Give Us a Call: (608) 782-7300

Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us

Taking Bronchodilators

Bronchodilators are medicines that help open the airways (bronchial tubes) of your lungs. This lets more air flow through them. These medicines work by relaxing the smooth muscles that line the airways. This makes the airways open wider and allows air to leave the lungs. These medicines are used to ease breathing problems caused by asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and other lung diseases.


Your healthcare provider prescribed a bronchodilator for you. The name of your bronchodilator is ____________________________________________.

Guidelines for use

Follow these guidelines for using a bronchodilator:

  • Follow the fact sheet that came with your medicine. It tells you when and how to take your medicine. Ask for a sheet if you didn’t get one.

  • Tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking. This includes over-the-counter or herbal medicines.

  • Take your medicine exactly as directed.

  • Don’t take a higher dose of this medicine than prescribed. This can lead to serious side effects and even death.

  • Quit smoking. Join a stop-smoking program to improve your chances of success.

  • Don’t allow smoking in your home or around you.

  • Learn to use a peak flow meter. This device helps you check how well your condition is controlled. It can help you know if you need medical care.

  • Lower indoor humidity in your home to less than 50%. Dehumidifiers or air conditioners can help you do this.

  • Get a flu shot every year.

  • Get a pneumonia shot. Talk with your healthcare provider about which shots are right for you.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf on cold or windy days.

  • Talk with your healthcare provider if you are taking a lot of your medicine. Using too much of the medicine could mean that your asthma isn’t being controlled well. Your healthcare provider will help find the medicine that is right for you.

Possible side effects

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of these side effects. Don’t stop taking the medicine until your healthcare provider tells you to. Mild side effects are:

  • Anxiety

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Headaches 

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Nervousness or restlessness

  • Faster heart rate

  • Feeling that your heart is skipping a beat (palpitations)

  • Trembling

  • Bad taste in your mouth

  • Coughing

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Drowsiness

  • Headache

  • Sweating

  • Diarrhea

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Weakness

  • A fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Trouble breathing

Online Medical Reviewer: Alan J Blaivas DO
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN CCRC
Online Medical Reviewer: Wanda Taylor RN PhD
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2018
© 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Powered by StayWell
About StayWell | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer