Airsupra (albuterol/budesonide) is a prescription aerosol drug used to prevent and treat bronchospasm in adults with asthma. It comes in a metered-dose inhaler and is used as needed.
Airsupra is prescribed for adults with asthma as a rescue inhaler to treat bronchospasm (airway narrowing) and relieve asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. It’s also used to help prevent asthma attacks.
Airsupra contains two active ingredients: albuterol and budesonide. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) Albuterol is a beta 2-agonist bronchodilator and budesonide is an inhaled steroid.
This article describes the dosage of Airsupra, as well as its strength and how to use it. To learn more about Airsupra, see this in-depth article.
Note: Airsupra is not yet available in the United States. The drug is expected to be available in 2024. For more information, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
This section describes the usual dosage of Airsupra. Keep reading to learn more.
What is Airsupra’s form?
Airsupra comes as a metered dose inhaler (MDI). The MDI is a handheld device that contains albuterol and budesonide in aerosol form. When you press on the canister, it delivers the medication as a fine mist that reaches your lungs.
What strength does Airsupra come in?
Airsupra comes in a single strength. When you press on the canister, a single puff is delivered. Each puff of medication contains:
- 90 micrograms (mcg) of albuterol
- 80 mcg of budesonide
What are the usual dosages of Airsupra?
The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to use the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for asthma
Airsupra is used as needed to treat bronchospasm (airway narrowing) and relieve asthma symptoms. The typical dose is two puffs. The two puffs contain 180 mcg of albuterol and 160 mcg of budesonide in total.
You may use up to six doses (12 puffs) in 24 hours.
You should develop an asthma action plan with your doctor. This includes knowing what to do when you experience symptoms and when to seek emergency care. You should go to the nearest emergency room if your symptoms don’t improve after using Airsupra.
Is Airsupra used long term?
Yes, Airsupra is usually used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective as a rescue inhaler, you’ll likely use it as needed over the long term.
Depending on other health conditions you might have, your doctor may adjust your dosage of Airsupra.
And your kidneys help remove the active ingredient albuterol from your body. So your doctor may adjust your dosage of Airsupra if you have kidney problems.
Also, let your doctor know if you’ve ever received a diagnosis of seizures, an overactive thyroid, or diabetes. Your doctor may watch you more closely for side effects from Airsupra or adjust your dosage.
Talk with your doctor if you’d like to know more about your Airsupra dosage.
The dosage of Airsupra you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:
- how often you have asthma symptoms
- the severity of your asthma symptoms
- your age
- other medications you may be taking
- other conditions you may have (see the “Dosage adjustments” section above)
Airsupra comes as a metered dose inhaler (MDI). When you first use Airsupra, you’ll need to prime it. This is necessary to make sure you’ll receive a full dose of the medication when you use it.
To prime the MDI, press down on the canister to release four test puffs. Shake the device before each puff. You’ll need to re-prime your inhaler if you have not used it in more than 7 days or if you’ve dropped it. You’ll re-prime it by releasing two test puffs.
To use Airsupra:
- Shake the inhaler, then empty your lungs by breathing out fully.
- Place the mouthpiece into your mouth and close your lips around the mouthpiece.
- Push down on the inhaler while breathing in deeply.
- Remove the mouthpiece and hold your breath for up to 10 seconds.
- Shake the inhaler and repeat the above steps for a second puff.
Following the two puffs, rinse your mouth with water. This decreases your risk of getting oral thrush, which is a side effect of Airsupra.
You’ll then close the cap on the inhaler device and store it as directed. It’s recommended that you clean the actuator once per week. The actuator is the plastic casing around the canister.
For detailed instructions on how to use, store, and clean your Airsupra MDI, see the manufacturer’s instructions on the last pages of the prescribing information.
For information on the expiration and disposal of Airsupra, talk with your pharmacist.
Accessible drug containers and labels
Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:
- have large print
- use braille
- feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
Do not use more Airsupra than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to harmful effects.
Effects of an overdose
Inhaling too much Airsupra may cause:
- a headache
- an atypical heart rhythm
- high or low blood pressure
- a seizure
- high blood sugar
- muscle cramps or tremor
- acidosis (a high level of acid in the blood)
What to do in case you use too much Airsupra
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve used too much Airsupra. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Airsupra’s dosage.
Is Airsupra’s dosage similar to the dosages of Xopenex or Pulmicort?
In some ways, the dosages for these drugs are similar, but in other ways, they are different.
Airsupra contains albuterol, and Xopenex contains levalbuterol. Both are beta 2-agonist bronchodilators and are used as needed to treat bronchospasm (airway narrowing).
Pulmicort (budesonide) is available in a dry powder inhaler and as a liquid for use in a nebulizer. It’s used every day. Airsupra also contains budesonide, which is the active ingredient in Pulmicort. Budesonide is an inhaled steroid and helps reduce swelling and mucus production in your airways. This helps prevent bronchospasm.
To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.
How long does it take for Airsupra to start working?
The bronchodilator, albuterol, in Airsupra starts to work immediately after your first dose. You should begin to breathe easier soon after you use the inhaler. In studies, on average, Airsupra caused bronchodilation (airway opening) within 8 minutes, and the effect lasted for 3 hours.
The inhaled steroid in Airsupra helps prevent serious asthma attacks from happening. This protection begins after a few weeks of using Airsupra and increases with time.
If you have other questions about what to expect from your Airsupra treatment, talk with your doctor.
The sections above describe the usual dosage provided by the manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Airsupra for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of Airsupra without your doctor’s recommendation. Only use Airsupra exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- How soon after a dose of Airsupra can I take another dose?
- If two puffs don’t help with my asthma symptoms, can I take a third puff?
- Do any of my other medications increase my risk of experiencing a side effect from Airsupra?
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.