Fluticasone for inhalation

  • Make sure you know how to use this inhaler properly.
  • Fluticasone is a preventer inhaler and should be used regularly for maximum benefit.
  • It will NOT give you immediate relief if you are having an asthma attack. Your doctor will prescribe another inhaler for you to use if you get an asthma attack.
  • It is particularly important that your asthma is well controlled if you are pregnant. Make sure your doctor knows if you are expecting or trying for a baby.

About fluticasone for inhalation

Type of medicine Inhaled corticosteroid (also known as a preventer or 'steroid' inhaler)
Used for Asthma
Also called Fluticasone propionate
Flixotide®
Seretide® (fluticasone in combination with salmeterol)
Available as Evohaler® (aerosol inhaler)
Accuhaler® (dry powder inhaler)
Nebule (nebuliser solution)

Corticosteroids such as fluticasone are inhaled to help prevent asthma attacks and to ease breathing problems. Only a very small amount of fluticasone is needed because when it is inhaled it goes straight to your lungs. Fluticasone works by decreasing inflammation in your lungs and the passages leading to the lungs which makes it easier for you to breathe. It is known as a preventer inhaler and needs to be used regularly for maximum effect.

Fluticasone is available on its own and in a combination with salmeterol, which also helps to control the symptoms of asthma.

Before using fluticasone for inhalation

Before using fluticasone make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you suffer from diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes).
  • If you have ever had pulmonary tuberculosis (TB).
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
  • If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.

How to use fluticasone for inhalation

  • Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
  • Fluticasone is inhaled twice daily. Your doctor will tell you how many puffs to use each time.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions carefully and make sure you know how to use your inhaler properly. If you are not sure, ask your nurse, doctor or pharmacist to show you.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water after each dose and spit out the water used.
  • Try to use this inhaler at the same times each day to avoid missing any doses.
  • Do not stop using this inhaler abruptly as this can cause your symptoms to return suddenly.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Fluticasone is used to prevent symptoms of asthma and should be used regularly, even when your symptoms are well-controlled. When you first start using this inhaler it will take 4-7 days for you to feel the full benefit.
  • If after first using this inhaler your breathing becomes worse or you suddenly start to wheeze, stop using the inhaler and let your doctor know straight away so that you can be given an alternative treatment without delay.
  • Keep your regular appointments with your doctor. Your doctor will want to review your condition and your dose of fluticasone.
  • If you find that your asthma symptoms are getting worse or that you need to use a reliever inhaler more regularly, contact your doctor or nurse for advice straight away.
  • This inhaler will not give you immediate relief if you are having an asthma attack. You will need a reliever inhaler to ease the symptoms of an attack.
  • Your doctor may give you a spacer device to use with this inhaler particularly if you struggle to co-ordinate breathing in and pressing the inhaler device. This helps to make sure that the medicine travels right into your lungs.
  • If you have diabetes, tell your doctor if you notice any change in your blood glucose tests as fluticasone can affect the levels of sugar in your blood.
  • It is recommended that children using corticosteroid inhalers over long periods of time should have their height measured regularly.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking causes severe irritation and damage to the lungs. It will make your condition worse and will reduce the beneficial effects of your medication.
  • If you are using a high dose of fluticasone, you will also have been given a steroid card. Follow the instructions on this card and carry it with you at all times.

Can fluticasone for inhalation cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Common side-effects What can I do if I experience this
Mouth irritation, or hoarseness This may occur if your mouth has not be rinsed adequately after using fluticasone - make sure you rinse your mouth out with water after each dose. In the case of a child, brushing the child's teeth may help
Oral thrush Speak with your doctor about this

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store fluticasone for inhalation

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.