Ventolin (albuterol, salbutamol) is an inhaled beta-2-agonist that can treat or prevent bronchospasm. This medication is the “gold standard” among drugs for the relief of an asthma attack.
How does it work?
Albuterol prevents and stops bronchospasm; reduces resistance in the respiratory tract, increases the vital capacity of the lungs. It prevents the release of histamine, a slow-reacting substance from mast cells and neutrophil chemotaxis factors. It expands the coronary arteries, practically does not reduce blood pressure. It lowers the tone and contractile activity of the myometrium.
Ventolin inhaler has the following contraindications for use:
- bronchial asthma:
- stopping attacks of bronchial asthma, including with exacerbation of severe bronchial asthma;
- prevention of bronchospasm attacks associated with exposure to an allergen or caused by physical exertion;
- use as one of the components in long-term maintenance therapy of bronchial asthma;
- COPD, accompanied by reversible airway obstruction;
- chronical bronchitis.
Method of administration
The drug is used for inhalation only.
- For relief of bronchospasm: 100 mcg (1 inhalation) 1–4 times a day. If necessary, the dose can be increased to 200 mcg (2 inhalations) 1–4 times a day;
- For the prevention of bronchospasm: 100-200 mcg (1-2 inhalations) 15-30 minutes before exercise or possible exposure to an allergen.
The maximum daily dose of albuterol should not exceed 800 mcg (8 inhalations) during the day.
Intervals between each dose should be at least 4 hours.
Do not use Ventolin inhaler if you have any of the conditions mentioned below:
- hypersensitivity to albuterol or another component of the drug;
- management of preterm birth;
- threatening abortion;
- age under 2 years.
Use with caution: tachyarrhythmia, aortic stenosis, coronary heart disease, myocarditis, heart defects, severe chronic heart failure, arterial hypertension, pregnancy, lactation period, decompensated diabetes mellitus, glaucoma, renal or hepatic insufficiency, thyrotoxicosis, pheochromocytoma, concomitant use of non-selective, non-selective.
In rare cases, Ventolin can cause side effects, such as dizziness, headache, tachycardia, shortness of breath, arrhythmia, free fatty acids, hypokalemia, hypotension, myocardial ischemia, heart failure, cardiopathy, pulmonary edema (fatal outcome possible), facial redness, agitation, vomiting, dryness during mouth, loss of appetite, difficulty urinating, sweating, increased blood glucose, erythema, distal tremor, nausea, face swelling.
If you have any side effects after inhalation, you should consult your doctor immediately.
Albuterol increases the activity of the central nervous system stimulants, cardiotropic hormones of the thyroid gland.
Theophylline and ephedrine potentiate toxic effects.
Corticosteroids, GH synthesis inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants and MAO blockers increase the risk of developing cardiovascular complications, inhalation anesthesia and severe ventricular arrhythmias.
Albuterol reduces the effectiveness of beta-blockers (including ophthalmic forms), antihypertensive drugs, antianginal effect of nitrates.
Albuterol increases the likelihood of glycoside intoxication.
Overdose symptoms include tachycardia, ventricular flutter, decreased blood pressure, increased cardiac output, expansion of peripheral vessels, hypoxemia, acidosis, muscle tremor, headache, agitation, hypokalemia, hyperglycemia, hallucinations and other psychotic disorders.
Treatment: drug withdrawal and symptomatic therapy; the use of beta-blockers in patients with asthma requires extreme caution because of the danger of a severe bronchospastic reaction.
Taking high doses of albuterol during asthma exacerbation leads to the fact that each subsequent attack of suffocation becomes more intense than the previous one. With a severe asthma attack, the interval between inhalations should be at least 20 minutes. In the absence of any effect, further uncontrolled use of Ventolin inhaler is contraindicated and it is necessary to consult a doctor. The risk of complications increases with a long duration of treatment and with a sharp withdrawal of the drug.