Albuterol

Albuterol is a medication that works to open up the airways affected by bronchoconstriction, therefore relieving the wheezing and shortness of breath. It is therefore classified as a bronchodilator. Albuterol can be used as a fast-acting rescue medication that provides relief quickly.

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Description

Introduction

Albuterol (also known as salbutamol) is used to treat wheezing and shortness of breath caused by breathing problems such as asthma. It is a quick-relief medication. Albuterol belongs to a class of drugs known as bronchodilators. It works in the airways by opening breathing passages and relaxing muscles.

In diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a person experiences bronchoconstriction. This is when the bronchus, or airways, in the lungs become narrowed, making it difficult to breathe in enough air. Bronchoconstriction causes wheezing and shortness of breath.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what albuterol is for, let’s look closer into the pharmacokinetics of albuterol.

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How it works?

Albuterol sulphate dilates the airways of the lung and is used for treating asthma and other conditions of the lung. Asthma is a breathing problem due to narrowing of the airways (bronchial tubes) that allow air to move in and out of the lungs. These airways can be narrowed due to the accumulation of mucus, spasm of the muscles that surround these airways (bronchospasm), or swelling of the lining of the airways. Airway narrowing leads to shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, and congestion. Albuterol sulphate dilates bronchial airways by relaxing the muscles that surround the airways. Albuterol also can be helpful in patients with emphysema and chronic bronchitis when symptoms are partially related to spasm of the airways’ muscles.

Side Effects

Common side effects include:
● Migraine headaches
● Non-migraine headaches
● nausea
● stomach upset
● flu-like symptoms
● cold symptoms
● ear infections (otitis media)
● bronchitis
● cough
Other side effects include:
● allergic reactions (rash, hives, itching)
● nervousness
● tremor
● wheezing
● increased sputum
● shortness of breath
Possible serious side effects include:
● bronchospasm (worsening of asthma)
● serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis)
● worsening of diabetes
● low potassium
● abnormal heart rhythm (palpitations)
● fast heart rate
● elevated blood pressure
● chest pain

More information

Albuterol sulphate inhalation solution is used for treating children.
There are no adequate studies of albuterol sulphate use during pregnancy. Some reports indicate that albuterol sulphate may cause congenital defects when used during pregnancy.
It’s not known whether albuterol sulphate is excreted in breast milk.

Dosages

A jet nebulizer connected to an air compressor equipped with a mouthpiece or face mask is used to administer albuterol sulphate solution.

The recommended starting dose for patients 2 to 12 years of age is 0.63, 1.25, or 2.5 mg given by nebulization 3 or 4 times daily, as needed. More frequent administration is not recommended.
Children 6 to 12 years of age with more severe asthma may achieve a better initial response with the 1.25 or 2.5 mg dose.

The entire contents of one vial should be placed in the nebulizer and the flow rate should be adjusted to deliver albuterol sulphate over 5 to 15 minutes.

Conclusion

Albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil) is a drug used for prevention and relief of bronchospasm in individuals with asthma, exercise-induced asthma, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis. Drug interactions include tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and beta blockers. Side effects include tremor, headache, palpitations, and more. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

User reviews

Review 1
Ventolin HFA (albuterol) for Bronchiectasis: “Ventolin HFA 90 MCG Inhaler 100% effective NYS Covered”

Review 2
Albuterol seems to work well. I do not do the prescribed amount daily and only use it when I feel shortness of breath or the need to exercise. So far so Good.

Review 3

I was given the new Perrigo albuterol inhaler by my pharmacy after getting the generic ProAir inhaler. The first Perrigo inhaler stopped working with 44 inhalations left. I decided that it might need to be cleaned. The delivery device has a clear plastic cover over the canister and is not possible to remove without using a screwdriver to pop the clear plastic part off. It is very poorly designed. Once I removed the canister, the delivery device fell apart. I cleaned it but it still did not work properly. The pharmacy once again gave me the same inhaler and I thought I would give it another try. This time it stopped working with 110 inhalations left. I believe this is such a poorly designed inhaler and it can be dangerous for someone who needs immediate relief.

Review 4

I am using Perrigo albuterol inhaler for the first time. It’s horrible!! The dispenser is so awkward. It’s hard to hold. It’s difficult to press down on the albuterol canister and there is a guard around it that sticks up too high. It’s hard to know whether a dose has been delivered or not. Terrible design of an inhaler! I am thinking it would almost be worth paying the extra $30 just to get Ventolin.

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