Foradil treats asthma and COPD. Do not use this medication to treat an asthma attack that has already begun, because it will not work fast enough. Use only a fast-acting inhalation medication.
Foradil is a prescription medication used to treat breathing difficulties caused by asthma, exercise induced bronchospasm (EIB), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Foradil belongs to a group of medications called long acting beta agonists. It works by helping the muscles in your lungs to stay relaxed. This opens up the airways and makes it easier to breathe.
Foradil comes in the form of a powder filled capsule that is inhaled by mouth (never swallowed) using an Foradil Aerolizer inhaler. For asthma and COPD the usual dose is one capsule inhaled twice daily.
Common side effects include headache, chest pain, and trouble sleeping.
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Foradil Drug Class
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Side Effects of Foradil
Foradil may cause serious side effects, including:
- See "Foradil Precautions"
- Sudden breathing problems immediately after inhaling your medicine (wheezing or coughing and difficulty breathing)
- Fast or irregular heart beat (palpitations)
- Serious allergic reactions including rash, hives, swelling of the face, mouth, and tongue, and breathing problems. Call your healthcare provider or get emergency medical care if you get any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction.
- Low blood potassium (which may cause symptoms of muscle spasm, muscle weakness or abnormal heart rhythm)
- Increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia)
- Using too much of a LABA medicine may cause:
- chest pain
- increased blood pressure
- a fast or irregular heart beat
- trouble sleeping
- electrocardiogram (ECG) changes
Common side effects with Foradil include:
Asthma in Adults and Adolescents:
- chest infection
- chest pain
- trouble sleeping
Asthma in Children 5-12 Years of Age:
- viral infections
- runny nose
- abdominal pain
- respiratory infection
- throat infection
- chest pain
- sinus infection
- leg cramps
- muscle cramps
Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the side effects with Foradil. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- aminophylline (Truphylline)
- amiodarone (Cordarone)
- antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil)
- beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Normodyne), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), and sotalol (Betapace, Betapace AF)
- clonidine (Catapres)
- diet pills
- digoxin (Lanoxin, Digitek)
- disopyramide (Norpace)
- diuretics ('water pills') such as bumetanide (Bumex), chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), ethacrynic acid (Edecrin), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (Esidrix, Hydrodiuril, Microzide, Oretic), metolazone (Zaroxolyn), torsemide (Demadex).
- dofetilide (Tikosyn)
- dyphylline (Dilor, Lufyllin)
- erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin)
- medications for colds
- monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, including isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl), and tranylcypromine (Parnate)
- midodrine (Orvaten)
- moxifloxacin (Avelox)
- oral steroids such as dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Deltasone); pimozide (Orap)
- procainamide (Procanbid, Pronestyl)
- quinidine (Quinidex)
- salmeterol (Serevent) or salmeterol and fluticasone (Advair)
- sparfloxacin (Zagam)
- theophylline (Theo-Chron, Theolair)
- thioridazine (Mellaril)
This is not a complete list of Foradil drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Foradil can cause serious side effects, including:
1. People with asthma who take long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA) medicines, such as Foradil, have an increased risk of death from asthma problems.
- Call your healthcare provider if breathing problems worsen over time while using Foradil. You may need a different treatment.
- Get emergency medical care if:
- breathing problems worsen quickly, and
- you use your rescue inhaler medicine, but it does not relieve your breathing problems.
2. Do not use Foradil as your only asthma medicine. Foradil must only be used with a long-term asthma control medicine, such as an inhaled corticosteroid.
3. When your asthma is well controlled, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking Foradil. Your healthcare provider will decide if you can stop Foradil without loss of asthma control. You will continue taking your long-term asthma control medicine, such as an inhaled corticosteroid.
4. Children and adolescents who take LABA medicines may have an increased risk of being hospitalized for asthma problems.
Do not take Foradil:
- to treat your asthma without a long-term asthma control medicine, such as an inhaled corticosteroid
- to treat sudden symptoms of asthma or COPD
- if you are allergic to Foradil or any of the ingredients in it. Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure.
Foradil Food Interactions
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Foradil there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.
Tell your healthcare provider about all of your health conditions, including if you:
- have heart problems
- have high blood pressure
- have seizures
- have thyroid problems
- have diabetes
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
- are allergic to Foradil or any other medications
Foradil contains lactose (milk sugar) and a small amount of milk proteins. It is possible that allergic reactions may happen in patients who have a severe milk protein allergy.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Foradil and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
Foradil falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans, though. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.
Foradil and Lactation
It is not known if Foradil crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Foradil.
Do not use Foradil unless your healthcare provider has taught you and you understand everything. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Foradil capsules are for use only in the Foradil Aerolizer device. Use only one capsule at a time. Do not take the capsules by mouth. Never place a capsule in the mouthpiece of the inhaler.
- Children should use Foradil with an adult’s help, as instructed by the child’s healthcare provider.
- Use Foradil exactly as prescribed. Do not use Foradil more often than prescribed.
- If you miss a dose of Foradil, just skip that dose. Take your next dose at your usual time. Never take 2 doses at one time.
- Do not use a spacer device.
- Do not breathe into the device.
- While you are using Foradil 2 times each day, do not use other medicines that contain a long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA) for any reason. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for a list of these medicines.
- Do not stop using Foradil or any of your asthma medicines unless told to do so by your healthcare provider because your symptoms might get worse. Your healthcare provider will change your medicines as needed.
- Foradil does not relieve sudden symptoms. Always have a rescue inhaler medicine with you to treat sudden symptoms. If you do not have an inhaled, short-acting bronchodilator, contact your healthcare provider to have one prescribed for you.
- Call your healthcare provider or get medical care right away if:
- your breathing problems worsen with Foradil
- you need to use your rescue inhaler medicine more often than usual
- your rescue inhaler medicine does not work as well for you at relieving symptoms
- you need to use 4 or more inhalations of your rescue inhaler medicine for 2 or more days in a row
- you use 1 whole canister of your rescue inhaler medicine in 8 weeks time
- your peak flow meter results decrease. Your healthcare provider will tell you the numbers that are right for you.
- you have asthma and your symptoms do not improve after using Foradil regularly for 1 week.
Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
- For asthma and COPD, the usual dose is 1 capsule inhaled through the inhaler 2 times each day (morning and evening). The 2 doses should be about 12 hours apart.
- For preventing exercise-induced bronchospasm, the usual dose is 1 capsule inhaled through the inhaler at least 15 minutes before exercise, as needed. Do not use Foradil more often than every 12 hours. Do not use extra Foradil before exercise if you already use it 2 times each day.
If you use too much Foradil, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.
- Store Foradil at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
- Protect Foradil from heat and moisture.
- Do not remove Foradil capsules from their foil blister package until just before use.
- Always discard the old inhaler by the “Use by” date and use the new one provided with each new prescription.
- Safely discard Foradil and the inhaler if no longer needed or is out-of-date.
- Keep Foradil and all medicines out of the reach of children.
Foradil FDA Warning
WARNING: ASTHMA-RELATED DEATH
Long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists (LABA), such as Foradil, increase the risk of asthma-related death. Data from a large placebo controlled US study that compared the safety of another LABA (salmeterol) or placebo added to usual asthma therapy showed an increase in asthma-related deaths in patients receiving salmeterol. This finding with salmeterol is considered a class effect of LABA, including Foradil.
Currently available data are inadequate to determine whether concurrent use of inhaled corticosteroids or other long-term asthma control drugs mitigates the increased risk of asthma-related death from LABA.
Because of this risk, use of Foradil for the treatment of asthma without a concomitant long-term asthma control medication, such as an inhaled corticosteroid, is contraindicated. Use Foradil only as additional therapy for patients with asthma who are currently taking but are inadequately controlled on a long-term asthma control medication, such as an inhaled corticosteroid. Once asthma control is achieved and maintained, assess the patient at regular intervals and step down therapy if possible without loss of asthma control, and maintain the patient on a long-term asthma control medication, such as an inhaled corticosteroid. Do not use Foradil for patients whose asthma is adequately controlled on low or medium dose inhaled corticosteroids.
Pediatric and Adolescent Patients
Available data from controlled clinical trials suggest that LABA increase the risk of asthma-related hospitalization in pediatric and adolescent patients. For pediatric and adolescent patients with asthma who require addition of a LABA to an inhaled corticosteroid, a fixed-dose combination product containing both an inhaled corticosteroid and LABA should ordinarily be considered to ensure adherence with both drugs. In cases where use of a separate long-term asthma control medication (e.g. inhaled corticosteroid) and LABA is clinically indicated, appropriate steps must be taken to ensure adherence with both treatment components. If adherence cannot be assured, a fixed-dose combination product containing both an inhaled corticosteroid and LABA is recommended.