Asthma Rescue Inhalers Are Crucial in Asthma Control!

Nov 30, 2020 | rescue

What is a Rescue Inhaler?

* Rescue inhalers are an essential tool in responding to your asthma!

* The albuterol in rescue inhalers opens breathing tubes quickly.

* If it doesn’t quickly improve your breathing, go to the ER.

* A spacer should be used with all liquid medicine inhalers.

* Generic albuterol is now available for about $22 per inhaler 

Your Rescue Inhaler is Your ‘Go-To’ When the Wheezing Starts. 

Why? Because you get immediate relief (usually).


This type of inhaler creates a cloud of medicine:  either – 

  1. dry medicine particles or,
  2. medicine droplets

that are carried deep into your lungs with a deep breath.

When this medicine hits the inner lining of your breathing tubes (also known as bronchi), it soaks into the muscle layer around the tubes, causing them to relax.  That makes the tube get larger inside, allowing more air to move.  This makes your breathing much easier.

The medicine in these inhalers is albuterol or a variant of it.  It has a short duration of action which means:

  •  it works quickly but
  •  It wears off quickly.

For this reason, it is meant for temporary relief. 

In a typical asthma action plan, albuterol is used for immediate relief or what we call RESCUE.  

If it works, you are encouraged to consult with your doctor to understand what triggered that wheeze.  

If we can’t be sure that you’ll be able to avoid that trigger, additional medication will be prescribed to overcome this sensitivity.

There are some issues:


Sometimes the reaction in your lungs is too advanced for albuterol to reverse.  You will know this if you do not get breathing relief within 10 minutes of using your inhaler. 

It is reasonable to try a second dose according to your Asthma Action Plan, but

if you don’t get relief from that, it is best to get headed to the ER.


Liquid inhalers create a cloud of liquid droplets. 

It is important that you use a spacer to hold those droplets, suspended as a cloud, until you can fully draw them into your lungs.  This means you must use a spacer.  If you don’t, the medicine in your inhaler simply ends up on your tongue.

It will not help your breathing from there.


 Albuterol is expensive!  Albuterol has been put in two forms:

  • metered dose inhaler (MDI) and
  •  dry powder inhaler (DPI).  

Both delivery systems are very good but both systems have been manufactured under band names with typical cash prices ranging from $90-$120, until now!

On April 9, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced approval of a generic albuterol metered dose inhaler.  It is priced at $22 per inhaler (  Now that’s pretty exciting when you are trying to get and stay 


Athmaniac is Serious About Asthma!

Asthmaniac is all about helping you control your asthma for a good, long time.

Rescue inhalers are just a piece of the solution though.  

Let’s dig into what else it takes to keep those lungs in good shape!