- Blue Reliever Inhaler
- Contains Salbutamol
- Provides instant relief
- Relaxes the airways in the event of an asthma attack
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What is a Ventolin (Salbutamol) Inhaler?
Salbutamol has been used in the treatment of asthma since 1969, it regularly appears on the World Health Organisation's List of Essential Medicines.
A Ventolin Inhaler (Salbutamol/Albuterol) is used to treat Asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Ventolin belongs to a group of medicines known as fast acting bronchodilators.
It provides effective short-term relief from the symptoms of asthma. For this reason, it is known as a 'reliever inhaler'. Salbutamol inhalers are usually blue in colour, their blue colour is so they can be easily identified in the event of an asthma attack.
Our guide answers what is ventolin, what it is used for, how it works and the different types of salbutamol inhalers in more detail.
What is Ventolin (salbutamol) inhaler used to treat?
The Ventolin inhaler is used as a treatment for asthma; it can prevent asthma symptoms from occurring after you exercise and is a reliable inhaler if you suffer an asthma attack.
Salbutamol, when inhaled can provide effective relief from asthma and COPD symptoms such as breathlessness and wheezing.
The active ingredient, salbutamol, is a short-acting beta-2-agonist which works to relax the muscles in the airways, helping them to expand and as a result allows air to pass through them more freely.
Learn more about ventolin inhalers for asthma, how they work and what asthma symptoms they can help with.
How does Ventolin treat Asthma?
Salbutamol is also known as Albuterol and is a short acting beta-2 agonist (SABAs), it is typically the first line medicine for treating asthma symptoms. Salbutamol inhalers are commonly used in conjunction with long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs), most typically corticosteroid inhalers such as Clenil Modulite.
Salbutamol inhalers are very fast acting and work within just 5 minutes, with its therapeutic effects being felt for between 3 to 6 hours. Due to its fast-acting nature, a salbutamol/reliever inhaler should always be used in the presence of asthma symptoms.
This active ingredient Salbutamol, works on the beta-2 adrenergic receptors on the smooth muscle in the airways and inhibits hypersensitivity from mast cells. Its inhibitory effects make it much easier for air to travel in and out of your lungs without resistance, helping you to breathe. Salbutamol also helps to relieve tightness in the chest, wheezing and coughs.
How to use a Ventolin Inhaler
Before using your Ventolin inhaler, try to breathe as slowly as possible.
- Stand up or sit up straight when you use your inhaler.
- Remove the mouthpiece cover and check inside and out to make sure that the mouthpiece is clean.
- Shake the inhaler 4 or 5 times; this will remove any loose objects from the inhaler and make sure that the contents are properly mixed together to provide effective treatment.
- Hold the inhaler upright and with your thumb on the base. Breathe out as far as you can, without breathing in again.
- Insert the mouthpiece into your mouth, between your teeth. Close your lips around the mouthpiece, but do not bite it.
- Breathe in through your mouth. Just after you start to breathe in, press down on the top of the canister to release a puff of the medicine. Keep breathing in steadily.
- Hold your breath and take the inhaler out of your mouth, with your finger on the top of the canister. Continue to hold your breath for a few seconds afterwards.
- If your doctor has instructed you to take two puffs of your inhaler, wait for around 30 seconds before taking a second puff. If you are instructed to take a second puff, repeat steps 3 to 7.
- After using your inhaler, replace the mouthpiece cover by clicking it into position, immediately, to keep out dust and dirt.
If you have been diagnosed with Asthma and are at risk of suffering from asthma attacks, it is important that you know exactly how to use a ventolin inhaler. By using your inhaler the correct way, you will ensure that you are getting the best possible relief from asthma symptoms and are also reducing the risk of an asthma attack.
Who can use Ventolin inhalers?
A Ventolin inhaler is an effective reliever inhaler for the symptoms of asthma, but it may not be suitable for everyone to use.
Do not use this inhaler if any of the below apply to you:
- You are allergic to salbutamol sulphate or any of the other ingredients listed in this medicine (please refer to the ingredients tab for full details)
- You are pregnant and go into premature labour or threatened abortion
Make sure you speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using a Ventolin inhaler if you suffer from any of the following conditions:
- You have high blood pressure
- You have an overactive thyroid gland
- Your asthma is active
- You have a history of heart problems, such as angina or an irregular heartbeat
Can you buy Ventolin online?
Yes, you can buy Ventolin and other salbutamol inhalers online from most UK pharmacies. You will be required to complete an online consultation so that a doctor or medical professional is able to assess your condition and ensure you are receiving the most suitable treatment.
When buying medicine online it is essential that you are buying it from a fully regulated and licensed pharmacy.
You can view more about our licenses and our company on our about us page.
There are many different alternatives to a Ventolin inhaler, with the majority of reliever inhalers containing the active salbutamol ingredient. The other commonly prescribed salbutamol inhaler is Salamol. Although Ventolin is typically the more popular of the two, a recent study found that both inhalers were as effective as each other at relieving acute bronchospasms.
Ventolin Indications and Dose
All of our doctor and pharmacists follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Ventolin. Always use the Ventolin inhaler exactly as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you are not sure of how to use the inhaler, although they will normally demonstrate how to use it if this is the first time you have ever been prescribed one.
What is a blue inhaler?
A blue inhaler is also known as a reliever inhaler. Reliver inhalers are intended to give you instant relief from asthma symptoms are are essential if you are suffering from an asthma attack. Ventolin is a blue in colour as it is a reliever inhaler.
How do I buy Ventolin inhalers online?
Is Ventolin available for UK next day delivery?
Is it safe to buy a Ventolin inhaler online?
How many puffs of Ventolin is safe?
You should not take more than 8 puffs from this inhaler in a single 24 hour period.
This may result in you overdosing on salbutamol, which can result in the following side effects:
- You feel shaky
- Your heart beats faster than usual
Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you take too many puffs or exhibit any of the above symptoms.
Ventolin Serious Side Effects
For a full detailed guide on Ventolin side effects, read our helpful medical guide.
Ventolin common side effects
Like all salbutamol inhalers, Ventolin does come with the risk of side effects, although not everyone who takes it will get them.
Common side effects may affect up to 1 in every 10 people and include:
- Feeling shaky
Uncommon reactions may affect up to 1 in every 100 people:
- Muscle cramps
- Irritation in the mouth and throat
Speak to your doctor if any of these side effects bother you or do not go away. Do not stop using your inhaler unless your doctor has told you to do so.
The more common adverse effects you may suffer while using a Ventolin inhaler can be found on the main page.
Seek medical attention if you experience any of the following.
Rarer side effects may affect up to 1 in every 1,000 people:
- Low levels of potassium in your blood
- An increase in blood flow to your extremities
Very rare side effects may affect up to 1 in every 10,000 people:
- Changes in your sleeping pattern
- Behavioural changes, such as feeling restless or excitable
It is not known how frequently these side effects may occur, but people who use Ventolin inhalers may also experience chest pain as a result of heart problems. Speak to your doctor if this occurs, but do not stop using your inhaler.
Serious allergic reaction
In rare cases, it is possible that you may experience a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to Ventolin. If you exhibit any of the following symptoms, you should either call 999 or go to A&E straight away; you may require immediate treatment in hospital:
- You are wheezing
- You have tightness in your chest or throat
- You are finding it difficult to breathe or speak
- You have a skin rash that is red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
- You have swelling in your mouth, face, throat, lips, or tongue
- You feel faint, light-headed, or collapse
Please note that the above lists may not be exhaustive. Always read the patient information leaflet for a comprehensive list of side effect symptoms you may suffer while using Ventolin.
If you have any questions or concerns, we strongly advise you to discuss these with your doctor or pharmacist.
Ventolin Warnings and drug interactions
Ventolin may interact with other medicines you are taking at the same time.
Before you start to use an asthma inhaler such as Ventolin, it is very important that you inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are already using any other treatment, either for asthma or any other condition. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medicine, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.
In particular, your doctor should be aware if you are currently taking or have recently taken any of the following:
- Xanthine derivatives or steroids to treat asthma
- Any water tablets (diuretics), which are sometimes prescribed as a treatment for high blood pressure or a heart problem
- Any other medicines to treat asthma symptoms
- Any medicines for an irregular heartbeat or a fast heartbeat
If you are unsure as to whether a salbutamol inhaler like Ventolin is suitable for you to use, please do not hesitate to discuss your concerns with your doctor.
For more information on Ventolin Drug Interactions
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Salbutamol is considered safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as per NHS guidance.
However, it is still recommended that you inform your doctor if you are pregannt or breastfeeding.
The active ingredient in Ventolin is salbutamol sulfate.
The other ingredient is the propellant HFA 134a.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to salbutamol sulfate or the propellant ingredient without speaking to a doctor.
Written by: Hussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840
Published on: 12/10/2020
Updated on: 12/05/2021
This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan
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