Albuterol is a common short-acting medication prescribed to treat acute symptoms of bronchospasms for patients with irreversible obstructive airway diseases. It is a bronchodilator most often used as a short-term treatment for asthma flare-ups that include wheezing, difficulty breathing, and chest tightness.

Albuterol can also treat symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is prescribed for certain people to use 15-30 minutes before exercise to prevent exercise-induced bronchospams. It is also comes in extended-release tablet form as albuterol sulfate. It is sold under the brand names Proventil, AccuNeb, Combivent, DuoNeb, VoSpire, and Ventolin.

Albuterol is most commonly administered by inhalation, whether through a metered-dose inhaler or by a nebulizer machine. 

A doctor will give correct dosage information for children and adults.

People with a known hypersensitivity to albuterol, soya lecithin or soy products, or atropine should exercise caution and notify their doctor of such sensitivities.

Side effects of albuterol include headache, anxiety, shakiness, nosebleed, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and pale skin. Serious side effects include irregular heartbeat, chest pain, fever, hives, swelling, and difficulty swallowing.  

Overdosing on albuterol can be fatal.