Ventolin and Albuterol
Whenever there is an asthma attack, people rush to grab an inhaler. No doubt, inhalers are the best tools in helping asthma; they provide relief instantly and effectively. There are different types of inhalers; you have probably heard of Ventolin and Albuterol inhalers. What makes some inhalers special from others? It is the drugs.
Ventolin and Albuterol drugs are contained in inhalers to help with lung diseases and issues that lead to narrowing of lungs.
It belongs to beta-2 agonists group of drugs and considered as a bronchodilator. It is well known for treating obstructions in the lungs. Albuterol makes breathing easier by increasing airflow in the lungs. In addition, the drug dilates air passages and relaxes bronchial muscles. The chemical name for Albuterol is RS)-4-[2-(tert-butylamino)-1-hydroxyethyl]-2 (hydroxymethyl)phenol.
There are multiple brand names in the market producing the drug; common brands are Pro air, Proventil, and Accuneb.
Albuterol is traditionally used for symptomatic relief asthma and most of lung disorders.
This is a chronic lung diseases that is characterized by wheezing and shortness of breath. It is caused by allergy or exposure to air borne particles such as pollen and dust. Lungs of affected people are extremely sensitive to foreign particles in inhaled air; whenever air comes through the smooth muscles with extreme cold or undesired air particles, the lungs interprets it as threat and initiates a protective mechanism. The reaction of lungs on detection of the foreign elements is not only protective but also eradicating; it strives to expel the allergens out of the airway. The lungs react by producing significant amounts of mucus that lead to clogging and swelling of the air passages. Albuterol's role is to relax bronchial smooth muscles, which open up air passage thus normalizing airflow.
Tobacco and environmental pollutants cause chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases; these elements irritate and interfere with smooth lining of air passages. Prolonged exposure to Tobacco and environmental pollutants not only corrode the linings but also lead to permanent inflammation of air passages. Continuous irritation of the air passage walls lead to swelling hence thickening of the walls. This increases mucus production that gradually blocks air passages, which makes it difficult to breathe. Albuterol targets the bronchial smooth muscles by relaxing and relieving any inflammations on the linings. This helps in opening up air passages, which increase airflow.
For effective and efficient function of Albuterol, it is consumed in liquid solutions through albuterol inhalers. A nebulizer also comes in handy with intake of this drug. Nebulizers and inhalers have different size and strengths, which make it easy to over dose. Also, not all of us are acquainted with functionality of these medical tools. Therefore, you should be extra careful when measuring dosage before using an inhaler.
Dosage amount differs according to age.
Extra caution should be practiced when administering albuterol to children especially below two years because they are sensitive to extreme chemical components in this drug.
- For children below two years, the dose is determined by weight. Give 0.1 to 0.15mg per kg through a nebulizer. You can repeat the dose 4-6 hours depending on the kid's response. However, the maximum dose should not exceed 2.5mg 3-4 times a day.
- For children between 2-4 years, give 1.25 to 2.5mg per dose. Doses can extend up to 6 times per day depending on how a child responds. For children of this age and below, a nebulizer is recommended because kids may be uncooperative when fitted with an inhaler.
- For children between 5-12 years, both nebulizers and inhalers can be used. Give 2.5mg per dose for 3-4 times a day depending on the kid's response. If you are using an inhaler, give 1-2 puffs every 4-6 hours as you monitor progress.
- Difficulty in sleep
- Muscle weakness, pain
- Mild headache and dizziness
- Leg cramps
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty in breathing and swallowing
- Skin rashes
- Chest pain and irregular heart beats
- Lips, face, and throat swelling
- If you are pregnant or breast feeding, seek a doctor's advice before using albuterol
- Stop using the drug and consult a specialist if allergic reactions continue
- If you miss a dose, take it immediately or skip and continue with previous plan. Do not double!
- Inform your doctor if you have a history of blood pressure or heart related complications
- Read the label carefully before using albuterol
- If you have not been using an inhaler for a long time, prime the inhaler first
- Wash the inhaler every week. Remove the canister and run water through the mouthpiece for 30 seconds. Let it dry before reinserting the canister.
Ventolin is a brand name for albuterol sulphate, which is an example of HFA inhaler. The new inhalers have eco-friendly propellants that produce a fine mist, which is easy to breath. The fine mist is also free from chlorofluorocarbons hence zero damage to the ozone layer. The chemical name for albuterol sulphate is RS)-4-[2-(tert-butylamino)-1-hydroxyethyl]-2 (hydroxymethyl)phenol.
Brand names for albuterol sulphate are; Ventolin HFA, Proventil HFA, and Pro air HFA.
Just like Albuterol, Ventilon is used to relieve bronchospasm conditions like Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases, and exercise induced asthma.
Ventolin should be taken in required amounts to achieve desired results within required period. The recommended amount depends on age. Taking higher amounts per dose subjects the body to extreme unbearable conditions that pose high medical risks; on the other hand, taking drugs in small amounts other than recommended by a doctor reduces effectiveness of Ventolin thus long or sub-standard results. The body might also adapt or change its response to the drug hence ineffectiveness.
For complete relief, it is important to keenly follow doctor prescriptions with regards to dosage amount and time.
- Asthma patients should take 1-2 puffs after every 4-6 hours depending on severity of the infection. If you are using a nebulizer, take a 2.5mg dose three to four times a day.
- To prevent exercise-induced asthma, take 1-2 puffs of Ventolin 20 minutes before exercise
- If you are suffering from any chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, take 1-2 puffs of Ventolin after every 4-6 hours when in need. With a nebulizer, 2.5mg per dose 3-4 times in a day is recommended.
- For children below 2 years, give 0.5 to 1.5mg per kg dose and repeat every 4-6 hors depending on response.
- For children between 2-4 years, give 1.25mg to 2.5mg every 4-6 hours depending on severity and response of the child.
- For children between 5-12 years, give 1.2 puffs of Ventolin or use a nebulizer with 2.5mg of Ventolin solution three to four times in a day depending on response and need of the child.
Nebulizers are recommended for children up to 4 years because they might feel uncomfortable with an inhaler and interfere with the treatment process. For children over 5 years, both a nebulizer and inhaler can be used.
- Wash the inhaler on a weekly basis
- Ask and learn from specialists the right technique in operating a nebulizer or inhaler.
- If you have a thyroid problem or diabetes, consult with your doctor before using Ventolin
- If the symptoms persist and worsen after taking Ventolin, you should stop using the drug and seek medical help.
- If you experience allergies while taking Ventolin, you should stop and consult a doctor on other options
- If you have epilepsy, do not use Ventolin because it might trigger seizures. The drug influences nerve functions.
- If you are pregnant or breast feeding, be sure to consult a doctor before using Ventolin.
- If you have heart related problems or blood pressure, stop taking Ventolin and consult a doctor on options and possible effects on your body.
- Different Ventolin formulations have different strengths. Therefore, it is important to read the label and instructions before taking the first dose.
How it works
Ventolin acts on beta 2 receptors, which counter the inflammation and irritation on air passages. The drug causes relaxation of bronchial smooth muscles. Swelling of the muscles is the primary reason of blockage of air passage. When Ventolin enter the body, it helps relax the muscles on airway thus increasing diameter of the air passage. Increased diameter reduces resistance of airflow thus efficient and consistent airflow. Usually, a person feels the relief few moments after taking the drug because the respiratory passages are open.
Nebulizers and inhalers are foreign to most of us; there is a risk in taking more than required because of ignorance. This is why it is important to talk to your doctor and learn the right techniques of using either of the medical tools.
In the event you take more than the prescribed dose, immediately seek medical attention.
- Dizziness or fainting
- Lip and throat swelling
- Dry mouth
- Muscle cramps, weakness, and pain
- Irregular heart beats
- Trembling of feet and hands
- Difficulty in breathing and swallowing
- Wheezing and chest tightness
- Skin rashes
- Persistent headaches
Both Albuterol and Ventolin use the same mechanism in enhancing breathing processes. Ventolin is more eco-friendly. Be sure to consult a doctor before using any of these drugs.
The ability to breath freely is not everyone's privilege. There are millions around that globe who suffer lung diseases that constrain their breathing making it a painful experience. Asthma is the most common long-term disease affecting lungs in children and adults. It is quite easy to notice when one has Asthma. It causes repetitive episodes of breathlessness and wheezing sounds whenever triggered. Although children can be born with it; there are certain conditions that trigger the attacks. Majority of the asthmatic patients inherit the chronic condition. However, it cannot be spread so it has nothing to do with relations or with how you were raised. It is therefore, imperative to take note of control measures to reduce occurrence of attacks. Here are tips of how to manage Asthma.
How do I know I have Asthma?
Symptoms of Asthma vary with individuals. Some people have infrequent attacks while some experience attacks more often. Usually, the symptoms feature at certain times when a person is most vulnerable to environmental pollutants. All asthmatic patients have difficulty in breathing. When exposed to allergens, a flare ensues. The immune system overreacts to allergens such as pollen, dust, and smoke. These elements may cause sneezing in most people but excessive reactions in asthmatic patients.
The muscles around your airways constrict to eliminate the intrusion as well avoid further damage. The result is inflammation creating a tightness in the chest area. There is also a flow of mucus meant to expunge particles of the unwanted elements from the body. The entire experience is hectic as the person strives to gasp for breath.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive coughing, sneezing, wheezing and constrained breathing are the main symptoms of Asthma.
The disease comes in different forms and people react differently. Usually, a person will feel the need to go to a doctor after persistent coughs and chest pains. Wheezing is also a common symptom of asthma, which is evident in the first stages of infection. Allergies and environmental pollutants are the main elements that cause reaction of lungs because they are treated as a threat to the body.
When an environmental pollutant like pollen or dust is detected on inhalation, the lung reacts and forms a preventive mechanism. Prevention technique of the lungs entails blocking entry of the pollutant and expelling it from the body. As a result, mucus is produced to block the air passage and direct the threat outside through the nose. Also, lining of the walls tend to swell and become irritable because of the lung reaction. These protective mechanisms lead to chest pain and sounds and frequent coughs.
However, the mentioned body reactions do not point to asthma alone. Multiple health complications may lead to similar body reactions; therefore, this is not the basis of asthma diagnosis. Actually, it is possible to misdiagnose asthma. Obesity, for instance, tends to affect air passage and smooth muscles in the body; it is easy to mistake the symptoms of obese for asthma. This is because extra weight makes the chest stiff and heavy hence difficulty in breathing and probably coughs.
So what is the accurate technique in asthma diagnosis? The only medical way that can point to asthma is a lung function test. Lung function test demonstrates the amount of air and the speed of inhalation as well as exhalation. It is important to take into account the readings and compare over a normal breathing graph. This is made possible by use of a spirometry. The test is taken at least 3 times for accuracy of results. Usually, you are required to take in several deep breaths before taking the test. You have to sit and relax for accurate results.
Treatment for Asthma
This should be clear, there is no cure for asthma. It is about managing the condition by either avoiding the triggers or preventing the symptoms. If you are experiencing asthma symptoms, it is important to consult with your doctor on various options of managing your condition. As mentioned, people react differently to different pollutants in the environment; therefore, 'treatment' is case to case.
While there is no cure for the disease because it is neither caused by bacteria or virus, affected people can explore these two types of medication. They goal of these medications is for patients to be symptom free and live a less restricted life.
The technique helps people with acute asthma symptoms. Beta2 receptors are used in this case to help clear air passage and relax smooth muscles, which increase diameter of airway. Nebulizers and inhalers of different types are used in this case for quick relief. This method is efficient in the sense that symptoms are suppressed within minutes. While it depends on severity of the symptoms, nothing relieves patients faster than an inhaler or nebulizer. Diagnosed people are advised to carry an inhaler or nebulizer, depending on convenience, everywhere they go in case the symptoms surface.
Corticosteroids is the most popular long term medication in treating Asthma. The medication prevents symptoms from occurring; this is the main difference between the two treatments. The drugs help in clearing up the airway as well as reducing inflammation on air passages. This is the trick to stopping symptoms because asthma is all about difficulty in breathing. Once the smooth muscles are free from inflammation and air passages have a considerate diameter, no pain or sounds will be experienced. Other long term medications include beta2 antagonists and omalizumab, which is given twice or once a month depending on asthma level.
Injections and solutions dominate asthma treatment; doctors recommend each basing on effectiveness of the drug in relation to an individual's severity as well as patient preference. Inhalers, for instance, may not be appropriate for children below 5 years. It is not only a baggage for the children in such an active age but also restricting. Children can also easily off an inhaler mask when they feel uncomfortable.