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Ventolin (Salbutamol)

Last updated on: January 16th, 2023

Do you suffer from asthma symptoms? Most doctors prescribe using Ventolin based on Salbutamol (Albuterol). Learn what it is and how it works before you start the treatment course.

What is Albuterol?

Everyone knows how dangerous asthma is. Breathing difficulties may lead to sudden death if you don’t take an effective drug to avoid possible constriction and inflammation of the airways. Albuterol is a drug for children and adults diagnosed with asthma. It should be mentioned that Albuterol and Salbutamol are the same; Salbutamol is the international nonproprietary name, while Albuterol is the United States Adopted Name (USAN). Albuterol has several production forms: 

  • inhalation suspension;
  • Ventolin for nebulizer;
  • pills;
  • syrup for kids.

The brand name of the drug is Ventolin. NDC (National Drug Code) is 0173-0682. Albuterol Sulfate has been used to relieve bronchospasm for years and has shown promising results. It’s an effective medication to prevent asthma symptoms, among which are swelling of your airways’ lining, constant coughing, wheezing, and different respiratory diseases. Ventolin is a prescription inhaled medicine for people aged four years and older. It is not known if Ventolin is safe and effective in children younger than four years of age.

Mechanism of Action

Learn about the mechanism of action of Albuterol before you start using it. Salbutamol has a highly selective stimulating effect on beta2-adrenergic receptors and activates adenylate cyclase located in cells. The bronchodilator effect of Salbutamol is due to the relaxation of the smooth muscles of the bronchi. Salbutamol has long drug action since it isn’t destroyed in the lungs by catechol-O-Methyltransferase. Salbutamol slows down the contractile activity of the myometrium, relaxes the uterus, and prevents premature birth.

When inhaled, 10–20% of Salbutamol reaches the small bronchi, where it is gradually absorbed into the systemic circulation; part of the dose of Ventolin is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract when swallowed. Salbutamol is well absorbed when using long-acting tablets. The maximum concentration is 30 ng/ml. The duration of the circulation of Salbutamol in the blood (at a therapeutic concentration) is 3-9 hours, after which the content of the drug gradually decreases. Salbutamol binds to plasma proteins by 10%.

It is excreted in breast milk and passes through the placenta. In the liver, Salbutamol undergoes biotransformation. The half-life is 3.8 hours. Regardless of the route of administration, it is excreted in the bile and urine, mainly unchanged (approximately 90%) or in the form of glucuronide.

Removal of bronchospasm is faster achieved with inhaled Salbutamol. Expansion of the bronchi occurs in the 4-5th minute, increases by the 20th minute, and becomes maximum in 40-60 minutes; the duration of the effect is 4–5 hours. The most pronounced result is achieved with the inhalation of 2 doses of Salbutamol, a further increase in the dose doesn’t lead to an increase in bronchial patency, but the possibility of adverse reactions (headache, tremor, dizziness) increases.

Salbutamol positively affects mucociliary clearance (increases it by 36% in chronic bronchitis), activates the functions of the ciliated epithelium, and stimulates mucus secretion. It slows the release of inflammatory mediators from basophils and mast cells (for example, anti-IgE-induced release of histamine) and eliminates the antigen-dependent release of neutrophil chemotaxis factor and suppression of mucociliary transport. Salbutamol prevents bronchospasm caused by an allergen. It can cause a reduction in the number and desensitization of beta-adrenergic receptors, including on lymphocytes.

Salbutamol has several metabolic effects:

  • It reduces the concentration of potassium in the plasma.
  • It acts on the release of insulin and glycogenolysis and has a lipolytic and hyperglycemic (especially in patients with bronchial asthma) effect.
  • It increases the likelihood of developing acidosis.

Albuterol Mechanism of Action

Is it a Steroid?

Most patients ask, “Is Albuterol medication one of the steroid drugs?” No, there are no steroids in Ventolin. The drug relaxes muscles in your airways so that you can breathe easily. The main substance of the drug is Albuterol, known as a beta-agonist. Some healthcare specialists prescribe using a steroid treatment together with the Ventolin inhaler.

What is Albuterol Used for?

When to use Ventolin? Albuterol is used to prevent asthma symptoms that may be dangerous. You will instantly help yourself and prevent breathing difficulties if you have an inhaler.

Bronchospasm in People with Asthma

Albuterol is used in patients with bronchospastic syndrome, bronchial asthma (including nighttime – prolonged forms) – prevention and relief, and COPD (including chronic bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema).

Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm

If you have exercise-induced bronchospasm, you should have an Albuterol inhaler with you. Use it before the training (at least 20 minutes before exercise). The medication is helpful for most people suffering from bronchospasms caused by exercising. The action of the drug is up to 6 hours. Take this into account when you are going to have physical exercises.

Other Conditions

  • The threat of premature birth with the appearance of contractile activity; 
  • isthmic-cervical insufficiency; 
  • fetal bradycardia (depending on uterine contractions during periods of uterine cervix dilatation and expulsion); 
  • operations on the pregnant uterus (the imposition of a circular suture in case of insufficiency of the internal uterine pharynx).

Albuterol Dosage

Here you will find the information about how many puffs of Ventolin one should do. In case you use the inhaler form of Albuterol, follow the recommendations:

  • Adults and children over 12 years old – 2.5 mg of the drug 3-4 times a day. If necessary, it is possible to increase the dose to 5 mg. Keep in mind that the period between the drug use should be not less than 4-8 hours a day. The maximum daily dose is 32 mg.
  • Children 6-12 years old are recommended to take 2 mg 3-4 times a day; the maximum dose is 24 mg/day; 2-6 years old – 1-2 mg (0.1 mg/kg) 3-4 times a day.
  • Recommended Dosage for Prevention of Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm – Adult and pediatric patients aged 4 years and older: 2 inhalations by oral inhalation 15 to 30 minutes before exercise.

Extended-release tablets:

    • Adults and children over 12 years old – 4-8 mg every 12 hours. The maximum dose is 32 mg/day (16 mg every 12 hours).
    • For children 6-12 years old, 4 mg every 12 hours, the maximum dose of the drug is 24 mg/day (12 mg every 12 hours). The tablets should be swallowed whole without chewing.

Intravenous use of the drug is used for severe bronchospasm:

0.25 mg (4 μg / kg), if necessary, every 15 minutes or by infusion – 0.005 mg/min, with an increase in the dose, if necessary, at intervals of 15-30 minutes up to 0.01-0.02 mg/min.

To prepare a solution for intravenous administration of the required concentration of 0.01 mg/ml, 5 mg of the drug solution is diluted with 500 ml of a solvent (water for injection, 0.9% sodium chloride solution, or 5% dextrose solution).

Your doctor may prescribe you use another Albuterol dosage, taking into account your current health condition. The course of treatment depends on the symptom you have as well as the seriousness of your condition.

How to Use an Albuterol Inhaler?

Before using your Ventolin inhaler, make sure that:

  • the inhaler is at room temperature;
  • if your child needs to use it, watch your child closely to make sure your child uses the inhaler correctly. Your healthcare provider will show you how your child should use it. 

Read the instructions on how to use an inhaler before you start using it:

  • Breathe Albuterol with your month.
  • Pay attention to how you place the mouthpiece. The end should be in your mouth, while your lips should be closed tightly.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Don’t exhale for 10 seconds. Then, start breathing slowly.
  • Do you need to make several puffs? Then, make pauses between them for at least a minute and get started again following the same recommendations.

How to use an inhaler

For the correct use of your Ventolin inhaler, remember the following: 

  • the metal canister should always fit firmly in the plastic actuator;
  • breathe in deeply and slowly to make sure you get all the medicine; 
  • hold your breath for about 10 seconds after breathing in the medicine, then breathe out fully;
  • always keep the protective cap on the mouthpiece when your inhaler is not in use;
  • always store your inhaler with the mouthpiece pointing down;
  • to ensure proper dosing and to prevent actuator orifice blockage, wash the actuator with warm water and let it air-dry completely at least once a week;
  • prime Ventolin before using it for the first time, when the inhaler has not been used for more than two weeks, or when the inhaler has been dropped to ensure appropriate albuterol content in each actuation. To prime, release four sprays into the air away from the face, shaking well before each spray. Avoid spraying in the eyes. 

People often ask: Do I need a prescription for a Ventolin inhaler? Yes, it is a prescription drug.

Ventolin Usage at Various Conditions

Find out how a potent anti-asthmatic agent used for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes for diseases of the bronchi and lungs may affect other conditions.

Other Diseases

You should inform your doctor if you have any severe health problems. The healthcare specialist may decrease the dosage if you have heart problems or other diseases. Don’t hide any information about your chronic health conditions.

Use of Anti-Inflammatory Agents

Do not use any anti-inflammatory agents when using Ventolin. The drug helps decrease both acute and chronic inflammation. Consult your doctor if you take any anti-inflammatory drugs.

Ventolin During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Aerosol Ventolin is rarely prescribed for pregnant women. If it is necessary to use this drug, strict control is carried out by medical personnel over the patient’s well-being and the effect of Salbutamol. Accurate data on the harmful effects of the drug on the fetus have not been recorded.

In isolated cases, taking a bronchodilator led to the birth of babies with various defects: dystrophy of the upper and lower extremities or cleft palate. It should be noted that the occurrence of these pathologies was facilitated by the intake of an anti-asthma drug with drugs from other pharmacological groups.

Breastfeeding women should be aware that Salbutamol can pass into breast milk. However, there is no information about the negative effect of the drug on the baby. Despite this, lactation should be interrupted before you start the inhalation therapy to avoid possible negative consequences.

Cardiovascular Effects

Compared to other drugs with the same effect, the use of Ventolin doesn’t cause any harm to the cardiovascular system. However, you should take it according to the doctor’s prescription and not overdose to avoid cardio problems.

Interactions with Other Medicines

Treatment with the drug enhances the effect of stimulants of the central nervous system, tachycardia in patients with thyrotoxicosis, and the likelihood of developing extrasystole while taking cardiac glycosides. A single use of the drug reduces digoxin concentration by 16-22% against the background of 10-day therapy with the latter (it has no clinical significance, the digoxin concentration in the blood should be monitored).

The probable increase in heart rate and blood pressure while taking the drug may necessitate a dose adjustment of antihypertensive and antianginal drugs.

Theophylline and other xanthines, when used simultaneously, increase the likelihood of developing tachyarrhythmias; medications for inhalation anesthesia, levodopa may lead to severe ventricular arrhythmias. Keep in mind the interactions with Albuterol when taking several drugs simultaneously.

MAO inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants, increasing the drug’s effect, can lead to a sharp decrease in blood pressure.

Albuterol is incompatible (pharmacological antagonism) with non-selective beta-blockers (which must also be considered when using ophthalmic forms of beta-blockers).

Simultaneous administration with anticholinergics (including inhalations) can increase intraocular pressure. In addition, diuretics and GCS enhance the hypokalemic effect of the drug.

Albuterol Side Effects

Ventolin side effects

Check what side effects Albuterol may cause and inform your doctor if you notice any adverse reaction among those listed below.

The main side effects of Albuterol are the following:

  • Fast or Irregular Heart Rate. You may have tachycardia (including in the fetus during pregnancy), palpitations, arrhythmias, increased or decreased blood pressure, expansion of peripheral vessels, heart failure, myocardial ischemia, and cardiomyopathy.
  • Nervousness. The side effects of the nervous system are anxiety, tremors (usually of the hands), tension, dizziness, irritability, sleep disturbances, headache, and short-term convulsions.
  • Dizziness. Headache and dizziness are the most common side effects. They are temporary and will go away without any severe consequences. But you are recommended to tell your doctor about them as well.
  • Sore Throat. One of the possible common side effects is pharyngitis.

Other possible side effects of Ventolin are:

  • bronchospasm (caused by hypersensitivity to Salbutamol or paradoxical);
  • sweating;
  • difficulty urinating;
  • increased blood glucose levels;
  • free fatty acids;
  • dose-dependent hypokalemia;
  • the development of mental and physical drug dependence;
  • allergic reactions in the form of facial edema;
  • erythema;
  • shortness of breath.

Salbutamol Overdose

Check the consequences of the Salbutamol overdose to avoid dangerous side effects. Take the drug according to the instructions listed by the drug producer and the prescription of your healthcare specialist, and call an emergency if you have any severe side symptoms of the drug overdose.

Symptoms of Overdose

Symptoms of acute poisoning: angina pectoris, tachycardia (with a heart rate of up to 200 beats per minute), palpitations, arrhythmia, dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, hyperglycemia (replacing hypoglycemia), decreased or increased blood pressure, hypokalemia, insomnia, malaise, nausea, nervous tension, convulsions, tremors. Follow the pediatric dosage recommendations of your doctor, and you won’t face health problems caused by an overdose of Albuterol.

What to Do in Case of Overdose

Treatment in case of overdose is symptomatic. With an overdose of tablet forms of the drug, you may have gastric lavage, and with tachyarrhythmias, cardioselective beta-blockers are administered (with caution because of the risk of bronchospasm). Be sure to use the drug according to the doctor’s instructions.

Does It Expire?

You aren’t recommended to use a Salbutamol inhaler when it expires. This usually happens a year after you have started to use the drug. After the expiration date, Ventolin may show no effect.
That’s why get a new one you can rely on before the inhaler you use expires.

Albuterol Warnings

Before you start using an inhaler or using nebulized Ventolin, you need to learn the following:

  • Ventolin should only be used with a doctor’s prescription. This drug should be included in the complex of treatment measures to feel the benefit from the use.
  • If you notice that the effectiveness of the solution decreases, you should contact your doctor again and undergo an examination to identify the cause.
  • During the course, it is advisable to monitor the potassium content in the blood constantly.

If there is a deterioration in health during treatment, you should immediately get qualified medical care.

Frequent use of the drug can lead to increased bronchospasm and sudden death. In connection with this, it is necessary to take breaks of 6 hours between taking the following doses of the drug. Reduction of these intervals can take place only in exceptional cases. If it is necessary to prescribe the drug during lactation, you should stop breastfeeding as there is no evidence that it doesn’t pass into breast milk.

Adrenergic bronchodilators can be used during pregnancy since the potential risk of placental hypoxemia for the fetus against the background of uncontrolled bronchial asthma significantly outweighs the risk associated with their use. However, when treating with the drug during pregnancy, care should be taken since it can cause tachycardia and hyperglycemia in the mother (especially in the presence of diabetes mellitus) and the fetus, as well as cause the delayed labor in the mother, lower blood pressure, and cause pulmonary edema.

Other Brand Names of Ventolin 

This medication may be sold in different countries under another brand name. Check the table below to find medicine in your country easily. 

Country Ventolin Brand Names

Argentina

Airomir, Airsalbu, Amocasin, Asmatol, Butamol, Cercini, Duopack, Medihaler, Microterol, Nebutrax, Respiret, Salbulin, Salbutol, Salbutral, Salbutral + Aeromed, Venticil, Ventimol, Ventolin, Yontal, Zoom

Austria

Astec, Buventol, Epaq, Sultanol, Zaperin

Australia

Airomir, Asmol, Butamol, Epaq, Respax, Respolin, Ventolin

Belgium

Airomir, Docsalbuta, Salomol, Ventolin

Brazil

Acobelin, Aero-Clenil, Aero-Ped, Aerodini, Aerogold, Aerogreen, Aerojet, Aerolin, Aerotamol, Aerotrat, Albulin, Asmakil, Asmaliv, Broncodil, Broncolin, Bronconal, Broncosedol, Bronquil, Butovent, Dilamol, Mebutol, Oxiterol, Pneumolat, Prodotamol, Pulmoflux, Salburin, Salbutalin, Salbutam, Salbutamax, Salbutib, Salrolin, Saltamol, Sarolin, Suxar, Teoden, Tussiliv

Canada

Airomir, Apo-Salvent, Asmavent, Novo-Salmol, Ventodisk, Ventolin, Volmax

Switzerland

Airomir, Asmaxen, Butohaler, Butovent, Buventol, Ecovent, Salamol, Servitamol, Ventodisk, Ventolin, Volmax

Chile

Aero-Sal, Aerolin, Agrilin, Airomir, Asmavent, Broncoterol, Bropil, Butotal, Fesema, Respolin, Salbutral, Sinasmal

Czech Republic

Apo-Salvent, Asthalin, Broncovaleas, Butovent, Buventol, Ecosal, Etinoline, Salamol, Steri-Neb, Salamol, Ventodisks, Ventolin, Volmax

Germany

Aerolind, Apsomol, Arubendol, Asthma-Spray, Asthmalitan, Broncho Fertiginhalat, Broncho Inhalat, Bronchospray, Epaq, Loftan, Padiamol, Pentamol, Salbu, Salbubreathe, Salbubronch, Salbuhexal, Salbulair, Salbulind, Salbupp, SalbuSandoz, Salmundin, Salvent, Sultanol, Ventilastin, Volmac

Denmark

Airomir, Buventol, Salamol, Salbudan, Salbulin, Salbutard, Salbuvent, Ventoline, Volmax

Spain

Aldobronquial, Asmasal, Buto Air, Buto Asma, Dipulmin, Emican, Respiroma, Ventadur, Ventilastin, Ventiloboi, Ventolin

Finland

Airomir, Buventol, Salbuvent, Ventilastin, Ventoline

France

Airomir, Asmasal, Buventol, Eolene, Salbumol, Spreor, Ventexxair, Ventilastin, Ventodisks, Ventoline

United Kingdom

Aerolin, Airomir, Asmasal, Asmaven, Cobutolin, Cyclocaps, Kentamol, Libetist, Maxivent, Pulvinal Salbutamol, Rimasal, Salamol, Salapin, Salbulin, Salbuvent, Ventmax, Ventodisks, Ventolin, Volmax

Greece

Aerolin, Asthmotrat, Brocofrin, Buventol, Comer, Normobron, Novahaler, Salbumol, Salbunova, Salomol

Hong Kong

Airomir, Apo-Salvent, Asmaliv, Asmol, Asthalin, Azmacon, Buto Asma, Cybutol, Respax, Respolin, Respreve, Salamol, Salmol, Syntalin, Uni-Butamol, Vantin, Ventamol, Ventodisks, Ventolin, Ventomol, Volmax, Zenmolin

Hungary

Ac-Butamol, Buventol, Ecosal, Huma-Salmol, Salvuron, Ventolin

Indonesia

Asmacare, Azmacon, Bronchosal, Brondisal, Buventol, Fartolin, Glisend, Hivent, Lasal, Librentin, Pritasma, Salbron, Salbuven, Suprasma, Ventolin, Volmax

Ireland

Aerolin, Airomir, Asmasal, Gerivent, Salamol, Salomol, Steri-Neb Salamol, Ventamol, Ventodisks, Ventolin

Israel

Aerolin, Ventolin, Volmax

India

Asthalin, Derihaler, Salbetol, Salmaplon, Salsol

Italy

Aerotec, Broncovaleas, Salbufax, Salbutard, Ventmax, Ventolin, Volmax

Japan

サルブタモール錠

Mexico

Anebron, Apo-Salvent, Assal, Avedox-FC, Azyrol, Biorenyn, Bolbasalt, Bonair, Brodil, Butotal, Capacit, Cobamol, Dicoterol, Exafil, Farmarest, Inspiryl, Oladin, Salamol, Salbulin, Salbutalan, Salcomed, Tunxin, Unibron, Ventolin, Volmax, Zibil

Malaysia

Airomir, Asmovent, Asthalin, Beatolin, Butahale, Buventol, Colin, Respolin, Salbuterol, Salmax, Salmol, Ventamol, Ventolin, Volmax

Netherlands

Aerolin, Airomir, Butovent, Ventolin

Norway

Airomir, Buventol, Inspiryl, Salbuvent, Ventoline

New Zeland

Airomir, Apo-Salvent, Asmigen, Asmol, Asthalin, Buventol, Respax, Respigen, Respolin, Salamol, Salapin, Salbuvent, Ventodisk, Ventolin, Volmax

Philippines

Activent, Airomir, Amoltex, Asbunyl, Asfrenon, Asmacaire, Asmalin, Astagen, Asvimol, Axmaxolv, Cletal, Emplusal, Hivent, Librentin, Provexel NS, Prox-S, Resdil, Rhinol, Salbumed, Salvex, Sedalin, Venalax, Ventar, Vento-Broncho, Ventolin, Ventosal

Poland

Buventol, Steri-Neb Salamol, Velaspir, Ventodisk, Ventolin

Portugal

Airomir, Salbulair, Ventilan

Russia

Salamol (Саламол), Salben (Сальбен), Salgim (Сальгим), Saltos (Сальтос), Ventolin (Вентолин)

Sweden

Airomir, Buventol, Inspiryl, Ventoline

Singapore

Airomir, Azmasol, Butahale, Buto, Asma, Buventol, Medolin, Respolin, Sabutol, Salamol, Salbuair, Salmol, Venderol, Ventolin, Volmax

Thailand

Aeromol, Airomir, Antomol, Asmasal, Asthalin, Asthmolin, Bronchosol, Butamol, Buto Asma, Butovent, Buventol, Durasal, Medolin, Naso, Respolin, Sabumol, Salbusian, Salbutac, Salda, Saldol, Salmol, Saltamol, Salvent, Servitamol, Solia, Sulbuta-N, Venterol, Ventodisk, Ventolin, Violin, Volmax, Zebu

Turkey

Asthavent, Salbulin, Salbutam, Salbutol, Ven-o-sal, Ventodisks, Ventolin, Volmax

Ukraine

Salamol-Eko (Саламол-Эко), Ventolin (Вентолин)

United Arab Emirates

Butalin

United States

Accuneb, Airet, ProAir, Proventil, Ventolin, Volmax, VoSpire

Venezuela

Asthalin, Butahale, Butoas, Respolin, Salbulis, Salbumed, Salburol, Salbutan, Ventolin

South Africa

Abbutamol, Airomir, Asthavent, Breatheze, Bronchospray, Cybutol, Salbulin, Venteze, Ventimax, Ventodisk, Ventolin, Viavent, Volmax
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