What is Albuterol?
Albuterol is a medication that helps relax muscles in the airways to increase airflow to the lungs.
Doctors typically prescribe this medicine to treat narrowing of the lungs’ airways or bronchospasm in people with asthma or any other type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It can also help prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm.
This medicine is available in the form of inhalation suspension, inhalation powder, nebulizer solution, immediate-release pills, extended-release tablets, and oral syrup.
Albuterol belongs to the beta2-adrenergic agonist bronchodilators class of drugs. This class’ medications help relax the airway muscle for up to 6 to 12 hours to help you breathe more comfortably.
Adults and children over four years old can use this drug. However, some brand-name variants of this medicine are not suitable for children under the age of 12. So, it’s vital to consult a doctor before giving Albuterol to children.
It is essential to keep this medicine on hand at all times. Don’t let your prescription run out; get a refill when you still have a little supply left. Also, make sure to use all the other medications along with Albuterol as prescribed by your doctor.
Contact your doctor if this medication does not work as intended. The doctor must know if the drug is unable to treat or prevent asthma attacks. Also, consult a doctor if you need to take more of any of your meds in 24 hours. Needing more of any medicine might be an early sign of a severe asthma attack.
What to know before taking Albuterol?
Avoid using Albuterol if you are allergic to it. Refrain from using ProAir RespiClick (a brand-name variant of this drug) if you are allergic to milk proteins.
This drug might increase the risk of hospitalization or death in people with asthma. However, Albuterol’s potential for harming people with obstructive airway disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is still unknown.
Talk with a doctor about this medicine’s safety if you have or ever had:
- Low levels of potassium in the blood
- Overactive thyroid
- Seizure disorder – epilepsy
- Heart rhythm disorder
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Congestive heart failure
Albuterol can have undesirable effects on the unborn child. Try consulting a professional before using this medicine during pregnancy or if you plan to become pregnant.
Breastfeeding while using this drug might also not be safe. Ask a doctor before breastfeeding if you are using Albuterol.
How to take Albuterol?
Take Albuterol precisely as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Avoid using this medicine in larger or smaller quantities or for longer than the recommended duration.
Try reading the medication guide and instruction sheets provided with the medicine to get the best result. Don’t feel afraid to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions regarding this drug.
You might require to prime the Albuterol inhaler device before initial use. Typically, the drug comes with instructions for priming if needed. Try shaking your Albuteorl device before each use.
Make sure to clean your inhaler once a week. The cleaning instructions also come with the medicine, so you should follow them.
Don’t let young children use this medicine with adult guidance.
Use the dose counter present on the Albuterol inhaler device to get the prescription refilled before running out of medicine. Always use the new inhaler device that comes with your refill. An old device might not provide you the correct dose.
Carefully follow the instructions to clean the inhaler device and mouthpiece. Avoid cleaning or taking apart inhaler devices from ProAir RespiClick.
Doctors often a combination of medications for treating asthma. Use all the drugs as prescribed and the instructions or medication guide provided with each. Avoid altering your doses or schedule without consulting a doctor.
Try keeping the inhaler device away from high heat sources or open flames. It might explode if exposed to high heat. Also, don’t puncture or burn an empty inhaler device.
- The usual dose is two inhalations taken by mouth every 4-6 hours.
- Some people might require only one inhalation every four hours.
- Children shouldn’t take more inhalations or use the medication more often.
- The typical quantity is two inhalations taken by mouth, 15-30 minutes before the exercise.
An Albuterol overdose can be fatal. So seek emergency treatment if you have taken more than the prescribed amount of this medicine. If you exceed the safe quantity of this drug in your body, you can experience the following symptoms:
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Increased heartbeat
- Dry mouth
- Chest pain
If you experience these signs of overdose, contact your doctor right away. You can also call the Poison helpline @ 1-800-222-1222.
What to avoid while using Albuterol?
Don’t stop taking this medication unless your doctor told you so. Stopping this medicine’s use can worsen your asthma and lead to irreversible scarring of airways.
Avoid drinking alcohol or using marijuana while taking this medicine.
Albuterol side effects
When using Albuterol, follow all of your doctor’s guidelines. Using this medicine carelessly might result in severe side effects. Talk to a doctor if you feel any of the following mild or severe adverse symptoms of this drug.
Common side effects
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Chest pain
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
Usually, these adverse symptoms are mild and don’t last for more than a couple of days. However, if they get severe or don’t vanish, talk to a doctor.
Serious side effects
- Trouble breathing
- Severe allergic reactions
- Trouble swallowing
- Swelling of eyelids, face, throat, tongue, or lips
- Skin rash
- Heart problems
- High blood pressure
- Severe skin reactions
- Fast spreading rash
Inform the doctor immediately if you experience this drug’s severe side effects. Call 911 or visit an ER if the symptoms feel life-threatening.
What drugs can interact with Albuterol?
Albuterol can interact with various prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements. Some interactions can worsen their side effects, while others can make it less effective. So your doctor needs to know which drugs or herbal supplements you are taking before using this drug.
Your doctor can adjust this medicine’s quantity depending on the other drug you are using to prevent harmful effects.
The following medications can adversely interact with Albuterol:
Blood pressure drugs, including:
Depression medicines, including: