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Salbutamol

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Salbutamol, also known as albuterol and marketed as Ventolin among other brand names, is a medication that opens up the medium and large airways in the lungs. It is used to treat asthma, including asthma attacks, exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It may also be used to treat high blood potassium levels. Salbutamol is usually used with an inhaler or nebulizer, but it is also available in a pill, liquid, and intravenous solution. Onset of action of the inhaled version is typically within 15 minutes and lasts for two to six hours.Common side effects include shakiness, headache, fast heart rate, dizziness, and feeling anxious. Serious side effects may include worsening bronchospasm, irregular heartbeat, and low blood potassium levels. It can be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but safety is not entirely clear. It is a short-acting β2 adrenergic receptor agonist which works by causing relaxation of airway smooth muscle.Salbutamol was patented in 1966 in Britain and became commercially available in the UK in 1969. It was approved for medical use in the United States in 1982. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, which lists the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Salbutamol is available as a generic medication. The wholesale cost in the developing world of an inhaler which contains 200 doses is between US$1.12 and US$2.64 as of 2014. In the United States, it is between US$25 and US$50 for a typical month's supply. In 2016, it was the 10th most prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 47 million prescriptions.

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