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Drug Guide    A   Albuterol

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   Albuterol

Albuterol
Inhl


Albuterol is used to treat wheezing and shortness of breath that commonly occur with lung problems (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Controlling these symptoms can decrease time lost from work or school. This drug is also used to prevent breathing difficulties brought on by exercise (exercise-induced bronchospasm-EIB). Albuterol is a bronchodilator (beta-2 receptor agonist) that works by opening breathing passages to make breathing easier. This drug is also known as salbutamol in other countries.

 
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 Albuterol images:

OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
Albuterol

Uses
Albuterol is used to treat wheezing and shortness of breath that commonly occur with lung problems (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Controlling these symptoms can decrease time lost from work or school. This drug is also used to prevent breathing difficulties brought on by exercise (exercise-induced bronchospasm-EIB). Albuterol is a bronchodilator (beta-2 receptor agonist) that works by opening breathing passages to make breathing easier. This drug is also known as salbutamol in other countries.
Notes
  • Do not share this medication with others.Avoid allergens, irritants, smoking, and other factors that make asthma worse.Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, EKG, blood potassium levels) may be performed from time to time to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.Learn to use a peak flow meter, use it daily, and promptly report worsening asthma (such as readings in the yellow/red range or increased use of quick-relief inhalers).

Storage
  • Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from direct sunlight.
  • It is best to store the inhaler with the mouthpiece down.
  • Avoid freezing.
  • Do not puncture the canister or expose it to high heat or open flame.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Overdose
  • Symptoms of overdose may include: chest pain, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, headache, shaking (tremors), nervousness, weakness, severe dizziness, seizures.

How To Use
  • Read the Patient Information Leaflet for instructions on proper use of this medication and the proper cleaning of the mouthpiece.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.Shake the canister well before each inhalation and test spray.
  • Follow the instructions for test sprays in the air if you are using a new canister or if you have not used it for 4 weeks or more.
  • This is also called priming your inhaler.
  • Avoid spraying the medication in your eyes.
  • A fine mist is a sign that the inhaler is properly working.Use this medication exactly as prescribed.
  • Inhale by mouth usually every 4 to 6 hours as needed or as directed by your doctor.
  • Take the cap off the mouthpiece.
  • Place the mouthpiece near your mouth and exhale.
  • Place the mouthpiece fully into your mouth and press the inhaler as you breathe in deeply.
  • Hold your breath for 10 seconds if possible to allow the drug to be absorbed.
  • If more than one inhalation is prescribed, wait at least 1 full minute between inhalations.
  • If you take other asthma drugs by mouth or with inhaling devices, ask your doctor about how to correctly take this medication with your other asthma medicines.Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
  • Take this medication exactly as directed to get the most benefit from it.
  • Do not take more of this medication or take it more often than recommended by your doctor.To help with exercised-induced wheezing, inhale 2 puffs 15-30 minutes before exercise or as directed by your doctor.If you find it difficult to use this inhaler correctly, it may help to use a spacer device with this inhaler.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.Clean the mouthpiece at least once daily as directed in the Patient Information Leaflet.
  • It should also be cleaned at any time that it appears to be clogged or is not working correctly.If you notice less effect than usual from this medication, if your symptoms get worse, or if you feel you need to take any of your asthma medications more often than recommended, seek immediate medical attention.Keep track of the number of inhalations used from each canister.
  • Discard the canister after you have used the number of inhalations marked on the manufacturer's package.
  • Sprays used to prime the inhaler should also be counted.
  • Do not float the metal canister in water to test if any more drug is left in the canister.

Side Effects
  • Headache, nausea, nervousness, dizziness, shaking (tremor), trouble sleeping, dry mouth, cough, sore throat, or runny nose may occur.
  • If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, chest pain, muscle cramps, weakness.Rarely, this medication has caused severe (rarely fatal), sudden worsening of breathing problems/asthma (paradoxical bronchospasm).
  • If you experience sudden wheezing, seek immediate medical attention.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.
  • However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions
  • Before taking albuterol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to similar bronchodilators (e.g., levalbuterol, metaproterenol, salmeterol); or to sympathomimetic drugs (e.g., epinephrine, pseudoephedrine); or if you have any other allergies.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart disease (e.g., high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, coronary insufficiency), seizures, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes, low blood potassium level (hypokalemia).This drug may make you dizzy.
  • Use caution while driving, using machinery, or doing any activity that requires alertness.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages.Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the effects on the heart.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed.
  • Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk.
  • Breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Missed Dose
  • If you are using albuterol regularly and miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember.
  • If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.
  • Do not double the dose to catch up.

Drug Interactions
  • Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them.
  • Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) within 2 weeks before, during, and after treatment with this medication.
  • In some cases a serious, possibly fatal drug interaction may occur.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: other asthma drugs (e.g., levalbuterol, salmeterol), beta blockers (e.g., atenolol, propranolol), digoxin, inhaled anesthetics (e.g., halothane, isoflurane), other sympathomimetic drugs (e.g., ephedrine, epinephrine), tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, nortriptyline), certain "water pills" (diuretics that cause potassium loss such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide).

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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