Last two ozone-depleting inhalers being phased out

October 29, 2013 by Steven Reinberg, Healthday Reporter
Last two ozone-depleting inhalers being phased out
Deadline is Dec. 31, but FDA urges asthma patients to switch to eco-friendly versions now.

(HealthDay)—The last two inhalers to contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which deplete the ozone layer, will be removed from the market by Dec. 31, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced.

That will complete the agency's long-running plan to phase out all of these types of inhalers, to comply with an international treaty that aims to protect the Earth's , the FDA said in a news release.

Inhalers typically are used to deliver the albuterol, which treats asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). More than 25 million people suffer from asthma, and another 15 million have been diagnosed with COPD, a serious lung disease that gets worse with time.

"CFCs were used as propellants to move the drug out of inhalers so that patients could inhale the medicine," Dr. Badrul Chowdhury, director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Rheumatology Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a news release. "For more than two decades, the FDA and EPA have collaborated to phase out CFCs in inhalers—a process that included input from the public, advisory committees, manufacturers and stakeholders."

Although most inhalers using CFCs were phased out in 2008, two CFC inhalers remained: Combivent Inhalation Aerosol and Maxair Autohaler. Those who have asthma or COPD who use these inhalers should ask their doctor about alternative treatments, the FDA said.

For the most part, CFC inhalers have been replaced by inhalers powered by hydrofluoroalkanes (HFA), which are ozone friendly.

The FDA has approved three HFA-propelled albuterol inhalers: ProAir HFA, Proventil HFA and Ventolin HFA. An HFA-propelled inhaler containing levalbuterol, a medicine similar to albuterol, is available as Xopenex HFA, the agency said.

The discontinuation of CFC-propelled inhalers is the result of both the U.S. Clean Air Act and an international treaty known as the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Explore further: FDA phases out inhaler due to environmental impact

More information: For more on inhalers, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Related Stories

FDA phases out inhaler due to environmental impact

September 22, 2011

(AP) -- Asthma patients who rely on over-the-counter inhalers will need to switch to prescription-only alternatives as part of the federal government's latest attempt to protect the Earth's atmosphere.

Recommended for you

Researchers identify source of opioids' side effects

January 17, 2017

A commercially available drug may help drastically reduce two side effects of opioid painkillers—a growing tolerance and a paradoxical increased sensitivity to pain—without affecting the drugs' ability to reduce pain, ...

CVS generic competitor to EpiPen, sold at a 6th the price

January 12, 2017

CVS is now selling a rival, generic version of Mylan's EpiPen at about a sixth of its price, just months after the maker of the life-saving allergy treatment was eviscerated before Congress because of its soaring cost to ...

Many misuse OTC sleep aids: survey

December 29, 2016

(HealthDay)—People struggling with insomnia often turn to non-prescription sleep remedies that may be habit-forming and are only intended for short-term use, according to a new Consumer Reports survey.

The pill won't kill your sexual desire, researchers say

December 15, 2016

Taking the pill doesn't lower your sexual desire, contrary to popular belief, according to research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The authors of the research, from the University of Kentucky and Indiana University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.