Ventolin HFA Inhaler (Salbutamol)
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Ventolin Inhaler (Salbutamol) Usage and Side Effects
VENTOLIN is used in Adults and Children 4 years or older to relieve bronchospasm, prevent bronchospasm, and to prevent bronchospasm caused by exercise.
Proper Use of this medication
VENTOLIN should only be inhaled. Do not swallow.
If You Are Also Using an Inhaled Corticosteroid:
- Always use VENTOLIN first
- Wait a few minutes
- Then use your inhaled corticosteroid.
Your doctor may prescribe VENTOLIN regularly every day, or only for when you are wheezy or short of breath. Use VENTOLIN only as directed by your doctor.
The action of VENTOLIN may last up to 6 hours and should last for at least 4 hours. Call your doctor immediately if the effect lasts for less than 3 hours or if you notice a sudden worsening of your shortness of breath. Do not increase the dose or the number of times you use your medicine without asking your doctor, as this may make you feel worse. If symptoms get worse or you require VENTOLIN more than before, tell your doctor as soon as possible.
If you regularly use VENTOLIN more than 3 times a week, and take no other asthma medication, you should talk to your doctor who may want to reassess your treatment plan.
If you have to go into hospital for an operation, take your inhaler with you and tell the doctor what medicine(s) you are taking.
If your doctor decides to stop your treatment, do not keep any left over medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Adults and Adolescents 12 years or older:
- To relieve bronchospasm: 1 to 2 puffs as needed. If you have a more severe attack, you can repeat the dose, and immediately consult your doctor or the nearest hospital.
- To prevent bronchospasm: 1 to 2 puffs four times a day.
- To prevent bronchospasm caused by exercise: 2 puffs 15 minutes before exercise.
Maximum dose—8 puffs in a 24 hour period.
Children 4-11 years:
- To relieve bronchospasm: 1 puff. The dose may be increased to 2 puffs if required. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
- To prevent bronchospasm: 1 puff four times a day as prescribed by your doctor.
- To prevent bronchospasm caused by exercise: 1 puff 15 minutes before exercise. The dose may be increased to 2 puffs if required. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Maximum dose—4 puffs in a 24 hour period.
How to Prime VENTOLIN:
Before using VENTOLIN for the first time, or if your inhaler has not been used for more than 5 days, shake the inhaler well and release four puffs into the air to ensure that it works properly.
VENTOLIN should be used under the supervision of an adult who understands the proper use of the inhaler, and only as prescribed by the doctor. The adult must encourage the child (as described above) to exhale, and then trigger the spray immediately as inhalation begins. Use of a spacer with the inhaler is recommended for children under 5 years of age. Talk to your doctor if your child has difficulties using the inhaler.
How to clean VENTOLIN :
Your inhaler should be cleaned at least once per week.
- Pull the metal canister out of the plastic casing of the inhaler and remove the mouthpiece cover.
- Rinse the plastic casing of the inhaler thoroughly under warm running water and then wash the plastic casing again through the mouthpiece. Do not put the metal canister into water.
- Dry the plastic casing of the inhaler THOROUGHLY inside and out.
- Replace the canister and mouthpiece cover.
- After cleansing, release one puff into the air to make sure that the inhaler works.
In case of drug overdose, contact a health care practitioner, hospital emergency department or regional Poison Control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms. Take this leaflet or your medication with you so that the hospital or poison control centre will know what you have taken.
If you accidentally take a larger dose than prescribed, you are more likely to get side effects like a faster heart beat, headaches and feeling shaky or restless. These effects usually wear off within a few hours, but you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.
If you forget to inhale a dose, do not worry, just inhale the next dose when it is due or if you become wheezy.
Interactions with this medication
As with most medicines, interactions with other drugs are possible. Tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about all the medicines you take, including drugs prescribed by other doctors, vitamins, minerals, natural supplements, or alternative medicines.
The following may interact with VENTOLIN:
- Allergy medication
- Blood pressure-lowering drugs, including propranolol
- Diuretics (“water pills”)
- Bronchodilators used to open the airway (such as other asthma medication)
- Digoxin, a heart medication
Side effects may include:
Effects on heart
- Faster heart beat than usual
Effects on nervous system
- Feeling a little shaky
- Feeling anxious or irritable
- Feeling tired or weak
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Hyperactivity in children
- Dizziness, vertigo
Effects on muscles and joints
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle pain
- Respiratory infections and/or inflammation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Difficulty urinating
- Unusual taste in your mouth
- Dry or irritated throat
Warnings and Precautions
Before you use VENTOLIN, talk to your doctor or pharmacist if:
- You have ever had to stop taking other medications for this illness because you were allergic to them or they caused problems.
- You are having treatment for a thyroid condition.
- You are having treatment for high blood pressure or a heart problem.
- You have diabetes.
- You have a past history of seizures.
- You have low levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia), especially if you are taking:
- Drugs known as xanthine derivatives (such as theophylline)
- Steroids to treat asthma
- Water pills (diuretics)
- You are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Taking VENTOLIN during pregnancy may cause harm to your baby. Your doctor will consider the benefit to you and the risk to your baby of taking VENTOLIN while you're pregnant.
- You are breastfeeding. It is not known if VENTOLIN passes into breast milk.
If the relief of wheezing or chest tightness is not as good as usual, or the effect lasts for less than three hours, tell your doctor as soon as possible. If you notice a sudden worsening of your shortness of breath and wheeze shortly after taking your medicine, tell your doctor as soon as possible. It may be that your chest condition is worsening and you may need to add another type of medicine to your treatment.
You should always carry your VENTOLIN with you to use immediately in case you experience an asthma attack.
Effects on Children:
Children may experience:
- changes in sleep patterns
- changes in behaviour such as restlessness, excitability (hyperactivity)
- seeing or hearing things that are not there
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.