ALBUTEROL (al BYOO ter ole) treats lung diseases, such as asthma, where the airways in the lungs narrow, causing breathing troubles or wheezing (bronchospasm). This medication works by opening the airways of the lungs, making it easier to breathe.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
Diabetes (high blood sugar)
High blood pressure
Irregular heartbeat or rhythm
An unusual or allergic reaction to albuterol, sulfites, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth. Take it as directed on the prescription label. You can take this medication with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication 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 medication?
Medications for colds
Medications for depression or for emotional or psychotic conditions
Medications for weight loss including some herbal products
Some antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, and linezolid
Some heart medications
Steroid hormones like dexamethasone, cortisone, hydrocortisone
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Heart rhythm changes—fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
Increase in blood pressure
Muscle pain or cramps
Wheezing or trouble breathing that is worse after use
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
Change in taste
Tremors or shaking
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your health care provider for regular checks on your progress. Tell your health care provider if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
Talk to your health care provider about how to treat an acute asthma attack or bronchospasm (wheezing). Be sure to always have a short-acting inhaler with you. If you use your short-acting inhaler and your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse, call your health care provider right away.
You and your health care provider should develop an Asthma Action Plan that is just for you. Be sure to know what to do if you are in the yellow (asthma is getting worse) or red (medical alert) zones.
Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or allergies without asking your health care provider for advice. Some of these medications can affect this one.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your health care provider if the problem does not go away or is severe.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or expired:
Take the medication to a medication take-back program. Check with your pharmacy or law enforcement to find a location.
If you cannot return the medication, check the label or package insert to see if the medication should be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet. If you are not sure, ask your care team. If it is safe to put in the trash, empty the medication out of the container. Mix the medication with cat litter, dirt, coffee grounds, or other unwanted substance. Seal the mixture in a bag or container. Put it in the trash.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.