Ventolin for Asthma: Benefits and Side Effects

Ventolin (albuterol) is a bronchodilator used for relaxing the muscles in the airways. It helps in increasing the airflow to the lungs. It is used to treat issues like shortness of breath and wheezing that is caused by problems like:

  • Asthma;
  • Chronic bronchitis

It can also be used when you have difficulty in breathing that is brought on by exercise. It is known to be a quick relief drug. This drug can also be used for purposes that are not listed in the medical guide.

Guidelines for Using Ventolin

Ventolin usage
Before you start using this medication when you have difficulty in breathing, you need to read the information leaflet that has been provided by your doctor or your pharmacist. Here are some of the other important guidelines that you need to maintain:

  • Make sure that you clean the mouthpiece prior to using it
  • Shake the canister
  • Follow the instructions for some test sprays if you are using it for the first time

If you find the canister to be having a fine mist, it basically means that it is not working properly. Avoid spraying the medicine in your eyes. The medication has to be sprayed according to the recommendations of the doctor, which is generally every four to six hours. Do not stop taking this drug or increase the dosage without consulting the doctor. Also, make sure that you do not use this medication too often, as it might increase the risk of the side effects.

You need to keep a track of the number of inhalations that you are using. Discard the inhaler after you have used for the labeled number of inhalations that have been mentioned on the package. There are different inhaler and thus, you should be able to tell the difference between the one that is used every day from the one that is used when the conditions become worse.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Ventolin:

  • Dryness of the throat and mouth
  • Nervousness
  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Changes in taste
  • A cough
  • Dizziness
  • A headache

The medications might also lead to a rise in the blood pressure. Thus, you need to keep a check on the blood pressure on a regular and let your doctor know if you find the results to be high. You should consult the doctor if you have some serious side effects like:

  • Fast and uneven heartbeats
  • Low level of potassium
  • Sleeping disorder
  • Muscle pain
  • Diarrhea

For some people, this drug might cause a difficulty in breathing and an increase in wheezing. If you are experiencing these issues then stop taking the medication immediately and get medical assistance.

Salbutamol can also lead to heart problems when people with heart complication like abnormal heart rhythm, heart disease, and high blood pressure use it.

All these conditions might have an effect on the dosage of medicine that you are prescribed by the doctor and thus, needs to be reported.

Salbutamol that is given by a nebulizer might cause an increase in the blood sugar levels. In case, you have diabetes, you should consult the doctor about the possible side effects that the medicine can have and if it requires any special monitoring. Tell your doctor if you use the following medications:

  • Digoxin;
  • Beta blockers like carvedilol, labetalol, nebivolol, sotalol, metoprolol, etc;
  • An antidepressant like nortriptyline, amitriptyline, and others;
  • Diuretic

Possible Interactions

Ventolin interactions might change the manner in which your medicine work and thereby increase the risk of possible side effects. You need to keep a list of all the products that you are using and ensure that you share it with the doctor. Avoid using drugs that contain levalbuterol while using this drug because both similar in nature.

How Should Not Use Ventolin?

You should not use Ventolin if you have:

  • An allergy to the medicine or to any other components of the medicine
  • An allergy to milk and products of milk

This medication needs to be avoided if you are pregnant and should be used when absolutely necessary.

Go for regular checkup and tests while using this medicine to keep a track of the side effects. Also, do not share the medicine with anybody else.