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Maxair Autohaler Side Effects

Generic Name: pirbuterol

Note: This document contains side effect information about pirbuterol. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Maxair Autohaler.

For the Consumer

Applies to pirbuterol: inhalation aerosol powder

Along with its needed effects, pirbuterol (the active ingredient contained in Maxair Autohaler) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking pirbuterol:

More Common

  • Shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet

Less Common

Rare

  • Blurred vision
  • bruising
  • chest pain
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • fainting
  • feeling of warmth
  • numbness in the arms or legs
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • sweating
  • swelling
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking pirbuterol:

Symptoms of Overdose

  • Arm, back, or jaw pain
  • chest tightness or heaviness
  • confusion
  • convulsions
  • decreased urine
  • dry mouth
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • increased thirst
  • loss of appetite
  • mood changes
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • nausea or vomiting
  • nervousness
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • pounding in the ears
  • shortness of breath
  • sleeplessness
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep

Some side effects of pirbuterol may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less Common

  • Cough
  • dizziness

Rare

  • Abdominal or stomach cramps
  • anxiety
  • bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • change in taste
  • depression
  • hair loss
  • increase in body movements
  • itching skin
  • redness, swelling, or soreness of the tongue
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • thinning of the hair
  • weakness
  • weight gain
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to pirbuterol: inhalation aerosol

Cardiovascular

Cardiovascular side effects have included palpitations and peripheral vasodilation, commonly resulting in reflex tachycardia. Blood pressure may increase or decrease. Higher doses may rarely aggravate angina, myocardial ischemia, or cause atrial or ventricular arrhythmias.[Ref]

Although most studies have not revealed a significant effect of pirbuterol on blood pressure or heart rate, anecdotally significant increases have been noted. Aggravation of angina may be due to tachycardia produced by pirbuterol. Supraventricular premature beats and ventricular tachycardia have also been reported. Higher doses of pirbuterol should be used with caution in patients with cardiac disease, arrhythmias, or hypertension. All of these effects are dose-related and lower doses may be tolerated.[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Musculoskeletal side effects have included tremors, especially at higher doses.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea, dry mouth, and diarrhea.[Ref]

Metabolic

Metabolic side effects have included hypokalemia and, less commonly, hyperglycemia.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included nervousness, dizziness, insomnia, and headache.[Ref]

Respiratory

Respiratory side effects have included cough. Rare instances of paradoxical bronchoconstriction have been associated with the use of pirbuterol (the active ingredient contained in Maxair Autohaler) [Ref]

References

1. "Product Information. Maxair (pirbuterol)." 3M Pharmaceuticals, St. Paul, MN.

2. Richards DM, Brogden RN "Pirbuterol. A preliminary review of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic efficacy in reversible bronchospastic disease." Drugs 30 (1985): 6-21

3. Chodosh S, Crooks LA, Tuck J "Comparative effects of pirbuterol acetate, metaproterenol, and placebo aerosols on pulmonary function and incidence of cardiac ectopy." J Asthma 26 (1989): 309-15

4. Beumer HM "Pirbuterol versus orciprenaline aerosols in the treatment of bronchial asthma." Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 21 (1983): 147-66

5. Beumer HM "Long-term treatment of bronchial asthma with pirbuterol aerosol." Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 21 (1983): 172-5

6. Littner MR, Tashkin DP, Calvarese B, Bautista M "Acute bronchial and cardiovascular effects of increasing doses of pirbuterol acetate aerosol in asthma." Ann Allergy 48 (1982): 14-20

7. Tinkelman DG, Brandon ML, Grieco M, Hudson L, Rosenthal RR, Spector SL, Tashkin D, Votteri B "Comparison of safety and efficacy of inhaled pirbuterol with metaproterenol." Ann Allergy 64 (1990): 202-6

8. Windom H, Grainger J, Burgess C, Crane J, Pearce N, Beasley R "A comparison of the haemodynamic and hypokalaemic effects of inhaled pirbuterol and salbutamol." N Z Med J 103 (1990): 259-61

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.

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