Albuterol Inhaler Warnings and Precautions
Before using an albuterol inhaler, warnings and precautions for the inhaler should be fully understood. It is important to know that albuterol inhalers may potentially worsen airway spasms or cause a stimulatory effect on the heart and blood pressure. Albuterol inhalers are not suitable for everyone; you should not use the inhaler if you are allergic to albuterol or any inactive components used to make the inhalers.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using an albuterol inhaler if you have:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- A fast heart rate (tachycardia)
- An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- Other types of heart disease, including congestive heart failure
- An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with albuterol inhalers include:
- Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are using your albuterol inhaler more frequently than usual. Asthma symptoms can worsen very quickly and can become a medical emergency.
- Using an albuterol inhaler alone is rarely the best asthma treatment. Your healthcare provider should consider adding additional asthma medications.
- Rarely, albuterol inhalers can cause a worsening of bronchospasms (spasms of the airways), which is exactly the opposite of what should happen. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if an albuterol inhaler makes your asthma worse.
- Albuterol inhalers can have a stimulatory effect on the heart and blood pressure. Fast heart rate (tachycardia), high blood pressure (hypertension), and irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) may occur, although low blood pressure (hypotension) is also possible. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, make sure your healthcare provider is aware of it. He or she may wish to use particular caution if he or she recommends albuterol in your case.
- People with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes, or epilepsy should use caution when using albuterol inhalers, as albuterol may worsen these conditions or increase the risk of side effects.
- Do not puncture the albuterol inhaler canister or keep it near open flame, as the contents are under pressure.
- Albuterol inhalers can interact with other medications (see Albuterol Inhaler Drug Interactions).
- Albuterol inhalers are considered pregnancy Category C medications. This means that they may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using albuterol inhalers during pregnancy (see Albuterol Inhalers and Pregnancy for more information).
- It is not known if inhaled albuterol passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using an albuterol inhaler (see Albuterol Inhalers and Breastfeeding for more information).