Compare albuterol vs. Spiriva

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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ProAir HFA (albuterol)

Prescription only

Spiriva (Tiotropium)

Prescription only
Makes it easier to breathe.

ProAir HFA (albuterol) acts quickly to stop asthma attacks and help you breathe easier. However, it is not used for long-term treatment and prevention of asthma since its effects don't last long.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 535 reviewsforalbuterol
Makes it easier to breathe.

Spiriva (Tiotropium) works well to reduce COPD symptoms and flare-ups with fewer side effects than some medicines that open airways, but you have to use it every day.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 74 reviewsforSpiriva
Upsides
  • Works quickly to relieve symptoms of asthma.
  • Helps prevent asthma attacks caused by exercise.
  • The metered-dose inhaler is small enough to carry around making it convenient to use when needed.
  • ProAir HFA (albuterol) is also available in the form of tablets and liquid.
  • The inhaler is safe to be used in children age 4 or older.
  • Helps you breathe easier and lessens the need for a fast-acting (rescue) inhaler.
  • Reduces flare-ups and hospitalizations with fewer side effects compared to some other medicines that open airways.
  • You only need to take it once a day.
Downsides
  • ProAir HFA (albuterol) is only used for quick relief of asthma attacks and not for long-term treatment.
  • No generic form of the inhaler is available so it can be expensive for those without insurance.
  • Can cause your heart to beat faster, which is an uncomfortable side effect. Might not be a good option for those with heart problems since the medicine can raise your blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Mouthpiece of the inhaler should be cleaned at least once a week so that it can continue to work properly.
  • Children might find the inhaler difficult to use.
  • Won't cure your COPD (but it will relieve your symptoms).
  • You'll need to use this medicine for a long time, and you have to take it every day.
  • Can make symptoms of enlarged prostate or urinary blockage worse.
  • Can worsen a certain type of glaucoma.
  • You might feel dizzy or have blurry vision while taking this medicine.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill
  • Liquid
  • Inhaler
  • Nebulizer solution
  • Inhaler
Price
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Reviews
535 reviews so far
73%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
7%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used ProAir HFA (albuterol)?

Leave a review
74 reviews so far
64%
saidit'sworth it
46%
saiditworked well
8%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Spiriva (Tiotropium)?

Leave a review
Side effects
9possible side effects
  • Tremor
    24%
  • Headache
    19%
  • Nervousness
    9%
  • Nausea/Vomiting
    4%
  • Increased heart rate
    3%
  • Muscle cramps
    3%
  • Abnormal heartbeat
    2%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    2%
  • Dizziness
    2%
See more detailed side effects
36possible side effects
  • Respiratory tract Infection
    41%
  • Dry mouth
    16%
  • Pharyngitis
    13%
  • Sinusitis
    11%
  • Chest pain (non-specific)
    7%
  • Urinary tract Infection
    7%
  • Dyspepsia
    6%
  • Rhinitis
    6%
  • Headache
    6%
  • Edema, Dependent
    5%
  • Abdominal pain
    5%
  • Constipation
    5%
  • Dry Mouth
    5%
  • Vomiting
    4%
  • Myalgia
    4%
  • Infection
    4%
  • Moniliasis
    4%
  • Epistaxis
    4%
  • Rash
    4%
  • Depression
    4%
  • Insomnia
    4%
  • Arthralgia
    4%
  • Allergic reaction
    3%
  • Leg pain
    3%
  • Dysphonia
    3%
  • Parathesia
    3%
  • Gastroinestinal disorder not otherwise specified
    3%
  • Castroesophegeal reflux
    3%
  • Stomatitis
    3%
  • Hypercholesterolemia
    3%
  • Hyperglycemia
    3%
  • Skeletal pain
    3%
  • Angina pectoris
    3%
  • Herpes zoster
    3%
  • Laryngitis
    3%
  • Cataract
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Worsening of asthma attack
    • Using a new canister of ProAir HFA (albuterol) for the first time
  • Frequent use of ProAir HFA (albuterol)
  • Effects on heart
    • Using ProAir HFA (albuterol) at more than the recommended doses
    • People with heart problems and/or an overactive thyroid
  • Life-threatening effects
    • Using ProAir HFA (albuterol) at more than the recommended doses
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Lowered potassium levels in blood
    • Taking medications that lower potassium such as certain diuretics
    • History of low potassium levels
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious allergic reaction
    • History of atropine allergic reaction
  • Sudden onset difficulty breathing (paradoxical bronchospasm)
  • Worsening glaucoma
    • History of narrow-angle glaucoma
  • Difficulty urinating
    • History of urinary bladder blockage (urinary obstruction)
    • History of enlarged prostate
  • Serious allergic reaction
    • Severe milk protein allergy
  • Reduced kidney function
    • History of moderate to severe kidney disease
  • Feeling dizzy
    • Taking with other anticholinergic medications
See more detailed risks and warnings