Advair is a prescription drug that is used to prevent asthma attacks. Advair is formulated using Fluticasone and Salmeterol. Fluticasone belongs to a class of drugs known as steroids and works by inhibiting the release of substances in the body that lead to inflammation. Salmeterol, on the other hand, is categorized under a class of drugs known as bronchodilators and works by relaxing the muscles in the airways, an action that improves breathing.

Advair Diskus is used to prevent asthma in patients aged four years and above. Advair HFA is used for asthma in adults and children aged at least 12 years old. Advair 250/50 is used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults.

Asthma is a condition characterized by the swelling and narrowing of airways as well as production of extra mucus. This makes it difficult to breathe, resulting in coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Asthma is incurable, but its symptoms are manageable. The most common symptoms of asthma include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Trouble sleeping because of shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks

How to Use Advair
Advair Diskus is essentially a powder form of Fluticasone and Salmeterol that is available in a special inhaler device with blister packs. These packages contain the recommended dose of the drug.

  • To use Advair Diskus, open the device and a blister will load every time you use the inhaler. Note that the device is not used together with a spacer.
  • Advair HFA, on the other hand, is an aerosol form of Fluticasone and Salmeterol that is available in a canister and is used together with an inhaler device. Be sure to shake the Advair HFA inhaler for five seconds before each spray. Also, record the sprays and throw away the Advair HFA canister after 120 sprays.

Patients are advised to rinse their mouth with water after using Advair to prevent yeast infections.

Advair Dosage Information
For maximum benefits, Advair should be used in the recommended dose. Any Advair dosage information should be read and understood. A doctor should be consulted if the information is unclear. Do not use Advair unless you know the dosage and directions of use. Below is the Advair dosage information.

  • Advair HFA is administered as two inhalations, two times every 24 hours.
  • Advair Diskus should be used as a single inhalation twice every 24 hours.
  • Advair 250/50 should be administered as a single inhalation, two times every 24 hours.

If the patient develops severe asthma symptoms, an inhaled, short-acting beta2 antagonist should be inhaled for instant relief. The interval for Advair HFA should be 12 hours.

Side Effects
Advair side effects may vary from one patient to another depending of the body’s ability to handle the efficacy of the drug.

Common side effects of Advair Diskus for asthma include:

  • Bronchitis
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Throat irritation
  • Hoarseness and voice change
  • Thrush in your mouth or throat

In children with asthma, infections in the ear, nose, and throat are common

Common side effects of Advair HFA for asthma include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Throat irritation
  • Hoarseness and voice change
  • Headache

Common side effects of Advair Diskus 250/50 include:

  • Thrush in your mouth or throat
  • Headache
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Throat irritation
  • Hoarseness and voice change
  • Viral respiratory infections

Safety Information
The following information will help you use Advair safely and reduce the likelihood of severe side effects:

  • Salmeterol, one of the active ingredients in Advair, can increase the risk of asthma-related deaths. Thus, be sure to use the prescribed dose of Advair and within the recommended period.
  • Also, consult your doctor on the use of Advair if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Advair should not be used to treat sudden symptoms of asthma or COPD. Always use an inhaler for sudden attacks.
  • Advair should not be taken alongside other medications that contain long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA)
  • Seek immediate medical attention if your inhaler doesn’t work in case of an emergency attack.
  • Inform your doctor of all medical conditions you may be suffering from before using Advair.

The History of Advair
Advair was introduced into the United States market in 2001 as a device that contained a combination of drugs to treat asthma. Before being launched in the U.S., Advair was already being sold in 38 other countries under the trade names Seretide and Viani. During the same year, the FDA granted Advair a broad label. That allowed it to be used to treat asthma in patients aged 12 and above.

The drug’s marketers, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) hoped to tap the huge market in the U.S., targeting sales of up to $4.1 by the year 2000.

Despite its success, Advair has had its share of controversies. In 2012, Advair was involved in a civil settlement agreement pitting GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the Federal government. The government was accusing GSK of encouraging off-label uses of Advair and paid kickbacks to doctors who sell the drug. GSK agreed to pay $1.043 billion in the suit.