Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Respiratory

Asthma Controller Medicine (Combined Medicines) (6844)

Asthma Controller Medicine (Combined Medicines) (6844) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Respiratory


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. They need to be taken
every day whether you have symptoms or not. These controller inhalers contain a
corticosteroid (Flovent® or Pulmicort®) to decrease airway swelling and a long acting
bronchodilator (Serevent® or Foradil®) to open and relax the airways.

When combined, they help to
ξ Make airways less “twitchy”
ξ Decrease phlegm
ξ Decrease asthma symptoms

Names of these medcines are:
ξ Advair® Diskus: 3 strengths: 100/50, 250/50, & 500/50
o Combines Flovent® (fluticasone) & Serevent® (salmeterol)
o Prime with 4 test sprays before 1st use and if not used for 4 weeks

ξ Advair HFA® Inhaler: 3 strengths: 45/21, 115/21, and 230/21
o Combines Flovent® (fluticasone) & Serevent® (salmeterol)
o Prime with 4 test sprays before 1st use and if not used for 4 weeks

ξ Symbicort HFA® Inhaler: 2 strengths: 80/4.5 and 160/4.5
o Combines Pulmicort® (budesonide) & Foradil® (formoterol)
o Prime with 2 test sprays before 1st use and if not used for 7 days

ξ Dulara HFA® Inhaler: 2 strengths: 100/5 and 200/5
o Combines Asmanex® (mometasone) & Foradil® (formoterol)
o Prime with 4 test sprays before 1st use and if not used for 5 days

Side effects (at low strengths) may include
ξ Hoarse voice
ξ Cough
ξ Yeast infection in the mouth (“thrush”)
ξ Faster heart beat
ξ Feeling shaky

To lessen side effects
ξ Always rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth after using. Do not swallow
the water.
ξ Use a spacer device.
ξ Wash your face after using a mask with the spacer.

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

For Metered Dose Inhalers (Advair HFA®, Symbicort HFA® and Dulara
ξ Spacers are usually replaced once a year
ξ Shake for 5 seconds before each use
ξ Keep track of when your inhaler expired, especially if it is used “as needed”
ξ Each inhaler has a certain amount of puffs or “actuations”. If your inhaler does not
have a counter on it you will need to figure out how many puffs you use a day. Then,
mark it on a calendar so you know when to start a new inhaler.

How do I clean the inhaler and spacer?
Once a week, use a clean, dry cotton swab 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.

Avoid getting the inside of your HFA inhaler wet as it is powder based.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 4/2015 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing, HF#6844