Ventolin, versus generic sabutamol

Just returned with my repeat prescription gear and have been given Salamol Inhaler instead of the Ventolin that I usually get. Is it effective as Ventolin? I remember years ago a GP telling me that the particles in Ventolin were smaller than generic inhalers and therefore went further into the lungs. Is this still the case or have things improved? Appreciate your thoughts on the matter. I suppose it is a result of what we have seen on tv recently about doctors prescribing more expensive brand name drugs than they supposedly need to.


23 Replies

  • personally i wud rather have the salamol inhaler as had ventolin once and don't like taste. at the end of the day it is the same drug but suppose like all things some people find that a particular brand suits them better. also ventolin is tad bigger than salamol.

  • I personally dont get on with salamol and so always have A+ H ventolin. The salamol just didnt seem to have enough impact and so was not a good enough releiver plus it didnt last as long before needing more. Also i found i couldnt tell when it was nearly finished and quite often it seemed as if it hadnt actually released the dose. I used it on and off for 4 months before speaking to gp who agreed to to stipuate ventolin .

  • I've been on the Salamol for a while now, after having an A + H Ventolin inhaler, and I too find the salamol less effective somehow than the Ventolin, although up until reading this thread I didnot make that connection!

    I agree that it doesn't last long before needing more, and that it doesn't have such an impact in the first place, although I have, and still probably will, attributed this to my asthma worsening quite quickly since having the ventolin a few years ago. it actually possible to ask for the ventolin instead of the salamol? Even though the GP's are pushing for the whole CFC approach, and I assume the original ventolin inhlaers contain these CFC's?

    Emz x

  • i seemed to get on with salamol slightly better than ventolin, but both make me seriously hyper and shaky so dr changed me to brycanyl. just depends which you prefer i suppose.

  • I was on salamol a few years ago and I found that it didn't really work that well for me and the effects wore off quite quickly and it has a really sweet taste that I really didn't like! so I now use normal ventolin.

  • Regards CFC free Inhalers (Ozone Friendly) A&H were one of the first to make Ventolin MDIs CFC free - Evohaler. All MDI inhalers are CFC free now.

    Sometimes there is another excipient (Ingredient) in the generic inhalers that cause some problems. I stick to Ventolin for that reason.

    Ventolin is more expensive to prescribe because A&H (Glaxo) hold the original 'copyright' for the drug. All drugs when new are made exclusively by the designing company then after, I think 5 years, the rights are sold to others so they can make the drug too, often cheaper which is good in some ways. (eg Retrovirals for HIV)


  • Interestingly, although Ventolin *used* to be more expensive than generic salbutamol, this is actually no longer the case.

    Net prices (TO THE NHS) from the BNF: Ventolin evohaler (MDI, CFC-free) - £1.50; generic salbutamol (MDI, CFC-free) £2.88; Salamol easi-breathe, £1.58.

    It is also worth pointing out that if your doctor prescribes ""Salbutamol"" without specifying the brand, then it is down to the pharmacist what brand you actually end up with.

  • Thanks Cathbear for claryfing the prices.

    Will bear that in mind!!!


  • No problem. Tis a weird and interesting cae that nowadays some branded medication is becoming cheaper than generic...figure that out if you can cos I can't!!

  • Salamol

    I work for the company which makes Salamol and it is the same as Ventolin. and as effective or else we wouldn't have been granted a product licence to manufacture it. There may be a few differences in the formulation but you get this within batches anyway (manufactured to a specification with a very tight range of acceptable values for each component). Each batch is tested for particle size to ensure compliance. Everyone is different so if you have a personal preference great, just wanted to assure you the quality/efficacy of generics is nothing to worry about.

    If you think there is a problem return the inhalor to the chemist or direct to the manufacturer. We take all customer feed back very seriously and investigate and reply to any correspondance.

    hope this helps, apologies if this offends anyone I didn't mean it to.


  • i have used salamol before, I forgot my ventolin and was having an attack, chance would have it mikes sister was walking past showing off her inhaler, so asked if i could have a cheeky 2 puffs as i was getting woozy, she let me have some and it was the foulest thing i had ever tasted!! Not only that, it wasnt as good as my ventolin and made me throw up!!

    Guess its all a personal preference

  • I've always had salamol easi-breathe or salbutamol MDI and last time i was giving a ventolin MDI which for some reason i did not like as much as the salbutamol. I think for me it might have been to do with the size as i kind of am very used to it but it put me off, it tasted different too.

  • Thanks to everyone for their replies and to CathBear for her info. and also Rabbit who works for Salamol. I rang the pharmacy and was told that my GP would have to specify Ventolin and that it was dearer. (Other pharmacies have given me Ventolin in the past when it says the generic name on my prescription). From CathBears' info I said that it was cheaper than Salamol and he said it depended on what the local health authority paid for it. Seems a bit ridiculous and a waste of public money if they are paying more for it. I will try Salamol again to see how I get on this time.

    Also if the cost to the NHS is £1.50 ish and the prescription cost is nearly £7!! or am I missing something?


  • you could alawys ask if GP will do private prescription for you shou;d be cheaper that way or just get prepayment card you only need 14 items in yr to make it worth while.

  • No you're not missing something Carla. Without wanting to open up the whole prescription-charging debate eeek....

    Bear in mind the cost of the medication does not make up all of the cost involved. You (or rather, the NHS) also need to pay the pharmacist for their time, and a dispensing fee. So it's not just a matter of £1.50 is all. Also consider that, whilst a certain number of medications may overall cost less that £6.90, a much larger proportion will cost way, way more than that. A single seretide inhaler costs anywhere between £31-£65 depending on the strength.

    Also bear in mind that the prices I quote you are to the NHS; not to the pharmacists. Pharmacists are effectively independent and contract their services to the NHS. How they obtain their medication and at what price is up to them - they don't spend public money, they are reimbursed pro rata according to what they dispense. The prices in the BNF is how much each drug costs the NHS, not what the pharmacy pays to buy it's very complicated, but if the pharmacy can do a deal with a drug manufacturer to get a better price for Salamol, and you're given a script for generic salbutamol, then you'll get salamol. However if your doctor specifies Ventolin, they the pharmacist has to dispense Ventolin.

    Doctors cannot legally or ethically prescribe privately anything that is available on the NHS, so I'm afraid your GP should not give you a private script for this medication.

  • Excellent post as ever, Cath!

    We've had a discussion about ""buying"" Ventolin before on these boards. As Cathy has said, if a doctor can prescribe it through the NHS then they are not allowed by law to prescribe it privately.

    However, a quick Google will find many website from which you can buy Ventolin - I'm obviously not going to link to any of them because I can't think of anything more stupid than buying prescription meds as opposed to just seeing your GP - and the cheapest price for a single inhaler is £8.23 - more expensive than the cost of a prescription item on the NHS.

    If you're struggling with Salamol, let your GP know. He should be able to prescribe ""Ventolin"" rather than just ""salbutamol"". Alternatively if you have a number of pharmacies in your area you could try a different one, and ask the pharmacist what he's got. The pharmacist we use will let us choose between Qvar and Clenil when our script says ""beclomethasone"", for example.

  • i have salbutamol on my prescription - i always go to the same boots as they pick it up for me, and i ahve only ever had ventolin from them. when i asked if they do any others - as i wanted a smaller one for a smaller bag, they said they didn't do any others. i am a strictly ventolin girl myself anyway tho, so i'm pleased about that! it took me a while to get used to the taste of ventolin when it changed to being cfc free tho - did anyone else find that the taste changed?

  • i know what you mean about the taste cal!

    i think they should do it in different flavors :-) lol

    take care


    mel xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Thanks from Carla for your replies

    It is so great to be able to receive such valuable information, advice and support from these boards. As many of you know you can feel quite isolated and to be able to air any queries, worries, thoughts and suggestions on the boards and know you will get replies from fellow asthmatics who have come up with the same problems and can provide help and guidance. The insight and the quality of the info. supplied is fantastic. A big thank you to all you have taken the time to reply to this post and my previous ones - very much appreciated.



  • ventolin,salbutamol n salamol r exactly t same medication its jst gt a diff name as diff companies call it diff lol x

  • my prescription says Salbutamol and it's pot luck what I get at the pharmacy. I will get either Salamol or Airomir. I don't mind either of them, however I do feel the Salamol can sometimes feel less effective, maybe because the 'puff' feels softer where as the Airomir has a harder 'puff' to it and altho it is noisy, I think I do prefer it. I also find the Salamol inhaler frequently falls apart! Not good when you really need it!

    I used to have ventolin when I was a child in a dry poweder capsule format. Thankfully, I don't have a problem with generic salbutamol but I do think it has to be about personal preference. You need to feel comfortable with your reliever inhaler and also have confidence that it will work when you need it to!


  • Salamol!


    Apologies for jumping on again, Was very concerned to see mention of a Salamol inhalor falling apart. As you may know I work for the company that makes Salamol and this is a plea to all of you. If you find anything like this please please report it to the company (address is on the box or leaflet that came with your inhalor). My colleagues and I do our upmost to ensure everything is OK but occassionally problems happen. Your report will always be investigated and could potentially show a problem with a batch. This could save all of our lives as it could highlight an issue we could act before it hurts someone. We all rely on our medications to work. help us to help you.

    My company thinks its doing fine if it recieves no complaints and won't make improvements unless it has user feedback.

    End of moan,

    Take care


  • ventolin vs salbutamol

    Most of the time i get the good ole Ventolin which i had in the 80s sometimes i et salamol, the only diff i find is ventolin is more effective i'e quicker but salamol is ok.

    The only thing is i am convinced there is'nt 200 doses in them theses days.

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