How Does Albuterol Solution Work?Normally, air moves easily into and out of the lungs through a network of airways. However, during an asthma attack, the muscles around these airways tighten. This narrows the airways and makes it harder to breathe. This is called a bronchospasm.
Albuterol is part of a class of drugs called beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short. Beta agonists stimulate beta receptors in the body, including those on the muscles around the airways. This stimulation causes the muscles to relax, which opens up the airways and allows more air to get into and through the lungs.
Albuterol also has some effects on decreasing the activity of mast cells in the lungs, which play an important role in inflammation and allergic reactions.
When and How to Use Albuterol SolutionSome general considerations for when and how to use albuterol solution include the following:
- Albuterol solution comes in a liquid form that is used in a nebulizer. You will need to purchase or rent a nebulizer in order to use albuterol solution.
- Single-use albuterol solution vials are used without being diluted, while each dose from a multi-use albuterol solution vial will need to be diluted with sterile normal saline solution (sodium chloride 0.9 percent) to a volume of 3 mL.
- Make sure you know exactly how to measure the dose and how to use and clean the nebulizer.
- For albuterol solution to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Albuterol solution will not work if you stop taking it.
Albuterol Solution DosingThe dose of albuterol solution your healthcare provider recommends will vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- The particular type of albuterol solution
- Your age
- The severity of your asthma or other respiratory problems
- Other medications you may be taking.
As is always the case, do not adjust your albuterol solution dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
(Click Albuterol Solution Dosage for more information about dosing for albuterol solution.)