A popular inhaler is no longer available over the counter

A popular inhaler is no longer available over the counter.  Since December 31st, the FDA has banned Primatene Mist for environmental reasons since it includes a chemical compound that poses a danger to the ozone layer.

What does that mean to asthma patients, who might have relied on that over the counter remedy?  Dr. Rishi Raj, a Pulmonologist at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, says Primatine Mist was not a good choice for asthma patients anyway.   "It effects not only your airways, but it can raise you blood pressure, cause you heart to go fast, and there are other much better alternatives to Primatene, and it doesn't address what's called inflammation, which means irritation of the airways, which is really the biggest problem in asthma."

The only downside is that prescription inhalers may cost more, but Dr. Raj says they are safer and more effective in the long run.

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