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In the simplest terms, albuterol sulfate (salbutamol) is a generic medication. Ventolin, by contrast, is a brand-name medication that uses albuterol as its primary active ingredient.


Albuterol is an adrenergic bronchodilator that opens up airways that have become narrow due to constriction of the airway smooth muscle.


Albuterol can treat and prevent bronchospasms for individuals with COPD and asthma. In addition, patients can use salbutamol 15 to 30 minutes prior to exercising to prevent exercise-induced bronchospasms.


Ventolin HFA is a bronchodilator and is an inhalation aerosol that can treat and prevent the onset of bronchospasms. Children who are at least 4 years old who have reversible obstructive airway disease can use Ventolin HFA.


Ventolin HFA can be used for the exact same things as albuterol.


The active ingredient in Ventolin is albuterol; therefore, they are essentially the same. However, Ventolin does offer two canister options: a 60- inhalation and 200- inhalation canisters, whereas the generic albuterol only offers the 200-inhalation canister.

Side effects are similar, except Ventolin HFA can cause a sore throat, muscle pain, bone pain and/or a cough. Albuterol’s side effects that differ from Ventolin include dizziness, headache, and general body pain. They both can have the same side effects.

Which Is More Effective?

These two drugs offer the same benefits.

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