Thousands of asthma inhalers recalled in health scare

Thousands of inhalers used by asthma patients have been recalled by health officials.

Asthma UK said “faulty inhalers could put people’s lives at risk” as it called on patients to check whether their inhaler needed to be returned.

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The call comes after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) urged asthma patients to replace specific batches of their Ventolin Accuhaler inhalers.

The inhalers are used for the emergency relief of asthmatic symptoms.

The MHRA said other asthma inhalers, including the more commonly used Ventolin Evohaler, are not affected.

Bernadette Sinclair Jenkins, the regulatory assessment unit manager of the MHRA’s Inspections, Enforcement and Standards unit, said: “It is important people check whether they have an affected inhaler. We want patients and their families to be confident treatment will be safe and effective when required.” Asthma UK said about 6,000 inhalers were affected.

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The charity’s clinical lead Dr Andy Whittamore said: “It is extremely worrying that some people with asthma may have faulty inhalers and it could put people’s lives at risk.

“The Ventolin inhalers are reliever inhalers and so are used by people while they are experiencing asthma symptoms such as a cough, breathlessness, wheezing or a tight chest.

“If someone’s inhaler is faulty they may find it doesn’t help, which could be frightening and mean they’re more likely to have an asthma attack.

“We’d urge everyone with asthma to check if their inhaler is from the affected batch by checking the number on the bottom of their inhaler. If it is affected, they should get medical advice and return the inhaler to their pharmacist for a replacement.

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