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What Does Albuterol Do

Albuterol is a medicine used to relieve attacks of bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and the treatment of chronic bronchitis and acute bronchiolitis [1]. This drug belongs to the group of selective beta-adrenergic receptor agonists. This drug is also known as salbutamol. These are synonyms that mean the same active substance.

In therapeutic doses, Albuterol acts on β2-adrenergic receptors [2] of the smooth muscles of the bronchi, providing a pronounced bronchodilator effect, prevents and relieves bronchospasm, and increases the vital capacity of the lungs. This medication prevents the release of histamine, a slow-reacting substance from mast cells and neutrophil chemotaxis factors. It also causes a slight positive chrono- and inotropic effect, dilates the coronary arteries, while practically not reducing blood pressure. Albuterol has a tocolytic effect, namely, it reduces the tone and contractile activity of the myometrium.

The main indication for the use of Albuterol is bronchospastic syndrome, bronchial asthma, including the nocturnal prolonged form of bronchial asthma. The medicine is used to prevent the occurrence of asthma attacks and relieve attacks that have already begun. This medicine is also often prescribed for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. For these diseases, the medicine is prescribed in inhalation form.

Parenterally with subsequent transition to oral administration, Albuterol is used in case of threat of premature labor with the appearance of contractile activity, in case of isthmic-cervical insufficiency, in case of fetal bradycardia (depending on uterine contractions during periods of cervical dilatation and expulsion. Additionally, Albuterol is used during operations on the pregnant uterus (applying a circular suture for insufficiency of the internal uterine os).

Is Albuterol a Steroid

Albuterol is not a steroid. This is a medicine that acts on beta-2 adrenergic receptors. This medicine causes relaxation of smooth muscles, promoting dilation of the bronchi, blood vessels in the muscles and liver, release of insulin and relaxation of the uterus.

When taking the drug by inhalation, it affects primarily the bronchial tissue. However, sometimes people who are interested in sports, particularly bodybuilding, take Albuterol orally or by injection. This is an off-label use of this drug in which it begins to demonstrate anabolic properties. Although it is not a steroid, it can help in gaining muscle mass. Such use of this medication is strongly discouraged, since Albuterol has a fairly large number of side effects and has a rather serious effect on the body.

Levalbuterol vs Albuterol

Both Levalbuterol and Albuterol are moderate, selective, short-acting beta-2 receptor agonists (SABAs). Levalbuterol is the more active R-enantiomer of the racemic mixture of albuterol, while Albuterol is a racemic mixture of the R-enantiomers and the S-enantiomers. Levalbuterol is available as a metered-dose inhaler and nebulizer solution, while Albuterol comes in a metered-dose inhaler, nebulizer solution, oral tablets, and oral solution. Both medications have a short duration of action. The list of indications for these two drugs is approximately identical, with the exception that Levalbuterol is not usually used to treat exercise-induced asthma.

Where Can I Buy Albuterol

US residents can purchase Albuterol from both regular local pharmacies and online pharmacies. By choosing the second option, the patient does not limit himself to pharmacies registered in the States, but can use the services of pharmacies all over the world. The process of ordering Albuterol online is practically no different from ordering any goods in online stores.

Those patients who are planning to buy Albuterol inhaler online can take advantage of the opportunity to choose between a brand-name drug or its numerous generic versions produced by dozens of pharmaceutical companies in different countries around the world. Another significant advantage of purchasing Albuterol in online pharmacies is its lower cost and the ability to purchase the medicine with an outdated prescription or without one at all. If a patient is looking to buy Albuterol online, it is important to choose large online pharmacies with many user reviews.

Albuterol Cost

The cost of an Albuterol inhaler varies somewhat depending on the markup of a particular pharmacy, the manufacturing company and a number of other parameters. The average retail price of one 18 ml inhaler is about $100. However, albuterol sulfate hfa is available at slightly lower prices: around $71 for an 18-gram inhaler or $33 for an 8-gram inhaler. As of 2024, despite various programs that provide co-financing of asthma drugs for people with low incomes, this is still a very high cost. After all, one bottle contains only 200 doses, and the cost of one dose is on average 90 cents. People who want to save money on Albuterol usually purchase this medicine from online pharmacies or try to get a discount coupon, which can sometimes reach 50%.

Albuterol Inhaler Cost without Insurance

US residents who do not have Albuterol coverage in their insurance plan are forced to pay significantly more for this drug, namely from $120 to $160 per inhaler. In addition, the cost of a visit to the doctor is added to the cost of the inhaler itself, if one is not included in the insurance plan. In general, if a patient knows that they have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it is important to pay attention to the nuances of the insurance plan so as not to face the need to overpay for the drug.

Can I Buy Albuterol over the Counter

In the US, as in most other countries, Albuterol is a prescription drug. However, there is a fairly high demand for purchasing this medicine without a prescription. This is due to the fact that a prescription once received becomes outdated, while the patient still needs to purchase the medicine.

If a patient intends to buy Albuterol without a prescription, his or her best choice would be to go to an online pharmacy registered in a country where the drug is listed as an over-the-counter drug. In this case, he will not violate the laws of his country, be it the USA or any other, and will be able to buy the medicine he is interested in, only having read that to purchase the medicine you need a prescription from a doctor. This procedure will be of a purely notification nature.

Albuterol is currently available by prescription only in the United States. Therefore, US residents order Albuterol primarily from India, where Albuterol is an over-the-counter drug. This is the simplest answer to the question, how can I get Albuterol without seeing a doctor –

Apart from India, Albuterol can be purchased without a prescription from online pharmacies based in Poland and Hungary.


1 – MD, FRCP(C) Suzanne Schuh, MB, BCh, FRCP(C) Gerard Canny, MD, FRCP(C) Joseph J. Reisman, MD Eitan Kerem, MD Lea Bentur, PhD Martin Petric, MD, FRCP(C) Henry Levison. Nebulized albuterol in acute bronchiolitis []

2 – Søren G. F. Rasmussen, Brian T. DeVree, Yaozhong Zou, Andrew C. Kruse, Ka Young Chung, Tong Sun Kobilka, Foon Sun Thian, Pil Seok Chae, Els Pardon, Diane Calinski, Jesper M. Mathiesen, Syed T. A. Shah, Joseph A. Lyons, Martin Caffrey, Samuel H. Gellman, Jan Steyaert, Georgios Skiniotis, William I. Weis, Roger K. Sunahara & Brian K. Kobilka. Crystal structure of the β2 adrenergic receptor–Gs protein complex []