People living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are known to have breathing difficulties. Their respiratory conditions may show up as wheezing, panting or gasping. Medications need to be administered at the appropriate time; a delayed treatment plan may only cause serious damages to your lungs. Soon, your breathing condition i.e., if left untreated, may impair other essential organs such as heart, brain, kidneys, etc. In this light, levalbuterol hydrochloride is a commonly used drug. It belongs to a class of meds known as bronchodilators. What is the mechanism of action of this drug? It is essential to know more details before starting your treatment plan.

Drugs that are capable of widening the pathways of air you respire by dilating them are known as bronchodilators. Widened airways do help easing up your breathing cycles; also, this action serves well to eliminate extra presence of mucus in air channels. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – in short – COPD, is a widely known reason which triggers respiratory conditions. These conditions can be of multiple types namely bronchial asthma, asthma, bronchitis, etc. – to name a few. Upon incidence of any of these COPD variants, you are likely to witness shallow respiratory cycles. You may need to exert your system to provide adequate supply of air (oxygen).

No two people who have COPD are known to witness a very same level of stress in their lungs. Regardless of the intensity of your breathing condition, people with COPD may experience a gradual and steady impairment of lungs, brain and cardiac function. Your doctor is more likely to administer drugs categorized under a class of meds known as bronchodilators.
Mechanism of action – Levalbuterol hydrochloride

Key chemicals of levalbuterol hydrochloride are capable of providing relief from congestion and other respiratory disorders. The drug acts very fast and hence is known for relaxing the tissues of your lungs in a rapid manner. Essentially, bronchodilators such as levalbuterol ease your airways and thus make breathing an easy task to perform. Dosage strength of this drug varies from one patient to another. In general, dosage plan is influenced by your age, weight, how acute is your breathing condition, presence of other ailments, if any, etc.

Some people may exhibit discomforts and allergies upon using drugs such as levalbuterol hydrochloride. It is essential to tell your treating physician of prior hypersensitivity and allergies towards bronchodilators. Those who are allergic may find it difficult to tolerate the key chemicals of this drug. Owing to this, how your body responds to the first few doses determines the strength of dosages as well as how long this medication needs to be taken i.e., duration of your treatment. You are advised to remember that levalbuterol hydrochloride is not an over the counter (OTC) drug. Hence, its intake is always under the clinical supervision and care of an experienced medical practitioner and / or a chest physician.

Doctors are increasingly administering this drug as it is not addictive or habit forming. However, it is a safe practice to understand the various adverse reactions and undesired side effects this bronchodilator is likely to cause. A few commonly encountered side effects are development of sleep-related problems such as irregular sleep cycles, insomnia or sleeplessness, frequent spells of dehydration, drying up of skin, mouth accompanied by persistent spells of thirstiness. A few users have also reported tremors, mild shaking, twitching of muscles, spasms or overall weakness. Most of the aforesaid side effects may disappear over a few days into your medication plan. If one or more of these adverse effects or discomforts persist, talk to your treating doctor / caregiving team.

Mechanism of action of levalbuterol hydrochloride – A few more pointers

This bronchodilator is generally considered as a safe drug to use. But, it may cause some distress if taken along with a few other medications. Due to such risks, it is a good practice to share inputs about present medication plans as well as treatment plans that you are currently pursuing. Better still, it is a safe thing to give details of dosages and strengths of doses of all meds; while sharing such details, include prescription meds, over the counter drugs, supplements of minerals, proteins or vitamins, herbal medications, dietary aids.

If your current medication plan (or treatment plans) include the intake of bronchodilators – like metaproterenol, albuterol, or, salmeterol, you must consult with your caregiver of such plans. This is quite essential as use of multiple forms of bronchodilator simultaneously can cause an overdosed condition. How to know if you are overdosed? You can find out from a few distinctive symptoms such as excessive levels of dizziness, being giddy, episodes of dehydration, slowing of motor function, inflammation of facial parts or swelling of oral organs. In some cases, a severe spell of shallow breathing has also been witnessed.

Mechanism of action of levalbuterol hydrochloride is efficient only when congestion of airways and breathing disorders exist. Hence, it is a dangerous practice to use this medication when one is not witnessing breathing problems. Those who used levalbuterol hydrochloride when there was no breathing difficulties saw their heartbeats turning rapid, pulse rates becoming abnormal, an acute increase in overall acidity levels, etc. Owing to acid-increasing potential of this drug, it is seldom prescribed to women who are pregnant. Regardless of the term of pregnancy, caregivers generally keep away from prescribing this med onto pregnant women. The ill-effects of this drug on the fetus have not been properly studied. So, if you are already pregnant and if your medication plan includes levalbuterol hydrochloride, talk to your caregiving team to seek safer alternatives.

The mechanism of action of levalbuterol hydrochloride may also cause a few problems to women who are breastfeeding or nursing a newly born infant. It is suspected that key chemicals of levalbuterol hydrochloride may get into breastmilk. Babies who feed on such milk are known to witness sleeping difficulties, restlessness as well as feeding problems. Chances of developing withdrawal symptoms such as incessant crying are quite high among newly born babies. It is hence highly recommended to consult with your treating physician before beginning to use levalbuterol hydrochloride.

Levalbuterol is never prescribed with antibiotics or antimicrobial medications like ketoconazole, amoxicillin, ritonavir, clarithromycin (a popular antibacterial drug) to name a few. Moreover, people who have witnessed prior episodes of allergies or hypersensitivity to active ingredients of this med need to keep their caregiving team updated of these prior conditions. In this light, it becomes important to tell your physician of other prior ailments, if any. Those who have had a recent heart failure or a cardiac arrest, including pain in the chest region or tachycardia, an abnormally high level of blood pressure or hypertension, etc., are advised to keep their physician abreast of these conditions. Such precautions apply to those who are living with epilepsy / convulsions; as an extended precaution and as a safety measure, people with renal dysfunction must tell the caregiver of kidney related problems – especially, experiencing pain while urinating or an altered discharge of urine.

As high levels of giddiness or drowsiness are a common side effect of levalbuterol hydrochloride, it is extremely unsafe to perform activities that need focus or concentration. Owing to this, it is unsafe to work on heavy machines, drive vehicles and engage in sporting actions such as cycling or jumping.

Those who missed a dose of levalbuterol hydrochloride must refrain from taking a double dose to make up for the dose they missed. Instead, skip the missed dose and proceed ahead with your next dosage. Those who took two doses at the same time experienced breathing difficulties, swelling of body parts, hives, itchiness and a few other discomforts. Also, if you notice adverse conditions such as acute giddiness, toxicity and drowsiness, seek medical help from a local healthcare setting such as a clinic or hospital.

Precautions to be aware of

Levalbuterol may lead to a sudden spike in your blood pressure level; diastolic and systolic count may hover in the range of 95/150 or more. It is hence a safe practice to check your blood pressure on a regular basis. Upon witnessing chronic spells of chest pain or angina, erratic pulse rates and abnormal heartbeats, it is a good practice to seek safer alternatives. Last but not least, key ingredients of this med are likely to work adversely when taken with anesthetic meds. Hence, those who intend to have a surgical intervention or a dental treatment must tell their caregiving team of their current medication plans. Most likely, your surgeon / dentist may advise stopping the intake of this med at least for 2 weeks prior to your surgical / dental intervention.

In sum, levalbuterol hydrochloride is administered to provide relief from respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchitis as well as bronchial asthma. This med is widely prescribed to those living with COPD conditions and related breathing problems. In essence, bronchodilators such as levalbuterol relax your airways to make respiration an easy task. Always remember that this is not an over the counter med; its dosage strength depends on body weight, your age, incidence of other disorders, if any as well as based on how well your body responds to the first few doses of levalbuterol hydrochloride. It is a safe practice to take this drug as per the instructions of your treating doctor.

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