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Proventil is a brand name prescription medication used in the treatment of asthma and other breathing conditions. The generic name is albuterol, and the brand name is Ventolin. Asthma is a condition in which the airway becomes too narrow for air to move into and out of the lungs. This narrowing is usually caused by the accumulation of mucus, or muscle spasms surrounding the airway. Sometimes the lining of the airway swells and breathing difficulties arise. Shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing are signs of a narrow airway. Proventil works by relaxing the surrounding bronchial muscles, causing them to dilate. When the bronchial airways dilate, air is allowed to pass as normal. Proventil can also be helpful in patients with emphysema and chronic bronchitis. These illnesses can also cause airway obstructions.
Proventil is usually prescribed as an inhalant, but can come in various forms such as syrup, solutions and tablets.
Patients with coronary heart disease or cardiac arrhythmias should talk with their doctor before taking this medication. Do not use Proventil if you are currently taking other stimulant medications because the combination may have negative effects on heart rate and blood pressure. The mixture may also cause chest pain in people with coronary heart disease. Patients taking antidepressants should not use albuterol before consulting their doctor. The combination of these medications may cause toxicity to the heart.
Allergic reactions to this medication may occur. Symptoms of allergic reaction are rashes, hives, swelling, or anaphylactic shock. It is important for patients with diabetes to be careful when taking this medication because it can make diabetes worse. Side effects that are known with this prescription include heart palpitations, high blood pressure, nausea, nervousness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, and heartburn or acid reflux. Some patients report throat irritation and nose bleeds as well.
As with all medications, it is important that patients do not take more than the doctor has prescribed. Overdose is possible with this medication.