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Due to the increased need for albuterol inhalers in hospitals for COVID-19, shortages have been occurring in some areas of the country and will likely continue to affect supplies.
Due to the increased need for albuterol inhalers in hospitals for COVID-19, shortages have been occurring in some areas of the country and will likely continue to affect supplies, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) cautioned.1
Albuterol inhalers are indicated for the treatment or prevention of bronchospasm in patients with reversible obstructive airway disease. Because of COVID-19 there has been increased allocation of albuterol inhalers for patients with or suspected to have COVID-19 infection due to concerns that nebulizers may help spread the virus in the air in hospitals.
The ACAAI suggested practical recommendations for patients who use albuterol inhalers.
Pharmacists can help pass along information to patients with asthma who may be affected by shortages.
Although there is little data on how the new coronavirus disease affects those with asthma, it is known that asthma has been worsened with other strains of coronavirus, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).2
Individuals with asthma are considered to be at high risk for worsened infection. The CDC recommends that those at high risk, including patients with asthma:
1. A message to asthma sufferers about a shortage of albuterol metered dose inhalers. American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology’s website. https://acaai.org/news/message-asthma-sufferers-about-shortage-albuterol-metered-dose-inhalers. Accessed March 23, 2020.
2. Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. March 18, 2020. https://community.aafa.org/blog/coronavirus-2019-ncov-flu-what-people-with-asthma-need-to-know.