Louisiana residents and others who suffer from asthma and rely on inhalers should check the model they are using to see whether it is part of a large-scale, nationwide recall. Per NOLA.com, the recall involves three batches of Ventolin asthma inhalers, and it came about after the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, received numerous complaints about the medicine inside the devices leaking out.
Just what does this mean for patients using the inhalers? The answer is not completely clear, although it may mean that users are getting lower doses of the medicine inside than they typically do, or than the inhaler packaging dictates is inside.
Nearly 600,000 Ventolin HFA 200D inhalers are involved in the recall, all of which were manufactured at a GSK plant in North Carolina, and all of which are due to expire in March and April of 2018. Available by prescription only, the company started removing the affected inhalers from store and medical facility shelves in late March.
According to CNN, the recalled inhalers contain albuterol, which many who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma rely on to open their airways and deliver the necessary medicine through the body and into the lungs. If patients are using inhalers and finding that they are not getting any relief for their symptoms, they should seek prompt medical attention to determine whether a leak may be the cause. In a statement, a spokesperson for GSK acknowledged the product defect and noted that the company is investigating the issue and possible causes further so that appropriate action can be taken to enhance patient safety.