Non-prescription asthma inhaler back after 7 years

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By Maggie Fox

The once-popular non-prescription asthma inhaler Primatene Mist can go back on the market after having been banned for seven years, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

It will be the first time consumers can buy an asthma inhaler without a doctor’s prescription since the inhaler went off the market in 2011. The FDA revoked marketing permission because the inhaler was driven by ozone-destroying CFC chemicals.

Now it can come back, using a less-dangerous gas to propel the medication.

“Some may remember the former over-the-counter Primatene Mist that was taken off the market in 2011 because it contained chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellants, which are known to deplete the ozone layer,” the FDA said in a statement.

“This new version contains hydrofluoroalkane propellants, which are permitted under current international and U.S. law. Prescription-only inhalers that use different medications, such as albuterol and levalbuterol, also use HFAs as propellants.”

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