ADVAIR DISKUS: A Drug That May Help You Breathe Better
What is ADVAIR DISKUS?
ADVAIR DISKUS is a prescribed drug which is used to help people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or both to breathe better. It contains two drugs as follows:
(1) Salmeterol: This content is also found in SEREVENT®, a LABA which is used among patients who are suffering from COPD or asthma. LABA medicines have long been used to help muscles around the airways in the lungs staying relaxed in order to help preventing symptoms like shortness of breath and wheezing. Both shortness of breath and wheezing can happen when the muscles around the airways tighten, making you hard to breathe. In a serious case, wheezing can obstruct your breathing and even cause death if left ignored untreated.
(2) Fluticasone propionate: This content is also found in FLOVENT®, which is an inhaled corticosteroid drug used to help reduce inflammation in the lungs. Inflammation in the lungs can trigger asthma symptoms or can lead to respiratory related problems.
ADVAIR DISKUS is recommended for those who still have asthma symptoms when the other asthma-controller medicine does not control the asthma symptoms, or those who need two asthma-controller medicines to treat their asthma. Hence, ADVAIR DISKUS cannot be used to replace fast-acting inhalers to treat severe and sudden symptoms of COPD or asthma. Additionally, ADVAIR DISKUS is not suitable for people whose asthma is well-controlled on other asthma-controller medicine.
ADVAIR DISKUS is used long-term, twice a day (warning: do not use it for more than twice a day), to help prevent symptoms including wheezing in children ages 4 and older and in adults. ADVAIR DISKUS 100/50 is used to treat patients 4 to 11 years old who still have asthma symptoms while on an inhaled corticosteroid while ADVAIR DISKUS 250/50 is used long-term, twice a day to improve lung function for better breathing in adults with COPD that includes emphysema, bronchitis, or both.
As ADVAIR DISKUS contains salmeterol, it may increase the chance of death from asthma-related problems among patients with asthma. People with COPD who are taking ADVAIR DISKUS may also have a higher chance of pneumonia. Therefore, you must talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to find out if ADVAIR DISKUS is right for you.
Prior to Taking ADVAIR DISKUS, What Should I Tell My Doctor?
Prior to taking ADVAIR DISKUS, please let your doctor or healthcare professional know about all of your medical conditions if you have high blood pressure, liver problems, osteoporosis, seizures, heart problems, immune system problems, diabetes and thyroid problems.
As with any other drug, ADVAIR DISKUS may interact with certain medications that may cause other serious side effects. Before you take ADVAIR DISKUS, tell your doctor all the drugs you take including vitamin pills, supplements, traditional herbals, over-the-counter drugs, as well as other prescribed and non-prescribed drugs. Especially, let your doctor know if you take Norvir® (ritonavir oral solution), Kaletra® (lopinavir/ritonavir) tablets that contain ritonavir, and the anti-HIV medicines Norvir® (ritonavir capsules) Soft Gelatin. It is advisable to keep a list of medicines you take so that you can show it to your doctor or healthcare provider each time you get a new drug.
If you are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant, you need to tell your doctor before taking ADVAIR DISKUS even though there is no evidence that taking ADVAIR DISKUS may harm your unborn baby. You should also let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed the baby even though it is not known if ADVAIR DISKUS can into your breast milk and if it can harm your baby.
Who Should Not Take ADVAIR DISKUS?
Do not take ADVAIR DISKUS if you are allergic to the ingredients found in ADVAIR DISKUS or have a severe allergy to milk protein.
Do not use ADVAIR DISKUS to treat sudden, sudden symptoms of COPD, asthma or any chronic respiratory related problems.
Before Taking ADVAIR DISKUS, What Should You Concern Yourself About?
Children must use ADVAIR DISKUS with an adult’s assistance and as instructed by the child’s doctor or healthcare provider.
As ADVAIR DISKUS does not relieve sudden and severe symptoms, you should have a fast-acting inhaler (short-acting beta2- agonist medicine) you to treat sudden and unexpected symptoms. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider immediately, if you do not have a fast-acting inhaler so that they can prescribe one for you.
You should take the usual dosage of ADVAIR DISKUS one inhalation twice a day that is in the morning and evening. The two doses should be about 12 hours apart. After using ADVAIR DISKUS, rinse your mouth with water.
You cannot use a spacer device together with ADVAIR DISKUS.
Do not try to breathe into ADVAIR DISKUS.
Studies show that long-acting beta2- agonist (LABA) medicines, also one of the medicines found in ADVAIR DISKUS, may increase the risk of death from asthma problems particularly among patients with asthma and COPD. The study shows that patients who used salmeterol died from asthma problems as compared to those who did not use salmeterol. Therefore, you should talk with your doctor or healthcare provider regarding the risks and benefits of using ADVAIR DISKUS to treat your asthma problems.
While using ADVAIR DISKUS twice a day, do not use other medications that contain a LABA as this may trigger the symptoms. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider if you cannot avoid using any of your other medications which are LABA medications.
In case you have taken more or you take more ADVAIR DISKUS than your doctor has prescribed, seek for medical assistance right away if you any abnormal symptoms including shakiness, worsening shortness of breath, increased heart rate and chest pain.
If you miss a dose of ADVAIR DISKUS, just skip it and do not take 2 doses at a time. In fact, you should take your next dose at your usual time.
Make sure you have a fast-acting inhaler with you and use it when you have breathing problems between doses of ADVAIR DISKUS.
Get emergency medical care if your fast-acting inhaler does not relieve your breathing problems at all or your breathing problems/symptoms of asthma worsen quickly.
Do not stop or change any medication used to treat or control your breathing problems abruptly without prior approval from your doctor because your symptoms might get worse. Always ask for your doctor’s advice if you need to adjust the doses of the medication to suit your existing health condition.
You should only use AVAIR DISKUS if your doctor or healthcare provider decides that you need two asthma-controller drugs or that your other asthma controller drug does not help control your asthma.
You should always use ADVAIR DISKUS exactly as prescribed but do not use ADVAIR DISKUS more times than prescribed. Since ADVAIR DISKUS is available in 3 strengths, ask your doctor or healthcare provider to prescribe the one that is best for your existing condition.
While using ADVAIR DISKUS, if your breathing problems worsen over time, you should talk to your doctor or healthcare provider, so that they can suggest other treatment that suits you best.
Do not use ADVAIR DISKUS if you have not been taught by your healthcare provider or doctor regarding its usage, side effects and etc. Make sure you understand any information related to ADVAIR DISKUS and ask your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions prior to taking ADVAIR DISKUS.
What are the Possible Side Effects with ADVAIR DISKUS?
The most common side effects with ADVAIR DISKUS include respiratory tract infections, throat irritation, voice changes, hoarseness, thrush in the throat and mouth.
ADVAIR DISKUS may increase the risk of getting pneumonia, especially among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. If you notice the following symptoms, please consult your healthcare provider or doctor immediately!
- Increased cough
- Change in mucus color
- Increase in sputum (mucus) production
- Increased breathing problem
Also, call your doctor or healthcare provider if you observe any of the following symptoms:
- Increased blood pressure
- A higher chance of infection
- An irregular and a fast heartbeat
- Weakened immune system
- Changes in heart rhythm
- Lower bone mineral density- Taking ADVAIR DISKUS can worsen the problem of people who already have a higher chance of low bone density or osteoporosis
- Slow growth in children- This may be a problem for children who are taking ADVAIR DISKUS, so make sure their growth is checked and monitored by a doctor
- Chest pain
- Serious allergic reactions- Breathing problems; rash; hives; and swelling of the tongue, face and mouth are some of the serious allergic reactions. If you are experiencing any of the allergic reactions, get emergency medical care or call your doctor right away!
- Eye problems (including cataracts and glaucoma) - While taking ADVAIR DISKUS, make sure that you get frequent eye exams
Note: These are only some of the side effects with ADVAIR DISKUS, so you should discuss further with your pharmacist, healthcare provider or doctor in regards to all the possible side effects that you will have to experience after taking ADVAIR DISKUS. Also, tell your doctor if you have any side effects listed and not listed here or symptom that bother you or does not go away two days or more.
When Should I Get Medical Care Right Away?
Get medical care or consult your healthcare provider or doctor right away, if you experience the following condition:
You have to use four or more inhalations of your fast-acting inhaler for two or more days in a row
Within 8 weeks’ time, you use one whole canister of your fast-acting inhaler
After using ADVAIR DISKUS regularly for one week, you still have asthma and your symptoms do not improve at all
Your breathing problems worsens even if you are using ADVAIR DISKUS
Your fast-acting inhaler does not work at relieving symptoms
You observe a decrease in your peak flow meter. In this case, your doctor or healthcare provider will tell you the numbers that are right for you.
You have to use your fast-acting inhaler more often than other normal days
Information contained herein is for educational purpose only and does not intend to substitute for any medical treatment, diagnosis or advice. In any medical symptoms or emergency or any acute situation arising from using ADVAIR DISKUS, you are advised to consult a registered and qualified doctor immediately for a further diagnosis and advice.
You are encouraged to report any side effects of prescription medications to the FDA by either calling 1-800-FDA-1088 or by visiting www.FDA.gov/medwatch.
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As always, stay well and healthy!