Why my heart races when I use my inhaler (salbutamol)?

The inhaler improves my breathing but sometimes I feel like it might be damaging my heart. I always ask myself why the medication to open my air ways affects my heart?!

7 Replies

  • I would suggest talking to your doctor or nurse about this to explain what is happening.

    The first thought is that you're using too much, increased heart rate is a known side effect of a salbutamol overdose. There is some information on the Boots website if you open up the tabs on this page > drugs.webmd.boots.com/drugs...

  • I've always had that after taking Ventolin, even just one puff.

    koala x

  • You should talk to your GP or nurse, if only for reassurance.

    I'll refer to the most common UK issue, Ventolin. The patient information leaflet in every pack can be found at -> medicines.org.uk/emc/pdfvie... <- and I quote:

    4 Possible side effects

    Talk to your doctor as soon as possible if:

    • you feel your heart is beating faster or stronger than usual (palpitations). This is usually harmless, and usually stops after you have used the medicine for a while

    • you may feel your heartbeat is uneven or it gives an extra beat

    • these affect less than 1 in 10 people.

    If any of these happen to you, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Do not stop using this medicine unless told to do so.

    I know that I have an ectopic heartbeat, which caused one GP to send me off to hospital in an ambulance with blues & twos after a simple Spirometry set my heart racing when they gave me the Ventolin to check reversibility... :O

  • Thanks Gordon, I really appreciate your concern and am grateful for your advice.

    I've always had that reaction, and I've had Ventolin for decades, I try to avoid taking it though.

    Funnily enough it cropped up this morning at the doctor's and she also said keep Ventolin to a minimum as it's bad for the heart.,She said the main thing is to take the corticosteroid.

    I don't take it much, I go days even weeks sometimes without it, but I do take Flutiform or Seretide every day.

    koala x

  • I agree pretty much with with all that was said particularly about the use of ventollin/subutamol. I had a friend who ignored the warnings sadly died prematurely as it affected his heart pretty badly.

    I had the ventolin and cortcosteriod inhalers for a while. Although after a few years of use your body becomes accustomed to medication. I'm now on the smart 200 dry inhaler that I've found right now is working really well.

    It opens the medication speeds up the blood flow in your lungs which also controls the oxygen levels and helps you breath easier. As mentioned excessive use of it does cause long term damage but then so can aspirin, paracatamol or any other drug.

  • Sorry to hear about your friend.

  • what causes heart palpitations after taking salbutamol

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