Ventolin is an asthma treatment, made by UK company GSK. As a reliever treatment, it is used when someone experiences symptoms related to their asthma, such as breathing problems. It might also be applied to avert an asthma attack, which can involve the gradual or sudden onset of breathlessness, coughing or wheezing.
The medication is supplied in a wide range of forms: as an accuhaler; a respirator solution; and as a syrup. Which one you use will depend on which method of application you find easiest to use, and the severity of your symptoms. For instance, users who find inhalers difficult may opt to use the syrup instead; while those who have severe symptoms and require a larger dose may be directed by a doctor to employ the respiratory solution, which is applied via a nebuliser.
Over 5 million people in the UK alone are thought to be affect by asthma. It occurs when the immune system responds to a trigger, and produces an inflammatory response. A trigger might be caused by dust or other particles in the air, smoke, exercise, an allergy or a chemical.
The immune system will then release a chemical transmitter, which, as well as causing inflammation, makes the muscle walls around the windpipe and connecting airways tighten, and increases the production of mucus. This narrows the airways and causes the aforementioned symptoms to occur.
Treatment for asthma is provided in two strands; prevention and relief. While preventers work by limiting the immune response and making an attack less likely, relievers are taken while symptoms are active. They contain a substance called a beta-2 agonist, which in the case of Ventolin is called salbutamol, and this works by relaxing muscle walls affected by asthma. This then dilates the airways, and makes it easier for the user to breathe.
Please note that Ventolin is not available through our online pharmacy service.
Following the instructions provided with your medicine and adhering to the directions issued by your prescriber will help you to ensure that Ventolin is effective.
- Take as directed by your doctor.
- Ventolin is applied when the user experiences asthma symptoms such as breathing problems, coughing or wheezing, or an asthma attack.
- One inhalation is taken to relieve asthma.
- To prevent an attack before coming into contact with a trigger, one inhalation is taken 15 minutes prior.
- Remove the outer covering.
- Push back the lever until you hear it click.
- Breathe out, and then put the accuhaler to your mouth.
- Inhale deeply through the device.
- Try to hold your breath for 10 seconds.
- Breathe normally.
- Do not exceed four inhalations in any one day or the amount prescribed.
Ventolin Respirator Solution
- A nebuliser must be used when taking this treatment.
- Do not swallow it or inject it.
- A typical dose is 0.5 to 1 ml of the solution. More severe attacks may require 2 ml.
- Taken with a 5 ml plastic spoon.
- Shake the bottle before use.
- A typical dose for an adult might be between 5 and 20 ml, taken up to four times per day.
- A typical dose may be: one to two puffs administered to relieve symptoms; and in some cases two puffs may be taken a quarter of an hour prior to encountering an expected trigger.
- If taken as regular treatment, a prescribed dose may be up to two puffs applied four times per day.
- Do not exceed eight puffs in any single 24 hour duration.
- Test the inhaler by spraying a test dose safely into the air before first use.
- Stand up straight during use.
- Take off the mouth cover and ensure it is free of debris.
- Breathe out as much as is comfortable.
- Without biting down, position the mouthpiece in your mouth between your teeth and with your lips around it.
- Breathe in and as you do so, press down on the canister to trigger the dose.
- Continue to breathe steadily in then hold your breath for a few seconds, before breathing normally.
- Those who are taking a second puff should wait for 30 seconds before administering the next one.
- More detailed directions are contained in the leaflet supplied.
For all treatments:
- Never take more than the amount prescribed.
- Read the instructions for each carefully before use.
These directions are provided as a guide. More detailed application information can be found in the patient information leaflet.
There are a number of potential side effects associated with Ventolin, and it is important to be aware of these prior to use. If you notice any side effects, signs of an allergic reaction or worsening of asthma symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Mouth and throat irritation, muscle cramps.
Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):
Low level of potassium in the blood, increased blood flow to your extremities.
Very rare (1 in 10,000 people or less):
Irregular sleep patterns or behaviour, such as restlessness and excitability.
The list of side effects provided here is only a guide. A more detailed account can be located in the patient information leaflet.
Taking it with other medicines
Tell your prescriber if you are currently using any other medicines, as these may interfere with the function of this treatment or vice versa. This product may affect the activity of beta-blockers, corticosteroids and diuretics.
Conditions to look out for
It is essential to tell your doctor during consultation if you have a history of the following or any other medical conditions, as they may impair your suitability for this treatment: high blood pressure; diabetes; overactive thyroid gland; heart problems such as angina.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Talk to your doctor before using this medication if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying for a baby.
Driving and using machinery
Your judgement and coordination skills are not likely to be inhibited by Ventolin.
Some forms of this product contain lactose. Inform your prescriber during consultation if you have any sugar intolerances.
Can I still drink alcohol?
Yes. The efficacy of this treatment should not be affected by alcohol.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes. Your capacity to drive should not be reduced by Ventolin, but if you experience any side effects which hinder your judgment or coordination, then you should not drive and seek advice from a doctor.
Can I use this medicine while pregnant?
This treatment may not be suitable if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor before using the medicine.
How do I store it?
Refer to the instruction leaflet for each product for storage information, but you should always keep your medicines in a safe place, below 30°C and out of the reach of children.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
Ventolin Accuhaler contains salbutamol sulfate and lactose.
The ingredients in the Respirator Solution are salbutamol sulfate, water, benzalkonium chloride and sulfuric acid.
Ventolin Syrup contains salbutamol sulphate, water, sodium citrate, citric acid, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose, saccharin sodium, salt (sodium chloride), sodium benzoate (E211) and orange flavour.
Do not use the treatments if you are allergic to any of the above.
Is it available over-the-counter?
No. You can only buy Ventolin with a prescription in the UK.
Is it right for me?
Your doctor or respiratory nurse will provide a prescription for the most suitable option, following your regular asthma review.
We do not provide this item online. See your GP to be prescribed Ventolin or renew your prescription.
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