Faulty asthma inhalers have been recalled over concerns they may not be administering potentially life saving medication correctly.
The decision was made by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on Wednesday (February 21) and affects two specific lots manufactured by Glaxo Wellcome UK Limited, reports Mirror Online .
Experts warned that due to a manufacturing issue, a small number of the devices were not delivering the full number of doses.
More than 5.4 million people in the UK affected by the condition are being warned to check if they have specific batches of Ventolin Accuhaler inhalers, which are used for the emergency relief of asthmatic symptoms.
One lot of Seretide Accuhaler, used for the maintenance of preventative treatment of asthma, is also being recalled from hospitals, pharmacies, dispensing practices, retailers and wholesalers in the UK.
The recall of Seretide Accuhaler is only at pharmacy level because this is used for maintenance treatment as opposed to a reliever treatment.
More than 4,500 Ventolin 200mcg inhalers and 1,400 Seretide 50/250mcg inhalers are affected, a spokesman told The Sun .
Three people die from an asthma attack every day in the UK - but charity Asthma UK said two-thirds of these deaths could be prevented if people got the correct treatment.
MHRA said patients who have used the affected batches of Ventolin may find their symptoms are not relieved as normal by their Ventolin Accuhaler.
If this happens, they should seek medical advice and return any affected Accuhalers to their pharmacist for a replacement.
Only a small proportion of the two affected batches of Ventolin Accuhaler and the one affected batch of Seretide distributed to the UK market are defective.
Bernadette Sinclair Jenkins, MHRA’s regulatory assessment unit manager of the 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.”
Ms Jenkins added: "People with a Ventolin Accuhaler from the affected lots should take them to their pharmacy or their dispensing practice and speak to a pharmacist who will provide a replacement.
"We strongly encourage anyone to report any issues with their inhalers or other medicines or medical devices to MHRA via our Yellow Card Scheme."
GP Dr Andy Whittamore said: "There may be a mark or tear in the foil strip of the Accuhaler devices.
"This tear could mean the inhaler doesn’t give you all the doses your inhaler is meant to.
"The fault hasn’t affected the medicine itself, so don’t worry – you’ve not been taking anything that could have harmed your health."
"The worst that could have happened is you weren’t getting the dose of medicine you need," Dr Whittamore continued.
"If you had the defective Ventolin Accuhaler inhaler [reliever] it’s really important you get a new one, because this is the inhaler you need if you have an asthma attack.
"Go and get a new inhaler from your pharmacist right away."
"Even if you’ve not had an asthma attack for a while, triggers can be unpredictable and you don’t want to be caught out without a working inhaler," the doctor added.
"Asthma attacks are serious and can be life threatening – so be prepared and always keep an effective reliever inhaler with you."
For more information, contact GlaxoSmithKline’s Customer Support Team via email@example.com or call 0800 221 441 and select option four.
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