This was successfully posted to your pofile.
This box will close automatically in a few seconds. Close this window
We don't have an e-mail address on file for you. To use AAFP Connection, you must have an e-mail address in our records. Click Here
Primatene Mist Asthma Inhaler No Longer Sold After Dec. 31, 2011
Patients Will Need Alternatives
During a Sept. 22 news conference, Andrea Leonard-Segal, M.D., director of the Division of Nonprescription Clinical Evaluation in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, advised health care professionals to talk with their patients about the phase-out and the replacement products that would be available.
"There is an alternative FDA-approved product available with a prescription," said Leonard-Segal. "Albuterol HFA (hydrofluoroalkane) inhalers are prescription inhalers that are used in very much the same way as epinephrine CFC inhalers, and they are safe and effective."
- Epinephrine inhalers propelled by chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, are being phased out as of Dec. 31, 2011, in accordance with an international treaty.
- The use of CFCs as a propellant leads to the depletion of the ozone layer.
- Patients with mild asthma now will need a prescription to buy an inhaler to lessen their symptoms.
"The discontinuation of this OTC medication has the potential to cause an increase in untreated asthma exacerbations in the mild-to-moderate asthma sufferers who were not already being treated with prescription medications by their physicians," Rich told AAFP News Now. That's because patients with mild asthma now will need a prescription to buy any kind of inhaler.
"Posting notices in doctor's offices about the medication discontinuation and how to obtain a prescription for a prescription substitute" is likely the best way doctors can help patients become aware of the phase-out, said Rich.
The FDA has developed a number of resources to help in answering patients' questions about the discontinuation of epinephrine CFC inhalers, as well as to guide physicians and other health care professionals in choosing alternative medications for their patients with mild asthma.