Asthma Home > What Is Levalbuterol HFA Used For?
Many people wonder, "What is levalbuterol HFA used for?" Levalbuterol HFA is used for treating and preventing airway spasms in people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Occasionally, the drug is also used for "off-label" purposes, such as for the treatment of difficulty breathing associated with respiratory infections and high potassium in the blood.
Levalbuterol HFA (Xopenex HFA®) is a prescription medication used to treat asthma and other similar lung problems. It is part of a class of asthma drugs known as beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short.
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating. When the airways react, they narrow and less air flows to your lungs. This is called bronchospasm, and it causes asthma symptoms like wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), coughing, tightness in the chest, and trouble breathing.
While there is no asthma cure, asthma can be controlled. There are many different asthma treatments, and levalbuterol HFA represents one of the most basic and most important types of treatment for asthma relief. Levalbuterol HFA is a "rescue" asthma inhaler, which can help improve breathing very quickly. Even if you take other asthma controller medications, it is important to always have a rescue asthma medication available to relieve an attack.
Levalbuterol HFA is approved to both treat and prevent asthma attacks. Because levalbuterol HFA is short-acting, it is not necessarily the best asthma medication for preventing asthma attacks.
Asthma is not the only cause of bronchospasm. Levalbuterol HFA can also treat bronchospasm due to other lung problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema or chronic bronchitis.