The use of Salbutamol for asthma treatment

Salbutamol is used to swiftly alleviate respiratory issues brought on by asthma and COPD, such as wheeze and cough. Learn about the best way to take it and any potential adverse effects. Asthalin, Respigen, Ventolin, and SalAir are some common names for salbutamol.

Describe salbutamol

Salbutamol is used to treat respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD that cause coughing, wheezing, and breathing difficulties. It facilitates breathing by widening airways in the lungs.

Salbutamol is referred to as a “reliever” drug since it provides immediate relief from breathing difficulties. Within a few minutes, it begins to function, and the effects endure for three to five hours.

The medication can be delivered directly into your airways when you use an inhaler device. As a result, your lungs and airways receive treatment, but only a small amount of the medication enters the rest of your body.

Salbutamol is offered in New Zealand as a nebulizing solution and inhaler. Nebulizers are not frequently utilized; instead, they are only employed when utilizing inhalers is inappropriate, such as with very ill or young children.

This page contains details on salbutamol inhalers. Learn more nebulizer information.


For wheezing or shortness of breath, the usual dosage of salbutamol inhaler is 1 or 2 puffs up to 4 times per day. After using the salbutamol inhaler, if your symptoms do not improve, you must phone 111 or immediately consult your doctor for guidance.

Asthma action plan: Your asthma nurse or doctor will give you a written asthma action plan outlining how many puffs to take for each dose and how many you should use in a 24-hour period. Learn more about adult and child asthma action plans.

When using salbutamol to prevent exercise-induced asthma, the recommended dose is two puffs taken 15 to 30 minutes prior to exercise.


  • Always carry your inhaler with you to ensure that you have enough salbutamol to last through weekends and holidays. This will ensure that you always know where it is when you need it.
  • Storage: Although you can carry your inhaler in your pocket, it must be kept at or below 25 degrees Celsius. As a result, you shouldn’t leave it in your car during the summer.

Speak to your doctor if you need to use salbutamol more than once per week. You might require a “preventer” inhaler or you might require a higher dose of your current preventer inhaler. The symptoms of asthma and breathing issues are lessened with preventers. Study up on preventers.

Uses for salbutamol

It’s crucial to employ the proper strategy to reap the greatest benefits. How to use your inhaler should be explained to you by your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse. If you have any questions about how to use your inhaler, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse even if you have already been shown. Here are some suggestions.

  • Remove the cap, then hold the inhaler vertically.
  • To blend the medication, shake the inhaler.
  • Position yourself straight-backed, tip your head back slightly (as if you were smelling), and slowly exhale.
  • Make sure your lips securely seal the mouthpiece of the inhaler as you hold the device upright and place it in your mouth.
  • Inhale via the mouthpiece as you press the inhaler to release one dose, or “puff,” at the start of a slow, deep breath.
  • Take a deep breath in, take the inhaler out of your mouth, and hold it for as long as it feels comfortable, up to 10 seconds.
  • Exhale slowly through your nose.

Use a spacer when using an inhaler

The attachment you use with your MDI is called a spacer. An MDI spacer makes using the inhaler simpler and aids in getting the medication into your lungs, where it is needed (with less medicine ending up in your mouth and throat). Spacers enhance the effectiveness of your medication. Explore spacers further.

Salbutamol precautions before use

  • Having cardiac disease?
  • Do you have a hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)?
  • Do you have hypertension, or high blood pressure?
  • Do you have a rapid pulse or an erratic heartbeat or rhythm?
  • Do you engage in competitive or collegiate athletics?

Before using salbutamol, it’s critical to let your doctor or pharmacist know if this is the case. Sometimes a medication must be administered with extra caution or may not be appropriate for a patient with a particular disease.

What negative consequences does salbutamol have?

Salbutamol can have side effects, albeit not everyone experiences them. This is true of many medications. As your body adjusts to the new medication, side effects frequently get better.

Negative effects:

  • being unsteady
  • Nervousness
  • Tremor
  • Headache
  • muscle pain
  • difficulty sleeping
  • alterations to your heartbeat (faster)
  • chest pain
  • breathing issues suddenly get worse, and you use salbutamol a lot

Inform your physician right away, or call HealthLine at 0800 611 116.


Before starting salbutamol or any new medications, consult with your doctor or pharmacist since some medications and herbal supplements may interact with salbutamol.


AAFA  [reviewed 06/08/2022]

Everyday Health [reviewed 06/08/2022]

WebMD [reviewed 06/08/2022

Yousef is a community pharmacist with an extensive experience in minor ailment treatments. He is a graduate of University College London.

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