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What is Albuterol?

What is Albuterol

Albuterol is a bronchodilator, which is regularly taken in the treatment of asthma. The product is classified as a beta-2 adrenergic agonist. The drug is available under numerous trade names. One of the most popular trade names is Ventolin. Ventolin has been available in the United States since 1980 after Albuterol was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Albuterol is a popular component of inhalers, it’s also available in the form of tablets. There are many popular brands of albuterol on the market, including an extensive generic market.

How does it work?

Albuterol has a direct effect on the sympathetic nervous system, due to which the drug is classified as sympathomimetic. The powerful bronchodilator relaxes the airways, causing air to enter the lungs. That is why it is used to treat respiratory disorders such as asthma. The drug may be useful for many athletes – it can be used to improve breathing in order to increase cardiovascular endurance and the overall result of the workout. Regardless of the purpose of the intake, albuterol acts by stimulating beta-2 receptors.

When is it used?

Albuterol is used to relieve symptoms of bronchial asthma. Additionally, the drug is effective in treating bronchitis and similar diseases. It is also used to help with preterm labor (up to 37-38 weeks). The drug is effective for asthmatics in acute attacks.

The main indications for use include:

  • prevention of spasmodic processes in bronchial asthma of any form of leakage;
  • relief of asthma attacks;
  • stabilization and improvement of the patient’s condition with reversibility of bronchial obstruction;
  • prevention of complications of bronchitis;
  • broncho-obstructive syndrome in children;
  • obstetric care with a high tone of uterine contractility (pathology is dangerous for up to 37 weeks).

Does Albuterol come in pill form?

Albuterol is available in pill and liquid form. The medicine is also available in the form of inhalers, which provide immediate relief of bronchospasm. The dosage will vary depending on whether it is a tablet or a liquid solution.

What dosage do I need?

Dosing depends on the patient’s age, tpe of disease, form of the drug. In most diagnostic episodes, children 6–12 years receive half the adult dose (for patients aged 2–6 years, the substance is prescribed individually). Dosage in tablets, injections, aerosols differs significantly, so it is strictly forbidden to change the form of the drug on your own, focusing on the same amount of substance.

Albuterol for inhalation

The most convenient and common form of the drug is inhalation of the active substance for the relief and prevention of seizures. This is possible in the form of an aerosol or powder. It is important to remember that the active substance begins to act within 5 minutes. Many patients do not withstand this period and often get overdose problems.

Use during pregnancy

The drug cannot be used in the 1st and 2nd trimester with the threat of miscarriage, bleeding, premature detachment of the placenta. It’s not used in the 3rd trimester in the presence of severe toxicosis. Modern medical practice does not have objective data on how albuterol affects a fetus. The substance is excreted in breast milk, so its use should be correlated with possible harm to the fetus or newborn.

Is albuterol safe for children?

This drug is not used in patients younger than 2 years. Dosage for older children (2-6 years): 1-2 mg of active substance per day. Older kids (6-12 years) receive 2 mg/day. The treatment takes place under the constant supervision of a pediatrician because the children’s body can be hypersensitive to the active substance.

Can albuterol cause side effects?

The drug is usually well tolerated. Negative manifestations are extremely rare. Excess single or daily doses, personal hypersensitivity to β2-adrenergic stimulants may be accompanied by a tremor of the fingers and hands, internal tension, tremor, moderate tachycardia, dizziness, dilatation of peripheral vessels, vomiting, convulsions, headache, nausea, erythema develops, urticaria, skin rash, hypotension, bronchospasm, angioedema, collapse. The drug causes active leaching of potassium from the blood plasma, therefore patients with a predisposition to kalemia should regularly monitor its level. Extremely rare side effects include hallucinations, panic conditions.

What if I have overdose?

In case of an overdose, the use of this medicine should be immediately discontinued. A patent needs symptomatic therapy and reception of cardio-selective beta-blockers. The indicator of serum potassium concentration should be constantly monitored. Common symptoms of overdose include ventricular flutter, acidosis on the background of the lipolytic effect, muscle tremor, hypoxemia, arrhythmia, physical weakness, change of hypoglycemia to hyperglycemia, increased side effects.

Who cannot use albuterol?

The drug has a long list of contraindications, The doctor checks for the following list of pathologies. If the patient has at least one of the conditions listed below, the doctor prescribed another medication.

Albuterol is not used if a patient has or ever had:

  • hypersensitivity to the drug;
  • pathological heart rhythm disorder (for example, paroxysmal tachycardia);
  • heart disease;
  • myocarditis;
  • aortic stenosis;
  • coronary heart disease;
  • thyrotoxicosis;
  • hyperthyroidism;
  • decompensated diabetes;
  • epilepsy or the risk of epiphriscuts;
  • glaucoma;
  • kidney or liver failure;
  • pregnancy.

Safety information

Albuterol is an aggressive drug of active action, therefore, discontinuation of the dose, increasing the dose or the number of doses per day is performed under the supervision of a physician. Patients with severe bronchial asthma should regularly monitor serum potassium concentration. The tablet form gives a cardiac stimulating effect in some cases due to the high concentration of the active substance.

Diseases that need to be monitored while taking albuterol: diabetes, aortic stenosis, thyrotoxicosis, glaucoma, ischemia, myocarditis, thyroid disease, heart disease, acute heart failure, chronic cardiovascular problems.

The drug is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) because it can cause a short-term increase in stamina due to ephedrine.

What are the common brands of albuterol?

The most popular drug based on this substance is Ventolin. There are also several generic brands, as well as many other well-known brands. The most common brands of albuterol include Asthavent, Asmol, Butahale, Buventol, ProAir, Proventil, Salamol, Sultanol, Volmax, Ventolin, Proventil.