Xopenex or levalbuterol??

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/15/2007 3:15 PM (GMT -6)   
i've had asthma all my life...28 of my 30 years, anyway, and have taken albuterol in one form or another most of that time.  but now insurance is telling me that the new (new to me, anyway) "Xopenex" is covered as a "tier one" ($20 for three), while my three different albuterol inhalers are now "tier three" ($90 for three).  obviously i want to think the Xopenex is going to be better for me, but after 25 years, i am hesitant to change...even if it costs me an extra $280 a year.
anyone have anything to offer?  i'd like to be armed with your opinions before i call my doctor or my insurance company...  THANKS!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 1/16/2007 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   
You are EXTREMELY lucky if your insurance will charge you less for Xopenex than for Albuterol. Albuterol is made from Alpha & Beta agonists. The alpha-agonist causes the heart rate to increase & the beta-agonists relax the airways causing breathing to be easier. The downside of albuterol is that it increases the heart rate much more than the Xopenx which is not made w/the alpha-agonists. The Xopenex is used more for the elderly & cardiac patients who cannot tolerate the increase in heart rate. As far as the difference in the effects of a bronchodilator, there are none... you just won't experience the "jitters" much associated with Albuterol.

Hope this helps.

Respiratory Therapist who believes that knowledge is power. Info for medical info only and not as medical advice.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 1/16/2007 8:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm looking into the prices too. With the switch to the HFA versions of Albuterol the cost is going up for everybody. sad There aren't any generic versions available. Xopenex is a tier 2 rx for me as is Proventil HFA (albuterol). So why not get the drug with less side effects if it costs the same. As I understand it Xopenex doesn't make your heart rate go up like the regular albuterol inhalers.

I'd like to know why my insurance has Ventolin HFA as a tier 3. It actually costs less than Proventil HFA and it has a counter built in. Which I think is way cool. I hate keeping track of how many times I've used a specific inhaler as I have 6 in use at any given time.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 1/17/2007 2:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I tend to like the Xopenex although it can make you shake, It's just not as bad as albuterol (proventil) can.
take Care and Good Luck with whatever you choose!!!!
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