Ethanol content of inhalers – What is the significance?

Ethanol is included as an excipient in many commonly prescribed inhalers, including some licensed for use in children.  Patients may have ethical, religious or cultural concerns about the presence of alcohol in their medications.

At licensed doses, the quantity of ethanol administered per actuation of an ethanol-containing inhaler is too small to result in clinically relevant ethanol exposure. However, there have been reports of positive alcohol breath testing immediately following administration of ethanol-containing inhalers.