Coronavirus Outbreak: USFDA approves albuterol sulfate-based inhaler as demand increases due to COVID-19 pandemic

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The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has given its nod to the first generic of a commonly used albuterol sulfate-based inhaler.

The demand for albuterol products has seen a spike as people infected with novel coronavirus suffer from breathing difficulties.

"The FDA recognizes the increased demand for albuterol products during the novel coronavirus pandemic," said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn. He added that they are committed to providing medical products to cater to the needs of the public.

The generic version of the inhaler will be manufactured by Indian drugmaker Cipla Ltd. The albuterol sulfate-based inhaler is used in the treatment of bronchospasm, a condition in which patients face difficulty in breathing.

Last month, the drug regulator had put out a revised draft for proposed generic albuterol sulfate metered dose inhalers.

In its press release, USFDA also highlighted the common side-effects associated with albuterol inhalers.

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Upper respiratory tract infection, rhinitis, nausea, vomiting, rapid heart rate (tachycardia), tremor and nervousness are the most common side-effects, it said.

The novel coronavirus has infected lakhs of people globally and claimed the lives of thousands. It has also brought financial activities across the world to a grinding halt.

The symptoms of coronavirus infection include fever, coughing and breathing difficulties.

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