Ventolin: A Breath of Fresh Air in Your Pocket
The drug belongs to tocolytics and beta-adrenergic receptors: clinical and pharmacological groups of anti-inflammatory, mucolytic, bronchodilator, expectorant action. The main active ingredient is albuterol (or salbutamol).
The drug is used for diseases of the respiratory tract, accompanied by spastic conditions of the bronchi, as tocolytics in gynecology and a means of normalizing the level of potassium in the blood. It effectively eliminates the symptoms or prevents them including when in contact with provoking factors.
The indications for use include:
- bronchial asthma of any etiology;
- chronical bronchitis;
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
- the threat of premature birth, accompanied by the contractile activity of the uterus;
Generics: a Good Choice?
This question probably worries many people who have been diagnosed with bronchial asthma.
Some people believe that generics are poorly effective and preference should be given to expensive brands. They think the best option is to buy the branded medicine that is better and more effective.
However, this is not the case. The thing is that generic Ventolin is no different in quality from the original. When buying a branded product, the patient overpays for the brand name, while the generic is much cheaper and has exactly the same composition and mechanism of action.
Rescue Inhaler: When You Need to Act Quickly
Ventolin is a fast-acting bronchodilator drug (emergency medicine) that is used to stop attacks. The drug is a means of quick but short-term relief of spasm.
High-speed drugs are prescribed to all patients with an established diagnosis for use during seizures. It helps relieve asthma symptoms. The rescue inhaler relaxes muscles in the walls of the airways, helps open the airways and facilitates breathing. Thus, the medicine reduces chest tension, wheezing and coughing associated with asthma. Its effect is short-term and sometimes (in exacerbation of symptoms), the rescue inhaler needs to be reused. Ask the doctor to determine the exact maximum number of doses that cab inhaled with short intervals without danger to health.
Ventolin: How It Works
The active substance – albuterol – stops the growing bronchospasm, increases the vital capacity of the lungs. The medicine stimulates the expansion of the coronary arteries of the heart, reduces resistance in the respiratory tract, improves the function of the ciliated epithelium of the bronchi. Albuterol-containing drugs reduce the concentration of potassium in the blood plasma. The inhaled form of the drug begins to act after 5 minutes, the maximum quality of exposure occurs within 30-90 minutes.
After exposure, the vital volume of the lungs increases, the release of chemotaxis, histamine factors into the extracellular space is blocked. The substance stimulates the normal breakdown of glycogen to glucose (glycogenolysis), the secretion of the hormone insulin. In some cases, the activity of the substance increases the risk of lactic acidosis coma against the background of the hyperglycemic and lipolytic effect.
Can You Use Ventolin Without a Doctor?
Ventolin inhaler is usually sold in pharmacies by prescription. To get it, you need to contact your local health care provider specialist. The doctor will determine the best treatment scheme, dosage and duration of the therapy.
However, it is possible to buy generic Ventolin without a prescription in some online pharmacies. But you should keep in mind that asthma is a very serious disease and you’d better consult your doctor before using any medications. Self-medication can be dangerous.
How to Use Ventolin Inhaler: Step-by-Step Instruction
Before inhalation, you need to check the device for serviceability. This manipulation must be carried out in case of a long break between procedures.
The medicine relaxes the smooth muscles of the bronchi, opens air-conducting paths, due to which more oxygen enters the lungs during inhalation. This inhaler is an emergency medication for asthma attacks and prevents symptoms such as coughing, choking, chest tightness.
Follow the below instructions for use:
- Breathe out the maximum amount of air slowly;
- Place the part of the inhaler where the mouthpiece is located over the teeth;
- Press the inhaler while slowly inhaling;
- Continue a slow breath for about five seconds;
- Hold your breath for at least five seconds.
Repeat these five rules while taking the second dose. You should feel a positive effect in five minutes.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to using an asthma inhaler correctly:
Cleaning the Inhaler
The inhaler should be cleaned at least once a week.
- Remove the metal container from the plastic body of the inhaler and remove the cap of the mouthpiece;
- Rinse the spray gun with warm running water;
- Thoroughly dry the spray gun inside and out;
- Replace the container and mouthpiece cover.
Do not put the metal container into the water.
Warnings and Contraindications
Ventolin in the form of an aerosol has a number of contraindications. The use of such a drug is not recommended in the presence of any of the following factors:
- stenosis of the aortic orifice;
- blockage of the lumen of the heart artery;
- coronary artery disease;
- myocarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle;
- arterial hypertension;
- hyperthyroidism, thyrotoxicosis – increased function, high levels of thyroid hormones;
The need for bronchodilators should not exceed 4 times a day. An increase in the frequency of use may be a consequence of the aggravation of the disease, in which case it is recommended to review approaches to the treatment. Frequent use of a bronchodilator can lead to increased bronchospasm and even sudden death, so you need to take breaks between doses up to 6 hours. Reducing the interval is possible in exceptional situations and should be justified.
An overdose of albuterol can cause an uncontrolled bronchial spasm, which in rare cases can lead to a fatal outcome. The greatest caution should be exercised in patients with bronchial asthma, especially in young children. The time interval between inhalations should be at least six hours. It is possible to reduce the interval between such treatment procedures only in severe cases after consulting a doctor.
The use of Ventolin with alcohol-containing drinks is unacceptable. Alcohol neutralizes the inhalation effect of the drug. Moreover, such a combination can lead to negative phenomena.
Watch the video about the biggest mistakes people do when using an asthma inhaler:
An overdose of Ventolin can cause dizziness, headache, tachycardia (in pregnancy – in the mother and fetus), arrhythmia, hypotension, myocardial ischemia, heart failure, cardiopathy, pulmonary edema (even fatal outcome), facial redness, agitation, distal tremor, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, loss of appetite, difficulty urinating, sweating, increased blood glucose, free fatty acids, hypokalemia, allergic reactions in the form of erythema, swelling of the face, shortness of breath, physical and mental drug dependence.
Ventolin and Pregnancy
This β2-agonist is relatively safe for the child but it also penetrates the placenta and can cause fetal tachycardia, provoke hyperinsulinemia (elevated insulin levels), hypoglycemia (low glucose). The bronchodilator should be used during pregnancy only after assessing the expected benefits and possible risks.
Interactions with Other Medication
Do not use albuterol (salbutamol) medication with any of the following drugs:
- stimulants of the central nervous system (Phenamine, Strychnine);
- xanthines (Eufillin, Theophylline);
- inhalation anesthesia and antiparkinsonian drugs;
- non-selective β-blockers (Propranolol, Levobunolol, Sotalol);
- blockers of m-cholinergic receptors (Pirenzepine, Tripitramine);
- diuretics (Mercusal);
- glucocorticosteroids (Prednisone, Hydrocortisone, Betamethasone);
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (Moclobemide, Selegiline).
Ventolin vs Berodual
Often patients with bronchial asthma and similar respiratory diseases try to choose between two agents that are extremely similar in composition. One should remember that the active substances are different and act in different directions. Ventolin (albuterol) has virtually no side effects and is indispensable for emergency relief of asthma attacks. Separately, it is necessary to mention a wide range of release forms, which gives a choice for any clinical case.
Berodual (a two-component preparation) requires a lower dosage, effective in chronic and acute inflammatory diseases in the bronchial region. In this case, the spectrum of contraindications is broader than that of albuterol. The drug is multidirectional, has different therapeutic effects with a general similarity of formulations. This specific medicine is prescribed by a doctor based on a patient’s anamnesis and individual features. It is impossible to say with confidence that the remedy is more effective.
Difference in Prices
The cost of an albuterol inhaler varies by pharmacy. When ordering medicine in online stores, the cost of delivery should also be considered. Below you can see how drug prices vary among different pharmacies:
Why Order Ventolin Inhaler OTC?
More and more asthmatics prefer to order Ventolin over the counter in an online pharmacy. There are several reasons for this:
- Online pharmacies are open around the clock. The main convenience is a 24-hour work schedule. This feature is especially appreciated when medications may be needed urgently at night. The rhythm of modern life is speedy and a person can find time for the purchase of medicines. Online pharmacies accept orders at any time of the day;
- You don’t need to go to the pharmacy. You only need to make a few clicks and the courier will deliver the drug to your home address. If you do not have time to go to the pharmacy or you feel bad, then ordering Ventolin online will be a good solution;
- Drug prices are much lower. The price for Ventolin inhaler in our online pharmacy is much lower than in regular pharmacies. The reason is quite simple. Online stores do not need to spend money on rental premises, a large staff of pharmacists and support staff. Reducing costs allows us to offer cheaper drugs;
- Online consultation. If you have any questions about the medication, you can contact us at any time and our pharmacist will answer all your questions and will also give recommendations on how to use the inhaler correctly.
Things You Need to Know About Asthma
Asthma is a disease that makes breathing difficult due to inflammation in the bronchi. The bronchi are tubes through which air enters the lungs. When the bronchi and smaller bronchioles swell and narrow, the airways do not work and the person begins to suffocate.
Every 10 seconds in the world, someone has an asthma attack. Each such attack can become fatal.
The World Health Organization estimates that 235 million people (or even more) suffer from asthma. This is the most common chronic disease in children. This has even lead to the problem of overdiagnosis: even those children who do not need treatment are considered asthmatics and this certainly does not contribute to the child’s health.
Symptoms of asthma
From the very moment the first symptoms appear, you should seek medical help. What should alert you? The early signs of bronchial asthma are the following:
- Choking or shortness of breath. The condition can occur both against the background of physical activity and at complete rest, as well as when inhaling air with impurities of allergen particles. Asphyxiation or shortness of breath occur suddenly, like an attack;
- Cough. It occurs simultaneously with shortness of breath and has an onset character. The cough is unproductive, and it is only possible to separate a small amount of sputum at the end of the attack;
- Shallow breathing. An asthma attack is accompanied by frequent shallow breathing, the inability to breathe fully;
- Wheezing. It accompanies the person’s breathing during an attack and sometimes is heard even remotely;
- Orthopnea pose. This is the pose that a person reflexively takes during an attack – sitting, dangling legs, clutching a chair, bed, or another item firmly with his/her hands. This pose promotes a deeper exhalation;
- In the early stages of the disease, only some of these symptoms may occur. They bother a person for a short time and pass on their own, without repeating for a long time. In the lack of proper treatment, the symptoms progress over time, so it is extremely important to consult a specialist in a timely manner, even if the number of seizures and their strength are minimal.
With the development of the disease, the following disorders can occur in the body:
- general weakness;
- cyanosis of the skin;
- labored breath;
- dry cough;
- dizziness and headache;
- susceptibility to various diseases.
Bronchial asthma is an allergic disease, experts of the World Health Organization consider it a global problem: today, about 300 million people suffer from asthma: from 4% to 10% of the adult population of the planet and 10-15% of children. Asthma ranks fifth in terms of disease frequency after heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Sad statistics: more than 180 thousand people suffering from bronchial asthma die on the planet every year.
By 2025, the number of asthmatics will increase by another 100 million, while the number of severe forms will increase. In the second half of the 21st century, every second child will suffer from asthma, doctors say. This is such a sad prospect, although today asthma is the most common chronic disease among children.
Doctors see the reason for such high rates in the absence of early and accurate diagnosis of bronchial asthma. Although there is a clear definition of the disease, it has vivid symptoms, there are modern research methods, bronchial asthma is often diagnosed as bronchitis and treated for a long time incorrectly and ineffectively – with courses of antibiotics and antitussive drugs.
As a result, the disease progresses and this significantly complicates the treatment. Three out of five patients are diagnosed with bronchial asthma in the late stages of the disease.
The main method for diagnosing bronchial asthma is spirometry (a study of the function of external respiration). During spirometry, the patient makes a forced (reinforced) exhalation into the apparatus and it calculates the main respiration parameters. The main ones include the forced expiratory volume in 1 second and peak volumetric velocity. Spirometry almost always includes a study of the reaction to bronchodilators: for this, the patient is given several (usually four) breaths of Ventolin (salbutamol/albuterol) or another quick-acting bronchodilator and spirometry is repeated.
Spirometry helps to monitor the progress of asthma treatment: it is necessary to focus not only on the presence or absence of complaints during treatment but also on objective indicators that spirometry gives. There are simple devices (pick-ups) for independent use by patients with asthma.
Lung function may be normal in the interictal period; sometimes in these cases, provocative tests with methacholine are performed. A negative test with methacholine excludes bronchial asthma, but a positive test does not yet confirm this diagnosis. The methacholine test is positive in many healthy people; it can be positive, for example, for several months after a respiratory viral infection.
A chest x-ray is required for severe attacks, as it reveals hidden complications that require immediate treatment.
Causes of Asthma
Asthma can develop for a variety of reasons.
- Heredity – often close relatives also have any allergies or asthma. It is proved that if one of the parents has asthma, then the probability of developing it in a child is about 20-30%. If the disease is diagnosed in both the father and the mother, then the child will experience asthma with a 70% probability. It is important to understand that the disease itself is not inherited, and the child only gets a tendency to develop it;
- Reduced period of breastfeeding of infants, as well as an increase in the number of children in the first year of life who have been breastfed almost from the moment of birth;
- Frequent infectious diseases of the respiratory tract can provoke hypersensitivity of the bronchial wall;
- Adverse environmental conditions and occupational hazards;
- Smoking (including passive). This suggests that smoking parents significantly increase the likelihood of developing allergic bronchial asthma in their child;
- Eating large amounts of preservatives, dyes, and other additives.
Types of Asthma
The causes of asthma, as well as its symptoms, are very diverse. In some people, symptoms are limited to chronic coughing, in others to chest tightness and shortness of breath. Many suffer from suffocation during attacks.
Here are a few types of asthma:
- Allergic asthma – it is caused by allergens (pollen, mold, animal hair);
- Exercise-induced asthma – it is caused by physical exertion;
- Coughing asthma is a dry, unproductive cough, but the patient does not experience shortness of breath;
- Occupational bronchial asthma – it is caused by harmful factors in the workplace;
- Nocturnal asthma – symptoms occur at night.
Treatment of Asthma
Modern medical science has given us a powerful weapon that has changed the approach to asthma treatment over the past decade and has allowed us to develop an effective strategy and tactics for combating the disease.
- To achieve success, it is necessary to direct all forces and means to suppress inflammation in the walls of the bronchi, that is, to carry out the so-called basic, anti-inflammatory, preventive therapy;
- Anti-inflammatory treatment should be prescribed as soon as possible (as soon as bronchial asthma is diagnosed);
- Treatment should be long and continuous.
Each patient with bronchial asthma should know exactly how to help himself/herself during an asthma attack and what drugs should be used constantly, i.e. anti-inflammatory medicines.
The most potent anti-inflammatory drugs are inhalation hormones (beclomethasone, budesonide, fluticasone, fluticasone/salmeterol) are intended for daily use and are ineffective in case of suffocation, that is, are not used as emergency treatment.
The anti-inflammatory effect of glucocorticosteroids is manifested in a decrease in inflammatory edema of the bronchial wall, improvement of sputum discharge, and prevention of bronchospasm. The chronic nature of the disease dictates the need for continuous and prolonged anti-inflammatory therapy.
Bronchodilator drugs come to the rescue if an attack of shortness of breath or suffocation develops, that is, they are used “when necessary.” These medicines are also used as inhalers. With this method, the drug enters the bronchi immediately, acts quickly and has less effect on other organs. Bronchodilator drugs (Ventolin, Berodual) “relieve” bronchospasm, affecting exclusively the bronchial receptors, but they do not affect the inflammatory process itself. The high demand for these drugs is a reflection of insufficient anti-inflammatory therapy.
Treatment is selected individually for each patient by a health care provider. Once the therapy is selected, it is necessary to strictly comply with the doctor’s prescriptions, initially using drugs in recommended doses regularly for three to four months. Later the doses of drugs may be changed.
What to expect from treatment? A patient with asthma should sleep peacefully at night, breathe fully, work actively, forget about ambulance and dependence on the disease.
Long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs will suppress the activity of allergic inflammation, reduce bronchial hyperreactivity and lead to a decrease in the severity of asthma symptoms, an increase in pulmonary function, prevent the structural changes in the bronchial wall, restore normal exercise tolerance, reduce the risk of exacerbations, progressive deterioration of lung function and, as a result, improve the quality of life. In addition to medical means, a patient needs lifestyle correction, which can several times reduce the risk of developing an attack.
Asthma Attack: Emergency Action Plan
- If you have an attack, you’d better take a sitting position. An unexpected lack of air can cause a strong sense of fear, even a panic attack (especially in a child). This exacerbates asthma symptoms. Reassure the patient and try not to show him/her your own excitement;
- During an attack, any breath of air seems to be a reward, but the air should be clean and fresh. You can open the window if it is warm outside and there is no dust and pollen (cold and pollutants can increase choking). It is good if a breather is installed in the apartment: there is no risk with it that asthmatic triggers penetrate the house along with the desired fresh air;
- To relieve bronchospasm directly, use the inhaler prescribed by your doctor;
- An attack of bronchial asthma usually lasts no more than 15 minutes, even less when the help is timely. But if the attack is delayed, you must call an ambulance.
How to Prevent Asthma Attacks?
The main preventive measures for any type of asthma are aimed at minimizing the number of contacts with triggers. Therefore, the success of the prevention and treatment of asthma directly depends on the correct diagnosis and definition of triggers.
After the diagnosis is established, the doctor will give individual recommendations. In some cases, general prevention is sufficient, in others, long-term medication for asthma is necessary. Therefore, if any asthmatic-like symptoms appear, do not hesitate and consult a doctor. This is especially important in the case of bronchial asthma in children.
Here we list general recommendations that help to avoid contacts with triggers.
If you have allergic asthma, you should adhere to the following rules:
- Avoid allergenic foods;
- Do daily wet cleaning in the living area;
- Install an air purifier in rooms where you spend a lot of time;
- Try to spend less time outdoors during flowering plants and install a breather at home;
- Avoid having pets at home;
- Do not use feather pillows, choose a synthetic filler;
- Avoid carpets, woolen covers, heavy draperies in the interior: they accumulate a lot of dust;
- Choose cosmetics and household chemicals labeled as “hypoallergenic”.
Recommendations for any type of asthma:
- Moderate physical activity, for example, walking at a comfortable pace. The purpose of such exercises is to train the respiratory system. Remember that it is important not to overdo it, otherwise, the condition may worsen;
- Breathing exercises. There are many methods, it makes sense to try different ones and choose the one that suits you. Try to do the exercises in the fresh air or in a well-ventilated room;
- Quitting smoking and alcohol.
If you read user reviews, you will conclude that a long list of side effects does not stop the treatment with this drug. The number of people who had any complications after using the medicine is small. Most of the users noted a significant improvement in health without any negative reactions related to the cardiovascular or central nervous system.
Also, often patients mention the low price. This is especially true for generic Ventolin.
In general, the medication is quite convenient, relatively safe, and successfully used in combination therapy.