What Medication is Used in a Nebulizer?


A nebulizer is a machine used to treat people with respiratory diseases such as asthma or bronchitis. Although generally used in hospitals, it is often prescribed for at home use for patients with chronic conditions. Respiratory problems generally tend to occur because of increased inflammation in the lungs or airways leading to the lungs. Depending on what type of medication is used, nebulizers are effective for immediate relief and for long-term prevention of the inflammation.


Nebulizers are an ideal alternative for those who struggle with their inhaler or for those whose symptoms are severe. Inhalers are certainly the most prescribed medication for chronic respiratory problems, but they are not always the most effective because they are sometimes difficult to use, and they have limited dosing capabilities.


A nebulizer, although portable, requires electricity because it is powered by an air compressor. Its components are simple to use as well as to assemble. Tubing from the compressor leads to a cup, which holds the medication. This cup is connected to either a mouthpiece or a mask. A nebulizer to changes the liquid form of the medication and into a mist to be inhaled. This process makes it especially useful for those who have a difficult time using their inhaler. The elderly, young children and babies often benefit the most. Besides its ease of use, one of the key benefits of a nebulizer is its capability to dispense a larger dose of medication than an inhaler.

Fast-Acting Medication

One of the most prescribed medications for a nebulizer is albuterol. Albuterol is the same medication used in many inhalers. Its ability to relax the airways and promote easier breathing makes it widely used. Doctors generally prescribe nebulizer therapy for every 4 hours depending on the patient's symptoms. When symptoms are chronic, this regular use can effectively keep the airways open and ward off any immediate attacks.

Preventative Medication

Nebulizers are often used to provide long term prevention for chronic respiratory problems. Inhaled corticosteroids are effective in reducing inflammation. They are used in inhalers to keep respiratory symptoms under control. Budesonide, is a powerful anti inflammatory drug that can be used in a nebulizer. Inhaled corticosteroids do not provide immediate relief, but when used daily, keep inflammation under control and prevent the frequency of attacks.

Nebulizer Care

Proper care of your nebulizer is essential, because an unclean nebulizer can get clogged and carry the possibility for infection. Proper care means washing the medicine cup after each use in warm, soapy water and letting it air dry. After the last use of the day, repeat this procedure, but include the mouthpiece or mask. Every three to four days it's a good idea to thoroughly clean the nebulizer by washing the parts in a vinegar and water solution. Soak the parts for 20 minutes in 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 1/2 cups water, and let air dry.

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