What is salbutamol?

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Generic Name: Salbutamol Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is salbutamol used for?

Salbutamol tablets belong to a group of medicines called selective beta-2-adrenergic agonists, which can be used to relax the muscles of the airways and womb. Salbutamol tablets may be used in:

  • asthma, to relieve the narrowing of the airways
  • chronic bronchitis
  • emphysema

How should I take salbutamol?

Always take Salbutamol tablets exactly as your doctor has told you. If you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Swallow the tablets with water.

If you notice the tablets are not working as well as before, contact your doctor for advice.

How do I store salbutamol?

Salbutamol is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store salbutamol in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of salbutamol that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush salbutamol down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using salbutamol?

Do not take Salbutamol tablets and tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic (hypersensitive) to salbutamol or any other ingredients in Salbutamol tablets.
  • have threatened abortion (potential miscarriage) during the first six months of pregnancy.
  • are taking beta-blockers such as propranolol.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking Salbutamol tablets if you have:

  • an overactive thyroid gland (thyrotoxicosis).
  • diabetes.
  • a history of heart disease, irregular heart rhythm or angina. Although it is not known exactly how often this happens, some people occasionally experience chest pain (due to heart problems such as angina). Tell your doctor/midwife if you develop these symptoms whilst receiving treatment with salbutamol, but do not stop using this medicine unless told to do so.

Is it safe to take salbutamol during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There isn’t enough information about the safety of using this medication during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of salbutamol?

Stop taking Salbutamol tablets and contact your doctor at once if you experience

  • an allergic reaction such as swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue, pale or red irregular raised patches with severe itching (hives), difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, collapse
  • chest, jaw or shoulder pain (which may be accompanied with shortness of breath, feeling or being sick)

Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following e­ects or if you notice any not listed:

  • increased lactic acid in the body: rapid breathing, being sick, stomach pain.
  • low blood potassium: muscle twitching or weakness, an irregular heart beat.
  • other: headaches, increased blood sugar levels, slight shaking (usually of the hands), a tense feeling, widening of blood vessels which can cause an increase in heart function and heart rate, an irregular heart beat, muscle spasm, ‑uid on the lungs. An increase in the amount of acid in the body (ketoacidosis) may occur in diabetics.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with salbutamol?

Salbutamol may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval. Especially:

  • diuretics, guanethidine, reserpine or methyldopa (to treat high blood pressure)
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors e.g. tranylcypromine (for depression)
  • tricyclic antidepressants e.g. amitriptyline (for depression)
  • beta-blockers such as propranolol
  • corticosteroids
  • theophylline (for breathing problems).
  • inhaled anaesthetics (advise your doctor or dentist if you are undergoing any dentistry or surgery)
  • digoxin (for heart problems)
  • xanthines such as theophylline, aminophylline (for asthma)
  • medicines for diabetes

Does food or alcohol interact with salbutamol?

Salbutamol may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with salbutamol?

Salbutamol may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of salbutamol for an adult?

Usual dose is 4mg three or four times a day. Your doctor may increase this gradually up to a maximum of 8mg three or four times a day. Some

patients may be treated successfully with 2mg three or four times a day.

Elderly or patients known to be sensitive to this product or other similar drugs:

Initially 2mg three or four times a day should be given.

What is the dose of salbutamol for a child?

Children 2-6 years:

1-2mg three or four times a day.

Children 6-12 years:

2mg three or four times a day

Children over 12 years:

2-4mg three or four times a day.

Children under 2 years:

Not recommended.

How is salbutamol available?

Salbutamol is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Solution 1 mg/mL; 2,5 mg/2,5 mL; ; 2 mg/mL; 5 mg/ 2,5 mL

Accuhaler 200 mg

Tablet 2 mg; 4 mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

Symptoms of an overdose include low levels of potassium in the blood which may cause muscle twitching or weakness and an irregular heart beat.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of salbutamol, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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