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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 medicine used in people 4 years of age 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 under 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 puff is released. At any given time, the dose counter shows how many puffs 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 puffs left in the canister. The dose counter will count down by 1 number 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. Never try to change the numbers for the dose counter or take the counter off the metal canister.

Do not remove the canister from the plastic actuator except during cleaning to prevent accidentally spraying a dose of VENTOLIN HFA into the air.
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
  • allergic reactions. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction:
    • itchy skin
    • swelling beneath your skin or in your throat
    • rash
    • worsening trouble breathing
  • low potassium levels in your blood
  • worsening of other medical problems in people who also use VENTOLIN HFA, including increases in blood sugar
Common side effects of VENTOLIN HFA include:
  • your heart feels like it is pounding or racing (palpitations)
  • chest pain
  • fast heart rate
  • shakiness
  • nervousness
  • headache
  • pain
  • dizziness
  • sore throat
  • runny nose

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

For exercise-induced bronchospasm, or EIB, the usual dose for adults and children 4 years and older is 2 puffs taken 15 to 30 minutes before exercise.
  • When the dose counter on the actuator shows the number 020, you need to refill your prescription or ask your doctor for another prescription for VENTOLIN HFA
  • Throw the VENTOLIN HFA inhaler away as soon as the dose counter shows 000, after the expiration date on the VENTOLIN HFA packaging, or 12 months after you open the foil pouch, whichever comes first. You should not keep using the inhaler after the dose counter shows 000 even though the canister may not be completely empty. You cannot be sure you will receive the right amount of medicine
VENTOLIN HFA is manufactured and marketed by GlaxoSmithKline.

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 GlaxoSmithKline respiratory products in the United States are free of CFCs.

APPROVED USES FOR VENTOLIN HFA

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

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR
VENTOLIN HFA

  • 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 medical conditions.
  • Use VENTOLIN HFA exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to use it.
  • 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 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. 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.
    • allergic reactions. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction:
      • itchy skin
      • swelling beneath your skin or in your throat
      • rash
      • worsening trouble breathing
    • low potassium levels in your blood.
    • worsening of other medical problems in people who also use VENTOLIN HFA, including increases in blood sugar.
  • Common side effects of VENTOLIN HFA include:
    • your heart feels like it is pounding or racing (palpitations)
    • chest pain
    • fast heart rate
    • shakiness
    • nervousness
    • headache
    • pain
    • dizziness
    • sore throat
    • runny nose

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.

This website is funded and developed by GlaxoSmithKline.
This site is intended for US residents only.
©2014 GlaxoSmithKline group of companies. All rights reserved.

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