What You Need to Know About Albuterol Sulfate
Normally, air moves easily into and out of the lungs through a network of airways, but during an asthma attack, the muscles around these airways tighten. This narrows the airways and makes it harder to breathe. This is called bronchospasm.
Albuterol sulfate is part of a class of drugs called beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short. Beta agonists stimulate beta receptors in the body, including those on the muscles around airways. This stimulation causes the muscles to relax, which opens up the airways and allows more air to get into and through the lungs.
The medication also has some effects on decreasing the activity of mast cells in the lungs, which play an important role in inflammation and allergic reactions.
Some general considerations for when and how to take albuterol sulfate include the following:
- Albuterol sulfate is either taken by mouth or inhaled (using an inhaler or nebulizer), depending on the particular product.
- You can take albuterol sulfate with or without food.
- For albuterol sulfate to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. The medication will not work if you stop taking it.
For further information about when and how to take albuterol sulfate, see the specific medication in the eMedTV archives.
The dose of albuterol sulfate your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- The particular product
- Your age
- The severity of your asthma or other respiratory problems
- Other medications you may be taking.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.