What Are Some Of The Famous Alternatives To Albuterol?
Asthma is a problem that is often neglected in the current age. But several children, as well as adults, suffer from it rampantly. As we know Asthma patients always have an inhaler on them. These inhalers have a medication that helps in dilating the airways to open it up for oxygen. They are considered a lifesaver as they often help the patients in the most critical situations. The asthma patients generally have two types of inhalers on them. One of this helps them to control their attacks and the other helps them when they need emergency care. The short-acting ones have Bronchodilators in them and one of the most popular ones is Albuterol. So, here we will learn a little about the drug and also about the alternatives that one can go for.
What is Albuterol?
Albuterol is a bronchodilator that is present in the short-acting inhalers. Their main work is to open up the airways of asthma patients to help air get into their lungs. It is also used in people who suffer from bronchospasms. It is prescribed for adults and kids over the age of 4. One needs to make sure that they are free from diseases like diabetes, heart problems or overactive thyroid before they take Albuterol. But other than these there are some side effects of Albuterol on the human body. Albuterol can also be fatal to us if we overdose on it. The common side effects include body aches especially in the back, headache, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, sinus pain, stomach upset etc. But there can be severe side effects like a low potassium level, high blood sugar, pain during urination, a wheezing or a choking feeling and much more. Albuterol can also cause long-term side effects like insomnia, agitation, and problems in the upper respiratory tracts. These are the main reasons that people are looking for alternatives when it comes to short-acting asthma inhalers.
Some Alternatives to Albuterol:
As we stated above, Albuterol doesn't have a good reputation these days. This is especially valid for parents of children diagnosed with asthma. So, here are some alternative ways that act similar to albuterol:
- Short-Acting Beta-Agonist Inhalers: These are alternative inhalers that work between 5-15 minutes of taking a puff. They work in a similar way to that of albuterol by relaxing the airway muscles. Even albuterol does fall under this category but there are other medications that do not have the presence of albuterol in them. Some of the examples include bitolterol, isoetharine, metaproterenol, pirbuterol, and terbutaline. This only help in relaxing the muscles during emergency situations and does not help with beating asthma as a whole. They definitely have lesser side effects than albuterol. But sometimes it causes metabolic issues or skeletal issues in rare cases.
- Short-Acting Anti-Muscarinic Inhalers: These are another form of inhalers that help in opening up the airways but they have different medical compounds. These are generally taken from the chemical, ipratropium. Many people who don't get help from Beta-Agonist inhalers actually get a better result by using Anti-Muscarinic Inhalers. The impact on the body last for 4-6 hours but it does take about 30-40 minutes to actually open up the airways. The side-effects are less but many patients like to have both this and albuterol along with them. Some side effects that they have may include dry skin and dry mouth, dilation of pupils, constipation, and palpitations, but they are quite rare.
- Corticosteroid Inhalers: These are the best friends of people who have frequent flare-ups in their asthma or obstructive pulmonary disease. A plus point of these is that they are short-acting and also help in treating the underlying causes of the disease. They help in reducing the inflammation present in the bronchial tubes which are the main culprits of blocking the airways. Beclomethasone, budesonide, ciclesonide, fluticasone, and mometasone are the most common chemicals present in the corticosteroid inhalers. These are inhalers that have the least possible side effects. The rare ones include yeast infection of the mouth and hoarseness. If you rinse your mouth after taking the medicine, then the chances of getting side effects to become even lower.
- Herbal Remedies: Some people are strictly against the drugs as they think that it can disrupt their bodies. So, instead, they opt for herbal remedies which they vouch for. Some people take Lung formula which is said to be good for asthma. Other than that the popular herbs that they take are Lobelia and Valerian. They are in the form of tinctures which are anti-spasmodic in nature. Valerian is also used for brewing a tea that is good for the airways. Mullein is yet another herb that is used to control phlegm. People generally brew a tea from it and use its steam to clear out their airways. Some people take on a healthy lifestyle which potentially decreases the flare-ups of an asthma patient. They are in form of a dairy free and gluten free diet as they are often the core components of inducing inflammation in our body. They may also get rid of all kinds of food additives from their diet. Turmeric is also a great herb that can help in fighting against the inflammation present in our body. Along with this people take help of yoga and even chiropractors to get rid of their frequent asthma problems.
So, here are some of the alternatives that one can take instead of albuterol. It is best to consult a doctor as they are the only one who can tell the best alternative for you. All medicines have certain types of components that may not go well with other medications. Definitely open up to your doctor if you are facing symptoms while taking albuterol. They may run some tests and tell you the best medication. But in most cases, these will be the alternatives that a doctor will suggest. And you can always take help of the herbal remedies to keep everything smooth and sustainable for your health.