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News From the Food and Drug Administration
December 18, 2018

The Return of OTC Primatene Mist

JAMA. 2018;320(23):2413. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.19619

After a 7-year absence, the asthma drug Primatene Mist will return to over-the-counter (OTC) sales for patients with mild, intermittent asthma.

The drug was taken off the market in 2011 because it contained chlorofluorocarbon propellants, which are known to deplete the ozone layer. The new version contains hydrofluoroalkane propellants, which are allowed under international and US law and are used in prescription-only inhalers containing other medications such albuterol.