Foradil is often prescribed to treat or prevent airway spasms, as well as to prevent exercise-induced asthma attacks. The medication works by opening up the airways, allowing more air to get into and through the lungs. It comes in the form of a capsule that is punctured using a special aerolizer and then inhaled. Possible side effects include chest pain, shakiness, and insomnia.
Normally, air moves easily into and out of the lungs through a network of airways. However, during an asthma attack, the muscles around these airways tighten. This narrows the airways and makes it harder to breathe. This is called a bronchospasm.
Foradil 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 the airways. This stimulation causes the muscles to relax, which opens up the airways and allows more air to get into and through the lungs. Foradil is a long-acting beta agonist. It is not intended to treat an asthma attack once it starts. Rather, it is used twice a day in order to prevent attacks.
Foradil 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 10, 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 10, 2007.
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