Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Asthma related death: Do not stop using corticosteroid medications when formoterol is prescribed. Formoterol is not a substitute for inhaled corticosteroids. When long-acting bronchodilators, such as formoterol are used without inhaled (or oral) corticosteroids,
there is an increased likelihood of death occurring due to severe asthma symptoms.
Bronchospasm: Occasionally, inhaled medications may cause the airways to spasm and close up, making breathing even more difficult (bronchospasm) and can be life-threatening. If you experience increased difficulty breathing after using a dose of formoterol,
seek immediate medical attention.
Diabetes: Formoterol can cause increased blood glucose. If you have diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and
effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Your doctor may suggest that you increase the number of times you test your blood sugar each day, to ensure that the medication controlling your blood glucose is still effective.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: In rare cases, formoterol may cause severe dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or perform other potentially hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.
Heart rhythm: Rarely, formoterol can cause changes to the normal rhythm of the heart, including an irregular heartbeat called QT prolongation. QT prolongation is a serious life-threatening condition that can cause fainting, seizures, and sudden
death. If you are at risk for heart rhythm problems (e.g., people with heart failure, angina, low potassium or magnesium levels), discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing
and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Treatment of asthma symptoms: Formoterol is intended for the maintenance treatment of asthma only and should not be used in place of a short-acting reliever medication (a "rescue medication") for treatment of acute asthma symptoms.
Be sure you have discussed with your doctor and clearly understand what to do in the event of asthma flare-ups.
When you are using formoterol, you should only use a short-acting medication (such as salbutamol, terbutaline, or fenoterol) as instructed by your doctor, when needed for relief of breathing symptoms. If you find you need to use your short-acting inhaler
more often, your condition seems to worsen, or the relief from the formoterol doesn't last as long as it used to, call your doctor. These may be signs that your asthma is worsening, and they need to be evaluated by your doctor.
The dosage of inhaled medications should not be stopped or reduced without consulting your doctor, even if you feel better after starting treatment with formoterol.
Pregnancy: The safety of formoterol for use during pregnancy has not been established. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using inhaled formoterol, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of formoterol have not been established for use by children less than 6 years of age.