What is Ventolin?
Ventolin is a short-acting bronchodilator. Ventolin is most commonly taken using an inhaler device. Inhaling the medicine allows it to act directly in the lungs where it is needed most. The active ingredient salbutamol causes the muscles in the airways to relax, relieving symptoms such as chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing. Ventolin is a prescription-only medicine.
What is Ventolin used for?
Ventolin is used to open the airways and make breathing easier in people with breathing problems including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other conditions where there is narrowing of the airways. Breathing problems can vary from chest tightness and shortness of breath to wheezing. Ventolin causes the muscles in the airways to relax. This allows the airways to open and makes breathing easier. Ventolin can also be used shortly before exercising or exposure to allergens to prevent breathing problems.
How to use Ventolin
Ventolin is available in a variety of formulations, including inhaler and Diskus. The Ventolin inhaler delivers a certain dose of salbutamol in powder form per puff. Shake the inhaler before use and, as you begin to breathe in slowly and deeply, press down on the canister inside the inhaler at the same time to release one puff. This allows the powder to enter the lungs. Hold your breath for at least 10 seconds to keep the medicine in your lungs. If more than one puff is prescribed, wait for about 30 seconds before repeating. The Ventolin Diskus is a dry powder device. The powder is released by sliding the lever down until you hear a click. Place the mouthpiece between your lips and take a deep breath. Hold your breath for at least 10 seconds to keep the medicine in your lungs. Consult the package leaflet for instructions on how to use your Ventolin inhaler and Ventolin Diskus.
Unless otherwise advised by a doctor, the usual dose is:
- Adults and children aged 12 and above: one to two 100-mcg inhalations (or one 200-mcg inhalation) a day. Do not use more than 800 mcg salbutamol in any 24-hour period.
The doctor will prescribe an adjusted dose for children under the age of 12 years. Always follow the prescription exactly - never use more or less than the doctor recommends. Read the package leaflet before use.
Ventolin may cause side effects, including:
- Heart palpitations;
- Shaking of the hands (tremor);
- Hyperactivity (in children).
Consult a doctor if these or other side effects are severe. For a complete list of side effects, see the package leaflet.
When not to use Ventolin
Ventolin is not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:
- You are allergic to salbutamol or any other ingredient in this medicine.
Consult a doctor on the use of Ventolin if you have health problems such as diabetes, a heart or vascular disease, or thyroid gland malfunction. Ventolin may interact with other medicines, including beta blockers and water pills. It is therefore important to tell the doctor what other medicines you are taking when you order. For more information, see the package leaflet.
Ventolin should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women without consulting a doctor first. This medicine does not interact with alcohol or affect your ability to drive safely.