Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

These medicines come with patient directions. Read them carefully before using the medicine. If you do not understand the directions or if you are not sure how to use the medicine, ask your health care professional to show you what to do. Also, ask your health care professional to check regularly how you use the medicine to make sure you are using it properly.

Use this medicine only as directed. Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than recommended on the label, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Using the medicine more often may increase the chance of serious unwanted effects. Deaths have occurred when too much of an inhalation bronchodilator medicine was used.

For patients using levalbuterol inhalation aerosol :

  • The levalbuterol aerosol canister provides about 200 inhalations, depending on the size of the canister your doctor ordered. You should try to keep a record of the number of inhalations you use so you will know when the canister is almost empty. This canister, unlike some other aerosol canisters, cannot be floated in water to test its fullness.
  • When you use the inhaler for the first time, or if you have not used it in a while, the inhaler may not deliver the right amount of medicine with the first puff. Therefore, before using the inhaler, test or prime it.
  • To test or prime the inhaler:
    • Shake the inhaler well immediately before each use.
    • Take the cap off the actuator (or mouthpiece). Inspect the actuator for the presence of foreign objects and make sure that the canister is seated in the actuator before each use.
    • Prime the inhaler by releasing 4 test sprays in the air, away from your face. The inhaler will now be ready to provide the right amount of medicine when you use it.
  • To use the inhaler:
    • Shake the inhaler well
    • Breathe out fully through your mouth, expelling as much air from your lungs as possible. Place the mouthpiece fully into your mouth, holding the inhaler in the mouthpiece-down position and closing your lips around it.
    • While breathing in deeply and slowly through your mouth, fully depress the top of the metal canister with your middle finger. Immediately after the puff is delivered, release your finger from the canister and remove the inhaler from your mouth.
    • Hold your breath for 10 seconds, if possible.
    • If your doctor has prescribed more than a single inhalation/puff, wait 1 minute between inhalations. Then, shake the inhaler well and repeat.
    • Replace the cap on the mouthpiece after each use
    • Clean the actuator or mouthpiece at least once a week.
  • To clean the inhaler:
    • To clean the blue plastic actuator (or mouthpiece), remove the canister and red mouthpiece cap.
    • Wash the actuator through the top and bottom with warm running water for 30 seconds at least once a week
    • Shake off the excess water and let the inhaler parts air dry completely before putting the inhaler back together.
    • Do not clean the metal canister or allow the metal canister to become wet. Never immerse the metal canister in water.
    • To dry, shake off excess water and let the actuator air dry thoroughly, such as overnight.
    • When the actuator is dry, replace the canister and the mouthpiece cap. Make sure the canister is fully and firmly inserted into the actuator. Blockage from medicine build-up is more likely to occur if the actuator is not allowed to air dry thoroughly.

If your actuator becomes blocked (little or no medicine coming out of the mouthpiece), wash your actuator and air dry thoroughly. If you need your inhaler before the plastic actuator is completely dry, shake excess water off the actuator, replace canister, shake well, and test spray twice into the air away from your face, to remove most of the water remaining in the actuator. Then take your dose as prescribed. After such use, rewash and air dry the actuator thoroughly.

For patients using levalbuterol inhalation solution dosage form:

  • If you are using this medicine in a nebulizer, make sure you understand exactly how to use it. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.
  • Do not use if solution becomes cloudy.
  • Do not mix another inhalation medicine with levalbuterol in the nebulizer unless told to do so by your health care professional.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For inhalation aerosol dosage form:
    • For preventing or treating bronchospasm:
      • Adults and children 4 years of age and older—This medicine is used in an aerosol inhaler The usual dose is 2 inhalations (puffs) every 4 to 6 hours. In some patients 1 inhalation (puff) every 4 hours may be enough.
      • Children up to 4 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For inhalation solution dosage form:
    • For preventing or treating bronchospasm:
      • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—This medicine is used in a nebulizer and is taken by inhalation over a period of five to fifteen minutes. The usual dose is 0.63 milligrams (mg) to 1.25 mg three times a day, every six to eight hours.
      • Children up to 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

If your dosing schedule is different from all of the above and you miss a dose of this medicine, or if you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.