Albuterol Nebulizer

A nebulizer is a device which is used to administer medication in the form of a mist, that is inhaled by the patient. An albuterol nebulizer is useful in treating asthma and other respiratory disorders. This article tells you more about this device and its uses.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018
An albuterol nebulizer makes use of the medication, albuterol, which is effective in treating symptoms of respiratory disorders such as wheezing, coughing, difficulty in breathing, tightness in the chest, etc.
What a nebulizer does, is change the liquid medication into mist, making it ready to be inhaled easily into the lungs. Thus, an albuterol nebulizer is useful in treating and preventing the symptoms of various lung diseases.
How Does an Albuterol Nebulizer Work?
In simple terms, albuterol is a bronchodilator, a medication that aids the passage of air in the lungs by relaxing the muscles, bringing relief from bronchospasms. It needs to be inhaled in the manner as explained by the doctor, using the exact dose prescribed.
Using the medication through a nebulizer is comparatively easier than using an inhaler, especially in case of children. Albuterol medication may come in a liquid or solid form. The correct quantity needs to be placed in the nebulizer cup. The nebulizer can then be switched on. Once a light mist starts appearing in the end of the tube opposite to the mouthpiece, you can place the mouthpiece between the teeth, closing the lips around it.
Slow inhalation of this medication will allow it to settle in the air passages. As the muscles in the lungs become relaxed, the flow of oxygen will increase, allowing the patient to breathe easily.
Albuterol Nebulizer Usage
An overdose of albuterol can cause some serious side effects, which makes it necessary to follow the doctor's instructions regarding dosage. Keep the following points in mind -
  • If you forget to take your dose at the specified time, do take it as soon as you can, only if it is not very close to the time of your next dose.
  • Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you missed.
  • Overdosing can result in poisoning, which may be fatal. It may also cause serious side effects like nausea, vomiting, nervousness, dryness in the mouth, dizziness, sweating, convulsions, and fainting. Contact the emergency services if you think you have overdosed, or are experiencing these symptoms as a result of an overdose.
What are the Side Effects of Albuterol?
Albuterol may be safely used around 4-6 times a day, or as recommended by the doctor. Be careful not to self-medicate using albuterol, as it can cause some serious side effects. Always stick to the directions laid down by your doctor when it comes to using an albuterol nebulizer.
  • In some cases, inhalation of albuterol may exacerbate the symptoms of respiratory illness, thus making it harder to breathe. Immediate medical assistance is necessary in such cases.
  • It may cause mild convulsions, nervousness, headaches, vomiting, itchiness in the throat, and body ache. These symptoms are not considered serious if they disappear in a short while. However, if they become persistent, it is important to inform the doctor.
  • Serious side effects of albuterol include rapid heartbeat, hives, pain in the chest region, swelling on the face and in the extremities, and difficulty in breathing and swallowing. Consult a doctor at the earliest if you notice any of these symptoms.
When is it Unsafe to Use Albuterol Nebulizer?
As mentioned earlier, albuterol cannot be used to self-medicate. It is only to be used under medical supervision. It is important to note that albuterol can have adverse effects on certain individuals, with respect to their health condition. Do inform your doctor if you-
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • have cardiovascular problems
  • have had a previous reaction to sympathomimetic drugs
  • are diabetic
  • have adrenal gland tumors
  • have thyroid disorders
  • have kidney problems
It is very important to share your complete medical history with your doctor so that it helps him/her to diagnose and treat your condition in a better manner.
Keeping a portable nebulizer can act as a lifesaver for many who suffer from chronic respiratory illnesses. However, it is important to consult your doctor before you do the same, as the wrong medication can end up causing more damage.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.
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