How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Orciprenaline belongs to a class of medications known as bronchodilators. It is used to relieve symptoms associated with asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung conditions. It works by opening the airways, making breathing easier.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each mL of clear, grape-flavoured syrup contains orciprenaline sulfate 2 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: artificial grape flavour, edetate disodium dihydrate, glycerin, hydroxyethyl cellulose, methylparaben, propylparaben, purified water, sorbitol, and sulfuric acid.

How should I use this medication?

The usual adult dose is 10 mL 3 or 4 times daily. Children 4 to 12 years old should take 5 mL 3 times daily; children over 12 years should take 10 mL 3 times daily. Your doctor may recommend different doses, depending on circumstances.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use this medication if you:

  • are allergic to orciprenaline or any ingredients of this medication
  • are taking beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol)
  • have abnormal heart rhythms associated with a racing heartbeat
  • have hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • dizziness
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • headache
  • nervousness
  • sweating
  • tremors
  • trouble sleeping

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • chest pain
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • fast heartbeat
  • hives
  • increase in blood pressure
  • irregular heartbeat
  • mental problems
  • muscle cramps or pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • trouble urinating
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • hoarseness
  • large, hive-like swellings on eyelids, face, genitals, hands or feet, lips, throat, or tongue
  • sudden trouble with swallowing or breathing
  • tightness in throat

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Asthma control: Like other medications used for relief of asthma-related breathing problems, do not use orciprenaline on a daily basis without using appropriate anti-inflammatory therapy on a regular basis.

If you make increasing use of orciprenaline to control breathing problems, (i.e., using it on a regular basis or in high amounts), this indicates that your asthma control is deteriorating. Under these conditions, your therapy plan needs revision. It is not enough simply to increase the use of rescue medications such as orciprenaline under these circumstances, especially over extended periods of time.

If therapy does not produce a significant improvement or if your condition gets worse, seek medical advice to determine a new plan of treatment. In the case of sudden or rapidly worsening breathing trouble, consult a doctor immediately.

Breathing difficulties: Occasionally, people may develop unexpected breathing difficulties with excessive use of the inhaler. If this happens to you, see a doctor at once.

Medical conditions: Orciprenaline has been shown to have minimal effect on blood pressure and pulse. It should be used with care, however, if you have:

  • asthma or emphysema along with high blood pressure
  • coronary artery disease
  • recent heart attack
  • acute and recurring congestive heart failure
  • diabetes
  • glaucoma
  • overactive thyroid

Pregnancy: Orciprenaline should not be taken by women who are or may become pregnant unless, in the opinion of their doctor, the expected benefits outweigh the possible risks. If you are or may be pregnant, talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of the medication.

Breast-feeding: It is not known whether orciprenaline passes into breast milk. It should be used only if the potential benefit outweighs the risk. Talk to your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between orciprenaline and any of the following:

  • anaesthetics (e.g., halothane)
  • anticholinergics (e.g., ipratropium)
  • beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol, metoprolol)
  • MAO inhibitors (e.g., tranylcypromine, phenelzine)
  • sympathomimetics (e.g., salbutamol, epinephrine)
  • theophyllines (e.g., oxtriphylline, theophylline)
  • tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, imipramine)

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.