Albuterol Inhaler Cost


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 15, 2018

Albuterol, a generic-form medication of many metered-dose inhalers, is used to help treat wheezing, shortness in breath and related breathing difficulties, such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.

The generic is known as Salbutamol, while popular brands include Accuneb, ProAir HFA, Proventil HFA and Ventolin HFA, with Accuneb being the most popular choice.

Albuterol Inhaler Cost
Dueling Inhalers” (CC BY 2.0) by cogdogblog

How much does Albuterol cost?

The costs of Albuterol will depend on the brand you’re prescribed, your health insurance policy, the pharmacy you choose and the dosage.  Without insurance, the average cost of the generic ranges anywhere from $13 to $45+, while those with insurance reported paying anywhere from as little as $0 to as much as $15+.  These costs, as with any medication, would greatly depend on your health insurance.  For this price, it will include both the medication and the inhaler.  To know for certain how much you’d be responsible for, it’s best to either talk with a local pharmacy, your health insurance company or in some cases, some health insurance companies offer the pricing via a pricing database located on their official website.

DosagePrices (Generic Only)
75 mls (25 x 3 milliliters)$14
90 mls (30 x 3 milliliters)$19
150 mls$18
180 mls (60 x 3 milliliters)$28
225 mls$23
270 mls$35

2mg oral tablet$4 at Walmart for 90 tablets
4mg oral tablet$4 at Walmart for 60 tablets

How did we get these prices?  We checked the official Costco pricing sheet and called Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and Sam’s Club to determine the average price without insurance and any discounts applied.

Walmart directed us to this $4 prescription page, noting, at the time of this publishing, that the 90 2mg tablets and 60 4mg tablets would cost $4 for a 30-day supply, while 120ml of the 2mg/5ml syrup would be in the same price range as well.  A $10 90-day supply was also available, offering 270 2mg tablets or 180 4mg tablets.

Additional costs to budget for

A nebulizer may be necessary

With some prescriptions, however, your doctor may also prescribe a nebulizer, which is a machine designed to help mix the air with the medication when wearing either a mask or a mouthpiece, essentially creating a mist that you breathe deep into your lungs.  Each treatment session, if prescribed a machine, would take five to 15 minutes to complete, all depending on your dosage and the medication prescribed.  This machine can range anywhere from $20 to $120 depending on the brand purchased.

Peak flow meter

A peak flow meter, another device which may be prescribed by your doctor, helps measure how fast you’re able to push air out of your lungs and is often prescribed to help determine the dosage you need.  Most doctors recommend that patients use this flow meter before each use and can cost anywhere from $10 to $25.

How to save on Albuterol

Discounted prescription cards

Popular prescription coupon-based websites, such as GoodRX.com, allowing you to print coupons at home and pay the price noted on their website.  To use, you set your location, find the pharmacy you want to use and select your dosage.  With this information, you will then be presented with the prices you will pay at your local pharmacy as long as you print the coupon from the company’s website.  If you do use this option, however, do keep in mind that you cannot combine a prescription coupon with your health insurance — it’s either one or the other, so if you are able to save more with the prescription savings card, then it would be best to use this option instead.  GoodRX.com is one of the many reputable prescription savings card companies online, so be sure to compare other companies as well.

Non-profits

If your health insurance doesn’t help you save enough or you’re finding out that you simply cannot afford the prescriptions out of pocket, then consider a non-profit that may be able to help cover a portion of the prescription.  The HealthWell Foundation, for example, is one of the many non-profits we found online that could assist you with the medication as long as you meet the household income limit and were living with cystic fibrosis.  This Foundation, in particular, was designed for those suffering from cystic fibrosis, but you should be able to find multiple non-profit organizations that may be able to help with your condition.  This Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America list, for example, lists multiple organizations that may be able to help.

Talk with your health insurance provider

Call your health insurance company to see what the prices of other rescue inhalers are and if your insurance has a preferred medication to help save you money.  If so, ask your doctor if he or she can provide this medication instead.

Check the official manufacturer website

As there are many manufacturers that manufacture Albuterol, many of these companies offer financial assistance and/or coupons directly on their website.  Merck, for example, can help you save up to $15 off your out-of-pocket prices, while the manufacturers of ProAir can offer assistance if you qualify.

Albuterol overview

Prescriptions will include an inhaler, which is the plastic device that helps propel the medication into the lungs, with most of the inhalers prescribed including 200 metered doses.  The number of puffs will be printed on the side of the inhaler. To learn how the inhaler works, refer to this Mayo Clinic usage guide.

Plateau Pediatrics notes that, in general, a dose may be given every four or six hours or as needed.  For children, it’s often administered either when a dry, hacking cough is heard and/or if your child is struggling to breathe.  Unlike some medicines, they also note it’s safe to use on an as-needed basis and can be started when there’s a need for acute relief.

The expiration date can be found on the side of your inhaler, with most inhalers safe to use after 12 months, according to Medical News Today.  Most inhalers will expire about one year after being issued, however.

Always store your inhaler in a cool, dry place and replace the cap after each use to help protect the canister and pressure level.


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