What’s the Difference Between Flovent and Albuterol?

Prescription Drugs

What’s the Difference Between Flovent and Albuterol?

Jennifer Hadley
By Jennifer Hadley
Mar 21, 2021
Jennifer Liang, PharmD
Medically Reviewed ByJennifer Liang, PharmD
Illustration of a woman using her inhaler

Both the brand drug Flovent HFA and albuterol HFA are inhalation medications used to treat asthma and difficulty breathing caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

However, these medications work differently, and there is a significant difference in price between the two medications.

Read on to learn more about the difference between Flovent and albuterol.

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What is the main difference between Flovent and albuterol?

The main difference between Flovent HFA and albuterol HFA is how they are used. Flovent is a daily medication used to prevent asthma attacks. It is not indicated for an acute asthma attack. Albuterol is a quick-relief drug (sometimes called a rescue-inhaler) used for acute breathing difficulties brought about by asthma or COPD.

Flovent HFA

Flovent HFA is the brand-name drug for fluticasone. It is a type of corticosteroid that reduces swelling in your airways, allowing you to breathe easier. It is not a fast-acting medication to be used during an acute asthma attack. Instead, Flovent is used as a maintenance medication daily to prevent wheezing and shortness of breath caused by asthma.

For Flovent HFA to be effective, it must be used regularly. It is prescribed to people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Flovent HFA is approved for long-term treatment of children and adults ages four and older.

Albuterol HFA

Albuterol HFA is a generic medication known as a bronchodilator. Albuterol is the active ingredient in brand name fast-acting asthma inhalers such as ProAir HFA, Proventil HFA, and Ventolin HFA. It is used to prevent and treat shortness of breath and wheezing brought about by asthma, exercise-induced asthma, or breathing problems caused by COPD.

Albuterol inhalers work by relaxing the muscles around the airways so that you can breathe easier. Albuterol is approved for acute bronchospasms as needed in adults and children ages four and older.

Do Flovent and Albuterol work the same?

No. Flovent and HFA are both used to treat asthma and breathing difficulties brought about by COPD, but they work differently. Flovent is a daily medication used to prevent acute asthma attacks, by reducing swelling in the airways. It does not relieve sudden breathing problems from asthma. Albuterol is a quick-acting inhaler used at the first sign of an asthma attack to immediately relax muscles around the airways.

Can you take Flovent and albuterol together?

Yes. Individuals with asthma or COPD may be prescribed both Flovent HFA and albuterol HFA. That’s because Flovent HFA is not designed for quick relief. By contrast, albuterol is a fast-acting rescue inhaler. Children and adults with asthma should always carry a rescue inhaler with them, even if they are taking a preventative medication such as Flovent HFA.

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Price Differences Between Flovent and Albuterol

Flovent and albuterol vary in price. Flovent is a more expensive medication because it is a brand drug. However, coupons for Flovent from RxSaver may make this medication more affordable, if you do not have insurance.

The RxSaver coupon price for Flovent HFA without insurance starts at $251.32 for 110 mcg and 1 aer w/adap.

Albuterol rescue-inhalers are generic medications, so they are much more affordable than their brand-drug counterparts. An RxSaver coupon for albuterol HFA can help make this asthma medication even more affordable. You can use an RxSaver coupon for albuterol HFA in place of your insurance, if the coupon price beats your insurance copay. You can also use an RxSaver coupon for albuterol HFA if you do not have insurance.

The RxSaver coupon price for albuterol HFA without insurance starts at $27.20 for 90 mcg and 1 canister.

Drug Prices May Vary by Pharmacy

When looking for the best price for Flovent HFA, albuterol HFA or any other prescription medication, be sure to check pricing on RxSaver. RxSaver provides coupon pricing for a variety of pharmacies in your area. Prescription drug pricing varies by pharmacy, so you may realize significant savings by switching pharmacies for certain medications.

*Lowest online price at national pharmacy chains Costco, CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens and Walmart as of 3/16/2021. Prices vary by location and pharmacy, see RxSaver.com for actual pricing in your area.

Jennifer Hadley

Jennifer Hadley

Jen Hadley is a freelance writer and journalist based in Los Angeles, who writes extensively about the medical, legal, health care, and consumer products industries. Jen is a regular contributor to RxSaver.

Jennifer Liang, PharmD

Jennifer Liang, PharmD

Chia Feng (Jenn) Liang, PharmD, is a pharmacist who earned her Pharm D. from St. John's University in Queens, NY. She remains in active practice serving as a local pharmacist for Walgreens. She has acted as the first point of care to the community and helped patients understand and manage chronic and acute conditions. She has educated patients on the role and importance of medication and adherence to improve health outcomes.

The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

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