relax the muscles in the
airways of the lungs. This enlarges (dilates) the airways and makes it easier
for you to breathe. Bronchodilators may also help you cough up
mucus. When they are used to treat
cystic fibrosis, bronchodilators are usually given
nebulizer or with an
inhaler. They are rarely taken as a pill or given as
Bronchodilators are used to treat
many lung diseases, including cystic fibrosis. Your doctor may suggest that you use one before you do airway clearance therapy.
To minimize certain
side effects, bronchodilators are often used along with inhaled
Some people who have cystic
fibrosis breathe much more easily while using bronchodilators. Other people do
not notice any benefits.
Bronchodilators work better on people who
have inflamed, narrow airways.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
Side effects of bronchodilators are more likely to occur when using the pill, liquid, or injectable forms than when using the inhaled form.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) has reported that salmeterol may make breathing more difficult. If your
wheezing gets worse after taking this medicine, call your doctor right
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Try to avoid giving your child an inhaled medicine when he or she is crying. When a child is crying, not as much medicine is delivered to the lungs.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
July 18, 2013
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
& Susanna McColley, MD - Pediatric Pulmonology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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