What is albuterol?

Albuterol is a bronchodilator that relaxes muscles in the airways and increases air flow to the lungs.

Albuterol inhalation is used to treat or prevent bronchospasm in people with reversible obstructive airway disease. Albuterol is also used to prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm.

Albuterol inhalation may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to albuterol.

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before using albuterol, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure;
  • a heart rhythm disorder;
  • a seizure disorder such as epilepsy;
  • diabetes; or
  • overactive thyroid.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use albuterol, or you may need a dose adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether albuterol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes. If this does happen, rinse the eyes with water and seek medical attention.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of albuterol can be fatal. Overdose symptoms may include nervousness, headache, tremor, dry mouth, chest pain or heavy feeling, rapid or uneven heart rate, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, dizziness, seizure (convulsions), feeling light-headed or fainting.

Use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and use the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

Stop using this medication and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing), especially after starting a new canister of this medicine;
  • chest pain and fast, pounding, or uneven heart beats;
  • tremor, nervousness;
  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness, nervousness;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • cough, hoarseness, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose;
  • dry mouth and throat;
  • muscle pain; or
  • diarrhea.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • a diuretic (water pill);
  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin);
  • a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor), propranolol (Inderal), and others;
  • an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and others;
  • an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate); or
  • other bronchodilators such as levalbuterol (Xopenex), bitolterol (Tornalate), pirbuterol (Maxair), terbutaline (Brethine, Bricanyl), salmeterol (Serevent), isoetherine (Bronkometer), metaproterenol (Alupent, Metaprel), or isoproterenol (Isuprel Mistometer).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with albuterol. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Accuneb, Airet, ProAir HFA, Proventil, Proventil HFA, Proventil Repetabs, Respirol, Ventolin, Ventolin HFA, Ventolin Nebules, Ventolin Rotacaps, VoSpire ER, Volmax, and albuterol

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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