Albuterol vs. Xopenex....

  1. I was wondering if anyone can tell a difference between these two meds? When Xopenex was first released it was suppose to be superior to albuterol because it supposedly had few side effects such as not raising the HR like albuterol can. But now the resp therapists are telling me that Xopenex is not superior to albuterol and that Medicare will not pay for Xopenex....Some of the docs think Xopenex is better and others still go with albuterol. I really haven't been able to tell a difference between the two....anyone else with any opinions on this topic?
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   Dplear
    Xopenex (levalbuterol) is superior to albuterol in the fact that it does not raise the heart rate like albuterol but the MAJOR drawback to it and the possible reason medicare will not use it is the cost. It is extermely expensive and the result does not always outweigh the cost.

    Dave
  4. by   whipping girl in 07
    Generally speaking, our docs don't order Xopinex unless the patient has problems with a fast heart rate (espicially when a patient in SR or ST goes into a-fib 15 min after his neb tx with ventolin...I'm sure sometimes it's just a coincidence...) I honestly can't say that I've seen better outcomes with one versus the other, but I'm glad our docs do occasionally think about costs when Rxing drugs (now if they just weren't so smitten with Protonix!)
  5. by   cactus wren
    yeah, the drug reps for Protonix must be doing a super job

    Have had the same results with xopenox
  6. by   deespoohbear
    Originally posted by Dplear
    Xopenex (levalbuterol) is superior to albuterol in the fact that it does not raise the heart rate like albuterol but the MAJOR drawback to it and the possible reason medicare will not use it is the cost. It is extermely expensive and the result does not always outweigh the cost.

    Dave
    The RT's at the hospital are telling me though that Xopenex does not keep the HR down, and that you might as well use albuterol....
  7. by   Mattigan
    Our kids do alot better on Xopenex.
  8. by   MOMMY
    From personal experience, both albuteral aon Xopenex caused my heart to race and have that very jittery feeling post treatment. Our docs use Xopenex exclusively at our hospital and the respiratory therapist say the same as the above mentioned, No significant reduction in heart rate. Who do you believe, the reps? or the therapist?
  9. by   NRSKarenRN
    Son and I have used Xoxpenex---much less jittery feeling afterwards. Know my HR not as high, but haven't checked sons. He has needed less neb TX with Xoxpenex too.
  10. by   kjseam
    My son takes Xopenex and I like it for him alot more than Albuterol. When he had his albuterol treatments he would be very jittery and have to have the treatments longer and more frequently than with Xopenex. I have noticed a big difference in the two drugs with him.
  11. by   Can't breath
    I think it is irresponsable for anyone-doctors included- to claim that one is better than the other. I have gone through he'll to try and afford xopenex because doctors tell insurance companies that albuterol works the same. FOR ME, IT DOESNT WORK AT ALL. I think the only thing one should claim is that one works well for some while another works well for others. And now because there are so many "experts" crunching data and saying that xopenex does not have a significant edge on albuterol, the copayment assistance for xopenex is being taken away too. Well, I guess I'm the insignificant minority that albuterol does not work at all for. And because of claims by people who don't have to go through the difficulties of not being able to breath, I have to fight for breath and fight the people trying to shove albuterol down my throat. I'm sorry but professionals should not state information that has such an impact on insurance and pharmaceutical opinion. They, as professionals, have the duty to not make claims unless proven 100 percent...


    -angry because I have to pay an arm and a leg for air
  12. by   xtxrn
    If you don't have coverage for Xopenex, you don't have a choice Albuterol works just fine if the alternative is nothing
  13. by   traumaRUs
    These are questions best handled by your provider.

    There are prescription drug programs though that can help if you qualify.
  14. by   xtxrn
    Quote from Can't breath
    I think it is irresponsable for anyone-doctors included- to claim that one is better than the other. I have gone through he'll to try and afford xopenex because doctors tell insurance companies that albuterol works the same. FOR ME, IT DOESNT WORK AT ALL. I think the only thing one should claim is that one works well for some while another works well for others. And now because there are so many "experts" crunching data and saying that xopenex does not have a significant edge on albuterol, the copayment assistance for xopenex is being taken away too. Well, I guess I'm the insignificant minority that albuterol does not work at all for. And because of claims by people who don't have to go through the difficulties of not being able to breath, I have to fight for breath and fight the people trying to shove albuterol down my throat. I'm sorry but professionals should not state information that has such an impact on insurance and pharmaceutical opinion. They, as professionals, have the duty to not make claims unless proven 100 percent...


    -angry because I have to pay an arm and a leg for air
    Doctors do not set pharmaceutical prices....and they don't tell your insurance company, pharmacy, Medicare, or Medicaid how much to charge- they have nothing to do with drug prices at all... why would they set a price too high, and then prescribe it????? It's awful to not be able to afford medication- I've been there - a LOT....I'm on disability, so have to deal with this issue like you do... but some drugs do work better for MOST people because of new ways medications work.

    Healthcare professionals only know what they see- and THEY don't decide prices or availability- being mad at them won't help

    I've been very angry also, about pharmacy prices, and having to take meds that don't work as well. I can't get an insulin pump because I'm on Medicare. My chemo nearly wasn't covered (100K per year for that one). And my list goes on for another dozen or so meds...and those don't include the 'as needed' ones.....

    Be angry- but know who/what the problem is

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