Salbutamol is a medicine to treat shortness of breath due to narrowing of the airways in the lungs (bronchospasm). This drug is available in the form of inhalers , tablets, syrup and injections.

Salbutamol works by relaxing the muscles around the narrowed airways, so that air can flow more smoothly into the lungs. Salbutamol works quickly. The effects of this drug can be felt within minutes of use and last for 3–5 hours.

Salbutamol is commonly used in people with asthma and other respiratory tract disorders, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD ). In addition, salbutamol can also be used to prevent shortness of breath due to exercise.

Salbutamol trademarks : Astharol, Azmacon, Bronchosal, Dilatamol, Fartolin, Glisend, Glitaven, Lasal Nebu, Proast, Salbutamol Sulfate, Salbuven, Suprasma, Velutine, Ventolin Nebules, Ventolin Inhaler, Combivent UDV, and Saltam.

What is Salbutamol

class Bronchodilators ( beta-2-agonists with fast action)
Category Prescription drug
Benefit Overcoming shortness of breath due to narrowing of the respiratory tract, such as during an asthma attack
Used by Adults and children ≥2 years of age
Salbutamol for pregnant and lactating women Category C: Animal studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus, but there have been no controlled studies in pregnant women.

Drugs should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus. Therefore, be sure to discuss with your doctor before taking salbutamol during pregnancy.

Salbutamol is not known whether it can be absorbed into breast milk or not. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.

Drug form Inhalation drugs (aerosols, inhalation liquids), tablets, syrups, injections.

Warning Before Using Salbutamol

Salbutamol should not be used carelessly and must be according to a doctor's prescription. The following are things to note before using salbutamol:

  • Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have. Salbutamol should not be given to patients who are allergic to it or to other beta2-agonist drugs , such as terbutaline .
  • Tell your doctor if you have a history of lactose intolerance or a milk allergy. Some salbutamol medicinal products usually contain additional ingredients, such as lactose or milk protein.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or currently have hyperthyroidism , hypertension, diabetes, heart rhythm disturbances, coronary heart disease , kidney disease, hypokalemia , or seizures.
  • Do not immediately drive a vehicle, operate heavy machinery, or do activities that require alertness after using salbutamol, because this drug can cause dizziness.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking other medications, including supplements and herbal products.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
  • Immediately see a doctor if an allergic drug reaction or overdose occurs after using salbutamol.

Dosage and Rules for Using Salbutamol

The following is the dosage of salbutamol based on the form of the drug:

Salbutamol ( aerosol) is inhaled through an inhaler

  • To treat shortness of breath due to acute bronchospasm, for example an asthma attack, the dose is 1-2 breaths, once every 4-6 hours.
  • To prevent exercise-induced shortness of breath, the dose is 1–2 breaths, used 10–15 minutes before exercise.

Salbutamol (liquid inhalation) inhaled through a nebulizer

In patients with severe bronchospasm and COPD, doctors can give salbutamol with the help of a nebulizer. Nebulizer is a machine for changing liquid medicine into vapor form which will be inhaled using a special mask.

For adults and children ≥4 years of age, the dose is 2.5–5 mg, 3–4 times daily as needed.

Salbutamol tablets or syrup

Salbutamol tablets or syrup can be used to treat or prevent recurrence of shortness of breath due to bronchospasm. The dosage is:

  • Adults and children >12 years: 2–4 mg 3–4 times daily. Dosage may be increased to a maximum of 8 mg, 3–4 times daily.
  • Children 7–12 years: 2 mg 3–4 times daily.
  • Children 2–6 years: 1–2 mg 3–4 times daily.

Salbutamol injection

Salbutamol injection can be used to treat severe bronchospasm in adults and children aged ≥12 years. The dosage is:

  • 50 mcg, every 4 hours, by injection into a muscle (intramuscular, IM) or under the skin (subcutaneous, SC).
  • 250 mcg, single injection, by vein (intravenous, IV). The injection can be repeated if necessary.

How to Use Salbutamol Properly

Salbutamol injection will be given directly by a doctor or medical personnel under the supervision of a doctor.

As for salbutamol tablets, syrup, or inhaled drugs through inhalers or nebulizers, make sure you follow the doctor's recommendations and read the information printed on the drug packaging before using it.

Do not increase or decrease the dose or stop the medication without consulting your doctor first.

The following is a guide to using the inhaled and drinking salbutamol asthma drug :

Salbutamol inhalers

Before using the salbutamol inhaler, make sure the edge of the mouthpiece is clean and dry. Shake the inhaler, exhale as much as possible, then inhale the salbutamol with your mouth slowly while pressing the inhaler bottle.

After inhaling salbutamol, remove the mouthpiece , hold your breath for about 10 seconds, and exhale slowly. Pause for about 1 minute if you need to inhale the medicine more than 1 time.

After finishing using the salbutamol inhaler, rinse your mouth with water. Don't forget to clean the mouthpiece at least once a week. Don't forget to take this medicine with you when you travel.

If using more than one type of inhaler, use the salbutamol inhaler first. Wait a few minutes before using another inhaler. Salbutamol can open the respiratory tract thereby increasing the effectiveness of other inhaler drugs.

For patients who have difficulty adjusting their breath when using an inhaler, doctors may recommend using a device called a spacer . A spacer will be installed at the end of the mouthpiece and will make it easier for the medicine to reach the lungs.

Salbutamol nebulizer

Administration of this type of inhalation drug is usually done in a hospital. If possible, a salbutamol nebulizer can also be used at home.

A nebulizer kit includes an air compressor, a mask or suction cup, a compressor tube, and a nebulizer cup or medication container. Prepare tools that have been cleaned.

Put the liquid medication according to the recommended dose into the nebulizer container or cup. Connect the suction cup or mask to the nebulizer cup, then attach the connecting hose to the compressor and nebulizer cup.

When the tool is ready, turn on the compressor engine. Place the mask to your mouth and slowly inhale the medication for 5–15 minutes, or until the medication is used up in the nebulizer cup.

Oral salbutamol (tablets or syrup)

Consume salbutamol tablets or syrup with the help of water. For salbutamol syrup, use the measuring spoon provided in the package so that the dosage is correct.

If you forget to take this drug, consume it immediately if the next consumption schedule is not too close. If it is close, ignore it and do not double the next dose.

Store salbutamol in a closed container in a cool room. Do not store it in a damp place or in direct sunlight. Keep this drug out of reach of children.

During treatment with salbutamol, you are advised to stop smoking. This is because smoking can inhibit the performance of drugs by triggering irritation to the lungs and exacerbating respiratory problems.

Interactions of Salbutamol with Other Drugs

The use of salbutamol together with certain drugs can cause interaction effects, such as:

  • Increases the risk of palpitations, chest pain, and high blood pressure, when used with MAOI class drugs or tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline
  • Inhibits the work of salbutamol and increases the risk of severe shortness of breath, when used with beta-blocker drugs , such as propranolol
  • Increases the risk of hypokalemia (low potassium), when used with corticosteroid drugs, theophylline, or diuretic drug classes, such as thiazide, loop diuretics, and furosemide

Side Effects and Dangers of Salbutamol

Side effects that may arise after using salbutamol are dizziness, headache, coughing, anxiety, trembling hands and feet, and muscle aches. These side effects are generally mild and may go away on their own.

Check with your doctor if these side effects do not improve or if they get worse. See a doctor immediately if you experience a drug allergic reaction or serious side effects, such as:

  • Heart rate too fast, too slow, or irregular ( arrhythmia )
  • Chest pressure or chest pain
  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath even worse
  • Impaired vision
  • Faint
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