Epinephrine Inhalers to be discontinued

September 23, 2011

Epinephrine (Primatene Mist) inhalers to be Phased-out

The US Food and Drug Administration announced that over the counter Epinephrine inhalers will no longer be available after December 31, 2011.  This is in compliance with the international agreement of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The epinephrine inhalers use CFC propellants which harm the ozone.  There are CFC-free inhalers that are more environmentally safe thus justifying the need to cease its production and sale.  The ozone-safe CFC-free asthma inhalers can be obtained by prescription from your physician or allergist.

What should I do when Epinephrine inhaler is no longer available?

First of all, do not wait until you run out of your asthma rescue inhaler.  You must make arrangements ahead of time to see your physician to get a prescription for another asthma rescue inhaler.  It may also be an opportunity to get a good evaluation from your doctor to see if you need to be on a better asthma treatment regimen. There are many environmentally safe asthma inhalers which your physician can recommend to you.

Will the prescription inhalers be more expensive than the Epinephrine inhalers?

The prescription asthma rescue inhalers could be more expensive however there ways to get your asthma medications cheap.  There are good discount coupons that take $15 to $20 dollars off the retail price of the inhaler.  One manufacturer even has a $75 off coupon for Xopenex (levoalbuterol) rescue inhalers.

To find out more about the Epinephrine Inhaler phase out visit the FDA website or their FAQ sheet on this issue.