7 Common Nebulizer Medications


The nebulizer is an indispensable apparatus that helps patients breathe better. Most of those who benefit from this are those with COPD like asthma. During nebulizer treatments, nebulizer medications are used. These are converted into vapors so that the patient would be able to assimilate them directly in their lungs.

Taking these nebulizer medications  at specific prescription times are called breathing treatments. Having breathing treatments depends on the severity of your condition. Asthmatics can take breathing treatments up to more than three times the entire day. The following are nebulizer medications that help relieve various symptoms of lung ailments or acute attacks of asthma:


1. Long term

Long term nebulizer medications such as anti-IGE are often prescribed as a preventive measure and to treat symptoms of lung ailments such as asthma.





2. Beta-antagonists (short acting)

Short acting beta-antagonists work fast to treat acute shortness of breath. These nebulizer medications like Pirbuterol (Maxair), Ventolin HFA, and Proventil HFA relax the surrounding muscles in the air passages. It is usually prescribed by doctors to be taken before the patient exercises. You should check with your doctor if you need to have the dosages adjusted for long term use.




3. Actinocholinergics

Actonocholinergics are nebulizer medications that treat COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Atrovent is the common generic name used to block the nerves that are responsible for the smooth muscle contraction around the air passages. This gives you fast relief that takes about 15 to 20 minutes to take effect. You could take acticholinergics through nebulizer or through MDI (metered dose inhaler).



4. Beta-antagonists (long acting)

These nebulizer medications cannot do anything about the lung swelling but are used as a long term medication to control chronic lung disease and moderate asthma. Some examples are Formoterol (Performist) and Arformoterol (Brovana), which are taken with the use of the nebulizer. They are taken daily to prevent chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.




5. Budenoside

This is one of the usual nebulizer medications that manage shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, and wheezing. Budenoside is also categorized as a corticosteroid that decreases the inflammation of the air passages. The usual expected side effects are neck pain cough, stomach pain, dry thoat or mouth, speech difficulty, and drowsiness. If these last for more than a week, see your doctor already. More serious budenoside side effects are muscle weakness, muscle pain, bruising, bleeding, edema, oral sores or white spots, difficulty in urinating, fever, and sore throat.



6. Ipatropium

Another one of the nebulizer medications is ipatropium. This medication is taken to prevent bronchospasms or the constriction of air passages. As you may know, bronchospasms happen in COPD, bronchitis, and asthma. Common side effects are coughs, stomach problems, blurred vision, nausea, dry mouth, headache, and dizziness. You should see a physician already if these symptoms exceed a week.




7. Ipatropium + Albuterol

When you combine ipatropium and albuterol, they are nebulizer medications that dilate the air passages (bronchiodilators). When the airway is relaxed and dilated, the amount of air that gets in to the lungs increases. They are also preventive medications for bronshospasms. Side effects are usually diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, drowsiness, coughs, stuffed nose, insomnia, and headaches. Again, you should see your doctor if these common symptoms go on for more than a week. More serious adverse effects are palpitations, edema, painful ruination, chest pain. Your doctor may need to change your dosages if you have diabetes, hyperthyroidism, seizures, liver disease, kidney disease, or glaucoma.



There are two kinds of nebulizers that are available in the market today—jet nebulizers and ultrasonic nebulizers. Although these medical equipment are no longer advised for patients, people who have used them for years do not want to change to MDI (metered dose inhaler. They trust nebulizers and the nebulizer medications that they have always used so choosing MDI over them is close to impossible.

Always remember that if you run out of medication, never ever use another person’s set of medications. All nebulizer medications are prescribed and are set to fit a particular patient’s individualized needs. Also take note of the risks and the complications that you should discuss with your doctor. Even if you do take nebulizer medications, always take not that a healthy lifestyle  change helps in the acceleration of the improvement of your general state of health. It is better that you avoid the triggers of your respiratory ailments such as smoke, dust, stress, and fatigue. These nebulizer medications only help you when you need them. It is really up to you to get rid of your respiratory disease and live a full and happy life.

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