November 26, 2015
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Advair Diskus

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Advair Diskus

(fluticasone propionate 100 mcg and salmeterol 50 mcg) Inhalation Powder

(fluticasone propionate 250 mcg and salmeterol 50 mcg) Inhalation Powder

(fluticasone propionate 500 mcg and salmeterol 50 mcg) Inhalation Powder



Long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists (LABA), such as salmeterol, one of the active ingredients in ADVAIR DISKUS®, increase the risk of asthma-related death. Data from a large placebo-controlled US trial that compared the safety of salmeterol with placebo added to usual asthma therapy showed an increase in asthma-related deaths in subjects receiving salmeterol (13 deaths out of 13,176 subjects treated for 28 weeks on salmeterol versus 3 deaths out of 13,179 subjects on placebo). Currently available data are inadequate to determine whether concurrent use of inhaled corticosteroids or other long-term asthma control drugs mitigates the increased risk of asthma-related death from LABA. Available data from controlled clinical trials suggest that LABA increase the risk of asthma-related hospitalization in pediatric and adolescent patients.

Therefore, when treating patients with asthma, physicians should only prescribe ADVAIR DISKUS for patients not adequately controlled on a long-term asthma control medication, such as an inhaled corticosteroid, or whose disease severity clearly warrants initiation of treatment with both an inhaled corticosteroid and a LABA. Once asthma control is achieved and maintained, assess the patient at regular intervals and step down therapy (e.g., discontinue ADVAIR DISKUS) if possible without loss of asthma control and maintain the patient on a long-term asthma control medication, such as an inhaled corticosteroid. Do not use ADVAIR DISKUS for patients whose asthma is adequately controlled on low- or medium-dose inhaled corticosteroids [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].


ADVAIR DISKUS 100/50, ADVAIR DISKUS 250/50, and ADVAIR DISKUS 500/50 are combinations of fluticasone propionate and salmeterol xinafoate.26

One active component of ADVAIR DISKUS is fluticasone propionate, a corticosteroid having the chemical name S-(fluoromethyl) 6α,9-difluoro-11β,17-dihydroxy-16α-methyl-3-oxoandrosta-1,4-diene-17β-carbothioate, 17-propionate and the following chemical structure:

Fluticasone propionate - Structural Formula Illustration

Fluticasone propionate is a white powder with a molecular weight of 500.6, and the empirical formula is C25H31F3O5S. It is practically insoluble in water, freely soluble in dimethyl sulfoxide and dimethylformamide, and slightly soluble in methanol and 95% ethanol.

The other active component of ADVAIR DISKUS is salmeterol xinafoate, a beta2-adrenergic bronchodilator. Salmeterol xinafoate is the racemic form of the 1-hydroxy-2-naphthoic acid salt of salmeterol. It has the chemical name 4-hydroxy-α1-[[[6-(4-phenylbutoxy)hexyl]amino]methyl]-1,3-benzenedimethanol, 1-hydroxy-2-naphthalenecarboxylate and the following chemical structure:

Salmeterol - Structural Formula Illustration

Salmeterol xinafoate is a white powder with a molecular weight of 603.8, and the empirical formula is C25H37NO4•C11H8O3. It is freely soluble in methanol; slightly soluble in ethanol, chloroform, and isopropanol; and sparingly soluble in water.

ADVAIR DISKUS is a purple plastic inhaler containing a foil blister strip. Each blister on the strip contains a white powder mix of micronized fluticasone propionate (100, 250, or 500 mcg) and micronized salmeterol xinafoate salt (72.5 mcg, equivalent to 50 mcg of salmeterol base) in 12.5 mg of formulation containing lactose monohydrate (which contains milk proteins). After the inhaler is activated, the powder is dispersed into the airstream created by the patient inhaling through the mouthpiece.

Under standardized in vitro test conditions, ADVAIR DISKUS delivers 93, 233, and 465 mcg of fluticasone propionate and 45 mcg of salmeterol base per blister from ADVAIR DISKUS 100/50, ADVAIR DISKUS 250/50, and ADVAIR DISKUS 500/50, respectively, when tested at a flow rate of 60 L/min for 2 seconds.

In adult subjects with obstructive lung disease and severely compromised lung function (mean FEV1 20% to 30% of predicted), mean peak inspiratory flow (PIF) through the DISKUS® inhaler was 82.4 L/min (range: 46.1 to 115.3 L/min).

Inhalation profiles for adolescent (N = 13, aged 12 to 17 years) and adult (N = 17, aged 18 to 50 years) subjects with asthma inhaling maximally through the DISKUS inhaler show mean PIF of 122.2 L/min (range: 81.6 to 152.1 L/min). Inhalation profiles for pediatric subjects with asthma inhaling maximally through the DISKUS inhaler show a mean PIF of 75.5 L/min (range: 49.0 to 104.8 L/min) for the 4-year-old subject set (N = 20) and 107.3 L/min (range: 82.8 to 125.6 L/min) for the 8-year-old subject set (N = 20).

The actual amount of drug delivered to the lung will depend on patient factors, such as inspiratory flow profile.

What are the possible side effects of fluticasone and salmeterol (Advair Diskus, Advair HFA)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • bronchospasm (wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing);
  • fast or uneven heart beats, restless feeling, tremor;
  • fever, chills, stabbing chest pain, cough with yellow or green mucus;
  • blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
  • white patches or sores inside your...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Advair Diskus »

What are the precautions when taking fluticasone propionate (Advair Diskus)?

Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to fluticasone or salmeterol; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as lactose, milk proteins), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: current/past infections (such as tuberculosis, herpes), high blood pressure, bone loss (osteoporosis), heart disease (such as chest pain, heart attack, irregular heartbeat), overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes, eye problems (such as cataracts, glaucoma), seizures, liver disease.

Salmeterol may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT...

Read All Potential Precautions of Advair Diskus »

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/21/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Advair Diskus - User Reviews

Advair Diskus User Reviews

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