FLOVENT HFA (fluticasone propionate inhalation aerosol)

FLOVENT HFA (fluticasone propionate inhalation aerosol)

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FLOVENT HFA (fluticasone propionate inhalation aerosol)

FLOVENT HFA is a pressurized metered dose inhaler for oral inhalation. The active component of FLOVENT HFA 44 mcg, FLOVENT HFA 110 mcg, and FLOVENT HFA 220 mcg 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

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.

Indications and usage

FLOVENT HFA is indicated for the maintenance treatment of asthma as prophylactic therapy in adult and pediatric patients aged 4 years and older.

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

Mechanism of Action

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.

Administration Information

FLOVENT 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. A valved holding chamber and mask may be used to deliver FLOVENT HFA to young patients.

Priming: Prime FLOVENT 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 7 days or when it has been dropped, prime the inhaler again by shaking well for 5 seconds and releasing 1 spray into the air away from the face. Avoid spraying in eyes.

Adult and Adolescent Patients Aged 12 Years and Older: The recommended starting dosage for patients aged 12 years and older who are not on an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS): 88 mcg (2 inhalations of 44 mcg fluticasone propionate) twice daily by oral inhalation, approximately 12 hours apart.

  • The maximum recommended dosage for patients aged 12 years and older is 880 mcg twice daily.

Pediatric Patients Aged 4 to 11 Years: The recommended dosage for patients aged 4 to 11 years: 88 mcg (2 inhalations of 44 mcg fluticasone propionate) twice daily by oral inhalation, approximately 12 hours apart


FLOVENT 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

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

Acute Asthma Episodes: FLOVENT HFA is not to be regarded as a bronchodilator and is not indicated for rapid relief of bronchospasm. Patients should be instructed to contact their physicians immediately when episodes of asthma that are not responsive to bronchodilators occur during the course of treatment with FLOVENT HFA. During such episodes, patients may require therapy with oral corticosteroids.

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.

HPA Suppression/Adrenal Insufficiency: Particular care is needed for patients who have been transferred from systemically active corticosteroids to ICS because deaths due to adrenal insufficiency have occurred in patients with asthma during and after transfer from systemic corticosteroids to less systemically available ICS. After withdrawal from systemic corticosteroids, a number of months are required for recovery of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function.

Hypercorticism and Adrenal Suppression: Fluticasone propionate 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 FLOVENT 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.


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

Reduction in Bone Mineral Density: Decreases in bone mineral density (BMD) have been observed with long-term administration of products containing ICS. The clinical significance of small changes in BMD with regard to long-term consequences such as fracture is unknown

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 FLOVENT HFA routinely (e.g., via stadiometry). To minimize the systemic effects of orally inhaled corticosteroids, including FLOVENT HFA, titrate each patient’s dosage to the lowest dosage that effectively controls his/her symptoms

Paradoxical Bronchospasm: As with other inhaled medicines, bronchospasm may occur with an immediate increase in wheezing after dosing. If bronchospasm occurs following dosing with FLOVENT HFA, it should be treated immediately with an inhaled, short-acting bronchodilator; FLOVENT HFA should be discontinued immediately; and alternative therapy should be instituted

Eosinophilic Conditions and Churg-Strauss Syndrome: In rare cases, patients on inhaled fluticasone propionate 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.

Adverse reactions

Most common adverse reactions (incidence >3%) are upper respiratory tract infection or inflammation, throat irritation, sinusitis, dysphonia, candidiasis, cough, bronchitis, and headache

Drug interactions

Inhibitors of Cytochrome P450 3A4: Fluticasone propionate is a substrate of CYP3A4. The use of strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir, atazanavir, clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, saquinavir, ketoconazole, telithromycin) with FLOVENT HFA is not recommended because increased systemic corticosteroid adverse effects may occur.

Use in specific populations

Pregnancy: There are insufficient data on the use of FLOVENT HFA in pregnant women. There are clinical considerations with the use of FLOVENT 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 with asthma should be closely monitored and medication adjusted as necessary to maintain optimal asthma control.

Lactation: There are no available data on the presence of fluticasone propionate 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 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 FLOVENT HFA and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from FLOVENT HFA or from the underlying maternal condition.

Pediatric Use: The safety and effectiveness of FLOVENT HFA in pediatric patients aged 4 years and older have been established

Geriatric Use: Of the total number of subjects treated with FLOVENT HFA in U.S. and non-U.S. clinical trials, 173 were aged 65 years or older, 19 of which were 75 years or older. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger subjects, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Hepatic Impairment: Formal pharmacokinetic studies using FLOVENT HFA have not been conducted in patients with hepatic impairment. Since fluticasone propionate is predominantly cleared by hepatic metabolism, impairment of liver function may lead to accumulation of fluticasone propionate in plasma. Therefore, patients with hepatic disease should be closely monitored.

Renal Impairment: Formal pharmacokinetic studies using FLOVENT HFA have not been conducted in patients with renal impairment.


Chronic overdosage may result in signs/symptoms of hypercorticism

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.

Storage: 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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