Albuterol is a medication for the treatment and prevention of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other lung conditions, according to MedlinePlus. Doctors may prescribe albuterol for use in a nebulizer or as an inhaler. It is a bronchodilator that makes breathing easier by relaxing lung tissue and opening air passages.
A nebulizer is a medical device that converts liquid medication into an vapor that the patient inhales, reports MedlinePlus. Patients taking albuterol with a nebulizer normally take the medication three to four times daily. Each treatment takes five to 15 minutes.
Some types of albuterol come in a bottle with a dropper, according to WebMD. With this type of albuterol, patients must make careful measurements using the supplied dropper. Other forms come in premeasured vials that patients pour directly into the nebulizer. With either form, the medication should be clear to light yellow. Patients should discard any solution that is off color or cloudy.
A doctor prescribes albuterol based on the patient’s weight, medical condition and response to the medication, reports WebMD. The doctor may decide to change the dosage due to changes in the patient’s condition; however, the patient should not make changes without consulting the doctor. Using more of the medication than the doctor prescribes increases the chances of serious side effects.