Inhalers filled with ozone-depleting ingredients will be off market soon

April 15, 2010

Seven metered-dose inhalers for treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will soon be phased out, according to FDA. The move goes along with U.S. commitments to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Seven metered-dose inhalers for treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will soon be phased out, according to FDA. The move goes along with U.S. commitments to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The inhalers contain ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Newer therapies without CFCs are options to consider for treatment instead.

Products to be phased out and the final date each inhaler will be manufactured, sold, or dispensed are:

Nedocromil (Tilade, King Pharmaceuticals), June 14, 2010
Metaproterenol (Alupent, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals), June 14, 2010
Triamcinolone (Azmacourt, Abbott Laboratories), Dec. 31, 2010
Cromolyn (Intal, King Pharmaceuticals), Dec. 31, 2010
Flunisolide (Aerobid, Forest Laboratories), June 30, 2011
Albuterol and ipratropium in combination (Combivent, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals), Dec. 31, 2013
Pirbuterol (Maxair, Graceway Pharmaceuticals), Dec. 31, 2013

“During this transition, FDA wants to ensure that patients have access to safe and effective alternative medications to treat their asthma or COPD,” said Badrul Chowdhury, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a statement. “We are currently working with professional societies and patient organizations to make sure patients understand which products will no longer be available and have information on which alternative medication might work best for them.”

Phasing out CFC-containing products is part of a larger global pact to forbid substances that diminish the Earth’s ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the U.S. Clean Air Act are designed to guard the environment against the potentially harmful impact of ozone depletion.