What Is Albuterol Used to Treat? Everything You Need to Know

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Albuterol is a quick-relief medication to be kept on hand by the user at all times. Read on to learn what is albuterol used to treat here.

You can’t breathe. You start coughing and you feel like you can’t get a full breath of air between each hack. Gasping for air, you reach into your pocket and produce a life-saving device. You shake it, pop off the lid, place it between your lips and squeeze while breathing in a shallow, shaky breath. Hold for ten seconds and slowly release your breath.

Soon you find that you can take a deeper breath. Your chest doesn’t feel so tight and the wheezing slowly subsides.

You just experienced an asthma attack. If it wasn’t for the albuterol inhaler that you always keep on your person wherever you go, you could’ve been in some real trouble.

Can you answer this question: What is albuterol used to treat?

Continue reading to learn everything that you need to know about albuterol inhalers.

What Is Albuterol?

Albuterol is an inhaled substance that provides relief of symptoms to health conditions that are caused by bronchospasm in the lungs. Albuterol inhalers are in the drug class of bronchodilators because they reverse the symptoms of bronchospasm. 

Bronchospasm happens when the bronchioles in the lungs suddenly contract making it difficult to breathe. Bronchodilators reverse this by forcing the bronchiole muscles to relax and the airways to reopen.

Albuterol sulfate is an inhaler that you can take with you anywhere. It is a fast-acting medication that can treat the sudden onset of symptoms. It is commonly called a rescue-inhaler.

Albuterol is also used as a preventative measure. When used before a workout, it can prevent bronchospasms from happening during exercise.

ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA, and Proventil HFA are common brands of the albuterol inhaler.

The normal dose for an albuterol inhaler is 90mcg per inhalation. An inhaler usually holds around 200 inhalations.

Albuterol inhalers are only meant to be used every 4 hours, and even then it’s only as needed. If they are used too much they can cause some side effects. Headaches, lightheadedness, nervousness, and shakiness are common.

Albuterol is also available as an inhalation solution that can be used in a nebulizer. This medication is usually used as a preventative method before exercising to reduce symptoms. It can be used in place of a rescue-inhaler as well. 

What Is Albuterol Used to Treat?

Albuterol is meant only to temporarily relieve the symptoms of certain health conditions that involve the lungs. These conditions might include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema, or pneumonia.


Asthma is a lung condition that causes inflammation in the airways. The airways then swell causing the individual to have symptoms of difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. 

The cause of asthma is unknown and varies from person to person. A person with asthma may see that their symptoms are not always present. There may be times that they have no symptoms at all while other times the symptoms are more severe.

A lot of times, the condition is triggered by an allergen. Knowing the allergens that cause your symptoms is the best way for you to stay on top of your condition and keep your symptoms to a minimum.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a progressive disease where it becomes increasingly harder for the individual to breathe over time. It causes a productive, mucousy cough that is brought on by wheezing and shortness of breath, much like that of asthma.

People with COPD generally have emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD can be caused by smoking cigarettes. It can also be caused by being exposed to toxic chemicals or pollution. There is a genetic marker that can cause COPD.

This condition gets worse over time.


Bronchitis is an infection in the lungs that causes the individual to cough a wet, mucousy cough. X-rays are usually ordered so that your doctor can rule out pneumonia when presenting symptoms that are similar. There are two types of bronchitis. 

Acute bronchitis is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection and clears up in a week or two. Chronic bronchitis lasts months and makes an annual reappearance for a few years. Smokers and asthmatics are prone to developing chronic bronchitis.


Emphysema is when the alveoli sacs in the lungs are damaged. This happens when the individual is exposed to toxic substances over a long period of time. Emphysema can be developed from chemical fumes, air pollution, or cigarette smoke, whether or not you are a smoker. 


Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs that causes the alveoli sacs to fill with pus. The infection can be bacterial, viral, or fungal. Pneumonia can be hospital-based, ventilator-based, or community-based depending on how you acquired it. Pneumonia is very contagious.

The symptoms are fever, chills, and, of course, breathing difficulties because of the pus-filled alveoli and inflammation of the airways. Albuterol is used to open the airways and to help expel the mucous from the lungs.

It’s important to remember that albuterol sulfate is not a cure. It is only a means of temporary relief. 

Tips for Using Albuterol

  • Always keep your rescue inhaler on your person.
  • Rinse your mouth after using an inhaler or a nebulizer to reduce your risk of infection or irritation.
  • Always refill your inhaler or nebulizer prescription before you run out of your current supply.
  • Use your inhaler or nebulizer at the first sight of distress.
  • Don’t use an inhaler that has run out of the numbered amount of actuation (once they run out, the amount of medicine in each puff is not measured accurately).
  • Don’t use expired products.

Buy an Albuterol Inhaler Online

You can buy albuterol inhaler online at your convenience and have it shipped directly to your house. This is great if you have limited mobility and have difficulty getting In and out of your house. It can also help if you can’t make it to your local pharmacy during their business hours because of your work schedule.

Albuterol Sulfate Is a Life-Saver, Literally

Now that you know what albuterol is used to treat and everything else that you need to know about albuterol inhalers, you will be better prepared for your next asthma attack. If you don’t have asthma, you might at least have a better understanding of how important rescue inhalers are to those who suffer from these serious lung conditions. 

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