Both Levalbuterol (LEV) and racemic Albuterol (RAC) are bronchodilator medications used for asthma, but parents complain that children are more restless and hyperactive after taking LEV. In this study, attention and activity were measured — and as parents reported, the RAC, but not the LEV, resulted in a significant increase in heart rate as well as objective measurements of hyperactivity and inattentiveness.
QUOTE: “In this study, treatment with RAC 2.5 mg significantly increased objective measures of hyperactivity and inattentiveness in asthmatic children compared with LEV 0.63 mg.”
NOTE: In another study (Bio, Willey, & Poon, 2011) the medical records of 50 child patients receiving these medications were reviewed. While more than 50% of each group had a heart rate over 100/minute (tachycardic) before their first treatment, no clinically significant changes in heart rate were seen when comparing the two medications. Other symptoms were not compared.