Contains the active ingredient salbutamol (sal-bew-tam-ol) sulphate
Consumer Medicine Information
For a copy of a large print leaflet, Ph: 1800 195 055
What is in this leaflet
Read this leaflet carefully before you start to use this medicine.
This leaflet answers some common questions about salbutamol inhalation ampoules. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
The information in this leaflet was last updated on the date listed on the last page. More recent information on this medicine may be available.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist:
- if there is anything you do not understand in this leaflet,
- if you are worried about taking your medicine, or
- to obtain the most up-to-date information.
You can also download the most up-to-date leaflet from www.apotex.com.au.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you using this medicine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
Pharmaceutical companies cannot give you medical advice or an individual diagnosis.
Keep this leaflet with your medicine. You may want to read it again.
What is this medicine used for
Salbutamol is inhaled into your lungs to relieve the symptoms of asthma and other breathing problems.
It may also be used before exercise or at other times to keep your air passages open if you start to wheeze or have difficulty breathing each time you exert yourself.
It is delivered directly to your lungs through a device called a nebuliser.
How it works
Salbutamol belongs to a family of medicines called bronchodilators (beta-2-agonists). These work rapidly to open up the air passages in your lungs.
Asthma is a disease where the lining of the lungs becomes inflamed (red and swollen), making it difficult to breathe. This may be due to an allergy to house dust mites, smoke, air-borne pollution and other irritants.
Salbutamol opens up the air passages in people suffering from asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other breathing problems.
This medicine may be used for the management of other conditions that are not mentioned above. Your doctor will be able to tell you about the specific condition for which you have been prescribed salbutamol.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
There is no known evidence to show that this medicine is addictive
Use in children
APO-Salbutamol Inhalation Ampoules may be used in children aged between 4 and 12 years of age.
Before you use this medicine
When you must not use it
Do not use this medicine if:
- You are hypersensitive to, or have had an allergic reaction to, salbutamol or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include: cough, shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin; fainting; or hay fever-like symptoms.
If you think you are having an allergic reaction, do not take any more of the medicine and contact your doctor immediately or go to the Accident and Emergency department at the nearest hospital.
- The expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack has passed.
- The packaging is torn, shows signs of tampering or it does not look quite right.
Before you start to use it
Before you start taking this medicine, tell your doctor if:
- You have allergies to:
– any other medicines
– any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes.
- You have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
– thyroid problems
– heart problems
– liver problems
– kidney problems
– high blood pressure
- You are currently pregnant or you plan to become pregnant. Do not use this medicine whilst pregnant until you and your doctor have discussed the risks and benefits involved.
- You are currently breastfeeding or you plan to breastfeed. Do not use this medicine whilst breastfeeding until you and your doctor have discussed the risks and benefits involved.
- You are planning to have surgery or an anaesthetic.
- You are currently receiving or are planning to receive dental treatment.
- You are taking or are planning to take any other medicines. This includes vitamins and supplements that are available from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interact with salbutamol. These include:
- other medicines used to help breathing problems, e.g. xanthine derivatives (theophylline, aminophylline) and inhaled anticholinergics such as ipratropium
- diuretics (water tablets), used to lower blood pressure
- medicines for heart problems such as digoxin
- imipramine, used for treating depression
- chlordiazepoxide, used for treating anxiety
- chlorpromazine, used for treating mood disorders
- other beta-agonists or medicines called sympathomimetic amines which may be found in medicines for hay fever, coughs and colds (e.g. ephedrine) and medicines for weight reduction (e.g. phentermine)
- medicines used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems, such as beta blockers
- medicines, including eye drops, used for treating glaucoma.
If you are taking any of these you may need a different dose or you may need to take different medicines.
Other medicines not listed above may also interact with salbutamol.
How to use this medicine
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully. Their instructions may be different to the information in this leaflet.
How much to use
Use salbutamol only as directed by your doctor. If you do not follow your doctor's instructions correctly, your breathing problems may not be controlled.
Your doctor has carefully chosen your dose of salbutamol according to your medical condition, your age, your body weight, any other medical conditions that you may have, and whether you are using or taking other medicines at the same time.
The usual dose is 5 mg for an adult and 2.5 mg for a child (4 – 12 years), given via nebuliser every four to six hours.
Elderly people may start with a lower dose and build up gradually.
Do not stop using your medicine, or change the dosage, without checking with your doctor.
How to use it
Do not swallow or inject the liquid in the salbutamol inhalation ampoule.
The contents of the salbutamol inhalation ampoule are inhaled through a nebuliser according to the manufacturer's instructions. The nebuliser changes the solution into a fine mist and delivers the medicine to your lungs when you inhale the mist through the mask.
Caution: Make sure that the mist does not get into your eyes.
Remove the strip of ampoules from the carton and tear one ampoule from the strip. Open only one foil pack at a time, and use all 5 ampoules before opening the next foil pack.
Never use an ampoule that has previously been opened. The ampoule may be opened by carefully holding the ampoule upright and twisting the top off.
The contents of the ampoule should be squeezed out into the nebuliser bowl.
The nebuliser should be assembled and used as directed by your doctor. After using the nebuliser, discard any solution remaining in the nebuliser bowl. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to clean your nebuliser.
A fresh ampoule of salbutamol must be used for each dose.
After the full dose has been given, any solution remaining in the nebuliser must be thrown away. Nebulisers must be cleaned after use according to manufacturer's instructions.
If you do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How long to use it for
Salbutamol helps control your condition, but does not cure it. Therefore, you will need to use the medicine for as long as your doctor tells you.
Make sure you have enough to last over weekends and holidays.
If you forget a dose
If you have been told to use salbutamol regularly and forget a dose, do not worry. Just take the next dose at the normal time or earlier if you become wheezy or feel tight in the chest.
Do not take a double dose to make up for missed doses. This may increase the chance of you experiencing side effects.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints to help you remember.
If you take too much (overdose)
If you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much of this medicine, immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (Tel: 13 11 26 in Australia) for advice. Alternatively, go to the Accident and Emergency department at your nearest hospital.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
If you use too much salbutamol, you may, have a fast or irregular heartbeat, feel shaky or start to tremble. Trembling may affect the whole body, especially the fingers.
These symptoms may be normal side effects of using salbutamol. However, if they are severe or do not go away, it may be that you have used too much.
While you are using this medicine
Things you must do
Tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine if:
- you are about to be started on any new medicine
- you plan to have any vaccinations or immunisations
- you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
- you are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed
- you are about to have any blood tests
- you are going to have surgery or an anaesthetic or are going into hospital.
Your doctor may occasionally do tests to make sure the medicine is working and to prevent side effects. Go to your doctor regularly for a check-up. This is important to ensure your breathing problem is controlled properly.
Tell your doctor if, for any reason, you have not taken your medicine exactly as directed. Otherwise, your doctor may think that it is not working and change your treatment unnecessarily.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you take this medicine.
Things you must not do
- Give this medicine to anyone else, even if their symptoms seem similar to yours.
- Take your medicine to treat any other condition unless your doctor tells you to.
- Stop taking your medicine, or change the dosage, without first checking with your doctor.
- Take any other medicines for your breathing problems without checking with your doctor.
- Mix any other medicines in the nebuliser solution.
- Allow salbutamol, or any other nebuliser solution or the nebulised mist, to come into contact with your eyes.
- Swallow or inject the nebuliser solution.
Possible side effects
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are using salbutamol or if you have any questions or concerns.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious but most of the time they are not.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following:
- a feeling of warmth
- sore mouth or throat
- muscle cramps
- feeling restless or tense
- hyperactivity in children
- feeling shaky or trembling. Trembling may affect the whole body, especially the fingers.
The above list includes side effects which are usually mild.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following.
These may be serious side effects and you may need medical attention:
- faster than normal heartbeat
- ketoacidosis resulting from high blood sugar (e.g. sweet-smelling breath, sweating, light-headedness, dizziness, headache or lack of concentration, irritability, tearfulness, weakness, trembling or shaking, hunger, and/ or numbness around the lips and tongue), which has been seen in diabetic patients.
If you experience any of the following, stop taking your medicine and contact your doctor immediately or go to the Accident and Emergency department at your nearest hospital.
These are very serious side effects and you may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation:
- your breathing problem is not relieved by your medicine, or is getting worse
- fast, pounding or irregular heartbeat
- feeling weak, confused and/or depressed.
These side effects are usually rare but may be serious and require urgent medical attention.
Other side effects not listed above may occur in some patients.
If you think you are having an allergic reaction to salbutamol, do not take any more of this medicine and tell your doctor immediately or go to the Accident and Emergency department at your nearest hospital.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include some or all of the following:
- cough, shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat or other parts of the body
- rash, itching or hives on the skin
- hay fever-like symptoms.
Storage and disposal
Keep APO-Salbutamol Inhalation Ampoules in their original foil packs until it is time to use them. If you take the ampoules out of the foil pack, they may not keep as well.
Once you have opened each foil pack, you need to note down the date of opening the foil lid. APO-Salbutamol Inhalation Ampoules should be used within 3 months of opening the foil lid. Do not use any ampoules left in the tray after this date.
Keep your medicine in a cool dry place, where the temperature will stay below 25°C. Protect it from light.
Do not store your medicine, or any other medicine, in the bathroom or near a sink.
Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop using APO-Salbutamol, or the ampoules have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any ampoules left over.
The solution in these ampoules is sterile and does not contain preservatives.
What it looks like
- APO-Salbutamol Inhalation Ampoules equivalent to salbutamol 2.5 mg/2.5 mL
Plastic unit dose ampoules containing salbutamol in a clear colourless solution for inhalation.
- APO-Salbutamol Inhalation Ampoules equivalent to salbutamol 5 mg/2.5 mL
Plastic unit dose ampoules containing salbutamol in a clear colourless solution for inhalation.
Available in packs of 30 (5 ampoules per foil pouch).
APO-Salbutamol Inhalation Ampoules contain salbutamol (as salbutamol sulphate) 2.5 mg or 5 mg per 2.5 mL as the active ingredient.
It also contains the following inactive ingredients:
- water for injection
- sodium chloride
- sulfuric acid (used to adjust pH).
Australian Registration Numbers
- APO-Salbutamol Inhalation Ampoules equivalent to salbutamol 2.5 mg/2.5 mL:
AUST R 142566.
- APO-Salbutamol Inhalation Ampoules equivalent to salbutamol 5 mg/2.5 mL:
AUST R 142567.
Apotex Pty Ltd
16 Giffnock Avenue
Macquarie Park NSW 2113
APO and APOTEX are registered trade marks of Apotex Inc.
This leaflet was last updated in January 2015.
Published by MIMS June 2015