OTC asthma inhalers phased out by year end
SILVER SPRING, Md. — Epinephrine inhalers will not be made or sold after Dec. 31, and patients using them should get new prescriptions to replace them, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.
Epinephrine inhalers, which Armstrong Pharmaceutical markets under the brand name Primatene Mist, are used to relieve symptoms of mild asthma and are sold over-the-counter.
But because the inhalers contain chlorofluorocarbons, the product will no longer be available after the year's end due to requirements under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone, of which the United States is a signatory. Part of the protocol included an agreement to phase out CFCs.
"If you rely on an over-the-counter inhaler to relieve your asthma symptoms, it is important that you contact a healthcare professional to talk about switching to a different medicine to treat your asthma," FDA Division of Allergy and Rheumatology Products director Badrul Chowdhury said.