What are the Side Effects of Advair&Reg;?

Maggie J. Hall

As Advair®, also known as Seretide®, contains a corticosteroid and a beta-2 adrenoceptor agonist, possible side effects involve adrenal gland suppression, immunosupression and smooth muscle relaxation. This combination medication is usually provided to patients suffering from asthma, emphysema and other chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders for the expected effects of reducing inflammation and relaxing airways. By reducing inflammatory responses, the medication interferes with the body's natural immune responses creating an opportunity for invading organisms or overgrowth of existing organisms.

Headaches are a common side effect of Advair®.
Headaches are a common side effect of Advair®.

The inhalant medication contains fluticasone propionate and salmeterol. Fluticasone propionate reduces inflammation by inhibiting certain white blood cells and the chemicals they produce. Salmeterol relaxes the smooth muscle tissue in the lungs and produces bronchial dilation. This response may occur in smooth muscle anywhere in the body, but the medication generally targets the pulmonary system.

Nausea is a common side effect of  Advair®.
Nausea is a common side effect of Advair®.

Common Advair® side effects include headache and dizziness along with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Certain individuals experience drying of the nasal and oral cavities when using Advair®. Cough, accompanied by nasal congestion and sinus discomfort may also occur along with a hoarse or deepened voice.

Advair® can cause a cough with a hoarse voice.
Advair® can cause a cough with a hoarse voice.

The immune properties of the corticosteroid generally compromise the body’s natural defenses and many persons suffer yeast infections as evidenced by white patches, inflamed oral cavities or open sores, necessitating oral rinsing after every use. Other patients might develop more serious respiratory infections, including pneumonia.

Some patients experience an increased severity of symptoms while using Advair®, and patients developing an infection as a side effect of Advair® diskus use might experience chills, fever, rapid or irregular heartbeat and a productive cough containing green or yellow mucus. Exacerbated infections usually occur in persons who have an existing infection or a weakened immune system.

A dangerous allergic reaction involving swelling of the nasal, oral and respiratory cavities may occur as a result of Advair® usage. For this reason, the medication is generally not recommended for persons having certain drug or food allergies. Persons having breathing difficulty accompanied by chest tightness and wheezing should seek medical assistance.

The medication also increases the risk of cataract development, and individuals might notice blurred vision and eye pain, or begin seeing halos around lights. Patients must inform a health care provider if they have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or glaucoma before receiving a prescription.

Advair® side effects also include possible adrenal gland suppression and bone density loss, experienced as bone or muscle pain. Other persons typically having an increased risk of Advai® side effects include those having osteoporosis, thyroid or liver disorders.

Advair® is available as a diskus inhaler.
Advair® is available as a diskus inhaler.

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