Ventolin HFA Side Effects
Generic name: albuterol
Note: This document contains side effect information about albuterol. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Ventolin HFA.
Some side effects of Ventolin HFA may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
For the Consumer
Applies to albuterol: oral syrup, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release
Other dosage forms:
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking albuterol (the active ingredient contained in Ventolin HFA) hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using albuterol and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
new bronchospasm or worsening of your asthma symptoms;
pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
chest pain, tremor, nervousness;
low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling);
dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats); or
severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Less serious side effects of albuterol may include:
dizziness, spinning sensation;
sleep problems (insomnia);
dry mouth and throat;
unusual taste in your mouth; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to albuterol: compounding powder, inhalation aerosol, inhalation aerosol with adapter, inhalation capsule, inhalation solution, oral syrup, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release
Albuterol is generally well-tolerated and adverse effects seen are consistent with its pharmacological activity. In general, the severity of these adverse effects is dependent on the dose and route of administration. Administration by metered-dose inhaler (MDI) is associated with less systemic effects than administration of higher dosages orally or by nebulizer. Tolerance may develop to the adverse effects of albuterol (the active ingredient contained in Ventolin HFA)
Changes in heart rate of approximately 20% may be produced by 0.18 mg of albuterol (the active ingredient contained in Ventolin HFA) by MDI. Aggravation of angina may be due to tachycardia produced by albuterol. Atrial fibrillation was reported in one patient when a spacer device was utilized with an albuterol inhaler, thus increasing the available dose for systemic absorption. Supraventricular ectopic beats and ventricular tachycardia have also been reported. Higher doses of albuterol should be used with caution in patients with cardiac disease, arrhythmias, or hypertension. All of these effects are dose-related and lower doses may be tolerated.
The cardiovascular side effects have included palpitations, peripheral vasodilatation and reflex tachycardia with blood pressure increasing or decreasing. Albuterol in higher dosages has been reported to aggravate angina, myocardial ischemia, or cause atrial or ventricular arrhythmias. Pulmonary edema has been reported in pregnant patients receiving intravenous albuterol. Postmarketing reports have included hypotension.
Musculoskeletal side effects have included tremors, particularly at higher dosages. Tolerance can develop to the tremorogenic effects. Severe muscle cramping may occur infrequently.
Following doses of 15 mg albuterol (the active ingredient contained in Ventolin HFA) via nebulizer, hyperkalemic patients on hemodialysis experienced a 0.9 mEq/L decrease in plasma potassium which was sustained for 6 hours. Albuterol may stimulate sodium-potassium ATPase, resulting in an intracellular shift of potassium.
Transient lactic acidosis has been reported after administration of inhaled albuterol for an asthma attack.
Metabolic side effects have included hypokalemia, and less commonly, hyperglycemia and lactic acidosis. Postmarketing reports have included metabolic acidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis has been reported due to overdose of albuterol.
Nervous system side effects have included restlessness, anxiety, nervousness, irritability, and insomnia. Postmarketing reports have included tremor.
Psychiatric side effects have included psychoses presenting as auditory hallucinations and persecutory delusions. These effects are generally associated with higher dosages.
Concern over the development of tachyphylaxis to the bronchodilating effects of albuterol (the active ingredient contained in Ventolin HFA) has been expressed. Although conflicting data exist, complete tolerance has not been reported.
Respiratory side effects have included paradoxical bronchospasm.
More Ventolin HFA resources
- Ventolin HFA aerosol MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Ventolin HFA Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Albuterol Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Albuterol Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- Albuterol Monograph (AHFS DI)
- albuterol MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- albuterol Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- AccuNeb solution MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Accuneb Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Airet solution MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- ProAir HFA aerosol MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- ProAir HFA Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Proventil Consumer Overview
- Proventil aerosol MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Proventil HFA Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Proventil Repetabs controlled-release tablets MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Ventolin Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Ventolin Consumer Overview
- VoSpire ER Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Vospire ER extended-release tablets MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
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