Skip to main content

Proventil HFA Side Effects

Generic name: albuterol

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 3, 2024.

Note: This document contains side effect information about albuterol. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Proventil HFA.

Applies to albuterol: oral syrup, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release. Other dosage forms:

Serious side effects of Proventil HFA

Along with its needed effects, albuterol (the active ingredient contained in Proventil HFA) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking albuterol:

More common

Less common


Incidence not known

Other side effects of Proventil HFA

Some side effects of albuterol may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common


Incidence not known

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to albuterol: compounding powder, inhalation aerosol, inhalation aerosol with adapter, inhalation capsule, inhalation powder, inhalation solution, oral syrup, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release.


The most commonly reported adverse reactions are: Taste alteration (bad, unpleasant and unusual taste), mouth and throat irritation, fine tremor (usually of the hands), nausea, sweating, restlessness, headache and dizziness. These undesirable effects may subside on continuation of treatment.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Peripheral vasodilation, increase in heart rate

Common (1% to 10%): Palpitations, tachycardia, pallor

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Myocardial ischemia, arrhythmias (including atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, extra systoles)

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Cardiovascular collapse, thrombopenia

Frequency not reported: Angina, hypertension, hypotension, flushing[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 18.8%), tremor (up to 24.2%), excitement (up to 20%), nervousness (up to 15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Migraine, dizziness, shakiness, hyperkinesia, emotional lability

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Somnolence, dizziness, drowsiness, restlessness, irritability

Frequency not reported: Central nervous system stimulation[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Skin/Appendage Infection (1.7%), pruritus, rash, erythema, urticaria, angioedema, sweating[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Gastroenteritis, nausea, oropharyngeal pain, vomiting, increased appetite

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Epigastric pain, stomach ache, loss of appetite

Rare (less than 0.1%): Sore mouth

Frequency not reported: Oropharyngeal edema, throat irritation, altered taste, glossitis, tongue ulceration, gagging, drying or irritation of the oropharynx[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection

Rare (less than 0.1%): Nephritis

Frequency not reported: Difficulty in micturition[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Allergic reaction

Very rare (less than 0.01%): angioedema, urticaria, bronchospasm, hypotension and collapse[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Lymphadenopathy[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Application site reaction (mouth and throat irritation, burning sensation of the tongue)

Frequency not reported: Slight pain or stinging (IM injection)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Back pain, muscles cramps

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Myalgia

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Fine tremor (particularly of hands)

Frequency not reported: Myoclonus[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Cold symptoms, flue syndrome, pain, pyrexia, hyperactivity, excitement

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Epistaxis, fatigue, otitis media,

Frequency not reported: Weakness[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Tenseness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Sleepiness, sleep disturbance

Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Hallucinations

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Insomnia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Asthma exacerbation (13%), chest pain, bronchitis, sinus headache, upper respiratory infection, nasopharyngitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, cough

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Paradoxical bronchospasm, bronchospasm

Frequency not reported: Aggravated bronchospasm, asthma exacerbation, chest discomfort, pulmonary edema[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dilated pupils, conjunctivitis[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Hypokalemia, hyperglycemia, increase of insulin, free fatty acids, glycerol and ketone bodies

Postmarketing reports: Metabolic acidosis, lactic acidosis[Ref]

Frequently asked questions


1. Larsson S, Svedmyr N (1977) "Bronchodilating effect and side effects of beta2- adrenoceptor stimulants by different modes of administration (tablets, metered aerosol, and combinations thereof). A study with salbutamol inasthmatics." Am Rev Respir Dis, 116, p. 861-9

2. (1981) "Albuterol." Med Lett Drugs Ther, 23, p. 81-2

3. Price AH, Clissold SP (1989) "Salbutamol in the 1980s. A reappraisal of its clinical efficacy." Drugs, 38, p. 77-122

4. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics."

5. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information."

6. (2022) "Product Information. Albuterol Extended Release (albuterol)." Dava Pharmaceuticals Inc

7. (2022) "Product Information. Albuterol Sulfate (albuterol)." Vista Pharm Inc

8. (2022) "Product Information. Albuterol (albuterol)." Physicians Total Care

9. Chazan R, Droszcz W, Maruchin JE (1988) "Pharmacodynamics of salbutamol in humans." Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol, 26, p. 385-7

10. Larsson S (1977) "Long-term treatment with beta2-adrenostimulants in asthma. Side effects, selectivity, tolerance, and routes of administration." Acta Med Scand Suppl, 608, p. 1-40

11. Mettauer B, Rouleau JL, Burgess JH (1985) "Detrimental arrhythmogenic and sustained beneficial hemodynamic effects of oral salbutamol in patients with chronic congestive heart failure." Am Heart J, 109, p. 840-7

12. Lipworth BJ, Struthers AD, McDevitt DG (1989) "Tachyphylaxis to systemic but not to airway responses during prolonged therapy with high dose inhaled salbutamol in asthmatics." Am Rev Respir Dis, 140, p. 586-92

13. Vathenen AS, Britton JR, Ebden P, Cookson JB, Wharrad HJ, Tattersfield AE (1988) "High-dose inhaled albuterol in severe chronic airflow limitation." Am Rev Respir Dis, 138, p. 850-5

14. Godfrey S (1981) "Worldwide experience with albuterol (salbutamol)." Ann Allergy, 47, p. 423-6

15. Finch JS (1981) "Cardiovascular toxicity: clinical evaluation of albuterol, isoproterenol and placebo in rising dose tolerance trial." Ann Allergy, 47, p. 402-4

16. Davies AE, Robertson MJ (1980) "Pulmonary oedema after the administration of intravenous salbutamol and ergometrine. Case report." Br J Obstet Gynaecol, 87, p. 539-41

17. Neville E, Corris PA, Vivian J, Nariman S, Gibson GJ (1982) "Nebulised salbutamol and angina." Br Med J (Clin Res Ed), 285, p. 796-7

18. Breeden CC, Safirstein BH (1990) "Albuterol and spacer-induced atrial fibrillation." Chest, 98, p. 762-3

19. Wong CS, Pavord ID, Williams J, Britton JR, Tattersfield AE (1990) "Bronchodilator, cardiovascular, and hypokalaemic effects of fenoterol, salbutamol, and terbutaline in asthma." Lancet, 336, p. 1396-9

20. Shovlin CL, Tam FW (1990) "Salbutamol nebuliser and precipitation of critical cardiac ischaemia." Lancet, 336, p. 1258

21. Tan SN (1991) "Peri-partum pulmonary oedema." Anaesth Intensive Care, 19, p. 111-3

22. Hawker F (1984) "Five cases of pulmonary oedema associated with beta 2-sympathomimetic treatment of premature labour." Anaesth Intensive Care, 12, p. 159-62

23. Jenne JW (1998) "Can oral beta(2) agonists cause heart failure?" Lancet, 352, p. 1081-2

24. Meyer MF, Hopkins WE, Kaminsky DA (2003) "Cardiovascular collapse in a 77-year-old-woman with an asthma exacerbation following bronchodilator treatment." Chest, 124, p. 1160-3

25. Kallergis EM, Manios EG, Kanoupakis EM, et al. (2005) "Acute electrophysiologic effects of inhaled salbutamol in humans." Chest, 127, p. 2057-63

26. Lisi DM (1989) "Muscle spasms and creatine phosphokinase elevation following salbutamol administration." Eur Respir J, 2, p. 98

27. Craig TJ, Smits W, Soontornniyomkiu V (1996) "Elevation of creatine kinase from skeletal muscle associated with inhaled albuterol." Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol, 77, p. 488-90

28. Svedmyr N, Lofdahl CG (1996) "The use of beta(2)-adrenoceptor agonists in the treatment of bronchial asthma." Pharmacol Toxicol, 78, p. 3-11

29. Drazen JM, Israel E, Boushey HA, et al. (1996) "Comparisons of regularly scheduled with as-needed use of albuterol in mild asthma." N Engl J Med, 335, p. 841-7

30. Sears MR, Taylor DR, Print CG, et al. (1990) "Regular inhaled beta-agonist treatment in bronchial asthma." Lancet, 336, p. 1391-5

31. van Schayck CP, Dompeling E, van Herwaarden CL, et al. (1991) "Bronchodilator treatment in moderate asthma or chronic bronchitis: continuous or on demand? A randomised controlled study." BMJ, 303, p. 1426-31

32. Cockcroft DW, Swystun VA (1996) "Functional antagonism: tolerance produced by inhaled beta(2) agonists." Thorax, 51, p. 1051-6

33. Yates DH, Kharitonov SA, Barnes PJ (1996) "An inhaled glucocorticoid does not prevent tolerance to the bronchoprotective effect of a long-acting inhaled beta(2)-agonist." Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 154, p. 1603-7

34. Hall RC, Beresford TP, Stickney SK, Nasdahl CS, Coleman JH (1985) "Psychiatric reactions produced by respiratory drugs." Psychosomatics, 26, 605-8,616-7

35. Whitehouse AM, Novosel S (1989) "Salbutamol psychosis." Biol Psychiatry, 26, p. 631-3

36. Ray I, Evans CJ (1978) "Paranoid psychosis with Ventolin (salbutamol tablets b.p.)." Can Psychiatr Assoc J, 23, p. 427

37. Martin W, Unutzer J, Szuba MP (1995) "Exacerbation of psychosis associated with inhaled albuterol." J Clin Psychopharmacol, 15, p. 446-7

38. Raghunathan K, Nagajothi N (2006) "Paradoxical bronchospasm: a potentially life threatening adverse effect of albuterol." South Med J, 99, p. 288-9

39. Whyte KF, Addis GJ, Whitesmith R, Reid JL (1987) "The mechanism of salbutamol-induced hypokalaemia." Br J Clin Pharmacol, 23, p. 65-71

40. Allon M, Dunlay R, Copkney C (1989) "Nebulized albuterol for acute hyperkalemia in patients on hemodialysis." Ann Intern Med, 110, p. 426-9

41. Hastwell G, Lambert BE (1978) "The effect of oral salbutamol on serum potassium and blood sugar." Br J Obstet Gynaecol, 85, p. 767-9

42. (1981) "Hypokalaemia due to salbutamol overdosage." Br Med J (Clin Res Ed), 283, p. 500-1

43. Kantola I, Tarssanen L (1986) "Hypokalemia from usual salbutamol dosage ." Chest, 89, p. 619-20

44. Montoliu J, Almirall J, Ponz E, Campistol JM, Revert L (1990) "Treatment of hyperkalaemia in renal failure with salbutamol inhalation." J Intern Med, 228, p. 35-7

45. Rakhmanina NY, Kearns GL, Farrar HC (1998) "Hypokalemia in an asthmatic child from abuse of albuterol metered dose inhaler." Pediatr Emerg Care, 14, p. 145-7

46. Stratakos G, Kalomenidis J, Routsi C, Papiris S, Roussos C (2002) "Transient lactic acidosis as a side effect of inhaled salbutamol." Chest, 122, p. 385-6

47. Habib GS, Saliba WR, Cohen L (2002) "Diabetic ketoacidosis associated with oral salbutamol overdose." Am J Med, 113, p. 701-2

48. Liem EB, Mnookin SC, Mahla ME (2003) "Albuterol-induced Lactic Acidosis." Anesthesiology, 99, p. 505-506

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.