A1: I have found 8 mg twice a day effective with CR albuterol, and 16 mg to be a little strong all at once. It is possible that the CR coating can be destroyed through crushing the pill (depending on the mechanism of release, I suppose), though I have not tried this.
A2: Have you tried other forms of Albuterol? This side has been listed as serious, as you mentioned, and you should certainly stop use of albuterol if this appears to continue or be an allergic reaction.
Because i do not understand the complexities of albuterol metabolism and action in the body, I can't say why you might be experiencing such a reaction, only that albuterol appears to effect phospholipase A2, which has some relation to histamine reactions. I honestly don't know.