Safety Alerts & Recalls

What does this mean?

Since albuterol inhalers are frequently used to treat serious medical conditions it is important to get used to using an HFA inhaler before the supply of CFC inhalers runs out. Since HFA inhalers require more care to ensure their effectiveness and safety, and since each HFA inhaler has different care instructions, the sooner you begin the transition, the more straightforward the transition process will be.

If you are not already using an HFA propelled inhaler (NOTE: Unless your medication is called 'PROAIR HFA', 'PROVENTIL HFA', 'VENTOLIN HFA' or 'XOPENEX HFA', it is likely that you are still using a CFC propelled medication), it is important that you discuss the transition with your doctor or pharmacist at your next visit. At this point more than 50% of users are still using CFC propelled albuterol inhalers and still need to begin the transition.

CFC to HFA transition advisory

The FDA today issued a public health advisory with important information regarding albuterol inhalers. Due to a national phase out of ozone depleting substances, chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propelled albuterol inhalers will not be available after December 31, 2008. The FDA is recommending that patients begin the transition to hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) propelled inhalers as soon as possible to avoid being affected by the diminishing supply of CFC propelled medication.

Although albuterol HFA inhalers work similarly to CFC inhalers, they may taste or feel different, and may involve different copayments at your pharmacy. The HFA inhalers also require regularly priming and cleaning to prevent blockage to the inhaler and maximise delivery of medication reaches your lungs. Starting the transition process early will help prevent problems as CFC inhalers fall into short supply.

Currently there are three approved HFA propelled albuterol inhalers: Proair HFA Inhalation Aerosol, Proventil HFA Inhalation Aerosol, and Ventolin HFA Inhalation Aerosol. In addition, an HFA propelled inhaler containing levalbuterol, a medicine similar to albuterol, is available as Xopenex HFA Inhalation Aerosol. Each of the above four HFA propelled inhalers is a safe and effective replacement for CFC propelled albuterol inhalers. The manufacturers of HFA inhalers have increased production so that there is adequate supply of these products available now.

For more information, please visit: more information here

Source: FDA
Publication Date: 2008-05-30
Last Updated: 2009-12-06

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