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Side Effects of Albuterol in Children

Side Effects of Albuterol in Children

Albuterol is used for the treatment of asthma in small children. Although it has some benefits, it comes with some side effects as well. Go through this HealthHearty article to know more about them in detail.
Chandramita Bora
Albuterol or salbutamol is a bronchodilator that is mainly used for treating the symptoms of acute asthma and exercise-induced asthma. This medication relaxes the bronchial muscles in the airways, which help improve air flow to the lungs and alleviate asthma symptoms. It is mainly used for the treatment of asthma in children and toddlers as well. It is usually administered with the help of an inhaler or albuterol nebulizer.

Like other medications, it too can cause a few negative effects. However, this does not mean that all the people using this medication will encounter these side effects. In fact, the side effects of albuterol can be quite minor for many individuals. Let us find out what dangers it can impose on children.

Dangers of Albuterol

In Young Children
Children using albuterol for dealing with the symptoms of asthma can experience a few side effects at times. Usually, kids taking this medication can experience palpitation or an increase in heart rate, nervousness, cough, headache, shakiness or tremors, restlessness, irritability, metallic taste in the mouth, hoarseness, sore throat, dry mouth, and inflammation of the throat.

On the other hand, chest pain, insomnia, muscle cramps, and weakness are some of the less common side effects of this medication. An allergic reaction to albuterol is also rare, but it can occur at times. Allergic reactions to this drug can manifest in skin rashes or hives, difficulty in breathing, and unusual swelling of the face, lips, and throat. If the symptoms of allergic reaction become evident, then it is important to seek immediate medical attention.

The common side effects associated with its use are shakiness, nervousness, headaches, increase or decrease in appetite, excitement, and tachycardia. Some side effects of this medication such as wheezing, tightness in chest, chest pain, bronchospasm, tachycardia, fast heart rate, and dizziness are considered as serious side effects, and so, these also call for urgent medical attention.

In Toddlers and Infants
Sometimes, young children and infants require albuterol to manage the symptoms of asthma, sometimes leading to some side effects as well. Most commonly observed effects in toddlers include mood changes, irritability, nervousness, loss of focus or concentration, and sometimes, confusion.

Toddlers and infants too can experience an allergic reaction to albuterol, which can cause rashes on skin or hives, wheezing, shortness of breath, and unusual swelling. Other side effects after using albuterol are tightness in chest, chest pain, fast heart rate, excessive thirst and urination, tremor, dry mouth, sore throat, muscle weakness, dizziness, and headache.

In infants, the common side effects that are observed are increased heart rate, wheezing, restlessness, irritability, tremors, nausea, and vomiting. This drug is also observed to produce certain transient side effects in babies, which usually reduce or disappear when the child gets used to the drug with subsequent uses. Examples of such transient effects are runny nose, congestion, fever, and swollen neck glands. Though these side effects are likely to resolve with subsequent uses of albuterol, it is important to inform a healthcare provider if a child develops any of these side effects.

Many of these side effects can be avoided by taking the appropriate albuterol dosage prescribed by physicians or avoiding the overdose of this medication. Children are more likely to experience the bothersome its side effects when they are given the liquid or tablet form of this medication. Similarly, children who use this medication frequently and in higher doses are at an increased risk of experiencing these side effects. Therefore, if a child suffers from frequent asthma attacks and so, requires albuterol frequently, then it is better to talk to a physician to find out the medications that can be used safely for long-term treatment of asthma. Parents should immediately inform a physician on observing any of the side effects in their children.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. In case of any serious illness, please seek immediate medical help.