Medications

Flovent® HFA   

This product is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline using the ingredient fluticasone propionate.

This product is taken via MDI (metered dose inhaler).


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MDI (metered dose inhaler)


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.


Flovent® HFA is an aerosol meant for inhalation by mouth only.
Your doctor or pharmacist should have instructed you on the proper use and care of your Flovent® HFA aerosol. It is advisable to have your technique reassessed by the pharmacist for the first 2 or 3 refills of your prescription.
Remember to shake the inhaler before each use.
When 2 inhalations are required, wait at least half a minute between doses.
Each canister contains 120 doses so it is important to keep a record of approximately when it should be replaced. To avoid problems, many people keep 2 inhalers on hand. Your inhaler should be stored at room temperature (between 15 to 30 degrees centigrade). The contents of the canister are under pressure and should never be punctured, used or stored near heat or open flame.
It should also be protected from direct sunlight and frost. Flovent® HFA has been developed for use without a spacer device but evidence suggests it is compatible with the Aerochamber®. Although these devices are not necessary, they have been shown to increase effectiveness and help people who are unable to coordinate inhalation with actuation of the inhaler.
The inhaler should be cleaned and cared for according to the manufacturer's instructions.
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 fluticasone will work.
Do not use this medication to treat an acute asthma episode. Flovent® HFA is not a rescue medication.
It is very important that you use Flovent® HFA regularly. If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose.
Children can be treated with Flovent® HFA under the supervision or with the assistance of an adult who is familiar with the correct use of the device.


Alternatives

Other products that have the same ingredient as Flovent® HFA are •Advair® Diskus® •Advair® MDI •Aermony Respiclick™ •Apo-Fluticasone Nasal Spray •Dymista® •Flonase® nasal spray •Flovent® Diskus®  •Ratio-Fluticasone Nasal Spray •

See other products used in the treatment of •allergic rhinitis •asthma •nasal polyps •perennial rhinitis •rhinitis •runny nose •seasonal allergies •seasonal rhinitis •

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


Less common:

  • sore throat (oral inhalation only)
  • hoarseness (oral inhalation only)
  • cough
  • headache
  • nausea

Rare:

  • 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.
  • tuberculosis
  • 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.


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Page Last Updated: 05/10/2016