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(pirbuterol acetate) Inhalation Aerosol


The active component of MAXAIR AUTOHALER (pirbuterol acetate) is (R,S)α6-{[(1,1-dimethylethyl) amino]methyl}-3-hydroxy-2,6-pyridinedimethanol monoacetate salt, a beta-2 adrenergic bronchodilator, having the following chemical structure:

  (pirbuterol acetate) Structural Formula Illustration

Pirbuterol acetate is a white, crystalline racemic mixture of two optically active isomers. It is a powder, freely soluble in water, with a molecular weight of 300.3 and empirical formula of C12H20N2O3•C2H4O2.

MAXAIR (pirbuterol) AUTOHALER is a pressurized metered-dose aerosol unit for oral inhalation. It provides a fine-particle suspension of pirbuterol acetate in the propellant mixture of trichloromono fluoromethane and dichlorodifluoromethane, with sorbitan trioleate. Each actuation delivers 253 mcg of pirbuterol (as pirbuterol acetate) from the valve and 200 mcg of pirbuterol (as pirbuterol acetate) from the mouthpiece. The unit is breath-actuated such that the medication is delivered automatically during inspiration without the need for the patient to coordinate actuation with inspiration. Each 14.0 g canister provides 400 inhalations and each 2.8 g canister provides 80 inhalations.

As with all aerosol medications, it is recommended to prime (test) MAXAIR (pirbuterol) AUTOHALER before using for the first time. MAXAIR (pirbuterol) AUTOHALER should also be primed if it has not been used in 48 hours. As described in the priming procedure, use the test fire slide to release two priming sprays into the air away from yourself and other people. (See "Patient's Instructions For Use" portion of this package insert.)

What are the possible side effects of pirbuterol inhalation (Maxair Autohaler)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing), especially after starting a new canister of this medicine;
  • chest pain and fast, pounding, or uneven heart beats;
  • tremor, nervousness;
  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Maxair »

Last reviewed on RxList: 11/24/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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