1 What is Accuneb?

Brand: Accuneb, ProAir HFA, Proair Respiclick, Proventil, Proventil HFA, ReliOn Ventolin HFA, Ventolin, Ventolin HFA

Generic: Albuterol

Albuterol is a drug belonging to the category called beta agonists which activate beta receptors in the body and open up the bronchial tubes. It is a prescription drug available in the form of aerosol inhalers, capsule, solution, and powder.

It is used in the treatment and prevention of bronchospasm in patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is also used for the relief of exercise-induced bronchospasm. 

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2 What to Know Before Using

Your doctor will inform you of what you need to know before using Accuneb. Any therapy has a prerequisite that the patient is informed about it and the patient has informed the doctor of all their doubts or problems.

An informed consent to any treatment method or drug initiation is taken from the patient after a detailed session of doctor-patient interaction.

Detailed history of a patient is extremely important prior to any medical therapy and in this case, it is more likely that a drug is started after it.

Allergies or any history of allergy to any drug, food, preservatives, dyes or animal products, history of drug usage, past medical or surgical procedure should also be kept in the record to predict any drug interaction.

Physical examination should be done before starting this drug so that any physiological or pathological condition with which this drug may interfere may be ruled out.

Assessment of the patient’s age and effects of the drug on that age group is important for patient’s safety. 

The studies in children and geriatric patients have revealed that it does not have extra effects in these groups in comparison to young adults. Its use in children below 4 years of age is still a question as enough studies are not available to rule its safety in these.

There is also a lack of enough studies in pregnant and breastfeeding women to weigh its benefits in comparison to the potential drawbacks.

Drug interactions result when there are different drugs used together. It most commonly occurs when a new drug has been started without consultation with the physician.

Other drugs may interfere with the working of this drug or its removal from the body. There are certain medications which are used along with Albuterol and it is advisable to decrease the dose of either of these to reduce the side effects.

These drugs include:

  • Amineptine
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amitriptylinoxide
  • Amoxapine
  • Atomoxetine
  • Clomipramine
  • Desipramine
  • Dibenzepin
  • Doxepin
  • Imipramine
  • Iobenguane
  • Levalbuterol
  • Lofepramine
  • Melitracen
  • Nortriptyline
  • Opipramol
  • Protriptyline
  • Tianeptine
  • Trimipramine

The patient should also ask about the effects of alcohol, tobacco, and certain foods on the drug.

Other medical conditions may also interact with the drug and it is important that the doctor is aware of these prior to therapy. Such conditions may result in more harm with the use of this drug than benefit.

These conditions include allergy to milk proteins, diabetes, heart, rhythm problem or blood vessel disease, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, hypokalemia, kidney disease and seizures.

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Accuneb requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders.The inhalation solution can be used through a nebulizer or through an aerosol container. Do not stop using this or any other asthma medication without consulting your doctor.

For using a nebulizer, measured dose is put into the machine and the drug is inhaled through the face mask till the symptoms resolve.

The use of inhalation solution via container is much simpler in which there is metallic canister pre-installed on a plastic body.

The mouthpiece is uncapped and put in a closed mouth followed by a downward push on the canister to release the drug in the mouth which is taken by air into the air passageway.

Spacers are also used nowadays to make this delivery more effective in which drug is released, and air mixed with the drug in the spacer is then inhaled forcefully through the mouth.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Accuneb, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. Precautions are the instructions for the patient to make the drug more effective and to minimize its side effects.

The patient should be made aware of these tips to avoid complications during therapy:

  • Regular visits to the doctor should be made to keep an eye on the progress.
  • Paradoxical bronchospasm is a condition in which instead of relieving the bronchospasm, this drug may make it worse. Get medical help as soon as possible in such condition as it is a life-threatening condition.
  • Consult your doctor if the condition is not improved or if it is getting worse.
  • Anaphylaxis or any other allergic reactions may occur in which the patient should seek medical help as quickly as possible.
  • Potassium level in the body may get dropped while using this medicine and it is important to have proper follow up of body’s electrolytes.
  • Do not start any other drug, prescription or non-prescription, without consulting your doctor.
  • Keep it away from the reach of children.

5 Potential Side Effects

Every drug in the world is associated with some unwanted effects. Some drugs have minimal side effects while others are dangerous for use due to their extra effects on the body.

Accuneb also causes some side effects out of which some may appear and others may not. It is necessary that the patient seeks medical help in case of any effect to avoid severe complications.

The common unwanted effects of this drug include common fast and irregular heartbeat, weakness and trembling of limbs.

Other less common effects are abdominal pain, bladder pain, blood or cast in urine, chest discomfort, chest pain, cough, hoarseness, cough with mucus, diarrhea, difficulty in breathing, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, feeling of warmth, fever or chills, frequent urge to urinate, loss of appetite, body pain, nausea, swelling and redness of face and limbs, runny nose, skin rash, sore throat and swollen tender lymph glands.