difference between Ventolin and Salbutamol inhalers

People face a lot of confusion about Salbutamol inhalers vs Ventolin inhalers. Here we will talk about the difference between Ventolin and Salbutamol. Let’s begin!

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects people of all ages. It’s characterized by inflammation and narrowing in the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma can be triggered by allergies, viruses, cigarette smoke, pollution, and other environmental irritants [1]. There are two primary asthma reliever inhalers you may be prescribed, Ventolin and Salbutamol. 

Branded vs generic reliever inhalers for asthma


What is a Ventolin Inhaler?


The difference between Ventolin and Salbutamol is that a Ventolin inhaler is a branded version of the medication, namely Salbutamol, to treat or prevent bronchospasm in people with asthma, emphysema, and other lung diseases.

The Ventolin inhaler contains Salbutamol sulphate, which belongs to a group of drugs called bronchodilators. Bronchodilators are substances that relax muscles in the airways and increase airflow to the lungs.

Ventolin inhalers work by opening breathing passages so air can flow more easily.

Lady using Ventolin or salbutamol inhaler | e-surgery


What is Salbutamol?


Salbutamol is a medicine in the class of drugs called bronchodilators and helps open up constricted airways to make breathing easier by reducing swelling in the small air passages of the lungs. It belongs to the family of medicines known as selective beta-2 adrenergic agonists [2].

These medicines are used to treat different types of asthma and other breathing conditions when patients have difficulty exhaling. Salbutamol is also used with other asthma medications to prevent and treat symptoms of exercise-induced asthma [2].

Salbutamol is also used as salbutamol sulphate. It should be noted that studies have found no clinical difference between the two [3].


What is a Salbutamol Inhaler?


A Salbutamol inhaler is a small portable device that delivers Salbutamol, a type of asthma medication.

Salbutamol relaxes your muscles to improve breathing. This medication relieves or prevents bronchospasm attacks in people with reversible obstructive airway disease.

Bronchospasm is the sudden constriction of the muscles in the walls of your lungs’ airways.


Is There Any Difference Between Ventolin and Salbutamol Inhalers?


There is no difference between Ventolin and Salbutamol in terms of the active ingredient. Ventolin and Salbutamol inhalers contain Salbutamol, which is the same medication. Both are beta-2 selective short-acting bronchodilators that relax the smooth muscles in the airways. The only difference between Ventolin and Salbutamol is their cost.  While the former is branded as Ventolin Evohaler resulting in a higher cost, the latter is a more generic name for the asthma inhaler.

A study was conducted where the efficacy of both Salbutamol was put to the test via Ventolin, Salamol (new), and Salamol (old), and no major differences in their effectiveness were found. Salamol is also a reliever inhaler containing the subject active ingredient and the purposes for this inhaler are also the same.

Which inhaler you opt for is your personal choice because both contain the same medications, with only one difference: cost.

ventolin and salbutamol infographic


How Do I Know Which Inhaler to Use?


Both Salbutamol and Ventolin are typically prescribed as reliever inhalers. However, a Salbutamol inhaler is generally considered the “generic” option for patients, while Ventolin is a branded version for the same, and therefore, more expensive. Both efficacies are also the same, and which inhaler you want to use depends on your personal choice.


Are There Any Other Types of Reliever Inhalers?


Yes, you can avail several other types of reliever inhalers for asthma treatment in the UK. These Salbutamol inhalers may also be used during an asthma attack to relieve breathing difficulty quickly or regularly as prescribed by your doctor to treat chronic asthma. They include:

Difference between Ventolin and Salbutamol Inhalers

Airomir Inhaler:

This inhaler contains the same medicine, namely, Salbutamol and is used for the same asthma-related purposes. However, the inhaler is said to have a warmer and softer spray compared to other reliever inhalers. It is to be noted that the quantity for one spray contains the same amount of the active ingredient as in the other reliever inhalers.

Salamol Easi-Breathe Inhaler:

This inhaler also contains Salbutamol sulphate as the active ingredient. It is used as a fast acting measure during asthma symptoms like coughing and wheezing. Though the inhaler holds no differences from the other relievers, it has been rated lower by users.

Always contact your GP before using any of the reliever inhalers to avoid any side effects or medicine interactions.


Can I Order Ventolin Inhalers Online?


Ventolin inhalers for asthma treatment are a prescription only medication. Ventolin can be bought from e-Surgery, but you should always check for the green GPhC logo when buying medications online or in any other dispensary.

This ensures that they have been properly registered and approved by authorities. Since it is of the reliever category, the Ventolin inhaler will be blue coloured. Before using the inhaler, let your GP know about its use and whether you are on another medication course.



Can I Order Salbutamol Inhalers Online?


Salbutamol inhalers for treating and preventing asthma are also a prescription only medication. You can purchase the blue and white coloured box online from e-Surgery, a registered online pharmacy.

Remember to check for GPhC’s green logo to ensure the medication is genuine. Contact your GP before using the inhaler, particularly, if you are taking any other medications.





  1. Asthma (NHS)
  2. Salbutamol (NCBI)
  3. A comparative bronchodilator study of salbutamol and salbutamol sulphate that were administered by metered-dose inhalers (NCBI)

Further Reading

  1. Salbutamol: Ventolin for asthma and breathlessness (Net Doctor)
  2. Is Salamol less effective than Ventolin? A randomised, blinded, crossover study in New Zealand (Pubmed)
  3. Salbutamol (BNF)