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Ventolin Inhaler

Ventolin inhaler is a metered dose inhaler containing Salbutamol sulfate BP and delivering 100 mcg of Salbutamol per actuation. It is free from any chlorofluorocarbons (CFC). The canister is made of aluminum alloy and coated with fluropolymers, fitted with an actuator. The canister is inserted into the plastic actuator incorporating a nozzle and mouthpiece.

It is a type of rescue inhaler to manage acute aggravation of asthmatic symptoms.

Why is it given? What are its indications?

Ventolin inhaler is given to manage asthma attacks and pacifying acute symptoms, such as difficulty in breathing, wheezing and coughing, etc. It contains Salbutamol as an active chemical substance that is selective beta2 adrenoceptor agonist. Salbutamol is a drug of choice and first line treatment of bronchospasm.

However, it is a short acting bronchodilator used in airway obstruction due to narrowing of the airways, emphysema (damage of alveoli/air sacs in the lungs) and bronchitis (inflammation of bronchial tubes).

When is it used in asthma?

It is used to prevent the occurrence of asthma attack due to any known trigger or to get relief from asthmatic symptoms. It should be always remembered that it is a rescue medicine for almost all patients, but in some cases of persistent asthma, it becomes ineffective. Therefore, patients unresponsive to Ventolin inhaler need treatment with corticosteroids for better control of symptoms.

If your symptoms are not alleviated, then you need urgent medical care and advice for treatment.

Duration of action

Ventolin inhaler has duration of action about 4 to 5 hours in most asthmatic patients. If you have to use an inhaler frequently, it indicates for worsening asthma, which requires reassessment of the asthmatic patient and re-plan the therapy. In this case, patients also need glucocorticosteroid therapy along with rescue measures.


Use your inhaler in only prescribed dosage. If your symptoms are not decreasing while using an inhaler in recommended dosages, then consult your physician immediately to avoid the adverse effect associated with frequent use of inhalers. Here are dosage guidelines:

Rescue therapy:

Children: 100 mcg (if required and suggested by doctor dosage may be increased up to 200 mcg)

Adults: 100 to 200 mcg

This dosage is recommended during acute attack of asthma or acute bronchospasm.

Preventive therapy:

Children: 100 mcg before any known trigger or challenge (if required and suggested by doctor, dosage may be increased up to 200 mcg)

Adults: 200 mcg before any known trigger or challenge

Chronic therapy:

Children: 100 to 200µg (mcg) three to four times daily

Adults: 200µg three to four times daily


Use of the Ventolin inhaler should not be exceeded from 4 times a day. Increased dosage may indicate the warning signs of worsening asthma. Stepwise management of asthma should be adopted rather than an increasing dose of Ventolin inhaler more than 4 times a day. You may also need to go for reassessment and lung function tests.

If you are increasing use of the inhaler, you must check if asthma is deteriorating. Under these circumstances, you should visit doctor or clinic as soon as possible to avoid deterioration due to poor asthma control.

Progressive and sudden deterioration may be life threatening and need urgent medical attention. It may be an indication for starting of corticosteroid therapy or if you are already taking corticosteroids, then your doctor may increase the dose of corticosteroid. In case of any risk, daily peak flow monitoring is also advised.

Points to be remembered:

  • If you are not getting relief for at least 3 hours after the use of Salbutamol inhaler, consult your healthcare provider immediately.
  • The inhalation technique should be checked to ensure you are using the inhaler in an accurate way that delivers medication in the lungs and synchronized with inspiration.
  • Serum potassium level should be used while using Ventolin inhaler.
  • In acute cases, if Salbutamol does not alleviate the symptoms and symptoms get worse, other fast acting bronchodilators may be required.


Hypersensitivity to Ventolin inhaler’s components

Hypersensitivity reactions:

Hypersensitivity reactions are rare, but rash, urticaria, angioedema should be checked.

Side effects:

  • Hypokalemia
  • Palpitation
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Sore throat
  • Nervousness
  • Runny nose

If you are experiencing any of the above side effects, consult your physician for appropriate measures.