Adults and children with breathing problems often rely on metered dose inhalers to open their airways, allowing them to breathe more easily. Albuterol (Proventil, Proair, Ventolin) is a medication called a bronchodilator, commonly found in rescue inhalers for acute asthma attacks.
GlaxoSmithKline is recalling more than 590,000 albuterol inhalers. Three lots of Ventolin HFA 200D inhalers have been voluntarily recalled due to a potential issue with the delivery system, a spokesman for the British pharmaceutical company said.
The affected lot numbers are 6ZP0003, 6ZP9944 and 6ZP9848. The devices have been recalled from hospitals, pharmacies, retailers and wholesalers in the United States.
The recalled inhalers may not release the correct dose of medication due to a defective delivery system. Albuterol opens airways in the lungs to treat common conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The company said it had received an elevated number of product complaints about a bulging of the outside wrapper, indicating a leak of the propellant that delivers the medicine.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the voluntary "Level 2" recall, which only affects products in the United States, GSK spokesman Juan Carlos Molina said.
The defect does not pose a danger to patients, so they are not being asked to return inhalers they have already purchased. However, if the devices are not relieving symptoms, patients should seek medical attention right away.
GSK said it was trying to identify the root cause of the problem and would take corrective action. Patients whose inhalers are among the affected lots can contact GSK’s customer service center at 1-888-825-5249.
Story sources: Robert Jimison, http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/06/health/albuterol-inhaler-recall/