What is Salbutamol?

Salbutamol is a common drug that is used to treat asthma. It is a drug that helps relax the airways therefore allowing patients with asthma to breathe more easily. Salbutamol is commonly administered with an inhaler (also known as a metered dose inhaler) usually using a spacer. Salbutamol comes in a variety of different forms including as an inhaler, a dry powder device or as a nebuliser.
The management of asthma is described in the parents information section. Please click on the following link to read it: Asthma.

How quickly does it work?

If given with a spacer (eg an aerochamber or volumatic spacer) the salbutamol begins to relax the airways almost immediately but reaches a good level of effect after 5-10 minutes.

What are the side effects?

Common side effects include increased heart rate, shakiness, headache and muscle cramps. Salbutamol is sometimes used to treat patients with renal failure as one of it’s side effects is to reduce the blood potassium levels.

Authored by: Dr Tim Ubhi

Published: 18th May 2019

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