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Arformoterol (By breathing)

Arformoterol (ar-for-MOE-ter-ol)

Treats breathing problems caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This medicine is a bronchodilator.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to arformoterol or formoterol. Do not use this medicine during an acute COPD attack. Do not use this medicine by itself to treat asthma. You should only use indacaterol for asthma if you also use another medicine to control your asthma.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • You will use this medicine with a jet nebulizer connected to an air compressor. Do not open a sealed foil pouch until you are ready to use it. Do not swallow or inject the solution. Twist the top of the vial to open the medicine. Squeeze all of it into the nebulizer reservoir, then connect it to the mouthpiece or face mask. Connect the nebulizer to the compressor.
  • To inhale the medicine, place the mouthpiece in your mouth, then turn on the compressor. Breathe in deeply and steadily until no more mist is formed in the nebulizer reservoir. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes for each treatment.
  • Clean the nebulizer after each use.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in its foil pouch inside the refrigerator. You may also keep the unopened foil pouches at room temperature, away from heat or direct light for up to 6 weeks. Throw away any unused medicine after 6 weeks.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use arformoterol together with similar inhaled medicines, including budesonide/formoterol, formoterol, indacaterol, salmeterol, or salmeterol/fluticasone.
  • Some medicines can affect how arformoterol works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Aminophylline, theophylline
    • Beta-blocker medicine (including atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol)
    • Diuretic (water pill)
    • Medicine to treat depression (including an MAO inhibitor, TCAs)
    • Steroid medicine (including dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone)

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, heart or blood vessel disease, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, seizures, thyroid problems, diabetes, or electrolyte imbalance.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Increased risk of worsening asthma, which may lead to hospitalization, intubation, and death in patients with asthma who take this medicine without an inhaled steroid
    • Paradoxical bronchospasm (trouble breathing right after use), which can be life-threatening
    • High blood pressure
    • Heart rhythm problems
    • High blood sugar levels
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using any other medicine for your COPD. Your doctor may want you to use your other medicine only during a severe COPD attack.
  • Do not use arformoterol if you are having a severe COPD attack or if symptoms of a COPD attack has already started. Your doctor may prescribe another medicine for you to use in case of an acute COPD attack. If the other medicine does not work as well, tell your doctor right away.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Confusion, drowsiness, restlessness, or fast, deep breathing
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, hunger, or urination, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting
  • Increased troubled breathing
  • Seizures or tremors

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Back pain
  • Diarrhea

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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