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Flovent HFA
Flovent HFA

Fluticasone

Flovent HFA

Flovent HFA, a brand name medication for fluticasone, is a reliable inhaler for asthma management, designed to reduce inflammation and keep airways open. Suitable for daily use, it comes in doses of 44 mcg, 110 mcg, and 220 mcg per inhalation, typically taken twice a day. Flovent inhaler helps maintain consistent lung health and prevents asthma symptoms, making it a vital part of asthma care routines. Always use as your healthcare provider directs to ensure maximum benefit and safety.

Product Overview

Flovent HFA (fluticasone) is an FDA-approved prescription medication used for the maintenance and treatment of asthma. It is a corticosteroid that copies the action of cortisol, a hormone naturally produced by the body. When inhaled, Flovent HFA reduces inflammation and widens air passages in the lungs, helping to manage asthma symptoms and prevent attacks. It is available in three dose strengths: 44 mcg, 110 mcg, and 220 mcg, with the recommended dosage being two inhalations at each use. The standard starting dose for adults is 88 mcg twice daily, while children aged 4 to 11 years typically start with the same dosage.

Flovent HFA works by targeting inflamed tissues in the airways, decreasing swelling and irritation. This action helps to keep the airways open and makes breathing easier. It’s important to note that Flovent HFA is a long-term maintenance medication and is not intended for the immediate relief of acute asthma attacks.

Common side effects may include respiratory symptoms, fever, coughing, voice changes, and gastrointestinal disturbances. Serious side effects like severe allergic reactions, bronchospasm, fungal infections, altered stress hormone levels, and eye problems should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately. Flovent HFA should be stored at room temperature, away from heat and open flames. Regular check-ups are recommended for long-term users to monitor progress and side effects.

Uses of Flovent HFA

  • Maintenance & treatment of asthma

How to Take it?

Dosage

Strengths and Forms

The inhaler is made of plastic and contains a pressurized canister with 120 measured doses equipped with a counter. It comes in three dose strengths:

  • Flovent HFA 44 mcg 
  • Flovent HFA 110 mcg 
  • Flovent HFA 220 mcg 

Recommended Dosage for Different Patients 

Users should take 2 inhalations at each use.

For individuals aged 12 years and older:

  • Standard starting dose: 88 mcg (two 44 mcg inhalations) twice daily.
  • Maximum dose: 880 mcg twice daily.

For children aged 4 to 11 years:

  • Standard dose: 88 mcg (two 44 mcg inhalations) twice daily.

[Note: Remember these recommendations may vary depending on person to person. Discuss it with your doctor, and they’ll customize your dosage accordingly.]

How to Take It?

Steps to take the Flovent HFA inhaler:

  1. Remove the cap from the Flovent HFA inhaler.
  2. Hold the inhaler with your middle or index finger on the canister and your thumb underneath the mouthpiece.
  3. Shake the inhaler well for 5-10 seconds.
  4. Exhale fully to prepare for inhaling the medication.
  5. Place the mouthpiece in your mouth and close your lips around it, ensuring your teeth or tongue do not block the mouthpiece.
  6. Press down on the canister firmly while taking a deep, slow breath through your mouth.
  7. Hold your breath for 5-10 seconds, then exhale slowly.
  8. If you want to take more than one puff, wait 30 seconds before you repeat steps 3-7.
  9. Once you have used the Flovent inhaler, rinse your mouth with water to reduce the risk of a mouth infection. Spit out the water; do not swallow it.

 [Note: Your doctor will decide the right amount for you based on your condition, following guidelines and studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Flovent HFA Work?

Flovent HFA (fluticasone) reduces inflammation in the airways of the lungs. It belongs to a class of medications called inhaled corticosteroids. When inhaled, fluticasone targets the inflamed tissues in the airways, decreasing swelling and irritation. This action helps to prevent and control asthma symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath by keeping the airways open and making breathing easier. It’s important to note that Flovent HFA is a long-term maintenance medication and is not intended for the immediate relief of acute asthma attacks.

Important Safety Information 

Side Effects

Possible common side effects from Flovent HFA use might encompass:

  • Respiratory symptoms like nasal congestion, sneezing, throat discomfort, and sinus ache;
  • Slight fever, coughing, breathlessness, and feeling of chest constriction;
  • Change in voice timbre, leading to a rough or deeper sound;
  • Appearance of white spots or lesions inside the mouth or on the lips;
  • Head discomfort;
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances include nausea, vomiting, or stomach upset.

[Note- This list does not cover all potential side effects; additional reactions may occur. It’s advisable to consult a healthcare provider for guidance on side effects. Adverse effects can be reported to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 for further monitoring and evaluation.]

Adverse/Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of the following severe side effects after using Flovent HFA, you should contact your doctor right away:

  • Feeling weak or very tired, along with nausea, vomiting, or feeling faint;
  • Difficulty breathing, wheezing, or choking;
  • Changes in vision, like blurred or tunnel vision, pain in the eyes, or seeing halos around lights;
  • Your asthma symptoms are getting worse;
  • Signs of blood vessel inflammation, which could include fever, coughing, stomach pain, weight loss, a skin rash, intense tingling or numbness, and chest pain;
  • Symptoms of liver issues include pain in the upper stomach, not feeling hungry, dark-colored urine, stools that are light in color, or yellowing of the skin or eyes. 

[Note: Remember, this list may not cover all possible side effects. Always consult with your healthcare giver for medical advice about side effects.]

Warnings

Flovent (fluticasone) may lead to significant health concerns, and this risk could be greater for specific individuals. If you have problems, discussing alternative treatments with your doctor or pharmacist is important.

Severe Allergic Reactions

Serious allergic reactions to Flovent (fluticasone), such as facial swelling, shock, and anaphylaxis, can occur. If you experience symptoms like hives, rash, swelling of lips or tongue, or trouble breathing after using Flovent, seek immediate medical help.

Narrowing of Your Airways (Bronchospasm)

Inhaled drugs like Flovent (fluticasone) can occasionally trigger a lung muscle spasm (bronchospasm), resulting in breathing difficulties, wheezing, cough, and chest pain. If you experience shortness of breath after using Flovent, immediately use your rescue inhaler and seek medical help.

Fungal Infection in the Mouth

Using Flovent (fluticasone), a steroid inhaler, can increase the risk of a fungal infection known as thrush in the mouth and throat, especially if you don’t rinse and spit after use or have a weakened immune system. To reduce this risk, always rinse your mouth post-inhalation. If you experience symptoms like white patches, discomfort when eating or swallowing, or a loss of taste, consult your healthcare provider for possible antifungal treatment.

Altered Stress Hormone Levels

Long-term or excessive use of Flovent (fluticasone) can lead to its absorption into the body, affecting cortisol levels. This might result in symptoms of Cushing’s disease, such as abdominal weight gain, facial puffiness, muscle weakness, or symptoms of low cortisol like fatigue, appetite loss, nausea, and vomiting. These issues may require medical intervention. Following the prescribed dosage and limiting use to the minimum necessary duration is crucial to avoid these side effects.

Delayed Growth in Children

Flovent (fluticasone) may slow down growth in children, but growth rates often return to normal after stopping the medication. The long-term impact on growth is not fully understood, so children should use the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. If you’re worried about the effects on your child’s growth, consult their healthcare provider to determine if Flovent is suitable.

Eye and Vision Problems

Long-term Flovent (fluticasone) use can increase eye pressure and the risk of glaucoma and cataracts, especially in those with a history of these conditions. Consult your eye care specialist before using Flovent if you have glaucoma or cataracts or if you experience any vision changes during treatment.

Precautions

  • Regular check-ups are crucial if using this medication long-term to monitor progress and side effects.
  • This medicine may reduce asthma episodes but can increase the risk of a severe attack. Read the patient information leaflet and discuss risks with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do not use this medicine for an ongoing asthma attack. Your doctor will prescribe a short-acting inhaler for acute attacks. Ensure you know how to use the short-acting inhaler properly.
  • Seek medical attention if symptoms don’t improve after 2 weeks or worsen or if the short-acting inhaler becomes less effective or is needed more frequently.
  • Inform your doctor immediately if you notice white patches in the mouth or throat or pain when eating or swallowing, as this could indicate a fungal infection (thrush).
  • Do not alter your dosage or stop using the medicine without consulting your doctor.
  • Carry a medical ID card showing you are using this medicine, as you may need additional medication during emergencies or severe asthma attacks.
  • Long-term use or overuse may lead to adrenal gland problems. Consult your doctor if you experience symptoms such as darkened skin, diarrhea, dizziness, loss of appetite, depression, muscle weakness, rash, unusual tiredness, or vomiting.
  • If you experience worsening breathing or wheezing after using this medicine, seek medical attention immediately, as this could be a sign of paradoxical bronchospasm.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, such as chest tightness, rash, itching, hoarseness, cough, swelling on the face or limbs, trouble breathing, or swallowing.
  • Long-term use may decrease bone mineral density. Discuss any concerns with your doctor.
  • Report any changes in vision to your doctor immediately. Your or your child’s eyes may need to be checked by an eye doctor.
  • This medicine may slow down growth in children. Discuss any concerns with your child’s doctor.
  • Do not take other medicines, including prescription, nonprescription, herbal, or vitamin supplements, without discussing them with your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once to make up for a missed dose.

[Note: If you have missed a dose of your medication and are unsure about when to take the next one, immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist.]

Overdose 

Taking too much fluticasone usually won’t cause life-threatening issues. However, using an inhaled steroid over a long period can result in eye problems like glaucoma and cataracts, thinner skin, changes in where your body stores fat (such as in your face, neck, back, and waist), more acne or facial hair, issues with menstrual cycles, erectile dysfunction, or a decreased sex drive.

[Note: If you consumed more than recommended dose, get medical help right away, or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]

Storage

  • Store the Flovent HFA inhaler at normal temperature, within the range of 68°F to 77°F (20°C and 25°C), with the mouthpiece facing downwards.
  • The ingredients of the Flovent HFA inhaler are pressurized. Do not puncture the canister.
  • Avoid using or storing the inhaler near heat or open flames. Exposure to temperatures above 120°F may cause the canister to burst.
  • Do not dispose of the inhaler in a fire or incinerator.
  • Discard Flovent HFA in the trash when the counter shows 000.
  • Keep Flovent HFA and all medications out of reach of children.

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare professional about the proper disposal of any unused medicine and any questions you may have regarding its storage.]

Drug Interactions of Flovent HFA

Flovent HFA (fluticasone) can interact with certain medications and substances, affecting how it works or increasing the risk of side effects. Some of the interactions to be aware of include

CYP3A4 Inhibitors: Medications that comprise the CYP3A4 enzyme, such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, ritonavir, and clarithromycin, can boost the levels of fluticasone in the body, potentially leading to increased side effects.

Other Corticosteroids: Using Flovent HFA with other corticosteroids, whether taken orally, injected, or applied topically, can increase the risk of systemic corticosteroid side effects, such as weakened immune system, adrenal suppression and decreased bone density.

Bronchodilators: While not necessarily a negative interaction, it’s important to correctly use Flovent HFA and fast-acting bronchodilators (such as albuterol). Usually, the bronchodilator is used first to open the airways, followed by Flovent HFA to reduce inflammation.

Vaccines: Live vaccines should be used cautiously in patients receiving corticosteroids like Flovent HFA, as the immune response may be reduced.

Diuretics: Non-potassium-sparing diuretics, such as loop or thiazide diuretics, can increase the risk of low potassium levels when used with corticosteroids like Flovent HFA.

[Note: This isn’t a complete list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Flovent HFA. Make sure to tell your doctor any prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal products you’re taking.]

Flovent HFA Alternatives

[Note: Your doctor will choose what’s best for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Taking them by yourself may cause serious side effects.] 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Flovent HFA (fluticasone) suitable for treating an asthma attack?

No, Flovent HFA (fluticasone) should not be used on an as-needed basis or as a rescue inhaler for an asthma attack. It is a long-acting corticosteroid that gradually reduces lung inflammation to keep airways open.

What precautions should I take while using Flovent HFA?

While on Flovent HFA, stay away from individuals who are ill or have infections. If you come into contact with chickenpox or measles, immediately seek preventive care from your doctor. Being exposed to these illnesses can be particularly severe or even deadly for those on steroid medications.

Who should avoid using Flovent HFA?

Flovent HFA should not be used:

  • For immediate relief of breathing difficulties.
  • As a rescue inhaler.

If you have an allergy to fluticasone propionate or any other components of Flovent HFA. Refer to the section “What are the ingredients in Flovent HFA?” for a full list of ingredients.

Can Flovent HFA be used daily?

The recommended dosage for the fluticasone inhaler is one or two puffs, taken twice daily. To effectively manage your symptoms, it’s crucial to use your fluticasone inhaler or nebulizer consistently, even when you’re not experiencing symptoms. After each use, make sure to replace the lid to maintain the cleanliness of the inhaler.

How to clean a Flovent HFA inhaler?

To clean your Flovent HFA inhaler, follow these steps once a week after your evening dose:

  • Take off the cap.
  • Clean the small circular opening where the medicine comes out of the canister with a clean, dry swab.
  • Use a clean tissue moistened with water to wipe the inside of the mouthpiece.
  • Allow it to dry overnight.
  • Once dry, place the cap back on the mouthpiece.

How long should you use Flovent HFA (fluticasone) for asthma management?

The duration of Flovent HFA (fluticasone) use for asthma control varies from person to person. Some individuals may require the inhaler throughout their lives, while others might need it only temporarily. Flovent HFA is a long-term medication designed for daily, scheduled use to maintain low lung inflammation and keep airways open, thereby preventing asthma attacks. It is crucial to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding Flovent HFA usage and not to discontinue the medication without consulting them. Adhering to the prescribed treatment plan ensures optimal effectiveness of the medication in managing asthma.

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