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All about: Pirbuterol

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Generic Name: Pirbuterol (peer-BYOO-ter-ole)
Brand Name: Maxair Autohaler

Pirbuterol is used for:

Treating or preventing the symptoms of asthma. It may be used alone or in combination with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Pirbuterol is a beta agonist. It dilates (opens) the bronchioles (air tubes) of the lung by relaxing the smooth muscle around the bronchioles. This helps you by allowing easier airflow into and out of the lungs.

Do NOT use Pirbuterol if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Pirbuterol

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Pirbuterol :

Some medical conditions may interact with Pirbuterol . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, an overactive thyroid, or a history of seizures

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Pirbuterol . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors (eg, entacapone), loop diuretics (eg, furosemide), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (eg, phenelzine), thiazide diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the risk of side effects, especially on the heart, may be increased by Pirbuterol . Use caution for up to 2 weeks after MAOIs or tricyclic antidepressants have been discontinued
  • Beta-blockers (eg, atenolol) because they may decrease Pirbuterol 's effectiveness and bronchospasm may occur

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Pirbuterol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Pirbuterol :

Use Pirbuterol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Pirbuterol . Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Prime the inhaler as directed on the patient leaflet before using it for the first time and if it has not been used for 48 hours.
  • To use a dose, remove the mouthpiece cover. Hold the inhaler upright (arrows should point up). Raise the lever until it snaps into place. SHAKE GENTLY several times. Hold the inhaler around the middle, making sure that you do not block the air vents.
  • While holding upright, turn your head away from the inhaler and breathe out fully. Place the mouthpiece between your lips and seal your lips around the mouthpiece. Inhale deeply through the mouthpiece with a steady, moderate force. You will hear a "click" and feel a puff when the medicine releases. Do NOT stop inhaling when you feel the puff. Continue to take a full, deep breath.
  • Remove the inhaler from your mouth. Hold your breath for 10 seconds, then exhale slowly. Continue to hold the inhaler upright while lowering the lever.
  • If you need to use more than 1 inhalation, wait 1 minute, then repeat.
  • Do not use Pirbuterol with any other mouthpiece. Do not use this mouthpiece with any other medicine.
  • Keep track of how many inhalations you have used. Throw away the canister after you have used the labeled number of inhalations. It may no longer give the correct amount of medicine.
  • Pirbuterol should last for at least 5 hours. Do not increase the dose or use more frequently than recommended without talking to your doctor.
  • Clean the inhaler according to the directions in the extra patient leaflet.
  • If you miss a dose of Pirbuterol and you are using it regularly, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Pirbuterol .

Important safety information:

  • Pirbuterol may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Pirbuterol with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Pirbuterol may sometimes cause severe breathing problems right after you use a dose. When this problem occurs, it is often after the first use of a new canister or vial. If this happens, seek medical care at once.
  • Avoid spraying in the eyes.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Pirbuterol before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Avoid large amounts of food or drink that have caffeine (eg, coffee, tea, cocoa, cola, chocolate). They may increase the risk of Pirbuterol 's side effects.
  • Do not change brands of Pirbuterol without talking to your doctor. Products made by other companies may not work as well for you.
  • Carry an ID card at all times that says you take Pirbuterol .
  • If your usual dose does not work well, if you need to use it more often than normal, or your symptoms get worse, contact your doctor at once. Your asthma could be getting worse and your doctor may need to change your medicine.
  • Talk with your health care provider about how to best take other inhaled medications while taking Pirbuterol .
  • Do not use Pirbuterol with other canisters or mouthpieces.
  • Pirbuterol should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 12 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Pirbuterol has been shown to cause harm to the fetus when used at very high doses. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Pirbuterol while you are pregnant. Pirbuterol may cause problems with contractions of the uterus; discuss the benefits and risks of using Pirbuterol during labor and delivery. It is not known if Pirbuterol is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Pirbuterol , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Pirbuterol :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Cough; dizziness; headache; nausea; nervousness; pounding in chest; rapid heartbeat; shakiness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; wheezing; increased difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; tightness in the chest.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include chest pain; dizziness; fast or irregular heartbeat; nervousness; seizures; sleeplessness; tremors; weakness.

Proper storage of Pirbuterol :

Store Pirbuterol at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from extreme temperatures (above 120 degrees F [49 degrees C]). Store away from direct sunlight. Do not store or use near heat or open flame. Do not puncture, break, or burn the canister even if it appears to be empty. Keep Pirbuterol out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Pirbuterol , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Pirbuterol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Pirbuterol . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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