FDA Video: Phase-Out of CFC Inhalers

FDA is informing healthcare practitioners and patients that certain metered-dose inhalers used to treat asthma and chronic pulmonary obstructive disease will be gradually removed from the market because they use chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as propellants. CFCs released into the environment deplete the protective ozone layer in the atmosphere. They have been banned from consumer aerosol products for a long time.

Seven inhalers are affected by this action. Four of them are no longer being made. The remaining three, to be phased out over the next few years, are Aerobid, Combivent and Maxair. Aerobid cannot be sold in the U.S. after June 30, 2011. Combivent and Maxair cannot be sold after December 31, 2013. Manufacturers of these inhalers could stop selling them prior to these deadlines.

Patients still using one of these three inhalers should talk to their doctors about switching to another product, such as inhalers that use propellants other than CFCs, inhaled powders that do not use a propellant, or liquids administered with a nebulizer. Patients should understand that these products may look, feel or taste different from the ones they are accustomed to, and may need instruction in how to use them properly.