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Many asthma inhalers contain lactose. I have a severe allergy to milk, eggs, and nuts. I am worried about having lactose in my inhaler. Are there any inhalers without lactose?

Lactose is milk sugar and would not cause food allergy, which is an immune response to milk protein. Lactose is found only in dry powder inhalers. Many people with a milk allergy avoid them to avoid potential contamination with milk protein. Ask your doctor if switching to a different inhaler is possible. Metered-dose inhalers do not have lactose.

Asthma, Milk Allergy, Treatment
Answered by

Douglas T. Johnston, DO, FAAAAI, FACAAI, is an allergist/clinical immunologist at Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Assistant Professor at Edward Via School of Osteopathic Medicine in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is a fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI). He has lectured at national and international medical conferences and has publications in several medical journals, including “Clinical Immunology,” “World Allergy Organization Journal,” “Journal of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology,” “The Journal of the American Medical Association,” and the “New England Journal of Medicine.”

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@SBB- You bring up a good point. For people with allergies, it's important to speak with your doctor to make sure that the appropriate medication is prescribed. If you experience any side effects or reactions from the medication, contact your doctor immediately.

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