Brovana (arformoterol tartrate)

Brovana (arformoterol tartrate) is an inhalation solution that contains a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA). Brovana is administered twice daily using a standard jet nebulizer, and is indicated for use as a long-term maintenance treatment for adults with COPD. Brovana is not a rescue therapy, meaning it is not designed to treat sudden, severe COPD symptoms. However, Brovana can be used in combination with a rescue treatment if needed to treat acute bronchospasms when necessary. Individuals with asthma or liver, cardiovascular, or convulsive disorders should not take Brovana. Overdose of Brovana or use with other LABAs may be fatal.

What are the ingredients in Brovana?

The active ingredient in Brovana is arformoterol tartrate.

How does Brovana work?

Arformoterol tartrate is a LABA. This means that it activates beta2-adrenergic receptors in the body. Activation of these receptors sets off a chain of events on a molecular level that leads to smooth muscle relaxation, including relaxation of muscles in the airways. This smooth muscle relaxation can open the airways and reduce bronchospasms. Additionally, when these muscles are relaxed, common COPD symptoms like chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing may be improved. Brovana is considered a maintenance therapy for COPD, meaning that it is used for long-term management of the condition, and not for sudden, severe symptoms or exacerbations. Rescue therapies, including medications classified as short-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists (SABAs), are used for immediate symptom relief, and can often be used alongside LABA medications when necessary. If you think you may benefit from adding a rescue medication to your maintenance therapy regimen, talk with your doctor or healthcare provider.

What are the possible side effects of Brovana?

Many clinical trials evaluated the safety and efficacy of Brovana. The most common side effects experienced by those taking Brovana include:

  • Chest pain
  • Leg cramps
  • Trouble breathing
  • Rash
  • Back pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling of the limbs
  • Lung disorder
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Sinus infection

This is not an exhaustive list of all potential side effects of Brovana. For more information, consult your doctor or healthcare provider. If you notice any new or worsening side effects, contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.

Things to note about Brovana

Individuals with asthma should not take Brovana. LABA medications, like Brovana, may increase the risk of asthma-related death. Brovana is not to be used as a rescue therapy or for immediate symptom relief. Individuals with liver impairment or a history of liver issues should use Brovana cautiously. Individuals with cardiovascular disorders, thyroid disorders, convulsive disorders, or who are sensitive to sympathomimetic drugs (stimulating medications that mimic the effects of the fight-or-flight response of the nervous system) should not take Brovana. If your symptoms or breathing difficulties worsen after taking Brovana, or if you develop increased blood pressure or irregular heartbeat, stop use immediately and seek medical attention.

Individuals who are allergic to Brovana or any of its ingredients should not use Brovana. Signs of an allergic reaction include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Swelling of the mouth, tongue, face or any other part of the body

If you notice any signs of a potential allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention.

Before starting Brovana, talk with your doctor if you:

  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have a heart condition
  • Have thyroid issues
  • Experience seizures
  • Have diabetes
  • Have asthma
  • Have liver problems
  • Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or planning to breast feed
  • Have any other health condition
  • Are taking any other LABA medication or mediation for your COPD
  • Are taking any other vitamin, medication, or supplement

Brovana may be impacted by other medications, as well as affect the way other medications work. Your doctor will be able to tell you if any medications you are currently on fall into these categories or if they might impact your treatment with Brovana. Pregnant or nursing mothers should not use Brovana, as it is not known if the medication will impact a developing fetus or if Brovana is excreted through breast milk.

Dosing information

Brovana typically comes in a ready-to-use vial, and two vials are taken each day (one in the morning and one at night). Each vial contains 15mcg of Brovana per 2 mL of solution. The medication is inhaled via a nebulizer machine. Do not attempt to swallow or inject the medication, or mix other medications with Brovana in your nebulizer machine. Your doctor or healthcare team will confirm your dosage and administration schedule with you. It is important to follow their instructions exactly. If you take too much Brovana, seek medical attention immediately. No more than two vials should be taken daily. If you miss a dose, skip that dose and take your next dosage at your regular time. Two doses should never be taken at once.1

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Brovana1.

Written by: Casey Hribar | Last reviewed: April 2018.
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