Albuterol

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Salbutamol is a short-acting beta-2 agonist and a bronchodilator, useful in alleviating bronchospasm in patients who have asthma, COPD, or similar breathing disorders.

Also known as albuterol or salbuterol, salbutamol is among the most widely used rescue treatments for bronchospasm.

In most formulations---including aerosol inhaler, inhaled powder, and nebulizer solution---the medication works quickly, providing significant relief from inflammation and bronchospasm in 30 seconds to 5 minutes, making it an ideal rescue treatment. Salbutamol also comes in tablets, which aren't as good as other formulations for rescue, but can work well in prevention.

Salbutamol can be used in patients as young as 2 years old, though the exact dosage and ideal formulation should be determined by a doctor.

Aerosols & Inhaled Powders

Salbutamol comes in both aerosol inhalers and inhaled powder inhalers. The difference is that aerosols have a propellant---usually HFA since CFC has been banned---that force the medication into the lungs. Inhaled powders, on the other hand, rely on the patient's ability to inhale to deliver the medication to the lungs. Both are effective, but patients who have poor lung function will probably want to opt for aerosols.

Both aerosol and powder Salbutamol inhalers are easy to carry along anywhere a patient goes, as they fit easily in a pocket or purse, there's no worry that they'll spill, and there is no need for a power source. Treatment is typically:

  • 1 or 2 inhalations should be administered as-needed, when symptoms of bronchospasm begin.
  • Inhale the medication as slowly and steadily as possible.
  • Hold each inhalation for at least 10 seconds, if possible.
  • Wait 30 to 60 seconds between administrations.

If possible use should not exceed 12 inhalations in 24 hours, but in practice patients suffering a severe COPD or asthma attack use the inhaler quite a bit more. This is usually okay for a day or two as long as patients are alert for symptoms of Salbutamol overdose.

Nebulizer Solution

Salbutamol is also available in a nebulizer solution, though it is rarely favored by patients because it is not terribly convenient, particularly on-the-go; fluid can be spilled, nebulizers are usually large and bulky, and require a power source to function. Nebulizer use is not exactly discreet.

The nebulizer itself is also an extra expense, ranging from about 50 USD to hundreds of dollars depending on size and quality. There are small, handheld devices that require only batteries to work, but they generally only last about 6 months before needing to be replaced.

Drawbacks aside, nebulizer fluid works, and it works very well. Many patients who find inhaled formulations aren't particularly helpful will find nebulizer fluid quickly eradicates breathing problems. Likewise many patients who used to rely on the over-the-counter Primatene Mist before it was banned now find relief only from nebulized Salbutamol.

Nebulized Salbutamol is also the standard treatment in hospital settings, unless breathing difficulties are so severe that an epinephrine shot is utilized.

Tablets

Tablets are bit of an exception as far as rescue treatments go; while some users can use them to abort an attack, for most patients they're best used as a preventive measure. To compare the two:

  • Inhalers work in seconds or moments; tablets can take up to 30 minutes to 1 hour before effects are felt.
  • Inhalers wear off quickly; tablets last considerably longer, 6 or 8 hours.
  • Inhalers deliver the medication directly to the lungs; tablets, delivered systemically, are somewhat less potent with respect to breathing.

Patients with chronic, mild symptoms often find Salbutamol tablets ease symptoms completely. Tablets are also useful in preventing symptoms if taken an hour or two before exercise, exposure to allergens, or other triggering factors.

Salbutamol tablets can be taken when an attack starts, but it is likely a rescue inhaler will also be needed for the first 30 minutes to 1 hour before the tablet starts to take effect.

Patients should be very aware of the the amount of Salbutamol taken if also using Salbutamol rescue inhalers. It is possible to overdose on Salbutamol, which can prove fatal. Keep in mind that Salbutamol is also known as albuterol and salbuterol.

Albuterol/Salbutamol

100mcg albuterol  Buy Albuterol 6 Inhalers - $57.50
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Buy Albuterol 6 InhalersGeneric 100mcg $57.50 Add
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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.

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