Tips for Handling the Asthma Inhaler Changeover

  • The clock is winding down on the transition time to switch from CFC-propelled albuterol inhalers to HFA-propelled albuterol inhalers. The United States has banned sale or distribution of these products in the US effective January 1, 2009. With less than a month left to transition, AAFA urges you to speak with your physician and pharmacist about the new inhalers. They are different.

    The Montreal Protocol, an international treaty established in 1987 to reduce global warming, banned CFC's in all products. The US government delayed the ban on inhalers until pharmaceutical companies could develop new HFA inhalers. Now the new HFA inhalers are on the market. At the end of this month, distributing CFC propelled inhalers is illegal.

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    AAFA is hearing patient complaints regarding the cost, usefulness, and value of the HFA inhalers and our first priority is helping patients. However, since we expect that this ban will take effect, our goal is to support patients through this transition.

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urges patients to follow the new priming and cleaning techniques. Doing so prevents buildup of the drug in the inhalation device, which can block the medicine from reaching the lungs. Each HFA-propelled albuterol inhaler has different priming, cleaning, and drying instructions, and patients should read and understand the instructions first before using the inhaler. Let your physician know if you have questions or need help.

    For details on how to use, prep, and clean each of the four HFA inhalers, click on Visit, for more useful information. Reach out to your physician for advice. FDA has information on a special website:

    AAFA is here for support and education regarding the HFA transition. However, if you are experiencing difficulties understanding proper use of these inhalers, contact your health care provider immediately to discuss options and the correct medicine regimen to control your asthma.



Published On: December 08, 2008