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Albuterol Side Effects in Toddlers

author image Noreen Kassem
Noreen Kassem is a hospital doctor and a medical writer. Her articles have been featured in "Women's Health," "Nutrition News," "Check Up" and "Alive Magazine." Kassem also covers travel, books, fitness, nutrition, cooking and green living.
Albuterol Side Effects in Toddlers
A young boy using an inhaler. Photo Credit: Chris Rogers/iStock/Getty Images

Albuterol is an inhaled medication that dilates the bronchiole air tubes in the lungs. This bronchodilator is given in a metered dose inhaler and used to relax muscles in the airways and increase the flow of oxygen into the lungs. notes that albuterol is also used to prevent spasms of the bronchioles in individuals with asthma, allergy-related asthma and other reversible obstructive lung diseases. Like all medications, albuterol can cause unwanted side effects in some patients. There have been reports of side effects in toddlers and young children that use albuterol to decrease asthma symptoms.

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Mood Changes reports that some parents of children that are taking albuterol for mild allergy-related asthma and other breathing problems. Toddlers and young children aged four and below are reported to experience side effects of albuterol including mood changes that are noticeable to the parents. These effects include irritability, loss of focus and concentration and becoming withdrawn from other children, parents and daily activities. In some cases nervousness and confusion may also result. In most cases these side effects diminish over time or by decreasing the dosage of albuterol.

Allergic Reaction

Toddlers, young children and other patients taking albuterol can suffer from allergic reactions that require urgent medical care. Symptoms of an allergy to this inhaler medication include hives or rashes on the skin, swelling of the throat, tongue, lips, and face and difficulty breathing as listed by If any of these side effects occur, the dosages should be ceased and immediate medical care sought.

Other Side Effects warns that some side effects can occur particularly after starting an albuterol inhaler. These include bronchospasms, wheezing, chest tightness, chest pain, hypertension or high blood pressure and tachycardia or a fast heart rate. These serious effects should be reported to the prescribing doctor immediately. Other more common side effects include muscle tremors, excessive thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness, dizziness, headaches, dry mouth and a sore throat.

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