Asthma Home > Albuterol Inhaler

An albuterol inhaler is used to treat and prevent asthma attacks. It can also be used to treat and prevent airway spasms in people with COPD. The medication usually starts working within 6 to 15 minutes when taken during an asthma attack; you can also use an albuterol inhaler 15 to 30 minutes before exercise to help prevent exercise-induced asthma.

What Is an Albuterol Inhaler?

An albuterol inhaler is a prescription medication used to treat or prevent airway spasms (called bronchospasms). Bronchospasms are most common in people with asthma, but can also occur in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Albuterol inhalers are also approved to prevent exercise-induced asthma attacks.
(Click Albuterol Inhaler Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Different Albuterol Inhalers

There are many different albuterol inhalers. Some are equivalent to each other, while others are not. Older inhalers are made using chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as the propellants, while newer inhalers use hydrofluoroalkane (HFA), an environmentally friendly propellant. The older albuterol inhalers include:
These older inhalers cannot be produced or sold after December 31, 2008, due to concerns that CFCs deplete the ozone layer (see Environmentally Friendly Albuterol Inhaler). Newer albuterol inhalers include:
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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