Asthma inhalers to go ‘green’ on Dec. 31

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Asthma inhalers go “green” on Dec. 31, forcing patients still using the old-fashioned kind to make a pricey and even confusing switch.

The move to new inhalers comes as new chemicals are used to send albuterol into the lungs to open up the airway of asthma sufferers.

Chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, that damage the Earth's protective ozone layer will no longer be used.

By the end of 2008, all albuterol inhalers must be powered by the more eco-friendly chemical HFA, or hydrofluoroalkane.

The new inhalers cost consdierably more than previous models and must be used in a different way so patients may need to be shown how to use them effectively.

Albuterol inhalers offer quick relief of wheezing in an emergency. If they are used more than a few times a month, a person's asthma is not well-controlled and they should see their doctor to find out why this may be happening.



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