What Is Arformoterol?

Drue Tibbits

Arformoterol is a prescription medication that treats chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD). It allows patients to breathe easier by relaxing the muscles around the lung airways, preventing wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest constriction. This medicine is for use with stable chronic pulmonary obstructive disease and is not for treating acute attacks or breathing emergencies. Serious side effects may occur with this medicine, and patients should discuss the risks and benefits with their doctors before beginning therapy.

Arformoterol relaxes constricted airways in COPD patients and reduces wheezing and shortness of breath.
Arformoterol relaxes constricted airways in COPD patients and reduces wheezing and shortness of breath.

This medicine is an inhalant solution that must be kept in a refrigerator. It uses a delivery system called a nebulizer, or atomizer, which turns the liquid into a fine mist. The nebulizer connects to a tube and mouthpiece that a patient uses to inhale the mist into their airways and lungs. Patients should not drink or inject the solution as this could cause serious side effects or a fatal overdose. Most doctors prescribe arformoterol for twice-daily use.

A nebulizer mask is a respiratory treatment device designed to administer liquid medications, like arformoterol, in aerosol form.
A nebulizer mask is a respiratory treatment device designed to administer liquid medications, like arformoterol, in aerosol form.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, conditions that significantly impair breathing ability. Patients are unable to inhale as fully as healthy people, and they may also have an accumulation of mucus in the airways. The struggle to breathe and the excess mucus often cause extended coughing bouts and constricted muscles in the chest. Arformoterol does not clear the mucus or cure COPD, but it does help patients breathe more fully and better manage their disease. Breathing problems return when patients stop using the medication.

Patients using this medicine may experience side effects such as leg cramps, sinusitis, and diarrhea. Some patients may develop headaches, dizziness, or nausea. Most side effects resolve or diminish over time. Patients should contact their doctors if the side effects are bothersome or increase in severity. This medication carries serious risks, such as an increase in the possibility of developing congestive heart failure, glaucoma, and lung cancer.

To avoid negative effects, patients should take his medication exactly as prescribed. Using too much of this medicine at one time or taking it more often then prescribed may cause a fatal overdose. Patients should read the product inserts to understand the risks of this medicine, how it works, and the rates of serious side effects. The safety of arformoterol for patients with asthma has not been established, but other drugs in the same class have shown an increase of deaths when used by asthmatic patients. Patients should keep emergency inhalers with them while on arformoterol therapy.

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