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Generic name: Methacholine [ meth-a-KOLE-leen ]
Brand name: Provocholine
Drug class: Miscellaneous uncategorized agents

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 3, 2023.


  • This medicine is for breathing in only during an asthma test. It is not used to treat asthma. Severe breathing problems can happen with this drug. You will be closely watched by your doctor. If you are having breathing problems like wheezing or asthma signs or have low lung function tests, talk with your doctor.

Uses of Methacholine:

  • It is used during an asthma test.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Methacholine?

  • If you are allergic to methacholine; any part of methacholine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Aortic aneurysm, high blood pressure, or lung problems.
  • If you are having an asthma attack or are wheezing.
  • If you have ever had a heart attack or stroke.
  • If you are taking a beta blocker like atenolol, metoprolol, or propranolol.
  • If you are taking drugs to treat lung or breathing problems like albuterol, ipratropium, salmeterol, theophylline, or tiotropium. You may need to avoid these drugs for some time before your test if your doctor tells you to.
  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not use methacholine if you are pregnant.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with methacholine.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take methacholine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Methacholine?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take methacholine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Methacholine) best taken?

Use methacholine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • For breathing in as a liquid (solution) by a special machine (nebulizer) into the lungs.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • This medicine will be given on an as needed basis in a healthcare setting.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Wheezing or coughing.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.

What are some other side effects of Methacholine?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Methacholine?

  • If you need to store methacholine at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about methacholine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.