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Seven Inhalers That Use CFCs Being Phased Out

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If you use one of these CFC inhalers, talk with your health care professional and switch to a medicine that does not contain CFCs. You cannot be sure how long you will be able to buy your CFC inhaler because manufacturers may stop making them before the last day they can be sold. For example, the manufacturers of Alupent Inhalation Aerosol and Tilade Inhaler have already stopped making these drugs.

If you have an inhaler after the last day the inhaler can be sold, you may continue to use it.

Why are CFC inhalers being phased out?

CFCs harm the environment by decreasing the ozone layer above the earth. The ozone layer protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

The United States and most other countries have signed an international agreement to make it illegal after certain dates to manufacture or sell substances, including CFCs, which decrease the ozone layer.

Most CFC inhalers have already been phased out as part of this agreement.

What other medicines can I use for my asthma or COPD?

There are many other inhalers available in the United States that don’t contain CFCs. Talk to your health care professional to decide which one is right for you.

To see some of the FDA-approved treatments for asthma and COPD, visit the FDA Web page "Drug Treatments for Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease that Do Not Use Chlorofluorocarbons."

FDA will work with companies to ensure enough other medicines are available.

How will the other medicines differ from the CFC inhaler I am using?

There are inhalers that use the propellant hydrofluoroalkane, or HFA, instead of CFCs. There are also dry powder inhalers that don’t use a propellant at all, and liquids that are used with a nebulizer machine.

These medicines to treat your asthma or COPD may look, feel, or taste different, and may be used differently than your CFC inhaler.

Ask your health care professional to show you how to use your new medicine correctly.

What can I do if I cannot afford the medicine that is prescribed?

  • Talk to a health care professional about programs that can help get the medicine you need.
  • Check with the company that makes the medicine to see if it has a patient-assistance program that provides the medicine at no cost, or at a lower cost.
  • Check with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to see if they can provide help in paying for the medicine.

Is it safe to buy the replacement for my current inhaler over the Internet?