Xopenex HFA (hydrofluoroalkane) is an aerosol inhaler that is prescribed to treat or prevent bronchospasms in children as young as four years old up to adults that require a fast-acting medication to relieve symptoms of wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness that can occur with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Although Xopenex (zo-pen-ex) HFA works quickly to relieve your breathing difficulties, you will still need a longer lasting medication that can help decrease the number of asthma attacks and bouts of breathing difficulties you experience.
Xopenex HFA or generic Levalbuterol is a beta agonist that interacts with the beta-2 receptors located on the surface of the muscle cells where it causes the smooth muscle cells in your bronchial tubes to relax. This action eases your breathing during an asthma attack or if you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
COPD is the collective term for a number of lung diseases that cause breathing problems. The two most common are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema is the permanent damage done to the air sacs in your lungs where oxygen from the air is exchanged for carbon dioxide in your blood. This can result in holes in the tissues of the lower lungs so your lungs cannot transfer sufficient oxygen to your bloodstream, causing a shortness of breath.
Chronic bronchitis refers to the inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes that will eventually cause scarring. Your air flow becomes impeded as this lining thickens; there is excessive mucus, and a cough develops. Smoking is the biggest cause of both emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Tell your doctor about other medical conditions you have that could interfere with using Xopenex HFA, such as pregnancy/nursing, diabetes, or heart problems. List any Rx drugs and OTC meds you currently take or use and include herbal and vitamin supplements as combining medications can change how Xopenex HFA will work in your body or cause unwanted side effects. Xopenex HFA or generic Levalbuterol is not a cure for these lung conditions, but you will be able to breathe easier and attend to your everyday tasks and reduce time lost from work or school.
You should keep Xopenex HFA with you at all times for unexpected breathing difficulties. If you experience itching, skin rash or swelling, or feel your airways have narrowed, seek immediate medical attention as this may be an indication of a hypersensitivity reaction to the ingredients of Xopenex HFA.