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A Guide to the Primatene Asthma Mist Inhaler

written by: Vasanth • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 1/24/2011

The Primatene asthma mist inhaler is used to treat asthma attacks. The active ingredient is epinephrine. The side effects of the inhaler include sleeplessness, increased blood pressure and rapid heart rate. This inhaler shouldn't be used while taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

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    Indications

    The Primatene asthma mist inhaler is designed to treat symptoms of asthma. It provides temporary relief from wheezing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath. If the symptoms do not improve within 20 minutes or if the symptoms get worse it is recommended to see a doctor. You should also seek medical attention if your asthma attacks become more frequent.

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    Ingredients

    The active ingredient in Primatene Mist is epinephrine (0.22 mg). It is designed to open the airways within the lungs. The inactive ingredients include ascorbic acid, dichlorotetrafluoroethane (CFC 114), dichlorodifluoromethane (CFC 12), citric acid, hydrochloric acid, dehydrated alcohol (34%) and water (purified).

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    Side Effects

    There are several side effects associated with Primatene Mist. Nervousness and sleeplessness are common. Increased blood pressure and rapid heart rate are two side effects which can become serious. It can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Tremors and seizures are also possible.

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    Precautions

    While using the inhaler, avoid stimulants such as caffeine. Some dietary supplements and power drinks should be avoided. Before using the inhaler, inform your doctor about medical conditions that could be affected such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, narrow angle glaucoma and an enlarged prostate.

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    Drug Interactions

    Certain drugs can interact with Primatene Mist. Any monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) can have serious interactions with this medication. It is recommended to avoid using the inhaler while taking an MAOI. After stopping the MAOI, wait at least two weeks before using the inhaler.

    If you are taking prescription drugs for asthma, weight control or psychiatric or emotional conditions like depression, it is important to inform your doctor before using the Primatene inhaler.

    Let your doctor know if you are taking drugs that contain phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, ephedrine or caffeine. These chemicals are usually found in allergy medications, cough drops and pain medications.

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    Directions

    It is important to use the Primatene inhaler properly. It is designed for oral inhalation. When experiencing symptoms of asthma, take one inhalation from the inhaler. Wait one minute and see if the symptoms persist. If breathing is still difficult, take another inhalation. Do not take another inhalation for another three hours. The inhaler can be used by children that are at least four years old. For children under four, ask a doctor before using.

    The Primatene asthma mist inhaler should be stored in a safe environment. The optimum temperature for storage is 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not store the inhaler near an open flame or in temperatures above 120 degrees Fahrenheit because it may burst. Also, since the inhaler is pressurized, it shouldn't be punctured.

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    Reference

    1. "Primatene Asthma Mist Inhaler w/Mouthpiece." Rite Aid Online Store. http://www.riteaidonlinestore.com/primatene-asthma-mist-inhaler-wmouthpiece/qxp208248

    2. "Primatene Asthma Mist Inhaler Refill." Drugstore. http://www.drugstore.com/primatene-asthma-mist-inhaler-refill/qxp208249