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Albuterol Sulfate - Overview

Albuterol, available as generic albuterol and also marketed under a variety of brand names such as ProAir HFA, Proventil and Ventolin, is a medication used in the treatment of asthma. Push Health enables people who need albuterol prescriptions, including albuterol inhalers and albuterol nebulizers, to connect with a medical provider online and get an albuterol prescription when appropriate to do so.

Albuterol Sulfate - Administration and Mechanism

Albuterol belongs to a class of drugs known as beta 2 adrenergic receptor agonists. Albuterol can cause smooth muscle relaxation which results in dilation of the bronchial passages. This is why albuterol is also referred to as a bronchodilator medication. Albuterol is typically administered via an inhaler (metered-dose inhaler or MDI), frequently with counters, or a nebulizer. Albuterol can be administered as an intravenous drug although it is not typically done as nebulized albuterol is more convenient to administer and as effective. Albuterol sulfate is often the active ingredient in albuterol inhalers. Beta agonist medications are classified into short-acting, long-acting and ultra-long-acting beta 2 agonists. After being inhaled, albuterol demonstrates low systemic effects. The terminal plasma half-life of albuterol after inhalation aerosol is approximately six hours. The mean duration of albuterol's effect is generally three to six hours.

Albuterol - Cost

Albuterol is used to treat asthma and COPD. As a prescription medication, it is not possible to buy albuterol over-the-counter (OTC). The cost of a prescription albuterol HFA inhaler typically ranges from $25 to $60 per inhaler. At times, it is possible to find an albuterol inhaler coupon from a manufacturer or other organizations.

Can I Buy Albuterol Online?

Generic albuterol inhalers and the branded versions require a prescription in order to be dispensed by a pharmacy. At this time, albuterol OTC is not available and one cannot simply buy albuterol online as the first step is getting a prescription from a licensed medical provider. Through Push Health, however, people can request an albuterol inhaler prescription from a licensed medical provider and get their albuterol if it is safe and appropriate to be prescribed.

Albuterol - Brand Differences

ProAir HFA utilizes the ingredient albuterol while Xopenex HFA features levalbuterol. Major differences include the dose in each actuation and reported side effects. Albuterol is often used with ipratropium bromide (Atrovent HFA), a complementary asthma medication that is often administered at the same time to provide additional bronchodilation during an acute asthma exacerbation independently. Albuterol is also used in the combination medications Combivent and DuoNeb.

Is Albuterol A Steroid?

Some people wonder if albuterol is a steroid medication. While albuterol is sometimes given in conjunction with a steroid medication, albuterol sulfate itself is not a steroid. Instead, albuterol is a type of beta 2 adrenergic receptor agonist. However, albuterol is often prescribed with other steroid medications such as prednisone or fluticasone (Arnuity Ellipta and Flonase).

Albuterol - Side Effects

Generic albuterol and the branded version all can cause side effects but is typically tolerated well. Common side effects that are sometimes experienced while using albuterol include a rapid heart rate, palpitations, tremulousness and stomach discomfort. Anyone who has demonstrated hypersensitivity or an allergy to albuterol should not use the medication. All questions and concerns that come up about using albuterol nebulizers or inhalers should be directed to one's pharmacist and licensed medical provider prior to use.

More Albuterol Information

Last updated May 17, 2021. Given the evolving nature of medicine and science, this information might not be accurate and should not be construed as medical advice or diagnosis / treatment recommendations. Please consult a licensed medical provider if you have additional questions.