Re: How much albuterol is safe?
I would suggest you mention to your doctor how much you are having to use your inhaler during physical activity. To me it means your asthma is not as controlled as it could be, and a change in your maintenance medications may make a big difference for you. Generally, we say that if you are needing a rescue dose of an immediate acting inhaler more than twice a week your asthma needs fine tuning. Using 5-6 doses in 1 hour definitely exceeds that benchmark.
In a medically supervised setting (like a hospital ICU) large doses of albuterol are given through a nebulizer very frequently, even continuously in rare instances to try to break a life threatening asthma attack. Its a pretty safe drug from that point of view. But over use of a rescue inhaler is very dangerous in another way. It means that there is underlying inflammation in your airways. Swollen airways only need to spasm a tiny bit to set off wheezing and shortness of breath. Airways without swelling can handle more reactiveness or spasms before causing noticeable symptoms. Using a rescue inhaler 5 times in 1 hour can mask that underlying inflammation without treating it thereby putting you at the risk of a very serious asthma attack. So see your doctor, your Flovent may need to be increased, or maybe an inhaler like Advair may prove to be a better choice for you. Either way its worth a trip to the doctor.
With practice, many adults can get just as good of results from their inhaler by holding it an inch or so out from the mouth before firing off a dose as they can by using an aerochamber or spacer device. And many people find it handier to not have to carry around a spacer. Children (and some elderly persons) are better off with the spacer though, particularly if they are unable to coordinate their breath intake with the actuation of the inhaler.
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