Ventolin HFA

Generic Name: Albuterol

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Ventolin HFA is a medicine used to prevent and treat airway narrowing associated with certain breathing problems (such as asthma). Ventolin HFA is also used to prevent wheezing caused by exercise.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Ventolin HFA works by relaxing the muscles in your airways.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Ventolin HFA quickly opens your airways to help you breath during an asthma attack. It may also help you breathe better while exercising.

    When: Ventolin HFA may start working within minutes, and symptom relief may last up to 6 hours.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may feel an improvement in your breathing once you begin using Ventolin HFA. Your healthcare provider may perform tests to check your lung function and ask you questions to assess how well your symptoms are controlled.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: throat irritation, respiratory infections, upper respiratory inflammation, cough, muscle pain.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Worsening trouble breathing, coughing, or wheezing. This is more likely to happen with your first use of a new canister.

    Heart problems, including faster heart rate and higher blood pressure.

    Allergic reactions with symptoms such as itchy skin, rash, swelling beneath your skin or in your throat, or worsening trouble breathing.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not use Ventolin HFA if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Ventolin HFA. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart or thyroid problems; high blood pressure; seizures; diabetes; or low blood potassium levels.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Prevention or Treatment of Airway Narrowing

    Adults and children ≥4 years: The usual dose is 2 inhalations every 4 to 6 hours. Your or your child's healthcare provider may adjust the dose as needed.

    Prevention of Exercise-Induced Wheezing

    Adults and children ≥4 years: The usual dose is 2 inhalations 15 to 30 minutes before exercise.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Use Ventolin HFA exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not use it more often or stop using it without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Throw away Ventolin HFA 12 months after you remove it from the foil overwrap pouch or when the dose indicator reads "000," whichever comes first.

    Please review the instructions that came with your prescription on how to properly use Ventolin HFA.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not spray Ventolin HFA into your eyes.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Ventolin HFA is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Ventolin HFA with the following: blood pressure/heart medications known as beta-blockers (such as propranolol), certain antidepressants (such as nortriptyline or phenelzine), digoxin, or water pills (such as furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide).

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Ventolin HFA during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are using Ventolin HFA. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Ventolin HFA, use it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not inhale two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature, with the mouthpiece down. Do not store near heat or an open flame.

Starting a GERD or Ulcer Drug?

Our nine-week newsletter series, written by a pharmacist, will help you learn about your medication.
Sign Up

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Beth Isaac, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

Check out my latest post on cholesterol drugs.

Ventolin HFA Related Drugs

Ventolin HFA Related Conditions