The Food and Drug Administration is trying to take the medication off the shelves because of its effects on the ozone layer and to patients.
Dr. Ronald Saff is a well-known physician in Tallahassee who helps asthma patients, but those who aren't able to seek medical assistance often rely on over-the-counter medications to breathe a little easier.
But drugs like Primatene mist are now raising eyebrows.
Dr. Ronald Saff says, "It doesn't treat the underlying inflammation, which is the hallmark of asthma. Additionally, it has a lot of adverse affects on the heart, and in fact, the use of Primatene Mist has been associated with deaths in some asthmatic patients."
The FDA is recommending removing inhalers like Primatene Mist off the market by 2008 because it contains a propellant that's harmful to the ozone layer. Those who come to rely on the product will have to get prescription inhalers to relieve their symptoms.
The American Lung Association agrees with the FDA's recommendation. They say the drug is harmful to patients and the environment. Now those who use the over-the-counter medication may be able to use other treatments in the near future.
Angelika Parker from the American Lung Association says, "There will be alternate drugs that will come out in the market to replace the over-the-counter medications, maybe medications that do not contain these chlorofluorocarbons."
In the meantime, the manufacturer is in the process of developing medications that do not contain propellants. The non-prescription drug advisory committee says there is no data to substantiate the FDA's claims. They're asking for a comprehensive study to provide more information to the public.