A Comparison of Pharmaceutical Product Performance of Albuterol Inhalers Available in the United States and Those Obtained in a Mexican Border Town

Meira Nocella, Emily Kilber, Brittney Witmer, Kelly Karlage, Paul Myrdal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: American residents travel to Mexico to purchase medications for a fraction of US cost and frequently without prescription requirements. A previous bioequivalence study found differences in lung function measures between 2 brands of Mexican-manufactured albuterol inhalers (both 100 μg/puff). An investigation of the pharmaceutical performance of different inhalers available may illuminate why different clinical results may be observed and offer insight to consumer and provider expectations of such products. Objective: The purpose of this study is to provide some reasonable expectations for a medical tourist who shops in Mexico for albuterol metered dose inhalers (MDIs) or for their health care providers by comparing pharmaceutical product performance of the consumer-available brands. Methods: Five different albuterol MDI products were purchased in Nogales, Mexico. The albuterol content was quantified through high-performance liquid chromatography. The inhalers were analyzed to determine the amount of the albuterol dose that can be considered respirable and compared with the findings from 2 US innovator products. Results: The mean respirable mass for each brand of albuterol MDI was compared with that of the other 4 brands and the 2 US innovator products using Student's t test. All evaluations showed significant differences (P <.05) except for 3 comparisons (Sacrusyt vs Assal, P =.89; Xeneric-S vs non-US Ventolin, P =.98; Victory vs US Proventil HFA, P =.06). Conclusion: Since pharmaceutical variability was found among the albuterol MDIs evaluated in this study, consumers and clinicians should appreciate possible differences in product performance of albuterol MDIs obtained in Mexico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-295
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Technology
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Keywords

  • asthma
  • inhalers
  • international medicine/issues
  • medication safety
  • pharmaceutics
  • β-2-adrenergic agonists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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