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GP dictating brand of Salbutamol Sulphate

I've used the same medication and repeat prescription for a number of years. Today I got a letter advising they are changing my repeat prescription from Salbutamol Sulphate 100 to Salamol Inhaler 100. Obviously it is the same ingrediants, dosage etc but I was wondering can they do this and why are they doing this now? My guess is Salamol is a cheaper brand. Problem is, I can see myself having to go to numerous pharmacies to find find this in stock. Am I within my right to request this not be done and keep as salbutamol and has this happened to anyone else?

6 Replies

Salbutamol comes under a lot of brand names, Salamol and Ventolin are the most common ones. You shouldn't have any problems finding Salamol in pharmacies, I have never had a problem finding it. I am not sure if Salamol is a cheaper brand or not but it must be good as the others. Salbutamol Sulphate is the actual drug name not a brand, so whatever Salbutamol inhaler you get it should be the same quality etc. If it makes you more comfortable leaving it as Salbutamol Sulphate then speak to your GP about it, I don't see them objecting to it being changed back on your prescription.

I hope that helps a little.



Salamol cost £1.58

Salbutamol costs £2.88

Ventolin £1.50


As Simi mentions, to clear up any confusion - if your prescription says ""salbutamol sulphate"", then that is the DRUG name, not a brand name, and your pharmacist can dispense *any* salbutamol inhaler they have in stock as long as the dose matches your prescription. ""Salamol"" is the brand-name of a specific inhaler, manufactured by IVAX, and if it says this on your prescription then your pharmacist has to dispense that specific inhaler.

One of the docs on here might be able to confirm or deny, but I believe that it has become the case that inhalers now should be prescribed by brand name rather than drug - hence ""Salamol"" rather than just ""salbutamol"".

Certainly, Cathbear's prescription changed from ""beclometasone"" to ""Clenil Modulite"", which is the brand name of an inhaler instead of the drug name.

Mind you, it still says salmeterol on her repeat (rather than ""Serevent"" - the brand name), so perhaps it's just in cases where there are different brands using the same drug?

Woody - not sure where you got those prices from, but the nett cost to the NHS of a Salamol Easi-Breathe inhaler is £6.30, making it the most expensive salbutamol inhaler available.


steve - here for price

also my scripts have changed from brand name to drug name on them, wonder if it's how each practice works.


My GP has told me they have had to change to writing the brand name rather than drug name for inhalers, although as has been said, this seems a bit random as some of mine are, and some are by drug name (but these are where there is only one, so maybe that explains it).

I don't know about the prices, but I know when I've been in hospital I've been given the Salamol MDI rather than Ventolin MDI - I always thought it was due to price. I know there's supposed to be no difference, but I can't get on with the Salamol so I make sure my GP prescribes Ventolin. This doesn't seem to cause any problems.


Have just found this thread, and checked my prescription. I am prescribed as follows

Qvar Easi-breathe (then dosage etc)

Salbutamol (then dosage etc)

I use the same chemist almost every time and have always received a salamol easi-breathe inhaler and qvar easibreathe/ auto-inhaler (not had the latter for a while)

Thought it was odd that my preventer be so specific and reliever be so general.


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