Learn to use a peak flow meter, use it daily, and promptly report worsening asthma (such as readings in the yellow/red range or increased use of quick-relief inhalers).

Missed Dose

Not applicable.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from direct sunlight. Do not puncture the canister or expose it to high heat or open flame. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines 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 for more details about how to safely discard your product.

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 March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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