Skip to Content

Flovent Diskus Side Effects

Generic Name: fluticasone

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of fluticasone. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Flovent Diskus.

In Summary

Common side effects of Flovent Diskus include: oral candidiasis, upper respiratory tract infection, nasal congestion, and pharyngitis. Other side effects include: diarrhea, influenza, rhinitis, voice disorder, and back disorder. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to fluticasone: inhalation aerosol powder, inhalation disk, inhalation powder

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by fluticasone (the active ingredient contained in Flovent Diskus). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Severity: Major

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking fluticasone:

More common:
  • White patches in the mouth and throat
Less common:
  • Diarrhea
  • ear ache
  • fever
  • lower abdominal or stomach pain
  • nausea
  • pain on passing urine
  • redness or discharge of the eye, eyelid, or lining of the eye
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • trouble swallowing
  • vaginal discharge (creamy white) and itching
  • vomiting
  • Blindness, blurred vision, eye pain
  • bone fractures
  • excess facial hair in women
  • fullness or roundness of the face, neck, and trunk
  • growth reduction in children or adolescents
  • heart problems
  • high blood pressure
  • hives and skin rash
  • impotence in males
  • increased hunger, thirst, or urination
  • lack of menstrual periods
  • muscle wasting
  • numbness and weakness of hands and feet
  • weakness
  • swelling of the face, lips, or eyelids
  • tightness in the chest, troubled breathing, or wheezing
Incidence not known:
  • Dizziness
  • fast heartbeat

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking fluticasone, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose:
  • Darkening of skin
  • fainting
  • loss of appetite
  • mental depression
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Severity: Minor

Some of the side effects that can occur with fluticasone may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Cough
  • general aches and pains or general feeling of illness
  • greenish-yellow mucus in the nose
  • headache
  • hoarseness or other voice changes
  • runny, sore, or stuffy nose
Less common:
  • Bloody mucus or unexplained nosebleeds
  • eye irritation
  • fainting
  • headache, severe and throbbing
  • irregular or painful menstrual periods
  • joint pain
  • mouth irritation
  • muscle soreness, sprain, or strain
  • sneezing
  • stomach pain
  • Aggression
  • agitation
  • bruising
  • itching
  • restlessness
  • weight gain
Incidence not known:
  • Blurred vision
  • decrease in height
  • dry mouth
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • loss of voice
  • pain in the back, ribs, arms or legs
  • sweating
  • trouble sitting still
  • unexplained weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to fluticasone: compounding powder, inhalation aerosol, inhalation aerosol with adapter, inhalation powder, inhalation suspension


Cases of serious eosinophilic conditions also have been reported with other inhaled corticosteroids in this clinical setting.[Ref]

Hypersensitivity adverse effects have included rare cases of immediate and delayed reactions including rash, angioedema and bronchospasm. Hypersensitivity adverse effects have also included postmarketing reports of a systemic eosinophilic condition and anaphylactic reactions, including very rare anaphylactic reactions in patients with severe milk protein allergy. Clinical features of this condition have included a vasculitis consistent with Churg-Strauss syndrome, vasculitic rash, worsening pulmonary symptoms, cardiac complications, and/or neuropathy. These events have usually been associated with a reduction and/or discontinuation of oral corticosteroid therapy following introduction of fluticasone.[Ref]


Asthma treatment with high doses of inhaled fluticasone (the active ingredient contained in Flovent Diskus) powder apparently led to a serious case of laryngeal aspergillosis in a 75-year-old man. The patient had been using fluticasone 1 mg twice daily via Diskhaler for about 3 years. The patient experienced progressive hoarseness which lead to complete aphonia. Aspergillosis fumigatus was cultured from the vocal cords. Amphotericin B lozenges were used to treat the infection. After 14 weeks the patient's voice was still gruff but intelligible. It is recommended that tests for fungal infection be performed in patients on fluticasone therapy who become hoarse, particularly if taking high doses.[Ref]

Local side effects associated with inhaled fluticasone have included dysphonia, sore throat, bronchitis, chest congestion, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, and eye irritation.[Ref]


Endocrine side effects have included rare reports of symptoms of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression. These effects are more likely when higher potency corticosteroids are used in large doses. The use of a large-volume spacer may help minimize HPA suppression when fluticasone (the active ingredient contained in Flovent Diskus) is inhaled orally.[Ref]

Due to extensive first-pass metabolism of fluticasone to an inactive carboxylic acid, significant systemic effects are not expected from any amount of the drug that may be ingested via inhalation of normally recommended dosages.[Ref]


Immunologic effects of infections from immune suppression associated with inhaled corticosteroids have been debated. No conclusive evidence is available to support an increase in tuberculosis or viral infections in patients receiving inhaled fluticasone (the active ingredient contained in Flovent Diskus) [Ref]

In 1993, the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology (AAAI) requested that the FDA review its decision regarding the labeled risks of the use of inhaled corticosteroids during severe viral infections. The AAAI's request was based on the lack of data linking inhaled corticosteroids to increases in complications of viral infections.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache, dizziness, giddiness, fatigue, and insomnia.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Oropharyngeal candidiasis and candida like lesions have also been reported. Postmarketing experience has included dental caries and tooth discoloration.[Ref]


Ocular side effects have included posterior capsular cataracts, especially with long-term use.[Ref]

One epidemiologic study suggests that prolonged use of high-dose inhaled corticosteroids (>= 1500 mcg of fluticasone) may be associated with increased risk of ocular hypertension and open-angle glaucoma.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal adverse effects have included joint pain and muscle soreness. Long-term use of inhaled corticosteroids may be associated with a reduction in bone density. This effect may be dose related and has been reported with high dosages of orally inhaled beclomethasone and budesonide (>=800 mcg/day for >=1 year). Reduced levels of total body calcium have also been demonstrated in patients receiving lower dosages.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects have included agitation, aggression, anxiety, depression, and restlessness. Behavioral changes, including hyperactivity and irritability, have been reported very rarely.[Ref]


Other side effects have included postmarketing reports of facial and oropharyngeal edema.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Flovent (fluticasone)." Glaxo Wellcome, Research Triangle Park, NC.

2. Barnes PJ "Drug therapy: inhaled glucocorticoids for asthma." N Engl J Med 332 (1995): 868-75

3. Paggiaro PL, Dahle R, Bakran I, Frith L, Hollingworth K, Efthimiou J "Multicenter randomised placebo-controlled trial of inhaled fluticasone propionate in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease." Lancet 351 (1998): 773-80

4. Fairfax AJ, David V, Dounce G "Laryngeal aspergillosis following high dose inhaled fluticasone therapy for asthma." Thorax 54 (1999): 860-1

5. Clark DJ, Lipworth BJ "Adrenal suppression with chronic dosing of fluticasone propionate compared with budesonide in adult asthmatic patients." Thorax 52 (1997): 55-8

6. Li JTC, Ford LB, Chervinsky P, Weisberg SC, Kellerman DJ, Faulkner KG, Herje NE, Hamedani A, Harding SM, Shah T "Fluticasone propionate powder and lack of clinically significant effects on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and bone mineral density over 2 years in adults with mild asthma." J Allerg Clin Immunol 103 (1999): 1062-8

7. Derom E, Schoor JV, Verhaeghe W, Vincken W, Pauwels R "Systemic effects of inhaled fluticasone propionate and budesonide in adult patients with asthma." Am J Respir Crit Care Med 160 (1999): 157-61

8. Duplantier JE, Nelson RP, Morelli AR, Good RA, Kornfeld SJ "Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression associated with the use of inhaled fluticasone propionate." J Allerg Clin Immunol 102 (1998): 699-700

9. Grahnen A, Eckernas SA, Brundin RM, Lingandersson A "An assessment of the systemic activity of single doses of inhaled fluticasone propionate in healthy volunteers." Br J Clin Pharmacol 38 (1994): 521-5

10. Thorsson L, Dahlstrom K, Edsbacker S, Kallen A, Paulson J, Wiren JE "Pharmacokinetics and systemic effects of inhaled fluticasone propionate in healthy subjects." Br J Clin Pharmacol 43 (1997): 155-61

11. Allen DB "Effect of inhaled corticosteroids on growth." Pediatrics 108 (2001): 1234-5

12. Howland WC "Fluticasone propionate: topical or systemic effects?" Clin Exp Allergy 26 ( Suppl (1996): 18-22

13. Holliday SM, Faulds D, Sorkin EM "Inhaled fluticasone propionate. A review of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, and therapeutic use in asthma." Drugs 47 (1994): 318-31

14. Executive Committee American Academy of Allergy and Immunology "Inhaled corticosteroids and severe viral infections." J Allergy Clin Immunol 92 (1993): 223-8

15. Garbe E, LeLorier J, Boivin JF, Suissa S "Inhaled and nasal glucocorticoids and the risks of ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma." JAMA 277 (1997): 722-7

16. Woodcock A "Effects of inhaled corticosteroids on bone density and metabolism." J Allergy Clin Immunol 101 (1998): s456-9

17. Packe GE, Douglas JG, McDonald AF, Robins SP, Reid DM "Bone density in asthmatic patients taking high dose inhaled beclomethasone diproprionate and intermittent systemic corticosteroids." Thorax 47 (1992): 414-7

Not all side effects for Flovent Diskus may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.