Allergist explains effects of Albuterol shortage, offers alternatives for asthma patients

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The United States has been dealing with a nationwide Albuterol shortage since October 2022 and it could possibly get worse before it gets better, according to doctors.

Albuterol is used to treat asthma symptoms, which could potentially heighten with more pollen in the air triggering allergies.

Allergist and Immunologist Dr. Jacqueline Squire with the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville made it clear that the Albuterol shortage is currently only impacting the solution you find in the nebulizer machines, not the inhalers.

“You can talk with your doctor about switching to the inhaler form because it’s really easy to switch for most patients and it’s just as effective as the nebulized solution,” Squire said.

Nebulizer machines are often used for small children because it might be an easier option. Considering the shortage, Squire said kids can adapt to inhalers if it’s paired with a spacer, which is a tube that adds space between the mouth and the inhaler’s canister.

Squire also recommended other Albuterol alternatives.

“These include other nebulized options, another inhaler options, and we do even have some combination medications that could be used as daily maintenance therapy for your asthma,” Squire said.

She also stressed, whether someone uses a nebulizer or an inhaler, it’s supposed to be used only as needed.

“Ideally, less than twice a week. So, if you’re needing your Albuterol more than twice a week, that would be a reason to see us or your primary care physician to talk about other treatment options that could give you better control, so you’ll have less need for that Albuterol inhaler,” Squire said.

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Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.