From £16.99
    • For use in attacks of breathlessness
    • Helps to relieve symptoms
    • Suitable for asthma and COPD
    From £11.99
    • Fast acting relief from breathing problems
    • Opens breathing passages
    • Used to treat asthma and COPD
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    The Complete Guide to Salbutamol Inhalers

    The Complete Guide to Salbutamol Inhalers: Everything to know about a Salbutamol Inhaler

    Over five million people in the United Kingdom suffer from asthma. 12.7 million people in the UK have also been diagnosed as having some form of respiratory condition. This is around one in five people. It is no surprise then that millions of people will at some point have used an inhaler. When you use an inhaler, you may have heard a few terms thrown around. 

    One such word you may hear a lot is salbutamol. Do you actually know what salbutamol is? Or is it just another word that slips people by whenever their doctor says it? In this article, we will give you a complete guide to salbutamol, answering a wide variety of questions about this important medication.

    What is salbutamol?

    Salbutamol is a medication that is most commonly prescribed to help treat asthma. Salbutamol is a bronchodilator that is inhaled. When taken, salbutamol opens up the airways in the lungs which can greatly relieve symptoms of respiratory conditions. Opening the airways can make it much easier for people suffering to breathe. Other bronchodilators that are commonly used include salmeterol, formoterol and vilanterol.

    What is a salbutamol inhaler?

    A salbutamol inhaler is a medical device that is used to provide a specific dosage of salbutamol into the lungs. The inhalers, including well-known brands like Ventolin, are easy-to-use, handheld devices that can greatly relieve symptoms and prevent dangerous events like asthma attacks. 

    Google Web Story: Ventolin, Salbutamol and Inhalers Explained

    This helpful UK Meds Google Web Story explains Ventolin inhalers, the active ingredient Salbutamol and common questions that users ask about the asthma treatment:

    How do salbutamol inhalers work?

    Salbutamol inhalers work by providing a dosage of salbutamol medication directly into the lungs. When the medication is in the lungs, it opens up the air passages which helps people to breathe easier. Conditions like asthma cause the airways in the lungs to become swollen, making it much harder for people to breathe. 

    How do you use a salbutamol inhaler?

    Different inhalers work in different ways, typically however you simply push down on the inhaler whilst breathing in. One of the most popular inhalers that you can get is Ventolin. To use a Ventolin inhaler you need to remove the cap, shake the inhaler, place your mouth around the mouthpiece and inhale slowly for around five to ten seconds. You then place the cap back onto the inhaler and store it in a cool, dry place. If you require a second dosage then simply repeat the process, leaving a minute between inhalations.

    How often should you use a salbutamol inhaler?

    The frequency at which you will need to use your salbutamol inhaler will depend on your own particular condition and the severity of your symptoms. Typically you will be told to use your inhaler when you start to experience symptoms like shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing, or wheezing. You should always follow the instructions provided to you by your healthcare provider.

    What conditions are a salbutamol inhaler used for?

    Salbutamol is usually prescribed to people that suffer from respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD. Salbutamol is not a cure for respiratory conditions and is to be used to relieve symptoms. 

    What form does salbutamol come in?

    The most common form that salbutamol comes in is an inhaler. These can be different types of inhalers such as Evohaler or Accuhaler which come in aerosol or powder form. You can also get salbutamol in liquid or tablet form, or as a nebuliser. A nebuliser is a machine that converts medication into a mist that is inhaled through a mask. Nebuliser, liquid and tablet forms of salbutamol are not very common. 

    How long does it take for salbutamol inhalers to take effect?

    Salbutamol is a fast-acting medication that can relieve symptoms in a short amount of time. Typically it will take a couple of minutes to relieve symptoms and it will continue to work for a further 30 minutes to an hour. When taken via an inhaler, salbutamol is absorbed much quicker through the lungs which can relieve symptoms much quicker than other forms.

    Who can use salbutamol?

    Salbutamol can be used by individuals that have been prescribed it to help relieve the symptoms of respiratory conditions. This does not mean that everyone can use it. 

    Are salbutamol inhalers suitable for everyone?

    Usually, a number of factors will count towards whether or not you are prescribed salbutamol. Your age, weight, particular condition, symptoms and more will be considered by your healthcare provider. There will be some people who cannot use salbutamol, particularly those that have shown a history of allergic reactions. 

    Can adults use a salbutamol inhaler?

    Yes, adults can use salbutamol inhalers provided that they have been diagnosed with a respiratory condition. Of the 5+ million people in the UK that have been diagnosed with asthma, the vast majority (around 4 million) of them are over the age of 16, according to

    Can children use a salbutamol inhaler?

    There are around one million people under the age of 16 that have asthma in the United Kingdom. A lot of these people may be prescribed a salbutamol inhaler. Salbutamol is considered to be safe for children to use. Those that cannot use it will not be prescribed it. Some factors that could mean a child cannot use salbutamol include their age, weight and medical history. 

    Can you use a salbutamol inhaler if you are pregnant?

    It is generally considered to be safe to use Salbutamol when you are pregnant, however, if you have any concerns then you should speak to your healthcare provider for further clarification. Some studies suggest that salbutamol can increase the risk of certain complications with pregnancy such as low birth weight and preterm labour, however, the risks are considered to be very low. 

    Is it safe to use a salbutamol inhaler if you are breastfeeding?

    Some medications are not suitable for use by women that are breastfeeding. This is because the medication can sometimes be passed on to the baby through breast milk. The amount of salbutamol passed into breast milk when a woman is using a salbutamol inhaler is very minimal and should not affect the baby in any way. If you are concerned and would like further advice you should speak to your healthcare provider before using an inhaler. 

    Side effects of Salbutamol

    What side effects can salbutamol inhalers have?

    Like all medications, salbutamol inhalers can have some side effects on the users. Some of the most common side effects of Salbutamol include:

    • Headaches

    • Anxiety and nervousness

    • Dizziness

    • Muscle cramping

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Throat dryness or irritation

    How likely are you to experience side effects when using salbutamol inhalers?

    The likelihood of experiencing side effects when you are using a salbutamol inhaler will vary on a few different factors. Some of these factors include your individual condition, the strength of the medication you are using and the frequency at which you are using the medication. Some people may be more susceptible to side effects. People with a history of heart conditions or those that are using medications that interact with salbutamol are at the highest risk of experiencing side effects. 

    Strengths of Salbutamol

    What are the recommended dosages for salbutamol inhalers?

    The specific strength of the medication you are prescribed will depend on the strength that your healthcare provider sees as being the most suitable for your own condition. Typically salbutamol will be prescribed in strengths of 100 or 200mcg (micrograms). A microgram is one-millionth of a gram. A dose of salbutamol is measured per puff. If you take 100mcg of salbutamol, 100mcg of medication will enter your lungs with each puff.

    Should the dosage of salbutamol inhalers change during an asthma attack?

    In some cases, the dosage of salbutamol may change during an asthma attack. If this is the case your healthcare provider will be able to tell you the dosage that you need. The severity of the actual asthma attack will also depend on how often you use your inhaler. When experiencing an asthma attack it is important that you follow all of the instructions provided to you by your healthcare provider when you have been prescribed salbutamol. 

    What brand names does a salbutamol inhaler have?

    Salbutamol inhalers are known by a number of different brand names. One of the most well-known brand names is Ventolin. Ventolin inhalers use salbutamol to effectively treat the symptoms of asthma, asthma attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD.

    Is a salbutamol inhaler the same as a blue inhaler?

    Sometimes, inhalers will be referred to by their colour. Many people may have heard of the blue inhaler. This is in reference to the colour of the casing of the inhaler. Whilst some inhalers with a blue case will contain salbutamol, others will not. The colour of the case is not an indication of the medication that is included. 

    Is a salbutamol inhaler the same as a reliever inhaler?

    Yes, a salbutamol inhaler can be classed as a reliever inhaler. A reliever inhaler, also known as a rescue inhaler, is a type of inhaler that can be used to provide quick relief to symptoms of respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD.

    Are there any alternative inhalers to a salbutamol inhaler?

    Yes, there are a number of different inhalers that can act as an alternative to salbutamol. Your healthcare provider will be able to determine which form of inhaled medication is best for you. Salbutamol is typically prescribed to those that need a quick-acting medication. It is also well-tolerated and has a low risk of side effects in comparison to some competitors.

    Buying Salbutamol inhalers

    Do you need a prescription for a salbutamol inhaler in the UK?

    Yes, in the United Kingdom, you will need to have a prescription in order to purchase salbutamol inhalers. However, you can purchase salbutamol inhalers online from UK Meds, after successfully completing an online consultation form.

    Can you get salbutamol inhalers over the counter in the UK?

    No, you cannot purchase salbutamol inhalers over the counter. You can only purchase salbutamol with a valid prescription. This is because of the risk of side effects from misusing salbutamol. If you believe you require a salbutamol inhaler then you can have a free consultation with UK Meds to determine whether or not it is a good option for you. 

    Are salbutamol inhalers available on subscription?

    Yes! Salbutamol inhalers can be purchased online from UK Meds on a subscription basis. You can select the number of inhalers that you wish to purchase, as well as the strength of the medication you need. Our subscriptions include frequency options of every month, every two months and every three months. 

    What types of salbutamol inhalers are available at UK Meds?

    Here are the different types of salbutamol inhalers that you can purchase from UK Meds:

    Inhaler TypeLowest Price Per Inhaler*
    Ventolin£6.30 per inhaler
    Salamol£6.66 per inhaler
    Airomir Autohaler£13.99 per inhaler

    *Note: All prices were correct as of 20.02.23

    Where to buy salbutamol inhalers for the cheapest prices online?

    You can buy the salbutamol inhalers that you need online from UK Meds. The prices that we offer are the best that you can find anywhere, especially when you use our excellent subscription service. Get the medication you need, when you need it with UK Meds.

    Salbutamol FAQs

    Here are some frequently asked questions about salbutamol and salbutamol inhalers.

    Can a salbutamol inhaler affect fertility?

    Currently, there is no evidence that suggests that using a salbutamol inhaler can affect your fertility whether you are a man or a woman. Previously it has been suggested that salbutamol can affect the quality of sperm and hormone levels. Studies on these suggestions have however been inconclusive. If you are concerned about salbutamol and fertility then you should speak to your healthcare provider for further advice.

    Can a salbutamol inhaler affect contraceptive effectiveness?

    There is no evidence to suggest that using salbutamol inhalers will affect the contraception that you are using. Studies have shown that there is no conclusive proof that salbutamol changes the way that your contraceptive method of choice works. If you have just been prescribed salbutamol or if you are starting a new form of contraception you may wish to speak to your doctor for advice on whether they will work suitably together.

    Can alcohol affect the effectiveness of salbutamol inhalers?

    It is recommended that people who are going to be regularly using salbutamol inhalers should limit their alcohol consumption. Alcohol can cause irritation and inflammation in the airways which can worsen the symptoms of asthma or COPD. Alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of experiencing side effects.

    Can smoking affect the effectiveness of salbutamol inhalers?

    Smoking will harm the lungs as a whole, whether you have asthma or COPD to start with or not. This can greatly reduce the effectiveness of salbutamol inhalers. People that smoke may require a higher dosage of salbutamol to properly treat their condition. Those that have quit smoking may also need to use an inhaler as a way of managing symptoms associated with quitting. 

    Is it safe to drive when using a salbutamol inhaler?

    Some of the side effects that salbutamol can cause include dizziness, tremors, muscle cramping and blurred vision, especially when higher strengths of the medication is taken. This can impair your ability to perform tasks such as driving. If you find that you are prone to experiencing bad side effects that stop you from performing tasks then you should refrain from driving. 

    Can salbutamol inhalers be used for a long period of time?

    Salbutamol is generally considered to be safe for long-term use. However, it is important to remember that salbutamol is not a cure for respiratory conditions. In fact, it is simply just a medication that can help you to cope with your symptoms. If you are going to be using salbutamol for a long period of time you may need to speak with your healthcare provider to discuss and monitor your lung function. They will also be able to assess the effectiveness of your treatment to determine whether or not salbutamol is still the best route to go down.

    Google Web Story: A Complete Guide To Salbutamol Inhalers

    Check out UK Med's Google Web Story outlining key facts about Salbutamol inhalers for asthma treatment.


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    • For use in attacks of breathlessness
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    From £11.99
    • Fast acting relief from breathing problems
    • Opens breathing passages
    • Used to treat asthma and COPD

    Related Products

    From £16.99
    • For use in attacks of breathlessness
    • Helps to relieve symptoms
    • Suitable for asthma and COPD
    From £11.99
    • Fast acting relief from breathing problems
    • Opens breathing passages
    • Used to treat asthma and COPD

    Blog author

    Scott Weaver

    Scott is an experienced and professional content writer who works exclusively for UK Meds.

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