ADVAIR HFA (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation aerosol)

ADVAIR HFA (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation aerosol)

ADVAIR HFA (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation aerosol)

ADVAIR HFA 45 mcg/21 mcg, ADVAIR HFA 115 mcg/21 mcg, and ADVAIR HFA 230 mcg/21 mcg are combinations of fluticasone propionate and salmeterol xinafoate.

One active component of ADVAIR HFA is fluticasone propionate, a corticosteroid having the chemical name S-(fluoromethyl) 6α,9-difluoro-11β,17-dihydroxy-16α-methyl-3-oxoandrosta1,4-diene-17β-carbothioate, 17-propionate

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 HFA 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.

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.

Indications and usage

ADVAIR HFA is indicated for treatment of asthma in adult and adolescent patients aged 12 years and older. ADVAIR HFA should be used for patients not adequately controlled on a long-term asthma control medication such as an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) or whose disease warrants initiation of treatment with both an ICS and long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA).

Limitations of Use: ADVAIR HFA is not indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm.

Mechanism of Action

ADVAIR HFA: ADVAIR HFA contains both fluticasone propionate and salmeterol. The mechanisms of action described below for the individual components apply to ADVAIR HFA. These drugs represent 2 different classes of medications (a synthetic corticosteroid and a LABA) that have different effects on clinical, physiologic, and inflammatory indices of asthma.

Fluticasone Propionate: Fluticasone propionate is a synthetic trifluorinated corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory activity. Fluticasone propionate has been shown in vitro to exhibit a binding affinity for the human glucocorticoid receptor that is 18 times that of dexamethasone, almost twice that of beclomethasone-17-monopropionate (BMP), the active metabolite of beclomethasone dipropionate, and over 3 times that of budesonide. Data from the McKenzie vasoconstrictor assay in man are consistent with these results. The clinical significance of these findings is unknown.

Inflammation is an important component in the pathogenesis of asthma. Corticosteroids have been shown to have a wide range of actions on multiple cell types (e.g., mast cells, eosinophils, neutrophils, macrophages, lymphocytes) and mediators (e.g., histamine, eicosanoids, leukotrienes, cytokines) involved in inflammation. These anti-inflammatory actions of corticosteroids contribute to their efficacy in asthma.

Salmeterol Xinafoate: Salmeterol is a selective LABA. In vitro studies show salmeterol to be at least 50 times more selective for beta2-adrenoceptors than albuterol. Although beta2-adrenoceptors are the predominant adrenergic receptors in bronchial smooth muscle and beta1-adrenoceptors are the predominant receptors in the heart, there are also beta2-adrenoceptors in the human heart comprising 10% to 50% of the total beta-adrenoceptors. The precise function of these receptors has not been established, but their presence raises the possibility that even selective beta2-agonists may have cardiac effects.

Dosage and administration

Administration Information ADVAIR HFA should be administered by the orally inhaled route only. After inhalation, rinse mouth with water without swallowing to help reduce the risk of oropharyngeal candidiasis.

Priming: Prime ADVAIR HFA before using for the first time by releasing 4 sprays into the air away from the face, shaking well for 5 seconds before each spray. In cases where the inhaler has not been used for more than 4 weeks or when it has been dropped, prime the inhaler again by releasing 2 sprays into the air away from the face, shaking well for 5 seconds before each spray. Avoid spraying in eyes.

Recommended Dosage:

Adult and adolescent patients aged 12 years and older: 2 oral inhalations twice daily, approximately 12 hours apart. The maximum recommended dosage is 2 inhalations of ADVAIR HFA 230 mcg/21 mcg twice daily.


ADVAIR HFA is contraindicated in the following conditions:

  • Primary treatment of status asthmaticus or other acute episodes of asthma where intensive measures are required
  • Hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients

Warnings and precautions

Serious Asthma-Related Events – Hospitalizations, Intubations, Death: Use of LABA as monotherapy (without ICS) for asthma is associated with an increased risk of asthma-related death. Available data from controlled clinical trials also suggest that use of LABA as monotherapy increases the risk of asthma-related hospitalization in pediatric and adolescent patients.

Deterioration of Disease and Acute Episodes: ADVAIR HFA should not be initiated in patients during rapidly deteriorating or potentially life-threatening episodes of asthma. ADVAIR HFA has not been studied in subjects with acutely deteriorating asthma. The initiation of ADVAIR HFA in this setting is not appropriate.

Avoid Excessive Use of ADVAIR HFA and Avoid Use with Other Long-acting Beta2-agonists: ADVAIR HFA should not be used more often than recommended, at higher doses than recommended, or in conjunction with other medicines containing LABA, as an overdose may result. Clinically significant cardiovascular effects and fatalities have been reported in association with excessive use of inhaled sympathomimetic drugs. Patients using ADVAIR HFA should not use another medicine containing a LABA (e.g., salmeterol, formoterol fumarate, arformoterol tartrate, indacaterol) for any reason.

Oropharyngeal Candidiasis: In clinical trials, the development of localized infections of the mouth and pharynx with Candida albicans has occurred in subjects treated with ADVAIR HFA. When such an infection develops, it should be treated with appropriate local or systemic (i.e., oral) antifungal therapy while treatment with ADVAIR HFA continues, but at times therapy with ADVAIR HFA may need to be interrupted.

Pneumonia: Lower respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia, have been reported in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) following the inhaled administration of corticosteroids, including fluticasone propionate and ADVAIR DISKUS.

Immunosuppression and Risk of Infections: Persons who are using drugs that suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chickenpox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in susceptible children or adults using corticosteroids. In such children or adults who have not had these diseases or been properly immunized, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure.

Hypercorticism and Adrenal Suppression: Fluticasone propionate, a component of ADVAIR HFA, will often help control asthma symptoms with less suppression of HPA function than therapeutically equivalent oral doses of prednisone. Since fluticasone propionate is absorbed into the circulation and can be systemically active at higher doses, the beneficial effects of ADVAIR HFA in minimizing HPA dysfunction may be expected only when recommended dosages are not exceeded and individual patients are titrated to the lowest effective dose.

Drug Interactions with Strong Cytochrome P450 3A4 Inhibitors: The use of strong cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir, atazanavir, clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, saquinavir, ketoconazole, telithromycin) with ADVAIR HFA is not recommended because increased systemic corticosteroid and increased cardiovascular adverse effects may occur.

Paradoxical Bronchospasm and Upper Airway Symptoms: As with other inhaled medicines, ADVAIR HFA can produce paradoxical bronchospasm, which may be life threatening. If paradoxical bronchospasm occurs following dosing with ADVAIR HFA, it should be treated immediately with an inhaled, short-acting bronchodilator; ADVAIR HFA should be discontinued immediately; and alternative therapy should be instituted.

Hypersensitivity Reactions, including Anaphylaxis: Immediate hypersensitivity reactions (e.g., urticaria, angioedema, rash, bronchospasm, hypotension), including anaphylaxis, may occur after administration of ADVAIR HFA

Cardiovascular and Central Nervous System Effects: Excessive beta-adrenergic stimulation has been associated with seizures, angina, hypertension or hypotension, tachycardia with rates up to 200 beats/min, arrhythmias, nervousness, headache, tremor, palpitation, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, malaise, and insomnia. Therefore, ADVAIR HFA, like all products containing sympathomimetic amines, should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders, especially coronary insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and hypertension

Reduction in Bone Mineral Density: Decreases in bone mineral density (BMD) have been observed with long-term administration of products containing ICS.

Effect on Growth: Orally inhaled corticosteroids may cause a reduction in growth velocity when administered to pediatric patients. Monitor the growth of pediatric patients receiving ADVAIR HFA routinely (e.g., via stadiometry).

Glaucoma and Cataracts: Glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, and cataracts have been reported in patients with asthma following the long-term administration of ICS, including fluticasone propionate, a component of ADVAIR HFA. Consider referral to an ophthalmologist in patients who develop ocular symptoms or use ADVAIR HFA long term

Eosinophilic Conditions and Churg-Strauss Syndrome: In rare cases, patients on inhaled fluticasone propionate, a component of ADVAIR HFA, may present with systemic eosinophilic conditions. Some of these patients have clinical features of vasculitis consistent with Churg-Strauss syndrome, a condition that is often treated with systemic corticosteroid therapy

Hypokalemia and Hyperglycemia: Beta-adrenergic agonist medicines may produce significant hypokalemia in some patients, possibly through intracellular shunting, which has the potential to produce adverse cardiovascular effect

Adverse reactions

Most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥3%) include: upper respiratory tract infection or inflammation, throat irritation, dysphonia, headache, Inhalation aerosol: dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

Drug interactions

ADVAIR HFA has been used concomitantly with other drugs, including short-acting beta2-agonists, methylxanthines, and nasal corticosteroids, commonly used in patients with asthma without adverse drug reactions. No formal drug interaction trials have been performed with ADVAIR HFA.

Inhibitors of Cytochrome P450 3A4: Fluticasone propionate and salmeterol, the individual components of ADVAIR HFA, are substrates of CYP3A4. The use of strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir, atazanavir, clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, saquinavir, ketoconazole, telithromycin) with ADVAIR HFA is not recommended because increased systemic corticosteroid and increased cardiovascular adverse effects may occur.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors and Tricyclic Antidepressants: ADVAIR HFA should be administered with extreme caution to patients being treated with monoamine oxidase inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants, or within 2 weeks of discontinuation of such agents, because the action of salmeterol, a component of ADVAIR HFA, on the vascular system may be potentiated by these agents.

Beta-adrenergic Receptor Blocking Agents: Beta-blockers not only block the pulmonary effect of beta-agonists, such as salmeterol, a component of ADVAIR HFA, but may also produce severe bronchospasm in patients with asthma. Therefore, patients with asthma should not normally be treated with beta-blockers. However, under certain circumstances, there may be no acceptable alternatives to the use of beta-adrenergic blocking agents for these patients; cardioselective beta-blockers could be considered, although they should be administered with caution.

Non–Potassium-Sparing Diuretics: The ECG changes and/or hypokalemia that may result from the administration of non–potassiumsparing diuretics (such as loop or thiazide diuretics) can be acutely worsened by beta-agonists, such as salmeterol, a component of ADVAIR HFA, especially when the recommended dose of the beta-agonist is exceeded. Although the clinical significance of these effects is not known, caution is advised in the coadministration of ADVAIR HFA with non–potassium-sparing diuretics.

Use in specific populations

Pregnancy: There are insufficient data on the use of ADVAIR HFA or individual monoproducts, fluticasone propionate and salmeterol xinafoate, in pregnant women. There are clinical considerations with the use of ADVAIR HFA in pregnant women.

In women with poorly or moderately controlled asthma, there is an increased risk of several perinatal outcomes such as pre-eclampsia in the mother and prematurity, low birth weight, and small for gestational age in the neonate. Pregnant women should be closely monitored and medication adjusted as necessary to maintain optimal control of asthma.

There are no human studies evaluating the effects of ADVAIR HFA during labor and delivery. Because of the potential for beta-agonist interference with uterine contractility, use of ADVAIR HFA during labor should be restricted to those patients in whom the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.

Lactation: There are no available data on the presence of fluticasone propionate or salmeterol in human milk, the effects on the breastfed child, or the effects on milk production. Other corticosteroids have been detected in human milk. However, fluticasone propionate and salmeterol concentrations in plasma after inhaled therapeutic doses are low and therefore concentrations in human breast milk are likely to be correspondingly low.

The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for ADVAIR HFA and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from ADVAIR HFA or from the underlying maternal condition.

Pediatric Use: The safety and effectiveness of ADVAIR HFA have been established in pediatric patients aged 12 years and older

Geriatric Use: Clinical trials of ADVAIR HFA did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 years and older to determine whether older subjects respond differently than younger subjects. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy


No human overdosage data has been reported for ADVAIR HFA.

ADVAIR HFA contains both fluticasone propionate and salmeterol; therefore, the risks associated with overdosage for the individual components described below apply to ADVAIR HFA. Treatment of overdosage consists of discontinuation of ADVAIR HFA together with institution of appropriate symptomatic and/or supportive therapy. The judicious use of a cardioselective beta-receptor blocker may be considered, bearing in mind that such medication can produce bronchospasm. Cardiac monitoring is recommended in cases of overdosage.

Storage and handling

Contents under Pressure: Do not puncture. Do not use or store near heat or open flame. Exposure to temperatures above 120°F may cause bursting. Never throw canister into fire or incinerator.


Store at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C); excursions permitted from 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C) [See USP Controlled Room Temperature]. Store the inhaler with the mouthpiece down. For best results, the inhaler should be at room temperature before use.

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