Safety outcomes of salbutamol: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Link to article at PubMed

Clin Respir J. 2023 Oct 16. doi: 10.1111/crj.13711. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Salbutamol has been used to alleviate bronchospasm in airway disease for decades, while its potential risks have not been systematically investigated yet. The risk of any potential adverse events (AEs) in patients treated with salbutamol was assessed through systematic review and meta-analysis.

METHODS: A systematic search of the literature was conducted, using EMBASE, PubMed and Cochrane library, until 3 April 2023. Once the AE incidence was evaluated, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were eligible for review. The endpoints included the incidence of total AEs, severe AEs, treatment discontinuation and specific AEs. The pooled AEs incidence was analysed via random-effects model in a single-arm meta-analysis. A subgroup study was carried out to examine whether the pooled incidence of AE differed by indications or formulations.

RESULTS: Of the 8912 studies that were identified, 58 RCTs met the inclusion criteria and involved 12 961 participants. The analysis showed the pooled incidences of total AEs, severe AEs and treatment discontinuation in patients treated with salbutamol were 34%, 2% and 3%, respectively. Subgroup analysis indicated that premature labour users and intravenous salbutamol users were more likely associated with total AEs. The most frequently observed specific AEs were palpitations or tachycardia.

CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis indicated that salbutamol was associated with a very common risk of palpitations or tachycardia. Clinical vigilance and research efforts are needed to optimize the safe use of salbutamol.

PMID:37844914 | DOI:10.1111/crj.13711

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