A methacholine challenge is a breathing test to see if you may have asthma. You will breathe in a mist that has a medicine called methacholine in it. You will breathe in higher doses, with tests done after each dose. This medicine tests the airways for activity or how “twitchy” they are. The test will take 30 to 90 minutes.
You will have this test in the Pulmonary Function Lab (Module B6/2), at the University Hospital, 600 Highland Avenue. Please arrive 15 minutes before your test to check-in.
Finding Your Way
From the parking ramp, enter through the main hospital doors. Follow the brown pathway past the “D” elevator lobby to “Clinic Registration.” After you register, you will be sent to the Pulmonary Function Lab to “Check In”.
How to Prepare
Do not exercise or eat a heavy meal for at least four hours before the test.
Do not have any caffeine, coffee, tea, cola or chocolate.
Do not smoke on the day of the test.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. This test will not be done if pregnant or nursing.
If you have or had a recent cold, flu or other illness, this test will need to be scheduled two weeks after the end of your illness.
Medicines to Stop Taking
You will need to stop taking certain medicines before the test.
Hold 4 weeks before: Advair®, Symbicort®, Dulera®, Wixela® (inhaled steroids)
Hold 1 week before: Spiriva®, Incruse®
Hold 36 hours: Singulair®, Serevent®, formorterol
Hold 24 hours: Theophylline
Hold 12 hours: Atrovent, Combivent
Hold 6 hours: Albuterol
After the Test
You may have mild shortness of breath, cough or chest tightness. If you do, you may be given a few puffs of medicine from an inhaler. You will be able to eat, drink, and keep your normal routine. Your doctor will discuss your test results with you.
When to Call
Call if you have any questions or concerns before the test. call the
Who to Call
Pulmonary Function Lab
Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
The toll free number is 1-800-323-8942. Ask for the Pulmonary Function Lab.
If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.