Compare albuterol vs. Xopenex

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ProAir HFA (albuterol)

Prescription only

Xopenex (levalbuterol)

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 if you have asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema.

Xopenex (levalbuterol) inhaler is very effective at relieving acute asthma attakcs in more moderate to severe airway conditions, but is more expensive.

  • 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.
  • Xopenex (levalbuterol) works within minutes to help you breathe easier when you have breathing difficulty or an attack, especially in more severe conditions.
  • The inhaler can be used in children as young as 4 years old while the nebulizer solution can be used in children 6 years and older.
  • Xopenex (levalbuterol) may have less side effects such as rapid heartbeat than albuterol.
  • It is available as a generic.
  • The nebulizer solution is a good option for children and adults who have difficulty using a handheld inhaler.
  • 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.
  • Xopenex (levalbuterol) is only relieves immediate symptoms and doesn't work to prevent future attacks, unlike maintenance medicines.
  • May not be the best option if you have a history of seizures, heart problems, thyroid problems or diabetes.
  • Xopenex (levalbuterol) is similar to albuterol, but it can be more expensive, especially the nebulizer solution.
  • Children might find the inhaler and nebulizer difficult to use. Parents or adults may need to help children use this medicine.
  • Unlike albuterol, Xopenex (levalbuterol) nebulizer solution cannot be mixed with other nebulized medicines.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill
  • Liquid
  • Inhaler
  • Nebulizer solution
  • Inhaler
  • Nebulizer solution
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535 reviews so far
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Side effects
9possible side effects
  • Tremor
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle cramps
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness
See more detailed side effects
7possible side effects
  • Vomiting
  • Asthma symptoms
  • Accidental injury
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Dizziness
  • Bronchitis
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
  • Sudden lung spasms
    • First use of a new vial
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • High blood pressure
  • Increased side effects
  • Worsening of asthma
  • Allergic reactions
  • Low potassium levels
    • Medicines that lower potassium levels
    • Taking certain diuretics
See more detailed risks and warnings