Compare all Asthma treatments

The list of asthma inhaler names is a long and potentially confusing one. What’s considered the best asthma puffer for one person won’t necessarily suit the needs of another. The different active ingredients, the alternative methods of application and potential side effects can all play a part in what treatment suits you; so we’re here to help you get a better understanding of the various different asthma inhaler treatments available.

Active ingredient
Available doses
Form
Lasts for
Made/marketed by
Pharmacy status
Prices starting at
Works in
Zempreon

Zempreon

Salbutamol

Quickly relieves asthma symptoms by relaxing your airways to help you breathe more easily.

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Salbutamol sulfate
100mcg/puff
Puffer
N/A
Viatris
S3 (Pharmacist Only Medicine)
AUD65.00
Immediately
Ventolin

Ventolin

Salbutamol

Quickly relieves asthma symptoms by relaxing your airways to help you breathe more easily.

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Salbutamol sulfate
100mcg/puff
Puffer
N/A
GlaxoSmithKline
S3 (Pharmacist Only Medicine)
AUD62.00
Immediately
Airomir

Airomir

Salbutamol

Fast-acting reliever inhaler used to treat asthma symptoms when they develop.

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Salbutamol sulfate
100mcg/puff
Puffer
N/A
INova
S3 (Pharmacist Only Medicine)
AUD69.00
Immediately
Bricanyl

Bricanyl

Terbutaline

Bronchodilator reliever inhaler used to act quickly on asthma symptoms and other lung conditions.

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Turbutaline
500mcg/puff
Puffer
N/A
AstraZeneca
S3 (Pharmacist Only Medicine)
AUD62.00
Immediately

Prices from au.treated.com for the lowest dose and quantity available. Delivery and consultation is included.

The info presented in this table isn't comprehensive. More detailed info can be found in the consumer medicines information (CMI) for each medication.

Table of contents

How can you treat asthma?

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This page was medically reviewed by Mr Craig Marsh, Specialist Pharmacist Prescriber (UK) on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

How to choose an asthma inhaler

Before you choose an inhaler, there are certain factors that need to be taken into account for your specific needs. These can include your symptoms and their severity, your lifestyle and any other health issues you have, whether related to asthma or not.

You need to be able to effectively use your inhaler so that the medication can reach your airways and lungs. If you struggle using your inhaler then there’s more chance of you not receiving the right dose of the active ingredient which can lead to poorly managed asthma.

Therefore choosing an asthma inhaler is more about which one suits you the best in terms of how you administer it and whether it prevents or relieves asthma symptoms.

What’s the difference between reliever and preventer inhalers?

Broadly speaking, there are two types of asthma inhalers: relievers and preventers. Relievers are used to treat asthma symptoms as and when they present. Preventers are used to keep asthma symptoms at bay and therefore prevent asthma attacks from occurring. They can also be called maintenance inhalers.

Reliever inhalers are usually blue and contain fast-acting active ingredients. Preventer inhalers are usually brown or purple and contain one or two ingredients that stop symptoms, or at least severe symptoms, from presenting.

It’s important to understand that the colours of the inhalers are not meant to act as an accurate guide. Some products differ from these colour codes, so be sure to read the product’s packaging or speak with your prescribing clinician.

Most people living with asthma will be prescribed a reliever inhaler to begin with, but if you need to use it frequently, a preventative treatment will likely be recommended. Some people use a combination inhaler that works to prevent symptoms, as well as treat them quickly when they do occur.

Accuhaler vs Evohaler: what you need to know

Another way to look at the types of inhalers are as evohalers and accuhalers. These terms refer to how the medication is administered or released into the airways.

Evohalers are devices that are basically standard inhalers, those that require you to time your breathing so that you inhale the medication fully. Accuhalers instead use a dried powder that is propelled into the airways without the need to ‘actuate’ it with your breath. Many people find accuhalers easier to use as a result, but it’s really a matter of personal preference. It’s important to know how to use your inhaler correctly, so your treatment is as effective as it can be. So if you’re using a different type of inhaler than you normally use, make sure to read the instructions carefully first. 

When is a combi inhaler a good option?

Combination inhalers are usually used to step up a patient’s treatment in order to help them gain better control of their condition. They are rarely prescribed as a first line of treatment unless your asthma is particularly severe.

Combined treatments are used daily to prevent any symptoms from flaring up. The treatment should be taken daily and at the same time, even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms.

Who should use asthma tablets?

There are a few reasons why you may be prescribed tablets instead of inhalers. It might be that you have struggled to tolerate inhalers, as they can cause issues with sore throats and other irritations.

On the other hand, as tablets are digested, this might lead to other side effects, including nausea and vomiting. Tablets can cause very common and common side effects and can be one of the reasons they are not routinely offered.

You might also be prescribed tablets alongside inhalers if your asthma is severe or if inhalers are not proving fully effective in treating the condition.

Salbutamol vs Ventolin: what's the difference?

The only real difference between Ventolin and Salbutamol is packaging. Salbutamol is the active ingredient in Ventolin. There are other branded inhalers that also contain salbutamol. There might be some differences in the device that administers the medication, but the medication itself is the same.

Studies have also shown that other brands of salbutamol are just as effective as each other. One study that compared Salamol vs Ventolin showed no difference in the medications effects, but it’s possible that some of the non-active ingredients, some of which may differ, might cause some issues .

Bricanyl Turbohaler vs Ventolin: are they the same?

While both Bricanyl and Ventolin are bronchodilators, medications that help to open up the airways, they are not the same drugs. 

Bricanyl and Ventolin are both fast acting beta agonists, which means they get to work quickly to tackle the symptoms of asthma, making them reliever inhalers.

What to do if you want to change inhaler

Customer-SatisfactionAsthma is a serious condition that can affect people in different ways. Keeping on top of symptoms and avoiding asthma attacks is the overall aim so that you can get on with the important things in life. This can mean that getting the right dosage and type of treatment may require a little patience. Our team of experts are on hand to keep you on track.

If you feel that your asthma could be better managed as you’re not getting the effects you need from your inhaler, speak with a clinician. They'll be able to help you find the best solution for your specific needs, whether it be changing the dosage, inhaler or type of medication.

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