The need-to-know information for Albuterol


Pearls and Fun Nuggets

1. Albuterol can help slow down birth ✋As a β2 agonist, albuterol also has use in obstetrics. Intravenous albuterol can be used as a tocolytic to relax the uterine smooth muscle to delay premature labor.

2. It’s used to treat acute hyperkalemia 👍 It stimulates potassium flow into cells, thus lowering the potassium in the blood.[7]

3. Banned substance? 😕 The 1972 Munich Olympics were the first Olympics where anti-doping measures were deployed, and at that time beta-2 agonists were considered to be stimulants with high risk of abuse for doping. Inhaled salbutamol was banned from those games, but by 1986 was permitted (although oral beta-2 agonists were not). After a steep rise in the number of athletes taking beta-2 agonists for asthma in the 1990s, Olympic athletes were required to provide proof that they had asthma in order be allowed to use inhaled beta-2 agonists.[26]

4. It’s pet friendly 🐈 It is usually used to treat bronchospasm or coughs in cats and dogs and used as a bronchodilator in horses with recurrent airway obstruction; it can also be used in emergencies to treat asthmatic cats.[39][40]

5. Albuterol….intravenously? 💉 Although it is usually used with an inhaler or nebulizer, but it is also available in a pill, liquid, and intravenous solution.[6][8]

Patient Perspectives

“Ventolin is a good product actually it makes me feel relieved whenever asthma hits me, I take 2-3 puffs and after a short span of time, I can breathe easily already. But I would like a Ventolin that doesn’t need to be refilled because it so pricey that sometimes I have to sacrifice some things in order to prevent my asthma from hitting me from time to time. I would really appreciate it if someones innovates this kind of product.”


“Albuterol is the worst. Every time I use it, I get severe heart palpitations – anxiety attacks!! This happened to me on two separate occasions. Once I get back to using Pro Air, my vitals are normal.”


“I was admitted to hospital for an asthma attack. Had never taken any kind of breathing medication before, even though I’d had trouble with breathing (shortness of breath, tight chest, can’t take deep breaths) for a while. I was given Ventolin. I didn’t respond to the first few puffs through the inhaler and chamber spacer, so they gave me burst therapy, which involved taking 4-5 puffs every 20 minutes for 2 hours. After the first 40 minutes, I was shaking like crazy, couldn’t sit still. This shaking persisted until I went to sleep that night. The ventolin inhaler they gave me DOESN’T help – only a very large dose of ventolin seems to ease the symptoms. Overall, good in high doses for severe asthma but comes with side effects.”

Brandon Simpson, PA-C
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