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Brand Name(s) : Ventolin, Ventolin Accuhaler, Ventolin Evohaler, Ventolin Nebules, Ventolin Respirator solution, Salapin, Volmax, Salamol, Salamol Steri-Neb, Salbutamol Cyclocaps, Pulvinal Salbutanol, Easyhaler Salbutamol, Airomir, Asmasal Clickhaler, Salamol Easi-Breathe, Combivent UDV (in combination with ipratropium bromide), Salbulin Novolizer
Side Effects


Salbutamol should be used with caution in: those with severe asthma, heart problems, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), infection of the lungs, arrhythmias (a disorder of the heart rate), those who have intolerance to some sugars or those with low levels of potassium in their blood.

You should not exceed the maximum prescribed dose. If a previously effective dose of inhaled salbutamol does not provide you with relief for at least 3 hours or if you find you need to use your inhaler more than usual, you need to speak to your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor may want you to have additional treatment.

It should not be used in patients who are allergic to it or to any of its ingredients.

Also see list of precautions and interactions.


Store below 25°C.


Salbutamol is used to treat a number of problems.

It is a member of the class of drugs called short-acting beta-2 agonists and is sometimes called albuterol.

In general this drug is used for the relief of asthma symptoms as it produces rapid, short-term dilation of the airways (termed bronchodilation), but it can also be used to delay delivery in women undergoing premature labour.

Benefits of being on this drug can include short-term symptoms relief of asthma and other conditions similar to asthma such as chest tightness, wheezing and coughing, the prevention of asthma symptoms brought on by exercise or by an unavoidable exposure to a known allergen, and the temporary delay in the delivery of premature babies.

Listed below are the typical uses of salbutamol:

  • Symptomatic treatment of asthma attacks and symptoms relief of conditions associated with reversible airways obstruction.
  • Prevention of bronchospasm (tightening of the windpipe causing difficulty in breathing) which can be brought on by exercise or by an unavoidable exposure to a known allergen
  • Delaying delivery in women undergoing premature labour.

However on occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on this list.


How often do I take it?

  • This medication is usually taken by inhalation either as an aerosol, powder or nebulised solution. Salbutamol is also available as tablets for patients who cannot manage taking salbutamol via the inhaled route and as a injection which can be given intravenously (directly into the vein), intra-muscularly (injection into the muscle, usually into the buttock area) or subcutaneously (into the fat just under the skin).
  • Use this medication for the duration of prescription in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Salbutamol is a reliever medication and should be used to relief your asthma symptoms. You may have other medicines which you use regularly to prevent asthma symptoms.
  • It should provide immediate relief of asthma symptoms.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • You should not normally need to avoid certain tasks such as operating machinery or driving. However, if you have side effects such as dizziness, increased or uneven heart rate, muscle cramps or muscle pain, or if you feel a bit shaky, your ability to drive or operate machinery may be affected. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Always complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor.


  • Feeling a bit shaky
  • Headache
  • Rapid or uneven heart beat
  • Flushing
  • Muscle cramps (uncommon with inhaled salbutamol).
  • Irritation or dryness of the mouth and throat (inhaled salbutamol only).
  • Hypokalaemia (low blood potassium levels), and can lead to muscle cramps and weakness, and in severe cases it can cause death as patients stop breathing
  • Restlessness
  • Diziness
  • Bronchospasm (inhaled salbutamol only).
  • Lactic acidosis

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: low blood pressure (hypotension), collapse, increasing in wheezing or shortness of breath after dosing.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.


Before taking salbutamol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other selective beta-2 agonists; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis), diabetes, any heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), or severe asthma.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • There are no known interactions between salbutamol and alcohol.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below


The safety of Salbutamol has not been established during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Salbutamol passes into breast milk and should only be used if the benefits outweigh the risks. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.

If you are taking more than one medicine, these may interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines which interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medicines may need to be adjusted or you may be monitored more closely.

The following medicines may interact with salbutamol:

  • Methyldopa (used to treat high blood pressure)
  • Theophylline
  • Aminophylline
  • Medicines used for depression
  • Beta blockers for high blood pressure or heart conditions e.g. propranolol
  • Diuretics (water tablets)
  • Steroids
  • Digoxin
  • Atomoxetine (with intravenous salbutamol only)

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, tell your prescriber of all the products you are using before taking this medicine.

If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.


Taking too much of salbutamol can cause increased or uneven heart beat, high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia), shaking and hypokalaemia (low blood potassium levels) which can lead to muscle cramps and weakness and in severe cases it can cause death as patients stop breathing.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of salbutamol or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.


If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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