My son, now almost 9, was a premie. He was hospitalized twice for lung issues (once at 2 weeks and then again when he was 2). The first medication they attempted to give him was Albuterol. It was a liquid medication that he took by mouth. He was about 10 months probably and I seriously thought I would have to take him to the ER it made his heart race soo bad. After that experience I refused to give it to him again, in ANY form.
His doctors told me about a new medication called Xopenex which was used in a nebulizer. In layman terms, Albuterol is a double helix drug. From what I understand, most of the side effects are on one strand while most of the beneficial components are on the other. Xopenex is basically the same medication without the half which has the side effects.
It works just as well in my experience. And while it does increase the heart rate, but not NEARLY as much as Albuterol does. To give you and example, when he was 2 he got the flu. I took in him and he was a bit congested. Within 12 hours, he could not get his breath and come to find out his right lung was partly collapsed. Anyway, in the hospital, without my knowledge, the attending put him on q 3 hour breathing treatments...with ALBUTEROL! His heart rate went crazy. The nurses kept running in and out. When I began to ask WHY his heart rate was sooo high, they said it might be the ALBUTEROL!
Well, lets just say, he did not take any more albuterol (I showed my tale and he was switched to Xopenex). To this day, he still has not taken that medication. Now, thank the lord, Xopenex even comes in an inhaler!
If you can't tollerate Albuterol, ask about Xopenex.