Racepinephrine

What is racepinephrine?

Racepinephrine is a bronchodilator used for the temporary relief of mild, intermittent asthma symptoms, including shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing. It is available over-the-counter (OTC) as an inhaled solution delivered via a handheld device known as an atomizer. Racepinephrine works by relaxing inflamed muscles and functionally enlarging the airways of the lung.

OTC medicines containing racepinephrine should only be used by people who have been properly diagnosed with mild, intermittent asthma by a doctor. It is not a replacement for prescription asthma treatments. Patients with more severe asthma should not rely on medicines containing racepinephrine and should work with their doctor to ensure an appropriate treatment plan for their condition.

What is racepinephrine used to treat?

  • Symptoms of mild, intermittent asthma
Common brands containing racepinephrine:
  • Asthmanefrine
  • EpiMist

How much racepinephrine can you take?

Do not use medicines containing racepinephrine unless you have been properly diagnosed with mild, intermittent asthma by a doctor. Products containing racepinephrine may have different strengths. It is always important to read and follow the Drug Facts label.

Safety guide for racepinephrine

Racepinephrine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label.

Ask a healthcare provider before use if:

  • You have been hospitalized for asthma.
  • You have a history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, or narrow angle glaucoma.
  • You have experienced seizures.
  • You have experienced a psychiatric or emotional condition.
  • You have trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate gland.
  • You are taking prescription drugs for asthma, obesity, weight control, depression, or psychiatric or emotional conditions.
  • You are taking any drug that contains phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, or caffeine (such as for allergies, cough-cold, or pain).
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • Before giving to a child under 4 years old.

Do not use if:

  • You have not been diagnosed with mild, intermittent asthma by a doctor.
  • You are allergic to racepinephrine.
  • You are taking a prescription monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (certain drugs taken for depression, psychiatric or emotional conditions, or Parkinson’s disease) or for 2 weeks after stopping the MAOI drug. If you do not know if your prescription drug contains an MAOI, ask a doctor or pharmacist.
  • You consume foods or beverages that contain caffeine.
  • You take dietary supplements containing ingredients reported or claimed to have a stimulant effect.

Stop use and ask a doctor if:

  • You are not better in 20 minutes or are getting worse.
  • You need 12 inhalations in any day.
  • You use more than 9 inhalations a day for more than 3 days a week.
  • You have more than 2 asthma attacks in a week.
  • You have difficulty sleeping.
  • You have a rapid heartbeat.
  • You have tremors, nervousness, or seizure.
  • You take too much. Immediately contact a healthcare provider or the poison control national helpline at 800.222.1222.

What are the possible side effects of racepinephrine?

  • Chronic trouble sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Feeling weak
  • Head pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Involuntary quivering
  • Loss of skin color