Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Experts Warn Preservatives In Asthma Medications May Harm Patients

Date:
April 2, 1998
Source:
University Of Florida
Summary:
Experts appeal to the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory agencies worldwide to ban the use of preservatives in medications intended for patients with asthma and chronic pulmonary disease.

By Morgan Marshall

GAINESVILLE, Fla.---Asthma experts at the University of Florida and Wellington College of Medicine in New Zealand are calling for the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory agencies worldwide to ban the use of preservatives in medications intended for patients with asthma and chronic pulmonary disease.

An article in the current issue of the journal Pharmacotherapy cited studies linking widely used preservatives with a worsening of airway obstruction in asthma patients. Prompted by the article and supporting information provided by a UF pharmacist, the Florida State Board of Pharmacy issued a written statement alerting the pharmacy community to the risks associated with the preservatives. The warning does not include the commonly used press and breathe metered dose inhalers, which do not include the preservatives.

The writers identified the stabilizer edetate disodium (EDTA) and the preservative benzalkonium chloride (BAC) as the most frequently used agents in nebulizer solutions used to treat asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Nebulized solutions are medications delivered by an air compressor in the form of a fine spray designed to be inhaled by patients.

While nebulized solutions contain medications that open the bronchial tubes leading to the lungs, researchers have found that the amount of BAC contained in a standard prescription vial actually constricts these airways, counteracting the effects of the medication and sometimes worsening lung function in the patient. Similar effects were reported for EDTA when higher doses of the stabilizer were inhaled.

The Pharmacotherapy article, written by pulmonologists in Wellington, New Zealand, with contributions from University of Florida clinical pharmacist Leslie Hendeles, offered a review of studies using medications with and without the added preservatives.

The findings suggest that BAC fails to provide any real benefit in terms of reducing bacterial contamination related to the use of nebulized medications, and poses a substantial risk to the patient by constricting airways and reducing the effectiveness of the medication.

Hendeles, a professor in UF's College of Pharmacy and the pediatric pulmonary division within the College of Medicine, says that safer, preservative-free medications are available in sterile, single-dose vials. Hendeles warns, however, that a variety of nebulizer productsmanufactured and sold in the United States are mistakenly considered by pharmacists to be therapeutically equivalent, regardless of whether they contain preservatives. Consequently, even if a physician has prescribed a product that is preservative free, the pharmacist may legally substitute another form of the medication that contains preservatives.

The potential risks associated with the preservatives prompted the Florida State Board of Pharmacy to call attention to the problem in a newsletter issued to pharmacists throughout the state. Hendeles says that other state boards of pharmacy may follow suit once the information becomes widely distributed.

Hendeles and his colleagues are urging regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the pharmaceutical industry to ban the use of preservatives like BAC in bronchodilator nebulizer solutions, and to make sure that all nebulizer solutions for asthma patients are available in sterile, preservative-free, single-dose vials.

-----------------------------------------

Recent UF Health Science Center news releases also are available on the UF Health Science Center Communications home page. Point your browser to http://www.vpha.health.ufl.edu/hscc/index.html

For the UF Health Science Center topic/expert list, point your browser to http://www.health.ufl.edu/hscc/experts.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Florida. "Experts Warn Preservatives In Asthma Medications May Harm Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980402100301.htm>.
University Of Florida. (1998, April 2). Experts Warn Preservatives In Asthma Medications May Harm Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980402100301.htm
University Of Florida. "Experts Warn Preservatives In Asthma Medications May Harm Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980402100301.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins