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Levalbuterol is used to prevent and treat wheezing and shortness of breath caused by breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). It is a quick-relief drug. Levalbuterol belongs to a class of drugs known as bronchodilators. It works in the airways by opening breathing passages and relaxing muscles. Controlling symptoms of breathing problems can decrease time lost from work or school.
This drug is not approved for use in children younger than 4 years due to increased risk of side effects (such as unusual fast breathing, worsening asthma). Ask your doctor or pharmacist for details.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. Follow the illustrated directions for the proper use of this medication and proper cleaning of the mouthpiece. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Shake the canister well before using. Follow the instructions for test sprays in the air if you are using a canister for the first time or if you have not used it for 3 days or more. A fine mist is a sign that the inhaler is working properly. Avoid spraying the medication in your eyes.
Inhale this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 4 to 6 hours as needed. If two inhalations are prescribed, wait at least 1 minute between them. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often than prescribed without your doctor's approval. Using too much of this medication will increase your risk of serious (possibly fatal) side effects.
Using a spacer device with the inhaler may help you use this medication properly. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
If a child is using this medication, a parent or other responsible adult may need to help the child use the inhaler properly.
If you are using other inhalers at the same time, wait at least 1 minute between the use of each medication.
Always have this quick-relief inhaler with you. Keep track of the number of inhalations you use, and discard the inhaler after you have used the labeled number of inhalations on the product package. Also count test sprays used to prime the inhaler. Do not float the metal canister in water to test if any more drug is left in the canister.
Learn which of your inhalers you should use every day (controller drugs) and which you should use if your breathing suddenly worsens (quick-relief drugs). Ask your doctor ahead of time what you should do if you have new or worsening cough or shortness of breath, wheezing, increased sputum, worsening peak flow meter readings, waking up at night with trouble breathing, if you use your quick-relief inhaler more often (more than 2 days a week), or if your quick-relief inhaler does not seem to be working well. Learn when you can treat sudden breathing problems by yourself and when you must get medical help right away.
Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen.
You should not use Xopenex if you are allergic to levalbuterol or albuterol (Accuneb, ProAir, Proventil, Ventolin).
Before using Xopenex, tell your doctor if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, a heart rhythm disorder, a seizure disorder, diabetes, or overactive thyroid.
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially heart or blood pressure medication, diuretics (water pills), antidepressants, or other inhaled bronchodilators.
Talk with your doctor if any of your asthma medications do not seem to work as well in treating or preventing attacks. If it seems like you need to use more of any of your medications in a 24-hour period, talk with your doctor. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack.
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Nervousness, dizziness, shaking (tremor), trouble sleeping, headache, nausea, dry mouth, cough, sore throat, or runny nose may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fast/pounding heartbeat.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest pain, irregular heartbeat, rapid breathing, confusion.
Rarely, this medication has caused severe (rarely fatal), sudden worsening of breathing problems/asthma (paradoxical bronchospasm). If you experience sudden wheezing, get medical help right away.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
How should I use this medicine?
This medicine is used in a nebulizer. Nebulizers make a liquid into an aerosol that you breathe in through your mouth or your mouth and nose into your lungs. You will be taught how to use your nebulizer. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Do not use more often than directed.
Do not mix this medicine with other medicines in your nebulizer.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve. Call your doctor right away if your asthma or bronchitis gets worse while you are using this medicine.
If your mouth gets dry try chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy. Drink water as directed.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at a room temperature of 68 to 77 degrees. Do not freeze. Protect from light and excessive heat. Keep unopened vials in the foil pouch. Once the foil pouch is opened, the vials should be used within two weeks. Discard any vial if the solution is not clear. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.