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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Albuterol
Albuterol
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Foreign Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
Reasons not to take this medicine
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(al BYOO ter ole)

Brand Names
Airet®; Proventil®; Proventil® HFA; Ventolin®; Ventolin® Rotocaps®; Volmax®

Foreign Brand Names
Apo-Salvent® (Canada); Novo-Salmol (Canada); Sabulin (Canada); Salbulin (Mexico); Salbutalan (Mexico); Volmax® (Canada)

Therapeutic Categories
Beta2 Agonist

Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to albuterol or any other part of the medicine.


What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine is used to open the airways in diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, where spasm may cause breathing problems.
  • It may also prevent exercise-induced breathing problems. It must be taken before exercising.


How does it work?

  • Albuterol works at sites in the airways to relax the muscles and improve oxygen delivery.


How is it best taken?

  • For inhaling (puffing) only by an inhaler or as a liquid (solution) through a special machine (nebulizer) into the lungs. It may be used on an as needed basis, on a timed schedule, or both. Shake inhaler well before using.
  • Follow directions given by healthcare provider. Do not go over maximally recommended daily dose.
  • Spacer can be used with inhaler for easier delivery. This gets more medicine into the lungs.
  • Check inhaler use with healthcare provider at each visit. Using the inhaler the right way is very important.
  • If you are using more than one type of inhaler, use albuterol first, then the others.
  • Tablets/syrup may be taken with or without food. Take with food if this medicine causes an upset stomach.
  • Swallow sustained-release tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • Do not change dose or stop taking medicine without talking with healthcare provider.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Wear disease medical alert identification for lung disease.
  • Limit caffeine (for example, tea, coffee, cola) and chocolate intake. Use with this medicine may cause nervousness, shakiness, rapid heartbeats, and anxiety.
  • If exercise causes symptoms, use inhaled dose immediately before activity to prevent them.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Inability to sleep, nervousness, shakiness, over active.
  • Rapid or pounding heartbeat.
  • Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.
  • Dry mouth. Rinse out mouth with water after each inhaler use.
  • Inhaled medicine has the fewest side effects.


What should I monitor?

  • Watch for changes in breathing. Is breathing better, worse, or about the same.
  • If used for asthma, monitor with peak flow meter.
  • Follow up with healthcare provider.


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Unable to get breathing attack under control.
  • Very nervous and excitable.
  • Chest pains, fast heartbeats, shortness of breath, or decreased ability to walk.
  • Any rash.
  • No improvement in condition or feeling worse.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store inhaler at room temperature for best results.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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