WorstPills.org recommends that patients using levalbuterol (Xopenex HFA) consider using the older and less expensive asthma inhaler albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin).
They also recommend that before stopping use of any drug, you should consult your physician. WorstPills.org reports that levalbuterol does not offer any benefits over albuterol; it just costs more.
The editors of the highly respected Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, known for their independence from drug companies, first reviewed levalbuterol in 1999. They concluded their evaluation by saying that there was “no clinically significant advantage” over albuterol. Almost six years later, in their March 13, 2006 issue, Medical Letter reiterated those same sentiments in their review of levalbuterol HFA:
There is no convincing evidence that levalbuterol tartrate (XOPENEX HFA) offers any advantage over racemic [a technical term for the mixture of the two isomers of a drug] albuterol.