British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline has issued a voluntary recall of a specific brand name of asthma inhalers. Which asthma inhalers have been recalled? If you or your child has asthma, you'll want to check your medicine cabinets to see if you have any Ventolin asthma inhalers, specifically Ventolin HFA 200D inhalers with 200-metered doses. The recall affects approximately 593,000 Ventolin asthma inhalers manufactured in the pharmaceutical company's North Carolina plant in Zebulon. All of the nearly 600,000 inhalers affected by the recall were sold in the United States. GSK did not immediately return Romper's request for additional comment.
GSK has received an "elevated number of product complaints," according to a statement from the company sent to Reuters. Specifically, patients have reported that the foil wrappers were bulging within the paper boxes that contain each 200-metered dose inhaler. The company has said this is indicative of a potential leak in the propellant that delivers the asthma medication, albuterol. As a result, the medication could deliver fewer doses of albuterol than the dosage counter product may show.
Patients who have any recalled inhalers can still breathe easy: GSK has said that the "defect does not pose any danger to patients" who have used or continue to use the product.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is aware of the voluntary recall. The April 2017 Ventolin inhaler recall affects devices made with the following batch lot numbers: 6ZP0003, 6ZP9944, and 6ZP9848. This is a separate voluntary recall from one made in December 2015 by GSK for the same brand of inhaler. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America notes that patients are not being asked to return their inhalers, but patients with questions should call the company's customer response center at 1-888-825-5249.
Should you continue to use a recalled Ventolin inhaler — and many folks with asthma from seasonal allergies may find themselves doing as the spring season comes into bloom — just be aware you may not be getting the full dose. A statement from the company reads:
Though the overall benefit-risk assessment for Ventolin® HFA 200D Inhaler when used at prescribed doses remains favourable, in this situation, there is possible risk to patients of experiencing diminished bronchodilation in the setting of acute bronchospasm if reliant on a rescue inhaler that could potentially not deliver the stated number of actuations. GSK is committed to supplying high quality product and patient satisfaction, and we sincerely regret any inconvenience this recall may cause.
The the asthma medication contained in Ventolin — albuterol, also known as salbutamol — is listed as one of the World Health Organization's essential medicines for both children and adults.