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Over-the-Counter Asthma Inhalers Should Be Used Cautiously



Altman acknowledges that such a condition is possible if someone uses OTC inhalers too often, but says that the research doesn't show that this happens very often.


Altman believes that for the patient with mild, occasional asthma, the OTC asthma inhalers can be a reasonable choice. He says, "My daughter had severe asthma when she was very small, but now that she's in her 30s, she only experiences tightness in her chest every one to three months. For my daughter, OTC inhalers are a reasonable choice."


For consumer safety, Altman says, "Our group has recommended to the FDA that labeling [of OTC asthma inhalers] be strengthened, and they are doing so. The new labeling will emphasize the need for further medical care if symptoms do not improve after using the OTC inhaler."


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