Common brand names:
This product is used to control and prevent symptoms (wheezing and shortness of breath) caused by asthma. It contains 2 medications: fluticasone and salmeterol. Fluticasone belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It works by reducing the irritation and swelling of the airways. Salmeterol belongs to the class of drugs known as long-acting beta agonists. It works by opening airways in the lungs to make breathing easier. Controlling symptoms of breathing problems can decrease time lost from work or school.
This medication must be used regularly to be effective. It does not work immediately and should not be used to relieve sudden shortness of breath or asthma attacks. If sudden breathing problems occur, use your quick-relief inhaler (such as albuterol, also called salbutamol in some countries) as prescribed.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This medication may also be used to control and prevent symptoms (wheezing and shortness of breath) caused by ongoing lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema).
How to Use This Medication
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. Read the patient instructions for directions on how to use this inhaler properly. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Follow the instructions for priming the inhaler if you are using it for the first time, if you have not used it for a long time (depending on your product, for more than 1 week or 4 weeks), or if you dropped the inhaler. When priming the inhaler, make sure to spray away from the face so that you do not get the medication into your eyes.
Shake the inhaler well for 5 seconds before each use. Inhale this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily (in the morning and evening, 12 hours apart).
If two inhalations/puffs are prescribed, wait about 30 seconds between them. Shake the inhaler well between each puff. If you are using other inhalers at the same time, wait at least 1 minute between using each medication, and use this drug last.
Gargle and rinse your mouth with water after each use of this medication to help prevent irritation and yeast infections (thrush) in the mouth and throat. Do not swallow the rinse water.
Clean the inhaler at least once a week as directed in the Medication Guide.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. This medication works best if used at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day. Do not increase your dose, use this medication more frequently, or stop using it without first consulting your doctor. Also, do not use other long-acting beta agonists while using this medication.
If you have been using a quick-relief inhaler (such as albuterol, also called salbutamol in some countries) on a regular daily schedule (such as 4 times daily), you must stop this schedule and only use the quick-relief inhaler as needed for sudden shortness of breath/asthma attacks. Consult your doctor for details.
If you are regularly using a different corticosteroid taken by mouth (such as prednisone), you should not stop using it unless directed by your doctor. You may have withdrawal symptoms if the drug is suddenly stopped. Some conditions (such as asthma, allergies) may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. To prevent withdrawal symptoms (such as weakness, weight loss, nausea, muscle pain, headache, tiredness, dizziness), your doctor may direct you to slowly lower the dose of your old medication after you begin using this product. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately. See also Precautions section.
It may take 1 week or longer before you get the full benefit of this drug. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen.
Learn which of your inhalers you should use every day (controller drugs) and which you should use if your breathing suddenly worsens (quick-relief drugs). Ask your doctor ahead of time what you should do if you have new or worsening cough or shortness of breath, wheezing, increased sputum, worsening peak flow meter readings, waking up at night with trouble breathing, if you use your quick-relief inhaler more often (more than 2 days a week), or if your quick-relief inhaler does not seem to be working well. Learn when you can treat sudden breathing problems by yourself and when you must get medical help right away.
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Information expires June 2016.