The FDA has issued a voluntary recall of generic albuterol inhalers manufactured by Catalent Pharma for Perrigo Pharmaceutical Company. If you use a brand-name albuterol inhaler such as ProAir, Proventil, or Ventolin, this recall does not apply to you.
Perrigo has received several thousand complaints about its product, mostly due to clogging and not dispensing enough medication. Some of these inhalers stopped working after several uses. Before issuing the recall, Perrigo discontinued producing these inhaler products on August 21, 2020. Any inhalers that were still on pharmacy shelves have been removed, but many are likely in patients' hands.
The medication itself remains safe, and there is no problem as long as the inhaler keeps working. If you have one of these inhalers, you can continue to use it normally. However, there is a risk of your asthma flare-up worsening if the inhaler clogs when you need rescue medication. Therefore, the FDA advises patients to have extra inhalers available for immediate use if your generic albuterol inhaler suddenly stops working. Alternate treatments such as a nebulizer with albuterol nebulizer solution are also a perfectly good backup.
Please feel free to call our office if you have further questions. If you would like additional information, you can visit the FDA press release about the recall.