A chemical used in the leading brand of asthma inhaler could actually make the allergy worse, say scientists. They fear a compound in Ventolin inhalers may react with steroids used to prevent attacks.
Millions of asthma sufferers use the inhalers also known as salbutamol or salbuterol to provide relief from wheeziness, as well as inhaled steroids to prevent the condition occuring. But the chemical byproduct in Ventolin inhalers may weaken the steroids' anti-inflammatory effect.
The findings were revealed to a meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in San Francisco yesterday.
Dr Mark Aronica, of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said: 'The concern is that this chemical could build up in patients who take the drug frequently. 'We need clinical studies to find out whether this is the case.'