How Much Do Asthma Inhalers Cost Without Insurance in 2021?

Inhalers are the most common treatment for asthma, a condition that makes it difficult to breathe. The average cost of a brand-name asthma inhaler without insurance is $292.91. Factors that may affect the cost of an inhaler are the type of inhaler you need and using a brand name over a generic inhaler.

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The Cost of Different Asthma Inhalers

We collected data from online pharmacies about 9 common medications used to treat asthma. If you don’t have insurance, you may be worried about how much it will cost you to get treatment for your asthma. The average cost for one brand-name asthma inhaler is $292.91 without insurance. Ventolin, which contains the drug salbutamol, was the cheapest at $74.32.

Cost of Different Asthma Inhalers Without Insurance

Type of Inhaler (medication)

Cost Without Insurance of 1 Inhaler

Advair (fluticasone/salmeterol)

$471.75

Alvesco (ciclesonide)

$138.30

Asmanex Twisthaler (mometasone)

$302.13

Flovent (fluticasone)

Read more: What if I Cant Afford My Asthma Medication?

$271.56

Pulmicort (budesonide)

$252.40

Qvar (beclometasone)

$244.51

Serevent (salmeterol)

$522.43

Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol)

$358.75

Ventolin (salbutamol)

$74.32

These costs had increased dramatically since 2008 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed a ban on ozone-depleting inhalers, which eliminated the use of inhalers with chlorofluorocarbon in them. This also reduced the number of albuterol inhalers that patients could use, resulting in these generic medications being replaced with more environmentally friendly ones. Studies have shown that this led to increased out-of-pocket costs for individuals and insurance companies for asthma inhalers.

Read more: How to Get An Inhaler Without Seeing a Doctor

Many plans cover the cost of inhalers in some way, but it may only be one per month. This is often done out of cost and safety concerns, fearing that some patients may abuse their medication and use it more than they should. Both Medicaid and Medicare Part D cover most inhaler costs and other asthma-related services.

Additional Costs of Asthma Inhalers

The main additional cost you may face to purchasing an asthma inhaler is the doctor’s visit to obtain the prescription you need. Any general practitioner, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant can prescribe an asthma inhaler. There is only one FDA-approved over-the-counter inhaler, Primatene Mist, but it is intended for quick relief and is not a viable long-term solution to asthma.

Luckily, one can obtain a prescription from a provider at an urgent care center or through a telehealth provider online. These two options are typically more cost-effective than a trip to a typical doctor’s office if you are without insurance.

Cost of Common Office Visits Without Insurance

Type of Office

Average Cost Without Insurance

Urgent Care Visit

$135-198

Telehealth Visit

$79

Doctor’s Office Visit

$300-600

Another additional cost that some may face is subsequent treatments and medications to manage one’s asthma. Sometimes, an inhaler is not sufficient treatment. In addition to using an inhaler, your doctor may prescribe you leukotriene modifiers, theophylline, oral corticosteroids, or biologics. If allergies induce your asthma, you may also need routine allergy shots and take allergy medications every day.

Cost of Common Leukotriene Modifiers

Read more: I cant afford Albuterol. How can I get it cheaper?

Medication Name

Average Cost Without Insurance (30 tablets)

Montelukast

$70.78

Zafirlukast

$60.50

Zileuton

$882.44

Cost of Theophylline

Read more: I cant afford Albuterol. How can I get it cheaper?

Medication Name

Average Cost Without Insurance

Theophylline

$114.33

For more information, please see more information about How much is an inhaler without insurance

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