Albuterol For Weight Loss Feature Image

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Introduction

The health & dieting industry is constantly bringing innovative products to market and inventing new techniques that people of all ages and sizes can adopt in order to help them with their weight loss goals. The majority of these products are subject to rigorous testing, clinical trials, and government approval to ensure the safety of the public is always paramount when considering possible dangers that could lead to serious health issues.

However, as some extreme fitness fanatics never seem to be satisfied with the tried and tested methods that result in significant weight loss, that also deliver long-lasting results, such as exercise, approved supplements, and healthy eating, you will eventually start to come across certain techniques or products that may seem somewhat reckless, and even dangerous, in the quest for the ultimate figure.

Professional bodybuilders, athletes, and even regular gym goers have used various drugs, medications, and stimulants for decades to try and gain an advantage over their competitors and peers. Many of these products are legal, however, many have been banned in countries all over the globe, and others are misused and abused.

Albuterol seems to fall into the latter category. Although Albuterol is an FDA approved drug in the United States, and an approved medication in the European Union, it has not received approval for the sole purpose of being an aid to weight loss.

So, should you consider using Albuterol for weight loss?

What Is Albuterol?

Albuterol (also known as Salbutamol and Ventolin) is an approved medication used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD-related symptoms. If you have ever seen someone reach for a small blue or brown looking inhaler and take a deep breath from it, this will most likely contain Albuterol.

What Does Albuterol Do?

Asthma attacks and COPD related conditions can cause the airways to constrict making it extremely difficult for an individual to breath. Some attacks can even result in the person being hospitalized. When the user inhales this substance it essentially opens up the lungs and airways of the respiratory system enabling the person to breathe normally.

What Are The Side Effects Of Albuterol?

Albuterol can have quite drastic side effects on the user as the drug stimulates the nervous system and muscles, as well as causing several adverse reactions to an individual’s cardiovascular system.

The most common side effects of Albuterol are:

  • Tachycardia (Rapid heartbeat)
  • Arrhythmias (Irregular heartbeat)
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Trembling or shaking of limbs
  • Dizziness
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Anxiety

Tachycardia and arrhythmias are the ones to really take note of here as this is the result of directly stimulating your cardiovascular system which can lead to serious health issues.

It’s normal to experience a rapid heartbeat during exercise as this is your bodies natural response to increased energy exertion and helps to deliver vital blood & oxygen supplies to your muscles and organs. However, when you induce this process artificially your body has less control over the biological process which can result in the body experiencing a cardiac event such as a heart attack.

How Does Albuterol Cause Weight Loss?

Research into the specific area of Albuterol use for weight loss is slim, to say the least, and not very much is known about how it works. The common theory is based around the fact that the drug stimulates the nervous system and cardiovascular system which increases blood flow and raises a person’s metabolic rate, which in theory could also increase the rate at which your body can burn fat.

The prescription form of this drug usually takes effect within a few seconds of inhalation with the side effects subsiding shortly after which helps to keep the risks associated with drug relatively low. However, Albuterol usually comes in pill form and the effects can last for hours at a time, greatly increasing the period in which you are exposed to possible side effects and serious health issues.

There is simply not enough research into how this specific drug can aid weight loss.

How Much Do You Need To Take For The Purposes Of Losing Weight?

Most bodybuilding websites report that for optimal use, this medication is to be taken up to 8 times a day amounting to 16-24mg in total.

Again, with little research on offer into the abuse of this drug as an aide to weight loss, it’s extremely difficult to confirm if there is at all a safe dosage for anyone to be taking. You also have to consider the size and weight of the person consuming the drug as it will have a different effect on an individual relative to their height and weight.

If you consider another stimulant such as caffeine, you would quickly come to the conclusion that a 100mg dose would have adversely different effects on a person of 120 kgs, compared to an individual weighing in at around 80 kgs. This is why the currently recommended doses of Albuterol raise suspicions as to how accurate, or even safe these amounts are.

Do I Need A Prescription To Buy Albuterol?

Yes. This drug is usually only prescribed by a doctor for the specific purpose of treating asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD-related symptoms. NOT weight loss.

There are websites that offer the inhaler version of the medication but they come with no guarantee that the drug you’re buying is actually Albuterol, and with the counterfeit drug market worth billions, you can be sure you’re taking a risk purchasing this online.

Can I Take Albuterol With Other Medication?

This is NOT recommended without consulting a trained medical practitioner.

Can I Take Albuterol With Other Supplements?

This is NOT recommended without consulting a trained medical practitioner.

Is It safe To Take Albuterol For Weight Loss?

Considering some of the adverse side effects an individual can experience, even if the drug has been prescribed to them to help treat a medical condition, combined with the lack of research into how the drug interacts with various parts of your biological systems and processes during exercise, their is not enough evidence to suggest that Albuterol is safe to take for the sole purpose of weight loss.

Does Albuterol Work For Weight Loss?

There is very little evidence to suggest that Albuterol on its own can actually be attributed to weight loss. Whilst it does appear to raise your bodies metabolic rate, potentially helping you burn fat, most studies have been conducted with the addition of caffeine so it’s very unclear.

Have There Been Any Deaths Linked To Albuterol? 

There have been numerous reports submitted to the FDA that indicate Albuterol has at least been a possible contributing factor to the death of some individuals. It is important to note that in the majority of these cases the individuals were already suffering from long-term medical conditions.

A report published by the Cornell Chronicle also highlighted the fact that some inhalers cause up to 80 percent of asthma-related deaths. [1]

Conclusion

Albuterol is an FDA approved medication specifically designed to treat people that suffer from asthma and to control COPD and COPD related symptoms by stimulating the bodies nervous systems, dilating airways, and relieving the constricting effect these conditions have on an individual’s respiratory system.

Even as a prescribed drug, inhaling Albuterol can lead to a number of potentially serious side effects, the most noteworthy being Tachycardia and Arrhythmias. With little research on the short-term or long-term effects of stimulating your cardiovascular system with such a substance and to such a degree on a regular basis, you are putting yourself at risk of suffering a serious cardiac event.

Some supplements are worth taking in order to help you lose weight, absorb nutrients, or even to ensure you are hitting your daily targets for protein, minerals, essential amino acids, healthy fats and dietary fiber. Supplements that do not have such adverse or potentially fatal side effects.

If you really want to lose weight and benefit from long-lasting results without putting your health at risk, then the only methods you should be focusing your energy on are the tried and tested methods of dieting, and exercise.

Considering the potential dangers Albuterol poses to an individual, it is simply not worth the risk-to-reward ratio. The risk to your health appears to be very high, and there is little evidence to suggest that Albuterol is an effective drug for weight loss.

Albuterol is a classic example of a small number of people misusing a drug for its intended purpose which is considered to be a dangerous practice to adopt, and one you should avoid.

Marina Ma, MD
Marina Ma, MD
Staff Writer & Fact Checker at DietProbe
Marina has an MD from U-M and is a resident writer and fact checker at DietProbe.
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This article has been reviewed and fact-checked by a certified nutritionist, and only uses information from credible academic sources.