Formoterol is the active ingredient of Foradil dry powder inhalation capsules
(Nappi code: 820911-003), Foratec DP-caps (Nappi code: 704175-001, 577802-004,
708079-001), Foratec HPA metered-doses inhaler (Nappi code: 710307-001) and Oxis
Turbohaler (Nappi code: 840246-005).
Formoterol is a bronchodilator. Bronchodilators are drugs that relax the
muscles around the airways, helping the airways to open up, making it easier to
In South Africa formoterol is registered for the treatment of long-term
treatment of reversible airway obstruction in asthma, chronic bronchitis and
emphysema. It is also used to prevent exercise- induced asthma.
Formoterol should not be confused with fenoterol. Its advantage over
fenoterol is that it is longer-acting.
Formoterol takes longer to start working compared to some other
bronchodilators (its effects last longer than that of most, though). Because of
this, formoterol is not intended for treating acute asthma attacks - instead, it
should be used regularly each day to keep the airways open and help prevent
Do not exceed the recommended dose. If your usual dose does not provide
relief, or if relief does not last, medical advice should be sought.
How does formoterol work?
Formoterol relaxes bronchial smooth muscle by stimulating beta2 receptors.
When fenoterol stimulates these receptors, it causes the muscles in the airways
to relax, making breathing easier.
Drug schedule: schedule 2 and schedule 4
Available as: formoterol is available as powder for inhalation
capsules, metered-dose inhaler and turbohaler.
What does it do? Formoterol widens/opens the airways to make breathing
Overdose risk: low
Dependence risk: low
Is formoterol available as a generic? yes
Is formoterol available on prescription only? no and yes
Onset of effect: within 15 minutes
Duration of action: up to 12 hours
Stopping this medicine: do not stop treatment with this drug without
consulting your doctor. The original symptoms may recur.
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:
- you have a thyroid problem
- you have diabetes
- you have a cardiovascular disease
- you have high blood pressure
- you have been diagnosed with phaeochromocytoma
- you have glaucoma
- you have liver/kidney disease
Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported.
Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect
your baby. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your
condition. Consult your doctor before use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in
children under the age of 5 years.
The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.
Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be
Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.
Possible side effects
||Consult your doctor
||Only if severe
||In all cases|
|increased blood pressure
||may reduce the affect of formoterol and worsen
||blood patassium levels may be lowered|
||blood potassium levels may be lowered|
||a dangerous rise in blood pressure may occur/ increased risk in
||increased risk of cardiac-related side-effects|
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large
overdose, seek emergency medical attention.
Adults: use twice daily as directed.
This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for
informational purposes only.
Please consult a physician for specific treatment and