Monday, June 2, 2008

CFC Inhaler Ban-Is It Going To Hurt?


Thanks to president bush and his signing of the Montreal Protocol, we're going to join forces with other countries to clean the air of CFC's (chlorofluorocarbon) their harmful effects on our planet.

However noble in it's appearance, this document has serious health implications for those suffering from COPD or Asthma. Since the Montreal Act requires all CFC propellents be phased out by December 31, 2008, alternative medicines have been in the works since the original ban of CFC uses back in 1997.

Since then, there have been advances in alternative treatments. The invention of HFA (hydrofluoroalkane) inhalers has sparked controversy of their use and cost effictiveness. Also, the overall scientific basis for the ban has some scientists baffled. The Montreal Protocol was initiated to combat the rising rates of skin cancer possibly resulting from ozone depletion. The scientists disagree that the rates were caused by that, since the rates continue to rise each year even without having CFC's in most products over the last 10 years.

I'm worried that these new treatments will pose more harmful effects from these new HFA chemicals in them. They're still the same medication, but a different propellant. I know the CFC's aren't nutritious, but since they've been on the market for many many years, we're more knowledgable of the long term effects.

"The safety of new agents cannot be known with certainty until a drug has been on the market for many years." (Journal of the American Medical Association, May 1, 2002)

As for my family, I worry that these new inhalers won't be as effective to treat an attack. For example, my husband and 8yro son both have asthma attacks when an allergen causes severe symptoms. Their Albuterol inhaler will act within seconds to restore their breathing. They haven't tried the new HFA inhaler yet, but from what I have read, they act within 5 minutes to an attack, rather than 15 seconds of the old inhalers. That has me worried.

So, it's off to the doctor for a new prescription to see if these new inhalers work for my husband and son the way they're supposed to. I'm taking notes on the various names of these new inhalers with us to the doctor to make sure it's an educated prescription, not just one there might be a vested interest in/or a good drug rep with bagels came by that morning.

If anyone has tried both inhalers for attacks, please mention the exact medication name and what your symptoms pre and post inhaler were. Also, any side effects.

For more info, names of the new drugs and even a petition, go to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveCFCinhalers/

I'll certainly be back with the results very soon and we'll decide whether or not to sign the petition after some of our own testing! At least we know we can trust ourselves!

5 comments:

  1. In my experience, the best inhaler *was* the generic albuterol,usp (90mcg, propelled by the now banned substances) The relief was in seconds and shakiness not so bad.Rapid heart beat not detectable.

    We now have ProventilHFA (90mcg, propelled by HFA-134a) and ProAirHFA (90mcg, propelled by HFA-134a). ProAir doesn't have as much shaky twitchy side effects as the Proventil, BUT it also doesn't work. It takes more doses and longer time to be effective. At least in our case time is something we don't have. We prefer the Proventil although rapid heartbeat pounds in the ears and you shack more than a strung out junkie, because the relief is faster than its contemporaries. I don't know why they are this different given the same dose and propellant, but it is there.
    Our doctor gave us the heads up that the old inhaler was phasing out and gave us extra scripts so we could stockpile. I have enough back up now to keep us alive in emergencies until we can figure out the best choices. I have heard the new inhalers work best with spacers. Good luck!
    shannon

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  2. Very interesting.

    If the economics don't work, recycling and sustainable efforts won't either.
    Check http://LivePaths.com a blog about innovative entrepreneurs that make money selling recycled items, provide green services or help us reduce our dependency on non renewable resources. These include some very cool Green online ventures, great new technologies, startups and investments opportunities.

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  3. I've used both. I didn't see a difference in the EFECTIVENES between the two. But I have EIA not an allergen-based asthma. And from what I've heard/tasted they put ethyl alcohol in them. It's added as a surfactant to thin out mucus allowing the medication to penetrate deeper making it more effective. But ethyl alcohol is marked as an asthma trigger so that’s kind of shooting your self in the foot IMHO.

    What I personally don't care for is the fact that the government is shoving this whole issue down our throats. Especially considering that ecologists have said long ago that the ozone layer has returned to its normal state already. I mean c’mon, It's only one more year until HFA patens run out. Then generic units will be out for cheep. Besides, the ozone got better WITH CFC inhalers out and a bought. It was all the other stuff that spewed out gallons of the stuff that did the damage. I use my Inhaler at most 5 times a day. The whole thing is at most two tablespoons of fluid, and at least some of that is the medicine.

    It's my opinion that it's just pharmaceutical companies trying to make money. Approximately 1.7 billion according to a site I visited earlier. Well I'm not falling in line. I have a nebulizer and plenty of vials to last me until next year. And I suggest every one do like me and not give one red cent to there scam.

    It would be really funny if some scientist came up with some other propellant and made it patent free and screwed them out of there riches.

    -Charlie

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  4. Hey Charlie, I hope you're working on that propellant!

    I agree completely about the pharm industry at the foot of this.

    Thanks for your contribution to the blog!

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So whaddaya think?

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