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Primatene Mist Inhaler

Generic name: epinephrine inhalationEP-i-NEF-rin ]
Drug classes: Adrenergic bronchodilators, Catecholamines, Vasopressors

Medically reviewed by on Oct 6, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Primatene Mist Inhaler?

Primatene Mist Inhaler is used to treat mild symptoms of asthma, including wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

Primatene Mist Inhaler is for occasional use and is not a maintenance treatment for asthma.

Primatene Mist Inhaler may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

Before taking this medicine

Do not use epinephrine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

Primatene Mist Inhaler is for use only in people who have been diagnosed with asthma. Do not use Primatene Mist Inhaler to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if this medicine is safe to use if you have ever had:

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Epinephrine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old.

How should I use Primatene Mist Inhaler?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Before using this medicine for the first time, shake the inhaler and prime it with 4 test sprays into the air, away from your face.

Also shake the inhaler just before each use and prime it with 1 spray.

Each dose is 1 to 2 inhalations. After the first inhalation, wait 1 minute. Then use a second inhalation if your symptoms have not improved.

Wait at least 4 hours between doses. Do not use more than 8 inhalations in 24 hours.

Seek medical attention if your breathing problems do not improve after 20 minutes, or if they get worse quickly.

Tell your doctor if you have more than 2 asthma attacks in 1 week.

Do not share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep away from open flame or high heat. The canister may explode if it gets too hot. Do not puncture or burn an empty inhaler canister.

Wash the inhaler after each day of use by running water through the mouthpiece for 30 seconds.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since Primatene Mist Inhaler is used when needed, it does not have a daily dosing schedule. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after using Primatene Mist Inhaler.

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 using Primatene Mist Inhaler?

Avoid foods or beverages that contain caffeine (including coffee, tea, cola, and energy drinks). Also avoid supplements or herbal products that have a stimulant effect.

Primatene Mist Inhaler 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.

Primatene Mist Inhaler may cause serious side effects. Stop using Primatene Mist Inhaler and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • worsening asthma symptoms;

  • rapid heartbeats;

  • a seizure;

  • tremors, nervousness; or

  • trouble sleeping.

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.

What other drugs will affect Primatene Mist Inhaler?

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using Primatene Mist Inhaler with any other medications, especially:

  • other asthma medications;

  • allergy or cold medicine that contains a decongestant;

  • diet pills, appetite suppressants, or medicines to help you lose weight;

  • medicine that contains caffeine (such as medicine for pain, menstrual cramps, or migraine headaches); or

  • medicine to treat depression, mood disorders, or mental illness such as schizophrenia.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect Primatene Mist Inhaler, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Frequently asked questions

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.