Rarely, asthma patients using long-acting inhaled beta agonists (such as salmeterol) have had serious (sometimes fatal) asthma-related breathing problems. Because arformoterol is similar to salmeterol, it may also cause these problems. Therefore, patients with asthma should only be prescribed this drug if one long-term medication (such as inhaled corticosteroids) does not control breathing problems or if more than one long-term medication is clearly needed to control breathing problems. Arformoterol must not be used alone to treat asthma. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with this medication with your doctor.Who should not take arformoterol inhalation?
Arformoterol is used as a long-term (maintenance) treatment to prevent and decrease wheezing and shortness of breath caused by breathing problems (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema). Arformoterol 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 medication does not work right away and should not be used for sudden attacks of breathing trouble. Your doctor must prescribe a quick-relief medicine/inhaler (such as albuterol, also known as salbutamol) for sudden shortness of breath while you are using arformoterol. You should always have a quick-relief inhaler with you.
Arformoterol is usually used in combination with other medications (such as inhaled corticosteroids). However, it should not be used with similar long-acting inhaled beta agonists (such as formoterol, salmeterol) since this may increase your risk for side effects.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. This medication is used with a special machine called a nebulizer that changes the solution to a fine mist that you inhale. Learn how to prepare the solution and use the nebulizer properly. If a child is using this medication, a parent or other responsible adult may need to help the child use the nebulizer properly. If you have any questions, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist.
This product should be clear and colorless. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.
Using the nebulizer, inhale this medication into your lungs as directed by your doctor, usually 2 times a day (once in the morning and once in the evening). The 2 doses should be about 12 hours apart. Each treatment usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Use this medication only through a nebulizer. Do not swallow or inject the solution. Do not mix with other medicines in the nebulizer. To prevent infections, clean the nebulizer and mouthpiece/face mask according to the manufacturer's directions.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. Do not use more of this medication or use it more often than prescribed since this may cause serious side effects. Do not use more than 30 micrograms of arformoterol a day.
If you have been using a quick-relief inhaler (albuterol, salbutamol) on a regular daily schedule (such as 4 times daily), your doctor will direct you to stop this schedule and only use the quick-relief inhaler as needed for sudden shortness of breath. Consult your doctor for details.
Learn which of your inhalers/medications you should use every day 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.
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.
Rarely, this medication has caused severe (possibly fatal), sudden worsening of breathing problems (paradoxical bronchospasm). If you have trouble breathing or sudden wheezing, use your quick-relief inhaler and 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.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using arformoterol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to formoterol; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: diabetes, heart problems (such as irregular heartbeat, angina, previous heart attack), high blood pressure, liver problems, seizures, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), swelling of an artery (aneurysm), a certain tumor of the adrenal gland (pheochromocytoma).
Arformoterol may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can infrequently result in serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using arformoterol, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using arformoterol safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation (see above).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
See also Uses section.
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.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: chest pain, fast/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure, heart rate, EKG) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Avoid allergens/irritants that can worsen breathing problems, such as smoke, pollen, pet dander, dust, or molds.
Learn to use a peak flow meter, use it daily, and promptly report worsening breathing problems (such as readings in the yellow/red range, increased use of quick-relief inhalers).
Because the flu virus can worsen breathing problems, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should have a flu shot every year.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store this medication in the refrigerator away from light. Store in the sealed protective pouch until ready to use. After opening the pouch, store the unused vials back in the pouch. After opening a vial, use the medication right away. Throw away any vials if the solution is discolored. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Unopened pouches of medication may also be stored at room temperature for up to 6 weeks. If stored at room temperature, use/discard the medication within 6 weeks.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised April 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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