1 What is Maxair?

Brand: Maxair, Maxair Autohaler.

Generic: Pirbuterol

Maxair is used to treat and prevent asthma. It is a beta-agonist (bronchodilator). It works by relaxing smooth muscles of the airway, allowing air to pass in and out more easily and freely.

It is also used in the treatment of bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases. It is available as aerosol powder form only with your doctor’s prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

If you are about to start taking Maxair, speak with your doctor about what you need to know.


Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any food, preservatives, dyes, or had an allergic reaction when you used this drug before.


Use in children younger than 12 years of age is not recommended.


There are no adequate studies done which prove its safety or harmful effects in older patients.


It is a category C drug. It should not be used in pregnancy. It may cause harm to an unborn baby.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies which prove that Pirbuterol passes into breast milk. If you are using Pirbuterol while nursing, discuss it with your doctor for possible risk factors.

Drug Interactions

Pirbuterol may interact with other drugs. Your doctor should be informed of any other medicines which you are taking. He/she may want to change the dosage or drug. Some of them are listed below:

  • Diuretics (furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide) as the risk of low blood potassium levels may be increased.
  • Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors (entacapone), linezolid, a MAOI (phenelzine), short-acting sympathomimetic bronchodilators (albuterol), stimulants (amphetamine), sympathomimetics (pseudoephedrine), or tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline) as they may increase the risk of Pirbuterol's side effects
  • Beta blockers (propranolol) as they may decrease Pirbuterol's effectiveness.

Other Medical Conditions

Several other conditions may reduce its effectiveness.

Make sure you inform your doctor of conditions such as:

3 Proper Usage

To use Maxair properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Read the medication guide carefully. Ask your pharmacist if you have any queries. Ask him/her to show you how to use an inhaler.

Prime the inhaler as directed on the patient leaflet before using it for the first time and if it has not been used for 48 hours.

To use a dose, remove the mouthpiece cover. Hold the inhaler upright (arrows should point up). Raise the lever until it snaps into place. Shake gently several times. Place the mouthpiece between your lips and seal your lips around the mouthpiece.

Inhale deeply through the mouthpiece with a steady, moderate force. You will hear a "click" and feel a puff when the medicine releases. Do NOT stop inhaling when you feel the puff.

Continue to take a full, deep breath. Remove the inhaler from your mouth. Hold your breath for 10 seconds and then exhale slowly.


It is different for different patients. Dosage mentioned below is an average dose. You must follow your doctor’s command.

For prevention of bronchospasm

Adults and children 12 years of age and older: 2 puffs every 4 to 6 hours as needed, a total of 12 puffs each day. Each puff contains 200 micrograms (mcg) of Pirbuterol.

It is not recommended to be used by children younger than 12 years of age.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it almost a time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your daily schedule. Do not double the dose.


Store it at room temperature. Keep it away from children.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Maxair, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor.

Your doctor should check your daily progress at regular visits. He may want to do a blood test to check any unwanted effects. It may sometimes cause bronchoconstriction.

Go to your doctor immediately if you are having:

Inform your doctor, if your symptoms do not improve after using this medicine or become worse. Do not stop taking it even if you feel better unless your doctor told you to do so.

Pirbuterol can cause low potassium levels in the blood. Its symptoms are:

  • convulsions
  • decreased urine
  • dry mouth
  • increased thirst
  • irregular heartbeat
  • loss of appetite
  • mood changes
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • nausea or vomiting
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet or lips
  • shortness of breath
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Inform your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. Do not use more than the recommended dose or more often than prescribed without checking with your doctor.

Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Pirbuterol before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.

5 Potential Side Effects

If you notice any side effects of Maxair, immediately make an appointment with your doctor. Some people may experience none or minor side effects. Consult with your doctor if they become problematic or frequent.

More common are:

Less common are:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.