And by the way: the EPA was instrumental in getting Primatene Mist banned last year because it used CFCs as a propellant. There is, as yet, no adequate substitute on the market. There is something called "Asthmanefrin" which is a sorry substitute, and which uses an expensive electric atomizer that is rather prone to clogging when it is needed most.
Because Primatene Mist was the ONLY effective, portable, affordable over-the-counter medicine that could stop asthma in its tracks, the government has probably killed more asthmatics now than it has saved. It damned near killed ME. So pardon me if I don't buy your glowing recommendation here.
Despite its accessibility, many doctors say the medication wasn't a good option for patients.
Although the CFC ban is what eventually drove Primatene Mist from the market, Pulmonologist have argued for years that it was at the very least, not the best medication for asthma control, and at worst, dangerous. The active ingredient in Primatene Mist is Epinephrine (also known as adrenaline, adrenalin), which can cause a dangerous increase in heart rate.
"Primatene Mist does not treat asthma -- it treats symptoms that can come from asthma," said Dr. Kyle Hogarth, an assistant professor of medicine and the medical director of the pulmonary rehabilitation program at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
The danger in treating only symptoms, he said, is that repeated asthma attacks can permanently damage the lungs. Poorly controlled asthma can progress to a point where, "in their 40s and 50s, [patients] have the lungs of someone who is 80 or 90 who has smoked."
For that reason, the goal of asthma care isn't to react just to attacks -- it's to prevent attacks in the first place. That's generally done with daily medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids, which keep the airways from becoming inflamed. Ideally, Hogarth said, rescue inhalers shouldn't be used more than twice a week, at most.