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Formoterol (By breathing)

Formoterol (for-MOE-ter-ol)

Prevents asthma attacks and treats other lung problems such as COPD. Also prevents exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB). This medicine is a bronchodilator.

Brand Name(s):

Foradil Aerolizer, Perforomist

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

Do 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. Do not use this medicine by itself to treat asthma. You should only use formoterol for asthma if you also use another medicine to control your asthma.

How to Use This Medicine:

Powder Under Pressure, Capsule, Liquid

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • You will use the capsule with a special inhaler device called an Aerolizer®. Do not swallow the capsule. Place the capsule into the chamber at the base of the Aerolizer® inhaler. 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 with an inhaler device called a nebulizer. The nebulizer turns the medicine into a fine mist that you breathe in through your mouth. Do not mix any other medicines with the solution. Your caregiver will show you how to use your nebulizer.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, skip the missed dose and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

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. Keep the inhaler and the capsules dry. With dry hands, remove capsules from the pouch just before use.
  • 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 out of the reach of children. 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 also use a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, Medrol®), certain blood pressure medicines (such as atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol, Bystolic®, Tenormin®), or diuretics (water pills, such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, Lasix®). Tell your doctor if you use medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, fluoxetine, nortriptyline, Elavil®, Pamelor®, Prozac®, Sarafem®, Vivactil®), or an MAO inhibitor (such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using arsenic trioxide (Trisenox®), dofetilide (Tikosyn®), theophylline (Theo-Dur®), certain antibiotics (such as azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, Zithromax®), or medicine to treat mental illness (such as haloperidol, mesoridazine, pimozide, prochlorperazine, quetiapine, thioridazine, ziprasidone, Compazine®, Mellaril®).
  • This medicine should not be used together with similar inhaled medicines such as arformoterol, 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 heart or blood vessel disease (including aneurysm), heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, angina (severe chest pain), adrenal gland problem (such as pheochromocytoma), diabetes, epilepsy or seizures, or thyroid problems.
  • 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 an acute asthma attack or an acute COPD flare-up.
  • Use all of your asthma or COPD medicines as directed, including any corticosteroid medicine. Do not change your dose or stop using your medicines without asking your doctor.
  • This medicine may cause paradoxical bronchospasm, which means your breathing or wheezing will get worse. This may be life-threatening. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have coughing, trouble breathing, or wheezing.
  • The powder in the capsule contains trace amounts of milk proteins. Make sure your doctor knows if you have a severe milk protein allergy.
  • 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.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. 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, trouble breathing
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Worsening of breathing problems

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

  • Fever, headache, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, sneezing

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


Last Updated: 11/4/2014


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