Every day at MyAsthmaCentral.com we get lots of asthma related questions. Below are some questions I thought my readers at the RT Cave would enjoy.
Your Question: Albuterol used to work much better, however the new propellant system has rendered it nearly useless. This is one case where the concern over the use of CFCs has gone to extremes with negative results. How much could I be depleting the ozone layer when I exhale from my inhaler? Didn't most of it go into my lungs? So why mandate a formula change? The new Albuterol inhalers are a joke, the delivery system is terrible.
Also; what happened to the over the counter Primatene Mist inhalers and the generic versions? I am convinced that the availability of these has saved my life in the past. They are no longer available, banned in fact (apparently a victim of the war on drugs - kids using them to get high - although for some reason computer cleaner sprays and other inhalents are still on the market). I suppose only rich people with health insurance are allowed have inhalers.
Us poor folks are expected to die of asthma in the street. Thanks for forcing regulations on my Walgreens. You folks at the FDA are making the world a better place.
My humble Answer: The primitine mist inhalers were sort of grandfathered into being a legal over the counter (OTC) medicine, yet the FDA has been trying to get them off the shelves because the medicine in them -- epinepherine -- has been linked some bad side effects. So when Congress decided to "force" the phase out of CFC inhalers the FDA used this as an excuse to finally pull the plug on OTC primitine mist.
However, while I believe there are some advantages to HFA inhalers, which I discuss here, I agree with you that outlawing CFC inhalers was a bit of a stretch, taking away options from us asthmatics. I think the choice -- CFC or HFA propellant -- should have been left to the free market. Yet that's just me.
To be honest with you, I think Albuterol should be available OTC. How's that for a controversial statement?
If you have any further questions email me, or Visit MyAsthmaCentral.com's" Q&A section.