Ventolin: sexual intercourse and exercise

Ventolin: sexual intercourse and exercise

Right before sexual intercourse, I take Ventolin to clear my bronchi and prevent coughing. But I read that Ventolin may have harmful effects, including heart complications. As it is, Ventolin makes me shake. Are there any risks to my using Ventolin before sexual intercourse?

Ventolin is prescribed for people with cystic fibrosis because over half of them suffer from bronchial hyperactivity, the severity of which may vary over time. Bronchial hyperactivity, also found in all asthmatics, can be defined as hypersensitivity of the bronchi, which causes them to overreact when irritated. One of these reactions is called a bronchospasm (a contraction of the muscular layer of the bronchus), which reduces the diameter of the bronchus. Ventolin is a bronchodilator that reverses contraction and produces dilation of the bronchial muscle, thus keeping the bronchus “open.” Other stimuli that can cause excessive reactions of the bronchi include allergens, general irritants (strong, odours cigarette smoke, cold air), respiratory infections, as well as exercise. Regarding the latter, we know that Ventolin can prevent bronchospasms due to physical exertion when taken 15 to 20 minutes before exercise.

In view of these facts, individuals with cystic fibrosis who experience bronchial hyperactivity following physical exertion could benefit from taking Ventolin before physical activities (amorous or athletic)! The metered-dose inhaler would appear to be more appropriate than the nebulizer. The doses can be repeated, but must be taken about six hours apart. Devices used with powdered Ventolin (Rotacaps, Diskhaler) are just as effective and require less coordination. Similar drugs such as Berotec, Bricanyl, and ProAir can be used as well. Newer medications such as Accolate and Singulair can sometimes be added in cases where exertion-induced bronchial hyperactivity persists despite taking the usual medications.

However, these newer medications should not be used alone for exercise-related bronchospasm. The side effects of Ventolin (and similar drugs) are generally limited to tremor of the extremities and tachycardia (accelerated heart rate). These side effects are benign and can be eliminated by decreasing the dose and by leaving adequate time between doses.

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