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Formoterol (inhalation)

Generic Name: formoterol (inhalation) (for MOE ter all)
Brand Name: Perforomist, Foradil Aerolizer

Medically reviewed on December 26, 2017

What is formoterol inhalation?

Formoterol inhalation is a long-acting bronchodilator. It relaxes muscles in the airways to improve breathing.

Formoterol is to prevent bronchospasm in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Formoterol inhalation may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Do not use formoterol to treat a sudden bronchospasm attack. It will not work fast enough. Use only a fast-acting inhalation medicine.

Formoterol may increase the risk of death or hospitalization in people with asthma, but the risk in people with COPD is not known.

Seek medical attention you have worsening breathing problems, or if you think your medications are not working as well.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use formoterol if you are allergic to it.

Formoterol may increase the risk of death or hospitalization in people with asthma, but the risk in people with COPD is not known. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.

To make sure formoterol inhalation is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • a food or drug allergy;

  • heart disease or high blood pressure;

  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • diabetes;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland); or

  • an aneurysm (swelling of an artery).

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

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

Formoterol is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I use formoterol inhalation?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Use only the prescribed dose of formoterol, and do not use it for longer than your doctor recommends.

Formoterol is usually given 2 times a day, about 12 hours apart. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Formoterol is not a rescue medicine. It will not work fast enough to treat a bronchospasm attack. Use only a fast acting inhalation medicine for an attack. Tell your doctor if any of your medicines seem to stop working as well in controlling your COPD.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Perforomist solution is for use only with a standard jet nebulizer machine connected to an air compressor. Do not mix formoterol with other medicines in the nebulizer. Do not take this medicine by mouth or swallow it while inhaling.

To use the Perforomist solution with a nebulizer:

  • Open the foil pouch and single-use vial. Squeeze all of the medicine out into the chamber of the nebulizer. Attach the mouthpiece or face mask to the drug chamber. Then, attach the chamber to the compressor.

  • Sit upright in a comfortable position. Place the mouthpiece into your mouth or put the face mask on, covering your nose and mouth. Turn on the compressor.

  • Breathe in slowly and evenly until you have inhaled all of the medicine (usually 5 to 10 minutes). The treatment is complete when no more mist is formed by the nebulizer and the drug chamber is empty.

  • Clean the nebulizer after each use. Follow the cleaning directions that came with your nebulizer.

Use formoterol inhalation regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Seek medical attention if you think your medications are not working as well.

Store this medicine at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep all vials in their original packaging until you are ready to use a dose. Throw away any Perforomist solution vials that have not been used within 3 months.

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.

Overdose symptoms may include chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeats, nervousness, tremors, feeling weak or light-headed, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while using formoterol inhalation?

Do not use a second form of formoterol (Bevespi, Dulera, Symbicort) or other long-acting inhaled bronchodilator unless your doctor tells you to. This includes arformoterol (Brovana), indacaterol (Arcapta), olodaterol (Striverdi, Stiolto Respimat), salmeterol (Advair, Serevent), or vilanterol (Breo Ellipta, Anoro Ellipta).

Formoterol inhalation side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have;

  • wheezing, choking, or other breathing problems after using formoterol;

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

  • nervousness, trouble sleeping;

  • worsening breathing problems;

  • high blood sugar--increased thirst or urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss; or

  • low potassium--leg cramps, constipation, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling.

Common side effects may include:

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)

What other drugs will affect formoterol?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

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

Further information

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.

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

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