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Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0

Bronchodilator, Inhaled

What are other names for this medication?

Some trade names for this medication are Proventil, Ventolin, and Maxair. Serevent is a long-acting form.

What does this drug do?

This drug relaxes the muscles of the airways. It prevents and relieves bronchospasm, including exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB), in children with asthma. Serevent is a long-acting bronchodilator and takes 20 minutes for onset of action.

How is it taken?

This medication may be taken as a fine spray (nebulized) or from a metered-dose inhaler (MDI).

What is the usual dose?

The most common nebulizer dose is 1.25 to 2.5 mg (0.25 to 0.5 ml) mixed with 2 ml of water or saline.

The most common dose from a short-acting metered-dose inhaler is two puffs, which should be repeated no more often than every 4 hours with approval from your child's physician. The common dosage of Serevent is two puffs every 12 hours.

A dose of short-acting bronchodilators, such as Ventolin and Proventil, may be taken 5 to 15 minutes before exercise. If you are taking Serevent, you may take a dose of it 30 to 60 minutes before you start exercising, but then do not take another dose for at least 12 hours.

What side effects can this drug cause?

The most common side effects are tremors or shakiness, feelings of nervousness, and a brief period of feeling the heart beat rapidly.

What special instructions should be followed?

Do not increase the number of treatments to greater than ________ within a 24-hour period without checking with your doctor. A need for treatments more often than this or continuing symptoms that are not completely relieved by treatment indicate worsening of acute asthma. If this happens, call your doctor.

Serevent should NOT be used to treat acute symptoms or symptoms that occur between twice-a-day dosing. Other inhaled bronchodilators should be used for acute episodes of wheezing and or cough.

Your prescribed dose of inhaled _____________________ is _______ ml mixed with ______________ and given by nebulizer ____ times a day, or ______ puffs of _______________ taken from a metered-dose inhaler ____ times a day.

Written by the Asthma Task Force at The Children's Hospital, Denver.
Copyright 1999 Clinical Reference Systems