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What is this medication?

Albuterol/Salbutamol, Ventolin
Bronchodilator, Beta 2 Agonist

Albuterol/Salbutamol/Ventolin is officially indicated for asthma, exercise induced bronchoconstriction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or bronchospasm due to anaphylaxis.  It is also commonly prescribed off-label for hyperkalemia.  (may also be used for conditions not listed)

How does this medication work?

Salmeterol relaxes the smooth muscle in the bronchioles via the beta2-adrenergic receptor. Fluticasone may reduce the formation, release, and activity of inflammatory mediators such as kinins, histamine and prostaglandins.  It reduces cell migration to the affected area and reverses the dilation and blood vessel permeability result in decreased access of cells to the site.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Before starting Albuterol/Salbutamol/Ventolin make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have diabetes, glaucoma, hyperthyroidism, hypokalemia, kidney disease, seizures, cardiovascular disease

How should I take this medication?

Inhalers have only one form i.e. Ventolin diskus 200mcg/actuation, Ventolin 90-100mcg/actuation (Canada vs USA)

How to Take: HFAs should be shaken first and a few priming puffs should be sprayed before first use or if the inhaler has not been used in 2-3 weeks.
Diskus required the side lever to be pressed until a click is heard then inhale a long deep breath in inhaler and hold for 10 seconds
Nebulizer solutions should be dilated with sterile saline to desired dosages if required

You Need to Avoid: Do not exceed recommended dosages as it may cause severe adverse reactions

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible.  However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose.  Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep this and all medication out of the reach of children.  Store at 15° to 25°C (59° to 77°F). Store in a dry place away from direct heat and sunlight.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Excitement, nervousness, tremor, upper respiratory infection, rhinitis, bronchospasm, pharyngitis, tachycardia

Note this is not a complete list of side effects of Albuterol/Salbutamol/Ventolin, only common ones.