FDA Approves First Generic Albuterol Inhaler

Christopher Palmer

April 08, 2020

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first Proventil HFA (albuterol sulfate) metered-dose inhaler, 90 mcg/inhalation, according to a release from the agency. This inhaler is indicated for prevention of bronchospasm in patients aged 4 years and older. Specifically, these are patients with reversible obstructive airway disease or exercise-induced bronchospasm.

"The FDA recognizes the increased demand for albuterol products during the novel coronavirus pandemic," said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, MD.

The most common side effects include upper respiratory tract infection, rhinitis, nausea, vomiting, rapid heart rate, tremor, and nervousness.

This approval comes as part of FDA's efforts to guide industry through the development process of generic products, according to the release. Complex combination products — such as this inhaler, which comprises both medication and a delivery system — can be more challenging to develop than solid oral dosage forms, such as tablets.

The FDA released a draft guidance in March 2020 specific to proposed generic albuterol sulfate metered-dose inhalers, including drug products referencing Proventil HFA. As with other similar guidances, it details the steps companies need to take in developing generics in order to submit complete applications for those products. The full news release regarding this approval is available on the FDA website.

This article originally appeared on MDedge.com.

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