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Albuterol Inhalation (Ventolin)

Albuterol inhalation is used to treat symptoms of obstructive lung diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The medicine can relieve wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, trouble breathing, and coughing.

Additionally, albuterol is given to prevent breathing difficulties during exercise in patients with exercise-induced asthma.

Albuterol is in a class of drugs called bronchodilators. It works by relaxing muscle around bronchi (the airways leading from the trachea to the lungs) and opening up the air passages to the lungs, so it’s easier to breathe.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved albuterol in 1981. It’s sold under various brand names.

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uses

What is Albuterol Inhalation (Ventolin) used for?

  • Asthma -- Acute
  • Asthma -- Maintenance
  • Bronchospasm Prophylaxis
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease -- Acute
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease -- Maintenance
  • Reversible Airways Disease -- Maintenance
  • Bronchitis
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warnings

What is the most important information I should know about Albuterol Inhalation (Ventolin)?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to albuterol.

You should not use ProAir RespiClick if you are allergic to milk proteins.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure;
  • a thyroid disorder;
  • seizures;
  • diabetes; or
  • low levels of potassium in your blood.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether albuterol will harm an unborn baby. However, having uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy may increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, or eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure that can lead to medical problems in both mother and baby). The benefit of preventing bronchospasm may outweigh any risks to the baby.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of albuterol on the baby.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

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User Reviews & Rating

Overall rating for Albuterol Inhalation (Ventolin)

3.8
out of  5
Side Effects
3.2
Easy to Use
4.0
Effectiveness
3.8
Read Reviews
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Side Effects

What are the side effects of Albuterol Inhalation (Ventolin)?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • wheezing, choking, or other breathing problems after using this medicine;
  • chest pain, fast heart rate, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • severe headache, pounding in your neck or ears;
  • pain or burning when you urinate;
  • high blood sugar--increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor; or
  • low potassium--leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats;
  • upset stomach, vomiting;
  • painful urination;
  • dizziness;
  • feeling shaky or nervous;
  • headache, back pain, body aches; or
  • cough, sore throat, sinus pain, runny or stuffy nose.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Can I take Albuterol Inhalation (Ventolin) if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known whether albuterol will harm an unborn baby. However, having uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy may increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, or eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure that can lead to medical problems in both mother and baby). The benefit of preventing bronchospasm may outweigh any risks to the baby.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of albuterol on the baby.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

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Interactions

What drugs and food should I avoid while taking Albuterol Inhalation (Ventolin)?

Rinse with water if this medicine gets in your eyes.

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Dosage Guidelines & Tips

How to take Albuterol Inhalation (Ventolin)?

Use Albuterol Inhalation (Ventolin) exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Do not allow a young child to use albuterol inhalation without help from an adult.

To prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm, use this medicine 15 to 30 minutes before you exercise. The effects of albuterol inhalation should last about 4 to 6 hours.

Seek medical attention if your breathing problems get worse quickly, or if you think your asthma medications are not working as well.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

ProAir HFA, Proventil HFA, or Ventolin HFA must be shaken before each use. You do not need to shake ProAir RespiClick before using.

Do not try to clean or take apart the ProAir RespiClick inhaler device.

Always use the new inhaler device provided with your refill. Do not float a medicine canister in water to see if it is empty.

Your dose needs may change due to surgery, illness, stress, or a recent asthma attack. Do not change your dose or dosing schedule without your doctor's advice.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, or cold temperatures.

Keep the cover on your ProAir RespiClick inhaler when not in use. Store Proventil or Ventolin with the mouthpiece down.

Keep the inhaler canister away from open flame or high heat. The canister may explode if it gets too hot. Do not puncture or burn an empty inhaler canister.

What should I do if I missed a dose of Albuterol Inhalation (Ventolin)?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

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Overdose Signs

What happens if I overdose on Albuterol Inhalation (Ventolin)?

Overdose symptoms may include dry mouth, tremors, chest pain, fast heartbeats, nausea, general ill feeling, seizure, feeling light-headed or fainting.

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on: Albuterol Inhalation (Ventolin),  call your doctor or the Poison Control center
(800) 222-1222
If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Albuterol Inhalation (Ventolin), call 911
911
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What to Expect

You should notice an improvement in symptoms within a few minutes after taking albuterol.

The effects of albuterol typically last four to six hours, or sometimes longer.

It’s a good idea to carry albuterol with you in case you need to take it on an emergency basis for quick relief of symptoms.

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Additional Dosage Information

Your dosage of albuterol will depend on the formulation you use, your age, your medical condition, and other factors.

Don’t take more of this medicine than your doctor recommends.

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Secondary Uses

Albuterol is sometimes given to treat other conditions, including:

  • High potassium levels
  • Other breathing problems
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Medical Disclaimer

Drugs A-Z provides drug information from Everyday Health and our partners, as well as ratings from our members, all in one place. Cerner Multum™ provides the data within some of the Overview, Uses, Warnings, Side Effects, Pregnancy, Interactions, Dosage, Overdose, and Images sections. The information within all other sections is proprietary to Everyday Health.