albuterol (salbutamol) inhaler - oral, Proventil, Ventolin
GENERIC NAME: ALBUTEROL (SALBUTAMOL) INHALER - ORAL (al-BUE-ter-ol) (sal-BUE-tah-mol)
BRAND NAME(S): Proventil, Ventolin
USES: Albuterol (also known as salbutamol) is used to prevent and treat wheezing and shortness of breath caused by breathing problems (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). It is also used to prevent asthma brought on by exercise. Albuterol belongs to a class of drugs known as bronchodilators. It works in the airways by opening breathing passages and relaxing muscles. Controlling symptoms of breathing problems can decrease time lost from work or school.
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. Follow the illustrated directions for use of the inhaler. If any of the information is unclear, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Follow the instructions for test sprays in the air (priming) if you are using a new canister, or if you have not used it for 4 weeks or longer. Avoid spraying the medication in your eyes.Before each dose, shake the inhaler well. Inhale this medication by mouth, usually every 4 to 6 hours as needed or as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or use it more frequently than prescribed without your doctor's approval.If you are using this medication to prevent asthma brought on by exercise, inhale 2 puffs 15 to 30 minutes before exercise or as directed by your doctor.If you find it difficult to use this inhaler correctly, it may help to use a spacer device with this inhaler. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.Clean and dry the inhaler at least once daily as directed in the Patient Information Leaflet. It should also be cleaned anytime it appears to be clogged or is not working properly.If you use other asthma drugs (including inhaled medications), ask your doctor about how to properly use this medication with your other asthma medicines.If this medication stops working well, or if your breathing symptoms become worse, or if you need to use this medication more frequently than usual, seek immediate medical attention.Keep track of the number of inhalations you use, and discard the inhaler after you have used the labeled number of inhalations on the product package. Test sprays used to prime the inhaler should also be counted.
Quick GuideAsthma Symptoms, Causes, and Medications
SIDE EFFECTS: Nervousness, shaking (tremor), mouth/throat dryness or irritation, cough, dizziness, headache, trouble sleeping, or nausea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fast/pounding heartbeat, muscle cramps/weakness.Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, irregular heartbeat.Rarely, this medication has caused severe (rarely fatal), sudden worsening of breathing problems/asthma (paradoxical bronchospasm). If you experience sudden wheezing, seek immediate medical attention.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before using albuterol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have had a serious reaction to similar drugs (e.g., metaproterenol, terbutaline); or if you have any other allergies.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart problems (e.g., irregular heartbeat, angina, heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes, low levels of potassium in the blood, seizure, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.Caution is advised when using this drug in older adults since they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially the effects on the heart.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) within 2 weeks before, during, or after treatment with this medication. In some cases a serious, possibly fatal drug interaction may occur.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: adrenaline-like drugs (e.g., ephedrine, epinephrine), some beta blockers (such as propranolol), digoxin, tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, nortriptyline), "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide).Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products, diet aids) because they may contain ingredients that could increase heart rate or blood pressure. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, severe shaking (tremors), seizures.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., pulmonary function tests, blood pressure, levels of potassium in the blood) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.Avoid allergens/irritants such as smoke, pollen, pet dander, dust, or molds that may worsen breathing problems.Learn to use a peak flow meter, use it daily, and promptly report worsening breathing problems (such as readings in the yellow/red range, increased use of quick-relief inhalers).Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you should have an annual flu shot.
MISSED DOSE: If you are using this medication on a prescribed schedule and miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. It is best to store the inhaler with the mouthpiece down. Do not puncture the canister or expose it to high heat or open flame. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-800-854-1166 (USA) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Daily Health News
Asthma and Allergy Resources
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Allergy and Asthma Newsletter
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.