Formoterol (By breathing)

Introduction

Formoterol (for-MOE-ter-ol)

Prevents asthma attacks and treats other lung problems such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This medicine is a bronchodilator.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Foradil Aerolizer, Perforomist

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to formoterol. Do not use this medicine during an acute asthma attack or an acute COPD flare-up.

How to Use This Medicine

Powder Under Pressure, Capsule, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You will use the capsule form with a special inhaler device called an Aerolizer?. The medicine capsule should not be swallowed. It is placed only into the Aerolizer? inhaler that comes with the package. This device opens the capsule and loads the powder medicine from the capsule into the air chamber. You then inhale the powder through the mouthpiece. Your caregiver will show you how to use your inhaler.
  • You will use the solution form with an inhaler device called a nebulizer. The nebulizer turns the medicine into a fine mist that you breathe in through your mouth and to your lungs. Do not mix any other medicines with the solution. Your caregiver will show you how to use your nebulizer.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Keep the medicine in the foil pouch until you are ready to use it. Store at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, or Medrol®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), certain blood pressure medicines (such as atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol, Inderal®, Lopressor®, Tenoretic®, Tenormin®, or Toprol®), or diuretics or "water pills" (such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], Dyazide®, Hyzaar®, Lasix®, or Maxzide®). Tell your doctor if you have used medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, fluoxetine, nortriptyline, Elavil®, Pamelor®, Prozac®, Sarafem®, or Vivactil®), or an MAO inhibitor (such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine, Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®) within the past 2 weeks.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using arsenic trioxide (Trisenox®), cisapride (Propulsid®), dofetilide (Tikosyn®), certain antibiotics (such as erythromycin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, Avelox®, Levaquin®, Zagam®), or medicine to treat mental illness (such as haloperidol, mesoridazine, pimozide, prochlorperazine, quetiapine, thioridazine, ziprasidone, Compazine®, Geodon®, Haldol®, Mellaril®, Orap®, Serentil®, or Seroquel®).
  • This medicine should not be used together with similar inhaled medicines (such as salmeterol/fluticasone, salmeterol, Advair®, or Serevent®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, heart or blood vessel disease, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy or seizures, thyroid problems, or low potassium in the blood.
  • If you use any type of corticosteroid medicine to control your asthma, keep using it as ordered by your doctor. This includes corticosteroid medicines that are taken by mouth or inhaled (such as cortisone, prednisone, Azmacort®, Celestone®, Cortone®, Deltasone®, Flovent®, Prelone® Pediapred®, Vanceril®).
  • This should not be the first and only medicine you use for asthma or COPD. This medicine will not stop an asthma attack that has already started. Your doctor may prescribe another medicine for you to use in case of an acute asthma attack or an acute COPD flare-up. If the other medicine does not work as well, tell your doctor right away.
  • Take all of your COPD medicines as your doctor ordered. If you use any type of corticosteroid medicine to control your breathing, keep using it as ordered by your doctor. Do not change your doses or stop using your medicines without asking your doctor.
  • This medicine may cause paradoxical bronchospasm, which means your breathing or wheezing will get worse. Paradoxical bronchospasm may be life-threatening. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing after using this medicine.
  • This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; hoarseness; trouble breathing; trouble swallowing; or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.
  • The powder in the capsule contains lactose (milk sugar) and a small amount of milk proteins. Make sure your doctor knows if you have severe milk protein allergy before you start using this medicine.
  • If any of your asthma medicines do not seem to be working as well as usual, call your doctor right away. Do not change your doses or stop using your medicines without asking your doctor.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Fever, headache, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, or sneezing.
  • Increase in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Seizures or tremors.
  • Troubled breathing.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • Worsening of breathing problems.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Anxiety or nervousness.
  • Back pain.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Skin rash.
  • Trouble sleeping.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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