Asthma sufferers have been urged to check their inhalers, as faulty ones could be putting thousands of people’s lives at risk.
Two major brands have recalled their products as they’re failing to deliver the correct doses of potentially life-saving medicine.
More than 5.4 million Brits suffer from asthma and all are being encouraged to check their inhaler and return it if needed.
Two Ventolin and Seretide inhalers, both manufactured by Glaxo Wellcome UK Limited, have been recalled by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
A spokesman for the agency told The Sun more than 4,500 Ventolin 200mcg accuhalers and 1,400 Seretide 50/250mcg accuhalers have been affected.
Bernadette Sinclair Jenkins, MHRA’s regulatory assessment unit manager, said:
It’s 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.
Experts have warned asthma sufferers may find their symptoms get worse and not be relieved by the inhalers during an attack.
Dr Andy Whittamore, GP and clinical lead at Asthma UK, added:
It’s extremely worrying 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’re 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’s affected, they should get medical advice and return the inhaler to their pharmacist for a replacement
While Seretide inhalers are used as a preventative treatment, Ventolin ones are used as asthma symptoms occur, but both are being recalled from retailers, pharmacies and hospitals all across the UK. Other inhalers are not affected.
According to Asthma UK, each day in the UK, approximately three people die from asthma attacks.
When an attack happens, a person’s airways start to tighten which leaves them coughing, wheezing and gasping for breath.
Many describe having an asthma attack as feeling like someone has shoved a pillow over their face.
RECALL ALERT: Some Ventolin Accuhaler & Seretide Accuhaler inhalers are being recalled. There's no need to panic – this is a mechanical fault & the medicine in the inhalers hasn’t been affected. Here's what you need to know (thread)??https://t.co/T9Wv9cjMmz
— Asthma UK (@asthmauk) February 21, 2018
Often the condition gets worse when the air is polluted by things such as smoke.
If you believe you have an affected inhaler or want someone else to check it, then visit your local pharmacist.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.