Advair Diskus
Last Edited: April 20th, 2012

Coupons for Advair Diskus

The Advair Diskus is used by individuals with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is used to treat the bronchospams or airway spasms that occur with these conditions in addition to reducing shortness of breath, wheezing, chronic cough and chest tightness.

How the Advair Diskus Works

Salmeterol and fluticasone are the two medications that comprise the Advair Diskus. As a beta-adrenergic receptor agonist, salmeterol works by stimulating the muscles of the airway. This action causes the smooth muscles within the lungs to relax and widen, resulting in more air reaching the lungs and a decrease in symptoms.

Fluticasone is classified as a corticosteroid and works by decreasing inflammation. This is key in the controlling the symptoms of asthma as swollen and inflamed airways are known to cause the wheezing and shortness of breath associated with asthma.

Dosage

Asthma severity, age, other medications and whether a patient requires the Advair Diskus for treatment of asthma or COPD are all taken into consideration by a physician when determining a patient's dose. The Advair Diskus is available in three varieties such as Advair 250/50, Advair 150/50 and Advair 500/50. The larger number refers to the amount of fluticasone that a person receives with each inhalation, while the 50 represents the micrograms of salmeterol in each inhalation.

One inhalation of the Advair Diskus 100/50 every 12 hours is appropriate for children and adults with asthma. In a similar manner, the recommended dose of the Advair Diskus 250/50 for individuals with COPD is twice daily. If patients do not see symptom improvement with the lower dosage of the Advair Diskus, it may be necessary to use a formulation with a higher amount of fluticasone.

Storage

The Advair Diskus should be stored at room temperature and kept away from excessive moisture and heat.

Drug Interactions

If an individual takes the Advair Diskus along with certain other medications, there is a risk of negative interactions. Certain beta blockers, antifungals, antibiotics, diuretics, long-acting beta agonists, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants and protease inhibitors are known to cause dangerous interactions when taken with the Advair Diskus.

Reduced efficacy of both medications is an example of a negative interaction that may occur in addition to increasing the amount of Advair within the blood stream, low levels of potassium, low blood pressure and increased risk of a deadly asthma attack.

Side Effects

Although the Advair Diskus is very well-tolerated for most individuals, there is a risk of side effects. Serious side effects associated with the Advair Diskus are rare and most side effects that occur are mild and require little, if any, treatment.

Infections of the upper respiratory tract, sore throat, headaches and nausea are the most commonly reported side effects associated with the Advair Diskus. If a person's breathing problems become worse, he or she develops an irregular heart rate, hypertension, high blood sugar, depression, chest pain, nervousness tremor or an allergic reaction occurs, he or she should contact their physician immediately.

Warnings and Precautions

Individuals with certain pre-existing health conditions should first discuss with their doctor if using the Advair Diskus is appropriate for them. This includes individuals with hypertension, osteoporosis, an irregular heart rhythm, diabetes, congestive heart failure, a fast heart rate and hyperthyroidism. Since the Advair Diskus may cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy, it may not be safe for pregnant women. It is also not known if the medication in the Advair Diskus passes through breast milk. For this reason, women who are breastfeeding should not use the medication.