Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What to do if I need my inhaler (Albuterol) but can't pay full price for it?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat to do if I need my inhaler (Albuterol) but can't pay full price for it?


I have refills on my inhaler (Pro-air), but my insurance company is saying I exceeded the dose. They have me on a certain limit. I called my insurance company and they said they would fax in a form to my Doctor, which they did. I've had this problem before with my insrnce company. Anyway, I called my Doctor and she filled out the form and faxed it. Hours later I called my insurance co again and they said it could take between 1-3 days to process. My problem is I can't afford to pay the full price and my inhaler runs out tomorrow. What should I do?


Thank you for your question, and I am sorry to hear about the issues you are having with your insurance company. In order to provide an accurate recommendation for solving your issue, a doctor would need to know the full details of your medical history. The doctor would need to know what illness requires you to take albuterol as well as how much albuterol you require. For instance, if your illness is not responding well to albuterol, perhaps you need alternative or additional therapy. The doctor would also need to know the details of your insurance plan. Therefore, you will need to discuss these issues with a pulmonologist (lung doctor). Albuterol is a bronchodilator that functions by causes your airways to expand in diameter, typically leading to less airway restriction and relieving wheezing. This is a medication often used for disorders such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. However, patients who frequently require albuterol, especially to such a degree that they are exceeding the usual recommended dose, may require additional therapies to target the underlying disease. If cost is a barrier, some medication alternative are available in generic forms that may be more affordable. I strongly encourage you to discuss these issues with a pulmonologist.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.