Ventolin Inhaler (Salbutamol)

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Ventolin reliever inhalers contain the active ingredient Salbutamol to quickly treat asthma symptoms.

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What is asthma?

Asthma is a common respiratory condition which is caused by the inflammation of the lungs, particularly in the smaller airways and air sacs, making breathing more difficult.

Asthma is a long-term condition which can’t be cured but the symptoms usually come and go and vary in severity over time.

Causes

  • Cold air
  • Airborne substances e.g. pollen or dust mites
  • Air pollutants e.g. smoke
  • Respiratory infections such as the common cold
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – a condition where stomach acid backs up into your throat

Symptoms and signs include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Chest tightness or pain

What is a Ventolin asthma inhaler and how does it work?

Ventolin inhalers work by opening up the airways in your lungs, allowing you to breathe more easily. The medicine Salbutamol, which belongs to a group of medicines called fast-acting bronchodilators, makes it easier for the air to move in and out of the lungs.

The blue Ventolin inhaler is a type of asthma reliever inhaler that helps to relieve symptoms of asthma as they occur. The Ventolin evohaler relieves asthma symptoms such as tightness in the chest, wheezing and coughing to prevent asthma attacks. Common triggers include: house dust, pollen, cats, dogs and cigarette smoke.

Also known as an “asthma pump”, inhalers for asthma are prescription-only medication so are not available to buy over-the-counter. The doctor will need to assess your condition and develop a plan for your asthma. You can reorder asthma inhalers online at Pharmica after filling out a quick medical questionnaire – our experts will review your answers and if you meet the requirements, we can deliver your blue inhaler to the address of your choice.

How often should Ventolin be used?

You can use Ventolin when you start to notice the symptoms of asthma or when you know you are going to do an activity which could make you breathless.

To use the inhaler:

  • Take 1-2 puffs when you need it
  • Up to a maximum of 4 times in a 24-hour period (regardless of whether you have 1 or 2 puffs at a time)

Make an appointment with your doctor or pharmacist if:

  • You use your inhaler more than 4 times in a 24-hour period
  • More than 2 days of each week
  • In the middle of the night at least once a week

What happens if you take too much Ventolin?

If you take more than the recommended amount of Ventolin, you will notice your heart beating much faster and sometimes you may feel shaky. This will usually go away within 30 minutes to a few hours at most. These side effects of inhaling too much Ventolin are not dangerous, as long as you do not experience chest pains.

How quickly does the Ventolin inhaler work?

The Ventolin inhaler starts to work immediately, with asthma symptoms easing within just a few minutes. Ventolin helps to open up the airways to allow air to flow more freely through the lungs, reducing symptoms of breathlessness and wheezing.

Can Ventolin be used to treat asthma during pregnancy?

It’s important to keep your asthma controlled during pregnancy, so you should continue your use of prescribed Ventolin asthma treatment unless your asthma gets worse.

If you stop using your Ventolin inhaler, your symptoms are likely to get worse which could pose a risk to your baby having a lower birth weight.

Is Ventolin only used for asthma?

Ventolin is used to treat patients with breathing difficulties to relax the airways to allow for more air intake. Therefore, it is possible to use the Ventolin Evohaler without being diagnosed with asthma, but using any medication without a prescription is not advised.

Inhalers, along with most other asthma medications, are prescription only so it is advised that you seek advice from a doctor before exposing yourself to any potential risks.

Can the Ventolin inhaler be used for a cough?

A doctor may prescribe a Ventolin blue asthma inhaler if you are suffering from a cough which affects your breathing, as Ventolin contains Salbutamol which helps to soothe the airways, suppressing the need to cough. It is advised not to use the Ventolin inhaler in the treatment of a cough unless you have been prescribed one by your doctor for this purpose.

Does using the Ventolin inhaler affect your weight?

Using a Ventolin inhaler does not affect your weight or lead to weight gain. There are factors other than the medication to consider when dealing with weight gain from asthma. In some instances, physical activity may be avoided due to the fear of experiencing an asthma attack. Weight gain is linked to mismanagement of your symptoms, which is why using a Ventolin inhaler to help manage asthma symptoms is important in supporting a healthy lifestyle. 

How to avoid weight gain:

  1. Exercise regularly.
  2. Include vegetables and whole grains in your diet.
  3. Consult your doctor before you stop taking your asthma medication.

Visit our health centre blog for more information on maintaining a healthy weight.

What is an inhaler spacer?

An asthma spacer is a large empty tube which attaches to the inhaler so that you can breathe the medication from the inhaler spacer itself rather than directly from the inhaler. This makes it easier to aim the medication and breathe it to the deepest parts of your lungs instead of spraying it at the back of the throat and your upper airways, making it more efficient to use because you are using less medicine.

How to maintain your Ventolin inhaler

  • When washing your blue Ventolin inhaler with water, wash the plastic casing only, not the metal canister.
  • Keep your Ventolin inhaler in a cool, dry area. It is best to avoid keeping it in the bathroom.
  • Avoid keeping your inhaler in extreme temperatures.
  • Always keep the cap on your inhaler to avoid dust and debris getting inside.

Ventolin Side Effects

Side effects of Ventolin usually affect one in ten people. Possible side effects include:

  • increased heart rate, sometimes felt as palpitations
  • muscle tremor (shaking, especially in the hands)
  • slight feelings of anxiety or nervousness

These effects generally pass quickly and are less likely to occur after the medication has been used a few times. They may occur when you take higher doses of the medication, such as during an asthma emergency.

 Information Leaflet

Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.

Written and reviewed by our qualified team

GPhC Number: 2088658

Carolina Goncalves

Authored by:

Carolina Goncalves
Superintendent
Pharmacist

GPhC Number: 2225869

Rehma Gill

Reviewed by:

Rehma Gill
Pharmacy
Manager

Find out more about how we ensure the accuracy of our content with our content guidelines.

Content last updated: 20 Feb 2024

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"Exactly what I needed, at a competitive price."

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"Excellent from beginning to end.
I found the medication I needed, easily. Filled out the online consultation and completed my order without any problems.
Highly recommended."

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