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In clinical studies, Xopenex HFA started working within about 5 to 10 minutes, and the effects of the drug lasted for three to four hours, on average. In some people, the effects lasted as long as six hours.
Some general considerations for when and how to take this medication include the following:
- Xopenex HFA comes in a metered-dose inhaler (called an "MDI").
- Some people take the inhaler only when they need it (during an asthma attack), while others take it regularly to help prevent attacks.
- You should "test spray" each Xopenex HFA inhaler before your first use of it, or if you have not used it for more than three days. To test spray the inhaler, spray it into the air four times by pressing on the top of the canister.
- 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 Xopenex HFA inhaler. It may be difficult at first and may require practice.
- The spray should be inhaled into the lungs, not sprayed into the back of the throat and swallowed. To accomplish this, you will need to breathe in while spraying the inhaler.
- Most people put the mouthpiece of the inhaler directly into their mouths. However, many healthcare professionals now recommend placing the inhaler an inch or two away from the mouth. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to use the inhaler.
- Each inhaler contains 200 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 (although it was recommended to do so in the past).
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.