Albuterol Inhaler Uses
While the albuterol inhaler is used primarily for the treatment of asthma attacks and other similar lung problems, it can also be used "off-label" to treat other conditions, such as the treatment of breathing problems associated with respiratory infections and high potassium in the blood.
An albuterol inhaler is a prescription medication used to treat asthma and other similar lung problems. Albuterol is part of a class of asthma drugs known as beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short.
Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating. When the airways react, they narrow and less air flows to your lungs.
This is called bronchospasm and causes asthma symptoms like wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), coughing, tightness in the chest, and trouble breathing.
While there is no asthma cure, the condition can be controlled. There are many different asthma treatments, and albuterol inhalers represent one of the most basic and most important types of treatment for asthma relief.
Albuterol inhalers are "rescue" asthma inhalers, which can help improve breathing very quickly. Even if you take other asthma controller medications, it is important to always have a rescue asthma medication available to relieve an attack.
Albuterol inhalers are approved to both treat and prevent asthma attacks. Because albuterol is short-acting, it is not necessarily the best asthma medication for preventing asthma attacks. However, it is an excellent medication for treating asthma attacks or preventing exercise-induced asthma attacks (see Asthma and Exercise).
Asthma is not the only cause of bronchospasm. Albuterol inhalers can also treat bronchospasm due to other lung problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.