Albuterol Sulfate: Package Insert and Label Information

ALBUTEROL SULFATE- albuterol sulfate aerosol, metered
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1.1 Bronchospasm

Albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol is indicated for the treatment or prevention of bronchospasm in patients 4 years of age and older with reversible obstructive airway disease.

1.2 Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm

Albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol is indicated for the prevention of exercise-induced bronchospasm in patients 4 years of age and older.


2.1 Bronchospasm

For treatment of acute episodes of bronchospasm or prevention of symptoms associated with bronchospasm, the usual dosage for adults and children 4 years and older is two inhalations repeated every 4 to 6 hours. More frequent administration or a larger number of inhalations is not recommended. In some patients, one inhalation every 4 hours may be sufficient.

2.2 Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm

The usual dosage for adults and children 4 years of age or older is two inhalations 15 to 30 minutes before exercise.

2.3 Administration Information

Administer albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol by oral inhalation only. Shake well before each spray. To maintain proper use of this product and to prevent medication build-up and blockage, it is important to follow the cleaning directions carefully.


Prime the inhaler before using for the first time and in cases where the inhaler has not been used for more than 2 weeks by releasing three sprays into the air, away from the face.


As with all HFA-containing albuterol inhalers, to maintain proper use of this product and to prevent medication build-up and blockage, it is important to clean the plastic mouthpiece regularly. The inhaler may cease to deliver medication if the plastic actuator mouthpiece is not properly cleaned and dried. To clean: Wash the plastic mouthpiece with warm running water for 30 seconds, shake off excess water, and air dry thoroughly at least once a week. If the patient has more than one albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol inhaler, the patient should wash each one separately to prevent attaching the wrong canister to the wrong plastic actuator. In this way, the patient can be sure to always know the correct number of remaining doses. Never attach a canister of medication from any other inhaler to the albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol actuator and never attach the albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol canister to an actuator from any other inhaler. If the mouthpiece becomes blocked, washing the mouthpiece will remove the blockage. If it is necessary to use the inhaler before it is completely dry, shake off excess water, replace canister, spray twice into the air away from face, and take the prescribed dose. After such use, the mouthpiece should be rewashed and allowed to air dry thoroughly [see FDA-APPROVED PATIENT LABELING (17.9)].

Dose Indicator

Albuterol sulfate inhaler comes with a dose indicator appearing as small window above the plastic mouthpiece. A new inhaler first shows “200” in the dose indicator window. The dose indicator will show the approximate number of actuations (sprays) of medicine remaining in the inhaler. As you use the inhaler, the dose indicator will typically rotate during every 5 to 7 actuations (sprays) towards the next decreasing number. When the dose indicator displays “40,” where the background changes from white to red to remind the patient to contact their pharmacist for a refill of medication or consult their physician for a prescription refill. The background color will be all red when the indicator approaches 20. The indicator will stop moving at “0”. Albuterol sulfate inhaler should be discarded when the dose indicator displays “0” or after the expiration date on the product, whichever comes first.


Albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol is an inhalation aerosol. Albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol is supplied as an 8.5 g/200 actuations pressurized aluminum canister with a blue plastic actuator with a dose indicator and green dust cap each in boxes of one. Each actuation delivers 120 mcg of albuterol sulfate from the canister valve and 108 mcg of albuterol sulfate from the actuator mouthpiece (equivalent to 90 mcg of albuterol base).


Albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol is contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to albuterol and any other albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol components. Rare cases of hypersensitivity reactions, including urticaria, angioedema, and rash have been reported after the use of albuterol sulfate [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.6)].


5.1 Paradoxical Bronchospasm

Albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol can produce paradoxical bronchospasm that may be life threatening. If paradoxical bronchospasm occurs, albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol should be discontinued immediately and alternative therapy instituted. It should be recognized that paradoxical bronchospasm, when associated with inhaled formulations, frequently occurs with the first use of a new canister.

5.2 Deterioration of Asthma

Asthma may deteriorate acutely over a period of hours or chronically over several days or longer. If the patient needs more doses of albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol than usual, this may be a marker of destabilization of asthma and requires re-evaluation of the patient and treatment regimen, giving special consideration to the possible need for anti-inflammatory treatment, e.g., corticosteroids.

5.3 Use of Anti-inflammatory Agents

The use of beta-adrenergic-agonist bronchodilators alone may not be adequate to control asthma in many patients. Early consideration should be given to adding anti-inflammatory agents, e.g., corticosteroids, to the therapeutic regimen.

5.4 Cardiovascular Effects

Albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol, like other beta-adrenergic agonists, can produce clinically significant cardiovascular effects in some patients as measured by pulse rate, blood pressure, and/or symptoms. Although such effects are uncommon after administration of albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol at recommended doses, if they occur, the drug may need to be discontinued. In addition, beta-agonists have been reported to produce ECG changes, such as flattening of the T wave, prolongation of the QTc interval, and ST segment depression. The clinical significance of these findings is unknown. Therefore, albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol, like all sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and hypertension.

5.5 Do Not Exceed Recommended Dose

Fatalities have been reported in association with excessive use of inhaled sympathomimetic drugs in patients with asthma. The exact cause of death is unknown, but cardiac arrest following an unexpected development of a severe acute asthmatic crisis and subsequent hypoxia is suspected.

5.6 Immediate Hypersensitivity Reactions

Immediate hypersensitivity reactions may occur after administration of albuterol sulfate, as demonstrated by rare cases of urticaria, angioedema, rash, bronchospasm, anaphylaxis, and oropharyngeal edema. The potential for hypersensitivity must be considered in the clinical evaluation of patients who experience immediate hypersensitivity reactions while receiving albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol.

5.7 Coexisting Conditions

Albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol, like all sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and hypertension; in patients with convulsive disorders, hyperthyroidism, or diabetes mellitus; and in patients who are unusually responsive to sympathomimetic amines. Clinically significant changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure have been seen in individual patients and could be expected to occur in some patients after use of any beta-adrenergic bronchodilator. Large doses of intravenous albuterol have been reported to aggravate preexisting diabetes mellitus and ketoacidosis.

5.8 Hypokalemia

As with other beta-agonists, albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol may produce significant hypokalemia in some patients, possibly through intracellular shunting, which has the potential to produce adverse cardiovascular effects. The decrease is usually transient, not requiring supplementation.


Use of albuterol sulfate may be associated with the following:

• Paradoxical bronchospasm [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.1)]

• Cardiovascular Effects [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.4)]

• Immediate hypersensitivity reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.6)]

• Hypokalemia [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.8)]

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

A total of 1090 subjects were treated with albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol, or with the same formulation of albuterol as in albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol, during the worldwide clinical development program.

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Adult and Adolescents 12 Years of Age and Older

The adverse reaction information presented in the table below concerning albuterol sulfate is derived from a 6-week, blinded study which compared albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol (180 mcg four times daily) with a double-blinded matched placebo HFA-Inhalation Aerosol and an evaluator-blinded marketed active comparator HFA-134a albuterol inhaler in 172 asthmatic patients 12 to 76 years of age. The table lists the incidence of all adverse events (whether considered by the investigator drug related or unrelated to drug) from this study which occurred at a rate of 3% or greater in the albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol treatment group and more frequently in the albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol treatment group than in the matched placebo group. Overall, the incidence and nature of the adverse events reported for albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol and the marketed active comparator HFA-134a albuterol inhaler were comparable.

Adverse Experience Incidences (% of Patients) in a Six-Week Clinical Trial *
This table includes all adverse events (whether considered by the investigator drug related or unrelated to drug) which occurred at an incidence rate of at least 3.0% in the albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol group and more frequently in the albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol group than in the placebo HFA Inhalation Aerosol group.

Body System/ Adverse Event (as Preferred Term)

Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Aerosol (N = 58)

Marketed active comparator HFA-134a albuterol inhaler (N = 56)

Matched Placebo HFA-134a Inhalation Aerosol (N = 58)

Body as a Whole















Nervous System





Respiratory System

Pharyngitis Rhinitis




Adverse events reported by less than 3% of the patients receiving albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol but by a greater proportion of albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol patients than the matched placebo patients, which have the potential to be related to albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol, included chest pain, infection, diarrhea, glossitis, accidental injury (nervous system), anxiety, dyspnea, ear disorder, ear pain, and urinary tract infection.

In small cumulative dose studies, tremor, nervousness, and headache were the most frequently occurring adverse events.

Pediatric Patients 4 to 11 Years of Age

Adverse events reported in a 3-week pediatric clinical trial comparing the same formulation of albuterol as in albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol (180 mcg albuterol four times daily) to a matching placebo HFA inhalation aerosol occurred at a low incidence rate (no greater than 2% in the active treatment group) and were similar to those seen in adult and adolescent trials.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. Reports have included rare cases of aggravated bronchospasm, lack of efficacy, asthma exacerbation (reported fatal in one case), muscle cramps, and various oropharyngeal side-effects such as throat irritation, altered taste, glossitis, tongue ulceration, and gagging.

The following adverse events have been observed in postapproval use of inhaled albuterol: urticaria, angioedema, rash, bronchospasm, hoarseness, oropharyngeal edema, and arrhythmias (including atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, extrasystoles). In addition, albuterol, like other sympathomimetic agents, can cause adverse reactions such as: angina, hypertension or hypotension, palpitations, central nervous system stimulation, insomnia, headache, nervousness, tremor, muscle cramps, drying or irritation of the oropharynx, hypokalemia, hyperglycemia, and metabolic acidosis.


Other short-acting sympathomimetic aerosol bronchodilators should not be used concomitantly with albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol. If additional adrenergic drugs are to be administered by any route, they should be used with caution to avoid deleterious cardiovascular effects.

7.1 Beta-Blockers

Beta-adrenergic-receptor blocking agents not only block the pulmonary effect of beta-agonists, such as albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol, but may produce severe bronchospasm in asthmatic patients. Therefore, patients with asthma should not normally be treated with beta-blockers. However, under certain circumstances, e.g., as prophylaxis after myocardial infarction, there may be no acceptable alternatives to the use of beta-adrenergic-blocking agents in patients with asthma. In this setting, consider cardioselective beta-blockers, although they should be administered with caution.

7.2 Diuretics

The ECG changes and/or hypokalemia which may result from the administration of non- potassium sparing diuretics (such as loop or thiazide diuretics) can be acutely worsened by beta-agonists, especially when the recommended dose of the beta-agonist is exceeded.

Although the clinical significance of these effects is not known, caution is advised in the coadministration of beta-agonists with non-potassium sparing diuretics. Consider monitoring potassium levels.

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