Davis's Drug Guide
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albuterol

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take albuterol as directed. If on a scheduled dosing regimen, take missed dose as soon as remembered, spacing remaining doses at regular intervals. Do not double doses or increase the dose or frequency of doses. Caution patient not to exceed recommended dose; may cause adverse effects, paradoxical bronchospasm (more likely with first dose from new canister), or loss of effectiveness of medication.
    • Instruct patient to contact health care professional immediately if shortness of breath is not relieved by medication or is accompanied by diaphoresis, dizziness, palpitations, or chest pain.
    • Instruct patient to prime unit with 4 sprays before using and to discard cannister after 200 sprays. Actuators should not be changed among products.
    • Inform patient that these products contain hydrofluoralkane (HFA) and the propellant and are described as non-CFC or CFC-free (contain no chlorofluorocarbons).
    • Instruct patient to notify health care professional of all Rx or OTC medications, vitamins, or herbal products being taken and to consult health care professional before taking any OTC medications or alcoholic beverages concurrently with this therapy. Caution patient also to avoid smoking and other respiratory irritants.
    • Inform patient that albuterol may cause an unusual or bad taste.
  • Inhaln: Instruct patient in the proper use of the metered-dose inhaler or nebulizer (see medication administration techniques).
    • Advise patients to use albuterol first if using other inhalation medications and allow 5 min to elapse before administering other inhalant medications unless otherwise directed.
    • Advise patient to rinse mouth with water after each inhalation dose to minimize dry mouth and clean the mouthpiece with water at least once a week.
    • Instruct patient to notify health care professional if there is no response to the usual dose or if contents of one canister are used in less than 2 wk. Asthma and treatment regimen should be re-evaluated and corticosteroids should be considered. Need for increased use to treat symptoms indicates decrease in asthma control and need to reevaluate patient's therapy.
  • Pedi: Caution adolescents and their parents about overuse of inhalers, which can cause heart damage and life-threatening arrhythmias.

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