Ventolin Nebules help you breathe more easily. When your chest is tight or when you are wheezing, Ventolin opens up the breathing tubes in your lungs.
Your medicine is known as a bronchodilator. Because the medicine in your Ventolin Nebules gives fast relief from your chest symptoms, it is often called a ‘reliever’. There are other types of medicines that prevent wheezing or chest tightness. These medicines are called ‘preventers’ and must be used every day. Your doctor may tell you to use a ‘preventer’ in addition to your Ventolin Nebules.
Ventolin Nebules are not the only form of Ventolin available. Your doctor will decide which form of Ventolin is right for you.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
Before you use Ventolin Nebules
When you must not take it
Do not take Ventolin Nebules if you have an allergy to salbutamol sulfate or any of the other ingredients in Ventolin Nebules (see Ingredients).
Do not take Ventolin Nebules to stop a miscarriage or premature labour.
Do not take this medicine after the expiry date printed on the pack has passed or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to take it
You must tell your doctor if:
you are allergic to foods, dyes, preservatives or any other medicines
you have had to stop taking this or any other asthma medicine for any reason
you have been diagnosed with a thyroid condition
you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure
you have a heart condition
you have a liver condition
you have a kidney condition
you have diabetes.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.
The ingredients of Ventolin Nebules are known to cross the placenta during pregnancy. Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits involved.
It is not known whether the ingredients of Ventolin Nebules can pass into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding, you must check with your doctor before you take Ventolin Nebules.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you start taking Ventolin Nebules.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interfere with Ventolin Nebules. Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking this medicine.
How to take Ventolin Nebules
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the box, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How much to take
Take Ventolin Nebules as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. The pharmacist’s label will usually tell you how many Ventolin Nebules should be taken. If you are not sure, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Adults: one 5 mg Nebule via nebuliser every 4-6 hours as necessary.
Children (4 -12 years): one 2.5 mg Nebule via nebuliser every 4-6 hours as necessary.
Initial doses in the elderly may be lower than the recommended adult dose.
If your condition suddenly gets worse, your doctor may tell you to increase your dose.
How to take it
Ventolin Nebules must only be used by inhalation from a nebuliser and must not be injected or swallowed.
The nebuliser produces a fine mist which you breathe in through a face mask or a mouthpiece. Make sure you know how to use it properly. If you have problems ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not let the liquid, or the mist produced by the nebuliser get into your eyes.
You can wear glasses or goggles to protect them.
Use your nebuliser in a well ventilated room as some of the mist will be released into the air and may be breathed in by others.
Any solution remaining in the nebuliser should be discarded after use.
How long to take it
Your doctor will decide how often and for how long you have to take Ventolin Nebules. The pharmacist’s label will usually tell you how often to take Ventolin Nebules. If you are not sure, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not stop taking Ventolin Nebules, or change the dose without first checking with your doctor.
If you forget to take it
Do not take an extra dose to make up for a missed dose. This may increase the chance of you getting unwanted side effects.
Just take your next dose at the usual time. If you become wheezy or develop other symptoms of an asthma attack you may need to take your next dose earlier.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (In Australia call 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too many Ventolin Nebules. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
You may need urgent medical attention.
Symptoms of an overdose may include:
rapid heart beat
significant muscle tremor
increased acid in the blood, which may cause an increased rate of breathing.
While you are using Ventolin Nebules
Things you must do
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking Ventolin Nebules.
Tell any other doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking this medicine.
If you are going to have surgery, tell the surgeon or anaesthetist that you are taking this medicine.
It may affect other medicines used during surgery.
If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.
If you are about to have any blood tests, tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine.
It may interfere with the results of some tests.
Keep all of your doctor’s appointments so that your progress can be checked.
If your Ventolin Nebules do not help your breathing as much as usual, tell your doctor as soon as possible.
If the effect of your Ventolin Nebules does not last as long as usual, tell your doctor as soon as possible.
These may be signs that your chest condition is getting worse.
If your Ventolin Nebules are not having the same effect as before, your doctor may decide to prescribe other forms of Ventolin, or another medicine, for you to use.
This medicine is only one part of a general plan to help you manage your asthma or other chest condition. You should discuss this plan with your doctor. Ask your doctor to check your treatment regularly.
Things you must not do
Do not take Ventolin Nebules to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give your medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not stop taking your medicine or lower the dosage without checking with your doctor.
If you stop taking it suddenly, your condition may worsen or you may have unwanted side effects.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Ventolin Nebules.
Like other medicines Ventolin Nebules may have unwanted side effects in a few people. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following side effects and they worry you.
Common side effects:
shaky or tense feeling
irregular or fast heart beat
‘warm’ feeling or flushing.
Rare side effects:
mouth and throat irritation
restlessness in children.
Very rare side effects:
feeling unusually active, such as restlessness and excitability.
If your breathing or wheezing gets worse straight after taking this medicine, stop using it immediately, and tell your doctor immediately.
If available, try a different fast-acting asthma medicine as soon as possible.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to Emergency at your nearest hospital.
Allergic reactions have been very rarely reported. These symptoms may include a skin rash, angioedema (sudden swelling under the skin) or a faint or dizzy feeling.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people.
Some of these side effects such as changes to blood potassium levels have been seen rarely and can only be found when your doctor does tests from time to time to check your progress.
After using Ventolin Nebules
Keep your Nebules in the pack until it is time to take them.
If you take the Nebules out of the pack they may not keep well.
Store Ventolin Nebules below 30°C. Protect from light. Once the Nebules are removed from the foil overwrap, use within three months.
Do not store Ventolin Nebules or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking this medicine or the expiry date has passed, ask your pharmacist what to do with any medicine that is left over.