Levalbuterol is used to prevent or relieve the wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest tightness caused by lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; a group of diseases that affect the lungs and airways). Levalbuterol is in a class of medications called beta agonists. It works by relaxing and opening air passages to the lungs to make breathing easier.
Levalbuterol comes as a solution (liquid) to inhale by mouth using a nebulizer (machine that turns medication into a mist that can be inhaled), a concentrated solution to be mixed with normal saline and inhaled by mouth using a nebulizer, and as an aerosol to inhale by mouth using an inhaler. The solution for oral inhalation is usually used three times a day, once every 6 to 8 hours. The inhaler is usually used every 4 to 6 hours. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use levalbuterol exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If your asthma symptoms become worse, if levalbuterol inhalation becomes less effective, or if you need more doses than usual of the asthma medications you use as needed, your condition may be getting worse. Do not use extra doses of levalbuterol. Call your doctor right away.
Levalbuterol controls symptoms of asthma and other lung diseases but does not cure these conditions. Continue to use levalbuterol even if you feel well. Do not stop using levalbuterol without talking to your doctor.
If you are using the inhaler, your medication will come in canisters. Each canister of levalbuterol aerosol is designed to provide 200 inhalations. After the labeled number of inhalations has been used, later inhalations may not contain the correct amount of medication. Dispose of the canister after you have used the labeled number of inhalations even if it still contains some liquid and continues to release a spray when it is pressed.
You will need to keep track of the number of inhalations you have used. You can divide the number of inhalations in your inhaler by the number of inhalations you use each day to find out how many days your inhaler will last. Do not float the canister in water to see if it still contains medication.
The inhaler that comes with levalbuterol aerosol is designed for use only with a canister of albuterol. Never use it to inhale any other medication, and do not use any other inhaler to inhale levalbuterol.
Be careful not to get levalbuterol inhalation into your eyes.
Do not use your levalbuterol inhaler when you are near a flame or source of heat. The inhaler may explode if it is exposed to very high temperatures.
Before you use levalbuterol for the first time, read the written instructions that come with the inhaler or nebulizer. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist to show you how to use it. Practice using the inhaler or nebulizer while he or she watches.
If your child will be using the inhaler, be sure that he or she knows how to use it. Watch your child each time he or she uses the inhaler to be sure that he or she is using it correctly.
To use the aerosol inhaler, follow these steps:
To use the solution or the concentrated solution for oral inhalation, follow these steps:
Clean your inhaler or nebulizer regularly. Follow the manufacturer's directions carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about cleaning your inhaler or nebulizer. If you do not clean your inhaler properly, the inhaler may become blocked and may not spray medication. If this happens, follow the manufacturer's directions for cleaning the inhaler and removing the blockage.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before using levalbuterol,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Levalbuterol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Levalbuterol may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not puncture the aerosol container and do not discard it in an incinerator or fire.
Levalbuterol solution must be protected from light. Store unused vials in the foil pouch, and discard all unused vials 2 weeks after you open the pouch. If you remove a vial from the pouch, you should protect it from light and use it within 1 week.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: March 15, 2016.