The albuterol inhaler is an inhaled prescription medication. It works by relaxing the muscles located in the airways to increase air flow to the lungs. Albuterol inhalation is treats or prevents bronchospasm in patients with asthma or some times of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This medicine can also be used to prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm. Albuterol inhalation is designed for use in patients of at least 4 years of age. “Ventolin” is the brand name of this medicine.
Follow the directions provided by your doctor, pharmacist, and any information that comes along with your medicine. Young children should not use Ventolin without adult supervision.
Keep Ventolin on hand at all times.
Before starting on Ventolin, tell your doctor your complete medical history, especially if you have experienced: heart disease, hypertension; thyroid disorder; seizures; diabetes; low levels of potassium. Also tell your doctor what drugs you use. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications, herbs, supplements, vitamins, and recreational drugs. If you’re pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeed, discuss this with your doctor.
Your Ventolin may require priming before use. If so, it should come with instructions on how to do this. You may also need to shake your device before each use.
If you miss a dose, take your medication as soon as possible. Skip the missed dose if it’s almost time for your next one. Ventolin should be refilled before it runs out. Your doctor may adjust your dose due to factors like surgery, stress, illness, or a recent asthma attack. Do not attempt to change your own dose without first consulting your doctor.
Keep your inhaler clean. Clean the plastic actuator with the canister removed weekly. Follow any cleaning instructions included with your device. If this substance gets in your eyes, rinse it out with water.
In general, Ventolin is administered at two inhalations every four to six hours. To prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm, the dose is usually 2 inhalations 15-30 minutes before exercise. Effects of this medicine should last about four to six hours. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions.
Store this medicine at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and excessive cold. The canister may explode if it gets too hot, so avoid open flame or high heat, including storing Ventolin in a car on a hot day.
If your asthma medication is not working, seek medical attention. It may be a sign of an impending asthma attack.
This medicine may increase the risk of death or hospitalization in asthma patients. The risk for patients with COPD is unknown.
Avoid contact with your eyes. If this medicine gets in your eyes, gently rinse it out with water.
An overdose can be fatal, so seek medical attention immediately if you believe there has been an overdose. Overdose symptoms include lightheadedness, chest pain, a fast pulse, nausea, and seizures.
If you need to use more of any of your medications within a 24-hour period than normal, talk to your doctor. This may be an early sign of an impending serious asthma attack.
Albuterol overdose may be fatal, so get immediate medical attention if you suspect this. Overdose symptoms include: dry mouth; tremors; chest pain; rapid heart rate; nausea; malaise (general ill feeling); seizure; lightheadedness; fainting. You should also seek immediate medical attention if you suspect an allergic reaction, which may include hives, swelling, and breathing difficulties.
Notify your doctor immediately if you experience serious side effects. This includes: breathing issues like wheezing and choking; a fast or pounding heartbeat, fluttering in the chest, chest pain; severe headache, pounding in the neck and ears; painful urination; symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased urination, dry mouth, or fruity breath; symptoms of low potassium levels, such as constipation, irregular pulse, tingling, and leg cramps.
Other possible side effects include: chest pain, fast/pounding heartbeat; dizziness; shakiness, anxiety; headache, body aches, back pain; an upset stomach; sore throat, sinus pain, congestion. Please note this is not a complete list of possible side effects.
Other drugs can interact dangerously with Ventolin, so be sure to tell your health-care provider other medicine you take, especially if you use: other inhaled medications or bronchodilators; digoxin; diuretics; an antidepressant; a beta blocker; a MAO inhibitor. Antidepressants affected include amitriptyline, desipramine, imipramine, doxepin, nortriptyline, and others. Beta blockers include atenolol, carvedilol, labetalol, metoprolol, propranolol, sotalol, and more. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others. Please note that this is not a complete list of pharmaceutical interactions.
Can Ventolin be used in the event of an asthma attack?
No, Ventolin is not designed to be used as a rescue medicine. In fact, it may worsen your symptoms. Find emergency medical help if you’re suffering from an attack.
How does the dose counter work?
Ventolin comes with a dose counter that shows you how many sprays are left in the canister. It goes down until it reaches 000. Cease use after this point. Be sure to refill your medicine before you run out.
Can I use Ventolin for exercise-induced asthma?
Yes, but talk to your doctor first about the details.
Can children use Ventolin?
Ventolin can be used by patients at least four years of age. However, children should be supervised by an adult while using this medicine.
Are there special instructions about how to store Ventolin?
Yes. Ventolin should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, or cold. Keep the canister away from high heat or open flame, as the canister can explode. This includes not storing your canister in your car on a hot day. Store Ventolin HFA with the mouthpiece down. Do not burn or puncture an empty canister.
What if my Ventolin does not relieve my symptoms?
If your asthma medication is not working, seek medical attention immediately. This may be a sign of an impending asthma attack.