Advair is a medication that combines both salmeterol and fluticasone together to help patients breathe easier. Salmeterol is a type of medication called a bronchodilator. It relaxes the muscles that are in the airways so that it’s easier to breathe. Fluticasone is a type of steroid. It works, by preventing the body from releasing substances that cause inflammation. Advair is an inhaled medication that is used for preventing asthma attacks. It’s also commonly used in patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to keep it from flaring up or getting worse when the condition is associated with emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis.

The Advair Diskus system is used in patients who are aged four and older. The Advair HFA system is used in patients who are aged 12 and older. Both of these forms are inhalers.

When patients are prescribed Advair, it’s meant for the prevention and control of symptoms that are caused by asthma or a lung disease that’s chronic or ongoing. When the symptoms of these conditions can be decreased, including wheezing and being short of breath, it can improve quality of life for patients.

This medication is generally used for asthma when another medication is used, and it isn’t keeping the condition under control. It’s used daily in order to be effective. It isn’t a fast-acting medication that is taken during an asthma attack, Instead, it’s used daily to help control the condition and prevent problems before they occur. If a patient has an asthma attack while on this medication, they need to use their fast-acting inhaler, often albuterol.

Precautions and Warnings of Advair

If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to this medication don’t take it. If you have a serious allergy to milk proteins, don’t take the Advair Diskus form of this medication. However, Advair HFA doesn’t have these proteins.

If your COPD or asthma is rapidly getting worse, you shouldn’t use this medication. It’s also not used when a patient needs serious medical treatment or needs to be hospitalized for their COPD or asthma. Patients should ask their doctors whether their lung condition is stable enough to take this medication.

Using Advair can cause the immune system to weaken, so it may not fight infections off as well. If you have any serious infections, you may not be able to begin using this medication safely. This medication can also cause some heart problems to get worse. This includes high blood pressure and an abnormal heart rhythm. Make sure your doctor knows about any heart issues that you have.

One of the ingredients in this medication, salmeterol, can make some patients’ seizure disorders worse. Make sure your doctor knows about your seizure disorder before you start this medication. It’s also important to inform your doctor if you have any hormone disorders. The salmeterol in Advair can cause high thyroid levels to give patients worse symptoms. It can also spur the body to make too much cortisol. This can cause a number of severe side effects.

It isn’t known whether it’s safe to use Advair while pregnant or breastfeeding. It isn’t known whether it ends up in breast milk. Talk to your doctor about possible risks and the benefits you could get from taking Advair.

Let your doctor know if you have an overactive thyroid, heart disease, liver disease, eye problems, diabetes, or seizures. If you have a condition called QT prolongation, this medication can make it worse. If you’re taking other medications that can prolong QT, using this medication can make this effect worse. This may cause you to have a fast or irregular heartbeat or to get dizzy or faint. If this happens, seek immediate medical attention. If you already have a low blood level of magnesium or potassium, you have a higher chance of getting prolonged QT. It’s important to go over your full medical history with your doctor before you start taking this medication.

Advair can hide the signs that you have a current infection. It can cause you to get an infection more easily or to have a current infection get worse. If you know people with contagious infections, stay away from them while you take this medication. Advair can also make it harder for your body to handle physical stress. If you have a serious medical episode like an injury, emergency treatment, or surgery, let your doctor know that you’re taking this medication.

Side Effects of Advair

Common Side Effects

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Throat irritation
  • Muscle pain
  • Hoarse or strained voice
  • Bone pain
  • Thrush, a mouth or throat fungal infection
  • Colds and other upper respiratory infections

Severe Side Effects

It’s possible to have an allergic reaction to this medication. This can be mild or severe. A mild reaction may include flushing, itchiness, and a rash. A more serious reaction can include swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat. It may also cause difficulty breathing and swelling in the lips, feet, hands, or eyelids.

If you have these, you may need to get emergency medical care. These side effects include:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Cough or trouble breathing
  • Bone fractures from decreased bone density
  • Eye problems like cataracts and glaucoma
  • Pneumonia

Drug Interactions of Advair

There are several classes of drugs that can cause problems when used with Advair. There are many antiviral medications that can cause adverse reactions in patients taking Advair. These include atazanavir, saquinavir, ritonavir, nelfinavir, and indinavir. These can raise your levels of both salmeterol and fluticasone in your body and result in worse side effects. If you’re taking an antiviral for HIV, you may need to be changed to a different medication for the disease.

There are also a number of antifungal medications and antibiotics that shouldn’t be taken with Advair. These medications can stop the salmeterol and fluticasone from breaking down in your body, leading to too much of it building up. These medications include clarithromycin (found in Biaxin), itraconazole, ketoconazole, and voriconazole. If it’s necessary to take these while you take Advair, your doctor will have to monitor you to make sure there isn’t a problem.

There are some antidepressants that can react with Advair and cause a greater risk of heart problems. These medications include phenelzine, isocarboxazid, imipramine, selegiline, and desipramine.

Some heart rate or blood pressure medications can raise the risk of developing severe breathing problems for patients who are also taking Advair. These medications include carvedilol, metoprolol, propranolol, and atenolol. It’s also important not to take certain diuretics with Advair. These include chlorthalidone, torsemide, furosemide, and hydrochlorothiazide.

Strengths and Dosages of Advair

There are two forms of this medication- Advair Diskus and Advair HFA.  Diskus is an inhalation powder, and HFA is an inhalation spray. The Diskus form comes in 100/50 mcg, 250/50 mcg, and 500/50 mcg. The HFA form comes in 45/21 mcg, 115/21 mcg, and 230/21 mcg. Diskus is generally prescribed for one puff twice a day while HFA is generally prescribed at two puffs twice a day.

Advair Diskus inhalation powder: 100/50 mcg, 250/50 mcg, 500/50 mcg
Advair HFA inhalation spray: 45/21 mcg, 115/21 mcg, 230/21 mcg

Questions & Answers of Advair 

Can you drink alcohol while taking Advair?

There isn’t a known adverse reaction between the two. However, drinking alcohol in large volumes can damage part of the airways, and this can make your asthma or COPD worse.

Can you take this medication while pregnant?

It’s unknown whether there are any effects on the unborn when Advair is taken. There are also no known effects of breastfeeding while taking it. Talk to your doctor about any potential risks.

Are there any side effects of this medication?

Yes, there are many side effects possible, many of which are mild. A few of them include dizziness, diarrhea, headaches, and muscle pain. There are also more serious side effects possible.

What are the different types of Advair?

There are two types- Advair Diskus and Advair HFA. Each works a little differently, and both can be used to treat asthma. Diskus can also treat COPD, but HFA can’t.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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