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Monday 01 October 2001

Patients' opinions of CFC-free inhaler changeover in primary care.

By: Arris F, Thorburn L, McCaig DJ.

Pharm World Sci 2001 Oct;23(5):173-4

OBJECTIVE: To determine patient's opinions regarding the changeover from CFC containing to CFC-free salbutamol. DESIGN: Patients receiving metered dose salbutamol inhaler therapy were identified and verbal consent was obtained before a semi-structured interview was performed. Setting An outpatient respiratory clinic within a busy teaching hospita. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Knowledge of CFC-free inhaler therapy and acceptance of change. RESULTS: A total of 28 patients were identified of whom only eight (29%) had been changed to a CFC-free product. Six of these (75%) had received counselling from their GP or pharmacist regarding the change. Differences were reported by all of the patients who had been changed to a CFC-free inhaler with comments including difference in taste (6 patients), difference in feel (6), less effective (1) and more effective (1). Three patients preferred the CFC-free inhaler to their previous therapy. Although 13 out of the 20 patients who had not received a CFC-free inhaler stated they were happy with the potential changeover, 10 (80%) has concerns relating to effectiveness. CONCLUSION: The majority of patients still receiving CFC inhalers were aware that the production of CFC-containing products had been restricted although they were unaware of the imminent changes that would take place regarding their inhaler therapy. However, the small sample size recruited in this study may mean that the results are unrepresentative of the CFC-free implementation process in the Grampian Health Board area as a whole. Nonetheless, in view of the differences experienced by patients who received CFC-free inhalers and the concerns stated about potential lack of efficacy by patients about to be changed over, it is essential that healthcare professionals provide advice on CFC-free inhalers to all patients.

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