The OTC Inhalers of the ‘90s are Back!

After a 7-year ban from the FDA due to CFC chemicals, Primatene Mist non-prescription asthma inhalers are back on the market.

OG Inhaler / Image: Amphastar
OG Inhaler / Image: Amphastar

For “Throwback Thursday,” we’re revisiting the nostalgia associated with the non-prescription asthma inhalers of our youth. In 2011, the FDA revoked marketing permission on the inhalers due to their use of ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons as a propellant. However, a recent NBC News article reported that Primatene Mist is back on the market, and it uses a less-dangerous gas to expel the medication.

The new version from Amphastar Pharmaceuticals uses hydrofluoroalkane propellants, which are legal under U.S. law and used by several prescription-only inhalers like albuterol and levalbuterol. Amphastar says the inhaler will cost roughly $25 and will be available by the end of the year. However, according to the president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, people shouldn’t substitute the OTC inhaler for their regular prescription medication.

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