Albuterol is a medication that is used to help with problems such as shortness of breath caused by constricted airways. This medication is frequently used for asthma and COPD. It works by opening up the airways to improves the airway to improve airflow. Albuterol is classified as a bronchodilator. The bronchioles in the lungs may become narrow and this is referred to as bronchoconstriction. The constrictions can happen for various reasons. The use of Albuterol opens up the bronchioles allowing it to improve airflow. Albuterol is available for use in the oral form, inhalers and a solution for nebulization. The side effects of albuterol feeling anxious, jittery, hypersensitivity to adrenergic amines, if a person has heart disease, hypertension, seizure disorder, hypothyroidism, the use of albuterol is cautioned.
Auscultating lung sounds, obtaining bp, and HR prior to administering and during use of albuterol. If a patient has a productive cough is important to assess the amount, color and consistency of sputum. it is also important to assess for paradoxical bronchospasm. which is the opposite of the intended reaction of albuterol. which instead of relieving bronchoconstriction it increases it.
As. a result the patient will have increase wheezing, difficulty breathing. The nursing assessment should also assess the effectiveness of treatment. Teaching patient the proper use of an inhaler. Overuse can lead to a tolerance and ineffectiveness of the medication. It is important to remind the patient to use as prescribed. Teach the patient that after use of inhalers they must rinse their mouth to prevent oral thrush. It is important to clean the mouthpiece of the inhaler to avoid bacteria growth. if symptoms do not improve it is important to contact the provider.
“You should tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, nutritional, or dietary drugs you’re taking, especially:
1. Beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol(Normodyne), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol(Corgard), and propranolol (Inderal)
2. Digoxin (Lanoxin)
3. Diuretics (water pills)
4. Epinephrine (EpiPen, Primatene Mist)
5. Other inhaled medications used to relax the air passages such as metaproterenol (Alupent) and levalbuterol (Xopenex)
6. Over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medicines for colds” (Marks, 2015)
Medications previously mentioned can cancel the effect of each other if taken with Albuterol. According to B-Adrenergic the journal of the American Osteopathic Association “alleviate symptoms of asthma may also cause paradoxical bronchospasm or bronchoconstriction” (Broski & Amundson, 2008)
Broski, DO, MC, S. E., & Amundson, DO, MC, D. E. (2008). Paradoxical Response to Levalbuterol. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 108(4), 2011-2013. Retrieved from http://jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2093662&resultClick=1
Marks, L. (2015, March 3). Albuterol (Proventil) – Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions – Drugs. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/albuterol
Lilley, L., Collins, S., Snyder, J. (2017). Pharmacology and the Nursing Process, 8th Edition.
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