The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a statement regarding the future distribution of over-the-counter asthma inhaler, Primatene Mist. After December 31, 2011, this product will no longer be available for distribution or sale because it uses CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) as a propellant in the product.
CFCs have been linked to depleting the Earth's ozone layer and the international community have come together to ban products made with CFCs.
Primatene Mist is the only over-the-counter asthma epinephrine inhalant containing CFCs. This product is designed for occasional use of asthma related symptoms. This ban is no way a response to the safety of the product itself. Alternative medications may need to be sought by consumers who rely on Primatene Mist for their temporary and occasional asthma difficulties. FDA encourages consumers to consult their doctor.
Badrul Chowdhury, M.D., Ph.D., director of FDA’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology Products stated, "If you have breathing problems but have not been diagnosed by a health care professional, it’s important to see one. Not all breathing problems are asthma, so you need to get an accurate diagnosis and the proper medicine."
This is sound advice for anyone who relies on any over-the-counter product for relief. Consumers may not have to wait long, however, for an alternative without CFCs. According to Armstrong Pharmaceuticals, the company that manufactures Primatene Mist, they are working on creating an epinephrine-based asthma inhalant that does not contain CFCs. Their goal is to have it available before the December 31, 2011 ban.
FDA CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATION - Primatene Mist With Chlorofluorocarbons No Longer Available After Dec. 31, 2011
Primatene Mist With Chlorofluorocarbons No Longer Available After Dec. 31, 2011
Statement on the Continued Availability of Primatene Mist