Date: August 2021, Version 1

What is it?

Salbutamol helps to open up the airways in the lungs. It is used to treat asthma, often in the form of a ‘blue inhaler’. Brand names include Ventolin, Airomir, Asmalal, Easyhaler, Pulvinal, Salamol, Easi-Breathe, and Salbulin.


What are the benefits of using salbutamol in pregnancy?

Salbutamol improves breathing, preventing dangerous asthma attacks. Asthma medicines like salbutamol should be continued in pregnancy, as the baby needs oxygen to stay alive, grow and develop.  


Are there any risks of using salbutamol in pregnancy?

No. Salbutamol from an inhaler stays mainly in the lungs. Very little salbutamol reaches the baby and it has not been shown to cause harm.


Are there any alternatives to using salbutamol in pregnancy?

Probably not. Women whose asthma is well-controlled with salbutamol will be advised to stay on their medication during pregnancy.  

No treatment

What if I prefer not to take medicines in pregnancy?

Your doctor will only prescribe medicines when needed and will be happy to talk with you about any concerns. Asthma medications should normally be continued in pregnancy to ensure that your asthma remains well-controlled. Poorly controlled asthma has been linked to pregnancy complications such as problems with the baby’s growth, premature delivery and pre-eclampsia.

Will I or my baby need any extra monitoring?

As part of routine antenatal care, all women are offered a detailed scan at around 20 weeks of pregnancy to check the baby’s development. Women using salbutamol in pregnancy do not need any additional scans unless their asthma is severe.

Are there any risks to my baby if the father has used salbutamol?

There is no evidence that salbutamol used by the father around the time of conception can harm the baby.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have any questions about the information in this leaflet please discuss them with your health care provider. They can access more detailed medical and scientific information from

How can I help to improve drug safety information for pregnant women in the future?

Our online reporting system (MyBump Portal) allows women who are currently pregnant to create a secure record of their pregnancy, collected through a series of questionnaires. You will be asked to enter information about your health, whether or not you take any medicines, your pregnancy outcome and your child's development. You can update your details at any time during pregnancy or afterwards. This information will help us better understand how medicines affect the health of pregnant women and their babies. Please visit the MyBump Portal to register.

General information
Sadly, miscarriage and birth defects can occur in any pregnancy.

Miscarriage occurs in about 1 in every 5 pregnancies, and 1 in every 40 babies are born with a birth defect. This is called the ‘background risk’ and happens whether medication is taken or not.

Most medicines cross the placenta and reach the baby. For many medications this is not a problem. However, some medicines can affect a baby’s growth and development.

If you take regular medication and are planning to conceive, you should discuss whether your medicine is safe to continue with your doctor/health care team before becoming pregnant. If you have an unplanned pregnancy while taking a medicine, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.

If a new medicine is suggested for you during pregnancy, please make sure that the person prescribing it knows that you are pregnant. If you have any concerns about a medicine, you can check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist.

Our Bumps information leaflets provide information about the effects of medicines in pregnancy so that you can decide, together with your healthcare provider, what is best for you and your baby.