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Advair Diskus (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder)

Advair Diskus (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder) for oral inhalation is a long-term maintenance therapy used to treat airflow obstruction and reduces exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is a combination therapy that includes the inhaled corticosteroid medicine fluticasone propionate and the long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA) medicine salmeterol.

On January 30, 2019, the FDA announced that they approved the first generic alternative to the medication. For more information about the generic version, talk with your health care team, including your local pharmacist or pharmacy technician.

What are the ingredients in Advair Diskus?

The active ingredients in Advair are fluticasone propionate and salmeterol xinafoate.

How does Advair Diskus work?

Each dose of Advair Diskus contains two active ingredients that work in different ways to help manage COPD symptoms by:

  • Reducing the amount of blockage in the airways to improve breathing
  • Reducing the number of COPD flare-ups

Fluticasone propionate is type of inhaled corticosteroid. Corticosteroids work by reducing the swelling in a COPD patient’s airways. Salmeterol is a type of medicine called a long-acting beta-agonist bronchodilator. These drugs work by relaxing the muscles that surround the airways. When those muscles tighten up, it can cause the airways to get too narrow. By making sure those muscles are relaxed, it can help make breathing easier.

People with COPD usually take two doses of Advair Diskus per day. Each dose is delivered by one inhalation from the Advair Diskus inhaler. It comes pre-loaded with enough doses for a one-month supply, and then the inhaler is discarded and a new one is used for the next month.

What are the possible side effects of Advair Diskus?,

Multiple trials evaluated the safety and efficacy of Advair Diskus in patients with COPD. The most common adverse reactions, occurring in more than 3% of study participants, were pneumonia, oral candidiasis (thrush), throat irritation, dysphonia (difficulty speaking), viral respiratory infections, headaches, and musculoskeletal pain. This is not an exhaustive list of all potential side effects of Advair Diskus. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist for further information.

Things to know about Advair Diskus

Advair Diskus should not be used to relieve sudden breathing problems, as a rescue inhaler, or if a person has a severe allergy to milk proteins. It should also not be used in those who have allergies to any of the ingredients in the Advair Diskus. For the full list of ingredients, refer to the Prescribing Information.
Before starting treatment with Advair Diskus, it’s important to tell your healthcare provider about any existing medical conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Heart problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Diabetes
  • Liver problems
  • Osteoporosis
  • Immune system problems
  • Eye problems (i.e., glaucoma or cataracts)
  • Allergy to milk proteins
  • Viral, bacterial, or fungal infection
  • Exposure to chickenpox or measles
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. It is not known if Advair Diskus may harm an unborn baby, or if the medicines in Advair Diskus could pass into breast milk and harm your baby.

Dosing information

Advair Diskus should be administered as 1 oral inhalation twice daily. After inhalation, it is important for the patient to rinse his/her mouth with water without swallowing to reduce the risk of thrush (oropharyngeal candidiasis). It is not recommended that a patient increases the frequency of administration or number of inhalations because some patients could experience an increase risk of side effects with higher doses of salmeterol. Patients using Advair Diskus should not use additional LABA for any reason.
For more information, read the full prescribing information for Advair Diskus.

Written by: Kristine Zerkowski | Last reviewed: August 2019.
  1. Advair Diskus [Prescribing Information]. Research Triangle Park: GlaxoSmithKline; December 2017.