FDA Logo Over-the-counter epinephrine inhalers are known to contain CFCs and are used to attain short-term relief for mild asthma. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced the replacement for epinephrine inhalers as they will not be produced or available after December 21, 2011.

These inhalers are apparently sold commercially even without a physician’s prescription. This medicine seemingly uses CFCs to expel the drug out of the inhaler so that users can absorb it into their lungs.

This decision is being implemented owing to the guidelines in the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. It is an international agreement that has been accepted by the United States to avoid substances that lead to the dissolution of the ozone layer including CFCs.

“If you rely on an over-the-counter inhaler to relieve your asthma symptoms, it is important that you contact a health care professional to talk about switching to a different medicine to treat your asthma,” specified Badrul Chowdhury, M.D., director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Rheumatology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Many manufacturers seem to have already created a replacement for the aforesaid inhaler in the form of an eco-friendly propellant namely hydrofluoroalkane (HFA). However, epinephrine inhalers do not appear to have an HFA version.

Nevertheless, there are many safe inhalers available for asthma that usually require a certified prescription from a health care practitioner. Users who are dependent on epinephrine inhalers presently, can ask their doctor to give them a new prescription or visit various health centers that may give them a reference.

The epinephrine inhalers are marketed by Armstrong Pharmaceutical as Primatene Mist and the team is being encouraged to inform users as the deadline nears to assure an incident-free transition. They are also getting ready to review applications for replacement products.