Pirbuterol is used to prevent and treat wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest tightness caused by asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases. Pirbuterol is in a class of medications called beta-agonist bronchodilators. It works by relaxing and opening air passages in the lungs, making it easier to breathe.
Pirbuterol comes as an aerosol to inhale by mouth. It is usually taken as 1 to 2 puffs every 4 to 6 hours as needed to relieve symptoms or every 4 to 6 hours to prevent symptoms. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use pirbuterol exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Do not use more than 12 puffs in 24 hours.
Pirbuterol controls symptoms of asthma and other lung diseases but does not cure them. Do not stop using pirbuterol without talking to your doctor.
Before you use the pirbuterol inhaler the first time, read the written instructions that come with it. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist to demonstrate the proper technique. Practice using the inhaler while in his or her presence.
The pirbuterol inhaler should be primed (tested) before you use it the first time and any time it has not been used for 48 hours. To prime the inhaler, follow these steps:
To use the inhaler, follow these steps:
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before using pirbuterol,
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 take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Pirbuterol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
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). Avoid puncturing the container, and do not discard it in an incinerator or fire.
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
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.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to pirbuterol.
To relieve dry mouth or throat irritation, rinse your mouth with water, chew gum, or suck sugarless hard candy after using pirbuterol.
Inhalation devices require regular cleaning. Once a week, remove the mouthpiece cover, turn the inhaler upside down and wipe the mouthpiece with a clean dry cloth. Gently tap the back of the inhaler so the flap comes down and the spray hole can be seen. Clean the surface of the flap with a dry cotton swab.
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: June 15, 2018.