Like many other patients with COPD who have been prescribed a new medication, you may still have questions about PERFOROMIST. For your convenience, answers to many of these "frequently asked questions" are provided here. However, your doctor is your best source of information.
Frequently asked questions about PERFOROMIST
Q. What is PERFOROMIST?
A. PERFOROMIST is an FDA-approved inhalation solution that is used with a nebulizer. A nebulizer is a device that converts liquid medication into a fine mist that you inhale through a mouthpiece or facemask. You can treat your COPD by taking PERFOROMIST twice daily—once in the morning and once in the evening.1
Q. Is PERFOROMIST the right COPD therapy for me?
A. The decision of whether or not to take PERFOROMIST is up to you and your doctor. PERFOROMIST is taken twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening. You insert the medication into a nebulizer, place your lips over the mouthpiece (or use a mask), and breathe naturally.
Q. Is a nebulizer right for me?
Some people find the handheld devices to be more convenient. However, if you can't use these inhalers correctly, you may not get the full benefit of the medicine. With a metered-dose inhaler (MDI) or dry-powder inhaler (DPI), you must coordinate your breathing with the mechanics of the inhaler. This can be tricky if you have arthritis, find the use of hand held inhalers confusing, or are unable to take a full deep breath or simply breathe in too soon or too late. Your doctor can help you decide which device is right for your COPD therapy.
Q. What common side effects do people experience with PERFOROMIST?
A. In a study, the most common side effects seen with PERFOROMIST were: diarrhea, nausea, upper airway irritation, dry mouth, vomiting, dizziness and insomnia (inability to sleep). These side effects occurred in 5% or fewer of people taking PERFOROMIST. Similar side effects also occurred in people taking a placebo (a harmless inactive substance that contains no medicine).1
Q: Does PERFOROMIST affect the heart?
A. In the clinical trial for PERFOROMIST, cardiovascular (heart-related) side effects occurred in less than 1% of participants and were similar to placebo.*1
However, beta2-agonists like PERFOROMIST can produce a cardiovascular effect in some patients, including effects such as increased pulse rate or blood pressure. If these effects occur, your doctor may decide to have you stop taking PERFOROMIST. If you already have a cardiovascular disorder, your doctor will monitor your heart health carefully while you are taking PERFOROMIST.1
Q. What drug interactions do I need to be aware of with PERFOROMIST?
A. Your doctor will advise you whether or not to continue taking your current inhalers for COPD. You should not use other medicines that include a long-acting beta2-agonist while taking PERFOROMIST.1 You should also only use a short-acting beta2-agonist (SABA) "as needed" for rescue situations (sudden episodes of shortness of breath) while taking PERFOROMIST.
There are some medications your doctor may ask you to change or stop taking because they may interact with PERFOROMIST (either cause side effects or cause side effects to worsen, or make one drug or the other less effective). These may include adrenergic drugs (for example, adrenaline), some types of diuretics (used commonly for blood pressure and other indications), tricyclic antidepressants (for depression), beta-blockers (for high blood pressure) and other drugs.1 So, be sure to review all medications you are taking with your doctor.
Q. Is PERFOROMIST covered by Medicare?
A. Yes. As a nebulized medication it is eligible for Medicare reimbursement. Medicare Part B may reimburse much of the cost of your PERFOROMIST prescription if you are 65 or older. In certain situations, Medicare Part D may also reimburse much of the cost.
If you are unable to afford the cost of your medications, Medicaid may also reimburse much of the cost. You may qualify for Medicaid if you have a limited income; this program includes certain adults, the disabled and the elderly.35,36
Q. Where do I get PERFOROMIST and a nebulizer?
A. Many people get their PERFOROMIST and nebulizer system at a pharmacy. Others (who qualify), have it delivered to their home through the Medicare Part B Home Health Benefit; read more here. You may want to call your insurance company to see what costs are covered.
Q. Will PERFOROMIST cure my COPD?
A. No. There is no cure for COPD at this time. But PERFOROMIST may help you manage your COPD. PERFOROMIST has been proven to improve lung function, which should help you breathe easier.1
Q. How often do I take PERFOROMIST?
A. PERFOROMIST is taken two times a day (morning and evening).1
Q. How long after taking PERFOROMIST will I get relief?
A. PERFOROMIST can start working in as little as five minutes. But the response time will vary from patient to patient.2 You should never take PERFOROMIST to treat sudden symptoms or use it more often than directed. Every patient with COPD should have a fast-acting medication like albuterol available to treat sudden symptoms.1
Q. How long does PERFOROMIST last?
A. One dose of PERFOROMIST can provide relief for up to 12 hours.1
*In the clinical study, significant cardiac adverse events were similar to placebo over 12 weeks. The study was not designed to compare side effects between the 2 groups. The study excluded patients with severe cardiac abnormalities. PERFOROMIST, like other beta2-agonists, can produce a cardiovascular effect in some patients, as measured by increased pulse rate, blood pressure and/or symptoms.13
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