Xopenex Warnings and Precautions
Prior to taking Xopenex, warnings and precautions for the medication should be fully understood. The medication may not be safe to take during pregnancy and can potentially make airway spasms worse -- which is opposite from the intended effect. Xopenex warnings and precautions also extend to those with heart disease or certain allergies, such as to ingredients used to make the drug or to albuterol.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Xopenex® (levalbuterol hydrochloride) 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, 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 Xopenex include the following:
- Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are using the medication more frequently than usual. Asthma symptoms can worsen very quickly and can become a medical emergency.
- Using Xopenex alone is rarely the best asthma treatment. Your healthcare provider should consider prescribing additional asthma medications.
- In rare cases, Xopenex can make bronchospasms (spasms of the airways) worse, which is exactly the opposite of what should happen. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if the medication makes your asthma worse.
- The medication can have a stimulatory effect on the heart and blood pressure. A fast heart rate (tachycardia), high blood pressure (hypertension), and an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) may occur, 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 he or she recommends Xopenex in your case.
- People with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes, or epilepsy should use caution when using the drug, as it may make these conditions worse or increase the risk of side effects.
- Do not puncture the Xopenex canister or keep it near an open flame, as the contents are under pressure.
- Xopenex can interact with other medications (see Xopenex Drug Interactions).
- Xopenex 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 Xopenex and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if Xopenex passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider (see Xopenex and Breastfeeding).