Your Guide to Albuterol Abuse and Safe Asthma Meds for Addicts

In 2017, more than 50 million Albuterol prescriptions were filled by pharmacies and doctors.

Albuterol is a prescription medication used to help treat symptoms of asthma.

As helpful as this prescription is, it can become addictive over time, leading to drug abuse. 

Continue reading to discover alternative medications so that you don’t have to worry about Albuterol abuse. 

What Does Albuterol Abuse Look Like?

Wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath are all symptoms that Albuterol can help treat.

Albuterol is a quick-relief inhaler prescribed by doctors. The main uses of this medication are to treat asthma and pulmonary disease. Unlike many other medications, this is not maintenance or long-term prescription.

Albuterol helps those suffering from asthma symptoms, but only when needed. The medication, itself, isn’t addictive. But, many people have a difficult time quitting because they become dependant on the drug.  

If you or someone you know is constantly searching for more Albuterol and can’t control their use, you may want to try using alternative medicine. It is important to talk to your doctor before making any medical changes. 

Boredom and depression are common once taken off of Albuterol for those with a dependence or addiction problem. Two common signs of addiction are seeking access to Albuterol and having a strong urge to use it. Along with difficulty breathing.  

Below are several alternative treatments to try that can help you avoid Albuterol abuse.

1. Inhaled Corticosteroids 

One of the best asthma medications to try is inhaled corticosteroids. 

You can avoid Albuterol abuse with this anti-inflammatory prescription. Inhaled corticosteroids are best to use for long-term treatment. They have minor side effects and are safe to use. The inhalers help by reducing swelling in the airways and opening up the lungs.

A few examples of inhaled corticosteroids are Fluticasone, Mometasone, and Budesonide. Inhaled corticosteroids are safe for children to use and can help them breathe, but long-term use can stunt growth. 

This medication is an excellent alternative to Albuterol and can help keep asthma in check, even for addicts. 

2. Leukotriene Modifiers

Depending on how severe a person’s asthma symptoms are, leukotriene modifiers may help.

Those suffering from asthma can take these medications. They block the effects of leukotrienes in the body. These are chemicals in the immune system and are the cause of asthma symptoms. 

Taking leukotriene modifiers can help reduce symptoms for 24 hours. Examples of these modifiers are the brand names Singulair, Accolate, and Zyflo. 

You should speak to your doctor about taking this form of treatment. Although it is effective, some people have bad reactions to the medication. Watch for signs of becoming more agitated than normal. If you try this medication, be sure to tell the doctor if you experience hallucinations or suicidal thoughts. 

3. Theophylline

If you or someone you know is trying to break free of inhalers, theophylline is an excellent choice to try.

Theophylline comes in a pill form and can help treat mild asthma symptoms. The medication works by relaxing airways and controlling the responses of the lungs. Many people use theophylline for nighttime allergies and breathing problems. 

This option is not as popular as some of the others and you may be required to do blood tests to find the correct dosage. 

4. Long-Acting Beta-Agonists

Long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs), is a bronchodilator medication.

It helps treat symptoms of asthma by opening the airways and reducing swelling. Typically the medication lasts for 12 hours and must be taken on a consistent schedule to receive the most benefits.  

LABAs are perfect for people with severe asthma symptoms and can be used at night to help sleep. Talking to your doctor about long-acting beta-agonists is important, as is can worsen asthma attacks for some people. 

Doctors recommend taking LABAs in combination with an inhaled corticosteroid. Serevent is a popular form of this medication that you can try with a prescription.  

5. Inhalers with Corticosteroids and Long-Acting Beta-Agonists

As mentioned above, LABAs are not recommended to take independently. 

A combination inhaler with corticosteroids and LABAs is ideal for those with asthma symptoms. This is an excellent alternative to Albuterol and has minor side effects. Popular brand names that fall into this category are Advair Diskus, Symbicort, and Dulera. 

It may be a good idea to try corticosteroids by themself at first. If that does not offer you enough relief, the combination inhalers can help. 

6. Biologics

For those with severe allergies and asthma, biologics are a form of medication to consider trying.

Biologic medication helps prevent asthma symptoms by reducing inflammation in the lungs. Most of the times people have underlying biological reasons for their suffering, and this medication can help!

Xolair is a common medication that helps with airborne allergies that lead to asthma symptoms. Taking Xolair, or omalizumab is recommended only for adults and requires injections every 2-4 weeks. 

Biologics are helpful because they can give you long-lasting treatment for severe cases. 

The Safer Path to Breathing 

If you or someone you know have an addiction problem, treating asthma with Albuterol may not be suggested. 

Although the medication itself is not addictive, many people become dependent on it over time.

Albuterol abuse can be difficult to identify. One of the most common signs is searching for more medication. Depending on how frequently it is taken, some people may have difficulty breathing after taking Albuterol. 

There are safe alternatives to treating asthma, even for addicts. It is important to speak with your doctor about any concerns or signs that may lead to dependency. 

Be sure to check out our blog for more articles about living healthy and keeping addiction at bay!