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Ventolin HFA

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Ventolin HFA

PATIENT INFORMATION

VENTOLIN® HFA
(albuterol sulfate) Inhalation Aerosol

Read this leaflet carefully before you start to use VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) .

Keep this leaflet because it has important summary information about VENTOLIN HFA. Your healthcare provider has more information or advice.

Read the new leaflet that comes with each refill of your prescription because there may be new information.

What is VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) ?

VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) is a kind of medicine called a fast-acting bronchodilator. Fast-acting bronchodilators help to quickly open the airways in your lungs so that you can breathe more easily.

Each dose of VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) should last up to 4 to 6 hours.

Take VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) as directed by your doctor. Do not take extra doses or take more often without asking your doctor.

Get medical help right away if VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) no longer helps your symptoms. Also get medical help if your symptoms get worse or if you need to use your inhaler more often.

While you are using VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) , use other inhaled medicines and asthma medicines only as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing, and ask about the use of VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) .

Possible side effects of taking VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) include fast or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, shakiness, and nervousness. With the first use of a new canister, worsening of wheezing may occur.

The parts of your VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) inhaler:

There are 2 main parts to your VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) inhaler-the metal canister that holds the medicine and the blue plastic actuator that sprays the medicine from the canister (see Figure 1). The inhaler also has a cap that covers the mouthpiece of the actuator. The strap on the cap will stay attached to the actuator. Do not use the actuator with a canister of medicine from any other inhaler. And do not use a VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) canister with an actuator from any other inhaler.

The parts of  VENTOLIN HFA inhaler - Illustration

The canister has a counter to show how many sprays of medicine you have left. The number shows through a window in the back of the actuator.

The counter starts at 204. The number will count down by 1 each time you spray the inhaler. The counter will stop counting at 000.

Never try to change the numbers or take the counter off the metal canister. The counter cannot be reset, and it is permanently attached to the canister.

How to Use Your VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol)

Before using your VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) :

Take the inhaler out of the foil pouch. Safely throw away the pouch and the drying packet that comes inside the pouch. The counter should read 204.

If a child needs help using the inhaler, an adult should help the child use the inhaler with or without a holding chamber attached to a facemask. The adult should follow the instructions that came with the holding chamber. An adult should watch a child use the inhaler to be sure it is used correctly.

The inhaler should be at room temperature before you use it.

Check each time to make sure the canister fits firmly in the plastic actuator. Also look into the mouthpiece to make sure there are no foreign objects there, especially if the strap is no longer attached to the actuator or if the cap is not being used to cover the mouthpiece.

Priming your VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) :

You must prime the inhaler to get the right amount of medicine. Prime the inhaler before you use it for the first time, if you have not used it for more than 14 days, or if it has been dropped. To prime the inhaler, take the cap off the mouthpiece of the actuator. Then shake the inhaler well, and spray it into the air away from your face. Shake and spray the inhaler like this 3 more times to finish priming it. The counter should now read 200.

Instructions for taking a dose from your VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) :

Read through the 6 steps below before using VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) . If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

  1. Take the cap off the mouthpiece of the actuator. Shake the inhaler well before each spray.
  2. Instructions for taking a dose - illustration 1

  3. Hold the inhaler with the mouthpiece down (see Figure 2). Breathe out through your mouth and push as much air from your lungs as you can. Put the mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips around it.
  4. Push the top of the canister all the way down while you breathe in deeply and slowly through your mouth (see Figure 3). Right after the spray comes out, take your finger off the canister. After you have breathed in all the way, take the inhaler out of your mouth and close your mouth.
  5. Instructions for taking a dose - illustration 2

  6. Hold your breath as long as you can, up to 10 seconds, then breathe normally.
  7. If your doctor has prescribed more sprays, wait 1 minute and shake the inhaler again. Repeat steps 2 through 4.
  8. Put the cap back on the mouthpiece after every time you use the inhaler, and make sure it snaps firmly into place.

When to Replace Your VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol)

When the counter reads 020, you should refill your prescription or ask your doctor if you need another prescription for VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol) .

Throw the inhaler away when the counter reads 000 or 6 months after you have taken the inhaler out of the foil pouch, whichever happens first. You should not keep using the inhaler when the counter reads 000 because you will not receive the right amount of medicine.

Do not use the inhaler after the expiration date, which is on the packaging it comes in.

How to Clean Your VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol)

It is very important to keep the plastic actuator clean so the medicine will not build-up and block the spray. Do not try to clean the metal canister or let it get wet. The inhaler may stop spraying if it is not cleaned correctly.

Wash the actuator at least once a week.

Cleaning instructions:

  1. Take the canister out of the actuator, and take the cap off the mouthpiece. The strap on the cap will stay attached to the actuator.
  2. Wash the actuator through the top with warm running water for 30 seconds (see Figure 4). Then wash the actuator again through the mouthpiece (see Figure 5).
  3. Cleaning instructions - illustration 1 Cleaning instructions - illustration 2

  4. Shake off as much water from the actuator as you can. Look into the mouthpiece to make sure any medicine build-up has been completely washed away. If there is any build-up, repeat step 2.
  5. Let the actuator air-dry completely, such as overnight (see Figure 6).
  6. Cleaning instructions - illustration 3

  7. When the actuator is dry, put the canister in the actuator and make sure it fits firmly. Shake the inhaler well and spray it once into the air away from your face. (The counter will count down by 1.) Put the cap back on the mouthpiece.

If your actuator becomes blocked:

Blockage from medicine build-up is more likely to happen if you do not let the actuator air-dry completely. If the actuator gets blocked so that little or no medicine comes out of the mouthpiece (see Figure 7), wash the actuator as described in cleaning steps 1-5.

Cleaning when actuator becomes blocked - illustration

If you need to use your inhaler before the actuator is completely dry, shake as much water off the actuator as you can. Put the canister in the actuator and make sure it fits firmly. Shake the inhaler well and spray it once into the air away from your face. Then take your dose as prescribed. Then clean and air-dry it completely.

Storing Your VENTOLIN HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol)

Store at room temperature with the mouthpiece down. Keep out of reach of children.

Contents Under Pressure: Do not puncture. Do not use or store near heat or open flame. Exposure to temperatures above 120°F may cause bursting. Never throw into fire or incinerator.

Last reviewed on RxList: 4/17/2008
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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