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FDA to Complete Phase-Out of Chlorofluorocarbon Inhalers

Effort helps protect ozone layer (October 23)

The FDA will complete its phase-out of all inhaler medical products containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by December 31, 2013. This effort is to comply with an international treaty to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the worldwide production of numerous substances, including CFCs, that contribute to ozone depletion.

While most inhaler products containing CFCs have already been phased out by the FDA, two products currently remain on the market: Combivent Inhalation Aerosol (Boehringer Ingelheim) and Maxair Autohaler (Medicis Pharmaceuticals). However, these products will no longer be available after the end of this year. People with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who use these inhalers should talk to their health care professional about a prescription for an alternative treatment.

The most widely used inhaler — albuterol CFC inhaler — was phased out in 2008 and replaced with inhalers that use propellants called hydrofluoroalkanes (HFAs). Many safe and effective inhalers are available to treat asthma and COPD symptoms. All of these inhalers require a prescription, which must come from a licensed health care professional.

Source: FDA; October 23, 2013.

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