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Asthma Medication
July 2001

Q. My wife has been taking Vanceril for her asthma for many years. During the recall, our normal pharmacy tried to substitute Flovent, which unfortunately was not as effective. Through the aid of her physician we were able to locate a pharmacy for supplies. Now, our hometown pharmacy today advised her that Vanceril was being discontinued yet the other pharmacy (out of town) who has supplied her knew nothing about the discontinuation. Is Vanceril being discontinued? What about patients who seemingly cannot use the other medications? I have tried sending an E-mail to Schering-Plough, with no luck. Can you answer this question?

A. Vanceril apparently had some manufacturing difficulties, and it is currently on backorder from the maker. As far as I can tell, Vanceril is not going to be taken off the market but rather once the problems have been resolved it will be available once again.

There are a host of medications available like Vanceril and Flovent to help the person with asthma. If one does not work well, usually another will. I suggest that you discuss the problem with your wife's doctor; I am certain that a substitute will be found.

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