Metaproterenol (Inhalation)

Metaproterenol is an adrenergic bronchodilator that is inhaled to open the bronchial tubes in the lungs.


Metaproterenol is inhaled in the treatment of asthma and bronchospasms. Patients with bronchitis, emphysema and other diseases of the lungs will use this medication.

It works to open the bronchial tubes in the lungs to enable the patient to breathe more effectively. In doing so it is able to relieve coughing, wheezing, troubled breathing and shortness of breath.

Metaproterenol is an adrenergic bronchodilator that is inhaled through a special inhaler. It is available only with a prescription from a doctor and is provided as an Alupent solution, aerosol powder or aerosol liquid.

Condition treated

  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Other lung diseases

Type Of Medicine

  • Adrenergic bronchodilator

Side Effects

As well as relieving the symptoms of lung diseases, Metaproterenol can also cause unwanted side effects to occur in patients. While not all of these side effects may occur, where they do the patient may need to seek medical attention for treatment.

You should check with your doctor immediately if you experience the following side effects from your use of Metaproterenol:
Occurring more commonly:

  • Irregularity of heartbeat or pulse
  • Increased heartbeat or pulse

Occurring less commonly:

  • Worsening of asthma
  • Trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • Shakiness of the legs, arms, hands or feet

Occurring only rarely:

  • Vomiting
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Swelling
  • Sweating
  • Sore throat
  • Slow or fast heartbeat
  • Shivering
  • Runny nose
  • Puffiness of the face and fingers
  • Pounding in the ears
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Loss of appetite
  • Joint pain
  • Increased sweating
  • Headache
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • Fever
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Chest pain
  • Blurring of vision

It is also possible to suffer from an overdose of this medication. If you believe that you or anyone else has suffered an overdose of this medication then you should contact the emergency services straight away. The symptoms of overdose from this medication include the following:

  • Unable to sleep
  • Sleeplessness
  • Shortness of breath
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness or faintness when rising quickly from sitting or lying
  • Confusion
  • Chest tightness or heaviness
  • Chest discomfort
  • Arm, back, or jaw pain

Other side effects can also occur that do not normally require that you seek attention of a medical professional for treatment. These side effects will often abate over time with use and are usually mild. They also do not normally indicate the presence of other wider medical problems that may occur. If these side effects are bothersome or ongoing, however, then you should inform your doctor and seek advice on how to alleviate them:
Occurring less commonly:

  • Abdominal or stomach pain

Occurring only rarely:

  • Weakness
  • Tightening of the muscles
  • Raised red swellings on the skin, lips, tongue, or in the throat
  • Pain
  • Itching skin
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Drowsiness
  • Change in appetite
  • Bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste

Other side effects from the use of Metaproterenol could also occur that have not been listed herein. These side effects should be reported to your doctor if they occur and you should seek advice on how to react. If your believe your immediate health to be at risk, however, then you should contact the emergency services.


This medication should only ever be used as you have been directed to use it by your doctor. You should not use it more often than directed nor in higher doses than you have been ordered to. You should also not stop use without first discussing this with your doctor.

Metaproterenol is taken with a special inhaler that will come with specific instructions for it's use. You should follow the instructions for use closely and should ask your doctor if you are unsure about what to do. You should also have the doctor check use periodically to ensure that the proper use is being practiced and to ensure the correct dose is being given.

To use the inhaler follow these steps:

  • Remove the cap from the inhaler before beginning use of this treatment.
  • If the inhaler has not been used for a few days and when first using it you will need to prime the inhaler. To do this you should point the inhaler away from you and spray 4 sprays into the air. Shake the inhaler well before each spray.
  • Shake inhaler again before use.
  • Before inhalation you must breathe out fully to empty the lungs of all air.
  • Once your lungs are empty you should seal your lips around the mouthpiece and ensure your tongue is not blocking the mouthpiece.
  • Press down on the top of the medication and then breathe in as deeply as you can through the mouth and inhaler.
  • Once you have taken a deep breath you should remove the mouthpiece and hold your breath for 10 seconds before breathing out slowly. Do not ever breath out into the inhaler.
  • If you are supposed to take more than one dose of this medication then you should wait for 2 minutes before taking the second dose.
  • Wash the inhaler mouthpiece with warm water at least once a week. Dry thoroughly before replacing the cap.
  • Always replace the cap of the inhaler after use.
  • Rinse your mouth out and gargle after use. Doing so will help you to avoid infection and irritation of the throat. Do not swallow the water after rinsing your mouth.

The dose of this medication will differ from patient to patient and will be dependent on your personal medical condition. You should not take it otherwise than you have been instructed and should never use any other treatment. The following information is based on average doses only and should not ever be used to adjust your dose of this medication:

Adults and teenagers should use 2-3 inhalations ever 3-4 hours as is required. Patients should not ever exceed 12 inhalations in a day, however.

Children younger than 12 should not use this medication and alternative treatments are available.

If a dose of this medication is missed then you should take it as soon as possible if required. You should not ever take a double dose of this medication.


Certain medications should never be used together. This is because they can interact with one another in the body and this can cause serious unwanted side effects to occur. In some cases the results may be life-threatening. In other cases the side effects experienced may increase and medications may prevent one another from working.

To avoid medication interactions it is important that you inform your doctor of all other medications that you are taking before you begin use. This includes all other prescribed treatments, over the counter medications and any other substances that you use.

The use of Metaproterenol with the following medication is not normally recommended. In some cases they may be used together but the dose and frequency of use may be changed to reduce the interaction:

  • Pixantrone
  • Nadroparin
  • Iobenguane I 123
  • Bemiparin

Metaproterenol could also interact with certain other medications that are not listed herein. This list has been compiled for severity and may not be all-inclusive. Ensure that you inform your doctor of all other medications that you are taking before use.

Certain medical problems can also prohibit the use of medications. This is because they may affect the results of treatment or may be worsened by use. You should tell your doctor of all medical conditions from which you are suffering before you begin treatment. This is especially important if you are suffering from any of the following:
These conditions may be worsened by use:

Patients with the following conditions should not be treated with Metaproterenol:

Metaproterenol use may also be affected by other medical conditions not listed herein. You must ensure that your doctor is aware of all conditions from which you suffer before you receive treatment with Metaproterenol.


Before you begin use of Metaproterenol you will need to consider the risks of use in relation to the benefits of the treatment. You should make the decision to use medication with your doctor and should ensure that the following has all been taken into account:

Allergies' Inform your doctor of any and all allergies you have suffered from. This is especially important if you have ever had a bad or unusual reaction to any medication in the past. In some cases allergies may prohibit use.

Pediatric'This medication is not recommended for use in children aged 12 or below. The safety and efficiency of use below this age has not been established.

Geriatric 'There is no information available about any limitations to use in elderly patients. Elderly patients are, however, more likely to suffer from other conditions that may limit use of this treatment.

Pregnancy 'There is a risk to the use of this medication during pregnancy. This risk has been categorized as a category C risk in all trimesters. You must inform your doctor before use if you are pregnant. If you think you may become pregnant then you must also inform your doctor. If you believe that you have become pregnant during use then inform your doctor.

Breastfeeding' You should inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding and discuss continuation. You should consider the benefits of continuing in relation to the risks to the infant.

It is important that your doctor is able to check up on you regularly while you are using this medication. Your progress will need to be monitored and dosing and medications may need to be changed. Your doctor will also check for any unwanted side effects and signs of complications that may be occurring.

This medication can cause you to suffer a paradoxical bronchospasm. This can be life-threatening and should be treated immediately. Inform your doctor straight away if you are suffering the following symptoms after use:

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing

You should consult your doctor if you do not notice an improvement from the use of this medication or if your condition begins to worsen with use.

Do not ever change medication, use or dose without first talking to your doctor. To do so will put you in serious risk.

Do not use any other medications in conjunction with this treatment. This includes all prescribed medications, over the counter treatment, herbal remedies and nutritional supplements. Any such use should be discussed with your doctor before hand.


You should store this medication at room temperature. Keep it out of direct light and prevent from freezing. You should not keep your inhaler in your car as it will be exposed to extremes of temperature and may explode.

Even when a canister is empty you should not heat, cool or puncture it. Doing so can cause serious injury to occur.

You should store this medication out of the reach of children at all times.

Ask your healthcare professional how to dispose of any unwanted medication and do so promptly and safely.


Metaproterenol is used in the treatment of lung diseases including asthma. It works to open the bronchial tubes in the lungs to allow easier breathing and to prevent symptoms such as coughing and wheezing from occurring.

Metaproterenol is administered with a special inhaler and should be used only as directed. To use the inhaler the patient must expel all of the air from their lungs and then breath the medication in before holding their breath. You will be taught how to take this medication and will regularly be checked by your doctor during checkups to ensure that you are taking the medication correctly.

You should not take any other medications with this treatment unless they have been approved by your doctor. To do so will put you at serious risk of complications. You must also always be careful not to use too much of this medication. You should not exceed 12 inhalations of the medication in any day. There is a risk of suffering from overdose if you do use too much of this medication.