Alert: FDA Advises Patients to Switch to HFA-Propelled Albuterol Inhalers Now

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is encouraging asthma patients to speak with their physicians and health care providers about the "switch" to HFA-propelled rescue inhalers (albuterol).These environmentally friendly inhalers will replace the old CFC propelled inhalers that are harmful to the ozone layer.

The FDA is encouraging patients to talk to their health care providers now about switching to HFA-propelled inhalers.The new inhaler may give some patients a perception of a softer mist as compared to the old CFC inhalers.The medication (albuterol) is exactly the same, and has not changed.

The phase-out of CFC-propelled inhalers is the result of an international environmental treaty: the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the U.S. FDA mandated these inhalers been phased out by the end of 2008.

Again, many patients have already been transitioned to the new propellant in their rescue inhalers and may not have even noticed the change. Talk with your provider or asthma specialist to learn more about asthma triggers and optimal control.

Dr. Clifford W. Bassettis an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Long Island College Hospital and on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine.He is the current vice chair for public education committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.