Lilley, L. L., Collins, S. R., & Snyder, J. S. (2017). Pharmacology and the Nursing Process. 8th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
How do I use my new Albuterol inhaler?
How fast will it work? And I have heard that I will feel shaky. Is that true?
On the first use, prime it with 4 test sprays into the air. Make sure that you shake it well each time. Allow 1 minute between inhalations. You will take 2 inhalations every 4-6 hours as needed. Take 2 inhalations 15 minutes before planned exercise to prevent an asthma attack. Rinse your mouth after each use. Clean the mouthpiece once a week. If you need another type of inhaler, use Albuterol first, then wait 5 minutes to use next medicine.
Albuterol works in about 5-15 minutes. It does have some side effects and can make you feel shaky and can cause your heart rate to speed up. Some people report feeling kind of nervous or restless and sometimes say they have a bad taste in their mouth.
No. If it doesn't work, then you need to call your provider. You will need to have your medication adjusted or a change in medication. Also, if you use 1 whole canister in 2 weeks, you need to call your provider because the Albuterol is not being effective enough for you. You do not want to overuse this medicine because that can create the opposite effect and cause your airways to close off more rather than open up. What we want is to get them opened up.
If it doesn't work, can I just double up on doses?
How does it open up my airways?
Thank you, Nurse April!
Are there any other treatments I can try too?
Albuterol relaxes the smooth muscles that are wrapped around your airways so that they open up more to let in the oxygen.
My pleasure, Fatima!
There are alternative methods that some patients like such as salt caves, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, and breathing exercises. There is limited clinical studies on these procedures. If you take any herbal or natural products be sure to tell your provider to be sure they will not interact with the Albuterol. One of the best things you can do is avoid personal triggers that cause an attack such as irritants, pet hair, or exposure to cold air.