Advair Diskus: Medication for Asthma and COPD Treatment

Advair Diskus Medication for Asthma and COPD Treatment

Advair Diskus 250/50 is (fluticasone and salmeterol oral inhaler) is a combination of a corticosteroid and a beta2-adrenergic bronchodilator used to prevent asthma attacks and to treat COPD.

What is it used for?

This medicine is prescribed for the treatment of chronic bronchial asthma when the patient is recommended to be treated with a combination of long-acting β2-agonists and inhaled GCS. In particular, for:

  • patients with insufficient control of bronchial asthma during therapy with inhaled GCS and short-acting β2-agonists;
  • patients with adequate control of bronchial asthma during therapy with inhaled GCS and long-acting β2-agonists.

What does Advair do for your lungs?

This drug belongs to adrenergic pharmaceuticals and their combinations, which are used in the form of inhalation.

This drug belongs to the group of bronchodilating agents with salmeterol and fluticasone propionate as active ingredients.

Salmeterol is a selective beta-two-adrenergic receptor agonist, which is characterized by a long-term effect (acting for half a day). Its molecular structure has a long side link that is able to bind to the outside of the receptor.

Salmeterol is able to prevent bronchospasm triggered by the action of histamines (the most common cause of asthmatic attacks), while it has longer bronchodilation when compared with ordinary short-term beta-two-adrenergic receptor agonists.

It possesses the property of effective and long-term inhibition of the release of mediators of certain cells in the lung tissues, in particular, histamines, leukotrienes, and others.

It is able to cause suppression of an allergic reaction in the early and late stages. Even a single dose is able to reduce bronchial hyperreactivity.

Fluticasone is a glucocorticosteroid. If it is administered in the form of inhalation, then the drug enters directly into the lower respiratory tract (trachea, bronchi, lungs). In this case, a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect is produced, as a result of which the activity of painful symptoms decreases.

Does this medicine help with a cough?

Yes. this drug is often prescribed for a persistent cough. The inhaler soothes the airways and suppresses the need to cough. If the inhaler doesn’t help and the cough worsens, you should see a doctor to find out the real cause of your cough.

How long does it last?

Each inhaler contains 60 inhalations (puffs). The Diskus has a counter that informs you how many doses are left in the device. Discard the product 1 month after opening the foil pouch or when the counter reads “0”, whichever comes first.

Is there a generic version of Advair?

Yes. The U.S. FDA approved the first generic version of this medicine (fluticasone/salmeterol) for asthma control in patients aged 4 and up, and also for control of exacerbations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

How to use this inhaler?

Use the drug for inhalation only.

To achieve the optimal result, use the drug regularly, even in the absence of clinical symptoms of bronchial asthma and COPD.

The doctor determines the course of treatment and dose individually.

Recommended doses for adults and children aged 12 years and up – 2 inhalations (25 μg salmeterol and 50 μg fluticasone propionate) 2 times / day, or 2 inhalations (25 μg salmeterol and 125 μg fluticasone propionate) 2 times / day, or 2 inhalation (25 μg salmeterol and 250 μg fluticasone propionate) 2 times / day.

Recommended doses for children aged 4 years and up: 2 inhalations (25 μg of salmeterol and 50 μg of fluticasone propionate) 2 times / day.

The dose of the drug should be reduced to the minimum effective dose.

In COPD for adults, the maximum recommended dose is 2 inhalations (25 mcg salmeterol and 250 mcg fluticasone propionate) 2 times / day.

In elderly patients and patients with impaired liver or kidney function, dose reduction is not required.

Do you shake Advair Diskus?

In order for the drug to enter the windpipe when inhaling, you need to:

  1. shake the inhaler for at least 5 seconds before each spray;
  2. exhale air from the lungs as much as possible;
  3. insert an aerosol mouthpiece into your mouth, clasping it with your lips on all sides;
  4. press on the bottom of the can and at the same time take a deep breath;
  5. hold your breath for as long as possible.

If the patient previously had nocturnal attacks of bronchial asthma, then this 1 dose is inhaled before going to bed. If daytime attacks are more frequent, then the dose of the drug is inhaled in the morning.

After use, rinse your mouth with water to avoid oral candidiasis.

Which is better for COPD: Advair or Spiriva?

Both drugs work well to reduce COPD symptoms and flare-ups. It is considered that Spitiva causes fewer side effects than some medicines that open airways.

See a short comparison of these products:

Advair Spiriva
Prescribed for COPD, Asthma COPD
Drug Class Bronchodilator combinations Anticholinergic bronchodilators
Generic Availability Yes No
Dosage Form(s) Available Inhalation powder Inhalation capsule
Half-Life 264 hours 144 hours

Can I use Advair and albuterol together?

Keep in mind that Advair is not the same as albuterol (also known as Ventolin, Proventil). Advair is an asthma inhaler of type “Control” while albuterol is of “Rescue” type. It is not recommended to use Advair together with albuterol since their combination may increase cardiovascular side effects such as elevations in heart rate and blood pressure or irregular heart rhythm. Consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns, especially if you have ever had high blood pressure, arrhythmia, or heart disease.

Does it affect sleep?

This medicine is unlikely to cause trouble sleeping. See a list of common side effects below. Tell your doctor right away if you notice sleep disorders after using this medicine.

Can it make you gain weight?

In some cases, this medicine can cause weight gain. In clinical studies, weight gain occurred in 1% to 3% of people who used this medicine but it’s not known how common this side effect is.

Can I overdose on this medicine?

Do not inhale more doses than recommended in order to avoid an overdose. Overdose can cause increased side effects. Most common overdose symptoms:

  • trembling limbs, tachycardia;
  • headache, hypokalemia, hyperkalemia;
  • a decrease in the work of the adrenal glands (it recovers on its own);
  • nausea, hypoglycemia, convulsions.

Treatment: selective beta-blockers, drug withdrawal.

Does it lower your immune system?

Fluticasone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to catch an infection or worsening an infection you already have or have recently had. Consult your doctor about any disease or infection you have had within the recent weeks.

Does the medicine raise blood pressure?

Salmeterol may increase blood pressure in some patients. This side effect is more common if the medicine is used at higher doses or more often than your doctor prescribes. If you have high blood pressure, consult your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you.

Who should not use this medication?

Do not use this inhaler if you have any of the following conditions/diseases:

  • age under 4 years;
  • hypersensitivity to drug components.

The drug should be prescribed with caution to patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, fungal, viral or bacterial respiratory infections, thyrotoxicosis, pheochromocytoma, diabetes mellitus, uncontrolled hypo-kalemia, idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis, uncontrolled arterial hypertension, QT arrhythmias, EHV lengthening, hypoxia of various genesis, cataract, glaucoma, hypothyroidism, osteoporosis, pregnancy, lactation.

Can it interact with other drugs?

Avoid using this medicine with any of the following drugs:

  • selective and non-selective beta-blockers;
  • ritonavir;
  • erythromycin and ketoconazole;
  • xanthine derivatives;
  • glucocorticoids;
  • diuretics;
  • MAO inhibitors;
  • tricyclic antidepressants.

Can Advair Diskus cause side effects?

The drug can cause the following side effects:

  • oral candidiasis, pneumonia, bronchitis;
  • allergic reactions – angioedema, rash, shortness of breath, anaphylactic shock;
  • oppression of the adrenal glands, reduction of bone mineralization, growth retardation in children;
  • hypokalemia, hyperglycemia;
  • nausea, dyspeptic symptoms;
  • nervousness, insomnia;
  • headache, tremors of the limbs;
  • cataracts, glaucoma;
  • tachycardia, arrhythmias;
  • nasopharyngitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis;
  • contusion;
  • muscle spasms, arthralgia, myalgia, limb fractures.

Can I use this medicine when pregnant?

During pregnancy and lactation (breastfeeding), this inhaler can be prescribed only if the intended benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the fetus or baby.

How to stop taking it?

Do not stop using this inhaler even if you are feeling better unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Talk to doctor right away if you stop using this medicine.

What are Advair alternatives?

Drugs similar to this medicine are Dulera (mometasone/formoterol), Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol), and Breo (fluticasone/vilanterol). All of these medications contain an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta-agonist.

How to get Advair cheaper?

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