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Salbutamol oral

Updated 2 Feb 2023 | Selective beta-2-agonists


Oral formulations of salbutamol.

Drugs List

  • salbutamol 2mg tablets
  • salbutamol 2mg/5ml oral solution sugar-free
  • salbutamol 4mg tablets
  • VENTOLIN 2mg/5ml syrup
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Reversible airways obstruction



    Starting dose: 2mg three times a day.

    Usual dose: 4mg three to four times a day, increasing to a maximum of 8mg three to four times a day if necessary.

    Some patients may show an adequate response to 2mg three to four times a day.


    Children aged 12 to 18 years: 2mg to 4mg three to four times a day.

    Children aged 6 to 12 years: 2mg three to four times a day.

    Children aged 2 to 6 years: 1mg to 2mg three to four times a day.

    Children aged 1 month to 2 years (unlicensed): 100 micrograms/kg - maximum 2mg three to four times a day.


    Neonates under 1 month
    Long QT syndrome
    Torsade de pointes

    Precautions and Warnings

    Children 1 month to 2 years
    Family history of long QT syndrome
    Cardiac arrhythmias
    Cardiovascular disorder
    Diabetes mellitus
    Electrolyte imbalance
    Glucose-galactose malabsorption syndrome
    History of torsade de pointes
    Ischaemic heart disease
    Lactose intolerance
    Severe cardiac failure

    Adjustment of hypoglycaemic therapy may be necessary in diabetes mellitus
    Correct electrolyte disorders before treatment
    Not to be used as the sole or main treatment for severe or unstable asthma
    Oral solution contains sodium benzoate
    Some formulations contain lactose
    Consider monitoring ECG in patients at risk of QT prolongation
    Monitor serum electrolytes
    Monitor serum K+ in patients on high dose steroids/xanthines/diuretics
    Monitor serum potassium regularly in severe asthmatic or hypoxic patients
    Advise patient to report any chest pain
    Advise patient to seek medical advice if asthma seems to be worsening
    Patient should seek medical advice if usual relief is diminished

    Concurrent use of corticosteroids increases the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Use salbutamol with caution during pregnancy.

    Manufacturers recommend that oral salbutamol should only be used in pregnancy if essential.

    At the time of writing there is limited published information regarding the use of salbutamol in the early stages of pregnancy but animal studies have shown harmful effects on the foetus at very high doses.


    Use with caution during breastfeeding.

    The manufacturer recommends not to use salbutamol unless the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the neonate. Available data indicates salbutamol is present in human breast milk, the quantity is unknown. Effects on exposed infants are unknown.

    Side Effects

    Atrial fibrillation
    Bronchospasm (paradoxical)
    Cardiac arrhythmias
    Fine tremor (usually hands)
    Hypersensitivity reactions
    Muscle tension
    Muscular cramps
    Myocardial ischaemia
    Nervous tension
    Peripheral vasodilatation
    Supraventricular tachycardia


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: March 2021

    Reference Sources

    Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment, 3rd edition (2015) ed. Schaefer, C., Peters, P. and Miller, R. Elsevier, London.

    Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 10th edition (2015) ed. Briggs, G., Freeman, R. Wolters Kluwer Health, Philadelphia.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Salbutamol Tablets 2mg. Accord UK Ltd. Revised February 2021.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Salbutamol Tablets 4mg. Accord UK Ltd. Revised February 2021.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Ventolin Syrup. GlaxoSmithKline UK. Revised November 2020.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Salbutamol Syrup 2mg/5ml. Pinewood Healthcare. Revised July 2020.

    NICE Evidence Services Available at: Last accessed: 18 March 2021

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    Medscape UK | Univadis prescription drug monographs & interactions are based on FDB Multilex Content

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