Asthma drugs for fat loss – Albuterol/Salbutamol


Asthma drugs for fat loss – Albuterol/Salbutamol

Yes, you read that correctly. Drugs commonly inhaled by asthmatics are also used in weight loss. To those more familiar with the underworld of bodybuilding you might think this is an article about the almighty ‘Clen’ (Clenbuterol) but that will be expanded upon in a different article. This is about ‘Clen’s’ less popular brother Albuterol (also known as Salbutamol).

This drug is young. It was introduced in 1980 and sold under the name Ventolin (still commonly called this to date). As mentioned in the title, it is a drug used in asthma, more specifically an asthma reliever (treats acute attacks). It does this by dilating the airways in the lungs (since an asthma attack in constriction of these airways). So how would this result in fat loss?

Albuterol is a selective beta-2 adrenergic agonist which means whilst it expands the airways it also stimulates the heart resulting in an increased heart rate and this consequentially increases someone’s metabolic rate. This drug does also stimulate lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) whilst maintaining lean body mass (muscle and strength). There are multiple other effects this drug has but these are the two important ones to mention for this article.

There are inhaled and oral/tablet formulations that are available. The inhaled formulation is more selective to the airway and therefore is not absorbed systemically as much as the oral formulation. This means the inhaled version will not result is as great a level of fat loss and will have fewer side effects. The oral preparation is more commonly used in bodybuilding since it grants these metabolic benefits.


What are the side effects?
This drug is potentially lethal if abused and should not be used without the guidance of a registered medical practitioner. Common side effects include dizziness, light-headedness, headache, tremors, insomnia, nervousness, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and dry mouth. Serious side effects which occur at high doses, and may occur at therapeutic doses for some, include high blood pressure, myocardial ischaemia and an irregular or rapid heartbeat.

How to use it?
When used for fat loss, 4mg is taken once to twice per day and this is gradually increased as an individual builds tolerance to the side effects. After tolerance is felt or recorded (via your body temperature), the 4mg tablet might be taken 3 to 4 times a day. The half-life is approximately 2 to 6 hours and thus the dosages should be spread out equally throughout the day. A degree or two-degree elevation in body temperature will indicate the drug is working and the dosage is correct. Tolerance is noted quickly with this drug and is shown by the core body temperature falling back to baseline. Whilst increasing the dose may result in tolerance to diminish again, taking too high a dosage will result in detrimental side effects. It is therefore advised to discontinue the drug for at least 4 weeks.

This is a brief overview of Albuterol/Salbutamol in bodybuilding.


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