nebulizer and albuterol?

I talked to Mom's GP's nurse yesterday b/c couldn't get appt with doc. until 8/10 and Mom is having such a terrible time with her cough. I asked about getting a nebulizer for Mom, and she said she would run it by the doc. and give us a call. I had noted different medications which many of you kind warriors had recommended for use with it. When the nurse called my Mom, she said the doc. will order one, but she said Albuterol. I know that is used for asthma, and probably other lung difficulties, but it wasn't one that was mentioned in replies to my original post as being efficacious. I wondered if anyone has any thoughts on this?
I tried to talk her into going back to the pulmunologist, but she didn't want to because it is so far to drive and such a long wait, and she feels so bad right now. I just don't know how much I trust her GP... so wanted to check with people who have "been there, done that".
Thanks in advance for any replies.

Report post

9 replies. Join the discussion

Albuterol is a bronchodilator - will open up her airways and can help breathing and coughing. Sometimes an inhaler with steroids is used which decreases inflammation in the lungs (and cancer can cause inflammation as well as asthma etc.). Was your mother also a (former) smoker? I only ask because emphysema / COPD contributes to breathing difficulties and may be treated differently. A Pulmonologist would the appropriate approach based on lung function studies - had she ever had one?
Best wishes

Report post

My father used albuterol through a nebulizer when he had lung cancer. He used a type called Xoponex because he had heart issues.

Report post

My PCP put me on a nebulizer with Albuterol and
Ipratropium Bromice 0.02% up to 3x a day. I have stage 4 and COPD and it works wonders for me.

My onc put me on low dose hydromorphone 2-4 mg every 4 hours and that helps control the cough.

I also use Spiriva at night and Mucinex DM 1200/60 twice a day.

The combo of all the above makes it easy to breathe and live a relatively normal life. The cough is almost non existent anymore.

God bless and I hope she finds a combo that works as well for her.

Report post

It all depends upon what is causing her cough. Albuterol can be very helpful in some situations because it is a bronchodilator and opens the airways more. But as others here mentioned - there are other drugs as well and sometimes a combination is the answer. AT this point I'd trust the judgment of your physicain, try what s/he recommends and see how it goes. If the results aren't great, then chat with him/her again and keep working at it until you find what works best. Sometimes with these things a bit of trial and error is required to find what works best.

Report post

Thanks for your responses. It is good to know that others have used this and it has helped. I hope it will help my mom as well. I'll let you know.

Report post

Hubby has copd + nsclc. Xopenex nebulizer 2x day, Spiriva 1x day, Xopenex inhaler also every 4 hours or as needed. He has radiation pnuemonitis and lots of necrotic tissue...He did use Albuterol, Advair and Combivent. The new trio seems to work better. Combivent is being phased out and will no longer be available (or so I read).
Good luck.
God Bless Us All,

Report post

Hello Betsy
I use a nebuliser regularly every day. I start with a bronchodilator, Salbutamol (Ventolin) which I guess is the same as your Albuterol. That is designed to help open the airways. I follow that with a Saline neb which helps to moisten and loosen the secretions, which helps with coughing it up and out.

In addition I take a swig of Oramorph when I use the nebuliser. That is liquid morphine, and does help with breathing probs. I also take 6 x 375mg of Carbocisteine each day to further loosen the lung secretions. I also have home oxygen to use if I get very breathless.

I'm sure it all depends on what the problem is as to what combination of meds will help. The expert is the Pulmonologist. Your Mum's GP can easily pick up the phone and take guidance and advice from him. That would save a long tiring day for your Mum. I know that my GP takes advice from my hospital team about which antibiotics I need etc
I hope it gets sorted out for your Mum,
with love and best wishes, Carolyn

Report post

I feel so foolish...I hadn't even thought of my Mom's GP just consulting with the Pulmonologist rather than her having to make the trip to see him each time! That would simplify things tremendously, and I would definitely feel better.
Thanks again!

Report post

Ipratropium bromide and albuterol sulfate (pre mixed) work great in a nebulizer. With the right nebulizer it takes 11 minutes to do the treatment. The first one I had was portable but it was 50 minutes. I started on 4 times and then cut back to 3. Just could not cram them all in.

She also wanted me on a humidifier but our solar house would not support one. Also wants me on Ad Vair but it costs $45 and the Lyrica cost $45. If I take either one as directed. I will go in the donut hole and then cannot purchase my other 4 meds. Medicare picks up the balance of Ad Vair and Lyrica but they are both about $240 per month each. At that rate you can see that the $2,800 ceiling is reached before the end of the year.

Good luck with whatever you use.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Photo of Dave Grant

The Lung Cancer Survivors Support Community has provided support for patients, caregivers, families and friends since 2006. We welcome over 600 new members every month in the fight against lung cancer.

ALK mutations and lung cancer

Join the discussion about ALK mutations and lung cancer

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Community leaders