Ventolin HFA is a type of reliever inhaler used to treat asthmatic symptoms and some types of COPD. It works by relaxing the smooth muscle inside the airways, making it easier for you to breathe during an asthma attack.
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Written by Dr Kim Langdon MD
Information last reviewed 06/21/19
Ventolin HFA is an inhaler, primarily used to relieve asthma symptoms. It is also used for the treatment of some types of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), which is usually caused by long-term smoking.
Asthma attacks can come on suddenly and unpredicatably and they can be life threatening. Therefore, if you have been prescribed a reliever inhaler, it is important that you keep it on hand at all times.
Ventolin HFA is a type of reliever inhaler known as a beta-2-agonist. This means that it works by relaxing the smooth muscle found in the airways. Ventolin does not cure asthma, but it can be used to relieve asthmatic symptoms and to prevent exercise-induced asthma.
The active ingredient in Ventolin is albuterol sulfate, also known as salbutamol sulfate. This is a beta-2-agonist, which works by relaxing the smooth muscle that lines the airways.
The inactive ingredients in Ventolin HFA is HFA-134a (1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane), which is a propellant used in the release of the medication.
The usual dose of Ventolin is 2 inhalations every 4 to 6 hours. To prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm, use 2 inhalations 15 to 30 minutes before exercise. The effects of Albuterol last about 4 to 6 hours.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of Ventolin HFA can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms may include dry mouth, shaking, tremors, chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat, nausea, feeling ill, seizures, light-headed or fainting.
If this is the first time you are using this inhaler, or if you haven’t used you inhaler recently, you should prime your inhaler. You do this by:
You should follow the directions in the patient information leaflet that will accompany your inhaler. However, the following instructions also outline how to use your inhaler:
You should try to clean your inhaler every week, following these instructions:
Failure to keep your inhaler clean could allow bacteria or fungi to build up inside the device, this increases your risk of infections such as oral thrush (yeast infection).
Common Ventolin HFA side effects may include:
Most side effects will go away on their own. If not, notify your doctor for a dose adjustment or medication change.
Call your doctor immediately if you have:
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any that you stop or start while taking Ventolin. The following medications have known interactions with Ventolin:
Ventolin and other similar inhalers are not recommended for children under the age of 4. You should speak to the prescribing physician if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is important to keep on top of your asthma in these situations, but your doctor should be able to advise you on the best way to do this.
When taking Ventolin on a plane there are several considerations:
Not everyone tastes Ventolin, but some people report that Ventolin can have a bitter taste.
Unfortunately, there is currently no national scheme to recycle inhalers in the US. However, you can contact local pharmacies and enquire whether they will take inhalers and how they will dispose of them.
Ventolin works by relaxing the muscles around the airway to make breathing easier. For this reason, Ventolin can help to reduce asthma symptoms such as: tightness in the chest, coughing or wheezing. Ventolin should not be used on symptoms of a cough, cold or chest infection. Instead, you should consult with your doctor if you need treatment.
Ventolin should not become less effective over time if used correctly. If the medication has expired then it may be less effective. You should not use expired medication, instead you should seek a replacement from your doctor.
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