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Albuterol and the shakes

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Old 08-06-2001, 05:38 PM   #1
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Post Albuterol and the shakes

About 2 months ago, I went to the dr for breathing trouble...basically it was just when I tried to exercise. He gave me an albuterol inhaler, and told me to take it about half an hour before i exercise. I do mostly running or taebo, one or the other. However I find when I take it I shake so bad while I'm trying to work out that I feel sick, and my muscles shake while I'm trying to strech that I feel like it's doing no good. Do any of you know of any other forms of medicine that I could ask my dr about that wouldn't cause such shakes and discomfort?

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Old 08-06-2001, 05:56 PM   #2
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Caring HB User

Albuterol is some pretty strong stuff. It is typically used for emergency, from what I have been told, though some doctors have patients use it for maintenance.

If I'm wrong, someone please correct me.

Anyway, a friend of mine, as well as myself, rarely use Albuterol because it IS so strong, and irritates our airways. She and I both use Azmacort. Pulmicort is also very good, and stronger than Azmacort, though the powder in Pulmicort is a heavier grain, and I cannot use it because I cough it right back up into my mouth and throat.

Some inhalers have ingredients that can cause tremors.
Definitely talk to your doctor about anything unusual you experience after taking any medications.

Hope this will be of help. Take Care now.

Old 08-08-2001, 05:04 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2001
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rosalita100us HB User

I agree with caring. albeteroul is strong, I am suprised your doctor subscribed it for exercise induced asthma. Ask him for an atrovent inhaler. it will open up your airway for exercise and won't make you shakey. I use combivent whichis atrovent and albeteroul combined. My son had an atrovent inhaler when he was younger he had exercise induced asthma.If someone is using albeteroul for maintance that means that their asthma is not under control. I use pure albuterol only when I am sick and that's with a nebuilizer and boy I cannot even have cofeee or i am so shakey I can't stand it.,

Old 08-14-2001, 09:41 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Yukon, Oklahoma, USA
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As an asthmatic and Registered Respiratory Therapist I can tell you I fully understand the shakes and how it makes you feel. The shakes are a side effect of the medicine because one of the things that bronchodilators do is relax the smooth muscle in your lungs. Because you have that smooth muscle in other parts of your body (especially your arms) in the areas of your body that you don't need relaxation you get an overmedication effect or tremor. Consistant or continued use of the albuterol will decrease the tremors because then your body starts to expect the medicine and then no longer reacts. If you don't quite understand what I am trying to say I can explain it in further detail in an email.

Albuterol 15-20 minutes before exercise is the absolute correct solution for exercise induced asthma. Exercise induce asthma is different in that it doesn't necessarily indicate you don't have your asthma under control if need to use your inhaler before exercising. Hope this information helps!
Take Care! Gennie

Old 08-16-2001, 06:49 AM   #5
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Some of the best methods of asthma control are those that do not require medicine, like getting an allergy test, finding out what you're allergic to , and taking practical steps to reduce your exposure. One asthma tip I often see for exercise induced asthma is to try not to breathe through your mouth if at all possible. This causes your lungs to dry out and react. Breathing through the nose adds soothing moisture to the air during exercise. Hope this helps.

Old 08-16-2001, 01:43 PM   #6
ms freckles
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Please be careful with Albuterol. The doctor gave it to me in the ER when I went in with an asthma attack, and it almost gave me a heartattack!! I now wear on my medical bracklet not to give it to me ever again. I really thought I was going to die. It took me about 4 hours to quit shaking. I know everyone can't take everything, but this one was wicked!!!!!

Old 08-24-2001, 10:06 AM   #7
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breathless_in_ca HB User

RTGEN You are sure right when you said "Consistant or continued use of the Albuterol will decrease the tremors". I thought I would never quit shaking when I first started using Albuterol!

Now at a Nebulizer dose of 6 to 8 times a day of Albuterol/Ipatropium cocktail. Albuterol (emergency) inhalers for my purse. And Flovent twice daily I rarely get the shakes any more. At least not from the Albuterol, LOL

But I was ready to throw it all out the window at one time but couldn't hold still long enough to grab it!

[This message has been edited by breathless_in_ca (edited 08-24-2001).]

Old 09-14-2001, 01:39 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the help...I'm still using my inhaler despite the shakes b/c i notice a big difference in the length of time i am able to work out when I use it. I can't exercise with my mouth shut, though, it just doesn't work!

So after time I'm hoping the shakes will gradually get less annoying and frustrating....thanks again.

Old 09-14-2001, 06:25 PM   #9
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Is salmeterol any good for exercise induced asthma?

Old 09-22-2001, 11:59 PM   #10
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wrin HB User

salmeterol (serevent) is just basically salbutamol/albuterol/proventil/ventolin that lasts for 12 hours. It's a little different but it does the same thing.


about albuterol and the shakes -- it does decrease once you get used to the medicine along with other side effects but for some people it just will not disappear. There are other bronchodilators that you can take that may not make you shake as much, one is terbutaline (Bricanyl) and it comes in the powder turbuhaler. Another one is berotec. I don't know much about this one but that could be a question for your dr. perhaps. He should know about the shakes the ventolin gives you anyway.

Old 10-12-2001, 11:27 AM   #11
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wrin HB User

a little trivia about xopenex ---

xopenex IS ventolin. It's a different isomer of ventolin. (everyone remember their organic chemistry?)

ventolin in its molecular form contains two isomers -- one that has been found to cause, in some people, a degree of bronchoconstriction. This can also vary by brand, (for example, I can't take the white generic albuterol inhaler, it causes attacks, whereas my blue glaxo-wellcome one doesn't.) but since the discovery of the effects of this previously thought inert isomer, they've come out with a new isomer of ventolin that is only the effector isomer. They called it xopenex.

So if you're having problems with ventolin giving you the shakes, xopenex should probably not be on the top of your list considering how similar it is to ventolin.

Old 10-13-2001, 10:44 PM   #12
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aaahhhhh see the seminar I attended the drs simply harped on that this isomer was 'inert' short of the bronchoconstriction in susceptible people -- thanks for the correction from what I understand it works a lot better than ventolin for most people generally because of the smaller particle size as well

Old 10-18-2001, 09:34 PM   #13
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Update on my condition!

Well, I stopped using my inhaler. I know you all said that the shakes would go away, and for the most part, they aren't nearly as bad as they were in the beginning. But the effects of the inhaler just stopped. I don't know why, but when I use it now, it's harder to breathe when I exercise, and I find myself tiring quicker.

Another thing I've noticed is now I can't walk up a flight of stairs without having to stop and catch my breath. Walking, not running up stairs, that is. Walking out of my apartment and up a slight hill to the bus stop leaves me panting, and i'm walking at a normal rate--not even briskly! I feel like this is completely out of control. It makes me irritated.

I think I should see my doctor. What should I ask/tell him?

Old 11-10-2001, 12:11 AM   #14
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<quote>But the effects of the inhaler just stopped. I don't know why, but when I use it now, it's harder to breathe when I exercise, and I find myself tiring quicker.</quote>

As much as they like to harp about how failure to respond properly to drugs like albuterol are a sign of worsening asthma, and that that is a sect to be checked out most definetely, they are finding that it is possible to become resistant to these drugs, and yet, that constant and persistent use of quick-relief drugs like albuterol actually make asthma /worse/ in certain cases. I'm not trying to explain away your symptoms -- but more alert you that this is something serious that is not as clear-cut as it may seem.

<quote> (...) now I can't walk up a flight of stairs without having to stop and catch my breath. Walking, not running up stairs, that is. Walking out of my apartment and up a slight hill to the bus stop leaves me panting, and i'm walking at a normal rate--not even briskly! I feel like this is completely out of control.</quote>

It sounds like it /is/. Constantly being out of breath could be from you not using your albuterol anymore, or even a sign that your asthma *is* out of control. Either way, you need a way out, whether that is a different drug that you respond to better, or a better management program.

I found that when my ventolin stopped working, I thought perhaps I had developed a resistance to it from using it so often. I had lung testings done and they basically said that the ventolin didn't do me much good anymore -- but instead of relying on the information from the RT at the pulmonary function laboratory, I hauled the papers (with a copy for my personal keepings) down to my doctors' office. He explained to me that while drugs like albuterol can make the muscles around one's airways relax, they don't help with another, very real problem, the underlying inflammation. A big indication that the inflammation is getting worse is that the quick-relief stuff isn't working anymore.

<quote>I think I should see my doctor. What should I ask/tell him?</quote>

First, tell him about all your symptoms, even the things you're feeling within yourself. You know your body better than anybody else on this earth, and don't ever let your doctor tell you you're not feeling something that you are. If you feel that this is out of control, present him with the evidence that makes you feel that way (constantly out of breath, albuterol doesn't work anymore, and it gave you the shakes anyway). Ask him what he suggests.

Are you on anything other than albuterol? If so, then the other dosages might need to be adjusted. If not, then perhaps you should look at some kind of drug to reduce the inflammation. That's not a call for me to make, however.

One tool that you /do/ have is education. I personally think it would be a good idea for you to have pulmonary function testing done, though that's a suggestion you'll have to make to your dr. and ask him what he thinks. It can paint a very clear picture of how your lungs are working.

Most or all of the components to do with asthma will show up on spirometry tests. These measure pressures, speeds of exhalation and the like. Basically, how well you can move air. The therapist doing the testing may answer questions you have about what your numbers really mean. If they are perhaps too busy to help you, then ask your doctor. And if your doctor seems baffled by your symptoms, ask him if perhaps it wouldn't be a horrid idea to be referred to a pulmonologist at a local hospital to explain things to you better. The pulmonologist is a lung specialist and knows asthma about as inside-and-out as it gets. He'll be able to answer questions you have.

And another thing: The questions? Don't be afraid to ask them. You may feel that you are taking a lot of your dr's time, but remember, this guy is paid not only to treat your condition, but to make sure you know what you're doing when you treat it yourself with medication.

Old 11-26-2001, 06:39 PM   #15
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Angelene HB User

Thanks a lot!

I've been doing much better--i find that focusing intently on my breathing helps me to deal with it. If I feel myself panting, I take several deep breaths and calm down.

I'm going to go to the dr over winter break...

Update everyone then!

Thanks again!!

I'm not a newbie!! I'm a senior member but my account got messed up!! So...Yeah.
"There's only us, there's only this: forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way, No Day But Today!" --Rent

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