Albuterol Oral Inhaler


In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for albuterol oral inhaler, trade name ProAir HFATM, Proventil HFATM, and Ventolin HFATM.

What it’s for & How to take

Albuterol is a short acting inhaled medication that is used to treat wheezing and shortness of breath that may be brought on by conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This medication is also used to prevent these same symptoms that may be brought on by exercise.

This medication works by relaxing the muscle in your lungs. By doing this, your coughing and wheezing may be decreased and you can breathe much easier.

Albuterol is usually prescribed to be used every 4 or 6 hours as needed; however, your dose will be based on your response to treatment and specific condition. Use of a spacing device with your albuterol inhaler is encouraged. Spacing devices are available at most pharmacies, ask your pharmacist.

When you pick up your inhaler for the first time, make sure the pharmacist shows you exactly how to use it. If you have any questions on how to use your inhaler, call your pharmacist or doctor and ask for instruction.

Prime your inhaler before its first use, if you have dropped it, or if it has not been used for 2 weeks or more. Prime the inhaler by spraying 3 or 4 sprays of the fine mist into the air, away from your face.

Shake the inhaler for 5 seconds before each inhalation. If you are using more than 1 inhalation, wait 60 seconds between the first and second dose.

If you are using this medication on a regular schedule and forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.

Keep your inhaler clean and keep count of the number of inhalations left in the container. If you have any questions about how to clean your inhaler or keep track of the number of doses, ask your pharmacist or doctor to explain it to you.

If your doctor has you using another inhaler, such as a steroid, at the same time as your albuterol, use the albuterol inhaler first. The albuterol will open your lungs so the next medication can get into your lungs easier.

Take time to understand which inhalers are for urgent breathing episodes and which are to be used on a regular basis to prevent breathing problems. If you have used your inhaler and are not seeing any improvement or your symptoms are worsening, call your doctor.

Self-monitoring also includes the use of a Peak Flow Meter. This is a simple device which helps you measure, on your own, how well your lungs are working. If you don’t already use one, discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist.

Warnings & Cautions

  • This medication may make you dizzy, drowsy, or blur your vision. Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Limit alcoholic beverages while using albuterol oral inhaler.
  • Let your pharmacist or doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking this medication.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever been told you have any heart rhythm problems. Rarely, albuterol may cause your heart to beat fast and unsteady. If you feel any severe dizziness or feel like your heart is racing or beating too fast, get medical help right away.

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if albuterol oral inhaler is safe for you to use.
  • Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
  • Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have a heart condition, including chest pain or irregular heartbeats, a history of high blood pressure, or a history of seizure disorders.
  • While using albuterol oral inhaler, you may feel some shaking, nervousness or headache. You may also feel some throat dryness or cough. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
  • Call your doctor right away if you feel any chest pain or pounding heartbeat.

If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Updated 7/20