Albuterol is a generic prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to prevent or treat bronchospasm in certain people with asthma. Bronchospasm refers to tightening of the muscles in your airway, which can make it hard to breathe.

Albuterol can also be used to prevent bronchospasm that’s caused by exercise.

Drug details

Here are some details on albuterol:

  • Drug class: short-acting beta agonist
  • Drug forms:
    • aerosol inhaler
    • nebulizer solution
    • oral syrup
    • immediate-release (IR)* oral tablet
    • extended-release (ER)† oral tablet
  • Brand-name versions:
    • Accuneb (nebulizer solution)
    • Proair digihaler (powder inhaler)
    • Proair HFA (inhaler)
    • Proair Respiclick (powder inhaler)
    • Proventil HFA (aerosol inhaler)
    • Ventolin HFA (aerosol inhaler)
    • Vospire ER (oral tablet)

Read on to learn about albuterol and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions.

* Immediate-release means the drug is released all at once into your body.
† Extended-release means the drug is released into your body slowly over time.

Albuterol retail price
Save up to $16 per fill off of the retail price
The retail price of albuterol is $20. Save up to $16 per fill off of the retail price.

As with all medications, the cost of albuterol can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.

In addition, if you’re prescribed albuterol oral syrup, you may need a syringe or special measuring cup to measure your doses. Your pharmacist or doctor will likely provide these supplies.

If you’re prescribed albuterol nebulizer solution, you’ll also need to purchase a nebulizer. Your doctor will likely write you a prescription for this device. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

To find out what the cost of albuterol will be for you, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

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Retail price refers to the manufacturer’s published list price and is up to date as of 3/2023. Retail and discounted prices are U.S.-only and can vary based on region and pharmacy. We cannot guarantee that the discounted price listed here will exactly match the price at your pharmacy. Please contact your pharmacy for the exact price.

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Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug prices and albuterol.

How does the cost of albuterol compare with and without insurance?

The cost of albuterol can vary depending on whether you have insurance or not. It’s likely that the drug might cost more without insurance than with insurance. Your pharmacist may be able to help you determine what albuterol costs without insurance.

If you have questions about the cost of albuterol, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Is it possible to get a free albuterol inhaler?

It depends. Some brand-name albuterol inhalers may be free through the drug’s manufacturer.

For example, you may be able to get a free Proventil HFA inhaler through the drug’s manufacturer. The manufacturer of Proair HFA also offers a similar service. Proventil HFA and Proair HFA are brand-name forms of albuterol.

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to find out if the form of albuterol you’re prescribed may be available for free. For more information about the differences between generic and brand-name drugs, including albuterol, see the “Generic vs. brand-name drugs” section below.

Does the strength or form of albuterol affect the price?

Yes, the strength or form of albuterol you’re prescribed can affect the price of the drug.

Albuterol comes in numerous forms, including:

  • liquid nebulizer solution
  • immediate-release oral tablet
  • aerosol inhaler
  • oral syrup
  • extended-release oral tablet

Talk with your pharmacist if you have more questions about the price of albuterol based on the strength or form. They may be able to help answer questions about albuterol and cost, including the cost based on the form and strength prescribed for you.

Albuterol is available as the following brand-name drugs:

  • Accuneb (nebulizer solution)
  • Proair digihaler (powder inhaler)
  • Proair HFA (inhaler)
  • Proair Respiclick (powder inhaler)*
  • Proventil HFA (aerosol inhaler)
  • Ventolin HFA (aerosol inhaler)*
  • Vospire ER (extended-release oral tablet)

* These drugs are only available in brand-name form, and do not have a generic form.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug.

It’s important to note that certain forms or strengths of albuterol may only be available as a brand or generic. For example, some forms of albuterol are only available in generic form:

  • oral syrup
  • immediate-release oral tablets

Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs. To find out how the cost of brand-name albuterol forms compare with the cost of generic albuterol, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

If your doctor has prescribed albuterol and you’re interested in using a brand-name form instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check with your insurance provider, as it may only cover one or the other.

Below are some suggestions that may help you reduce long-term drug costs with albuterol.

Getting a 3-month supply

You may be able to get a 90-day supply of albuterol. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or insurance provider.

Using a mail-order pharmacy

Albuterol may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this type of service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to receive your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug via mail order.

If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.

If you need financial support to pay for albuterol, consider looking into websites that offer cost resources and information. Two such organizations are:

These sites can provide details on drug assistance programs, ways to make the most of your insurance coverage, and links to savings cards and other services.

Now that you’ve learned about cost and albuterol, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance on cost issues related to you and albuterol. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for albuterol.

Here are some other resources you may find helpful:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.