Health & Medical Medications & Drugs

Primatene Mist Vs. Albuterol

    The Facts About Primatene Mist

    • Primatene Mist contains epinephrine, a bronchodilator. It is an over-the-counter medication indicated for short-term alleviation of asthma symptoms like shortness of breath, tight sensation in the chest and wheezing. According to Armstrong Pharmaceuticals, makers of Primatene Mist, the medication works in as quickly as 15 seconds to clear airways and restore easier breathing. Children younger than 4 should not use this medication without a doctor's advice.

      Dosing instructions indicate that users should begin by inhaling once. Wait 60 seconds to determine if another inhalation is necessary. Do not use this medication more frequently than every three hours.

    The Facts About Albuterol

    • Albuterol is a prescription bronchodilator that quickly works to restore easier breathing by relaxing your airway's muscles. It is indicated for the prevention and treatment of bronchospasms due to asthma, exercise-induced bronchospasms and obstructive airway disease. According to and FDA-approved information, the medication works within five minutes of inhalation. Children younger than 6 should not use this medication unless under a doctor's care.

      Dosage instructions are to begin with a single inhalation. Wait for at least 60 seconds to determine if a second inhalation is needed. Do not use more frequently than every four to six hours.

    Side Effects

    • Side effects of Albuterol include insomnia, nervousness, diarrhea, headache, dry throat, dizziness, muscle pain, hoarse voice, runny nose, persistent cough and sore throat. Call your doctor if you experience any severe side effects like allergic reaction, trouble breathing, tremors, wheezing, irregular heart rate, nervousness, chest pain, extreme thirst, severe headache, increased urination, anxiety, shortness of breath, pain in your legs, weakness, confusion or seizure as these may be signs of a serious complication (like low potassium levels or extreme hypertension).

      Primatene Mist usage may result in dry mouth, sleep difficulties, irregular heartbeats, tremors, nervousness and seizures. There is a risk of increased heart rate and hypertension, which becomes more pronounced if the medication is taken more often than recommended.

    Primatene Mist Contraindications

    • Primatene Mist should only be used if you have been medically diagnosed with asthma. Talk to your doctor before using this medication in conjunction with other medications that contain ephedrine, caffeine, pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine. Avoid eating or drinking caffeinated products. Tell your doctor if you are currently taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI), which are types of medications used for certain psychiatric conditions, of if you have taken an MAOI within the past 14 days.

      Talk to your doctor before using Primatene Mist, especially if you have a history of heart disease, severe asthma, diabetes, hypertension, seizure disorder, glaucoma, prostate problems, psychiatric conditions or thyroid disease.
      Do not use this medication while pregnant or breast feeding without first consulting your doctor.

    Albuterol Contraindications

    • Tell your doctor about all medications that you take (including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements) to avoid increased risk of an adverse reaction. Tell your doctor if you take antidepressants, digoxin, beta-blockers, diuretics, MAOIs or other bronchodilators, as you may require special dosing instructions and/or monitoring.

      Tell your doctor if you have diabetes, thyroid disease, congestive heart failure, seizure disorder, heart disease, hypertension or if you are pregnant or breast feeding.


    • Asthma can be fatal if left untreated or improperly treated. Tell your doctor if you develop new or worsening symptoms or if your current treatment ceases to be as effective. Follow your prescription instructions (Albuterol) or dosing instructions on the box (Primatene Mist) to avoid increased risk of adverse effects.

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