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Metaproterenol

Generic Name: metaproterenol (oral) (MET a proe TER e nol)
Brand Name: Metaprel, Alupent

Medically reviewed on July 22, 2016.

What is metaproterenol?

Metaproterenol is a bronchodilator. It works by relaxing muscles in the airways to improve breathing.

Metaproterenol is used to treat conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.

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

Important Information

You should not use metaproterenol if you have a heart rhythm disorder that causes fast heartbeats.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use metaproterenol if you are allergic to it, or if you have a heart rhythm disorder that causes fast heartbeats.

To make sure metaproterenol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm disorder;

  • epilepsy or another seizure disorder;

  • low levels of potassium in your blood;

  • diabetes; or

  • an overactive thyroid.

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

Metaproterenol should not be given to a child younger than 6 years old.

How should I take metaproterenol?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

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

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.

To make sure this medication is not causing harmful effects on your lungs, you may need to have chest X rays or other frequent lung function tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take 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.

What should I avoid while taking metaproterenol?

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.

Metaproterenol 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:

  • chest pain, fast heart rate;

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • tremors; or

  • worsening or no improvement in your symptoms.

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 metaproterenol?

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

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with metaproterenol, 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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