Metaproterenol is used to treat wheezing and shortness of breath from lung problems (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis, emphysema). Controlling these symptoms can decrease time lost from work or school. Metaproterenol is a bronchodilator (beta-2 receptor agonist) that works by opening breathing passages to make breathing easier. This drug is also known as orciprenaline in other countries.
If taking the syrup, measure the dose carefully using a medication cup/spoon available from your pharmacist.
Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not take more of this medication or take it more often than recommended by your doctor. If you have been directed to use this medication on a daily schedule, use it regularly at the same times each day in order to get the most benefit from it.
If you notice less effect than usual from this medication, if your symptoms get worse, or if you feel you need to take any of your asthma medications more often than recommended, seek immediate medical attention.
Shaking, headache, nervousness, tiredness, dizziness, upset stomach, nausea, trouble sleeping or diarrhea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify 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.
Seek immediate medical attention if this unlikely but serious side effect occurs: 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 unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: 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 -
Before taking metaproterenol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to similar bronchodilators (e.g., albuterol, salmeterol, terbutaline); or to sympathomimetic drugs (e.g., epinephrine, 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.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: certain types of heart rhythm problems (cardiac arrhythmias with tachycardia).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart disease (e.g., other abnormal heartbeat, ischemic heart disease, high blood pressure), seizures, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes.
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).
The elderly may be at greater risk for the effects on the heart while using this drug.
This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
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: unusual dizziness, dry mouth, severe headache, seizures, very fast heartbeat, severe nausea.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests may be performed regularly to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Avoid allergens, irritants, smoking and other factors that make asthma worse.
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).
Have your blood pressure and pulse checked regularly while taking this medication. It may be best to learn how to monitor your own blood pressure and pulse. Discuss this with your doctor.
If you miss a dose, take 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 at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
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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