Flovent is the brand name for fluticasone. This medication is an inhaled corticosteroid medication. It treats lung inflammation so that the lungs can take in more air. This is a medication that is used twice a day every day. When it’s taken as prescribed, it can lower the number of a patient’s asthma attacks and make the ones that do happen less severe. This medication isn’t the same as a rescue inhaler. Don’t take this if you are currently having an asthma attack.

This drug can help keep asthma under better control. This can make it possible to go about your normal activities without all of the breathing interruptions. It has to be taken twice every day in order to give patients the best results. It doesn’t start working right away, however. If you have an asthma attack, you still have to go to your fast-acting inhaler, often albuterol. Flovent FHA inhaler isn’t made for use during an attack and is instead a long-term, maintenance medication.

How Does It Work?

As a corticosteroid, this mediation works similarly to cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that your body makes naturally. When you inhale the fluticasone, it goes to work in your lungs to get rid of swelling and allow the airways inside to be more open. This is a helpful way to control your asthma and keep you from having attacks. With less swelling in your lungs, you can expect it to be easier to breathe. To get the best results from this medication requires taking it for about two weeks. At that time, continue to take it for preventative maintenance. Don’t stop using it without a doctor’s approval.

Precautions and Warnings

There are a number of things that your doctor will need to know about before you take this medication. There are many precautions that need to be taken to make sure you take this drug in the safest way possible. This medication can cause problems when you have certain medical conditions, so tell your doctor about any physical problems that you have as well as what medications you’re taking.

It’s also important to make sure that you’re not allergic to the ingredients in it. If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to this medication or to a similar one, let your doctor know before you take this one. If you’re allergic to milk, you likely won’t be able to take the Flovent HFA inhaler. It contains lactose, which is a protein found in milk. When people have a milk allergy, it’s usually an allergy to the proteins in milk.

If you have ever had infections such as herpes or tuberculosis or have one currently, you may not be able to be prescribed this medication. If you have any current infections, this medication may make them worse. There are a number of eye problems that can also mean you can’t take it. These include a herpes eye infection, glaucoma, and cataracts. Your doctor also needs to know if you have liver disease or have ever had bone loss.

When this medication is taken, it can cover up the signs that you have an infection. It also makes it easier for you to develop infections. While you take this medication, you’ll need to stay away from anyone with an infection that could be contagious. If you’re exposed to something like the flu or chicken pox, your doctor will need to know. If you’re taking a higher dose of this medication than you used to, or you started taking this medication instead of an oral corticosteroid, your body may not be able to respond as well to any stress put on it. If you need emergency care or surgery, make sure the doctor knows that you take this medication.

When a child is on the Flovent HFA inhaler, they may not grow as fast as they did before. However, if their asthma isn’t under good control, this can also slow down their growth. If you’re breastfeeding, make sure the doctor knows you’re on this medication. It’s unknown whether it passes through into breastmilk.

Side Effects

There are common side effects of this medication as well as severe and very severe effects possible. Severe and very severe side effects are rare. The common side effects generally don’t need medical treatment, and they may go away on their own after your body adjusts to the drug. Some of the common effects include having an irritated throat, getting headaches, and having hoarseness. You may catch the common cold or a sinus infection. Some patients will get an upset stomach, get an oral fungal infection, or develop bronchitis. It’s also possible to get nausea and vomiting as well as a cough and fever. Muscle pain and having a hard time speaking can also occur.

If these side effects don’t go away or get worse over time, your doctor needs to know about it so they can make a decision about you staying on the medication. They may need to adjust the dosage if you’re having frustrating side effects.

Severe side effects of the Flovent HFA inhaler include bleeding or bruising more easily, urinating more often and being more thirsty than usual, getting vision problems, feeling bone pain, and having white patches appear in or on your mouth. Patients may also get the signs that they have an infection. These signs can include a sore throat that persists, a cough, a fever, and chills. Some patients get mental health changes that can cause them to be depressed, agitated, or to have unusual mood swings.

Very severe side effects to this drug can include having trouble breathing and severe wheezing right after taking the medication. If this should happen, asthmatic patients should get their rescue inhaler and use it as prescribed. You may also need emergency care. There are also rare but serious allergic reactions to this medication that can happen. When this happens, patients generally have a high degree of dizziness, a rash, have a hard time breathing, and may have itching or swelling of the throat, face, or the tongue. In some cases, emergency healthcare is needed when these symptoms appear.

Drug Interactions

If you’re taking a medication that could interact with the Flovent HFA inhaler, this can change the way the medication works for you. It may even cause you to have severe side effects. When you see the doctor, have a list of everything you take, including any herbs or other supplements, so that your doctor knows whether you’re taking something that could interact with this one. Some drugs shouldn’t be taken along with this one because of the risk of severe effects. Once this medication has been prescribed for you, don’t stop taking it or change the dosage without guidance from your doctor.

Some of the medications that can interact with it include ritonavir and lopinavir and other HIV protease inhibitors. Boceprevir can also interact, as can certain specific azole antifungals like ketoconazole. There are also certain antidepressants and medications for the heart or blood pressure that can cause an interaction. If you take imatinib, conivaptan, isoniazid, or antibiotics, make sure your doctor knows before you use the Flovent HFA inhaler.

Strengths and Dosages

This medication is only approved for patients who are aged four and over. There are pediatric dosages for those who are four through 11, and the adult dosages may be prescribed for anyone 12 and over. The pediatric dosage is usually 88 mcg taken twice every day. The adult dosage starts at anywhere from 88 to 440 mcg taken twice a day. The maximum dose recommended is 880 mcg. Doctors often start adults on a smaller dose and slowly have them work up to a higher dose.

Usage

There is a patient pamphlet that will come with this medication, and it’s a good idea to read it before starting this medication. In addition, you can ask your doctor and/or pharmacist any questions you have about its use. Once you have the information you need, you can start taking your daily doses as prescribed.

The first time you use the inhaler, you will have to prime it before use. You may have to do this again if you miss a week of taking the medication or if you drop the device. When you prime the inhaler, hold it so that it won’t spray into your face. This could make the medication get into your eyes and cause stinging and burning.

When you’re priming your inhaler for its first use, after you’ve shaken it and sprayed it into the air, finish priming it by spraying it another three times. Look at the back of the inhaler and see the dose counter located there. When the inhaler is brand new, it will have the number 124 showing. After you’ve primed it properly, the dosage meter will read 120. Be sure that you know when the inhaler is running low so that you can get a refill in time.

Before you use it each time, shake the device for five seconds. Then, inhale the medication in through your mouth. This medication is usually prescribed to be used twice a day. When this is the case, try to space out the doses so that you’re getting a dose every 12 hours. This will keep the amount of medication consistent in your body around the clock.

Make sure to take the exact dosage that’s prescribed to you. If you need to take more, the doctor can help you to slowly work up to higher doses. Don’t stop this medication without your doctor’s approval. You could have withdrawal symptoms if you quit taking it suddenly. Your doctor can work with you to slowly stop the medication to prevent problems from withdrawal. Withdrawal can cause patients to have headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, weakness, and more.

If you are prescribed two puffs twice a day, be sure to take both puffs. After you take the first puff, keep 30 seconds in between it and the second puff. For the second puff, be sure to shake the inhaler again for five seconds. This mixes up the medication inside the canister so that you’ll get the right dosage. If you will be using other inhalers when you take this one, this one should be taken last. Wait one minute in between taking this one and any other that is prescribed to you.

Because it’s possible to get an oral yeast infection from taking this medication, you should rinse out your mouth after using it. Take water in your mouth and gargle it before rinsing and spitting it out. Don’t swallow this water.

Even if you don’t see any immediate benefits from starting this medication, keep taking it. It generally takes at least two weeks to see the full benefits from it. As you use this inhaler, keep track of the number of doses inside it. Once the inhaler reads that there aren’t anymore doses inside, throw it away even if you think there may still be medication inside it.

It’s a good idea to clean out your inhaler regularly. To do this, dampen some tissues and cotton swabs with water. Use then to clean out the mouthpiece to prevent the buildup of germs on the device. Then, let it air-dry overnight so that it’s ready for use the next morning.

When you use this medication, it can help to keep your asthma under better control. Watch for side effects, and keep using this medication as prescribed to get the most benefit from it that you can.

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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