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Salbutamol / Albuterol

Molecule Description

Salbutamol belongs to the group of medications known as Bronchodilators used fo

r asthma. It is used to widen airways to relieve symptoms of asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).


Uses of Salbutamol / Albuterol

  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Chronic bronchitis such as coughing, wheezing, breathing difficulty and chest tightness

Contraindications of Salbutamol / Albuterol

When should one not use Salbutamol / Albuterol

  • You are allergic to Salbutamol
  • You have a fast or irregular heartbeat
  • You have high blood pressure
  • Low levels of potassium in the blood
  • Fits (seizures)
  • Diabetes and Ketoacidosis

Side effects of Salbutamol / Albuterol

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Feeling shaky (tremors)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Headache
  • Mouth and throat irritation, cough (these may be prevented by rinsing the mouth with water and spitting it out after inhalation)
  • The decrease in the level of potassium in your blood
  • Muscle cramps
  • Allergic reactions like itching, rash or skin reddening, swelling of the eyelids, lips, face or throat
  • Increase in wheezing and shortness of breath immediately after the dose. This can be serious, seek emergency medical help.

Precautions and Warnings of Salbutamol / Albuterol



Can I take Salbutamol / Albuterol during pregnancy?
There is limited information about the safety of salbutamol in pregnancy. It should be used in pregnancy only if your doctor advises you so.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Salbutamol / Albuterol while breastfeeding?
The inhalation of Salbutamol is safe in breastfeeding period as it is not known to cause any harm to the infant. Before taking the oral formulation, consult your doctor.


Can I drive if I have consumed Salbutamol / Albuterol?
Salbutamol does not impair your ability to drive. However, if you develop side effects such as dizziness, muscle cramps or tremors, avoid driving.


Can I consume alcohol with Salbutamol / Albuterol?
Intake of alcoholic beverages or tobacco while on treatment with Salbutamol may increase the side effects. Smoking should be strictly avoided since it is known to worsen breathing disorders.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • Any diseases affecting the heart or blood vessels
  • Overactivity of the thyroid gland
  • Low levels of potassium in your blood
  • Diabetes mellitus

Mode of Action of Salbutamol / Albuterol

How Does It Work?

Salbutamol acts by widening the airways in asthma and COPD. It is inhaled through a nebulizer and works by opening up the air passages in the lungs. This aids non-obstructed airflow into the lungs.

Interactions of Salbutamol / Albuterol

Interactions with other medicines

  • Salbutamol may interact with other medications such as Aminophylline, Theophylline, digoxin, Steroids
  • Beta-blockers for your blood pressure e.g., Propranolol
  • Diuretics and other medicines for heart problems

Interactions with food items

No known interaction.

Dosage of Salbutamol / Albuterol


The overdose of Salbutamol can be serious. Symptoms of overdose may be tremor, dry mouth, nervousness, headache, fainting, chest pain or heavy feeling, rapid or uneven heart rate, nausea, sweating, di...
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Missed a Dose

If you missed any dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is time for the next dose, then skip the missed dose and continue with the next dose. Do not take extra medicine to compensate f...
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Content Details


Dr. Nikita Toshi

BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery)


Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: Any precautions to be taken before starting the medication?

A: Salbutamol should be used with caution in patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems and lung infections. Inform your doctor if you have any of the above conditions.

Q: When and how to consume the medicine?

  • Salbutamol oral medicine therapy:
  • Swallow the tablet/ extended release tablet whole with water or liquids as per the doctor’s prescription
  • Do not break, crush or chew the tablet
  • Do not extend the therapy longer than your doctor has ordered or stop it abruptly without the doctor’s permission
  • Salbutamol inhalation therapy:
  • Learn from your doctor/ nurse how to use the nebulizer/ inhaler
  • Children may require a spacer device
  • Your doctor will tell you how many inhalations (puffs) to take for each dose and the maximum number of breaths you should use in 24 hours
  • Strictly follow the prescribed regimen
  • If you do not get relief from your symptoms after using the Salbutamol inhaler, you must contact your doctor for advice immediately
Last Updated on: 24 Dec 2020 | 01:48 PM (IST)

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