• Decrease font size
  • Return font size to normal
  • Increase font size
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


  • Print
  • Share
  • E-mail

Transition from Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) Propelled Albuterol Inhalers to Hydrofluroalkane (HFA) Propelled Albuterol Inhalers - Overview

Listen to this Podcast

This information is out-of-date. For current information on this topic, please see Information on the Elimination of Chlorofluorocarbon-containing (CFC) Albuterol MDIs and Other Ozone-Depleting Drug Products. 10/2008

Run Time -- 00:03:06

Welcome to the Food and Drug Administration's drug safety update.

I am Pat Clarke from F-D-A's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

On May 30, 2008 we issued a public health advisory titled: National Transition from Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) Propelled Albuterol Inhalers to Hydrofluroalkane (HFA) Propelled Albuterol Inhalers.

FDA is alerting patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to important information about albuterol inhalers. As part of a multi-year phase out, chlorofluorocarbon, or (CFC)-propelled albuterol inhalers will not be available after December 31, 2008. Healthcare professionals should transition patients to the hydrofluoralkane, or (HFA)-propelled albuterol inhalers now.

Albuterol inhalers are used to treat bronchospasm (wheezing) in patients with obstructive airways disease, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The propellants, also known as sprays, CFC and HFA, push the albuterol into the lungs when a patient inhales. Currently there are three approved HFA propelled albuterol inhalers: Proair HFA Inhalation Aerosol, Proventil HFA Inhalation Aerosol, and Ventolin HFA Inhalation Aerosol. In addition, an HFA propelled inhaler containing levalbuterol, a medicine similar to albuterol, is available as Xopenex HFA Inhalation Aerosol. Each of the previously mentioned four HFA-propelled inhalers is a safe and effective replacement for CFC-propelled albuterol inhalers. The manufacturers of HFA inhalers have increased production so that there is adequate supply of these products available now.

HFA-propelled albuterol inhalers may taste and feel different than the CFC-propelled albuterol inhalers. Notably, the force of the spray of an HFA-propelled inhaler may feel softer than that of a CFC-propelled inhaler. It is important to prime and clean the HFA propelled-inhalers to prevent blockage in the inhaler device that will prevent the medicine from reaching the lungs. Each HFA-propelled inhaler has different priming, cleaning, and drying instructions. Therefore, it is important to read and understand the instructions that come with each of the HFA-propelled albuterol inhalers before using them.

To hear the full public health advisory, listen to part two of this broadcast.

Date created: May 30, 2008


Contact FDA

Toll Free
(855) 543-3784, or
(301) 796-3400
Human Drug Information

Division of Drug Information (CDER)

Office of Communications

Feedback Form

10001 New Hampshire Avenue

Hillandale Building, 4th Floor

Silver Spring, MD 20993