It is impossible to imagine our lives without breathing. But, nature acts in strange ways and still makes us vulnerable where the very mechanism which helps us breathe - lungs and the whole air passage - is concerned. The fact that so many of us have suffered and are suffering from asthma is proof enough of that. To deal with breathing problems, drugs like albuterol or salbutamol relieve our lungs of the bronchial congestion with the help of an inhaler.
This drug is a bronchodialator, which in simple words means that it relaxes the muscles in our air passage and increases the air flow to our lungs. Obviously, it is a part of asthma treatment. In addition to this, it is also used to avoid a bronchospasm induced by exercise. This effect is normally achieved through a metered dose inhaler or a nebulizer. To avoid an overdose of this drug, take a sneak peek at what all is included in an albuterol overdose.
Overdose of salbutamol can be identified by quite a few health conditions. These range from simple shakiness to even cardiac arrest. Here are the symptoms and side effects of this drug overdose:
- Chest pain
- Fast heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Rapid heart
- Swelling of the throat
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Cardiac arrest
- Low potassium in blood
In extreme cases, it can even lead to urticaria, renal failure, angioedema, and eventually even death, but these are very rare. Apart from this, rise or dip in blood pressure levels, leading to a few of the above causes, muscle pain, diarrhea, sleep-related problems, and a few other conditions are the symptoms as well as side effects. However, symptoms like sleeplessness, cough, diarrhea, etc., are not as serious as the earlier ones. Overdose in children also leads to the same medical conditions.
Albuterol Overdose and Pregnancy
There are opposing views whether an overdose of this drug can lead to pregnancy-related issues. Some experts say that it is not a good idea for those who are pregnant or are planning to have a baby to consume this drug. Experiments done on mice suggest that it may cause birth defects in the offspring, while there is also another opinion that there may be no such side effects. The evidence is that animals have sometimes (in certain experiments) not experienced any side effects.
On the contrary, studies have shown albuterol is sometimes used to treat premature labor, making it compatible with pregnancy. But on one thing there is a common consensus, that if you have to take albuterol or in case you see the above symptoms worsening on account of conditions like hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, heart problem, contacting a doctor as early as possible is advisable.
Interaction With Other Drugs
There are many drugs whose benefits could be affected due to over-consumption of albuterol. These are diuretics, antidepressants, beta blockers, other types of bronchodialators, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. There are quite a few other medicines that you will need to check with your doctor which can also be affected.
The first thing included in treatment is to start fluid supply to the body intravenously. The next step is to give medications which help nullify and reverse the side effects of albuterol. One such category of medicines that is used to treat the overdose is beta blockers. These courses of treatment would be followed by the medication to treat complications and other conditions. If you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms, seek medical help.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.