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What should I know before taking a short-acting beta-agonist?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Infants and young children can be given short-acting beta-agonist bronchodilators using a metered-dose inhaler with a spacer device or a nebulizer. The safety and effectiveness of short-acting beta-agonist bronchodilators with hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) propellant have not been established for children under 4, and the safety and effectiveness of some nebulized forms have not been established for children under 2.

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or may be pregnant, short-acting beta-agonists may not be good options for you. It is not known if they are safe for pregnant women.

Also, if you are breastfeeding, a short-acting beta-agonist may not be a good option for you. It is not known if this drug is passed into breast milk.

If you have a seizure disorder, an abnormal heart rhythm, coronary insufficiency, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism, a short-acting beta-agonist may not be a good option for you.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.