Friday, January 06, 2012

Asthma awareness: Over-the-counter inhalers disappear from shelves

No more over-the-counter asthma inhalers
Pharmacies in the United States have to rearrange at least one of their shelves, after a popular over-the-counter asthma inhaler has been taken off the market.

The inhaler contains a propellant that is damaging the ozone layer. It is called chlorofluorocarbon, or CFC, which is added to get the medicine from the aerosol canister into users' lungs.

The propellant has been banned by the United States Food and Drug Administration because it is responsible for 1/10th of a percent of global CFC emissions.

Those inhalers that are available with a prescription are using hfa propellants, which have replaced CFCs.

Experts say the new propellant is better for the environment, but also for the user, since the dosage is more accurate and less severe to inhale.

The measure may cause people to self-treat asthma and get a real diagnosis of their problems, officials say, but they may have to deal with a hefty price increase.

Source: NBC-2

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