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What is Advair®?

By M. DePietro
Updated May 17, 2024
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Advair® is a medication used to treat lung conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. It is a combination of two different medications including, salmeterol and fluticasone. The combination works together to prevent symptoms.

In conditions such as asthma and COPD, there is a constriction or narrowing of the airway and inflammation of the bronchial tubes. The combination of the two drugs in Advair® work by treating both the inflammation and constriction. Salmeterol, which is a steroid, reduces inflammation. Fluticasone is a long acting bronchodilator, which means it helps dilate the airway, allowing more air to get in, and make breathing easier.

It’s important to realize that certain asthma medications are considered rescue drugs, because they work quickly to ease asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath and wheezing. Other medications, like Advair®, are not intended to be rescue medications, because they are not fast acting. It is intended to be used as a preventative medication, to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks, or symptoms of COPD.

Individuals taking certain medications for conditions, such as depression, may be advised not to take Advair®. The medication is usually not recommended for children under the age of four. Pregnant women should talk to their doctors about the benefits and the risks of taking the drug during pregnancy.

Advair® comes in two different forms. It is available in the form of a diskus or a metered dose inhaler(MDI). The diskus is a dry powder and the MDI form is an aerosol. Both medications are inhaled through the mouth.

Taking Advair® correctly is essential in order to get the maximum amount of the drug into the lungs and reduce side effects. All the air needs to be exhaled out of the lungs before inhaling the medication. If the aerosol form of the medication is taken, a spacer should be used to make taking the medication easier. A spacer is a small cylinder attached to the inhaler to help coordinate the inhalation of the medication.

Side effects that can occur with Advair® include dry mouth, headache, sore throat and thrush in the mouth. Rinsing the mouth with cold water may help reduce the chances of developing thrush. Although they occur rarely, serious side effects, such as blurred vision and trouble breathing are also possible.

Different strengths of the medication are available. It is usually taken once or twice per day, although it’s essential to follow a doctor's prescribed dosage. Since the drug is prescribed to prevent symptoms, it’s important to take it everyday. It may take a week or longer of taking Advair® daily to notice a reduction in symptom flare-ups.

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Discussion Comments
By anon77267 — On Apr 13, 2010

Fluticasone is the steroid and Salmeterol is the bronchodilator.

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