Generic name: fluticasone inhalation [ floo-TIK-a-zone ]
Brand names: Arnuity Ellipta, Flovent Diskus, Flovent HFA
Drug class: Inhaled corticosteroids
What is Flovent HFA?
Flovent HFA is a steroid that is used to prevent asthma attacks in adults and children. This medicine is sometimes used together with steroid medicine taken by mouth.
Flovent brands of fluticasone inhalation may be used in children as young as 4 years old. Arnuity Ellipta should not be used in children younger than 5 years old, and ArmonAir should not be used in anyone younger than 12 years old.
Fluticasone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Flovent HFA is not a rescue medicine for asthma attacks. Seek medical attention if your breathing problems get worse quickly, or if you think your asthma medications are not working as well.
You should not use the inhalation powder if you are allergic to milk proteins.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Flovent HFA if you are allergic to fluticasone . Do not use the inhalation powder (ArmonAir RespiClick, Arnuity Ellipta or Flovent Diskus) if you are allergic to milk proteins.
Do not use Flovent HFA to treat an asthma attack that has already begun.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- any type of infection (bacterial, viral, or fungal);
- glaucoma or cataracts;
- an infection caused by parasites (such as giardia, malaria , leishmaniasis, hookworm, pinworm, toxoplasmosis, and many others);
- tuberculosis ;
- herpes infection of the eyes;
- liver disease ;
- low bone mineral density; or
- a weak immune system.
Long-term use of steroids may lead to bone loss ( osteoporosis ), especially if you smoke, if you do not exercise, if you do not get enough vitamin D or calcium in your diet, or if you have a family history of osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about your risk.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. It is not known whether fluticasone will harm an unborn baby. However, having untreated or uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy may cause complications such as low birth weight, premature birth, or eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure that can lead to medical problems in both mother and baby). The benefit of treating asthma may outweigh any risks to the baby.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
How should I use Flovent HFA?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed. Do not use the medicine more often than prescribed.
Flovent HFA is not a rescue medicine for asthma attacks. Use only fast-acting inhalation medicine for an attack. Seek medical attention if your breathing problems get worse quickly, or if you think your asthma medications are not working as well.
Flovent is a liquid form of fluticasone used with an inhaler device. This device creates a spray that you inhale through your mouth and into your lungs.
Flovent Diskus, ArmonAir, and Arnuity Ellipta are powder forms of fluticasone that come with a special inhaler device preloaded with blister packs containing measured doses of fluticasone. The device opens and loads a blister of fluticasone each time you use the inhaler.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.
Do not allow a young child to use this medicine without help from an adult.
To prevent a yeast infection, rinse your mouth with water (do not swallow) after using this medicine. Pay close attention to your dental hygiene. Fluticasone can cause cavities or tooth discoloration.
Your dose needs may change if you have surgery, are ill, are under stress , or have recently had an asthma attack. Do not change your medication dose or stop using fluticasone without your doctor’s advice.
You should not stop using Flovent HFA suddenly or your asthma could get worse.
If you stop taking any steroid medicine, you may need to stop gradually. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
In case of emergency, wear or carry medical identification to let others know you may need an oral steroid in an emergency.
Your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Your vision may also need to be checked at regular intervals.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks of treatment, or if symptoms get worse. If you use a peak flow meter at home, call your doctor if your numbers are lower than normal.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, light, and extreme heat or cold.
Store ArmonAir in the foil pouch and use the medicine right away after opening. Discard the empty pouch in a place children and pets cannot reach. Store in a dry place.
Store the powder forms in the unopened foil pouch or tray until ready to use. Throw away any unused medicine when the inhalations counter on your inhaler device shows “0.” Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Store the Flovent HFA canister with the mouthpiece down. Keep the canister away from open flame or high heat, such as in a car on a hot day. The canister may explode if it gets too hot. Do not puncture or burn an empty inhaler canister.
Detailed Flovent HFA dosage information
What happens if I miss a dose?
Skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the regular time. Do not use two doses at one time.
If you use Arnuity Ellipta, do not use more than 1 inhalation per day.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
An overdose of fluticasone is not expected to produce life threatening symptoms. Long term use of an inhaled steroid can lead to glaucoma, cataracts, thinning skin, changes in body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence , or loss of interest in sex.
What should I avoid while using Flovent HFA?
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chickenpox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medicine.
Flovent HFA side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives ; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Flovent HFA may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:
- weakness, tired feeling, nausea , vomiting , feeling like you might pass out;
- wheezing, choking, or other breathing problems after using Flovent HFA;
- blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain , or seeing halos around lights;
- worsening of your asthma symptoms;
- blood vessel inflammation–fever, cough, stomach pain, weight loss , skin rash , severe tingling, numbness , chest pain; or
- liver problems–upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Fluticasone can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.
Common side effects of Flovent HFA may include:
- cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat , sinus pain;
- low fever, cough, wheezing, chest tightness;
- hoarseness or deepened voice;
- white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
- headache ; or
- nausea, vomiting, upset stomach .
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Flovent HFA side effects (more detail)
What other drugs will affect Flovent HFA?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
- an antibiotic ;
- antifungal medicine;
- antiviral medicine to treat HIV or AIDS; or
- steroid medicine.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect fluticasone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins , and herbal products . Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.