A related drug, salmeterol, has been associated with an increased risk of asthma-related death. This finding has caused the U.S. FDA to issue a so-called "black box warning" to make the public aware that there may be an increased risk of asthma-related death for patients using Brovana. The risk has neither been proven nor disproven, but is likely because Brovana is very similar to salmeterol. However, this association is specific to patients with asthma, not with COPD.
The various forms of formoterol, including arformoterol tartrate (Brovana), have possible dangerous side effects. These side effects include chest pain, dizziness, heart palpitations or rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), difficulty breathing, and swelling in the throat. Patients experiencing these symptoms should call their doctors immediately, or if they are in severe distress, they should call 911.
Serious heart problems are possible with Brovana, and these effects are more likely when the drug is combined with certain other medications; see "Brovana Medication Interactions" below.