Rx Asthma Inhalers Recalled

A batch of prescription albuterol inhalers have been recalled by a Schering-Plough Corp. subsidiary because an asthma sufferer purchased one that was empty.

Patients who have filled a prescription since April for Warrick Pharmaceuticals' albuterol metered dose inhaler -- a generic version of the common asthma medication -- are urged to check if they have the recalled inhaler.

The recalled inhalers bear the lot number 9-BBS-525, both on the box and on the albuterol canister's label. They were distributed to pharmacies nationwide between late April and early May, and bear an expiration date of August 2001.

The problem could be life-threatening if an asthma patient discovers an empty inhaler in the midst of an asthma attack.

Asthma patients who have those inhalers are urged to promptly return them to the drugstore of purchase for a replacement.

The company believes that a temporary glitch on the assembly line that filled the inhalers caused some to slip through without getting any drug.

Although some 190,000 canisters are being recalled, Warrick estimated that the mechanical failure was caught soon enough that fewer than 150 canisters will prove to be empty. Warrick said it believes most of the 150 canisters are already in the company's possession.

Consumers with questions regarding the recall should consult their doctor, or call Warrick Pharmaceuticals at (toll free) 1-877-278-3045.