Common brand names:
Albuterol (also known as salbutamol) is used to prevent and treat wheezing and shortness of breath caused by breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). It is also used to prevent asthma brought on by exercise. It is a quick-relief drug. Albuterol belongs to a class of drugs known as bronchodilators. It works in the airways by opening breathing passages and relaxing muscles. Controlling symptoms of breathing problems can decrease time lost from work or school.
How to Use This Medication
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. Follow the illustrated directions for the proper use of this medication and proper cleaning of the mouthpiece. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Shake the canister well before using. Follow the instructions for test sprays in the air if you are using a canister for the first time or if you have not used it for 2 weeks or more, or if the inhaler has been dropped. A fine mist is a sign that the inhaler is working properly. Avoid spraying the medication in your eyes.
Inhale this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often than prescribed without your doctor's approval. Using too much of this medication will increase your risk of serious (possibly fatal) side effects.
If you are using this medication to prevent asthma brought on by exercise, inhale as directed by your doctor, usually 2 puffs 15 to 30 minutes before exercise.
It is recommended that you use a spacer device with this medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
If two inhalations are prescribed, wait at least 1 minute between them.
If you are using other inhalers at the same time, wait at least 1 minute between the use of each medication.
Always have this quick-relief inhaler with you. Keep track of the number of inhalations you use, and discard the inhaler after you have used the labeled number of inhalations on the product package. Also count test sprays used to prime the inhaler.
Learn which of your inhalers you should use every day (controller drugs) and which you should use if your breathing suddenly worsens (quick-relief drugs). Ask your doctor ahead of time what you should do if you have new or worsening cough or shortness of breath, wheezing, increased sputum, worsening peak flow meter readings, waking up at night with trouble breathing, if you use your quick-relief inhaler more often (more than 2 days a week), or if your quick-relief inhaler does not seem to be working well. Learn when you can treat sudden breathing problems by yourself and when you must get medical help right away.
Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen.
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Information expires June 2016.