Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: US

Xopenex; Xopenex Concentrate; Xopenex HFA

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to open the airways in lung diseases where spasm may cause breathing problems.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

  • If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If your child is taking or will be taking another drug like this one.
  • If your child is taking inhaled epinephrine.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of his/her drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

All products:

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that your child is using this drug.
  • Do not run out of this drug.
  • Do not give more of this drug or have your child use it more often than you were told by the doctor. Deaths have happened when too much of this drug was taken. Talk with the doctor.
  • Call the doctor right away if your child’s normal dose does not work well, if your child’s signs get worse, or if your child needs to use this drug more often than normal.
  • If your child has high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch his/her blood sugar closely.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug.

Liquid for breathing in:

  • This drug is not approved for use in children younger than 6 years of age. The chance of side effects may be raised in children younger than 6 years of age. Talk with the doctor.

Puffer (inhaler):

  • This drug is not approved for use in children younger than 4 years of age. The chance of side effects may be raised in children younger than 4 years of age. Talk with the doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low potassium levels like muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Very nervous and excitable.
  • Very bad headache.
  • This drug may sometimes cause very bad breathing problems. This may be life-threatening. When this happens with a puffer (inhaler) or with liquid for breathing in, most of the time it happens right after a dose and after the first use of a new canister or vial of this drug. If your child has trouble breathing, breathing that is worse, wheezing, or coughing, get medical help right away.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
  • Nervous and excitable.
  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Runny nose.
  • Throwing up.
  • Shakiness.
  • Throat irritation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All products:

  • Follow how to give this drug as you have been told by your child’s doctor. Do not give more than you were told to give.
  • Keep out of your child’s eyes.

Liquid for breathing in:

  • For breathing in only as a liquid (solution) by a special machine (nebulizer) into the lungs.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • Do not use if solution changes color.
  • Some of these products must be mixed with saline before use. Check with the doctor or pharmacist to see if your child’s product needs to be mixed.
  • Do not mix other drugs in nebulizer.

Puffer (inhaler):

  • For breathing into the lungs.
  • Shake well before use.
  • Prepare puffer (inhaler) before first use or when puffer has not been used for 3 days. Spray 4 test sprays into the air.
  • Put the cap back on after your child is done using a dose.
  • A spacer may be used with the puffer (inhaler) for easy use.
  • If your child is using more than 1 puffer (inhaler), ask the doctor which puffer to use first.
  • Check your child’s puffer (inhaler) use with the doctor at each visit. Read and follow facts on how to use the puffer. Make sure your child uses the puffer the right way.
  • Follow how to clean carefully.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

  • If your child takes this drug on a regular basis, give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Many times this drug is given on an as needed basis. Do not give to your child more often than told by the doctor.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

All products:

  • Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.
  • Protect from light.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Liquid for breathing in:

  • Protect from heat.
  • Store unused containers in foil pouch until use.
  • Check with your pharmacist about when you need to throw away this drug.

Puffer (inhaler):

  • Store with the mouthpiece down.
  • Protect from heat or open flame. Do not puncture or burn even if it seems empty.
  • Throw away the puffer (inhaler) after the most number of sprays have been used, even if it feels like there is more drug in the can.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date



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©2015 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - Generated on November 25, 2015