While Xopenex uses are primarily for the treatment of asthma attacks and other similar lung problems, the medication can also be used "off-label" to treat other conditions. The drug is approved for use in children who are at least six years old. At this time, off-label Xopenex uses include the treatment of high potassium in the blood and breathing problems associated with respiratory infections (such as pneumonia).
Xopenex Uses: An OverviewXopenex® (levalbuterol hydrochloride) 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. The drug is used in a nebulizer, a device that changes liquid medications into fine droplets that are inhaled into the lungs. Xopenex also comes in an inhaler (see Xopenex HFA).
Xopenex Uses for Bronchospasms Due to Asthma or COPD
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs. When 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 reduce the airflow to your lungs. This is called a bronchospasm and causes asthma symptoms, such as:
- Wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe)
- Tightness in the chest
- Trouble breathing.
While there is no asthma cure, the condition can be controlled. There are many different asthma treatments, and Xopenex represents one of the most basic and most important types of treatment for asthma relief. The medication is approved to both treat and prevent asthma attacks. Because it is short-acting, however, Xopenex is not necessarily the best asthma medication for preventing asthma attacks.
Asthma is not the only cause of bronchospasms. Xopenex can also treat bronchospasms that are caused by other lung problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema or chronic bronchitis.