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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hardest Concept...

Most difficult explanation...Why you cannot get two Albuterol Inhalers at a time.

Why is this so difficult to understand?
A single Proair HFA inhaler contains 200 puffs. If your doctor instructed you to use 2 puffs every 4 hours then you could use up to 12 puffs in a day. At the maximum 12 puffs per day, this means your inhaler would last 16.67 days. Two inhalers would last 33.33 days. With me so far?

Now, your insurance will only pay for a maximum of a 30 day supply. Last I checked, 33.33 is greater than 30. Since we cannot simply prime 40 puffs out of 1 inhaler, we have to dispense a single inhaler. Yes, I do agree that your child may need an extra one for school.
Yes, he may need one for his soccer bag.
You are welcome to pay cash for the second inhaler.
You could have come in over the summer when he didn't needed it as frequently and refilled an extra one that would be designated as "The School Inhaler".
If he really uses it every 4 hours around the clock...then he only gets 4 hours of sleep which isn't good either.
You could plan ahead.
You could call your insurance for an override.
If your child really is that dependent upon his little albuterol inhaler then you know how to deal with this.
If he is actually using one inhaler every 16-17 days then perhaps he needs to be on another medication.
If he is NOT using one that frequently, then please don't fret. He can get the refill in about 12 days. I think he'll make it until then.


  1. Used to be insurances covered up to 34 days to take into account 31 day months but we still dispensed 30 days of pills. But the 34 day rule covered 2 inhalers without hassels. Some kids like mine would use them before activities to prevent symptoms and then sometimes after also. And he was also on Advair. His asthma doc was aware, he also received allergy shots for molds. He was in competition marching band on the fall and competition show choir in the spring each had a minimum of 3-4 hour of intense rehearsals after school. I guess I was lucky, as a pharmacist myself, my ex husbands insurance paid for 2 inhalers per month. Yes there were times he didnt use both inhalers each month but it allowed me to have a few for a back up, supply just in case of an emergency like a severe snowstorm and cant get to pharmacy or doc is on vacation and we are out of refills.

  2. Actually you can get two inhalers per month, even on the 30-day plans.

    Ventolin HFA also comes in a 60-puff size (00173-0682-21). Should be able to get two of those per month - - maybe even six of them, given that two is a 10 day supply.