albuterol (generic name)

Ventolin (brand name)

It helps open up the airways in your lungs to make it easier to breathe
(al BYOO ter ole)
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What is this medicine?

ALBUTEROL (al BYOO ter ole) is a bronchodilator. It helps open up the airways in your lungs to make it easier to breathe. This medicine is used to treat and to prevent bronchospasm.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
  • diabetes
  • heart disease or irregular heartbeat
  • high blood pressure
  • pheochromocytoma
  • seizures
  • thyroid disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to albuterol, levalbuterol, sulfites, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use a specially marked spoon or container to measure your dose. Household spoons are not accurate. Do not take more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • anti-infectives like chloroquine and pentamidine
  • caffeine
  • cisapride
  • diuretics
  • medicines for colds
  • medicines for depression or for emotional or psychotic conditions
  • medicines for weight loss including some herbal products
  • methadone
  • some antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, and linezolid
  • some heart medicines
  • steroid hormones such as dexamethasone, cortisone, hydrocortisone
  • theophylline
  • thyroid hormones

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve. Do not use extra albuterol. If your asthma or bronchitis gets worse while you are using this medicine, call your doctor right away.

If your mouth gets dry try chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy. Drink water as directed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • chest pain
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • high blood pressure
  • irregular heartbeat
  • fever
  • muscle cramps or weakness
  • pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
  • vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • cough
  • difficulty sleeping
  • headache
  • fast heartbeat
  • nervousness, trembling
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • upset stomach

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at a room temperature (59 to 86 degrees F). Do not freeze. Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: March 05, 2009
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