Update – April 16, 2020
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a generic version of Proventil HFA, a commonly used albuterol inhaler, to help with the demand for albuterol.
- AAFA has also asked the FDA to address albuterol shortages due to COVID-19.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America is sharing this press release from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) to bring you the latest asthma and allergy news quickly.
Important: Even though drug shortages can be concerning with the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading, it is important that we all work together to make sure everyone has enough asthma medicine. There some ways you can make sure you have the medicine you need while not depleting the existing supply.
Remember, if your asthma is well-controlled, you will not need to use as much albuterol (a quick-relief, or "rescue" asthma medicine). It is important to manage your asthma triggers and take your long-term control medicine as prescribed to prevent asthma episodes. Learn more about gaining asthma control in our free, self-paced course called ASTHMA Care: www.aafa.org/asthmacare.
A message to asthma sufferers about a shortage of albuterol metered dose inhalers
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill (March 20, 2020) - Certain areas of the country are experiencing shortages of albuterol inhalers. The shortage will probably spread throughout the U.S., although it is not a production problem. The shortage is occurring because of the increased use of albuterol inhalers in hospitals for COVID-19 and suspected COVID-19 patients to help with respiratory issues. There is a concern that nebulizers used on patients with COVID-19 in the hospital could spread the virus in the air. But the possible risk is to hospitalized patients with COVID-19 – not to patients using their nebulizer at home as directed.
What should you do if you or your child are having trouble getting an albuterol inhaler? The recommendations below from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) offer practical ideas for coping:
- First, don’t panic. Check your inhaler to make sure it still has medicine.
- If necessary, you can likely use your expired albuterol inhaler as it is probably still at least partially effective.
- If you can’t get a refill on your metered dose inhaler, contact your allergist or health care provider as there are other options available which they can prescribe.
- It is important that you not overuse your albuterol inhaler, as one canister should last for months.
ACAAI will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.
The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org.