Salbutamol Metered Dose Inhaler/ Accuhaler/ Respiratory Solution

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Salbutamol is used to relieve breathlessness in patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Asthma and COPD affects the lungs which makes it harder for the person to breathe as the disease gets worse over time. Salbutamol helps to open up the airway quickly, making it easier for one to breathe. Salbutamol helps to relieve breathlessness quickly and is normally referred to as a ‘reliever’ inhaler. It does not prevent attacks from happening.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • This medication is used as and when needed. Please inform your doctor if you need to use it more often than instructed.
  • Please refer to the salbutamol Metered Dose inhaler/Accuhaler’s patient information leaflet to learn how to use the inhaler.
  • For the use of salbutamol respiratory solution, please seek advice from your nurse or healthcare professional.
  • Keep the salbutamol inhaler with you at all times in case you need to use it.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication.
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.
  • You have any of the following medical conditions:
    • Glaucoma (a type of eye condition where the pressure in the eye is increased)
    • High blood pressure
    • Heart conditions such as chest pain, heart failure or irregular heartbeat
    • Hyperthyroidism (a condition where there is too much thyroid hormone in the body)
    • Kidney problems

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Fast heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Uncontrolled shaking (tremors)
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness

Check with your doctor if any of these symptoms are serious or do not go away.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

In very rare cases, some patients might experience the following:

  • Irregular heartbeat, where your heartbeat is uneven or has an extra beat
  • Low potassium level, where you may experience the following symptoms:
    • Muscle weakness
    • Muscle pain
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Tingling or numbness at your fingers and toes

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.

For the salbutamol inhaler, keep the cap on when not in use.

Once the bottle of respiratory solution is opened, throw away the contents after one month.

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last reviewed on October 2020
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