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Primatene Asthma

Generic name: Ephedrine and Guaifenesine-FED-rin-& gwye-FEN-e-sin ]
Brand names: Bronkaid, Primatene Asthma
Drug class: Upper respiratory combinations

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 3, 2023.

Uses of Primatene Asthma:

  • It is used to treat asthma.
  • It is used to thin mucus so it can be taken from the body by coughing.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Primatene Asthma?

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Primatene Asthma (ephedrine and guaifenesin).

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 Primatene Asthma (ephedrine and guaifenesin) 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 Primatene Asthma?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Primatene Asthma (ephedrine and guaifenesin). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Taking more than you are told may raise your chance of very bad side effects.
  • Do not take Primatene Asthma (ephedrine and guaifenesin) for longer than you were told by your doctor.
  • Avoid caffeine.
  • If cough lasts for more than 1 week; goes away and comes back; or happens with fever, rash, or headache that lasts, talk with the doctor.
  • Get medical help right away if you take Primatene Asthma (ephedrine and guaifenesin) and your asthma is not better in 60 minutes or if it gets worse. Call your doctor right away if you have more than 2 asthma attacks in a week or if you have had to use Primatene Asthma (ephedrine and guaifenesin) more often than normal.
  • This medicine may cause blood pressure or heart rate to go up. This may raise the chance of heart attack or stroke, which could be deadly. Talk with the doctor.
  • Different brands of Primatene Asthma (ephedrine and guaifenesin) may be for use in different ages of children. Talk with the doctor before giving Primatene Asthma (ephedrine and guaifenesin) to a child.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Primatene Asthma (ephedrine and guaifenesin) while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Primatene Asthma) best taken?

Use Primatene Asthma (ephedrine and guaifenesin) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids every day unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • If you take Primatene Asthma (ephedrine and guaifenesin) on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Many times Primatene Asthma (ephedrine and guaifenesin) is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.

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.
  • Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
  • Very nervous and excitable.
  • Seizures.

What are some other side effects of Primatene Asthma?

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 any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Not able to sleep.
  • Shakiness.
  • Feeling nervous and excitable.

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 Primatene Asthma?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • 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.

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.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Primatene Asthma (ephedrine and guaifenesin), 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.

More about Primatene (ephedrine / guaifenesin)

Patient resources

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Further information

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