Is Albuterol the Same As Salbutamol?

albuterol-same-salbutamol Credit: Jose Luis Palaez/Blend Images/Getty Images

Albuterol sulfate is another name for salbutamol, both of which belong to a class of medications known as bronchodilators that open airways by relaxing muscles in the lungs, indicates WebMD. Albuterol and salbutamol are generic names for proprietary brands of this medication. The official generic name of the drug in the United States is albuterol sulfate, while the World Health Organization prefers the name salbutamol sulfate.

Albuterol is known by brand names Proventil and Ventolin, according to MedicineNet. The medicine is a white crystalline solid that is soluble in water. It is used to create inhalation aerosols or nebulized liquids.

Albuterol and salbutamol are oral inhalations used to treat and prevent shortness of breath caused by breathing disorders. Albuterol and salbutamol do not work right away and should not be substituted for a rescue inhaler for sudden, severe attacks of breathing trouble, according to WebMD. The most common uses of these drugs are for longer-term treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Adults and children 12 and older should not take more than 32 milligrams of albuterol per day. Children 6 to 12 years normally take less than 24 milligrams daily. WebMD states people need to take this medication daily to benefit from it. Most patients take albuterol three to four times per day.