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Get the Facts on the Albuterol Inhaler Transition
Date:5/30/2008

Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics Applauds FDA Public Health

Advisory and Offers Critical Facts Patients Need to Know

FAIRFAX, Va., May 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Millions of asthma patients and their healthcare providers do not know that at the end of this year, their life-saving medications will be gone. Today, FDA urged patients still using chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) albuterol metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) to switch to alternate hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) inhalers (albuterol and levalbuterol) before CFCs are completely off the market. As of December 31, 2008, no CFC albuterol inhalers will be manufactured or sold in this country.

CFC is used to propel medication from asthma inhalers into patients' airways. But it also depletes the earth's ozone layer, so it's being phased out of medications like inhaled albuterol, one of the top 10 prescriptions written in the United States. Patients with asthma, COPD and other respiratory conditions use albuterol at the first sign of symptoms, before exercise and when experiencing breathing exacerbations. Alternate inhalers using HFA as a propellant are replacing CFC albuterol.

"We applaud FDA's efforts to educate patients and medical professionals about the new HFA inhalers," states Nancy Sander, president and founder of Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA). "There are critical differences between CFC and HFA inhalers that patients need to know in order to use these medications properly."

-- HFA MDIs have a softer spray. Some patients comment that force of the

HFA propellant is not strong enough to "push open" their airways during

an attack. But it is the correct inhalation technique, not the force of

the propellant, that determines how well the medication works. Neither

type of inhaler can push or force airways open.

-- HFA MDIs have different cleaning requirements. HFA MDIs need to be

cleaned mor
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SOURCE Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics
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