As is the case with any other medication, there may be some instances where albuterol use is not recommended or usage will have to be adjusted in order to prevent or reduce the risk of negative interactions occurring from other drugs, medical conditions, or even food and drink.
According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), there are a total of 393 drugs that may interact with albuterol. Some of the major interactions are with the following:
- Carteolol Ophthalmic
- Carvedilol (Coreg CR, Coreg)
- Cocaine HCL Nasal
- Cocaine HCL Topical
- Levobunolol Ophthalmic (Betagan)
- Metipranolol Ophthalmic
- Mifepristone (RU-486)
- Nadolol (Corgard)
- Ozanimod (Zeposia)
- Penbutolol (Levatol)
- Propranolol (Inderal LA, Hemangeol, Inderal XL)
- Ribociclib (Kisqali)
- Sotalol (Sotalol AF, Betapace, Sotylize)
- Timolol (Timoptic, Timoptic-xe, Istalol)
- Timolol Ophthalmic
Please note that this list of major interactions may not be complete, and major interactions with other drugs that are not listed here may occur.
Adrenergic Medications and Other Short-acting Aerosol Bronchodilators
Taking albuterol with adrenergic medications and other short-acting aerosol bronchodilators may increase the effect of Albuterol.
Certain diuretics like furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide may increase the effect that albuterol has on serum potassium levels or EKG changes. As such, doctors should consider monitoring the potassium levels of a patient who is taking these medications and using albuterol at the same time.
Tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors can increase the effect that albuterol has on the cardiovascular system. Therefore, when a patient is taking these medications, an alternative therapy is worth considering.
Albuterol and Ipratropium
There are no known interactions between ipratropium bromide (Atrovent) and albuterol (ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA, ProAir RespiClick) Before taking these medications together, however, it is still important for patients to consult with their healthcare provider.
Albuterol and Atrovent
There are no known interactions between atrovent (ipratropium bromide) and albuterol, although patients should still consult with their physician before they take these medications together.
Albuterol and NyQuil
This interaction applies to Vicks NyQuil Severe Cold and Flu, which is formulated with several ingredients. These components include phenylephrine, doxylamine, dextromethorphan, and acetaminophen. When used with albuterol, phenylephrine can cause a moderate interaction.
Specifically, using albuterol with phenylephrine can cause an increase in the cardiovascular side effects that can be associated with albuterol use, including heart rate elevation, an increase in blood pressure and/or an irregular heartbeat. Patients with a history of arrhythmia, cardiovascular disease, and/or high blood pressure should speak with their physician about taking these two medications together.
Albuterol and Beta Blockers
Beta blockers can decrease how effective albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol is, resulting in the onset of a severe bronchospasm (airway contractions). For this reason, patients who have asthma should not be taking beta blockers at the same time in most cases.
That said, there are certain circumstances when these medications will have to be used in conjunction with one another. For example, when an acceptable alternative is not available, beta blockers may be used as a prophylaxis (preventative healthcare) following myocardial infarction (heart attack) even when a patient has asthma and is taking a beta agonist like albuterol.
Albuterol and Potassium
Albuterol can manage hyperkalemia, which occurs when there is too much potassium in the bloodstream. Hyperkalemia can come on suddenly or occur due to kidney disease. However it happens, it is always vital to treat hyperkalemia because it can affect the heart as well as other organs. Doctors sometimes prescribe albuterol as a maintenance drug for hyperkalemia because it increases blood glucose levels and moves potassium into the cells of the body, thereby helping to reduce potassium levels.
Sometimes the foods we eat and the beverages we drink can also interact with our medications; alcohol is the only food/beverage that interacts with albuterol.
Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other foods and beverages that interact with this drug.
Albuterol and Alcohol
For more information, please visit our page on albuterol and alcohol interactions.
Disease & Conditions Interactions
Sometimes certain medications can increase the risk of negative side effects for patients with certain diseases or other medical conditions. According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), diseases and medical conditions that are known to negatively interact with albuterol include:
- Diabetes mellitus, due to the possibility of ketoacidosis (when the body doesn’t have enough insulin to function properly)
- Cardiovascular issues, including heart disease and issues related to heart rhythm (QT prolongation, arrhythmia, etc.)
- Blood vessel diseases (coronary insufficiency, etc.)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Renal dysfunction (kidney disease, etc.)
- History of seizures
- Hypokalemia (low potassium)
Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other diseases and medical conditions where patients should not take albuterol.
Albuterol and COVID 19
Some individuals who have asthma are concerned that they have become immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system) due to their continued use of albuterol. Now, some people who have asthma can have a compromised immune system due to the medication they take. In other words, there are medications used for the treatment and maintenance of asthma that have the potential to weaken the immune system. One such way is taking Singulair (montelukast) in conjunction with a high dose of steroid from an inhaler on a daily basis or using a high daily steroid dose combination inhaler.
It is important to note, though, that not every asthma medication will weaken the immune system or make someone more susceptible to the coronavirus. In fact, some doctors are prescribing albuterol to individuals who have contracted COVID 19.
Those who have asthma and are concerned about SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, should speak with their doctor about the medications they are taking.
Albuterol and Pregnancy
For more information, please visit our page on albuterol and pregnancy risks.
Albuterol and Coronavirus
An increase in the use of albuterol inhalers for the treatment of coronavirus has led to a shortage of this medication. Namely, hospitals are using albuterol to assist patients who have been positively diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as for patients whom they believe may have contracted the virus. Hospitals have specifically chosen the inhaler over nebulizer due to concerns related to spreading of the virus through the air while patients use the machine.
Albuterol and Pneumonia
Doctors may prescribe albuterol for an individual who has pneumonia as a means to help loosen the mucus that has accumulated in the lungs.