Levalbuterol solution

Pronunciation

Generic Name: levalbuterol (LEV-al-BUE-ter-ol)
Brand Name: Xopenex

Levalbuterol solution is used for:

Treating and preventing breathing problems in patients who have asthma or certain other airway diseases. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Levalbuterol solution is a sympathomimetic (beta-agonist) bronchodilator. It works by widening the airways in the lungs, which helps you breathe more easily.

Do NOT use levalbuterol solution if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in levalbuterol solution or to albuterol
  • you are using another short-acting sympathomimetic bronchodilator (eg, pirbuterol) or inhaled epinephrine

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

Before using levalbuterol solution:

Some medical conditions may interact with levalbuterol solution. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of heart problems (eg, fast or irregular heartbeat), blood vessel problems, high blood pressure, or low blood potassium levels
  • if you have a history of seizures, diabetes, thyroid problems, kidney problems, or an adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma)
  • if you have ever had an unusual reaction to another sympathomimetic medicine (eg, pseudoephedrine), such as fast or irregular heartbeat, overexcitement, or severe trouble sleeping
  • if you have taken linezolid, a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine), or a tricyclic antidepressant (eg, amitriptyline) within the last 14 days

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with levalbuterol solution. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide) because the risk of low blood potassium levels may be increased
  • Epinephrine, linezolid, MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), methylxanthines (eg, theophylline), other short-acting sympathomimetic bronchodilators (eg, pirbuterol), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may increase the risk of levalbuterol solution's side effects
  • Beta-blockers (eg, propranolol) because they may decrease levalbuterol solution's effectiveness or worsen your condition
  • Digoxin because its effectiveness may be decreased by levalbuterol solution

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if levalbuterol solution may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use levalbuterol solution:

Use levalbuterol solution as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with levalbuterol solution. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Levalbuterol solution is for inhalation only. Do not get it in the eyes. If you get levalbuterol solution in the eyes, rinse immediately with cool tap water.
  • Remove a vial from the foil pouch. Place the remaining vials back in the pouch for storage.
  • Do not use levalbuterol solution if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • To use levalbuterol solution, twist open the top of the vial and pour the entire contents into the nebulizer reservoir.
  • Connect the nebulizer reservoir to the mouthpiece or face mask. Connect the nebulizer to the compressor.
  • Sit in a comfortable, upright position. Place the mouthpiece in your mouth (or put on the face mask) and turn on the nebulizer.
  • Breathe as calmly, deeply, and evenly as possible until no more mist is formed in the nebulizer chamber (about 5 to 15 minutes).
  • Clean the nebulizer according to the instructions. Failure to properly clean the nebulizer could lead to bacteria entering the medicine. This may lead to an infection. To avoid bacteria entering the medicine, do not save medicine in an open vial for use at a later time.
  • Do not stop using levalbuterol solution without checking with your doctor.
  • Do not mix levalbuterol solution with other medicines in the nebulizer unless directed otherwise by your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of levalbuterol solution and you are using it regularly, use it as soon as possible. If it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless advised by your health care provider. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use levalbuterol solution.

Important safety information:

  • Levalbuterol solution may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use levalbuterol solution with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Levalbuterol solution may sometimes cause severe breathing problems right after you use a dose. If this happens, seek medical care at once.
  • If your usual dose does not work well, your symptoms become worse, or you need to use it more often than normal, contact your doctor at once. Your asthma could be getting worse, and your doctor may need to change your dose or medicine.
  • Do NOT use more than the recommended dose or use more often than prescribed without checking with your doctor. The risk of severe heart problems and sometimes death may be increased with overuse of levalbuterol solution.
  • Levalbuterol solution may cause dry mouth or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Rinsing your mouth with water after each dose may help relieve these effects.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take levalbuterol solution before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Check with your doctor before using any other inhaled medicines while you are using levalbuterol solution. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about all of your inhaled and/or asthma medicines and how to use them. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Diabetes patients - Levalbuterol solution may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • When your medicine supply begins to run low, call your doctor or pharmacy as soon as possible for a refill.
  • Use levalbuterol solution with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Levalbuterol solution should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 6 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • Caution is advised when using levalbuterol solution in CHILDREN; they may experience diarrhea or fever with use of levalbuterol solution.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using levalbuterol solution while you are pregnant. It is not known if levalbuterol solution is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use levalbuterol solution, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of levalbuterol solution:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; dry mouth; headache; nervousness; runny or stuffy nose; sore or dry throat; stomach upset; tremor; trouble sleeping.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing or swallowing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); chest pain; decreased coordination; fast breathing; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; muscle pain, weakness, or cramping; new or worsened cough or breathing problems (eg, shortness of breath, wheezing); pounding in the chest; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; severe or persistent nausea or vomiting; severe or unusual drowsiness; sluggishness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include chest pain; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; muscle pain, weakness, or cramping; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, light-headedness, nausea, nervousness, or trouble sleeping; severe or unusual drowsiness; tremor.

Proper storage of levalbuterol solution:

Store levalbuterol solution between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Store vials in the protective foil pouch at all times. Once the foil pouch has been opened, use the vials within 2 weeks. If a vial is removed from the pouch and not used right away, use it within 1 week. Do not use after the expiration date on the container or box. Keep levalbuterol solution out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about levalbuterol solution, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Levalbuterol solution is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take levalbuterol solution or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about levalbuterol solution. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to levalbuterol solution. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using levalbuterol solution.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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