What is Brovana&Reg;?

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  • Written By: Jillian O Keeffe
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2019
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Brovana® is a medicine used in the treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). It contains the active ingredient arformoterol tartrate dissolved in water, and it is administered through a nebulizer. Aformoterol tartrate is part of the long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA) group of medicines. Brovana® is not a treatment for asthma.

Arformoterol tartrate is a bronchodilator, which means it relaxes the muscles of the airway. The medication stimulates the enzyme adenyl cyclase, promoting the production of a molecule called cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP). When cyclic AMP concentrations rise, the smooth bronchial muscle of the airways relaxes and the release of cell molecules that cause hypersensitive reactions is inhibited.

Long-acting beta2-agonist medicines such as Brovana® raise the risk of asthma-related death, so Brovana® is not recommended for use in asthmatic people who are not taking a separate treatment for asthma. The most common side effects of Brovana® include chest or back pain, sinus congestion, diarrhea, headache, tremors, nervousness, shortness of breath, rash, vomiting, tiredness, an increase in white blood cell count, an increase in blood potassium, leg cramps or leg swelling, and bronchitis or chest congestion. The ingredients of Brovana® may also cause an allergic reaction in some patients.


The COPD condition for which Brovana® is recommended is a common lung disease. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two major forms of the disease. COPD is primarily caused by smoking, but it can also be caused by exposure to fumes or gas. The symptoms of the disease are a cough with mucus, wheezing, fatigue and frequent respiratory infections. Sufferers also exhibit shortness of breath that gets worse with mild activity.

The medication does not cure COPD but helps to alleviate the symptoms. Brovana® is a long-acting medicine, so a short-acting beta2-agonist is necessary to treat sudden symptoms of COPD. Using short-acting medications as an emergency backup is recommended, but taking other long-acting beta2-agonist medicines at the same time as Brovana® is not advised.

Before taking Brovana®, patients should inform their doctor if they have heart problems, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, diabetes, liver problems or seizures. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, or women who are planning to get pregnant, should also inform their doctor prior to using the medication. Brovana® is not recommended for children.

Brovana® is a registered trademark of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. The medicine is available as an inhalation solution with the active ingredient at a dose of 15 micrograms per 2 milliliters. This dose is packaged as a single vial for ease of use. Brovana® is typically administered twice a day, morning and evening, as a long-term routine.


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