Synonyms in a broader sense

Sultanol®, ß2-mimetic, -a, ß2-agonist, beta sympathomimetic, -a, asthma drug, asthma spray, inhaler
other short-acting drugs of the same group: fenoterol (Berotec®), terbutaline (Bricanyl®), reproterol (Bronchospamin®, and together with cromoglycic acid: Aarane®)


Salbutamol is a drug that is used to treat certain lung diseases such as bronchial asthma or COPD and to inhibit premature labor. It works short and relatively strong.

Mode of action

Salbutamol is an activator of ß-receptors. These receptors are located in very many different places in the body. There are many different receptors in our body. They generally describe structures on or in cells that can be activated when activated by a very specific substance specific to them.The binding of a specific substance to its receptor then leads to changes in the cell. The cell is either activated or slowed down. Both ß-receptors There are three subgroups. ß1 receptors are preferentially at Heart and in the kidney. ß2 receptors on blood vessels that the Musculature supply, uterus as well as on the bronchial muscles. When activated, ß2 receptors also cause the heart muscles to contract in the heart. The ß3 receptors are mainly located on the Fat cells. Salbutamol is a drug that preferentially activates the ß2 receptors. As a so-called ß2 mimeticSalbutamol, also known as a ß2 agonist, now stimulates the receptors located on the bronchial muscles. This causes these muscle cells to relax (Muscle relaxation) and thus the diameter of the bronchi expands (Bronchodilation) because they are ring-shaped muscles. ß2-mimetics like salbutamol stabilize the lung function prophylactically in chronic illnesses. They also exercise some inhibition of Immune cells from which explains the anti-inflammatory effects. Fine cilia along the airways ensure the removal of mucus. These tiny hairs are also stimulated in their activity by salbutamol (Enhancement of the so-called mucociliary clearance).


Salbutamol is predominantly called inhaled medicinal product administered, i.e. it is inhaled. Furthermore, there is also an oral dose intravenous (i.e. as an infusion) application available.

Read detailed information on the subject inhalation


The main area of ​​application of Salbutamol are chronic lung disease. This applies in particular to lung diseases which are associated with narrowing of the airways. Salbutamol is therefore the drug of first choice bronchial asthma. It is a strong and short-acting drug, which is particularly needed in the event of an asthma attack. The effect sets in quickly and lasts for about 4 - 6 hours on. After 5 - 10 minutes the effect is already at its maximum, the airways are wide again, which paves the way for further inhaled asthma medication. For example, inhalative Glucocorticoids, absolute basic medication in asthma therapy, better at the desired site of action, which leads to better effectiveness.
Salbutamol is also used in chronic constricting respiratory diseases (COPD). However, it is increasingly being replaced by better-working drugs. In the case of COPD, salbutamol is more of a second choice.
Since salbutamol stimulates the ß2 receptors relatively selectively, the active ingredient can also act as an inhibitor premature labor (Tocolysis) can be used. Salbutamol is available as a preparation that can be taken orally or given as an infusion through a vein. Here, too, the receptors are activated and can be premature in uncomplicated Labor pains administered from the 24th week of pregnancy.

side effect

Become ß2 receptors systemic, i.e. activated throughout the body, undesirable effects such as Increase in blood pressure or Cardiac arrhythmias (e.g. too fast heartbeat (Tachycardia)). It can also lead to a shift in the balance of salts in the blood (electrolytes). The electrolyte potassium migrates from the blood into the muscle cell, the content in the blood is then too low (Hypokalemia). This in turn favors Cardiac arrhythmias. Furthermore, the blood sugar level is increased because of the production of Blood sugar (Glucose) is stimulated (Gluconeogenesis). This should especially be done in patients with sugar disorder (Diabetes mellitus) get noticed. If you are pregnant you should use salbutamol before birth be dropped off; be discontinued; be deducted; be dismissed.
When used continuously, ß2 receptors such as salbutamol show a Tolerance development. The body wants to evade long-term stimulation by reducing the receptor density on the cells. Furthermore, the signal chain, which is decoupled by the activation of the receptors. This means that when it binds to the receptor, the effect no longer works or does not work as well. One also observes one below the ß2 mimetics Cross resistance. This means that no effect can be achieved by using other preparations in this group.


Salbutamol and other ß2-mimetics should not be administered if a patient:

  • on a specific tumor of the Adrenal gland is ill (Pheochromocytoma)
  • an overactive thyroid gland (Hyperthyroidism) suffers
  • from certain heart diseases (obstructive cardiomyopathy) suffers
  • Cardiac arrhythmias has (especially tachyarrhythmias)