In an effort to save the planet, regulations have been enacted by the EPA to restrict certain materials and products that hard the environment. Obviously these laws were created to target big manufacturers, chemical companies and industries pumping out the pollution, right? Well an easier target was inhalers containing CFCs or chloroflurocarbons.
In 2008 albuterol inhalers began the phase-out process. New versions of both rescue and maintenance inhalers started having HFC attached to the end which stands for hydrofluorocarbons. This new propellent is safer for the environment, sends the life-saving medicine out much less forcefully and no one seems to like them. The actuators also clog much more easily with HFCs than CFCs, but many asthmatics don’t know they need to clean their medicine delivery system. This results in less medicine being delivered over time further exacerbating the the whole “not breathing” problem. Did I mention the cost of HFA inhalers can be three times more?
I’m not your average asthmatic and therefore I’m not on average drugs. Way back in the day we found out Maxair, pirbuterol acetate, worked much more effectively for me than the standard albuterol sulfate inhalers. There are currently two CFC inhalers still on the market that will no longer be available after December 31, 2013 and one of those is Maxair. I’m really not looking forward to switching and am glad I’ve had a few extra years to wait. There have been some improvements to inhaler technology in general such as more powder-based inhaled medications on the market. Examples of these would be pulmicort, advair, seravent, spirivia and azmacort. There have also been some strides taken with miniature nebulizers which are much easier to transport than the heavy duty models.
For now I’m just going to continue to try purchasing my Maxair. I need to put in an order through the mail-order pharmacy before December hits. I’ve asked my doctors several times about what I need to switch to and they act like it’s no big deal. I really hope it isn’t.