Important Safety Issues With Fluticasone Inhalers

Some Precautions and Warnings With the Fluticasone Inhaler

Following are some precautions and warnings to be aware of with fluticasone inhalers:
  • If you are switching from an oral steroid to a fluticasone inhaler (which is an inhaled steroid), your healthcare provider should decrease your dose of the oral steroid very slowly. Stopping an oral steroid too quickly can be very dangerous.
  • The fluticasone inhaler is not a fast-acting asthma medication and cannot replace fast-acting rescue inhalers. Do not use a fluticasone inhaler to treat an asthma attack. Everyone taking the fluticasone inhaler should also have a rescue asthma medication available at all times. Let your healthcare provider know if you need to use your rescue inhaler more frequently than usual, as this may be a sign of worsening asthma.
  • Fluticasone inhalers can cause an immediate worsening of asthma symptoms. If this happens, use your rescue inhaler (such as albuterol) as needed and contact your healthcare provider for further instruction.
  • Fluticasone is a steroid and may suppress the immune system. Although this is more likely to occur with oral steroids, it is still possible with inhaled steroids (such as the fluticasone inhaler). You may be at a higher risk of infections if you are taking a fluticasone inhaler. Also, certain infections (such as chickenpox or the measles) may be more dangerous if you are taking a fluticasone inhaler. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you are exposed to chickenpox or the measles (if you have not had these infections and have not been vaccinated against them).
  • Like all steroids, fluticasone may slow the growth of children and teenagers. Usually, this slowing of growth is small, with children growing about one centimeter less per year. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you are concerned about slow growth in your child.
  • Inhaled steroids (including fluticasone) can cause glaucoma or cataracts (conditions of the eyes).
  • Before starting the fluticasone inhaler, be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you currently have any type of infection. Also let your healthcare provider know if you have ever had tuberculosis or a herpes infection of the eye, as fluticasone inhalers may weaken the immune system, allowing these infections to worsen.
  • Fluticasone inhalers can interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Fluticasone Inhalers).
  • The fluticasone inhaler is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that fluticasone inhalers may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using a fluticasone inhaler during pregnancy (see Flovent and Pregnancy for more information).
  • It is not known if inhaled fluticasone passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, you should be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using a fluticasone inhaler (see Flovent and Breastfeeding for more information).
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