Gone were the days when the asthma inhalers were cheap as any ordinary over-the-counter medicines. These are mainly because of the phasing out of the old, generic brands of medicines that were said to cause damage to the ozone layers of the earth due to their chlorofluorocarbons or CFC emissions.
Currently, albuterol is one of the widely-prescribed medications for asthma and other lung issues. Albuterol is a drug that is used to treat and prevent lung-related illnesses such as bronchospasm that often manifests in asthma, chronic bronchitis, and anaphylaxis. This drug comes in many forms such as tablets, syrups, nebules, and inhalers.
There is a common misconception that nebulizers and inhalers are the same. To clarify, they are completely different things. First, a nebulizer is a device where the albuterol nebules are placed and turns the liquid solution into fine mists that can be inhaled. On the other hand, inhalers are portable devices that act as an emergency treatment that you can carry with you wherever you go and can be used without the need of power supply to operate.
The albuterol that is in the form of inhalation solution is taken through nebulizers, while albuterol in the form of inhalation aerosol is the inhaler we will be tackling in this article.
When it comes to price, albuterol inhaler costs differently as well from the nebules, especially if considering the nebulizer machine. So how much does an albuterol inhaler cost?
Average Cost of Albuterol Inhaler
Albuterol inhalers can cost around $30 to $80 per unit depending on the pharmacy, the brand, or if you use certain discount coupons and other promo codes.
There are basically two types of Albuterol-based inhalers available in the market today. These are the Metered-Dose Inhalers (MDI) and the Dry Powder Inhalers (DPI).
According to Internationalpharm.net, the price of inhalers that are metered-dose are as follows:
- 1 Proventil HFA Inhaler – 100mcg – $$48.62
- 3 Proventil HFA Inhaler – 100mcg – $92.32
- 6 Proventil HFA Inhaler – 100mcg – $147.17
The average price of inhaler for the 90mcg Ventolin Hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) Inhalation Aerosol ranges around $29.72 to $30.51 per eight grams and $52.14 to $93.20 for the 18 grams when using Drugs.com discount card.
On the other hand, the Dry Powder Inhaler (DPI), specifically the ProAir RespiClick inhaler costs between $65 and $74, depending on where you purchase it.
What is Included
The albuterol inhaler cost includes the device itself and the albuterol vial. Some inhalers have counters which indicate how many times you have used it before buying another one. Otherwise, you have to keep a record of every use. The most widely produced inhalers are the 200-dose.
Your pulmonologist might require you to measure your inhalation level in order to get the right amount of medicine into your lungs. A peak flow meter usually costs around $19.47 to $30.39 at Walmart.
You have trouble pressing the device and inhaling from it at the same time, you might want to consider getting a spacer. A spacer is used to lock down the albuterol in it after you pressed the device, giving you time to inhale the medicine at your own pace. The price of inhaler spacer is around $27.99 at Amazon.
Shopping for Albuterol Inhaler
Albuterol inhalers are available in any pharmacies nationwide. But if you are very particular about the pricing, a lot of them offer discount coupons and promotional campaigns.
HelpRx currently offers up to 75% off of their ProAirRespiClick inhaler price through their gift coupons.
Factors Affecting Albuterol Inhaler
A lot of factors can affect the cost of your asthma maintenance particularly your albuterol inhaler. Some of these include the following:
- Type of inhaler – your choice or that of the prescription or recommendation of your doctor, the type of inhaler you purchased would determine the cost of your inhaler as the Metered Dose Inhaler and Dry Powder Inhaler have price variance. The DPI costs higher than the MDI.
- Dosage– inhalers come in different dosages which automatically affect the price you have to pay.
- Quantity – some pharmacies offer discounts on volume purchases so it is better to buy in volume if you need to use more often or regularly if you have severe asthma.
- Location – some states have higher prices of health products than others because of the high standard of living and health care cost in those said areas.
- Pharmacy – where you intend to buy your inhalers also tend to have an effect on the cost as there are pharmacies that sell cheaper and offer discounts.
- Insurance – there are some insurance companies that would cover up to one-third of the cost of your inhalers. But there are those who would argue that albuterol inhalers can only be a mere treatment of the attacks rather than addressing the real cause or condition behind such attacks. Therefore you need to talk thoroughly with your insurer in order to relieve yourself part of the burden of having to pay the entire cost of your asthma maintenance medicines.
Although albuterol, on all its forms can be purchased at any pharmacies without a prescription, it is still important to ask your physician for the proper use and required dosage as it can have a serious side effect when improperly used or used for a prolonged period of time.
Some of the things you must watch out for or tell your doctor if you are prescribed of albuterol inhalers for your lung issues are the following:
- If you are allergic to it albuterol itself
- If you are allergic to milk proteins
- If you have any heart issues as albuterol can cause palpitations in some cases
- If you are epileptic
- If you have thyroid problems
- If you have low levels of potassium
- If you are pregnant or nursing
- If a child who will use is below four years old
If you are known to be asthmatic, it is important to carry with you your inhaler at all times. But if you think that you are not getting any better despite continuous use, tell your doctor right away as the need for an increased dosage may sometimes mean the medication no longer works for you.
Also, be alert to any signs of overdose as this could be fatal. During an emergency like an accidental overdose, call Poison Helpline at 1-800-222-1222.