This product is inhaled into the lungs using the Diskus®.
Why is it prescribed?
Fluticasone is used to control the signs and symptoms of asthma that are responsive to orally inhaled corticosteroids. It is also used as a nasal spray to relieve nasal congestion in the treatment of seasonal and perennial rhinitis (runny nose) where inflammation of the lining of the nose causes it to run.
The Flovent® Diskus® is designed to deliver medication to the lungs by inhalation through the mouth. Each dose of Flovent® Diskus® is a measured quantity of dry powder that is contained in a small foil blister in the delivery device known as a diskus. The Diskus® contains 60 doses and has a counter that tells you the number of remaining doses. It counts down from 60 to 1. When the last five doses have been reached, the numbers appear in red to indicate that you are due for another Flovent® Diskus® refill.
Your doctor or pharmacist should have instructed you on the proper use and care of your Flovent® Diskus®. It is advisable to have your technique reassessed by the pharmacist for the first 2 or 3 refills of your prescription.
Rinsing the mouth and throat with water after each use will remove any remaining medication to help prevent local yeast (thrush) infections. Cleansing dentures has the same effect. Notify your doctor if a sore throat or mouth occurs or if you suspect a localized yeast infection.
It may take up to 1 week of regular use before the Flovent® Diskus® will work.
Do not use this medication to treat an acute asthma episode. It is not a rescue medication.
It is very important that you use Flovent® Diskus® regularly. If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose.
It is very important to keep your diskus dry and closed when not in use, and never breathe into your Diskus®. Store at room temperature (15 to 30 degrees centigrade).
Other products that have the same ingredient as Flovent® Diskus® are •Advair® Diskus® •Advair® MDI •Apo-Fluticasone Nasal Spray •Dymista® •Flonase® nasal spray •Flovent® HFA •Ratio-Fluticasone Nasal Spray •
The dose depends on the severity of the asthma and the patient's individual response. The usual adult dose is 100 to 500 mcg twice a day.
The usual dose for children 12 months to 4 years of age is 100 mcg twice daily. The usual dose for children 4 years of age or over is 50 to 100 mcg twice a day. Higher doses of inhaled drug are required in younger children compared to older children because of reduced efficiency of drug delivery due to smaller airways, use of a spacer device and increased nasal breathing.
Fluticasone is a highly potent corticosteroid that possesses strong anti- inflammatory activity. Whether inhaled through the nose or into the lungs, the effect of the drug is local (acting directly on the tissue it comes in contact with). The amount absorbed by the body is minimal and therefore the incidence of unwanted effects is low.
Along with its needed effects, fluticasone may cause some unwanted or undesirable effects. Often, fluticasone users who use their medication properly, never experience any unwanted effects. The severity and duration of these effects are dependant on many factors including duration of therapy, dose, route of administration and individual response. Possible unwanted effects include:
- sneezing immediately after use (nasal spray only)
- irritation and burning in the nose (nasal spray only)
- localized infection of Candida Albicans (yeast) of the mouth and throat
- sore throat (oral inhalation only)
- hoarseness (oral inhalation only)
- immediate or delayed allergic reaction (e.g. rash, hives, and bronchospasm)
- flushing, itchiness, and swelling of the eyes, face, lips and throat
Use as directed. Never use a higher dose than what you have been prescribed. Using higher than recommended doses will cause greater absorption by the body and possibly lead to greater occurrence of unwanted effects. Optimal relief of symptoms may require a few days of continuous therapy.
If symptoms do not improve or the condition worsens, the doctor should be contacted.
Treatment with fluticasone should never be stopped without first consulting your doctor.
Discontinuation of fluticasone requires gradual tapering or you may experience a flare-up of your condition.
Inadequate response can often be a result of improper use of the delivery device. Your doctor or pharmacist should instruct you on the correct use of these preparations. Each product comes with a package insert that should be read and then kept as a reference.
Children using any of these preparations should do so under the direct supervision of an adult who is familiar with it's proper use.
It is important to inform subsequent physicians that you are using or have used fluticasone or any other corticosteroids as this may vary the treatment plan.
When you have been treated with oral corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone) for prolonged periods and are being transferred to intranasally or orally inhaled fluticasone, you may experience withdrawal symptoms (e.g. joint and/or muscular pain and depression). These symptoms should be reported to your doctor, especially if you have associated asthma or another condition in which too rapid a decrease in systemic steroids may cause a severe flare-up of symptoms. Fluticasone may mask some signs of infection and new infections may appear. The body tends to have a decreased resistance to localized infections while on this therapy so anything of this nature should be reported to the doctor. Drug Interactions: Due to very low absorption at therapeutic doses, it is unlikely that there would be any important interactions. However, it is important to tell your doctor and pharmacist of any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking. However in people with hypoprothrombinemia (deficiency of a clotting factor in the blood resulting in an increased tendency to bleed) ASA (e.g. Aspirin®) should be used cautiously used in combination with corticosteroids. Ritonavir (e.g. Norvir®) has been known to interact with fluticasone propionate.
Use is not recommended in the following situations:
- allergy to fluticasone propionate or any component of the preparation.
- untreated fungal, bacterial and viral infections
Caution recommended in the following situations:
- people previously treated for prolonged periods with oral corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone)
Use in pregnancy: If you suspect that you might be pregnant, consult your doctor. Use while breastfeeding: It is not known whether fluticasone propionate is passed into breast milk, but it is suspected. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before use.