Primatene Mist, which is the only over-the-counter epinephrine-based asthma inhaler that’s approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA), no longer will be manufactured or sold after Dec. 31, 2011, because the product contains chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), according to FDA.
FDA is advising Primatene Mist users to get a prescription replacement by the end of the year. Primatene Mist is manufactured by Armstrong Pharmaceutical.
Epinephrine-based inhalers are used to relieve asthma symptoms. The inhalers contain CFCs, which are propellant compounds that are harmful to the earth’s ozone layer. Primatene Mist will be discontinued as of Dec. 31, in compliance with the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, which is an international treaty that requires nations to continuously phase out chemicals that are hazardous to the ozone layer.
Many inhaler manufacturers now create inhalers that contain hydrofluoroalkane (HFA), a propellant that doesn’t harm the ozone layer. An over-the-counter inhaler that contains HFA isn’t available.