Pirbuterol comes as an aerosol to inhale by mouth. It is usually taken as 1 to 2 puffs every 4 to 6 hours as needed to relieve symptoms or every 4 to 6 hours to prevent symptoms. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use pirbuterol exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Do not use more than 12 puffs in 24 hours.
Pirbuterol controls symptoms of asthma and other lung diseases but does not cure them. Do not stop using pirbuterol without talking to your doctor.
Before you use the pirbuterol inhaler the first time, read the written instructions that come with it. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist to demonstrate the proper technique. Practice using the inhaler while in his or her presence.
The pirbuterol inhaler should be primed (tested) before you use it the first time and any time it has not been used for 48 hours. To prime the inhaler, follow these steps:
- Remove the mouthpiece cover by pulling down the lip on the back of the cover.
- Point the mouthpiece away from yourself and other people so that the priming sprays will go into the air.
- Push the lever up so it stays up.
- Push the white test fire slide on the bottom of the mouthpiece in the direction indicated by the arrow on the test fire slide. A priming spray will be released.
- To release a second priming spray, return the lever to its down position and repeat steps 2-4.
- After the second priming spray is released, return the lever to its down position.
To use the inhaler, follow these steps:
- Remove the mouthpiece cover by pulling down the lip on the back of the cover. Make sure there are no foreign objects in the mouthpiece.
- Hold the inhaler upright so that the arrows point up. Then raise the lever so that it snaps into place and stays up.
- Hold the inhaler around the middle and shake gently several times.
- Continue to hold the inhaler upright and exhale (breathe out) normally.
- Seal your lips tightly around the mouthpiece and inhale (breathe in) deeply through the mouthpiece with steady force. You will hear a click and feel a soft puff when the medicine is released. Do not stop when you hear and feel the puff; continue to take a full, deep breath.
- Take the inhaler away from you mouth, hold your breath for 10 seconds, then exhale slowly.
- Continue to hold the inhaler upright while lowering the lever. Lower the lever after each inhalation.
- If your doctor has told you to take more than one inhalation, wait 1 minute and then repeat steps 2-7.
- When you have finished using the inhaler, make sure the lever is down and replace the mouthpiece cover.