Precautions and Warnings With Formoterol
Precautions and warnings with formoterol to be aware of include the potential for drug interactions and the risks associated with using it during pregnancy. Conditions you should tell your healthcare provider about prior to taking the drug include high blood pressure or a fast heart rate. Precautions and warnings with formoterol also extend to people with an overactive thyroid, diabetes, or epilepsy.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking formoterol fumarate (Foradil®) if you have:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- A fast heart rate (tachycardia)
- An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- Other types of heart disease, including congestive heart failure
- An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Any allergies, including allergies to food (especially milk), dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking formoterol include the following:
- In some studies, people taking long-acting beta-adrenergic agonists (such as formoterol) were more likely to have severe asthma attacks. Some of asthma attacks have even resulted in death. Formoterol should not be started in people whose asthma is significantly worsening (or in emergency situations), as this may increase the risk of death. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if your asthma symptoms become worse while taking the drug.
- Formoterol is not a fast-acting asthma medication and cannot replace fast-acting rescue inhalers. Do not use formoterol to treat an asthma attack. Everyone taking formoterol should also have a rescue medication available at all times. Let your healthcare provider know if you need to use your rescue inhaler more often than usual, as this may be a sign of worsening asthma.
- Formoterol cannot replace steroids for asthma. If you take a steroid asthma medication, your healthcare provider should not stop or reduce the dose of your steroid medication when you start formoterol.
- Do not take the medication more frequently than prescribed, as this may increase your risk of side effects.
- The capsules should never be swallowed; rather, they should be inhaled using the Aerolizer®.
- Formoterol can have a stimulatory effect on the heart and blood pressure. This may result in a fast heart rate (tachycardia), high blood pressure (hypertension), and an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia), although low blood pressure (hypotension) is also possible. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, make sure your healthcare provider is aware of it. He or she may wish to use particular caution if prescribing formoterol in your case.
- People with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes, or epilepsy should use caution when using formoterol, as it may make these conditions worse or increase the risk of side effects.
- Formoterol can interact with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Formoterol).
- Formoterol is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug during pregnancy (see Foradil and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if formoterol passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider before using formoterol (see Foradil and Breastfeeding).