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Ventolin. What One Should Know about the Drug?

Ventolin got on the pharmaceutical market in 1969. It happened in the United Kingdom, and 13 years later, it was approved by the American FDA. As of now, Ventolin is in the top ten most often prescribed drugs. Every year, about 50 million prescriptions for Ventolin are given to the patients suffering from the diseases that involve bronchoconstriction.

This preparation is applied in the treatment and as a maintenance therapy in adults and children with pulmonary diseases associated with bronchoconstriction and bronchospasm. Ventolin is also used by sportsmen to prevent exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.

How Ventolin Works

The active component of Ventolin is albuterol, which is also called salbutamol. Therefore, seeing on the shelves of the drugstores any of these names, know that this is one and the same medication. The only difference is that Ventolin is a brand drug, whereas the other two are generics.

Ventolin is an agonist of the beta-2 adrenergic receptors. This preparation is short-acting with a swift onset of action. If used in the form of the inhaler, 15 minutes are enough for it to start working. The medication affects the smooth muscles of the airways, relaxing them. Due to this, their lumen gets back to the norm, and the flow of air to the lungs restores.

Drug Dosages and Medical Forms

Depending on the aim of using Ventolin, one can buy the medication in several medical forms, including Ventolin inhaler, nebules for inhalations through a nebulizer, tablets, and injections. The two most often applied forms of Ventolin are the nebules and the inhaler.

Ventolin inhaler comes either in 90mcg or 100 mcg dosage strengths. Each inhaler contains 60 or 200 metered inhalations. The inbuilt dose counter allows keeping count of the doses remaining. Thus, a patient knows when it’s time to order another Ventolin inhaler.

As for Ventolin in the form of nebules, they may contain 2.5 mg or 5 mg of the active component in each nebule.

How to Administer Ventolin?

The way you should administer the preparation totally depends on the form you use. Before each use, you should shake the Ventolin inhaler. If needed, make two test-puffs (e.g. if you haven’t used the preparation for more than two weeks or you’ve dropped the inhaler). After that, inhale Ventolin by mouth, making a long deep breath. If you need two puffs of the medication, make a one-minute pause between them. The efficacy of treatment with this medical form of the drug may reduce if you don’t use it properly.

Ventolin nebules should be used only via the inhalator. Use a face mask or a mouthpiece when breathing in the medication. This medical form should never be used orally or by injection.

Recommendations on the Dosing Regimen

The appropriate dose of the medication as well as the frequency of its use depends on the condition treated, its severity, and the patient’s tolerance to the medication. It’s important to know that administering Ventolin for a prolonged time, a person may develop tolerance to the preparation. This will make it less effective. For this reason, you should tell your doctor if your inhaler doesn’t work as well as it used to in cutting bronchospasms.

The commonly recommended dosing regimen for people using Ventolin in the form of the inhaler is two puffs every four or six hours. In individuals with less severe symptoms of breathing disorders, a single inhalation every four hours may also work well. You shouldn’t increase the number of inhalations or their frequency without consulting a doctor. Such a decision should be made by a specialist, relying on your health condition and response to the therapy. Uncontrolled use of Ventolin will not only increase the possibility of developing tolerance but will also elevate the risks for adverse reactions.

For the prevention of exercise-induced bronchospasm, a person should make two inhalations of Ventolin at least 15 – 30 minutes before doing sports or any other physical activity.

If you prefer using Ventolin through a nebulizer, you should give at least 5 – 15 minutes four times a day for this procedure. The recommended dose of the medication for acute asthma attacks is 2.5 mg/intake. The same dosing regimen works well for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchitis.

This preparation is also used in pediatrics. In children aged 4 and older, the Ventolin inhalator can be applied. Those aged 2 and older can be prescribed only Ventolin inhalations through a nebulizer.

Precautions to Taking the Medication

One of the main aspects each healthcare provider should take care of when prescribing Ventolin is its safety in particular patients. Special attention should be given to those who are at a higher risk of developing adverse reactions to Ventolin. These are individuals suffering from certain health conditions that may get worse during the treatment. To make sure you don’t belong to a group of risk, consult your doctor before initiating the therapy. It’s crucial to mention if you have or have ever had the following health issues:

There is a risk that Ventolin will make you dizzy. Therefore, operating machinery, driving a car, or doing any other activities that demand alertness should be avoided until you learn how your body reacts to this preparation. The intake of alcohol-containing beverages or cannabis can exacerbate dizziness. Don’t use these substances when on Ventolin to minimize the risks for unwanted reactions.

The use of this medication during pregnancy is possible. However, your doctor should outweigh the potential benefits and the possible risks first. It’s not clear whether Ventolin passes into breast milk. For this reason, the drug should be used only when clearly needed. To exclude any risks for the nursing baby, you’d better stop breastfeeding.

What Medicines Can Ventolin Interact with?

Ventolin can get into dangerous interactions with quite a lot of preparations. In some cases, concomitant intake of Ventolin and other drugs is contraindicated, as it may lead to life-threatening consequences. However, the simultaneous intake of other medications with Ventolin is possible is the doses are adjusted. When consulting a doctor, tell about all the medicinal and herbal products you use. Ventolin can interact with:

Don’t stop or start taking any medicines during the therapy with Ventolin until you inform your doctor about it. Any changes in the dosing regimen can trigger the development of adverse reactions or reduce the efficacy of one of the drugs.

Contraindications to Ventolin Intake

People who are allergic to albuterol or any other excipient of the preparation should never administer Ventolin, regardless of the medical form it comes in.

This medication in the form of an inhaler is contraindicated in children younger than four. Pediatric patients under two years of age shouldn’t take any form of the drug.

What Are the Possible Adverse Effects to Ventolin?

Ventolin is generally well-tolerated. The unwanted reactions associated with its intake depend on the medical form of the preparation you use. People using Ventolin inhalers most often complain about:

Usually, such effects don’t possess any danger, yet their persistence or exacerbation should make you visit a doctor. Those who use the medication through nebulized or in the form of tablets don’t develop any side effects related to the mouth cavity and throat.

Severe manifestations of Ventolin side effects demand immediate medical help, so if you feel pain in the chest, racing heartbeat, trouble breathing, confusion, or any signs of reactions of hypersensitivity, call an emergency.

Ventolin may be the cause of paradoxical bronchospasm. This is a life-threatening condition, so seek medical help promptly.

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