How Levalbuterol HFA Works and What to Discuss With Your Doctor
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this medication if you have:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- A fast heart rate (tachycardia)
- An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- Other types of heart disease
- An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Xopenex HFA and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Xopenex HFA and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Normally, air moves easily into and out of the lungs through a network of airways, but during an asthma attack, the muscles around these airways tighten. This narrows the airways and makes it harder to breathe. This is called bronchospasm.
Levalbuterol HFA is part of a class of drugs called beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short. Beta agonists stimulate beta receptors in the body, including those on the muscles around airways. This stimulation causes the muscles to relax, which opens up the airways and allows more air to get into and through the lungs. This medication also has some effects on decreasing the activity of mast cells in the lungs, which play an important role in inflammation and allergic reactions.
Levalbuterol HFA is similar to another medication called albuterol. Levalbuterol HFA contains the active form of the albuterol molecule, while albuterol products contain both the inactive and active forms of the molecule.