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Seven Inhalers That Use CFCs 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?

When it comes to buying medicine online, it is important to be careful. Some Web sites sell medicine that may not be safe to use and could put your health at risk.

For more information, read "Buying Prescription Medicines Online: A Consumer Safety Guide."

How can I find out more about the phase-out?

For more information about the phase-out of these seven CFC inhalers, and other CFC inhalers that already have been phased out, visit

For more information about topics for your health, visit the FDA Consumer Information Center (  

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