(generic name: Salbutamol)
Ventolin is an inhaled medication that is used to treat acute asthma symptoms. This was developed in the 1960's. It works by relaxing the muscles around the airways which become tight in asthma. This medication starts to work within a few minutes and can last between 3-5 hours. Ventolin acts as a reliever not a preventer. The second type of medication to treat asthma is called inhaled corticosteroids which are taken to prevent asthma. The success rate of this medication is very good when used appropriately.
Fig 3: This is a diagram of how the Ventolin should be used.
The ethical issues of this medicine are:
- Prior to 2008 ventolin inhalers contained chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFCs are harmful to our environment because they decrease the protective ozone layer above the Earth. This was part of an international agreement called the "Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer".
- Ventolin became available at the pharmacy without a prescription in 2015. The advantages of this is that if you desperately need ventolin as an emergency medication you are able to access it without seeing a doctor. The disadvantage of this is that you are relying on the pharmacist for medical directions which they may or may not provide.
- Multiple studies have linked the over use of Ventolin in the treatment of asthma attacks with the increasing risk of hospitalisation and death. One of the reasons for this was that they weren't seeking the right medication to treat the other mechanisms of asthma. As Ventolin is available over the counter without seeing a doctor this can lead to asthma being poorly treated.
"Asthma - Mayo Clinic". Mayo Clinic. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/basics/definition/con-20026992?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=abstract&utm_content=Asthma&utm_campaign=Knowledge-panels
Johnston SL, Edwards MR Mechanisms of adverse effects of β-agonists in asthma Thorax 2009;64:739-741. http://thorax.bmj.com/content/64/9/739
Science, Live. "Asthma: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment". Live Science. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.http://www.livescience.com/41264-asthma-symptoms-treatment.html
Science, Live. "Respiratory System: Facts, Function And Diseases". Live Science. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.http://www.livescience.com/22616-respiratory-system.html
"The National Asthma Council Australia". Nationalasthma.org.au. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.https://www.nationalasthma.org.au/understanding-asthma/what-is-asthma?x_cw_context_provider=safari
N.p., 2017. Web. 19Mar.2017.http://www.psa.org.au/downloads/ent/uploads/filebase/guidelines/s3/Short-acting-beta-agonist-protocol.pdf
"Transition From CFC Propelled Albuterol Inhalers To HFA Propelled Albuterol Inhalers: Questions And Answers". Fda.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/QuestionsAnswers/ucm077808.htm