The American Lung Association warns that Americans who have asthma should not be rationing their medications.
SUNDAY, April 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Despite increased demand for inhalers in some parts of the United States, Americans with asthma shouldn't ration their medications during the coronavirus pandemic, the American Lung Association says.
Rescue inhalers are in short supply in some areas because hospitals are giving albuterol to COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms to help them breathe, the group explained. Albuterol is a quick-relief medication used to treat shortness of breath and wheezing in people with asthma and some other lung disorders.
"The American Lung Association advises patients with asthma not to ration medications," said the association's chief medical officer, Dr. Albert Rizzo. "If you are running low on a prescription, speak with your health care provider about your options so you can take your medication as prescribed."
Patients might want to ask their doctor if switching medications would help with availability and/or lower costs, he said in an association news release.
"Consider alternative devices such as nebulizers," Rizzo advised. "Dosages are different among brands, so do not switch without discussing with your health care provider."