Ventolin Inhaler: Effective Albuterol Sulfate Asthma Medication
Ventolin Inhaler (albuterol) is a bronchodilator used to treat or prevent bronchospasm in people with asthma or other airway diseases.
How does it work?
The active ingredient albuterol act on some of the nerve receptors of the bronchial muscular system, due to which it relaxes and promotes the expansion of the respiratory canals. Due to this, a larger volume of air is drawn into the lungs. If the course of therapy takes place in compliance with the doctor’s recommendations, then in the overwhelming majority of cases no side effects develop.
The drug is highly effective. A noticeable improvement in well-being is observed just a few minutes after the procedure. In this case, a positive result persists for at least five hours.
What is Ventolin inhaler used for?
The medicine is well known to asthmatics since doctors most often prescribe it to people suffering from this disease.
In addition, the drug is considered one of the best for such pathologies:
- any form of bronchial inflammation;
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
- pulmonary emphysema;
This is just a small list of ailments that this drug helps to treat. It is also often prescribed for bronchitis of various origins.
Is Ventolin inhaler a steroid?
No, this medicine contains albuterol and does not contain steroids. Albuterol is a sympathomimetic bronchodilator that relaxes the smooth muscle in the airways which makes air to flow in and out of the lungs easily and therefore it is easier for a person to breathe.
How long does it take for albuterol to work?
The medicine works very quickly – usually in a few minutes. Each treatment usually takes about 5 to 15 minutes.
Who should not use this medicine?
This aspect should be given special attention. Instructions for use must be read carefully since the drug cannot be used by all people. Doctors do not recommend inhalation of this medication for children under the age of 2.
In addition, the main contraindications for albuterol medication include:
- individual intolerance to any of the components;
- any pathology of the heart and circulatory system;
- endocrine diseases;
- hepatic and renal insufficiency or their dysfunction;
If you have any of the above problems, then you should be extremely careful when using this inhaler, as it can affect your well-being and cause various serious complications.
How to use it?
To do inhalation, follow these steps:
- when using the device for the first time, remove the cap from it by slightly pressing the edges on both sides;
- take the balloon in your hand so that its bottom is on top;
- clasp the mouthpiece with your lips (do not fix it with your teeth);
- take a deep breath;
- hold your breath for e few seconds and exhale gradually;
- the next time you can inhale the solution after 30 seconds.
How often can I use Ventolin inhaler?
For the treatment or prevention of an asthma attack, the usual dosage of albuterol for adults and children aged 4 years and older is 2 sprays with intervals of 4-6 hours. Some patients may only need a dosage of 1 spray every 4 hours.
How many puffs of Ventolin is safe?
Doctors do not recommend more than 12 puffs per day. For the acute treatment of severe episodes, it is recommended 4 to 8 puffs every 20 minutes for up to 4 hours, then 4-8 puffs every 1-4 hours as needed.
Can it cause side effects?
The medication almost never causes undesirable consequences, however, such a probability cannot be completely excluded.
According to the manufacturer, in the course of clinical trials, the following side effects were recorded in patients:
- a significant increase in the level of potassium in the blood;
- attacks of increased suffocation;
- an increase in blood sugar, causing diabetic ketoacidosis;
- severe migraines;
- significant increase in heart rate;
- violation of the functioning of the central nervous system;
- hand tremor.
It should be noted that in most cases, side effects occur when the dosage of the medicine prescribed by the doctor is exceeded.
If you followed all the prescriptions, however, you experience side effects, contact your doctor right away.
Can I use Ventolin during pregnancy?
It is not recommended to use this inhaler if you are pregnant. However, if the risk to the health and life of the mother and her baby is too high, then doctors may prescribe this drug.
It is worth noting that in medical practice the effect of a drug on pregnancy has not been fully studied, however, some other drugs led to certain undesirable consequences.
For example, there have been cases when children were born with palatal enlargements, as well as deformed arms or legs.
You cannot use the inhaler if you have a threat of termination of pregnancy or premature birth. The same applies to the period of breastfeeding. The components that make up the product penetrate into breast milk and can harm the child. The consequences may be unpredictable.
Can children use albuterol inhalers?
In fact, children may not always use albuterol inhalation. It is contraindicated in children under the age of two, but in some cases it is prescribed as early as 1.5 years. From this age, the drug can be used but in lower dosages. Children who have not yet turned 18 months are prescribed this medicine extremely rarely because its effect on children of this age is still poorly understood.
Most often, doctors prescribe the drug for a short period. When prescribing it, the doctor takes into account the age of the child, the degree of the disease and possible side effects. The duration of treatment also depends on many factors and is prescribed individually.
Can I use Ventolin daily?
In most cases, doctors will prescribe you another inhaler to “prevent” your asthma attacks and you should use this daily. If you need to use your albuterol inhaler more than 3 times a week, it could be a sign that your condition is deteriorating and requires consideration.
Can I overdose on Ventolin?
If the dosage calculated by the doctor is not observed, side effects may develop. The most common adverse reactions include:
- trembling in the upper limbs;
If you have any problems after inhalation therapy, you should contact your doctor or call an ambulance as soon as possible.
Can it interact with other drugs?
Albuterol is not compatible with all medicines. It is not recommended to use it together with the following drugs:
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors;
- non-selective beta-blockers;
- drugs that dilate blood vessels;
- non-selective m-anticholinergics.
When combining albuterol with the above drugs, you have a high risk of developing many serious diseases, for example, myocardial ischemia or various cardiac pathologies.
Also, people who use any eye drops should be very careful with the use of albuterol. When vapors get into the eyes, it may cause angle-closure glaucoma.
Therefore, when carrying out inhalation procedures, basic precautions must be observed.
If a disease of the respiratory system is accompanied by a strong inflammatory process, then albuterol is recommended to be used in conjunction with budesonide.
This drug increases the effectiveness of inhalations, therefore, after the procedure, the patient will have a noticeable improvement in well-being and will recover much faster.
In addition, such a tandem can reduce the intensity and severity of asthma symptoms.
How to store this medicine?
The medication should be stored away from light and children. In this case, air temperature should not exceed 25 degrees Celsius. The shelf life of the drug is 3 years from the moment of manufacture.
The exact production date is indicated on the packaging.
An open medicine is suitable for use for no more than three months, after which it must be disposed of since it not only loses all its properties but can also lead to severe intoxication, which can cause very serious consequences.
Are there any special instructions?
- You should use Ventolin inhaler in strict accordance with the doctor’s prescription;
- Since the need to increase the dose of the drug or the frequency of procedures may be a sign of exacerbation of bronchial asthma, it is necessary to review the treatment regimen and consider the need of prescribing the simultaneous administration of glucocorticosteroids;
- Patients who use this medicine at home should be informed that in case of a decrease in the therapeutic effect or its duration, it is necessary to immediately consult a doctor since it is strictly forbidden to increase the dose of albuterol or increase the frequency of inhalations without consulting a doctor;
- A step-by-step method of bronchial asthma treatment under the control of lung function and the patient’s clinical response to treatment is recommended;
- In unstable or severe bronchial asthma, this medicine should not be the main or only drug of therapy.
The sudden progression of bronchial asthma poses a threat to human life, therefore, an immediate doctor’s advice or an increase in the GCS dose is required. In this case, the patient needs daily monitoring of the maximum expiratory flow rate.
You should bear in mind that the use of beta2-adrenergic receptor agonists can cause hypokalemia, especially when they are inhaled or parenterally administered.
Patients with severe attacks of bronchial asthma require regular careful monitoring of the level of potassium concentration in the blood serum since they are at greater risk of hypokalemia due to hypoxia and combination therapy with GCS, xanthine derivatives and diuretics.
According to the instructions, treatment with Ventolin inhaler should be immediately canceled if the patient develops immediately after inhalation of paradoxical bronchospasm with increased wheezing. The immediate treatment of this condition requires the use of another short-acting inhaled bronchodilator or albuterol in an alternative form.
Do not allow the solution or its “mist” to get into the eyes.
With the simultaneous inhalation of albuterol and anticholinergic drugs (including ipratropium bromide), caution should be exercised since there is a risk of developing acute angle-closure glaucoma.
Patients with diabetes mellitus who receive albuterol may develop decompensation and ketoacidosis. They should be especially careful when combining the drug with GCS.
With exacerbation of bronchial asthma, the use of high doses of albuterol can cause shortness of breath and compensatory hyperventilation of the lungs.
When a patient’s condition is worsened, it is necessary to take into account the possibility of developing lactic acidosis, which is similar to symptoms.
Serum lactate concentration studies should be used to correctly interpret these signs and take measures to prevent metabolic acidosis.
As medical statistics show, this medicine is able to quickly cope with many pathologies of the respiratory system. Reviews of people who have tried this remedy fully confirm this. Improvement of well-being is observed after the first procedure, and diseases such as cough, runny nose, asthma, bronchitis and many others go away or subside after about a week of treatment. Moreover, the drug is relatively safe. Subject to the dosage prescribed, there are no side effects. Therefore, if the doctor has prescribed this drug to you or your child, you can safely use it without fear of the consequences.