Advair HFA

Generic Name: Salmeterol

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Advair HFA is a medicine used to treat asthma.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Advair HFA contains two medicines: fluticasone and salmeterol. Fluticasone works by decreasing inflammation in your lungs, while salmeterol works by relaxing muscles in your airways.

    This medication is not used for emergency or immediate treatment of symptoms of asthma. Always have a short-acting rescue inhaler (such as albuterol) to treat sudden symptoms.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Advair HFA helps prevent asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath.

    When: Advair HFA may start controlling your asthma within 30 minutes of inhaling it.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may feel an improvement in your breathing once you begin using Advair HFA. Your healthcare provider may perform tests to check your lung function and ask you questions to assess how well your symptoms are controlled.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    If you have asthma and use Advair HFA, you can have an increased risk of death from asthma problems. Tell your healthcare provider if your breathing problems worsen over time while you are using Advair HFA. Get emergency medical care if your breathing problems worsen quickly or if you use your rescue inhaler medicine, but it does not relieve your symptoms.

    More common side effects may include: upper respiratory infection or inflammation, throat irritation, difficulty speaking, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Sudden breathing problems right after inhaling your medicine.

    Effects on your heart or nervous system with symptoms such as increased blood pressure, fast or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, shaking, nervousness.

    Weakened immune system and a higher chance of infections.

    Weakened bones, especially if you already have a higher risk for low bone density.

    Eye problems, including glaucoma (high pressure in the eye) and cataracts.

    Slowed growth in children.

    Pneumonia with symptoms such as increased mucus production, changes in mucus color, fever, chills, increased cough, or increased breathing problems.

    Decreased blood potassium levels, or increased blood sugar levels.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not use Advair HFA if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not use Advair HFA to treat sudden, severe symptoms of asthma (such as an asthma attack).

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Advair HFA. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart, thyroid, or liver problems; high blood pressure; seizures; diabetes; osteoporosis (thin, weak bones); cataracts or glaucoma; tuberculosis (a bacterial infection that affects the lungs) or any type of infection (including an eye infection); or if you had chickenpox or measles or have recently been near anyone with chickenpox or measles.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults and children ≥12 years: The usual dose is 2 inhalations twice a day (morning and evening, about 12 hours apart).

  • How should I take this medication?

    Use Advair HFA exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not use it more often or stop using it without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    After each dose, rinse your mouth with water and spit it out. Do not swallow the water.

    Please review the instructions that came with your prescription on how to properly use your inhaler.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not stop using Advair HFA or any other asthma medicines unless told to do so by your healthcare provider because your symptoms might get worse. Your healthcare provider will change your medicines as needed.

    Do not come in contact with anyone that has chickenpox or measles while you are using Advair HFA.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Advair HFA is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Advair HFA with: atazanavir, blood pressure/heart medications known as beta-blockers (such as propranolol), certain antidepressants (such as nortriptyline or phenelzine), clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, telithromycin, or water pills (such as furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide).

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Advair HFA during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Advair HFA, skip that dose and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not inhale two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature, with the mouthpiece down. Do not store near heat or an open flame.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

Check out my latest blog post on antidepressants

Advair HFA Related Drugs

Advair HFA Related Conditions