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Flovent and Asthma- What You Need To Know About Flovent

Flovent- Fluticasone Propionate- An Inhaled Steroid

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Updated June 30, 2014

Asthma Inhaler
Science Photo Library - IAN HOOTON. Collection/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

What Is Flovent?

Flovent is an inhaled steroid used as a controller medication in the treatment of asthma. Flovent and other inhaled steroids are the recommended first treatment if you need more than a rescue inhaler for your asthma. Flovent is prescribed either alone or in combination with long acting beta agonists to prevent your asthma symptoms such as:

How Does Flovent Work?

Flovent decreases inflammation by acting directly on the airways when inhaled into the lungs. Additionally, Flovent decreases airway hyper-responsiveness, which will make your airways less likely to strongly respond to an asthma trigger.

Additionally, Flovent acts on a number of different types of cells involved in the pathophysiology of asthma:

The end result of decreased inflammation, mucus production, and hypereponsiveness is a decrease in wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. Unlike your quick relief medications like a short acting beta agonist, Flovent is used to control chronic asthma symptoms and needs to be taken daily.

How Is Flovent Prescribed?

Flovent is prescribed as an aerosol in a metered dose inhaler and is available in several different strengths. Generally, you will take 1 to 2 puffs twice per day and Flovent needs to be taken daily no matter how well your asthma symptoms are controlled. If you feel your asthma is really well controlled, you can talk with your doctor about decreasing the strength of your dose.

The active component in Flovent, fluticasone propionate, is also contained in Cutivate for the treatment of skin conditions and in Veramyst used in the treatment of nasal allergies.

Possible Risks & Side Effects of Flovent

While using Flovent is generally safe, Flovent does carry some risk of side effects like all other medications. In general, the side effects of Flovent are similar to the side effects of other inhaled steroids. While most side effects will decrease with continued use, make sure to tell your doctor if they continue or bother you significantly. Likewise, let your doctor know right away if you experience any of the following:

What You Need To Know About Flovent

The most important factor in utilizing Flovent to improve your asthma symptoms is taking it correctly. Only 70% of asthmatics take their inhaled steroids as directed by their physicians. Only using Flovent when you are experiencing asthma symptoms is not a good way to control your asthma.

Using Flovent with a spacer not only can increase the amount of medication that gets to your lungs, but also helps decrease the amount of side effects. If you do not want to use a spacer, it is very important to learn how to use a MDI appropriately.

Know When To Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor about your asthma if:

  • Your asthma gets worse after taking Flovent
  • Your rescue inhaler is no longer relieving your asthma symptoms
  • You are consistently using your asthma inhaler more than twice per week
  • Your peak flows are worsening
  • You use your entire rescue inhaler at least every 2 months, or more frequently

Sources:

GlaxoSmithKline. Flovent Prescribing Information Accessed September 5, 2009.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Accessed: September 5, 2009. Expert Panel Report 3 (EPR3): Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma

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