Xopenex HFA is a drug that can be prescribed for preventing and treating airway spasms caused by asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). By causing the muscles around the airways to relax and decreasing the activity of mast cells in the lungs, the medication can help control the symptoms of asthma. The drug comes in a metered-dose inhaler. Possible side effects include irritated or runny nose, sore throat, worsening asthma, and dizziness.
What Is Xopenex HFA?
Xopenex HFA® (levalbuterol HFA) is a prescription medication used to treat or prevent airway spasms (called bronchospasms). Bronchospasms are most common in people with asthma but can also occur in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
(Click Xopenex HFA Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Who Makes It?
Xopenex HFA is made by Sepracor, Inc.
How Does Xopenex HFA Work?
Normally, air moves easily into and out of the lungs through a network of airways, but during an asthma attack, the muscles around these airways tighten. This narrows the airways and makes it harder to breathe. This is called bronchospasm.
Xopenex HFA 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. Xopenex HFA also has some effects on decreasing the activity of mast cells in the lungs, which play an important role in inflammation and allergic reactions.
Xopenex HFA is similar to another medication called albuterol. Xopenex HFA contains the active form of the albuterol molecule, while albuterol products contain both the inactive and active forms of the molecule.