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Why is this medication prescribed?
Albuterol is used to prevent and treat wheezing, shortness of breath, and troubled breathing caused by asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases. It also is used to prevent breathing difficulties (bronchospasm) during exercise. Albuterol is in a class of medications called beta-agonists. It works by relaxing and opening air passages in the lungs, making it easier to breathe.
How should this medicine be used?
Albuterol comes as tablets, extended-release (long-acting) tablets, and syrup to take by mouth and as an aerosol, solution, and powder-filled capsules to inhale by mouth. The solution is inhaled using a nebulizer, and the powder-filled capsules are inhaled using a special dry powder inhaler. Albuterol tablets and syrup are usually taken three or four times a day, and extended-release tablets are usually taken twice a day. The oral inhalation is usually used every 4 to 6 hours for the treatment or prevention of asthma symptoms. It is used 15 minutes before exercise when used for the prevention of bronchospasm during exercise.
Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take albuterol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Do not chew or crush the extended-release tablets; swallow them whole.
Albuterol controls symptoms of asthma and other lung diseases but does not cure them. Do not stop taking albuterol without talking to your doctor.
Before you use the albuterol inhaler for the first time, read the written instructions that come with it. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist to show you how to use it. Practice using the inhaler while he or she watches.
To use the aerosol inhaler, follow these steps:
If you have difficulty getting the medication into your lungs, a spacer (a special device that attaches to the inhaler) may help; ask your doctor, pharmacist, or respiratory therapist for more information.
Use only the adapter that comes with your canister. Do not use the adapter with any other product canister.
To use the dry powder inhaler, follow these steps:
Other uses for this medicine
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking albuterol,
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from albuterol are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication. Avoid puncturing the aerosol container, and do not discard it in an incinerator or fire.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to albuterol.
To relieve dry mouth or throat irritation caused by albuterol inhalation, rinse your mouth with water, chew gum, or suck sugarless hard candy after using albuterol.
Inhalation devices require regular cleaning. Once a week, remove the drug container from the plastic mouthpiece, wash the mouthpiece with warm tap water, and dry it thoroughly.
The extended-release tablet does not dissolve in the stomach after swallowing. It slowly releases the medicine as it passes through your digestive system. You may notice the tablet coating in your stool.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT