Salbutamol, also called albuterol, is sold under the brand name Ventolin for the prevention and treatment of asthma symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
The drug belongs to a class of pharmacological agents called bronchodilators. It is commonly used as a “quick-relief” inhaler. People with asthma induced by exercise use salbutamol inhalers as preventive medicine.
Salbutamol works by relaxing the muscles around the air passages so they can dilate and make your breathing much easier.
Generally, the drug comes in an inhaler or puffer. Sometimes, salbutamol is given as tablets or capsules for people who cannot use an inhaler. The drug can also be given using a nebulizer, especially in those who have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Follow all directions for the proper use of a generic salbutamol inhaler for asthma. If you still have questions regarding how to use an asthma inhaler, ask your doctor or pharmacist. You may receive an asthma action plan from your doctor on how to use a salbutamol inhaler and how many puffs (inhalations) you need to take for each dose.
Inhale this asthma medication orally as directed by your doctor, every 4 to 6 hours or as needed. Remember, the dosage of salbutamol inhaler is based on your medical condition and drug response. Do not increase or decrease your dose or use it more often than prescribed without your physician’s approval. Use this medicine at least half an hour before exercise if you are using it to prevent asthma induced by exercise.
It is important to tell your doctor about your past as well as present medical conditions because he/she prescribes a salbutamol inhaler for asthma, including any drug allergies. Tell your doctor if you have any history of salbutamol or albuterol allergy, heart disease, high blood pressure, or a history of stroke or seizures. Also, tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications or herbal products.
Salbutamol inhaler may make you dizzy or drowsy. So, avoid driving, using machinery, and stay away from alcohol during the course of treatment. As far as using the medicine during pregnancy or breastfeeding is concerned, please discuss with your doctor. It is unclear whether the drug affects the fetus or newborns through mothers.
Common side effects of salbutamol inhaler for asthma may include nervousness, dizziness, shaking, headache, nausea, dryness of mouth or throat, or unusual taste. If any of these adverse events persist or aggravate, check with your doctor right away. Ventolin inhaler may increase your blood pressure so make sure you have your blood pressure checked regularly during treatment.
Get immediate medical attention if you experience serious side effects such as fast/pounding heartbeat, palpitations, sudden worsening of breathlessness, or sudden wheezing. Also, get immediate medical help if you notice any signs of serious allergic reactions, such as rash, itching or swelling of the face or throat, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.
Price The price of asthma inhalers increased about 35% between 2013 and 2018, from an average price of around $280 in 2013 to more than $380, according to GoodRx, a website that compares drug prices. Generally, a salbutamol inhaler for asthma is an inexpensive drug. It is available in generic and brand versions. Generic salbutamol is covered by most Medicare and insurance plans. The lowest price for the most common version of generic salbutamol is around $27.39, approximately 50% cheaper than the branded version Ventolin inhaler, according to GoodRx.