Seven Metered-Dose Inhalers to Be Phased Out

FDA releases timetable for withdrawal of asthma and COPD inhalers from U.S. marketplace
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Seven metered-dose inhalers that contain ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons will be gradually removed from the U.S. marketplace, according to an April 13 announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The inhalers are used to treat asthma and chronic obstruction pulmonary disease. The affected products and their last date to be manufactured, sold or dispensed in the United States are: Tilade Inhaler (nedocromil), June 14, 2010; Alupent Inhalation Aerosol (metaproterenol), June 14, 2010; Azmacort Inhalation Aerosol (triamcinolone), Dec. 31, 2010; Intal Inhaler (cromolyn), Dec. 31, 2010; Aerobid Inhaler System (flunisolide), June 30, 2011; Combivent Inhalation Aerosol (albuterol and ipratropium in combination), Dec. 31, 2013; Maxair Autohaler (pirbuterol), Dec. 31, 2013.

According to the FDA, patients who use these inhalers should ask their doctors about switching to one of several alternative treatments, and continue using their current inhaler medication until differently advised.

"During this transition, FDA wants to ensure that patients have access to safe and effective alternative medications to treat their asthma or chronic obstruction pulmonary disease," Badrul Chowdhury, M.D., director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. "We are currently working with professional societies and patient organizations to make sure patients understand which products will no longer be available and have information on which alternative medication might work best for them."

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