This product is inhaled into the lungs using the Diskus®.
Why is it prescribed?
Salbutamol is used to relieve and prevent bronchospasm associated with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other pulmonary disorders where bronchospasm is a complicating factor. It is also indicated in the prevention of exercise-induced bronchospasm.
- Ventolin® Diskus® is meant for inhalation by mouth only.
- Each dose of Ventolin® is a measured quantity of dry powder that is contained in a small foil blister in the delivery device known as a diskus. The diskus contains 60 doses and has a counter that tells you the number of remaining doses. It counts down from 60 to 1. When the last five doses have been reached, the numbers appear in red to indicate that you are due for another Ventolin® refill.
- Your doctor or pharmacist should have instructed you on the proper use and care of your Ventolin® diskus. It is advisable to have your technique reassessed by the pharmacist for the first 2 or 3 refills of your prescription.
- It is very important to keep your diskus dry and closed when not in use, and never breathe into your Diskus. Do not store Ventolin® at temperatures above 30C. Keep in a dry place.
Other products that have the same ingredient as Ventolin® Diskus® are •Airomir® MDI •Apo-Salvent MDI •Baca Respiclick™ •Combivent® Respimat® •PMS-Salbutamol Polynebs® •Sanis-Salbutamol Inhaler HFA •Teva-Combo Sterinebs •Teva-Salbutamol HFA •Teva-Salbutamol SteriNeb •Ventolin® HFA •Ventolin® inhalation solution •
- For immediate relief of symptoms the suggested dose for adults and children 4 years of age and older is 200 mcg (one inhalation) as required.
- For prevention of exercise-induced bronchospasm in adults and children 4 years of age and older, the dose is 200 mcg (one inhalation) 15 minutes before exercise.
- For intermittent or long term treatment, the usual adult dose is 200 mcg (one inhalation) 3 to 4 times a day. The total daily dose should not exceed 800 mcg (4 inhalations).
Salbutamol is a short-acting bronchodilator that acts at specific receptors in the body called beta2-adrenergic receptors. Stimulating these beta2-receptors in the bronchial smooth muscle causes the muscle to relax, allowing the bronchial tubes to dilate (widen). Salbutamol relieves the spasm in the small air passages in the lungs and so helps ease breathing problems.
Along with its needed effects, salbutamol may cause some unwanted or undesirable effects. Generally, salbutamol is well tolerated and many people will not experience unwanted effects. The severity and duration of these effects are dependant on many factors including duration of therapy, dose, route of administration and individual response. Possible unwanted effects include:
- cough (inhaled preparations only)
- slight palpitations (awareness of heart beat)
- dry mouth and throat (inhaled preparations only)
- increased heart rate
- muscle cramps
- trouble sleeping
- unusual taste
- angina (chest pain/discomfort)
- increase in blood pressure
- hyperactivity in children
Many of these unwanted effects, especially the most common ones, may disappear with continued use. Check with the doctor or pharmacist if any of them continue or become bothersome.
Poor response to salbutamol can often be attributed to improper use of the delivery device. Be sure to follow the directions given to you by your pharmacist and read the patient instructions that are provided with each product. Never exceed the maximum dosage set by your physician. If you find that you are not responding to your usual dose, it could mean that your asthma is worsening and you should contact your physician. Increasing the dose, especially over extended periods, can lead to decreasing response to the drug. Keep in mind that the bronchodilator action should last between 2 and 6 hours. If you are using salbutamol for an acute asthma episode and the condition continues or worsens, call your doctor or seek medical attention immediately. If you need to use salbutamol to relieve symptoms more than 3 times a week you should also be using an anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. beclomethasone, fluticasone).
Drug Interactions: Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about any prescription or over-the- counter medications you are taking. The following drugs and drug classes have been known to interact with salbutamol:
- MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitors (e.g. phenelzine, tranylcypromine)
- tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline)
- some beta-blockers (e.g. propranolol)
- other bronchodilators (e.g. terbutaline)
Use is not recommended in the following situations:
- allergy to salbutamol or any component of the preparation (some of these products may contain sulfite preservatives or lactose so ask your pharmacist).
- cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) associated with tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
Caution recommended in the following situations:
- high blood pressure
- cardiovascular disorders
- heart disease
- low blood potassium
- sensitivity to sympathomimetics (drugs that stimulate the central nervous sysytem)
Use in pregnancy: Inhaled salbutamol is considered compatible with pregnancy. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect that you may be pregnant.
Use while breastfeeding: Inhaled salbutamol is considered compatible with breastfeeding, however, consult your doctor or pharmacist before use.