Info on Pirbuterol's Effects and Treatment Instructions

How Does Pirbuterol Work?

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.
Pirbuterol 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.
This medication also has some effects on decreasing the activity of mast cells in the lungs, which play an important role in inflammation and allergic reactions.

Clinical Effects

In clinical studies, pirbuterol started working within five minutes, and the effects of the drug typically lasted for five hours.

When and How to Take Pirbuterol

The following are some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with pirbuterol:
  • Pirbuterol comes in a special inhaler called the Maxair Autohaler®. This inhaler is different from traditional inhalers, as it does not release the medication until you inhale through the mouthpiece. This may make the pirbuterol inhaler easier to use, compared to traditional inhalers.
  • Some people take this drug only when they need it (that is, during an asthma attack), while others take it regularly to help prevent attacks.
  • Shake your inhaler gently before each use.
  • Wait at least one minute in between inhalations.
  • It is important to learn exactly how to use your pirbuterol inhaler. It may be difficult at first and may require practice.
  • Each inhaler contains 400 sprays. Try to keep track of approximately how many sprays you have used in order to know when to replace the inhaler. Do not place the inhaler in water to see if it is empty (this practice was once recommended).
  • For pirbuterol to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. The medication will not work if you stop taking it.
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Pirbuterol (Maxair)

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