Important Instructions on Fluticasone and Salmeterol

Effectiveness

The following sections describe how this medication performed in clinical trials when used to treat specific conditions -- namely asthma and COPD.
 
Asthma
In clinical studies involving asthma and fluticasone and salmeterol, the medicine was shown to improve breathing better than when either of the active ingredients of fluticasone and salmeterol (fluticasone or salmeterol) was used alone.
 
Sometimes, asthma medications can make asthma symptoms worse. In one study, only 3 percent of people taking fluticasone and salmeterol had to stop the medication due to worsening asthma, compared to 11 percent of those taking fluticasone alone, 35 percent of those taking salmeterol alone, and 49 percent of those taking neither medication.
 
COPD
In studies of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), fluticasone and salmeterol was given to people with COPD associated with chronic bronchitis. People taking fluticasone and salmeterol showed improved lung function, compared to those not taking fluticasone and salmeterol.
 

When and How to Take It

Fluticasone and salmeterol comes in two forms -- the Advair Diskus, which contains dry powder, and the Advair HFA inhaler, a more traditional inhaler.
 
How to Use the Advair Diskus
Some general considerations for when and how to use the Advair Diskus include the following:
 
  • Fluticasone and salmeterol is inhaled into the lungs, usually twice daily, with about 12 hours between doses.
     
  • Advair Diskus is used differently than older inhalers. It contains small foil pockets that are filled with the powder. These pockets are punctured (by sliding the lever until it clicks), and the powder is inhaled using your own breath.
     
  • Rinse out your mouth (without swallowing) after each dose, in order to prevent thrush.
     
  • Be sure to keep the Advair Diskus horizontal while using it (otherwise the powder can spill out). Never exhale into the inhaler, as this will also disrupt the powder.
     
  • It is important to learn exactly how to use your Advair Diskus. It may be difficult at first and may require some practice.
     
  • Some people may not taste or feel the fine powder.
     
  • Fluticasone and salmeterol should be taken at the same time each day to maintain even levels of the drug in your blood.
     
  • For fluticasone and salmeterol to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Fluticasone and salmeterol will not work if you stop taking it.
     
How to Use the Advair HFA Inhaler
Fluticasone and salmeterol also comes in a more traditional inhaler, the Advair HFA inhaler. Following are some general considerations for when and how to use the Advair HFA inhaler:
 
  • Advair HFA comes in a metered-dose inhaler (called an "MDI").
     
  • Fluticasone and salmeterol is inhaled into the lungs, usually twice daily, with about 12 hours between doses.
     
  • You should "test spray" each Advair HFA inhaler before you use it for the first time, or if you have not used it for a long period of time. To test spray the inhaler, spray it into the air by pressing on the top of the canister.
     
  • Shake your Advair HFA asthma inhaler gently before each use.
     
  • Wait at least 30 seconds in between inhalations.
     
  • Rinse out your mouth (without swallowing) after each dose, in order to prevent thrush.
     
  • It is important to learn exactly how to use your Advair HFA inhaler. It may be difficult at first and may require some practice.
     
  • The spray should be inhaled into the lungs, not sprayed onto the back of the throat and swallowed. To accomplish this, you will need to breathe in while spraying the inhaler.
     
  • Most people put the mouthpiece of the inhaler directly into their mouths. However, many healthcare professionals now recommend placing the inhaler an inch or two away from the mouth. Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way for you to use the inhaler.
     
  • Each inhaler contains 120 sprays and comes with a dose counter that counts down how many sprays are remaining.
     
  • For Advair HFA to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Advair HFA will not work if you stop taking it.
     
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Fluticasone and Salmeterol (Advair)

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