There are a number of products on the market that have been developed to treat asthma attacks and COPD. Xopenex and Albuterol are two well known and often used prescription bronchodilators that are inhaled to promote the dilation of airways. These prescription medications are for the temporary relief of asthma and COPD. They in no way cure these diseases. There has been an ongoing debate over Xopenex vs. Albuterol. The debate is over which one is better and which one produces fewer side effects. These medications are administered in products that are called nebulizers or atomizers. These are devices that vaporize liquid medications into a fine mist that is inhaled into the lungs using a mouth piece.
According to studies that have been done people can react identically to the medication in the nebulizers for Xopenex vs. Albuterol. However, Albuterol can raise the heart rate more than Xopenex. When it comes to the decision over which is better, Xopenex vs. Albuterol, Xopenex is most often chosen by physicians with patients who have a history of heart arrhythmias. This is because it is thought that Xopenex affects the β1-adrenergic receptors in the heart less directly. The medications in both products can produce a rapid heart beat and jitteriness. Most pediatricians will also prescribe Xopenex for their pediatric patients who have asthma and who experience hyperactivity or jitteriness when taking Albuterol.
Both Xopenex and Albuterol have the exact same active ingredient which is the “R” enantiomer molecule. An inactive “S” enantiomer molecule is also in Albuterol and is not included in Xopenex. Xopenex has only one-fourth the racemic dose of the “R” enantiomer molecule as Albuterol. Xenopex is a bronchodilator inhaler that was approved by the food and drug administration in 2005. Albuterol is an older medication and is much less expensive than Xopenex. Since Xopenex is prescribed in lower dosages it will produce less side effects so the argument is more favorable for Xopenex vs. Albuterol.
The normal side effects for Albuterol include cough, headache, nausea, nervousness, sinus inflammation, sore or dry throat, tremor, trouble sleeping, unusual taste in the mouth, vomiting, seizure, nosebleed, increased appetite, diarrhea and stomach pain. The side normal effects for Xopenex are dizziness, dry mouth, nervousness, runny or stuffy nose, sore or dry throat, and tremor. A severe allergic reaction to these medications will require immediate medical advice. Sever reactions include rash, hive, itching, difficulty breathing, swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, worsening wheezing, coughing or trouble breathing, severe headaches or dizziness, sudden shortness of breath or unusual hoarseness. If any of these symptoms develop the patient should contact his or her doctor.
Pregnant women should not use Xopenex or Albuterol because the effects on an unborn baby are not known. Nursing mothers should not use these medications either. Xopenex is not approved for use in children who are younger than 6. Patients who have heart disease, diabetes, seizures or hypothyroidism may not be able to use these medications. Patients who have heart disease, high blood pressure, epilepsy, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease or difficulty in swallowing should not take Albuterol. You should always consult with your medical doctor about any medication or health conditions you have before using Xopenex or Albuterol. Your physician will weigh the risks regarding Xopenex vs. Albuterol and prescribe the best medication for you.
When it comes to comparing the price of Xopenex vs. Albuterol, Albuterol is much cheaper. This is also one reason for the debate regarding the controversy over this medication. Medicare may not pay for Xopenex. The bottom line is that both medications are similar if efficacy only Xopenex is more expensive and Albuterol raises the heart rate more.
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