FDA Advises That OTC CFC-Containing Asthma Inhalers Will Be Unavailable by Year End

The FDA has notified patients that over-the-counter epinephrine inhalers containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) will not be made or sold after December 31, 2011. Patients who use these products should speak to their healthcare provider and get a prescription for an alternative therapy. This affects users of Primatene Mist (Armstrong), the only FDA-approved epinephrine inhaler for the temporary relief of occasional symptoms of mild asthma that is available OTC.

The FDA finalized the phase-out date for using CFCs in asthma inhalers and notified the public in November 2008. Many manufacturers have changed their inhalers to replace CFCs with an environmentally-friendly propellant called hydrofluoroalkane (HFA). There is currently no HFA version of epinephrine inhalers.

For more information visit www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm247196.htm.