Albuterol tablets are commonly prescribed for the treatment of airway spasms in people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). By opening up the airways and allowing more air to get into and through the lungs, the medication can make it easier for people with airway spasms to breathe. Albuterol tablets are available in both short-acting and extended-release forms and are generally taken two to four times daily. Side effects of the medicine can include headaches, nervousness, and nausea.
What Are Albuterol Tablets?
Albuterol is a prescription medication used to treat airway spasms (called bronchospasms). Bronchospasms are most common in people with asthma. However, they can also occur in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. While albuterol is most often inhaled, it can also be taken orally. Albuterol tablets are available in both short-acting and long-acting forms (Vospire ER®).
Albuterol tablets are made by various manufacturers.
How Do Albuterol Tablets Work?
Normally, air moves easily into and out of the lungs through a network of airways. However, during an asthma attack, the muscles around these airways tighten. This narrows the airways and makes it harder to breathe. This is called bronchospasm.
Albuterol tablets are part of a class of drugs called beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short. Beta agonists stimulate beta receptors in the body, including those on the muscles around airways. This stimulation causes the muscles to relax, which opens up the airways and allows more air to get into and through the lungs.
Albuterol tablets also have some effects on decreasing the activity of mast cells in the lungs, which play an important role in inflammation and allergic reactions.
Vospire ER [package insert]. Fort Lee, NJ: DAVA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;2002 September.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 4, 2007.
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