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  4. Your Metered-Dose Inhaler is Changing to Help Improve the Environment Two-page version Text
  1. Resources | Drugs

Your Metered-Dose Inhaler is Changing to Help Improve the Environment Two-page version Text

This resource is also available as a public service announcement in PDF format

An updated Public Service Announcement is available.

Updated information is now available on the phase-out of Chlorofluorocarbon-containing (CFC) Albuterol MDIs

Although chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in medicines are safe for patients to inhale, they are harmful to the environment. CFCs reduce the amount of ozone in the ozone layer that surrounds the earth and protects the earth against the sun's harmful rays. The loss of ozone can increase the risk of skin cancer, cataracts, and other health problems. Replacing the CFCs in your metered dose inhaler with another substance, called HFA, will make the environment safer for everyone. This change has already begun and will continue, as more ozone-friendly choices become readily available.


  • MDIs containing CFCs are being phased out to help protect the ozone layer.
  • FDA has found that ozone-friendly inhalers (ones with HFA instead of CFCs) are safe and effective when prescribed for FDA-approved uses. 
  • In order to receive an HFA inhaler, an HFA inhaler must be prescribed for you by your healthcare professional.
  • Many types of CFC inhalers will continue to be sold until similar HFA inhalers are widely available.

Most HFA inhalers will be clearly marked with the phrase, "HFA," or will state they contain no CFCs. 

In what ways will an "HFA" metered-dose inhaler be...

the same?different?
  • Safe and effective for the same FDA-approved uses
  • Shape is similar
  • Size is similar
  • Convenient to use
  • Ozone-friendly
    to the environment
  • May be slightly
    different in smell
    and taste
  • May need to be
    cleaned and cared
    for differently

Discuss the use and care of the HFA metered-dose inhaler with your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration
Metered-Dose Inhalers

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