What is Ventolin (albuterol)?

Ventolin (albuterol) is a bronchodilator used to treat bronchospasm in patients 2 to 12 years of age with asthma (reversible obstructive airway disease).

Common side effects of Ventolin include:

Serious side effects of Ventolin include:

Drug interactions of Ventolin include:

There are no adequate studies of Ventolin use during pregnancy. Some reports indicate that Ventolin may cause congenital defects when used during pregnancy. It's not known whether Ventolin is excreted in breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What are the important side effects of Ventolin (albuterol)?

Common side effects include:

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

Ventolin (albuterol) side effects list for healthcare professionals

The results of clinical trials with Ventolin Inhalation Solution in 135 patients showed the following side effects that were considered probably or possibly drug related:

Percent Incidence of Adverse Reactions
Percent Incidence  
Reaction n = 135
Central nervous system  
##Tremors 20%
Dizziness 7%
Nervousness 4%
Headache 3%
Sleeplessness 1%
Nausea 4%
Dyspepsia 1%
Ear, nose, and throat  
Nasal congestion 1%
Pharyngitis 1%
Tachycardia 1%
Hypertension 1%
Bronchospasm 8%
Cough 4%
Bronchitis 4%
Wheezing 1%

No clinically relevant laboratory abnormalities related to Ventolin Inhalation Solution administration were determined in these studies.

Cases of urticaria, angioedema, rash, bronchospasm, hoarseness, oropharyngeal edema, and arrhythmias (including atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, extrasystoles) have been reported after the use of Ventolin Inhalation Solution.

What drugs interact with Ventolin (albuterol)?

Other short-acting sympathomimetic aerosol bronchodilators or epinephrine should not be used concomitantly with albuterol. If additional adrenergic drugs are to be administered by any route, they should be used with caution to avoid deleterious cardiovascular effects.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors or Tricyclic Antidepressants: Albuterol should be administered with extreme caution to patients being treated with monoamine oxidase inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants, or within 2 weeks of discontinuation of such agents, because the action of albuterol on the vascular system may be potentiated.

Beta-Blockers: Beta-adrenergic receptor blocking agents not only block the pulmonary effect of beta-agonists, such as Ventolin Inhalation Solution, but may produce severe bronchospasm in asthmatic patients. Therefore, patients with asthma should not normally be treated with beta-blockers. However, under certain circumstances, e.g., as prophylaxis after myocardial infarction, there may be no acceptable alternatives to the use of beta-adrenergic blocking agents in patients with asthma. In this setting, cardioselective beta-blockers could be considered, although they should be administered with caution.

Diuretics: The ECG changes and/or hypokalemia that may result from the administration of nonpotassium-sparing diuretics (such as loop or thiazide diuretics) can be acutely worsened by beta-agonists, especially when the recommended dose of the beta-agonist is exceeded. Although the clinical significance of these effects is not known, caution is advised in the coadministration of beta-agonists with nonpotassium-sparing diuretics.

Digoxin: Mean decreases of 16% to 22% in serum digoxin levels were demonstrated after single-dose intravenous and oral administration of albuterol, respectively, to normal volunteers who had received digoxin for 10 days. The clinical significance of these findings for patients with obstructive airway disease who are receiving albuterol and digoxin on a chronic basis is unclear. Nevertheless, it would be prudent to carefully evaluate the serum digoxin levels in patients who are currently receiving digoxin and albuterol.


Ventolin (albuterol) is a bronchodilator used to treat bronchospasm in patients 2 to 12 years of age with asthma (reversible obstructive airway disease). Common side effects of Ventolin include migraine headaches, non-migraine headaches, nausea, stomach upset, flu-like symptoms, cold symptoms, ear infections (otitis media), bronchitis, cough, allergic reactions (rash, hives, itching), nervousness, tremor, wheezing, increased sputum, and shortness of breath. Serious side effects of Ventolin include bronchospasm (worsening of asthma), serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), worsening of diabetes, low potassium, abnormal heart rhythm (palpitations), fast heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and chest pain. Drug interactions of Ventolin include tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), other stimulant medications, beta-blockers, and loop diuretics.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

FDA Logo

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.

Medically Reviewed on 3/12/2020
FDA Prescribing Information