Albuterol, sometimes called salbutamol, is a short-acting bronchodilator used by people with asthma that helps increase air flow to the lungs by relaxing muscles in the airways. As any other medication, albuterol, generally used in an inhaler, has an expiration date.
Possible Side Effects of Albuterol
Some of the most serious side effects relate to allergies and can include hives, difficulty breathing and swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat. Other serious side effects can include chest pain, irregular heartbeat, tremors, nervousness, confusion, extreme thirst, increased urination, weakness in the muscles or high blood pressure.
Side Effects of Using Expired Albuterol
Taking expired medications is never recommended. Side effects from using expired albuterol don’t differ much from those of using unexpired albuterol, other than the possible loss of effectiveness.
Decrease in Potency
Some research suggests that medications stored under optimal conditions may retain 90 percent of their potency for at least five years after the expiration date on the label. However, it's best to use albuterol within the suggested date and safely discard expired albuterol.
Contacting the Doctor
Any time you experience unusual side effects from albuterol, contact your physician. Report side effects of expired or unexpired albuterol to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by calling (800) FDA-1088.
Some brand names for albuterol, a prescription medication, include Ventolin, Proventil, AccuNeb, Vospire, ProAir.