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Albuterol Side Effects in Toddlers

Albuterol is an inhaled medication that dilates the bronchiole air tubes in the lungs 1. This bronchodilator is given in a metered dose inhaler and used to relax muscles in the airways and increase the flow of oxygen into the lungs. Drugs.com notes that albuterol is also used to prevent spasms of the bronchioles in individuals with asthma, allergy-related asthma and other reversible obstructive lung diseases 1. Like all medications, albuterol can cause unwanted side effects in some patients 12. There have been reports of side effects in toddlers and young children that use albuterol to decrease asthma symptoms 12.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Mood Changes

MayoClinic.com reports that some parents of children that are taking albuterol for mild allergy-related asthma and other breathing problems 12. Toddlers and young children aged four and below are reported to experience side effects of albuterol including mood changes that are noticeable to the parents 12. These effects include irritability, loss of focus and concentration and becoming withdrawn from other children, parents and daily activities. In some cases nervousness and confusion may also result. In most cases these side effects diminish over time or by decreasing the dosage of albuterol 12.

Allergic Reaction

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Toddlers, young children and other patients taking albuterol can suffer from allergic reactions that require urgent medical care 1. If any of these side effects occur, the dosages should be ceased and immediate medical care sought.

Other Side Effects

MayoClinic.com warns that some side effects can occur particularly after starting an albuterol inhaler 12. These include:

  • bronchospasms
  • wheezing
  • chest tightness
  • chest pain
  • hypertension or high blood pressure
  • tachycardia or a fast heart rate

These serious effects should be reported to the prescribing doctor immediately. Other more common side effects include

  • muscle tremors
  • excessive thirst
  • increased urination
  • leg discomfort
  • muscle weakness
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • dry mouth
  • a sore throat
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