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Beta-Agonists Short Acting Inhalers

DrugsBeta-agonist inhalers - Short-acting

April 2010

Therapeutic area - Respiratory


Preferred Non preferred
ProAir HFA
Proventil HFA
Ventolin HFA
Maxair Autohaler
Xopenex HFA

HFA - hydroflouroalkane propellant

Prior authorization criteria

  • Intolerance to the preferred alternatives as evidenced by increased heart rate, blood pressure or tremors at doses not exceeding 2 puffs

Maxair Autohaler only
Patient has manual dexterity that disallows use of a press and breathe inhaler.

Notes on over use of inhaled beta-agonists

  • Despite the national guidelines concerning the proper use of inhaled asthma medication, over-reliance on short acting inhaled beta-agonist medication and under-use of corticosteroids persists in the US.
  • National asthma guidelines recommend that short acting inhaled beta agonists be used on an as-needed basis rather than as a regular scheduled medication.
  • Regular use of inhaled corticosteroids is recommended for the control of persistent asthma symptoms.
  • Increasing use of a beta agonist inhaler indicates worsening asthma or COPD symptoms and should be evaluated by a medical professional.


MHCP Provider Call Center 651-431-2700 or 800-366-5411

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