Medications

Advair® Diskus®   

This product is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and is a combination of two ingredients, fluticasone propionate and salmeterol xinafoate.

This product is inhaled into the lungs using the Diskus®.


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Diskus®


Why is it prescribed?

  • Advair® is used for maintenance treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (bronchitis, emphysema)in patients who require an inhaled corticosteroid medication and a long-acting bronchodilater.
  • Advair® is not a rescue medication and should not be used to treat a sudden asthmatic episode.


  • Advair® Diskus® is intended for continual use on a regular basis to prevent symptoms. It should not be used as a relief medication.
  • Advair® Diskus® should not be used more frequently than twice daily.
  • After inhaling a dose, be sure to rinse your mouth with water and spit it out. This may help prevent developing the fungal infection of the mouth and throat called thrush.
  • If you accidently take more than the recommended number of inhalations, you may notice that your heart is beating faster than usual, that you have a headache and that you fell shaky. In this case, tell your doctor without delay.
  • If you miss a single dose, skip the dose and just take the next dose when it is due.
  • Each dose of Advair® 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 28 or 60 doses and has a counter that tells you the number of remaining doses. It counts down from 28 or 60 to 1. When the last five doses have been reached, the numbers appear in red to indicate that you are due for another Advair® Diskus® refill.
  • Your doctor or pharmacist should have instructed you on the proper use and care of your Advair® Diskus®. It is advisable to have your technique reassessed by the pharmacist for the first 2 or 3 refills of your prescription.
  • It is very important to keep your Diskus® dry and closed when not in use, and never breathe into your Advair® Diskus®. Do not store Advair® Diskus® at temperatures above 30ºC.

Alternatives

Other products that have the same ingredients as Advair® Diskus® are •Advair® MDI ••Advair® MDI •

See other products used in the treatment of •allergic rhinitis •asthma •nasal polyps •perennial rhinitis •rhinitis •runny nose •seasonal allergies •seasonal rhinitis •bronchitis •bronchospasm associated with COPD •chronic bronchitis (COPD) •COPD •emphysema (COPD) •

The usual dose for asthma in children over the age of 12 years and adults is 100 to 500 mcg (of the fluticasone) twice daily. The usual dose for asthma in children 4 to 11 years is 1 inhalation of the 100/50 strength twice daily. The usual dose for COPD in people 18 years and older is 250 to 500 mcg (of the fluticasone) twice daily.


Advair® contains two different drugs, salmeterol and fluticasone that act in two different ways to help you breathe better. Salmeterol is a long-acting bronchodilator.  It relaxes the muscles in the walls of the small air passages in the lungs. This helps to open the airways and makes it easier for air to get in and out of the lungs. Fluticasone is a potent corticosteroid that possesses strong local anti-inflammatory activity. It reduces swelling and irritation in the walls of the small air passages in the lungs to ease breathing problems. Fluticasone also helps prevent asthma attacks.


Along with its needed effects, Advair® Diskus may cause some unwanted or undesirable effects. The severity and duration of these effects are dependent on many factors including duration of therapy, dose, and individual response. Occasionally, some people feel a little shaky or have a headache or notice that their heart is beating faster than usual. These effects usually wear off with continued treatment. Tell your doctor about unwanted effects, but do not stop treatment unless told to do so.
Common:

  • hoarseness
  • throat irritation
  • thrush of the mouth and throat

Less common:

  • palpitations (awareness of heart beat)
  • cough

Rare:

  • irregular heart rhythms
  • pain in joints
  • muscle cramps

Many of these unwanted effects, especially the most common ones, may disappear with continued use. Check with the doctor or pharmacist if any of them continue or become bothersome.


  • If you are not responding to your usual dose, or your symptoms get worse, contact your doctor. Never increase the dose or frequency of the dose without being instructed to do so by your doctor.
  • Do not take any other respiratory medications without your doctor's approval.
  • Treatment with Advair® should never be stopped without first consulting your doctor.
  • Discontinuation requires a gradual tapering of the dose and/or frequency or you may experience a flare-up of your condition.
  • The safety and efficacy of Advair® in children under the age of 4 is not known.
  • People who have been treated with long term oral corticosteroids (e.g. prednisone) and are being switched to Advair® should start the Advair® before stopping the oral corticosteroid. The oral corticosteroid should then be gradually withdrawn.
  • The fluticasone in Advair® may make people more susceptible to respiratory infections and may mask the symptoms of an existing infection. If you suspect that you may have a respiratory tract infection, contact your physician.
  • This immune system suppression also makes people more susceptible to getting thrush of the mouth and throat. Thrush is a fungal infection. To best prevent getting thrush, it is wise to rinse your mouth out with water after using Advair®.

Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking in order to avoid any potentially dangerous interactions.

The following drugs may interact with Advair®

  • short-acting beta-agonists (e.g.salbutamol)
  • MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitors (e.g. phenelzine, tranylcypromine)
  • tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline, imipramine)
  • methylxanthines (e.g. theophylline)
  • some beta-blockers (e.g. propranolol)
  • ritonavir (e.g. Norvir®)

Use is not recommended in the following situations:

  • allergy to any component of Advair®
  • patients with allergic reactions to lactose or milk
  • cardiac arrhythmia associated with tachycardia (irregular heartbeat associated with rapid heart rate)
  • people with untreated fungal, bacterial or tuberculosis infections

Caution is recommended in the following situations:

  • hypothyroidism
  • diabetes
  • cirrhosis
  • glaucoma
  • cardiovascular disorders
  • cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)

Use in pregnancy: The safety of using Advair® in pregnancy has not been established. Taking any drug while pregnant should only be considered if the potential benefits to the mother are greater than any possible risk to the unborn child.
Use while breast-feeding: Generally considered safe if breast-feeding. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before use.

As with all long-acting beta2-agonists and beta2-agonist/corticosteroid combinations, Advair® carries a warning that long-acting beta2-agonists have been associated with asthma death. These warnings are based on a U.S. study using salmeterol.


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Page Last Updated: 05/10/2016