What is Salbutamol?

The first-line treatment for asthma


Salbutamol is classified as a short-acting beta 2 agonist. That essentially means that it affects the beta 2 receptors, and in so doing, it causes restricted airways to reopen.

What’s It Prescribed for?

This drug is most commonly prescribed for people who have some type of lung disease. If you have asthma or emphysema or you suffer from any number of lung problems, then it is quite possible that your doctor will prescribe Salbutamol for you.

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It’s typically prescribed as an inhaler, and it makes your airways open when they are narrowed during an asthma attack or some other type of problem that forces your respiratory muscles to tighten. You can use it whenever you are having an attack or even as a preventive tool to ward off attacks before they happen in some cases. That comes in useful during times when you know you are going to be exerting yourself, such as right before you exercise or start work. Exertion can bring on an attack, so this preventative measure can be incredibly effective at sidestepping an attack entirely.

This is not the kind of drug you should be self-medicating with. The side effects are dangerous enough that you should at least consult a doctor before you take it. While it can commonly be bought over the counter, you have to be careful about taking too much or not using enough when you have an attack.

Even people without lung disease can use this drug; they simply have to be careful that they don’t take too much at once and that they use it only when they need it. If you do not have a form of lung disease, then you should not have to take the drug preventatively.

How Does It Work?

When your airways are restricted, it is likely due to a tightening of the muscles of the respiratory system. These muscles tighten and can close up your throat or at least narrow it. This makes it harder for you to breathe properly. Your body will still require the same volume of air to be pumped through your respiratory system as before, but now it has to deal with a partial obstruction.

As the air tries to force its way through, it can make it hard for you to breathe. Your body may force you to cough as it attempts to clear what it believes to be an obstruction. You may start to wheeze as well, and the muscles will get tighter and tighter as the attack continues.

By blocking certain internal components, the drug Salbutamol is able to make your respiratory muscles relax. The stress on your throat will begin to ease and your airway will open back up, allowing you to breathe properly once more.

This typically only takes a few seconds, and you can effectively use the inhaler form of the Salbutamol whenever you have an attack and expect it to provide relief.

Side Effects

You will most commonly experience hypersensitivity and tremors when taking this drug. These tend to be mild, but in cases where they appear very severe, you should let your doctor know and get medical help right away. If you suffer from more severe side effects, such as confusion, swelling, hives, rashes, body pain or other side effects while taking this drug, then get professional medical attention as soon as possible.

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