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About – Xopenex® (levalbuterol HCI) Inhalation Solution



  • XOPENEX® (levalbuterol HCl) is indicated for the treatment or prevention of bronchospasm in adults, adolescents, and children 6 years of age and older with reversible obstructive airway disease.
  • XOPENEX® (levalbuterol HCl) is contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to levalbuterol or racemic albuterol. Reactions have included urticaria, angioedema, rash, bronchospasm, anaphylaxis, and oropharyngeal edema.
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Important Safety Information


XOPENEX (levalbuterol HCl) Inhalation Solution is indicated for the treatment or prevention of bronchospasm in adults, adolescents, and children 6 years of age and older with reversible obstructive airway disease.


XOPENEX Inhalation Solution is contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to levalbuterol or racemic albuterol. Reactions have included urticaria, angioedema, rash, bronchospasm, anaphylaxis, and oropharyngeal edema [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].


5.1 Paradoxical Bronchospasm

XOPENEX Inhalation Solution can produce paradoxical bronchospasm, which may be lifethreatening. If paradoxical bronchospasm occurs, XOPENEX Inhalation Solution should be discontinued immediately and alternative therapy instituted. It should be recognized that paradoxical bronchospasm, when associated with inhaled formulations, frequently occurs with the first use of a new vial.

5.2 Deterioration of Asthma

Asthma may deteriorate acutely over a period of hours or chronically over several days or longer. If the patient needs more doses of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution than usual, this may be a marker of destabilization of asthma and requires reevaluation of the patient and treatment regimen, giving special consideration to the possible need for anti-inflammatory
treatment, e.g., corticosteroids.

5.3 Use of Anti-Inflammatory Agents

XOPENEX Inhalation Solution is not a substitute for corticosteroids. The use of betaadrenergic agonist alone may not be adequate to control asthma in many patients. Early consideration should be given to adding anti-inflammatory agents, e.g., corticosteroids, to the therapeutic regimen.

5.4 Cardiovascular Effects

XOPENEX Inhalation Solution, like other beta-adrenergic agonists, can produce clinically significant cardiovascular effects in some patients, as measured by heart rate, blood pressure, and symptoms. Although such effects are uncommon after administration of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution at recommended doses, if they occur, the drug may need to be discontinued. In addition, beta-agonists have been reported to produce electrocardiogram (ECG) changes, such as flattening of the t-wave, prolongation of the QTc interval, and ST segment depression. The clinical significance of these findings is unknown. Therefore, XOPENEX Inhalation Solution, like all sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and hypertension.

5.5 Do Not Exceed Recommended Dose

Do not exceed the recommended dose. Fatalities have been reported in association with excessive use of inhaled sympathomimetic drugs in patients with asthma. The exact cause of death is unknown, but cardiac arrest following an unexpected development of a severe acute asthmatic crisis and subsequent hypoxia is suspected.

5.6 Immediate Hypersensitivity Reactions

Immediate hypersensitivity reactions may occur after administration of levalbuterol or racemic albuterol. Reactions have included urticaria, angioedema, rash, bronchospasm, anaphylaxis, and oropharyngeal edema. The potential for hypersensitivity must be considered in the clinical evaluation of patients who experience immediate hypersensitivity reactions while receiving XOPENEX Inhalation Solution.

5.7 Coexisting Conditions

XOPENEX Inhalation Solution, like all sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, hypertension, and cardiac arrhythmias; in patients with convulsive disorders, hyperthyroidism, or diabetes mellitus; and in patients who are unusually responsive to sympathomimetic amines. Clinically significant changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure have been seen in individual patients and could be expected to occur in some patients after the use of any betaadrenergic bronchodilator.

Changes in blood glucose may occur. Large doses of intravenous racemic albuterol have been reported to aggravate preexisting diabetes mellitus and ketoacidosis.

5.8 Hypokalemia

As with other beta-adrenergic agonist medications, XOPENEX Inhalation Solution may produce significant hypokalemia in some patients, possibly through intracellular shunting, which has the potential to produce adverse cardiovascular effects. The decrease is usually transient, not requiring supplementation.


The following serious adverse reactions are described below and elsewhere in the labeling:

  • Paradoxical bronchospasm [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
  • Cardiovascular effects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
  • Immediate hypersensitivity reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
  • Hypokalemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]


6.2 Post-marketing Experience

In addition to the adverse reactions reported in clinical trials, the following adverse reactions have been observed in postapproval use of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. These events have been chosen for inclusion due to their seriousness, their frequency of reporting, or their likely beta-mediated mechanism: angioedema, anaphylaxis, arrhythmias (including atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, extrasystoles), asthma, chest pain, cough increased, dysphonia, dyspnea, gastrooesophageal reflux disease (GERD), metabolic acidosis, nausea, nervousness, rash, tachycardia, tremor, urticaria.

In addition, XOPENEX Inhalation Solution, like other sympathomimetic agents, can cause adverse reactions such as hypertension, angina, vertigo, central nervous system stimulation, sleeplessness, headache, and drying or irritation of the oropharynx.


7.1 Short-Acting Bronchodilators

Avoid concomitant use of other short-acting sympathomimetic bronchodilators or epinephrine in patients being treated with XOPENEX Inhalation Solution. If additional
adrenergic drugs are to be administered by any route, they should be used with caution to avoid deleterious cardiovascular effects.

7.2 Beta-blockers

Beta-adrenergic receptor blocking agents not only block the pulmonary effect of betaadrenergic agonists such as XOPENEX Inhalation Solution, but may produce severe
bronchospasm in asthmatic patients. Therefore, patients with asthma should not normally be treated with beta-blockers. However, under certain circumstances, e.g., prophylaxis after myocardial infarction, there may be no acceptable alternatives to the use of beta-adrenergic blocking agents in patients with asthma. In this setting, cardioselective beta-blockers should be considered, although they should be administered with caution.

7.3 Diuretics

The ECG changes or hypokalemia that may result from the administration of non-potassiumsparing diuretics (such as loop and thiazide diuretics) can be acutely worsened by betaagonists, especially when the recommended dose of the beta-agonist is exceeded. Although the clinical significance of these effects is not known, caution is advised in the coadmin – istration of beta-agonists with non-potassium-sparing diuretics. Consider monitoring potassium levels.

7.4 Digoxin

Mean decreases of 16% and 22% in serum digoxin levels were demonstrated after singledose intravenous and oral administration of racemic albuterol, respectively, to normal volunteers who had received digoxin for 10 days. The clinical significance of these findings for patients with obstructive airway disease who are receiving XOPENEX Inhalation Solution and digoxin on a chronic basis is unclear. Nevertheless, it would be prudent to carefully evaluate the serum digoxin levels in patients who are currently receiving digoxin and XOPENEX Inhalation Solution.

7.5 Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors or Tricyclic Antidepressants

XOPENEX Inhalation Solution should be administered with extreme caution to patients being treated with monoamine oxidase inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants, or within 2 weeks of discontinuation of such agents, because the action of levalbuterol on the vascular system may be potentiated. Consider alternative therapy in patients taking MAO inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants.


8.1 Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, XOPENEX Inhalation Solution should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

During worldwide marketing experience, various congenital anomalies, including cleft palate and limb defects, have been reported in newborns of women treated with racemic albuterol which contains the levalbuterol isomer (active drug substance of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution). However, since multiple medications were taken during some of the pregnancies and there was no consistent pattern of anomalies, it was not possible to establish a relationship between racemic albuterol use and the occurrence of these congenital anomalies.

In animal studies, oral administration of levalbuterol HCl to pregnant New Zealand White rabbits found no evidence of teratogenicity at doses up to 25 mg/kg/day (approximately 108 times the maximum recommended daily inhalation [MRDI] dose of levalbuterol HCl for adults on a mg/m2 basis).

However, other studies demonstrated that racemic albuterol sulfate was teratogenic in mice and rabbits at doses comparable to the human therapeutic range. Pregnant mice admin –
istered racemic albuterol sulfate subcutaneously had a dose-related increased incidence of cleft palate in their fetuses (4.5% of fetuses at 0.25 mg/kg/day or greater, corresponding to approximately 0.3 times the MRDI dose, 9.3% of fetuses at 2.5 mg/kg/day, approximately 3 times the MRDI dose of levalbuterol HCl for adults on a mg/m2 basis). The drug did not induce cleft palate formation when administered subcutaneously at a dose of 0.025 mg/ kg/day (approximately 0.03 times the MRDI dose of levalbuterol HCl for adults on a mg/m2 basis). In addition, oral administration of racemic albuterol sulfate to pregnant rabbits resulted in an increased incidence of cranioschisis in fetuses (approximately 215 times the MRDI dose of levalbuterol HCl for adults on a mg/m2 basis).

Non-Teratogenic Effects: A study in which pregnant rats were dosed with radiolabeled racemic albuterol sulfate demonstrated that drug-related material is transferred from the maternal circulation to the fetus.

8.2 Labor and Delivery

Because of the potential for beta-adrenergic agonists to interfere with uterine contractility, the use of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution for the treatment of bronchospasm during labor
should be restricted to those patients in whom the benefits clearly outweigh the risk.

XOPENEX Inhalation Solution has not been approved for the management of preterm labor. The benefit:risk ratio when levalbuterol HCl is administered for tocolysis has not been
established. Serious adverse reactions, including maternal pulmonary edema, have been reported during or following treatment of premature labor with beta2-agonists, including racemic albuterol.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

Plasma concentrations of levalbuterol after inhalation of therapeutic doses are very low in humans. It is not known whether levalbuterol is excreted in human milk.
Because of the potential for tumorigenicity shown for racemic albuterol in animal studies and the lack of experience with the use of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution by nursing mothers, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. Caution should be exercised when XOPENEX Inhalation Solution is administered to a nursing woman.

8.4 Pediatric Use

The safety and efficacy of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution have been established in pediatric patients 6 years of age and older in an adequate and well-controlled clinical trial [see Adverse Reactions (6) and Clinical Studies (14)]. Use of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution in children is also supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution in adults, considering that the pathophysiology, systemic exposure of the drug and clinical profile in pediatric and adult patients are substantially similar. Safety and effectiveness of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution in pediatric patients below the age of 6 years have not been established.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 years and older to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Only 5 patients 65 years of age and older were treated with XOPENEX Inhalation Solution in a 4-week clinical study [see Clinical Pharmacology (12) and Clinical Studies (14)] (n=2 for 0.63 mg and n=3 for 1.25 mg). In these patients, bronchodilation was observed after the first dose on day 1 and after 4 weeks of treatment. In general, patients 65 years of age and older should be started at a dose of 0.63 mg of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution. If clinically warranted due to insufficient bronchodilator response, the dose of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution may be increased in elderly patients as tolerated, in conjunction with frequent clinical and laboratory monitoring, to the maximum recommended daily dose [see Dosage and Administration (2)].

8.6 Renal Impairment

Albuterol is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.


The expected symptoms with overdosage are those of excessive beta-adrenergic receptor stimulation and/or occurrence or exaggeration of any of the symptoms listed under Adverse Reactions (6), e.g., seizures, angina, hypertension or hypotension, tachycardia with rates up to 200 beats/min., arrhythmias, nervousness, headache, tremor, dry mouth, palpitation, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, malaise, and sleeplessness. Hypokalemia also may occur. As with all sympathomimetic medications, cardiac arrest and even death may be associated with the abuse of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution. Treatment consists of discontinuation of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution together with appropriate symptomatic therapy. The judicious use of a cardioselective beta-receptor blocker may be considered, bearing in mind that such medication can produce bronchospasm. There is insufficient evidence to determine if dialysis is beneficial for overdosage of XOPENEX Inhalation Solution.