Salbutamol (Albuterol) - Injection

Pronunciation: sal-BUE-ta-mol/al-BUE-ter-ol

Common Brand Name(s): Ventolin

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Uses

Salbutamol (also known as albuterol) is used to treat wheezing and shortness of breath caused by breathing problems (such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema). Salbutamol belongs to a class of drugs known as bronchodilators. It works in the airways by opening breathing passages and relaxing muscles.

Other Uses

This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

Although this use is not recommended by the manufacturer, this medication has also been used by pregnant women to stop early labor.

How To Use

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start receiving salbutamol by injection. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

This medication is given by injection into a vein as directed by your doctor, usually by a health care professional. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

Side Effects

Nervousness, dizziness, shaking (tremor), trouble sleeping, headache, nausea, vomiting, or pain at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:

  • fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat
  • muscle cramps/weakness
  • increased thirst/urination

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including:

  • chest pain
  • rapid breathing
  • confusion

Rarely, this medication has caused severe (rarely fatal), sudden worsening of breathing problems/asthma (paradoxical bronchospasm). If you experience sudden wheezing, get medical help right away.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before using salbutamol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to similar drugs (such as levalbuterol, metaproterenol, salmeterol); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • diabetes
  • heart problems (such as irregular heartbeat, angina, previous heart attack)
  • high blood pressure
  • seizure
  • low blood potassium level (hypokalemia)

This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It is not recommended for use during the first or second trimester of pregnancy by women who have an increased risk of miscarriage. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: chest pain, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, headache, shaking (tremors), nervousness, weakness, severe dizziness, seizures.

Notes

Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure, heart rate, EKG, blood potassium levels, blood sugar levels, lung function) may be performed regularly to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Avoid allergens/irritants that can worsen breathing problems, such as smoke, pollen, pet dander, dust, or molds.

Learn to use a peak flow meter, use it daily, and promptly report worsening breathing problems (such as readings in the yellow/red range, increased use of quick-relief inhalers).

Because the flu virus can worsen breathing problems, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should have a flu shot every year.

Missed Dose

Not applicable.

Storage

Not applicable. This medication is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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