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What are the Different Side Effects of Albuterol?

By Susan Grindstaff
Updated May 17, 2024
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Albuterol is a drug that makes breathing easier for people who have respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. It helps to open up air passages by relaxing muscles in the airway. Side effects of albuterol that are usually considered minor include vomiting, dizziness, and headache. In addition to minor symptoms, side effects of albuterol are sometimes serious enough to require immediate medical attention. Some of the more severe side effects of albuterol include rapid or irregular heart rate, chest pain, and problems breathing.

Some people have severe allergic reactions to albuterol that usually begin with swelling in the face or neck. In some instances, the mouth and airways will also begin to swell. This can often escalate into a life or death situation and will usually require emergency attention. Other symptoms of an allergic reaction to albuterol include difficulty breathing, a pounding sensation in the chest, and peeling blisters on the skin.

Some people experience side effects of albuterol as soon as they take the medication, while with others, adverse reactions may take some time to appear. Some of the lagging indicators of an adverse reaction to albuterol may include sore throat, dry mouth, and pain in the muscles and joints. In addition, some people complain of feeling nervous and unable to sleep.

In some cases, albuterol may cause reactions associated with drug interaction, and this is especially true with some drugs used to treat high blood pressure. People who are taking beta blockers or diuretics may be at more risk, as well as those who are taking prescription antidepressants. Adverse interactions have also been reported with albuterol and some over-the-counter vitamins and dietary supplements, including some herbal medications. Those who are taking albuterol should consult with their physician before they take any other medications.

Experts advise against taking albuterol with any other type of bronchial dilator. Combinations of different types of dilators can sometimes cause some of the more serious side effects of albuterol. Patients who are seeing a doctor other than their regular physician should be sure and let the new doctor know that they are taking albuterol before accepting any new prescribed medication.

It is possible to overdose on albuterol, so patients should never take more than the prescribed dosage. Overdose of albuterol can sometimes be fatal. Albuterol should probably be treated as a potentially dangerous drug, and it is probably not advisable to take it unless under the direct supervision of a physician.

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Discussion Comments
By discographer — On Dec 14, 2013

@fBoyle-- Albuterol side effects include headaches, but if the headaches are severe and if you also have other symptoms like dizziness, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction. So keep an eye out for those symptoms.

Albuterol can actually cause the same symptoms that it treats if the person is very sensitive to the medication or allergic to it. Sometimes it causes typical allergy symptoms like hives and swelling. But sometimes, the symptoms can look like a more severe form of asthma.

It's a good idea to tell your doctor about the side effects. He or she might recommend a different dose or maybe a different medication altogether. I don't know why people don't talk to their doctors about it.

By fBoyle — On Dec 14, 2013

@literally45-- Do you get a headache too?

I have the same symptoms that you have, but I also get headaches when I use it. I don't know if it's because of the albuterol inhaler or the actual medication.

By literally45 — On Dec 13, 2013

I don't like my albuterol inhaler's side effects. It makes me jittery and gives me a sore throat. Sometimes it makes me dizzy too.

That's why I only use it when I really need it, if I feel that I'm having trouble breathing. I don't enjoy using it at all, but my doctor says that it's the best medication for me.

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