HF 6844

Asthma Controller Medicine-Inhaled Corticosteroid & Long Acting Bronchodilator (Combined Medicines)

The name of your controller medicine is ____________________________.

Combined medicines are used to control and prevent asthma symptoms. Use this inhaler every day whether you have symptoms or not. Your controller inhaler has a corticosteroid (Flovent® or Pulmicort®) to decrease airway swelling and a long acting bronchodilator (Serevent® or Foradil®) to open and relax the airways.

How does it work?

  • Makes airways less “twitchy.”

  • Decreases phlegm.

  • Decreases asthma symptoms. 

Types

  • Advair® Diskus: 3 strengths: 100/50 mcg, 250/50 mcg, & 500/50 mcg

    • Combines Flovent® (fluticasone) & Serevent® (salmeterol). 

  • Advair HFA® Inhaler: 3 strengths: 45/21 mcg, 115/21 mcg, and 230/21 mcg

    • Combines Flovent® (fluticasone) & Serevent® (salmeterol). Prime with 4 test sprays away from face before first use. Shake for 5 seconds before each test spray. If dropped or not used for 4 weeks, spray 2 test sprays away from face. Shake for 5 seconds before each spray.

  • Breo Ellipta: 2 strengths: 100/25 mcg & 200/25 mcg

    • Each time the cover is opened, a new dose will be ready to use. Do not open cover until ready to use.

  • Symbicort HFA® Inhaler: 2 strengths: 80/4.5 mcg and 160/4.5 mcg

    • Combines Pulmicort® (budesonide) & Foradil® (formoterol). Prime with 2 test sprays before first use and if not used for 7 days.

  • Dulera HFA® Inhaler: 2 strengths: 100/5 mcg and 200/5 mcg

    • Combines Asmanex® (mometasone) & Foradil® (formoterol). Prime with 4 test sprays before first use and if not used for 5 days.

Side Effects

  • Hoarse voice

  • Cough

  • Yeast infection in the mouth (thrush)

  • Faster heartbeat

  • Feeling shaky

How can I decrease side effects?

  • Always rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth after using. Do not swallow the water.

  • Use a spacer device. Do not use a spacer with Diskus, DPI.

  • Wash your face after using a mask with the spacer.

People with severe asthma who have taken high doses of inhaled corticosteroids for a long time are at greatest risk for side effects. Your doctor or nurse will review these side effects with you.

Tips When Using Metered Dose Inhalers (Advair HFA®, Symbicort HFA® and Dulera HFA®)

  • Spacers are usually replaced once a year.

  • Shake for 5 seconds before each use.

  • Keep track of when your inhaler expires, especially if it is used as needed.

  • Each inhaler has a set amount of puffs. They are also called actuations. If your inhaler does not have a counter on it, you need to keep track of how many puffs you use each day so you know when your inhaler is empty. Mark on a calendar when you start a new inhaler and when it will be empty.    

How do I clean the inhaler and spacer?

Once a week, after your evening dose, use a clean, dry cotton swab or tissue to clean the opening where the puff sprays out of the inhaler. Wash the spacer with hot water and dish soap weekly. Rinse with warm water and air dry on a clean towel.