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pirbuterol inhalation

Generic Name: pirbuterol inhalation (peer BYOO ter ole)
Brand Name: Maxair Autohaler, Maxair

What is pirbuterol inhalation?

Pirbuterol is a bronchodilator that relaxes muscles in the airways and increases air flow to the lungs.

Pirbuterol inhalation is used to treat or prevent bronchospasm in people with reversible obstructive airway disease. Pirbuterol is sometimes used with another medication such as theophylline or a steroid.

Pirbuterol inhalation may also be used for conditions not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about pirbuterol inhalation?

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using pirbuterol inhalation?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to pirbuterol.

To make sure you can safely use pirbuterol, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure;

  • a heart rhythm disorder;

  • a seizure disorder such as epilepsy;

  • diabetes; or

  • overactive thyroid.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether pirbuterol will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether pirbuterol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Pirbuterol should not be given to a child younger than 12 years old.

How should I use pirbuterol inhalation?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use, and directions for priming the inhaler device. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Prime the inhaler device before using it for the first time, or if you have not used it for 48 hours or longer.

Shake the canister well just before each spray.

If you also use a steroid inhaler, use your pirbuterol inhaler first to open up your airways, then use the steroid inhaler as directed.

The inhaler automatically releases the correct amount of drug. The force of your inhalation will trigger the release. You do not have to press down on a canister.

Seek medical attention if you think your asthma medications are not working as well. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack.

Clean your inhaler once a week, following the directions provided with your medication.

Carry your inhaler with you at all times in case of emergencies. Get a refill before you run out of medicine and before going on vacation.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Keep the medicine canister away from open flame or high heat, such as in a car on a hot day. The canister may explode if it gets too hot. Do not puncture or burn an empty inhaler canister.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of pirbuterol can be fatal.

What should I avoid while using pirbuterol inhalation?

Do not use a second inhaled bronchodilator such as albuterol (Combivent, Proventil, Ventolin), salmeterol (Advair, Serevent), formoterol or arformoterol (Foradil, Perforomist, Symbicort, or Brovana) unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid situations that may trigger an asthma attack such as exercising in cold, dry air; smoking; breathing in dust; and exposure to allergens such as pet fur.

Pirbuterol inhalation side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing), especially after starting a new canister of this medicine;

  • chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest;

  • tremor, nervousness;

  • low potassium--confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling; or

  • dangerously high blood pressure--severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • dizziness;

  • cough; or

  • mild nausea.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Pirbuterol inhalation dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Asthma -- Acute:

2 puffs (0.4 mg) orally repeated every 4 to 6 hours. One puff (0.2 mg) repeated every 4 to 6 hours may be sufficient for some patients. A total daily dose of 12 inhalations should not be exceeded.

Usual Adult Dose for Asthma -- Maintenance:

2 puffs (0.4 mg) orally repeated every 4 to 6 hours. One puff (0.2 mg) repeated every 4 to 6 hours may be sufficient for some patients. A total daily dose of 12 inhalations should not be exceeded.

Usual Adult Dose for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease -- Acute:

2 puffs (0.4 mg) orally repeated every 4 to 6 hours. One puff (0.2 mg) repeated every 4 to 6 hours may be sufficient for some patients. A total daily dose of 12 inhalations should not be exceeded.

Usual Adult Dose for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease -- Maintenance:

2 puffs (0.4 mg) orally repeated every 4 to 6 hours. One puff (0.2 mg) repeated every 4 to 6 hours may be sufficient for some patients. A total daily dose of 12 inhalations should not be exceeded.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Asthma -- Acute:

>=12 years:

2 puffs (0.4 mg) orally repeated every 4 to 6 hours. One puff (0.2 mg) repeated every 4 to 6 hours may be sufficient for some patients. A total daily dose of 12 inhalations should not be exceeded.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Asthma -- Maintenance:

>=12 years:

2 puffs (0.4 mg) orally repeated every 4 to 6 hours. One puff (0.2 mg) repeated every 4 to 6 hours may be sufficient for some patients. A total daily dose of 12 inhalations should not be exceeded.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease -- Acute:

>=12 years:

2 puffs (0.4 mg) orally repeated every 4 to 6 hours. One puff (0.2 mg) repeated every 4 to 6 hours may be sufficient for some patients. A total daily dose of 12 inhalations should not be exceeded.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease -- Maintenance:

>=12 years:

2 puffs (0.4 mg) orally repeated every 4 to 6 hours. One puff (0.2 mg) repeated every 4 to 6 hours may be sufficient for some patients. A total daily dose of 12 inhalations should not be exceeded.

What other drugs will affect pirbuterol?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with pirbuterol, especially:

  • a beta blocker--atenolol, carvedilol, labetalol, metoprolol, nadolol, nebivolol, propranolol, sotalol, and others; or

  • an MAO inhibitor--isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with pirbuterol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about pirbuterol inhalation.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01. Revision Date: 2014-01-09, 11:35:08 AM.

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