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Fluticasone and salmeterol

Generic Name: fluticasone and salmeterol (floo TIK a sone, sal ME te rol)
Brand Name: Advair Diskus, Advair HFA, AirDuo RespiClick

Medically reviewed on June 14, 2018

What is fluticasone and salmeterol inhalation?

Fluticasone is a steroid that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. Salmeterol is a bronchodilator. It works by relaxing muscles in the airways to improve breathing.

Fluticasone and salmeterol inhalation is a combination medicine used to prevent asthma attacks. It is also used to prevent flare-ups or worsening of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) associated with chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema.

In people with COPD, fluticasone and salmeterol is for long-term treatment. In people with asthma, fluticasone and salmeterol is for short-term treatment until symptoms are well controlled with with other medicines.

Advair Diskus is for use in adults and children who are at least 4 years old. Advair HFA and AirDuo Respiclick are for use in adults and children who are at least 12 years old.

Fluticasone and salmeterol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Fluticasone and salmeterol is not a rescue medicine. It will not work fast enough to treat an asthma or bronchospasm attack.

Seek medical attention you have worsening breathing problems, or if you think your medications are not working as well.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use fluticasone and salmeterol if you are allergic to fluticasone or salmeterol (Serevent), or:

  • if you have a severe allergy to milk proteins; or

  • if you are having an asthma attack or severe COPD symptoms.

Fluticasone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection or worsening an infection you already have or have recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

It is not known whether fluticasone and salmeterol is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

How should I use fluticasone and salmeterol?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Using too much of this medicine can cause life-threatening side effects.

Fluticasone and salmeterol is not a rescue medicine for asthma or bronchospasm attacks. Use only fast-acting inhalation medicine for an attack. Seek medical attention if your breathing problems get worse quickly, or if you think your asthma medications are not working as well.

Advair Diskus is a powder form of fluticasone and salmeterol that comes with a special inhaler device pre-loaded with blister packs containing measured doses of the medicine. Advair HFA and AirDuo Respiclick each come in a canister that is used with an actuator inhaler device.

Use only the inhaler device provided with your medication.

Shake the Advair HFA inhaler for at least 5 seconds before each spray.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Rinse your mouth with water after each use of your inhaler.

Your dose needs may change due to surgery, illness, stress, or a recent asthma attack. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.

If you also use an oral steroid medication, you should not stop using it suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

Your vision and your bone mineral density may need to be checked often.

Store your medicine at room temperature, away from light. Avoid high heat, such as open flame or in a car on a hot day. Carefully follow all storage directions for your specific brand and type of fluticasone and salmeterol.

Once your asthma is under control, your doctor may want you to stop using this medicine. Keep all follow-up appointments and do not stop using the medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the regular time. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include chest pain, fast heart rate, and feeling shaky or short of breath.

What should I avoid while using fluticasone and salmeterol?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chickenpox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using a steroid such as fluticasone.

Do not use a second inhaled bronchodilator unless your doctor tells you to. This includes formoterol (Perforomist, Symbicort, Bevespi, Dulera), arformoterol (Brovana), indacaterol (Arcapta), olodaterol (Striverdi, Stiolto Respimat), salmeterol (Serevent), or vilanterol (Breo Ellipta, Anoro Ellipta).

Fluticasone and salmeterol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • wheezing, choking, or other breathing problems after using fluticasone and salmeterol;

  • fever, chills, cough with mucus, feeling short of breath;

  • chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeats, severe headache, pounding in your neck or ears;

  • tremors, nervousness;

  • sores or white patches in your mouth or throat, trouble swallowing;

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;

  • high blood sugar--increased thirst, increased urination, dry mouth, fruity breath odor;

  • low potassium level--leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling; or

  • signs of a hormonal disorder--worsening tiredness or muscle weakness, feeling light-headed, nausea, vomiting.

Fluticasone can affect growth in children. Talk with your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medication.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache, muscle pain, bone pain, back pain;

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • throat irritation;

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat; or

  • ongoing cough, hoarseness or deepened voice.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect fluticasone and salmeterol?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

  • antifungal medicine; or

  • medicine to treat HIV or AIDS.

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect fluticasone and salmeterol. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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