Do I Need a Prescription To Buy a Nebulizer?

If you have asthma, COPD, or any lung disease, you may need a nebulizer.

This machine efficiently delivers the medicine to the lungs in the form of mist, giving you instant relief from your symptoms.

While asthma patients more commonly use inhalers, a nebulizer is more convenient, especially for children and older adults.

If it’s your first time buying one, you might be wondering, “Do I need a prescription to buy a nebulizer?

With ProNebu’s portable nebulizer, you won’t. However, you will need a doctor’s prescription to buy the medicine to put in it.

Do I Need a Prescription To Buy a Nebulizer?

While you can buy a nebulizer without a prescription, it is best to go to your doctor first.

After all, you will have to buy the medication you will put in it, which needs a prescription.

Remember that there are many types of medicines for asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

Your doctor is the only one capable of prescribing the best medication for you.

Even though you can buy a neb without a prescription, you still want to do a little research before you purchase one.

The reason is that nebulizers come in different types, sizes, and features.

do i need a prescription to buy a nebulizer machine

Different Types of Nebulizers

Understanding the basics will help you find the right nebulizer. There are three common types: jet nebulizer, ultrasonic nebulizer, and mesh nebulizer.

Jet Nebulizers

A jet nebulizer uses compressed gas to make a mist or aerosol. One of its benefits is that it requires simple, tidal breathing.

Dose modification and compounding are also possible with this type of nebulizer.

While it is very efficient at delivering formulations, it has a longer treatment duration and larger size.

Ultrasonic Nebulizers

Ultrasonic nebulizers have the same benefits as jet nebulizers, but it comes in two variations.

One is the large-volume ultrasonic nebulizer, and the other is the small volume ultrasonic neb.

The former is often used to administer hypertonic saline for sputum induction, while the latter is for administering inhaled medication.

Mesh Nebulizers

These modern nebulizers work by forcing liquid medications through multiple apertures or mesh to create an aerosol.

Mesh nebulizers have smaller, portable designs. They are either powered by electricity or batteries.

What’s more, you can adjust the size of their output rate for different medications to optimize mist delivery.

Generally, mesh nebulizers are more efficient than jet nebulizers.

When Do You Need a Nebulizer?

Doctors typically prescribe nebulizers to individuals with the following conditions:


People with asthma use either inhalers or nebulizers to take their medication.

If you have trouble using small inhalers, a nebulizer is a better option.

The machine converts liquid medicine into a mist, so it reaches your lungs immediately.

A nebulizer also comes with a mouthpiece or mask, so it is suitable for any age. It also delivers medicine faster than an inhaler.


Perhaps the single most effective treatment method for bronchitis is the nebulizer.

You can use the machine to inhale steroids, which calm the inflammation of the mucus membrane.

Nebulizer treatments can drastically reduce coughing and sputum production in people with bronchitis.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of conditions that cause breathing-related problems, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Many people living with COPD need a nebulizer to help get the medication deep into the lungs.

Nebulizer therapy is the preferred method of drug administration in COPD patients.

This is because it reduces the need for inspiratory flow or complex hand-breathing coordination.

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs, as well as other organs of the body. It affects the cells that produce mucus.

Nebulizer therapy delivers medications to the lungs to control the symptoms and the progression of the disease.

Many types of nebulizer systems are used for treating cystic fibrosis to clear the mucus buildup in the lungs and prevent infections.

Where To Buy a Nebulizer

Now that you know the different types of nebulizers, you’re ready to shop around.

Many clinics offer nebulizers. If you’re visiting your doctor to ask about using one, ask if they also sell one.

Your doctor is the best person to advise you about the type of nebulizer to use.

More often than not, you will undergo tests for your doctor to diagnose your condition. He or she will also instruct you about how often to use a nebulizer.

If your doctor doesn’t offer nebulizers, you can shop around online. There are many stores that carry good-quality nebulizers.

ProNebu Nebulizer

pronebu for blog

If you’re looking for a portable nebulizer that you can take anywhere, check out ProNebu.

Large-sized nebulizers limit your ability to move them from one place to the next, which can be very inconvenient.

ProNebu is a handheld device suitable for both young and the old alike.

It is noise-free, so you can use it virtually anywhere—in the office, on a plane, and more.

This neb doesn’t require tubing or an air source to work. Simply plug it in via the USB cable or install batteries, and it’s ready to go.

How To Choose a Nebulizer

When shopping around for a nebulizer, consider these pointers:

Your Condition or Illness

A nebulizer is often prescribed to people who have respiratory problems.

However, do note that various respiratory illnesses affect different parts of the respiratory system.

The droplet size or aerosol size is important to ensure that the medicine gets to where it is needed.

Typically, larger medicine droplets are deposited in the upper respiratory tract while smaller droplets go to the lower respiratory tract.

Thus, nebulizers that deliver bigger droplets are prescribed to patients with chronic sinusitis.

They are also used for treating flu symptoms like wheezing and congestion.

Meanwhile, nebulizers that create smaller particles are used by people with asthma, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, and COPD.

Who Will Use the Nebulizer?

Patients with severe breathing difficulties need nebulizers with a higher level of nebulization.

For babies and children, you want a quieter machine that creates a smoother mist.

If two or more people use the nebulizer in your home, consider a more sophisticated neb with adjustable particle sizes.

That said, make sure each one has their own mouthpiece or mask. This part of the nebulizer is not for sharing.

It’s also better to dedicate one neb cup for each person.

How Often It’s Used

How often to use a nebulizer depends on the doctor’s advice.

If you’re expected to use yours very frequently, opt for a higher-quality device suitable for heavy-duty use.

Don’t go with disposable nebulizers, as they are only meant for short-term use or as a backup.

If treatments are required several times in the day, consider purchasing a lightweight and portable nebulizer you can use anywhere in the house or outside.

Choose the same type of neb if you travel a lot.

Portable nebulizers are similar in size to inhalers, but they are more powerful, convenient, and efficient.

Its Selling Features

Once you’ve decided on the type and size of the nebulizer, it’s time to go deeper into the features.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Sound Level

A lot of poor-quality nebulizers produce an annoying buzzing noise. If noise levels bother you, choose a model that features quiet operation.

  • Intended Users

Can it be used by children, babies, and adults alike?

  • Nebulation Rate

The higher the rate, the more medication is delivered into the lungs. Ask your doctor about the nebulation rate suitable for your condition.

  • Place of Use

If you’re only at home, a powerful ultrasonic neb is ideal.

However, get a portable mesh nebulizer if you need something you can carry anywhere.

How Much Does a Nebulizer Cost?

Home nebulizers cost $50 and up, but portable units typically cost a little more.

Health insurance policies, including Medicaid, usually cover nebulizers. However, most insurance companies will want you to work with a certain supplier.

Check with your policy provider before buying one, as some brands may not be valid for reimbursement.

Going back to your question, Do I need a prescription to buy a nebulizer? Generally, you don’t need a prescription to purchase a nebulizer.

Many pharmacies, drugstores, and medical stores sell different nebulizers without asking for a prescription.

Getting Your Doc’s Advice Is Still Best

In the end, it’s still important to seek the advice of a healthcare professional before buying any nebulizer system.

Your doctor can give you recommendations on the type and size of nebulizer most suitable for your condition.

You will also need a prescription for the medication, so it’s best to consult your doctor before you start shopping around for a neb.

While you’re at it, ask your healthcare provider if ProNebu’s portable nebulizer is a good option for you.

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