Advair contains two medications, a steroid and a long-acting bronchodilator, and is taken twice a day, every day, to help prevent asthma attacks and improve lung function.
What Advair Is Used For:
Advair Diskus is used as a maintenance treatment for children and adults with asthma. It is also used for adults with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) associated with chronic bronchitis. If your child is having frequent asthma symptoms, asthma attacks, and/or is frequently using his asthma control or rescue medicines, like Albuterol or Xopenex, then he may need a medicine like Advair.
Advair should NOT be used for the relief of acute bronchospasm, which means that you should not used it as a rescue medicine when your child is having an asthma attack or shortness of breath. A short acting beta2-agonist, like Albuterol, should be used instead when your child is having an asthma attack.
- Advair contains:
- Flovent or fluticasone propionate, a corticosteroid that reduces airway inflammation
- Serevent or salmeterol, a long-acting bronchodilator that helps relax the muscles that surround airways
- Advair should be used when an inhaled corticosteroid alone, such as Flovent, Pulmicort, or Asmanex, doesn't control your child's asthma or when it is mild enough to be controlled with just the very occasional use Albuterol or Xopenex
Forms Of Advair:
- Advair 100/50
- Advair 250/50
- Advair 500/50 (strongest)
Advair Side Effects:
Advair is usually well tolerated by children. The most common side effects include upper respiratory tract infections, throat irritation, ear, nose, and throat infections, epistaxis (nosebleeds), pharyngitis (throat infections), ear signs and symptoms, sinusitis, headaches, gastrointestinal discomfort and pain, nausea and vomiting, cadidiasis of the mouth or throat, fever, and chest symptoms.
The FDA recently issued an alert that long-acting beta-agonists, including salmeterol, may increase 'the chance of severe asthma episodes, and death when those episodes occur.' Keep in mind that these episodes were rare and you should weigh the risk of having uncontrolled or poorly controlled asthma and not taking Advair if your child's asthma is not controlled with an inhaled corticosteroid alone.
What You Need To Know:
Although approved for children over age 4, some children under age 5 or 6 have a hard time using the breath-activated Advair Diskus. Alternative asthma controllers might include Pulmicort Respules, that can be given with a nebulizer, or using a Flovent MDI with a spacer and mask.
Other important information:
- long term use of Advair, and other inhaled corticosteroids, and increase the risk of eye problems, including cataracts and glaucoma
- your child may need to step up or down on his dose of Advair depending on how well his asthma is being controlled
- it is not uncommon for some children to say that they can not taste or feel the dose of Advair when they take it
- do not exceed the recommended dose of one inhalation twice a day
- Advair Diskus Prescribing Information Sheet. September 2004.
- Serevent Diskus, Advair Diskus, and Foradil FDA Public Health Advisory.