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metaproterenol (Inhalation route)

met-a-proe-TER-e-nol

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Alupent

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Solution
  • Aerosol Powder
  • Aerosol Liquid

Therapeutic Class: Bronchodilator

Pharmacologic Class: Beta-2 Adrenergic Agonist

Uses For metaproterenol

Metaproterenol is used to treat asthma and bronchospasm in patients with bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases.

Metaproterenol 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.

Slideshow: Asthma - 10 Things You Need To Do To Keep It In Check

metaproterenol is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using metaproterenol

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 metaproterenol, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to metaproterenol 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.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of metaproterenol inhalation aerosol in children younger than 12 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of metaproterenol inhalation aerosol in geriatric patients.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal 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.

Interactions with 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 metaproterenol, 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 metaproterenol with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Amifampridine

Using metaproterenol 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.

  • Acebutolol
  • Atenolol
  • Befunolol
  • Betaxolol
  • Bevantolol
  • Bisoprolol
  • Bopindolol
  • Carteolol
  • Carvedilol
  • Celiprolol
  • Esmolol
  • Furazolidone
  • Iobenguane I 123
  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Labetalol
  • Landiolol
  • Levobunolol
  • Linezolid
  • Mepindolol
  • Methylene Blue
  • Metipranolol
  • Metoprolol
  • Moclobemide
  • Nadolol
  • Nebivolol
  • Nipradilol
  • Oxprenolol
  • Pargyline
  • Penbutolol
  • Phenelzine
  • Pindolol
  • Procarbazine
  • Propranolol
  • Rasagiline
  • Selegiline
  • Sotalol
  • Talinolol
  • Tertatolol
  • Timolol
  • Tranylcypromine

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

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 metaproterenol. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Diabetes or
  • Heart or blood vessel disease or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or
  • Seizures—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., arrhythmia) or
  • Tachycardia (fast or rapid heartbeat)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.

Proper Use of metaproterenol

Use metaproterenol 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 metaproterenol or any asthma medicine without telling your doctor. To do so may increase the chance for breathing problems.

Alupent(R) inhalation aerosol is used with a special inhaler that comes with patient instructions. Read the directions carefully before using metaproterenol. If you or your child do not understand the directions or are not sure how to use the inhaler, ask your doctor to show you what to do. Also, ask your doctor to check you or your child on a regular basis to make sure you are using it properly.

To use the inhaler:

  • Insert the metal canister firmly and fully into the clear end of the mouthpiece.
  • This mouthpiece should not be used with other inhaled medicines.
  • Remove the cap and look at the mouthpiece to make sure it is clean.
  • Shake the inhaler well before using.
  • To inhale metaproterenol, first breathe out fully. Try to get as much air out of the lungs as possible.
  • Put the mouthpiece just in front of your mouth with the canister upright.
  • Open your mouth and breathe in slowly and deeply (like yawning). At the same time, firmly press down once on the top of the canister.
  • Hold your breath for a few seconds, then breathe out slowly.
  • If you are supposed to use more than one puff, wait at least 2 minutes before inhaling the second puff. Repeat these steps for the second puff, starting with shaking the inhaler.
  • When you have finished all of your doses, rinse your mouth with water and spit the water out.
  • Clean the inhaler mouthpiece every day with hot water. Dry it thoroughly before use.

Dosing

The dose of metaproterenol 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 metaproterenol. 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.

  • For asthma and bronchospasm:
    • For inhalation dosage form (aerosol):
      • Adults and teenagers—Two to three puffs every 3 to 4 hours as needed. However, the total dose is usually not more than 12 puffs per day.
      • Children younger than 12 years of age—Use is not recommended.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of metaproterenol, 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.

Storage

Store the canister at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze. Do not keep metaproterenol inside a car where it could be exposed to extreme heat or cold. Do not poke holes in the canister or throw it into a fire, even if the canister is empty.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

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.

Precautions While Using metaproterenol

It is very important that your doctor check your progress 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.

metaproterenol may cause paradoxical bronchospasm, which may be life-threatening. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child are having a cough, difficulty with breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing after using the medicine.

Check with your doctor at once if you or your child continue to have breathing problems after using a dose of metaproterenol or if your condition gets worse.

Do not change your dose or stop using metaproterenol without asking your doctor first.

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.

metaproterenol Side Effects

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, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
Less common
  • Shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • worsening of asthma
Rare
  • Blurred vision
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fever
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • increased sweating
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle aches and pains
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • pounding in the ears
  • puffiness of the face and fingers
  • runny nose
  • shivering
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • sore throat
  • sweating
  • swelling
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting

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

Symptoms of overdose
  • Arm, back, or jaw pain
  • chest discomfort
  • chest tightness or heaviness
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • dry mouth
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • shortness of breath
  • sleeplessness
  • unable to sleep

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:

Less common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
Rare
  • Bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • change in appetite
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth or throat
  • itching skin
  • pain
  • raised red swellings on the skin, lips, tongue, or in the throat
  • tightening of the muscles
  • weakness

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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