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Albuterol (also known as salbutamol) has been widely used around the world since the 1960s as a treatment for bronchospasm, most notably in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The medication is typically used as a "rescue" treatment, meaning it provides rapid relief of bronchospasm symptoms (difficulty breathing). It does little to manage symptoms of asthma or COPD long-term.
The product has been available under a number of names over the several decades of its use, including Proventil, ProAir and Ventolin, among others. It is also widely available as a generic.
This medication can be administered in a variety of ways:
Intravenous use is usually reserved for emergencies in hospital settings. Tablet availability depends largely on location; albuterol tablets are virtually unheard of in some parts of the world and do not provide relief as quickly as other forms of delivery. The vast majority of albuterol use is through inhaler or nebulizer, both of which are widely available in most areas.
Nebulized albuterol is not as convenient as using an inhaler, as it requires a nebulizer, a power source, and doses are difficult to meter. However, many patients find it considerably more effective than inhalers, particularly those who react poorly to the HFA propellent used in inhalers where the standard CFC propellent has been banned.
Likewise some individuals find greater relief when the medication is combined with other, similar treatments, such as the iprotropium/albuterol mix found in Combivent Inhalers. Nebulized epinephrine is also an option for those who find albuterol ineffective.
Breathing Easier with Albuterol
Whether using inhalers or nebulizers, albuterol is taken as-needed every 3 to 4 hours:
If treatment is not working and rapid medical care is unavailable, administering epinephrine, either in inhaler, nebulizer, or Epi-Pen form will also rapidly improve breathing. Medical treatment should still sought after using an Epi-Pen even if symptoms improve.
Side Effects & Warnings
Many patients find this medication makes them rather jittery, with relatively mild symptoms such as:
More rarely patients experience rapid or uneven heart beat, extreme weakness or dizziness, and may even lose consciousness. These symptoms require medical attention.
Individuals can react quite differently to treatment; for instance, some may experience a rapid drop in blood pressure, others may experience a rapid rise, and others may experience no change at all. It is worth checking with a doctor if any unusual symptoms are noticed while using this medication.
There is some evidence that this medication can diminish levels of potassium in the body, at least in some individuals. Low levels of potassium can cause anything from muscle cramps to cardiac arrhythmia. Increasing potassium intake, such as by eating bananas, may help manage symptoms; but because the consequences are potentially severe any such symptoms should be checked out by a physician.
Certain other medications may interfere with the treatment's effectiveness; check with a doctor of pharmacist if unsure. Simultaneous use of any strong stimulants, such as other types of rescue inhalers, large doses of caffeine, or street drugs such as cocaine can considerably increase risk of serious side effects.
No current Rx required
Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.
I received 6 Salbuterol inhalers rather than Albuterol, but it still works great.
Excellent pricing and works well.
Works wonders!! Thank you Kiwi for offering this and at a great price
Without albuterol I don't know what I would do sometimes!