Maxair is a prescription medicine that is licensed to prevent and treat bronchospasms caused by asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The drug causes the muscles around airways to relax, which opens up the airways and allows more air to get into and through the lungs. The drug starts working within five minutes of use, and its effects usually last for five hours.
Maxair inhalers will not be made, dispensed, or sold in the United States in their current form after December 31, 2013. Maxair contains chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemicals that deplete the ozone layer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set this final date for the medication in order to comply with the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer. The manufacturer of Maxair is working on a reformulated, CFC-free version, although it is not yet clear when that product will be available to consumers.
Normally, air moves easily into and out of the lungs through a network of airways. During an asthma attack, however, the muscles around these airways tighten. This narrows the airways and makes it harder to breathe. This is called bronchospasm.
Maxair 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.
Maxair also has some effects on decreasing the activity of mast cells in the lungs, which play an important role in inflammation and allergic reactions.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 6, 2007.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed April 6, 2007.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Asthma and COPD inhalers that contain ozone-depleting CFCs to be phased out; alternative treatments available (4/13/2010). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm208302.htm. Accessed April 16, 2010.
Graceway Pharmaceuticals. Statement on the continued availability of Maxair Autohaler (pirbuterol acetate inhalation aerosol). Maxair Web site. Available at: http://www.maxair.com/MAXStillAvailable.pdf. Accessed April 16, 2010.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click