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Pronounced: AL-yew-pent
Generic name: Metaproterenol sulfate

Why is this drug prescribed: Alupent is a bronchodilator prescribed for the prevention and relief of bronchial asthma and bronchial spasms (wheezing) associated with bronchitis and emphysema. Alupent Inhalation Solution is also used to treat acute asthmatic attacks in children 6 years of age and older.

Most important fact about this drug: Alupent's effects last up to 6 hours. It should not be used more frequently than your doctor recommends. Increasing the number of doses can be dangerous and may actually make symptoms of asthma worse. Fatalities have occurred with excessive use of this medication. If the dose your doctor recommends does not provide relief of your symptoms, if your symptoms become worse, or if side effects occur, seek medical attention immediately.

How should you take this medication: Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. --If you miss a dose... Take the dose as soon as you remember. Take any remaining doses for the day at equal intervals thereafter. Do not increase the total for the day or take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature. Protect from light and excessive humidity. Keep out of reach of children.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Alupent. Side effects may include: Bad taste in mouth, cough, dizziness, headache, high blood pressure, nausea, nervousness, rapid or throbbing heartbeat, stomach and intestinal upset, throat irritation, tremors, vomiting, worsening or aggravation of asthma Side effects can occur when a new aerosol container is used, even though you have had no trouble with the medication in the past. Replacing the container may solve the problem.

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Alupent or similar drugs, such as Proventil, you should not take this medication. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced. Unless you are directed to do so by your doctor, do not take this medication if you have an irregular, rapid heart rate.

Special warnings about this medication: When taking Alupent, you should not use other inhaled medications (called sympathomimetics) before checking with your doctor. Only your doctor can determine the sufficient amount of time between inhaled medications. A single dose of nebulized Alupent used to treat an acute attack of asthma may temporarily relieve symptoms but not completely stop the attack. Consult your doctor before using this medication if you have a heart condition, a convulsive disorder such as epilepsy, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, or diabetes mellitus. Alupent can cause significant changes in blood pressure.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Alupent is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Alupent with the following: MAO inhibitors (antidepressant drugs such as Nardil and Parnate) Bronchodilators such as Ventolin and Proventil inhalers Tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil and Tofranil

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Alupent during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is not known whether Alupent appears in breast milk. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop nursing your baby until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Inhalation Aerosol The usual single dose is 2 to 3 inhalations. Inhalation should usually not be repeated more often than about every 3 to 4 hours. Total dosage per day should not exceed 12 inhalations. Inhalation Solution 5% Treatment usually need not be repeated more often than every 4 hours to relieve acute attacks of bronchospasm. As part of a total treatment program for chronic breathing disorders, the inhalation solution may be taken 3 to 4 times per day, as determined by your doctor. Inhalation solution is given by oral inhalation with the aid of a nebulizer or an intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB) apparatus. The usual single dose with the nebulizer is 10 inhalations. However, a single dose of 5 to 15 inhalations can be taken, as determined by your doctor. The usual single daily dose with the IPPB is 0.3 milliliter diluted in approximately 2.5 milliliters of saline solution. The dosage range is 0.2 to 0.3 milliliter, as determined by your doctor. Inhalation Solution 0.4% and 0.6% Unit-Dose Vials The inhalation solution unit-dose vial is administered by oral inhalation using an intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB) apparatus. The usual adult dose is 1 vial per treatment. You usually should not need to repeat the treatment more often than every 4 hours for severe attacks of wheezing. You can use the unit-dose vials 3 to 4 times a day. CHILDREN: Inhalation Aerosol Alupent Inhalation Aerosol is not recommended for use in children under 12 years of age. Inhalation Solution 5% For children aged 6 to 12 years, the usual single dose is 0.1 milliliter, given by oral inhalation with a nebulizer. Dosage can be increased to 0.2 milliliter 3 to 4 times a day. The unit-dose vial is not recommended for children under 12 years of age.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of Alupent overdose may include: Dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, general feeling of bodily discomfort, headache, high or low blood pressure, inability to fall or stay asleep, irregular heartbeat, nausea, nervousness, rapid, fluttery heartbeat, severe, suffocating chest pain, tremors

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