How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Fluticasone belongs to the class of medications called inhaled corticosteroids, which reduce symptoms and prevent asthma attacks by decreasing inflammation in the lungs and thereby opening the airways. When used regularly every day, inhaled fluticasone decreases the number and severity of asthma attacks. It may take up to 2 weeks to see a maximum effectiveness of this medication.

It will not relieve an asthma attack that has already started. Inhalers that contain "reliever" medications with fast action (e.g., salbutamol, terbutaline) will still be needed while using this medication.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

This medication consists of an inhaler with a plastic light grey body, dose counter, and orange mouthpiece cover. The inhaler encompasses a foil strip with blisters containing 100 µg or 200 µg fluticasone furoate.

100 µg 
Each blister contains 100 µg of micronized fluticasone furoate. Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose monohydrate.

200 µg
Each blister contains 200 µg of micronized fluticasone furoate. Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose monohydrate.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended dose is one inhalation of 100 µg or 200 µg once daily. Your doctor will determine your dose is based on how severe your asthma is.

If your doctor has asked you to use a "reliever" inhaler such as salbutamol or terbutaline with your fluticasone inhaler, you should use the reliever inhaler first, wait several minutes, and then use the fluticasone inhaler.

After inhaling the dose of medication, rinse your mouth with water and spit it out, to reduce the chances of developing thrush (yeast infection of the mouth or throat). If you have dentures, they should be cleaned after each dose.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Read the package insert or speak with your pharmacist for instructions on using the medication dispenser properly.

If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, away from direct heat or sunlight. Protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children. Discard any remaining medication 6 weeks after you have opened the lid of the tray that it is packaged in.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to fluticasone or any ingredients of the medication
  • are allergic to milk or lactose
  • are having an asthma attack with sudden shortness of breath or wheezing

Do not give this medication to children less than 12 years of age. 

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • back pain
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • hoarseness, voice change
  • sore mouth and tongue
  • stomach pain

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, chills, sore throat, muscle ache)
  • osteoporosis or bone fractures
  • signs of respiratory tract infection (e.g., fever or chills, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, weight loss, tightness in chest, difficulty breathing, or wheezing)
  • signs of too much corticosteroid (e.g., round face, rapid weight gain, increased sweating, thinning of skin, muscle weakness)
  • signs of thrush (e.g., white patches in mouth and throat, sore throat)
  • slowed growth (adolescents)
  • symptoms of decreased adrenal function (e.g., tiredness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, decreased blood pressure)
  • symptoms of glaucoma or cataracts (e.g., blurred vision, seeing halos of bright colours around lights, red eyes, increased pressure in your eyes, eye pain or discomfort)
  • worsening asthma symptoms

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
  • skin rash or hives

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Infection: This medication, like other corticosteroids, may prevent you from noticing the early signs of a serious infection. Try to limit the amount of time you spend around others who have recently had infections such as chickenpox or measles. If you do come into contact with someone who has one of these infections, contact your doctor for advice.

Glaucoma: This medication may cause the symptoms of glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) to become worse. If you have glaucoma, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Report any changes in vision to your doctor as soon as possible while you are taking this medication.

Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause fluticasone to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Non-responsive asthma: Contact your doctor immediately if you experience episodes of asthma that are not responsive to bronchodilators (such as salbutamol or terbutaline) while using this medication. During such episodes, further treatment may be needed.

Oral hygiene: Adequate oral hygiene is very important in minimizing the overgrowth of microorganisms such as candidiasis (thrush). Make sure you rinse your mouth with water after using the inhaler. If you do get a thrush infection, you may require treatment with antifungal therapy or you may have to stop using fluticasone, depending on the seriousness of the infection.

Stopping this medication: Do not stop this medication suddenly, as this may result in withdrawal symptoms such as stomach discomfort or pain, or worsening of asthma. Your doctor will tell you how to gradually lower the dose over a period of time in order to stop this medication properly.

Wheezing: This medication may cause the airways to spasm immediately after using the inhaler. If this happens, use your rescue inhaler as soon as possible to relieve the symptoms, then call your doctor as soon as possible.

Worsening of asthma: If you find you need to use your bronchodilators more often (e.g., salbutamol) to control asthma symptoms it may be an indication that your asthma is worsening. Worsening asthma can potentially become life-threatening. Your fluticasone dose may need to be increased. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to learn more about how to properly monitor for symptoms of worsening asthma.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if fluticasone passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children less than 12 years of age. Adolescents may experience slowing of growth while using this medication. Your doctor will monitor for this. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.  

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between fluticasone furoate and any of the following:

  • aldesleukin
  • amphotericin B
  • "azole" antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
  • baricitinib
  • BCG
  • bicalutamide
  • cobicistat
  • conivaptan
  • deferasirox
  • denosumab
  • diltiazem
  • dronedarone
  • echinacea
  • fingolimod
  • grapefruit juice
  • HIV protease inhibitors (atazanavir, darunavir, lopinavir, ritonavir)
  • hyaluronidase
  • ivacaftor
  • leflunomide
  • loop diuretics (e.g., bumetanide, furosemide)
  • macrolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin)
  • mifepristone
  • natalizumab
  • nefazodone
  • nivolumab
  • pimecrolimus
  • certain protein kinase inhibitors (e.g., crizotinib, dasatinib, idelalisib, imatinib)
  • stiripentol
  • tacrolimus
  • thiazide diuretics (water pills; e.g., hydrochlorothiazide, indapamide, metolazone)
  • tofacitinib
  • trastuzumab
  • vaccines
  • verapamil

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

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