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Xopenex HFA (levalbuterol tartrate)

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: June 2023

Xopenex HFA® (levalbuterol tartrate) is an oral inhalation medicine used to treat or prevent a narrowing of the airways (bronchospasm) in people with reversible airway disease over 4 years of age. As a fast-acting inhaler, it offers quick relief of symptoms during an asthma attack.1

Xopenex HFA is part of a class of drugs called inhaled beta-agonists. Rescue inhalers should be used for symptoms that are very severe and need relief very quickly. Do not exceed the recommended dose.1

The need for more doses of Xopenex HFA may be a sign that your asthma is getting worse and requires reevaluation by a doctor. Beta-adrenergic agonists alone may not be enough to control asthma. Anti-inflammatory drugs may be needed. Xopenex HFA is not a substitute for corticosteroids.1

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What are the ingredients in Xopenex HFA?

The active ingredient in Xopenex HFA is levalbuterol tartrate.1

How does Xopenex HFA work?

Xopenex HFA is a short-acting bronchodilator. The active ingredient helps to treat asthma symptoms by relaxing the tightened muscles around airway passages to relieve symptoms like wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.1

What are the possible side effects?

The most common side effects of Xopenex HFA include:1

  • Accidental injury
  • Bronchitis
  • Dizziness
  • Pain
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Vomiting
  • Fast heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Tremors or nervousness

Xopenex HFA may also cause serious side effects, including:1

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Worsening asthma symptoms
  • Heart problems
  • Serious allergic reactions, including swelling of the face, throat, or tongue; hives; rash; and breathing problems
  • Low potassium levels in your blood

Contact your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects.

These are not all the possible side effects of Xopenex HFA. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Xopenex HFA. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Xopenex HFA.

Other things to know

Xopenex HFA should be used with caution in people with certain health conditions. Before using Xopenex HFA, tell your doctor if you have:1

  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid problems

There is not enough data to know if Xopenex HFA is safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding before taking Xopenex HFA.1

Xopenex HFA may not be safe to take with other medicines. Before taking Xopenex HFA, tell your doctor about any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs, as well as:1

  • Other inhaled medicines or asthma medicines
  • Heart medicines
  • Medicines that increase urination (diuretics)
  • Antidepressants
  • Medicine to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Talk to your doctor about how to prime, clean, and store your Xopenex HFA inhaler.