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Generic Name: pirbuterol inhalation
(peer BYOO ter ole)

What is the most important information I should know about pirbuterol inhalation?

It is very important that you use your Maxair properly, so that the medicine gets into your lungs. Your doctor may want you to use a spacer with your inhaler. Talk to your doctor about proper inhaler use.

Seek medical attention if you notice that you require more than your usual or more than the maximum amount of any asthma medication in a 24-hour period. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack.

What is pirbuterol inhalation?

Pirbuterol is a bronchodilator. It works by relaxing muscles in the airways to improve breathing.

Pirbuterol inhalation is used to treat conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.

Pirbuterol inhalation may also be used for conditions other than those listed in this medication guide.

Who should not use pirbuterol inhalation?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • heart disease or high blood pressure,
  • epilepsy or another seizure disorder,
  • diabetes,
  • an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), or
  • any type of liver or kidney disease.
  • You may require a lower dose or special monitoring during therapy with pirbuterol if you have any of the conditions listed above.

    Pirbuterol is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether pirbuterol inhalation will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

    It is not known whether pirbuterol passes into breast milk. Do not use pirbuterol inhalation without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

    Pirbuterol inhalation is not approved for use by children younger than 12 years of age.

    How should I use pirbuterol inhalation?

    Take pirbuterol inhalation exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you.

    Shake the inhaler several times and uncap the mouthpiece. Breathe out fully and place your lips around the mouthpiece. Take a deep, slow breath as you push down on the canister. Hold your breath for several seconds, then exhale slowly.

    The Autohaler releases the correct amount of drug. The force of your inhalation will trigger the release. You do not have to press down on a canister. Follow the instructions that accompany your inhaler.

    If you take more than one dose at a time, wait for at least 1 full minute, then repeat the procedure.

    Rinse your mouth after each use of the inhaler.

    If you also use a steroid inhaler, use your Maxair first to open up your airways, then use the steroid inhaler as directed.

    It is very important that you use your Maxair properly, so that the medicine gets into your lungs. Your doctor may want you to use a spacer with your inhaler. Talk to your doctor about proper inhaler use.

    Seek medical attention if you notice that you require more than your usual or more than the maximum amount of any asthma medication in a 24-hour period. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack.

    Keep your inhaler clean and dry. Keep the mouthpiece capped to avoid getting dirt inside it. Clean your inhaler once a day by removing the canister and mouthpiece and immersing it in warm water or alcohol. Allow the parts to dry, then reassemble the inhaler.

    Carry your inhaler with you at all times in case of emergencies. Get a refill before you run out of medicine and before going on vacation.

    What happens if I miss a dose?

    Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and use the next one as directed. Do not use a double dose of this medication.

    What happens if I overdose?

    Seek emergency medical attention.

    Symptoms of a pirbuterol overdose include angina or chest pain, irregular heartbeats or a fluttering heart, seizures, tremor, weakness, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

    What should I avoid while using pirbuterol inhalation?

    Avoid situations that may trigger an asthma attack such as exercising in cold, dry air; smoking; breathing in dust; and exposure to allergens such as pet fur.

    What are the possible side effects of pirbuterol inhalation?

    Stop using pirbuterol and seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the following serious side effects:

    • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives); or
    • chest pain or irregular heartbeats.

    Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to use pirbuterol inhalation and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, or insomnia
  • tremor or nervousness
  • sweating
  • nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; or
  • dry mouth.
  • Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

    What other drugs will affect pirbuterol?

    Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

    • a beta-blocker (used to treat high blood pressure and other heart conditions) such as atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor), or propranolol (Inderal). These medicines may greatly decrease the effects of pirbuterol and lead to an asthma attack.
    • other commonly used beta-blockers, including acebutolol (Sectral), bisoprolol (Zebeta), carteolol (Cartrol), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), nadolol (Corgard), and pindolol (Visken).
    • a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil), doxepin (Sinequan), or nortriptyline (Pamelor). Very high blood pressure and other effects harmful to the heart may occur if these medicines are taken with pirbuterol.
    • other commonly used tricyclic antidepressants, including amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), and protriptyline (Vivactil).
    • a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). Very high blood pressure and other effects harmful to the heart may also occur if these medicines are taken with pirbuterol.
    • another inhaled bronchodilator such as albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil), bitolterol (Tornalate), isoetharine (Bronkometer, Bronkosol), isoproterenol (Isuprel, Medihaler-Iso), metaproterenol (Alupent, Metaprel), salmeterol (Servent), or terbutaline (Brethaire, Brethine, Bricanyl). Using other inhaled medicines to open up your lungs will increase the risk of damage to your heart when you are taking pirbuterol.
    • caffeine, diet pills, or decongestants. These may also increase heart-related side effects.

    Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with pirbuterol inhalation, or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

    Where can I get more information?

    Your pharmacist has additional information about pirbuterol written for health professionals that you may read.


    Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

    Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.