FDA To Investigate Aeroshot Breathable Energy, Inhalable Caffeine

Federal drug regulators are launching an investigation into Aeroshot Breathable Energy, an inhalable caffeine product, following concerns that it is a party drug in disguise. 

Aeroshot is a new product increasingly found in New York and Boston, as well as France. It contains 100 milligrams of caffeine powder in a small, lipstick-sized tube. The consumer inhales it and gets the equivalent of a large cup of coffee’s worth of caffeine.

Concerns have been raised that Aeroshot is designed specifically to be a party drug. Some lawmakers, including Senator Charles Schumer, have suggested that Aeroshot may be used to give drinkers the ability to consumer large amounts of alcohol at parties, by masking the effects of alcohol until they are extremely drunk

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In recent years, a number of companies released alcoholic energy drinks, like Four Loko, which combined caffeine and alcohol in the same beverage. As a result of problems associated with the combination of alcohol and caffein, some people have referred to the beverages as “black-out in a can.”

Due to safety concerns, the FDA effectively banned alcoholic energy drinks in November 2010. Sen. Schumer called Aeroshot “the new Four Loko” at a press conference on Sunday, echoing similar safety concerns.

The creator, David Edwards, is a Harvard biomedical engineering professor. He says that Aeroshot is a safer and healthier way to take in caffeine than coffee. There are no calories or additives, he claims.

Edwards is selling Aeroshot as a dietary supplement, meaning that it is not currently regulated by the FDA. However, Schumer has asked the agency to step in and make sure the product truly qualifies for that designation.

The FDA will review whether Aeroshot is safe and whether it is legal to sell as a dietary supplement at Senator Schumer’s request. He says he will push for a ban on Aeroshot if the FDA finds it carries health risks.

Dietary Supplements that do not claim to cure a disease can be sold without FDA approval, but they must not contain any active pharmaceutical ingredients that are regulated by the federal government. Even though the FDA regularly finds supplements that break this rule, it only becomes involved after reports of problems surface.

Getting illegal and dangerous dietary supplements out of stores can be difficult, since they often are sold in countless small shops and by low-volume vendors across the country. Even supplements that the FDA has pulled from shelves in the United States can frequently be ordered from overseas through online pharmacies.

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