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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about albuterol inhalers:

Albuterol inhalers relieve bronchospasm. You may hear albuterol inhalers being called by other names, including:
  • rescue inhalers
  • quick-relief inhalers
  • fast-acting inhalers
  • bronchodilators
No matter what you call them, the purpose of albuterol inhalers is to quickly open the airways in your lungs, so you can breathe more easily.

There is no evidence to suggest that albuterol inhalers, when used as prescribed, are addictive.

However, using albuterol fast-acting medicine more often than prescribed by your healthcare provider is a sign that your asthma may be getting worse. Talk to your healthcare provider about how often you feel asthma symptoms and how often you are using your albuterol fast-acting inhaler.
There is no evidence that albuterol inhalers make asthma worse over time. Using albuterol more often than prescribed by your healthcare provider is a sign that your asthma may be getting worse. Talk with your healthcare provider about how often you feel asthma symptoms and how often you are using your albuterol fast-acting inhaler. Take your asthma medicines as prescribed. Do not stop taking your asthma medicines without talking to your healthcare provider first.

Questions about VENTOLIN HFA:

VENTOLIN HFA is a prescription inhaled medicine used in people aged 4 years and older to:
  • treat or prevent bronchospasm in people who have reversible obstructive airway disease
  • prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm
It is not known if VENTOLIN HFA is safe and effective in children younger than 4 years of age.

VENTOLIN HFA is an albuterol inhaler with a built-in dose counter. The VENTOLIN HFA inhaler has a dose counter that counts down each time a spray is released. At any given time, the dose counter shows how many sprays of albuterol are left in your inhaler. When the dose counter reads 020, you should refill your prescription or ask your doctor if you need another prescription.

To speak with a Product Specialist about using your VENTOLIN HFA inhaler, call 1-888-825-5249 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET).

At any given time, the dose counter shows the number of sprays left in the canister. The dose counter will count down by 1 each time you spray the inhaler. The dose counter stops counting when it reaches 000. It will continue to show 000.

The dose counter cannot be reset, and it is permanently attached to the metal canister. Do not try to change the numbers or take the counter off the metal canister.

VENTOLIN HFA may cause serious side effects, including:
  • worsening trouble breathing, coughing, and wheezing (paradoxical bronchospasm).
    If this happens, stop using VENTOLIN HFA and call your healthcare provider or get emergency help right away. Paradoxical bronchospasm is more likely to happen with your first use of a new canister of medicine.
  • heart problems, including faster heart rate and higher blood pressure
  • possible death in people with asthma who use too much VENTOLIN HFA
  • serious allergic reactions. Call your healthcare provider or get emergency medical care if you get any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:
    • rash
    • hives
    • swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue
    • breathing problems
  • changes in laboratory blood levels (sugar, potassium)
Common side effects of VENTOLIN HFA include:
  • sore throat
  • upper respiratory tract infection, including viral infection
  • cough
  • muscle pain
  • your heart feels like it is pounding or racing (palpitations)
  • chest pain
  • fast heart rate
  • shakiness
  • nervousness
  • dizziness

For the treatment or prevention of sudden asthma symptoms, the usual dosage for adults and children aged 4 years and older is 2 sprays repeated every 4 to 6 hours. In some patients, a dosage of 1 spray every 4 hours may be enough.

For exercise-induced bronchospasm, or EIB, the usual dose for adults and children aged 4 years and older is 2 sprays taken 15 to 30 minutes before exercise.
  • When the counter reads 020, you should refill your prescription or ask your healthcare provider if you need another prescription for VENTOLIN HFA.
  • Throw the inhaler away when the counter reads 000 or 12 months after you opened the foil pouch, whichever comes first. You should not keep using the inhaler when the counter reads 000 because you will not receive the right amount of medicine.
  • Do not use the inhaler after the expiration date, which is on the packaging it comes in.
VENTOLIN HFA is manufactured and marketed by GSK.

No. VENTOLIN HFA uses a propellant called hydrofluoroalkane, or HFA.

CFC albuterol inhalers are no longer available in the United States. All albuterol inhalers sold in the United States now use the HFA propellant, which is not as harmful to the ozone layer. All GSK respiratory products in the United States are free of CFCs.

APPROVED USES

VENTOLIN HFA is a prescription inhaled medicine used to treat or prevent bronchospasm in people aged 4 years and older with reversible obstructive airway disease. VENTOLIN HFA is also used to prevent exercise–induced bronchospasm (EIB) in patients aged 4 years and older. It is not known if VENTOLIN HFA is safe and effective in children younger than 4 years of age.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

  • Do not use VENTOLIN HFA if you are allergic to albuterol sulfate or any of the ingredients in VENTOLIN HFA. If you have any questions or are not sure, you should ask your healthcare provider.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about the medicines you take and about all of your health conditions.
  • Do not use VENTOLIN HFA unless your healthcare provider has taught you how to use the inhaler and you understand how to use it correctly.
  • Do not increase your dose or take extra doses of VENTOLIN HFA without first talking to your healthcare provider.
  • Get medical help right away if VENTOLIN HFA no longer helps your symptoms (like wheezing and trouble breathing), if your symptoms get worse, or if you need to use your inhaler more often.
  • While you are using VENTOLIN HFA, use other inhaled medicines and asthma medicines only as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • VENTOLIN HFA can cause serious side effects, including:
    • worsening trouble breathing, coughing, and wheezing (paradoxical bronchospasm). If this happens, stop using VENTOLIN HFA and call your healthcare provider or get emergency help right away. This is more likely to happen with your first use of a new canister of medicine.
    • heart problems, including faster heart rate and higher blood pressure.
    • possible death in people with asthma who use too much VENTOLIN HFA.
    • serious allergic reactions. Call your healthcare provider or get emergency medical care if you get any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:
      • rash
      • hives
      • swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue
      • breathing problems
    • changes in laboratory blood values (sugar, potassium).
  • Common side effects of VENTOLIN HFA include:
    • sore throat
    • upper respiratory tract infection, including viral infection
    • cough
    • muscle pain
    • your heart feels like it is pounding or racing (palpitations)
    • chest pain
    • fast heart rate
    • shakiness
    • nervousness
    • dizziness

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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