Are you currently using an inhaler for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma? If so, and you use the bronchodilators Combivent Inhalation Aerosol or Maxair Autohaler, you should know that they'll both be pulled off the market in 2013.

That's because both inhalers contain ozone-damaging chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The United States is phasing out production of CFCs and has already removed CFCs from products like hairspray, deodorant and air conditioning. The inhalers are the only two left on the market with CFCs.

Combivent Inhalation Aerosol is no longer be available after July 31, and Maxair Autohaler after December 31. If you use either inhaler, talk with your doctor soon so you can switch to a non-CFC inhaler.

Alternatives that contain the same medicine but no CFCs are available. Some patients may notice a different taste and feel less force in their new inhalers, but they’re just as effective as the old versions.

Source: FDC Consumer Update, 5/28/13; Prepared by the Editors of The Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 17 Jul 2013

Last Modified: 17 Jul 2013