Ventolin HFA Inhaler (Salbutamol)
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Ventolin HFA (Albuterol) Medication Information
Ventolin HFA is a brand name for the rescue inhaler, albuterol. Ventolin is prescribed to people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma to help relax the lungs and make it easier to breathe.
Asthma and COPD are both airway diseases where the lungs become inflamed and swollen.
Asthma symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness and pain, and trouble sleeping because of these symptoms.
COPD symptoms include too much mucus in the lungs, frequent coughing, and trouble taking a deep breath.
Ventolin HFA contains the beta-agonist albuterol. Beta-adrenergic receptors are a type of receptors on different cells throughout the body. In the lungs, Ventolin activates these receptors and causes the smooth muscle in the airways to relax, making it easier to breathe.
The usual dose is one to two puffs by mouth every four to six hours as needed for shortness of breath. Your dose may be different, so take Ventolin as prescribed by your doctor.
Common adverse reactions to Ventolin HFA can include:
- Chest discomfort
- Decreased blood cell counts
- Increased glucose
- Increased liver enzymes
- Skin rash
- Upper respiratory tract infection
Tell your doctor how many inhalations you use each day of Ventolin. If you are using a high number of doses, you may need additional medications to help with controlling symptoms.
Tell your doctor if you have a history of cardiovascular or convulsive conditions.
If you have a history of low potassium in the blood, Ventolin can worsen it. Your doctor should monitor your blood potassium levels.
Do not take more than the recommended dose of Ventolin because it can be fatal.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of the medications you are taking before starting Ventolin. Ventolin HFA can interact with:
- Cannabinoid-containing products
- Loop diuretics
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- QT-prolonging agents
- Thiazide diuretics
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Store Ventolin at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C). Store it with the mouthpiece down.
Do not keep the canister near high heat or open flame.
- Once per week, clean the inhaler by removing the metal canister and running warm water through the plastic actuator. Let the actuator air-dry before using it again.
- When using your inhaler for the first time, prime it by releasing 3-4 sprays into the air, away from the face.
- Shake well before each use.
How many “puffs” are in each Ventolin HFA inhaler?
Each Ventolin inhaler contains 200 puffs of medication.
How long should I hold my breath after taking each “puff”?
Hold your breath for 10 seconds or as close to 10 seconds as comfortable. Breathe out slowly.
How long should I wait between each “puff”?
If you prescribed has written that you can take two “puffs,” wait one minute between the first and the second to give the first “puff” time to start working.
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- Ventolin HFA [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline; 2020.
Author: Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS
Dr. Sheehy is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist. He has worked in multiple practice settings, including retail and hospital pharmacies, and in medical clinics. He specializes in anticoagulation, psychiatric medications, and diabetes medications. He strives to empower his patients to understand their medications and improve their overall medical care.
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.