Pay attention to the below alert for asthma medication that will be withdrawn from the market over the upcoming months. If you are on one of these medications, please see your doctor to have your medications changed.
The affected products, manufacturers and their phase out schedule include:
· Tilade Inhaler (nedocromil; King Pharmaceuticals) -- June 14, 2010
· Alupent Inhalation Aerosol (metaproterenol; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals) -- June 14, 2010
· Azmacort Inhalation Aerosol (triamcinolone; Abbott Laboratories) -- Dec. 31, 2010
· Intal Inhaler (cromolyn; King Pharmaceuticals) -- Dec. 31, 2010
· Aerobid Inhaler System (flunisolide; Forest Laboratories) – June 30, 2011
· Combivent Inhalation Aerosol (albuterol and ipratropium in combination; Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals) – Dec. 31, 2013
· Maxair Autohaler (pirbuterol; Graceway Pharmaceuticals) – Dec. 31, 2013
After those dates, these medications will not be sold or distributed in the United States. Dr. Chowdhury acknowledges, especially in the case of Combivent, that patients with COPD may experience additional costs from co-pays on individual inhalers as opposed to the combination, but a greater good is in consideration. Additional time is also granted for Maxair to allow patients to become reaccustomed to a non-breath activated inhaler. He noted "the phase out of these chlorofluorocarbons is an example of how international cooperation will help mankind."
Patients using the inhalers scheduled to be phased out are advised to talk to their health care professional about switching to one of several alternative treatments currently available. Until then, patients should continue using their current inhaler medication.