Alupent Inhalation

1 What is Alupent Inhalation?

Brand: Alupent, Alti-Orciprenaline, Metaprel

Generic: Metaproterenol

Alupent is the medicine which is commonly used to treat asthma and bronchospasm in patients with bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease especially emphysema, and other lung diseases. 

Actually it belongs to the family of drugs termed as adrenergic bronchodilators. These are the medicines that dilate the bronchial tubes or air passages in the lungs. These drugs are only available with a doctor’s recommendation. 

This type of medicine is preferably indicated in respiratory disorders in order to relieve cough, wheezing and other difficulties in breathing by enhancing the flow of air through the respiratory airways.

Metaproterenol is available in the market in form of both tablet and solution. In order to treat asthma or bronchospasm, doctors usually prescribe solution of metaproterenol. 

It is administered by inhalation using an apparatus known as intermittent positive pressure breathing apparatus. This specialized apparatus usually contains 0.4% or 0.6% metaproterenol sulfate inhalation solution. 

2 What To Know Before Using

Before using Alupent, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.

If you are about to start a drug therapy, the risks and benefits ratio of taking the medicine should be considered. This is a decision that your doctor will make with your active participation. 

For this medicine, certain factors that may alter the drug action should be considered. Present and past illness, drug interactions, hypersensitivity reactions, pregnancy, lactation and metabolic impairments should be considered cautiously.

Always try to answer each question asked by your physician appropriately.

  • If you have had any allergic reaction to such medications or any other medicines, tell your doctor about that.
  • This is the medicine which is used irrespective of age and sex. Animal studies have shown an adverse effect but there are no adequate studies in pregnancy and lactation. Hence, potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.
  • Certain drugs should not be used concurrently with such medications. It is always recommended to consult with your doctor if you are in need of some drugs for another health problem.
  • Sometimes, it is a must to avoid particular medicines during a drug therapy in order to remain out of danger of serious drug reactions. Amifampridine and iobenguane-I are the drugs which are strictly restricted to use simultaneously with Metaproterenol. 

Discuss with your doctor elaborately if the drugs may show any reaction with some foods, tobacco or alcohol. Try not to fail taking the drug according to the doctor’s directions.  

On the contrary, presence of some medical problems may affect the desired plasma concentration as well as the duration of action of the drug. 

Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially diabetes, heart disease, asthma, renal impairment and hepatic failure which affect the use of any drug. 

3 Proper Usage

Medicines should be used following the directions given by a doctor. The dose of Alupent will vary according to patient’s condition or requirements. You should follow the doctor's directions and advice.

The amount of medicine that you take must not exceed the maximum therapeutic dose. Also, the frequency of your daily drug administration and the duration of drug therapy depend on the particular medical problem for which you are taking the medicine. 

There are well-controlled studies which have shown significant improvement within 5-30 minutes, whereas the period of relief persists for 2-6 hours. The dose and frequency of such medications usually vary with administration procedures. 

Metaproterenol administered using intermittent positive pressure breathing apparatus offers longer duration of action i.e. approximately 6 hours. On the contrary, when this drug is taken by hand bulb nebulizer, the duration of action would be within 2-3 hours.

Dosage

  • Adults are usually given 20 mg 3-4 times in a day.
  • Children older than 9 years or weighing more than 60 pounds are given the same dose as an adult. 
  • Children ranging from 6 to 9 years of age or weighing less than 60 pounds are administered 10 mg 3-4 times in a day.
  • Children younger than 6 years of age are not suitable to use such medications. 

Always try to take your medicine in time. If you miss any dose of this medicine, you should take it as soon as possible. But when it is time for your next dose, then skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. 

You should store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light. All kinds of medicines should be kept out of the reach of children. 

Outdated medicine must be disposed in an appropriate way.

4 Precautions To Take

Before using Alupent, there are some precautions you must take. Some important measures should be taken if you feel any discomfort following any drug therapy. In case of such drug therapy, you may not need to discontinue the therapy as there is least chance of drug toxicity.

But you should not delay to consult with your physician in case of extreme unwanted effects like fasting heart rate, trembling or shaking of the hands and feet.

5 Potential Side Effects

Actually, there are some unwanted side-effects associated with Alupent that usually do not need medical attention. These side-effects usually go away during the treatment episode as your body adjusts to the medicine. Additionally, your health care professional may advise you about the ways how to prevent or reduce those unwanted side-effects. 

Sometimes, you may need to consult with the doctor if you feel any serious discomfort. 

The following side effects may warrant medical care immediately: 

You may need medical emergency care immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose is noticed:

back pain, arm pain, jaw pain, chest discomfort, chest heaviness, dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness, postural hypotension, dry mouth, general feeling of discomfort or illness, shortness of breath, sleeplessness, unable to sleep, confusion etc.

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