Ventolin Diskus
Ventolin Diskus
Salbutamol (Salbutamol Sulfate)
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Salbutamol Sulfate (Generic)
Albuterol (Salbutamol Sulfate)
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Ventolin Diskus (Salbutamol Sulfate)

What is Ventolin Diskus?

Ventolin Diskus is an inhaled medication that is indicated for:

  • Treating bronchospasm in individuals ages four years and older with chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, and other disorders where bronchospasm is an issue. To treat bronchospasm, Ventolin Diskus should be taken as one inhalation as needed. The maximum dose is four inhalations each day. Patients should not exceed the maximum number of inhalations daily.
  • Preventing bronchospasm. Patients can take one inhalation every four to six hours. Individuals should not exceed four inhalations each day.
  • Preventing exercise-induced bronchospasm in individuals ages four years and older. These patients should take one inhalation 15 minutes prior to exercising.

How does Ventolin Diskus Work?

Albuterol has an effect on beta2-adrenergic receptors. Albuterol’s effect on these adrenoreceptors contributes to increased cyclic AMP levels, causing the bronchial smooth muscle to relax and the inhibition of mediator release. This relaxes the muscles in the walls of the lung, opening the airways. This mechanism, therefore, alleviates wheezing, cough, and chest tightness allowing the individual to breathe easier.

Side Effects

Side effects of Ventolin Diskus include:

  • Hypertension
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shakiness
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Hyperactivity in children
  • Myalgia
  • Irritated or dry throat
  • Fever

Warnings & Precaution

Paradoxical Bronchospasm

Ventolin Diskus can cause paradoxical bronchospasm like other inhaled medications. This event can be life-threatening. If this occurs, stop Ventolin Diskus right away and start a different therapy.

Deterioration of Asthma

A patient’s asthma may deteriorate for hours or days after administration. If an individual requires more Ventolin Diskus doses, this may indicate that their asthma is becoming destabilized. The patient may need to be reevaluated and require a different treatment regimen. Specifically, providers should consider anti-inflammatory treatment with something like corticosteroids.

Anti-inflammatory Agents

Beta-adrenergic agonist bronchodilators, such as Ventolin Diskus, alone may not provide enough asthma relief. If this is the case, providers should consider using adjunct anti-inflammatory agents such as corticosteroids.

Cardiovascular Effects

Beta2-adrenergic agonists can cause certain cardiovascular effects. These effects can include changes to blood pressure or pulse rate. If this happens, providers should stop therapy with Ventolin Diskus. Beta-agonists have also demonstrated electrocardiogram (ECG) alterations. Therefore, Ventolin Diskus and other sympathomimetic agents should be used with caution in those that have cardiovascular disorders. In particular, those with cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, and coronary insufficiency should use caution.

Hypokalemia

Beta-agonists, such as Ventolin Diskus, can cause hypokalemia. These changes can lead to cardiovascular events. However, decreases in potassium levels are usually transient and do not necessitate supplementation.

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Ventolin Diskus has been shown to cause hypersensitivity events such as rash, angioedema, hypotension, and bronchospasm.

Coexisting Conditions

Therapy with sympathomimetic amines such as Ventolin Diskus should be monitored in those with certain conditions. These conditions include those with diabetes mellitus, convulsive disorders, and hyperthyroidism. Additionally, large doses of albuterol have been shown to exacerbate diabetes mellitus and ketoacidosis.

Excessive Doses

Inhaled sympathomimetic drugs have been shown to cause death when used at doses that exceed what is recommended. The mechanism causing this is unknown. However, cardiac arrest and hypoxia are potential sources.

Drug Interactions

Beta-adrenergic Receptor Blocking Agents

Beta-blockers stop beta-agonist effects on the pulmonary system. Additionally, they may cause serious bronchospasm in those with asthma. Any patient with asthma should avoid beta-blockers. If necessary, providers can consider cardio-selective beta-blockers but should still use caution.

Non-Potassium-Sparing Diuretics

Beta-agonists, such as salmeterol, can worsen hypokalemia and/or ECG changes caused by non-potassium-sparing diuretics like thiazide or loop diuretics. Providers should use caution when prescribing Ventolin Diskus in patients on these types of diuretics.

Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs) and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

Providers should use caution when prescribing Ventolin Diskus with MAOIs or TCAs. Salbutamol’s effect on the vascular system can be increased by these types of medications.

Digoxin

In one study, serum digoxin levels decreased after oral and intravenous administration with salbutamol. Providers, therefore, should carefully monitor serum digoxin levels in those that are taking digoxin concomitantly with albuterol.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ventolin Diskus contains a powder in a blue, disposable inhaler device. Ventolin Diskus includes a foil strip containing 60 blisters. Every blister has 200 mcg of salbutamol, the active ingredient in Ventolin Diskus. The blister is protective so that the inhalation powder is not exposed to the atmosphere. They cannot be refilled.

Before starting Ventolin Diskus, let your provider know if:

  • You ever needed to discontinue another medication due to allergy or illness
  • You have an allergy to lactose (milk sugar) or milk protein
  • You are taking medication for a heart problem
  • You are taking medication for high blood pressure
  • You are taking medication for a thyroid problem
  • You have diabetes
  • You have low potassium levels in your blood, known as hypokalemia. This is especially important if you are taking medications such as water pills (diuretics), steroids for asthma, drugs from the xanthine derivative class (e.g., theophylline).
  • You have a medical history that involves seizures
  • You are pregnant or may become pregnant. It is not known what Ventolin Diskus’ effect on pregnancy is. Therefore, your physician will need to weigh the benefits and risks of taking Ventolin Diskus during pregnancy.
  • You are breastfeeding or may begin breastfeeding. It is unknown if Ventolin Diskus can pass into breast milk.
  • If you are not experiencing the same level of relief of chest tightness or wheezing with Ventolin Diskus
  • If the effects of Ventolin Diskus are lasting less than three hours
  • If you have immediate worsening of wheezing and shortness of breath symptoms. This may mean that your condition is getting worse, and you may require another type of medication to manage your disease.

Children taking Ventolin Diskus may experience:

  • Alterations to sleep patterns
  • Alterations to behavior, such as hyperactivity, excitability, and restlessness
  • Allergy medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Diuretics (“water pills”)
  • Epinephrine
  • Bronchodilators that open the airway (like other asthma medications)
  • Digoxin (a medication for the heart)
  • Blood pressure medications (e.g., propranolol)

If you are also taking an inhaled corticosteroid, make sure that you:

  • Always take Ventolin Diskus first
  • Wait a few minutes after administering Ventolin Diskus before taking your inhaled corticosteroid

Ventolin Diskus has a countdown from 60 to one. When you are on your last five doses, the numbers will appear in red. Follow these instructions to learn how to correctly administer Ventolin Diskus:

  1. Your inhaler will be closed when it is first taken out of the box. The first step is to open your Diskus inhaler. To do this, grasp the case in one hand while placing the thumb of your other hand onto the thumb grip. Push with your thumb.
  2. Hold the inhaler with the mouthpiece facing you. Then, slide the lever backwards away from you until you hear a “click”. This will indicate that the inhaler is ready to be used. Do this every time you need a dose, as pushing back the lever will prep your dose as displayed on the dose counter.
  3. Breath out as much as you can, then place the mouthpiece on your lips. Begin breathing slowly and deep through the inhaler. Do not breath in through your nose. After inhalation, you can remove the inhaler from your mouth.
  4. Hold your breath for roughly 10 seconds and then slowly breathe out.
  5. After using your inhaler, place your thumb back on the thumb grip and slide it towards you. This will close the inhaler, and you should hear it click shut.

Ventolin Diskus should be kept in a dry place away from light and frost. Do not keep Ventolin Diskus at a temperature above 30°C. Always keep your inhaler and other medications out of reach from children.

If you take too large of a dose, you may experience side effects. These effects include headaches, shakiness, restlessness, or a fast heartbeat. These side effects should stop within a couple of hours; however, you should still contact your doctor as soon as possible. You could also go to your nearest emergency department or contact the Poison Control Center.

If you forget to take a dose, take a dose whenever you are scheduled to take your next dose or if you start to become wheezy. This will depend on how your doctor directed you to take your inhaler. Sometimes Ventolin Diskus is taken at scheduled times and sometimes it is taken as needed for shortness of breath or wheezing.

This will depend on what you are using Ventolin Diskus for. See the chart below for doses:

Treatment of bronchospasm episodesPrevention of bronchospasmPrevention of exercise-induced bronchospasmMaximum total daily dose
1 inhalation as needed1 inhalation every 4 to 6 hours1 inhalation 15 minutes before exercise4 inhalations