Side Effects Of Albuterol – How To Avoid Them?
The disease of asthma has become so common nowadays that it doesn’t need much explanation, now, does it? In simpler terms, Asthma is the condition in which the patient experiences difficulty in breathing accompanied by a number of other accessory symptoms. So, you must be here thinking, why does the title contain Albuterol but here we are talking about Asthma, right? Well, Albuterol is a medication that is prescribed as a standard form of medication for patients suffering from breathing problems because of Asthma.
While the majority of the people tend to complain about the common types of side effects of this medication, there are a few easy ways that one can adapt to in order to minimize the effects of these side effects on their body, especially their lungs.
Before we jump right off into the preventive measures which are pretty standard and easy, let us walk ourselves through the basic forms of knowledge that one should have about this medication before opting for it.
Why is Albuterol prescribed?
Albuterol is a type of medication which is prescribed to patients who face a number of signs and symptoms related to Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) like that of wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, chest tightness etc.
It is categorized under the class of brochodilators which are used to dilate the air passage to aid in easier and effortless breathing of the oxygen into the lungs. Due to severe narrowing and constriction of the air passages, it becomes a lot harder for people to breathe, the administration of Albuterol helps in expanding the passage to help the person breathe better without any complications.
Albuterol can be administered in three distinct ways:
- Albuterol inhalation aerosol – for adults and children older than 4 years
- Albuterol powder for oral inhalation – children above the age of 12 and older
- Albuterol solution for oral inhalation – adults and children older than 2 years
How should Albuterol be used?
It is often witnessed in a number of patients that the side effects tend to hinder their lifestyle only when they end up using it incorrectly or in the wrong dosage. It is very important to ensure that the person administered with Albuterol is very well versed with the kind of requirements of the drugs to ensure that they take it correctly.
In this section, we’ll walk ourselves through the easy ways in which Albuterol should be used.
Inhaling using the aerosol
- Start with removing the protective dust cap from the inhaler. If the cap wasn’t there, make sure to check for any kind of dust particles in the mouth of the inhaler.
- Make sure that your inhaler is primed, if not, do it before usage. It is necessary.
- Shake the inhaler
- Next, breathe out completely through your mouth
- Place the mouth of the inhaler in your mouth, making sure that the cannister is facing upwards. Place the open end of the mouthpiece of the inhaler in your mouth and wrap your lips around it.
- Breathe in through the help of the mouthpiece and then press the container to spray the medication into your mouth.
- Following that, hold your breath for 5-10 seconds and then remove the inhaler from your mouth and breathe out gradually
- If the doctor has prescribed you 2 puffs of medication instead of one, wait for a minute and repeat the same above mentioned process all over again.
- Place the protective dust cap to cover the inhaler. Also, make sure that you clean your inhaler on a regular basis.
Inhaling using a nebulizer
This is yet another form of administration of albuterol that could often result in side effects if not done correctly.
- Albuterol solution comes in small vials in packs of multiple. For usage, get one out and store the rest for later use.
- Assess the liquid in the vial, making sure that the liquid is completely clear and colourless. If you find that the liquid is opaque and cloudy, it is best to steer clear off of it.
- Following that, twist the top of the vial and pour the medication into the nebulizer reservoir.
- Connect the reservoir with the mouthpiece or face mask that you’ll use for inhaling the medication
- Sit upright in a comfortable position and put the mouthpiece or the face mask.
- Start breathing gently through the mouthpiece for about 5-15 minutes till the chamber in the nebulizer stops forming fog.
- Make sure to clean the nebulizer on a daily basis after you have inhaled the medication because the residue can be harmful and inflict infection as well.
Common side effects of using Albuterol for Asthma
The side effects of using Albuterol are not very drastic or groundbreaking, something along the realms of common terms. That being said, some of the common side effects of this medication include:
- Shaking off a certain part of the body
- A headache
- Nausea and dizziness
- A cough and cold
- Irritation in the throat; scratchy throat
- Pain in the back or the muscles
How to avoid side effects of Albuterol?
Much like how it has been mentioned at the beginning of the article, avoiding the side effects of Albuterol is not something very difficult. Some of these preventive measures include:
Changing the mode of administration
Often times, if you have been experiencing consistent side effects, it is better to opt for a different mode of administration of the drug. Many experts often suggest using an inhaler instead of pills or liquid. If you have been using a nebulizer, try and switch it up with metered dose inhaler.
Managing your asthma
Majority of the side effects of the drug depend on the severity of asthma. The more severe it is, the higher the dosage is. This is why it is best to take control of the situation and opt for ways to manage the disease and keep it in control.
Reduce the dosage
Any kind of mismanagement with the dosage ends up inflicting side effects. This is why it is necessary to carefully administer the drug in the correct way and correct dosage.
Albuterol is a very effective and widely used drug for asthmatic patients. While its course of benefits definitely alleviates the condition of asthma and COPD, there are side effects too. Understand the problem and take salient steps to get rid of it for good.