Salbutamol in asthma

Salbutamol is used to treat respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD. The active ingredient dilates the bronchi and can thus counteract the typical respiratory problems. But salbutamol also has side effects: During treatment, headaches, palpitations and a feeling of rest may occur. Find out more about the effects, side effects and dosage of salbutamol here.

Salbutamol in asthma

Salbutamol belongs to the group of beta-2-sympathomimetics. The active ingredient dilates narrowed bronchi and facilitates the expulsion of mucus. Therefore, salbutamol is used to treat respiratory diseases such as bronchial asthma or COPD. In these diseases, the active ingredient also reduces inflammatory and / or allergic reactions of the bronchi.

In asthma, the drug is also used to treat asthma attacks caused by exercise. It is also used to prevent asthma attacks caused by foreseeable allergen contact.

Side effects of Salbutamol

Whether, how frequently and how strongly which side effects occur is also dependent on the administration form of salbutamol. When salbutamol is used as a spray, it can occasionally cause side effects such as headache, palpitations, tremors and restlessness. Very rarely, muscle spasms can also occur.

With a tablet intake must be expected with something stronger side effects. Symptoms such as headache, tremors, palpitations, muscle spasms, and restlessness are common. However, these usually only appear after a longer tablet intake.

Occasionally it may also cause taste disorders, dizziness, sweating and nausea. Also, an elevated blood sugar level and a lower potassium level are possible. Very rarely, heartburn, arrhythmia, heart pain, blood pressure disturbances and urinary problems may occur. In a few cases, sleep disorders and hallucinations have also been observed.

Dosage of salbutamol

Salbutamol is available in various dosage forms. The active ingredient is available, inter alia, as a tablet, as an inhalant solution, as a suspension and as a capsule with powder for inhalation. Depending on the dosage form, salbutamol can be taken via a metered dose inhaler. In such a device, the spray is dispensed in portioned doses.

How exactly is Salbuatmol to dose you, please always talk to your doctor. Please consider the following dosage information as general guidelines only:

  • Suspension: A single dose for adults consists of 0.1 to 0.2 milligrams of salbutamol, which is usually equivalent to 1-2 puffs. Not more than 0.8 milligrams per day should be taken. For children, a single dose is 0.1 milligrams, the maximum daily dose is 0.4 milligrams.
  • Inhalation powder: A single dose is between 0.1 and 0.2 milligrams for adults and 0.1 milligrams for children. In adults, a bronchospasm or respiratory distress can not be relieved by two single doses every five to ten minutes, you should seek medical help. Adults should not exceed a daily dose of 0.8 milligrams.
  • Inhalation solution: If the inhalation solution is taken up by a nebuliser, the single dose for adults is 1.25 to 2.5 milligrams, for children 0.25 to 0.5 milligrams per year of age. However, a dose of 2 milligrams must not be exceeded in children. Nevertheless, if the symptoms do not improve in case of bronchospasm or acute respiratory distress, a second single dose can be given after five to ten minutes. Per day, adults should not take more than 15 milligrams, children not more than 7.5 milligrams.
  • Tablets: Children may take four milligrams in the morning and evening, adults eight milligrams each.

Overdose is dangerous

When dosing with salbutamol, it is important that you adhere to the dose agreed with the attending physician. If a significantly higher dose is taken without consultation, side effects such as sleep disturbances, restlessness, tremors, chest pain and an accelerated heartbeat may occur. These side effects may be life threatening. Therefore, always consult a doctor immediately if you overdose.

If your condition deteriorates when you take salbutamol, stop treatment immediately and contact your doctor. The same applies if in general a deterioration of the state or no satisfactory improvement occurs. Then the treatment plan must be reconsidered and possibly other medicines (eg anti-inflammatory drugs) are taken. If this is already the case, it may be necessary to adjust a dose.


Salbutamol must not be taken concomitantly with beta-blockers (beta-adrenergic blockers) because the substances weaken each other's effects. Asthma patients may experience severe bronchospasm. Salbutamol may also reduce the hypoglycemic effect of antidiabetics. However, this effect is usually expected only at very high doses. If salbutamol is taken together with other beta-2-sympathomimetics, a mutual increase in effect is possible.

In addition, it can still interact with a number of other drugs and drugs. These include, but are not limited to, anti-arrhythmic drugs, Parkinson's drugs, cardiac glycosides, ergot alkaloids, antidepressants such as MAO inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants, L-thyroxine, oxytocin, procarbazine, and alcohol.

If you get anesthesia, you should make sure that the anesthetic does not contain halogenated anesthetics. If such an agent is used, salbutamol should not be taken for at least six hours before anesthesia.


Salbutamol should not be taken if hypersensitivity to the active substance is present. In case of hypersensitivity to other beta-2-sympathomimetics, salbutamol should be used with caution.

Similarly, the active substance may also be taken only after a careful benefit-risk analysis in the following cases:

  • arteriosclerosis
  • Severe, untreated high blood pressure
  • Vascular glands (aneurysms)
  • Tumor in the adrenal medulla
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Unstable diabetes mellitus
  • potassium deficiency

Even with certain diseases of the heart Salbutamol may be taken only with caution. These include diseases or inflammations of the heart muscle, cardiac arrhythmia, diseases of the coronary arteries and a fresh heart attack. Caution should also be exercised when taking cardiac glycosides.

Salbutamol belongs to the group of beta-2-agonists, which are among the doping substances. However, salbutamol is an exception. Up to a dose of 1600 microgamm per 24 hours, Salbutamol may also be taken as a therapeutic in competition. His intake must be confirmed as medically necessary. Salbutamol must also be entered in the doping control form before the competition.

pregnancy and breast feeding period

Salbutamol is placental and may cause side effects in the unborn child. Therefore, the drug should be used especially in the first trimester of pregnancy only after a careful benefit-risk analysis. In addition, salbutamol should be taken if inhaled rather than in capsule form. Even shortly before birth, the drug should not be used because it can bite-inhibiting effect.

Salbutamol is believed to pass into breast milk. Therefore, the active ingredient nursing mother may also be prescribed only after a careful benefit-risk analysis. Children should get the drug as a spray if possible and not in tablet form. In children under 20 months, it may happen that the effect is weaker or completely absent.

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