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Albuterol side effects: What's normal?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/albuterol-side-effects/AN01065
- With Mayo Clinic asthma and allergy specialist
James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.read biographyclose window
James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.James Li, M.D.
"People with allergy or asthma can lead full and healthy lives." — Dr. James Li
Dr. James Li is chair of the Division of Allergic Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine and a board-certified asthma and allergy specialist. He hopes his expertise and the information on the site educates health care consumers in an area of rapid change both in medications and diagnoses.
"There are a lot of misperceptions about allergy and asthma," says Dr. Li, a New York City native who has been with Mayo since 1985 and works with a group of subspecialists in allergy, asthma and immunology. "I believe it's important to provide truthful, accurate information about allergy and asthma to the public. The more people know, the better they can take care of these conditions."
Dr. Li is a professor of medicine at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic. He's a past director of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, and the American Board of Internal Medicine. He's a fellow in the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology honored him with the Distinguished Service Award, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology with its Special Recognition Award.
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Albuterol side effects: What's normal?
I'm taking albuterol for mild allergic asthma. Although the albuterol seems to help my symptoms, it affects my mood and ability to concentrate. Is there another medication I can switch to?
from James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.
Albuterol is commonly used for short-term relief of asthma symptoms. A type of medication known as a short-acting bronchodilator, it eases symptoms by opening the airways during an asthma flare-up.
Albuterol is usually given with a metered dose inhaler (ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA, others) and sometimes in tablet or liquid form. Albuterol side effects can include:
More-serious — though less common — side effects include:
- Increased or irregular heart rate
Albuterol side effects are worse with the liquid or tablet form than with the inhaled form. Also, the risk of albuterol side effects increases with higher doses.
To ease medication side effects, you may need to try a metered dose inhaler if you are taking the liquid or tablet form. Or it may be worthwhile to try a different quick-relief medication, such as the short-acting bronchodilator levalbuterol (Xopenex) or pirbuterol (Maxair).
If you use albuterol three or more times a week or have severe asthma symptoms, you probably need to take a long-term asthma medication to better control your asthma. With asthma under better control, you won't need to use albuterol or another quick-relief medication as often.
Carefully track your asthma, and check with your doctor about any changes that may be needed. Avoid any known asthma triggers. Work with your doctor to make sure you're using the right type and dose of medication to keep your symptoms — and medication side effects — under control.Next question
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