Many people with asthma could cut their carbon footprint and help save the environment by switching to “greener” medications, UK researchers say.
Making the swap would have as big an “eco” impact as turning vegetarian or becoming an avid recycler, they say.
It’s because some inhalers release greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
But the Cambridge University team told BMJ Open patients must check with a doctor before changing medication.
Some patients will not be able to switch and should not be made to feel guilty, they add.
The research looked at the environmental impact of different inhaler medications prescribed to patients on the NHS in England.
In 2017, about 50 million inhalers were prescribed. Seven out of every 10 of them were metered-dose inhalers – the type that contain greenhouse gases.
The gas – hydrofluoroalkane – is used as a propellant to squirt the medicine out of the inhaler.