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Albuterol is a short-acting adrenergic beta-agonist, widely used in the immediate treatment of symptomatic asthma and other respiratory diseases. It is a "racemic mixture with a 1:1 ratio of the r-isomer, levalbuterol, and s-albuterol, with the chemical name 2-t-Butylamino-1-(4-hydroxy-3-hydroxy-3-hydroxymethyl)phenylethanol. [1]

While most often administered through the respiratory tract using a metered dose inhaler or nebulizer, it also can be given orally.


Approved indications for the inhaled form include:[2]

Off-label uses include: hyperkalemia, familial hyperkalemic periodic paralysis, and respiratory distress in neonates.

Drug comparisons

While it is considered short-acting, its duration of action is longer isoproterenol, is less likely to cause cardiac effects, and as at least as effective as a bronchodilator. [3]


  1. Anonymous (2023), Albuterol (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. "Albuterol Inh[aled]", Medscape Drug Information
  3. "Monograph: Albuterol", Medscape Drug Information