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What are the Side Effects of Albuterol Sulphate?

A. Pasbjerg
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Patients taking albuterol sulphate to help open their airways may experience a variety of side effects, ranging from mild to severe. Many people experience dizziness and get a headache from the medication, and some may notice trembling, shaking, and feelings of edginess. It can cause irritation and dryness in the throat, which can lead to a cough. Another common side effect is nausea, which may lead to vomiting. Serious side effects can include increased blood pressure, heart palpitations, and difficulty breathing.

One of the most common side effects of albuterol sulphate is a feeling of lightheadedness. Patients may become dizzy, particularly right after taking the drug and especially if it is taken via inhalation. It is also common for them to get a headache as well. These side effects typically do not last long, and some patients may stop having them as their body gets used to the drug.

Another side effect of albuterol sulphate that many people experience is a feeling of agitation, nervousness, or uneasiness. They may become restless and hyperactive too. They may also notice their muscles trembling, though this typically only happens briefly after taking the drug and often subsides once they are acclimated to it. Some patients may have difficulty sleeping while using this medication as well, though others can have the opposite reaction and feel some drowsiness.

Mouth and throat dryness are also common when taking albuterol sulphate, especially when it is inhaled. Patients’ throats may feel raw, uncomfortable and irritated. They may also develop a dry cough as a result of this effect.

Albuterol sulphate can also cause side effects in the digestive system. Many patients have some nausea from the drug, which may cause vomiting, though the feeling typically goes away fairly quickly after taking a dose. Others may experience heartburn or might have diarrhea.

Though they are less common, certain serious side effects may occur when taking albuterol sulphate. Certain patients can experience a potentially dangerous increase in blood pressure levels, which can in turn lead to other issues like vision problems or ringing in the ears. Sometimes people taking the drug will have heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat, and they may notice chest tightness or pain. Albuterol sulphate is taken to relax and open the airways, but in some cases it can actually cause them to contract, which can cause difficulty breathing.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
A. Pasbjerg
By A. Pasbjerg
Andrea Pasbjerg, a The Health Board contributor, holds an MBA from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her business background helps her to create content that is both informative and practical, providing readers with valuable insights and strategies for success in the business world.
Discussion Comments
By burcinc — On Dec 15, 2013

My five year old is on albuterol sulfate because of bronchitis. She gets the medication through a nebulizer, so we are able to avoid upset stomach and other digestive issues. But the medication does make her wired and hyper-active for a while.

For the first couple of days, I was giving the albuterol to her before she goes to bed so that she can sleep well but it had the opposite effect. She breathes great on the medication but she's so active that she won't go to sleep. So now I give the medication to her about three hours before bedtime.

By fBoyle — On Dec 14, 2013

@ZipLine-- I use an albuterol inhaler. I haven't lost weight because of it but it does suppress my appetite and sometimes it makes me nauseated too. I guess it can cause weight loss if you use the medication regularly and eat less as a result.

By ZipLine — On Dec 13, 2013

I started using albuterol sulphate last month for allergies and asthma. I don't experience many issues with it. It does cause jitters and trembling for a while after I take the medication, but thankfully, it doesn't last long.

The other side effect I'm noticing this week is weight loss. I'm not exactly sure if albuterol is the cause, but I have lost a few pounds since I started the medication. I'm not exercising or trying to lose weight, so it caught my attention.

Has anyone else experienced weight loss with albuterol?

A. Pasbjerg
A. Pasbjerg
Andrea Pasbjerg, a The Health Board contributor, holds an MBA from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her business background helps her to create content that is both informative and practical, providing readers with valuable insights and strategies for success in the business world.
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