CFC-propelled inhalers to be discontinued

The FDA is advising patients be switched from chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-propelled albuterol inhalers to hydrofluoroalkane (HFA)-propelled albuterol inhalers. CFC-propelled inhalers will no longer be available after December 31, 2008 due to their environmentally harmful effects on the ozone layer.

Three HFA-propelled albuterol inhalers have been approved by the FDA: Teva's Proair HFA, Schering-Plough's Proventil HFA, and GlaxoSmithKline's Ventolin HFA. Additionally, HFA-propelled levalbuterol tartrate, an albuterol isomer, is available as Xopenex HFA (from Sepracor).

Albuterol inhalers are used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

For more information visit www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/ucm080462.htm