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    Albuterol Inhalers Discontinued?
    karengraham posted:
    I have used an Albuteral Inhaler for a few years now. I picked up my prescription from the pharmacy today and was given Pro-Air and told that you can no longer get Albuterol Inhalers in the U.S. because they damaging to the enviroment. I was told this went into effect January 1st. Is there any truth to this? Pro Air has not worked for me in the past and I went from a $5.00 co pay for Albuterol to a $25.00 co pay for Pro Air...
    brits685 responded:
    Yes this is very true and a problem many asthmatics are facing. The insurance companies see these new "brands" as brand-named drugs when they are still albuterol but in an HFA form. The CFC's were banned in the US because of harming the environment. Does anyone else remember the good old albuterol hfa years ago that they stopped making? My boss (a pharmacist) was telling me about them today. They are the exact same thing as these new "fancy' HFA inhalers. There area few major brands available right now including: ProAir HFA, Proventil HFA, Ventolin HFA and the Xopenex HFA. Check with your insurane company to see what one they prefer as a brand named drug with the lowest copay. They are making quite the steal on our asthma, but blame it on the environmentalists. I still have not seen any proof of these inhalers causing more damage to the environment than other things. I have a number of patients that do not like the ProAir HFA because of having less propellant. You will not feel the drug when inhaled as you used to with the CFC inhalers. Many people have tried returning them. I suggest that you talk to you doctor to see if they have samples so you can see which one you prefer and again talk to your insurance company to see which one has the lower copay. The Ventolin HFA is one I prefer because of the dose counter on the back (just a ploy by the company to sell more but they are fast moving inhalers). It is much easier to see when I am getting low on my inhalers compared to guessing with the other ones. The Proventil HFA has less propellant than the ProAir, but I thought that one helped a little better. It is just a matter of trial and error. On the other hand, I do like the Xopenex because it doesn't make me as jittery. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.
    PaulEnright responded:
    Dear Brits, I agree with all of your other comments. Another alternative is to get $4 a month single-dose vials of generic albuterol solution and a nebulizer. The nebulizer and compressor are noisy and take more time than a MDI, but you can get them inexpensively from Ebay.

    In my opinion, it was the FDA, EPA, and Big Pharma that worked together to eliminate any generic asthma controllers in the U.S. The ozone was just flimsy excuse to extend profits for another 20 years, at our expense. I think that congress should mandate the availability of an inexpensive generic inhaled corticosteroid (then folks with asthma would be much less likely to need to use their rescue inhaler).

    It will be great if you continue to take the time to respond to asthma drug-related messages here. We also have a pharmacist with rather severe asthma in Newfoundland who frequents our message board.
    hardlybreathing responded:
    I want to know how something that goes into our lungs can harm to ozone? I don't know what the difference between CFC and HFA but I used Armstrong brand inhalers or Warrick brand. Both of those worked the best for me. I never ad the shakes, the proppellant never had a kerosene taste (not that i tasted kerosene just taste as bad as it smells). Doctors for years were trying to tell me that there was no difference between those i used and Proventil even showed me in a pdr book but i kept telling them that the shakes and jittery nerves were from the proventil and not the others. The medicinemay have been the same, but the propellants were different. I am on Proair now and I go through inhalers faster than I ever have. I am also SICK AND TIRED of gagging after each puff. My doctor said that there was nothing he could do. If that is so then are these doctors getting paid to push these new ones or what.. I truly feel all your pain, every time I throw up too. I don't know why i gag just about every time I take a puff, but i have to be careful not to take a puff right after eating.

    Any help will be greatfully appreciated. I will do some research on the others listed above and will check back often to see any responses.
    sgbl88 responded:
    There has been a lot of discussion about this subject.

    You might want to try a spacer. The Hfa MDIs are more effective with spacers and you won't have the taste either. Just a thought.
    abbymay16 responded:
    Generally speaking a lot of asthmatics have said the proair inhaler is the LEAST effective of the new HFA albuterol type inhalers.

    The Ventolin inhaler mentioned above, dose have the handy dose counter. HOWEVER, just be aware, once you open the foil package the inhaler comes in, it is only good for 60 days regardless of how many doses you have left over. Apparently the propellant is not reliable after the 60 day mark. My pharmacist made me aware of this and I spoke with the drug manufacturer and they said it was true. ' There is a non profit group who is trying to get Congress to repeal the ban on the old CFC style albuterol inhalers. They are planning to present Congress with signatures from those of us who the new HFA inhalers don't work for, or can't afford. The plan is to present the signatures prior to the 2010 elections.

    You can sign their petition and have your voice heard by going to their website:

    There is a large amount of research on their website about the inhalers and the who and why's of how the ban was put in place. They are also hoping to have radio and TV ads to start running in Jan of 2010.

    Dr Enright had a great idea...many of us have switched to the generic albuterol solution and purchased a portable nebulizer. Albeit not as handy as an inhaler but reliable!!

    I just purchased this portable and love takes 2 AA batteries and is silent while running .

    Good luck

    SaveCFCdotcom replied to abbymay16's response:
    I encourage all of you to join our campaign to get Congress to amend the Clean Air Act to legalize CFC inhalers on humanitarian grounds. Many people are suffering and dying unnecessarily because they cannot tolerate HFA inhalers.

    The active ingredients in all CFC and HFA inhalers are virtually identical- it is the excipients (including ethanol and the HFA-134a gas itself), and the unique impurities (including, but not limited to various extractables and leachables), that are causing these devastating side effects in many thousands of patients.These HFA inhalers were never tested in large scale, real world Phase lV trials (postmarketing studies) due to the objections of the drug companies.

    By the way, CFC molecules are exhaled intact, but CFC inhaler emissions are too negligible to harm the ozone layer, increase ground UV-B radiation and increase skin cancer. These are lies spread by the drug companies, the FDA and the EPA, and their stooges, the Gang of Nine (see our website) that are now accepted by the media and the Congress.

    We would be honored to have Dr. Enright send us a quote to add to our "Doctors Speak Out" page.

    We are in desperate need of financial support to run our ad campaign in New York, where 30 second spots start at about $250.

    Arthur Abramson
    The National Campaign to Save CFC Asthma Inhalers

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    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Asthma and Allergies Center