The Advair Diskus is used to treat airway spasms that are caused by asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Unlike older, traditional inhalers -- which used chlorofluorocarbons as propellants -- this one does not contain any propellants. Instead, the medicine it contains is inhaled using your own breath, making it an environmentally-friendly inhaler. It is generally used twice a day, with about 12 hours between doses. Side effects can include headaches, a sore throat, and coughing.
Many of the older, traditional inhalers are being taken off the market because they contain chlorofluorocarbons as propellants. Chlorofluorocarbons are substances that deplete the ozone layer. In response, several new types of inhalers have been developed. The Advair Diskus was among the first of these types of inhalers. The Advair Diskus is a dry powder inhaler. It contains dry Advair powder in small foil pockets within the Advair Diskus. These pockets are punctured (by sliding the lever until it clicks), and the powder is inhaled using your own breath. This system eliminates the need for propellants, which makes the inhaler environmentally friendly.
People who are accustomed to using traditional inhalers will need to adjust to using this inhaler. The Advair Diskus never needs to be shaken. It must be kept horizontal during use. Many people do not notice a taste when using it (since most of the taste of inhalers is due to the propellant). Even if you do not taste or feel the powder, you can be assured that you have received a dose. Many people find that the Advair Diskus is easier to use than a traditional inhaler, since traditional inhalers require coordination of breathing in while the inhaler is sprayed.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Advair Diskus [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline;2007 February.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 13, 2007.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed April 13, 2007.
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