Urgent Recall Issued Asthma sufferers urged to check for faulty inhalers ‘putting thousands of lives at risk’

Asthma sufferers have been urged to check for faulty inhalers

Two brands of inhalers have been recalled for not providing the right doses of medication

Faulty inhalers could be putting thousands of asthma sufferers’ lives at risk.

Two brands have been recalled for failing to deliver the right doses of potentially life-saving medication.

More than 5.4 million Brits suffer asthma, and are now being urged to check if their inhaler is one of those affected.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has recalled two Ventolin and Seretide inhalers, both manufactured by Glaxo Wellcome UK Limited.

More than 4,500 blue Ventolin 200mcg inhalers and 1,400 purple Seretide 50/250mcg inhalers are affected, a spokesman said

Experts warned people with asthma may find their symptoms worsen, or are not relieved by the medication during an attack.

Dr Andy Whittamore, GP and clinical lead at Asthma UK, 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.

How to tell if your inhaler is affected
Three batches of the two inhalers have been recalled.To check if yours is affected look on the back of the inhaler to see if the lot and expiry date matches any of the below:
1. Seretide Accuhaler Inhaler 50/250MCG –1X60D
Lot: 5K8W
Expiry date: 28/04/2019
2. Ventolin Accuhaler Inhaler 200MCG –1X60D
Lot: 754P
Expiry date: 11/05/2019
3. Ventolin Accuhaler Inhaler 200MCG –1X60D
Lot: 786G
Expiry date: 12/05/2019

“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.”

Ventolin inhalers are used to manage asthma symptoms as they occur, while Seretide inhalers are used as a preventative treatment.

The inhalers are also being recalled from hospitals, pharmacies and retailers across the UK.

Other asthma inhalers, including the more commonly used Ventolin Evohaler, are not affected.

Bernadette Sinclair Jenkins, MHRA’s regulatory assessment unit manager, 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.”

Each day in the UK three people die from asthma attacks, according to Asthma UK.

An attack happens when a person’s airways start to tighten, which can leave them coughing, wheezing and gasping for breath.

Some people with asthma describe having an attack as feeling like someone is holding a pillow over their face.

And the condition often gets worse when there are pollutants in the air, such as smoke.

If you have an affected inhaler, or to check your inhaler, visit your local pharmacist.

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