Advair HFA

Name: Advair HFA

Advair HFA Overview

Advair HFA is a prescription medication used to treat asthma. It is a single product containing 2 medications: fluticasone and salmeterol. Fluticasone belongs to a group of drugs called inhaled steroids. These work by reducing swelling in the airways. Salmeterol belongs to a class of drugs called long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs). These work by relaxing and opening air passages in the lungs, making it easier to breathe.

This medication comes in an inhaler form and is typically used twice a day, in the morning and evening, about 12 hours apart.

Common side effects of Advair HFA include upper respiratory tract infection, throat irritation, hoarseness and voice changes, and thrush in the mouth or throat.

Advair HFA can also cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Advair HFA affects you.


Side Effects of Advair HFA


Serious side effects have been reported with Advair HFA.  See the "Drug Precautions" section.

Common side effects of Advair HFA include the following:

  • upper respiratory tract infection
  • throat irritation
  • hoarseness and voice changes
  • thrush in your mouth or throat
  • bronchitis
  • cough
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • viral respiratory infections
  • muscle and bone pain

This is not a complete list of Advair HFA side effects.  Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.  You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Advair HFA Precautions


Serious side effects have been reported with Advair HFA including the following:

  • increased risk of death from asthma problems. People with asthma who take long-acting beta2 adrenergic agonist (LABA) medicines, such as salmeterol (one of the medicines in Advair HFA), have an increased risk of death from asthma problems.
  • pneumonia. Advair HFA may increase the chance of getting pneumonia. Call your healthcare provider if you notice any of the following symptoms: increase in mucus production, change in mucus color, fever, chills, increased cough, and increased breathing problems.
  • immunosuppression. Advair HFA may increase the chance of getting infections.
  • adrenal insufficiency. Adrenal insufficiency is a condition where the adrenal glands do not make enough steroid hormones.  This can happen when you stop taking oral corticosteroid medicines (such as prednisone) and start taking a medicine containing an inhaled steroid (such as Advair HFA). When your body is under stress such as from fever, trauma (such as a car accident), infection, or surgery, adrenal insufficiency can get worse and may cause death. Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency include the following: feeling tired, lack of energy, weakness, nausea and vomiting, and low blood pressure.
  • thrush. Advair HFA can cause a fungal infection in your mouth or throat. It is important to rinse your mouth with water without swallowing after using Advair HFA to help reduce your chance of getting thrush.
  • sudden breathing problems immediately after inhaling your medicine. Call your healthcare provider if breathing problems worsen over time while using Advair HFA.
  • serious allergic reactions. Call your healthcare provider or get emergency medical care if you get any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, hives, swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue, and breathing problems.
  • effects on the heart. Advair HFA can cause increased blood pressure, a fast or irregular heartbeat, and chest pain.
  • effects on the nervous system. Advair HFA can cause a tremor and nervousness.
  • osteoporosis. Advair HFA can cause bone thinning or weakness.
  • slowed growth in children. A child's growth should be checked often.
  • glaucoma and cataracts. Advair HFA can cause eye problems. It is important to have regular eye exams while using Advair HFA.
  • changes in laboratory blood values. Advair HFA can cause changes in your sugar, potassium, and certain types of white blood cells.

Advair HFA can cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Advair HFA affects you.

Do not take Advair HFA in the following situations:

  • are allergic to Advair HFA or to any of its ingredients
  • have a severe allergy to milk proteins
  • treatment of a sudden attack of asthma


Advair HFA and Pregnancy


Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Advair HFA falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems.  No well-controlled studies have been done in humans. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.


Advair HFA Overdose


If you take too much Advair HFA, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If Advair HFA is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.


What is the most important information I should know about Advair HFA (fluticasone and salmeterol)?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to fluticasone, salmeterol, or milk proteins.

Fluticasone and salmeterol is not a rescue medicine. It will not work fast enough to treat an asthma or bronchospasm attack.

Salmeterol may increase the risk of death in people with asthma, but the risk in people with COPD is not known.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms may include dizziness, vomiting, weakness, chest pain, tremors, feeling nervous, fast or pounding heartbeats, or seizure.

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Advair Diskus
  • Advair Diskus 100/50
  • Advair Diskus 250/50
  • Advair Diskus 500/50
  • Advair HFA
  • Advair HFA 115/21
  • Advair HFA 230/21
  • Advair HFA 45/21
  • Airduo Respiclick

In Canada

  • Advair
  • Advair Inhalation Aerosol

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Powder
  • Aerosol Liquid
  • Disk
  • Aerosol Powder

Therapeutic Class: Antiasthma, Anti-Inflammatory/Bronchodilator Combination

Pharmacologic Class: Fluticasone

Usual Adult Dose for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - Maintenance

Fluticasone 250 mcg-salmeterol 50 mcg (1 inhalation) orally twice a day, approximately 12 hours apart

-If shortness of breath occurs in the period between doses, use an inhaled, short-acting beta2-agonist for immediate relief.
-Fluticasone 250 mcg-salmeterol 50 mcg is the only approved dosage for the treatment of COPD; higher doses are not recommended, as advantage of the higher strength has not been demonstrated.

Uses: Maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema; to reduce exacerbations of COPD in patients with a history of exacerbations