Order Salbutamol asthma inhaler
The Salbutamol inhaler is the most common type of treatment for asthma. It helps to relax the airway muscles during an asthma attack, to improve breathing.
To place an order for a repeat prescription online, fill in our brief questionnaire. You can choose a preferred treatment, such as Salbutamol.
One of our doctors will check if the inhaler is suitable for you and issue your prescription to a local pharmacy in Ireland or your home address. Alternatively, you can choose to have your medication delivered directly to your door.
This service is only suitable for asthma patients who have been using Salbutamol for at least three months.
A consultation for asthma treatment prescription costs €21.50.
Please note, where a generic product has been ordered we may use a range of manufacturers to provide you with your medication, in order to maintain our service levels.
What does a Salbutamol inhaler do?
Salbutamol inhalers work by relaxing the muscles in the airways, which can go into spasm in asthma. The spasm of the muscles makes it more difficult to breathe, and causes the typical wheeze that people experience when they have asthma.
People with asthma get symptoms because of inflammation in their airways. This means there is less space in the airways for air to pass through. The airways also become more sensitive, so the muscles can go into spasm, making them even more narrow. This makes it more difficult to breathe and causes symptoms like coughing and wheezing – this is known as an asthma attack.
Salbutamol inhalers help to open the airways, to relieve some of these symptoms, hence they are called “reliever inhalers”.
Asthma attacks may happen unexpectedly, so as a rule, people who suffer from asthma should always have an asthma inhaler with them.
Salbutamol is the active ingredient in most asthma inhalers (Ventolin) and is usually the first line treatment for asthma.
After inhalation, salbutamol starts working within minutes, and its effects can last for up to 4 to 5 hours. This gives fast relief to symptoms of asthma attacks.
It can be used long-term on an ‘as-needed’ basis to treat symptoms. But most people with asthma should also be using a preventer inhaler to stop these symptoms happening. Preventer inhalers contain steroid medications which help to reduce the inflammation in the airways.
Most studies have shown that salbutamol inhalers are just as effective as other short-acting treatments for asthma.
Early treatment is key – When should I use a Salbutamol inhaler?
Salbutamol inhalers are used to help relieve symptoms of asthma such as difficulty breathing or wheezing. They should be used as soon as symptoms start. If the symptoms do not get better after using your Salbutamol inhaler or if you need to use it again soon after, it is important you see a doctor as soon as possible because this can be a sign of a severe asthma attack.
If you think you may have asthma, you should see a doctor so that they discuss your symptoms, examine you and start you on treatment as early as possible. This helps to control your symptoms and prevent the condition from getting worse.
If asthma is well controlled, it will usually not impact a person’s daily activities. However, it is still important to carry an inhaler for emergency situations.
Drug interactions with Salbutamol inhalers
If you currently take beta-blockers, it can interact with Salbutamol and weaken the effect of both medications. In some cases, it can even trigger an asthma attack.
Salbutamol can also interact with some types of antidepressant medications - particularly tricyclic antidepressants. There is also a risk of a low potassium level if salbutamol is used with some medications.
For a full list of Salbutamol side effects, interactions and cautions, read the patient information leaflet supplied with your inhaler.
Can I use a Salbutamol inhaler while I am pregnant?
Salbutamol can be used safely in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. A small amount of the medication can pass through to the baby, but the amount is too small to be dangerous.
It is important for all pregnant women to have a review with their GP early in pregnancy to make sure their asthma control is good. If your asthma symptoms get worse during pregnancy you should see your GP as soon as possible for a review. If you find that you are having difficulty breathing, you should seek urgent medical attention.
Types of Salbutamol inhalers
There are two types of devices used to deliver Salbutamol, a metered dose inhaler (MDI) and a dry powder inhaler.
Both types of device work slightly differently but deliver the same medicine and have the same effects. Speak to your doctor about which type would suit you best.
Our online service at ZAVA offers a repeat prescription for Salbutamol with a metered dose inhaler (MDI).
Using a Salbutamol MDI (Metered Dose Inhaler)
To use a Salbutamol MDI, remove the mouthpiece cover and shake vigorously. Insert the Salbutamol MDI into the spacer and the opposite end of the spacer into your mouth. Do not bite the spacer, but make sure your lips create a good seal with the device. Press the canister of the Salbutamol MDI and breathe in and out for 10 breaths.
For the subsequent puffs, press the canister again, and breathe in and out for 10 times between each puff. You do not need to keep your finger pressed on the canister while you are breathing in and out.
Replace the mouthpiece cover right away to avoid dust and other debris entering the inhaler. You should stand up or sit up straight when using your inhaler. You can use your Salbutamol inhaler with or without food.
Before you use your spacer for the first time and once a month during use, soak it in warm water with a little washing up liquid for 15 minutes. Do not scrub the inside as this might affect the way it works. Rinse and leave to air dry to reduce static formation so the medicine does not stick to the inside, but is delivered to your lungs. You should replace your spacer at least every year.
Children and the elderly often need help with using the inhaler.
Always make sure that you follow your doctor’s prescription and read the instructions on how to take your salbutamol treatment. For more help, ask your pharmacist to show you how to correctly use the inhaler.
Salbutamol Side effects
Possible side effects of Salbutamol inhalers include headaches, restlessness, muscle spasms and shaky hands. It may also cause taste changes and mouth discomfort.
Less common side effects include nausea, sweating, high blood sugar and low potassium levels.
If you already have a heart condition, high blood pressure, an overactive thyroid gland or had a stroke or heart attack recently, you need to check with your doctor if Salbutamol is the right treatment for you as you may experience severe side effects.
Most likely, your doctor will prescribe you an alternative treatment for asthma.
Dr Kathryn Basford
Dr Kathryn Basford is an IMC and GMC registered GP who works with our Irish team here at ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training at Whipps Cross Hospital in London.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 08 Jan 2021