Over The Counter Asthma Inhaler

Over The Counter Inhaler for Asthma

In the realm of managing asthma symptoms, the use of inhalers is fundamental. People with asthma often carry small devices. They are not only to prevent attacks but also to provide relief while breathing difficulties.

Inhalers play a crucial role in managing conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders (COPD).

However, the price of prescription inhalers may have increased. Do undergo a prompt search for more affordable over the counter (OTC) options. The question remains: do such nonprescription options effectively alleviate the condition’s symptoms?

To better answer your question, we explored over the counter asthma inhalers to help you find the best option for your condition. Nevertheless, it is usually crucial to completely seek proper advice from a healthcare provider. This is to be done before initiating any of the treatment plans.

Types Of Over The Counter Inhalers

Albuterol, the medication, is known to be the most contained in most prescription inhalers. The medication is only available via a written prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. You cannot get the albuterol medication over the counter.

Currently, the FDA approves only two inhalers available for purchase without a prescription. The FDA has also warned about these mentioned products due to various instances of bad reactions. These inhalers will not prevent asthma attacks and should not be used for long-term asthma treatment. Some of you with asthma should have access to prescription medication including albuterol and levalbuterol.

  1. Usage: FDA-approved for temporary concerning relief of mild asthma symptoms.
  2. Active Ingredient: Epinephrine (adrenaline) helps in widening airways.
  3. Formulation: Initially taken off shelves due to a harmful propellant, the formulation is now reformulated
  4. Dosage: Inhale approx. 12 doses, up to 8 doses in around 24 hours.
  5. Caution: Do not use it for long-term or to overcome severe asthma. Your healthcare professionals can prescribe it based on your needs and conditions.


  1. Availability: Over the counter in most of the pharmacies.
  2. Active Ingredient: Racepinephrine, which is similar to epinephrine. It helps to widen the airways.
  3. From: Liquid form for use under nebulizer; less portable than Primatene Mist.
  4. Dosage: Inhale the solution 13 times every three hours for mild asthma-like conditions.
  5. Caution: Not for long-term or severe asthma-like conditions.


Important Note:

  1. Both above-mentioned medications are composed of epinephrine. The FDA warns about adverse reactions it delivers.
  2. Symptoms while using these medications may include chest pain, enhanced blood pressure, nausea, etc.
  3. Over the counter asthma drugs might have a higher risk of adverse reactions than prescription ones.
  4. For individuals with asthma, it’s crucial not to replace prescribed medications with over the counter alternatives. OTC options are less effective and pose a higher risk of causing severe reactions.


Warnings and Safety



It is all important to note that these alternatives might provide relief for you. You must consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice. This helps to choose methods align with your overall asthma management plan.

Prescription Inhalers for Asthma

As mentioned earlier, do not simply rely on over the counter asthma inhalers. This goes well for long-term use or as a substitute for prescription inhalers too. Prescription medications are the main and most effective treatment in managing asthma due to their fewer side effects.

Use quick-relief inhalers as needed when asthmatic symptoms may arise. Examples of short-acting beta2-selective agonists for delivering quick relief include albuterol (usually as Ventolin and Proair Respiclick) and levalbuterol (generic for Xopenex).

Long-acting inhalers can help in controlling asthma by lowering the inflammation and irritation in the airways. Taken daily or multiple times a day, it can lead to long-acting beta-agonists (LABA), inhaled steroids (ICS), and combination inhalers that include both.

Short-acting inhalers are usually cheaper than long-acting ones. Inhaled steroid (ICS) inhalers are usually more cost-effective than long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) inhalers. In many cases, you are prescribed with a rescue inhaler for emergencies. And the other one is a long-acting inhaler for daily or twice-daily maintenance.

In conclusion

Asthma-like condition is a chronic condition that can worsen over time. Without appropriate treatment, it might lead to permanent lung damage and impaired breathing. Due to potential risks, healthcare professionals advise caution while considering non-prescription asthma treatments.

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