The following article was written by Steven Smi
Albuterol (albuterol sulfate) is a short-acting B2-adrenergic receptor agonist used for the relief of bronchospasm in such conditions as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It’s on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential medicines. This means that it is considered to be one of the most important medicines needed in a basic health system.
Bodybuilders have used the drug, off label, for fat loss and to increase performance. In the United States, and most developed countries, a prescription or pharmacist approval is needed to acquire the drug because of its side effects.
Albuterol was first brought to market in 1968 by Allen and Hanburys of the United Kingdom, under the brand name Ventolin. Since then, it has been one of the most popular asthma drugs. In 1982, the FDA approved its use in the United States.
The main use for albuterol is to treat bronchospasm due to allergies, asthma, COPD, or exercise induced breathing difficulties. Other uses include cystic fibrosis, delaying premature labor, and even hyperkalemia (potassium in blood).
How it Works
Medically, albuterol is not a corticosteroid or catabolic steroid. In fact, it stimulates the beta receptors, which causes vasodilatation (increased blood flow, pumps). Furthermore, it reduces stored fat by stimulating the break down of fatty acids into the blood stream for use as fuel. The boost in blood flow does come at a cost, which is increased heart rate. Therefore, albuterol may be a poor choice for endurance athletes or runners who need to increase their max heart rate.
Albuterol increases body temperature and basal metabolic rate, and it decreases your appetite. Stimulants tend to cause appetite suppression, so albuterol does this very well.
Since stimulating beta 2 receptors will boost energy expenditure and free up body fat to be used as fuel, albuterol can be considered anti-catabolic as well. However, huge bodybuilders may not care about this result, as they are already taking anabolic steroids, which are actually ‘anabolic’. Hence, taking something ‘anti-catabolic’ as albuterol for muscle gain seems useless to them.
Generally, albuterol is used by bodybuilders for fat loss. However, some studies show that albuterol can help increase strength when used with a resistance training regiment. As stated above, it is doubtful that an advanced athlete, who routinely takes anabolic steroids, will notice much of anything from albuterol in regards to strength gains.
Typically, bodybuilders will use albuterol to increase fat loss as part of their supplement/anabolic steroid stack during cycles. It’s an aid to a cycle rather than a stand-alone drug.
Clenbuterol vs. Albuterol
Clenbuterol is similar to albuterol as they are both asthma drugs that act as stimulants in the body. Clen is considered the more harsh big brother, and most agree that albuterol has less side effects.
For example: “clen shakes,” anxiety, heart issues, insomnia, and overall lethargic feeling are reported less on albuterol than clenbuterol. Albuterol has a shorter half life when compared to clenbuterol, so this can be advantageous because its in and out of the body quicker.
WADA and Doping
Albuterol was put on the 2010 WADA prohibited list and required a ‘therapeutic use exemption’ by athletes. A year later, it was relaxed, and the use of up to 1600mcg’s over a 1 day span was allowed only when taken by inhalation. This allows asthma suffering athletes to take the drug without fear of penalty.
Detection time of albuterol is short, only 24 hours. This is due to the short elimination half life of the drug.
The half life of albuterol is 3.8 to 6 hours, which is why the drug is taken in split dosages throughout the day.
Side Effects of Albuterol
Albuterol was initially never thought of as a drug which would eventually be abused by athletes and bodybuilders. It was purely a prescription drug. Now, with more and more reports coming in about albuterol misuse, there are a few side effects which have come into light, some of which have been listed below:
- Shakiness and slight tremors after albuterol administration has been reported by many a user. This side effect is a minor one and the user will be able to settle down after a few minutes
- Users have reported experiencing periods of extreme mental alertness. This is a direct result of the stimulating properties of albuterol having their effect on the user’s brain
- Users have reported muscle cramp occurrence at times
- Users have also reported disturbed sleep patterns and sleep deprivation after albuterol use. In such cases, the user may consult with a doctor and seek for alteration in the dosage time of the drug which could help him overcome this side effect
- Mild acceleration in heartbeat have been reported by a certain percentage of users. It is generally nothing to worry about
The side effects listed above are known to be common among those users who are using the drug only as medication and have no intention of using them for any other benefits. As we have discussed before, albuterol is also being used as an ancillary in a bodybuilder’s steroid cycle. Misuse of this drug can have some serious complications. We have listed some of these major side effects below:
- Dizziness is one of the effects which can come from albuterol misuse. Albuterol is a potent stimulant and it can act as a hallucinogen. Users who suffer from dizziness should abstain from all dangerous activities till they feel better
- Migraine has also been observed in users who have abused albuterol. Migraines are extremely painful headaches which have the reputation of being notoriously recurring
- Some users have reported uncontrollable shaking of certain body parts after albuterol administration. This is particularly experienced in the arms and legs. If this occurs, consulting a doctor immediately is highly recommended
- Nosebleeds are reported among users who have misused this drug
- Nausea followed by bouts of vomiting has been reported
- Chest pains have been experienced by many users.
Appearance of blisters and rashes in the skin has been associated with albuterol administration. Consult your dermatologist when this happens
- Swelling in certain parts of the body may occur. This is because this drug like many others is known to initiate water retention in the body
- Breathing difficulty has also been reported. This is a curious side effect, as albuterol was always designed to treat respiratory ailments. Overdose of the drug can lead to such complications
- Fast pounding or irregular heartbeat which is also known as Arrhythmia is a likely after effect of albuterol overdose
- Some users have reported difficulty in swallowing food after taking albuterol
- There have been reports of development of a hoarser voice in users
- High blood pressure is another side effect of albuterol administration. Also known as hypertension, this is a condition in which the arteries in the heart have dramatically increased the blood pressure. This cause extreme stress to the heart as the heart has to pump harder in respect to the increase in pressure
Since albuterol is such a good vasodilator, it can cause crippling pumps. ‘The pump’ can be a good thing in terms of vascularity and shuttling-in blood and nutrients into the muscles. However, severe pumps can cause lower back pains, which could be counterproductive to your goals.
Taurine is a natural organic acid, which is found in many bodybuilding supplements, and it will lessen those crippling pumps.
There are several routes to dose albuterol; oral (used universally, but most popular with athletes), inhalation (asthma sufferers), and IV (those bed ridden). The dosages for asthma sufferers will vary according to age and other factors. Generally, for adults its 2 puffs every 4-6 hours, with tablets its 2-4mg orally 3-4 times per day.
There are also extended release tablets available. However, the most common way to use this drug is via inhalation because results happen within minutes of dosing. A syrup is available as well.
For male bodybuilders, 4mgs 3 times a day (12mgs total) in tablet form is a moderate dosage for fat loss. Women will take about 6mg a day split dose. It is important to drink plenty of water and I recommend the drug be taken with some light food. If symptoms become an issue, the dose should be lowered, and if symptoms are tolerable, the athlete can increase the dose slightly.
Cycle duration will vary. First time users should run it for 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off and assess how they react, then go from there. I personally would not run albuterol during post cycle therapy (PCT) or during a bridge. I prefer to run it on cycle. However, there are varied opinions on this, as some react differently to stimulants off cycle.
I use firstname.lastname@example.org – they stock a pharmaceutical grade Albuterol. Shipping to the UK usually takes 1-2 days and they do ship internationally too. Just send them an email explaining that you got their email address from this website and ask for a price list and they will send over a full list of products and prices.