albuterol (generic name)

It helps to open up the airways in your lungs to make it easier to breathe
(al BYOO ter ole)
Table of Contents
powered by healthline

Average Ratings

What is this medicine?

ALBUTEROL (al BYOO ter ole) is a bronchodilator. It helps to 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?

This medicine is used in a nebulizer. Nebulizers make a liquid into an aerosol that you breathe in through your mouth or your mouth and nose into your lungs. You will be taught how to use your nebulizer. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not use 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, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use 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 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 like 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. Call your doctor right away if your asthma or bronchitis gets worse while you are using this medicine.

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
  • nervousness, trembling
  • stomach upset
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • throat irritation
  • unusual taste

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store between 2 and 25 degrees C (36 and 77 degrees F). Do not freeze. Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date. Most products are kept in the foil package until time of use. Some products can be used up to 1 week after they are removed from the foil pouch. Check the instructions that come with your medicine.

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: September 07, 2012
Licensed from
Top of page
General Drug Tools
General Drug Tools view all tools
Tools for
Healthy Living
Tools for Healthy Living view all tools
Search Tools
Search Tools view all tools
Insurance Plan Tools
Insurance Plan Tools view all tools

What is a reference number?

When you register on this site, you are assigned a reference number. This number contains your profile information and helps UnitedHealthcare identify you when you come back to the site.

If you searched for a plan on this site in a previous session, you might already have a reference number. This number will contain any information you saved about plans and prescription drugs. To use that reference number, click on the "Change or view saved information" link below.

You can retrieve information from previous visits to this site, such as saved drug lists and Plan Selector information.