ProAir (albuterol sulfate) is prescribed to treat bronchospasm (tightened airways). It comes with an inhaler device so you can breathe the drug into your lungs. You take it every 4–6 hours or only before exercise.

ProAir is used in adults and certain children to:

* Obstructive airway disease is often called obstructive lung disease. In some cases, it cannot be reversed but can be prevented or even treated when episodes occur.

The active ingredient in all three forms of ProAir is albuterol sulfate. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

ProAir belongs to a group of drugs called beta-2 adrenergic agonists.

ProAir is available in three forms. Each comes with an inhaler device so you can breathe the drug into your lungs.

This article describes the dosages of ProAir, as well as its strength and how to take it. To learn more about ProAir, see this in-depth article.

The table below highlights the basics of ProAir’s dosage for each of the three inhaler forms. One puff is one inhalation of the drug through an inhaler device. All three forms provide 90 micrograms (mcg) of albuterol per puff.

UseUsual dosage
help treat or prevent bronchospasm2 puffs every 4–6 hours*
help prevent bronchospasm from exercise 2 puffs 15–30 minutes before exercising

* In some patients, 1 puff every 4 hours is sufficient. Your doctor will determine the best dosage for your condition.

Keep reading for more details about ProAir’s dosage.

What are ProAir’s forms?

ProAir comes in three forms. Each form has a dose counter.

  • ProAir HFA: This is a canister containing the drug that you use with an inhaler device. Each spray* of the device delivers one dose in aerosol form that you breathe in.
  • ProAir RespiClick: This is an inhaler device containing the drug as a dry powder. Each use* delivers one dose that you breathe in.
  • ProAir Digihaler: This is an inhaler device containing the drug as a dry powder. Each use* delivers one dose that you breathe in. This form also can connect to an app on your smartphone. The app records information about your doses, but the app is optional.

* Depending on the form, one spray or use equals 1 puff.

What strength does ProAir come in?

All three forms of ProAir come in one strength: 90 mcg of albuterol per puff.

What are the usual dosages of ProAir in adults?

Your doctor may start you on a low dosage and adjust it over time to reach the right amount for you. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The information below describes dosages that are commonly taken or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for helping prevent or treat bronchospasm

The typical ProAir dosage to help prevent or treat bronchospasm is 2 puffs every 4–6 hours.

If 1 puff every 4 hours manages your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe this dosage instead.

Dosage for helping prevent bronchospasm from exercise

The typical ProAir dosage to help prevent bronchospasm from exercise is 2 puffs 15–30 minutes before exercising.

What’s the dosage of ProAir for children?

ProAir is used to help treat or prevent bronchospasm from obstructive airway disease* that’s reversible in certain children. It’s also used to help prevent bronchospasm from exercise in certain children. Both of these uses are approved for children ages 4 years and older.

For both uses in children, the dosages are the same as the dosages for adults. To learn more, see the “What are the usual dosages of ProAir in adults?” section above.

For more information about ProAir’s dosages for children, talk with your child’s doctor or a pharmacist.

* Obstructive airway disease is often called obstructive lung disease. In some cases, it cannot be reversed but can be prevented or even treated when episodes occur.

Is ProAir taken long term?

Yes, ProAir is usually taken as a long-term treatment. ProAir can be used to treat sudden symptoms or to prevent symptoms. You and your doctor will discuss the appropriate treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely take ProAir long term.

The dosage of ProAir that your doctor prescribes may depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re taking the drug to treat
  • your age
  • the form of ProAir you’re taking
  • other conditions you may have

For certain situations or conditions, your doctor may adjust your dosage of ProAir more cautiously. These are if you:

ProAir is available in three forms: HFA, RespiClick, and Digihaler. How you take ProAir depends on which form your doctor prescribes.

All three forms of ProAir have a dose counter. When 20 doses are left, the counter turns red. This helps you remember to order a refill from your pharmacy.

Taking the HFA form

ProAir HFA comes with an inhaler device. Each spray (puff) of the device delivers one dose of the drug in aerosol form. You breathe in the aerosol.

To use the HFA:

  1. Prime the inhaler device before you use it for the first time. You’ll also need to prime it if it’s been over 14 days since you last used it. To do this, remove the cap from the mouthpiece and shake the device. Then, facing the device away from you, spray the inhaler once by pressing down on the canister. Shake and then spray the device two more times.
  2. When you’re ready to take a dose of ProAir HFA, shake the inhaler and remove the cap. Breathe out as deeply as you can through your mouth. Then close your lips around the mouthpiece. (The mouthpiece should be at the bottom, with the canister extending upward.)
  3. Breathe in through your mouth slowly as you spray the inhaler.
  4. Remove the mouthpiece and then close your mouth. Hold your breath as long as possible, up to 10 seconds. Then breathe normally and replace the cap over the mouthpiece.
  5. If your doctor prescribed more than one puff, wait 1 minute. And then repeat steps 2–4.

It’s important to clean your HFA inhaler device at least once per week. To wash it, remove the cap and the metal canister. Run warm water through each end of the plastic piece (actuator) for 30 seconds. Shake off excess water, and allow the actuator to air-dry.

If you use more than one inhaler, clean each one separately. And be sure to match each canister with its own actuator.

Taking the RespiClick and Digihaler forms

ProAir RespiClick and ProAir Digihaler both come in an inhaler device. Each use (puff) delivers one dose of the drug in a dry powder. You breathe in the dry powder.

Neither form needs to be primed. Do not use RespiClick and Digihaler with a spacer or volume holding chamber.

To use the RespiClick or Digihaler:

  1. When you’re ready to take a dose, hold the inhaler upright. (The red cap should be at the bottom.)
  2. Open the red cap. You’ll hear a click when opening the cap, which means the dose is ready to take.
  3. Breathe out as deeply as you can. Then, close your lips around the mouthpiece.
  4. Take a fast, big breath in. Remove the mouthpiece and then close your mouth. Hold your breath as long as possible, up to 10 seconds. Then breathe normally and replace the cap over the mouthpiece.
  5. If your doctor prescribed more than one puff, repeat steps 2–4.

Do not put any part of the RespiClick or the Digihaler in water. If you need to clean the mouthpiece, gently wipe it with a dry cloth or tissue.

The Digihaler form also can connect to an app on your smartphone. This can provide additional information, such as how well you’re inhaling the medication into your lungs. But you don’t need the app to use the Digihaler.

For more information on how to take ProAir, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also review instructions in the prescribing information for the form your doctor orders. You can find links to the prescribing information at the end of this article.

For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of ProAir, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Accessible drug containers and labels

Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:

  • have large print
  • use braille
  • feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio

Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.

Sometimes doctors prescribe ProAir to be taken only when needed to manage symptoms.

Or your doctor may prescribe ProAir to take routinely. In this case, if you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Then take your next dose at its usual time. If you’re not sure whether you should take a missed dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you need help remembering to take your dose of ProAir on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

Do not take more ProAir than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to harmful effects.

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:

  • seizure
  • chest pain
  • changes in blood pressure or heart rhythm
  • increased heart rate
  • low levels of potassium in your blood
  • feeling tired
  • headache
  • nausea
  • feeling dizzy or nervous
  • trouble sleeping
  • dry mouth

In extreme cases or if untreated, overdose can lead to death.

What to do in case you take too much ProAir

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much ProAir. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about ProAir’s dosage.

Is ProAir’s dosage similar to the dosages of Advair?

ProAir contains one active ingredient, which is albuterol sulfate. Advair contains two active ingredients, which are fluticasone propionate and salmeterol. ProAir and Advair each belong to a different group of drugs.

The forms are similar in some ways. ProAir and Advair both come in HFA and dry powder inhalers. HFAs deliver an aerosol to inhale. Dry powder inhalers, such as Advair Diskus, deliver a powder to inhale.

In some ways, how often you take each drug is similar. Your doctor may prescribe ProAir to be taken every 4–6 hours to manage or prevent symptoms. But it’s likely that they would prescribe Advair HFA or Advair Diskus to take routinely two times per day.

The dose in micrograms for each drug differs. Your doctor will prescribe the drug and the dosage that’s right for you.

To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.

How long does it take for ProAir to start working?

ProAir starts to work as soon as you inhale your dose. You’ll likely start to notice symptoms lessening within 10 minutes, as studies* show.

If you have other questions about what to expect from your ProAir treatment, talk with your doctor.

* For details about ProAir’s studies, see its prescribing information in the “Resources” section below.

The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the drugmaker. If your doctor recommends ProAir for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you should not change your dosage of ProAir without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take ProAir exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • How do I know that I’m taking my ProAir dose correctly?
  • If I find that I need to take ProAir more often than usual, what are my treatment options?
  • Can I continue taking ProAir if I get a viral respiratory infection, such as COVID-19?

To learn more about ProAir, see the “ProAir (albuterol sulfate)” article.

To get information on different conditions and tips for improving your health, subscribe to any of Healthline’s newsletters. You may also want to check out the online communities at Bezzy. It’s a place where people with certain conditions can find support and connect with others.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.