Fluticasone and salmeterol

Fluticasone and salmeterol

Fluticasone and salmeterol are used to treat asthma. Salmeterol belongs to a group of medicines called beta-2 agonist. Beta 2 receptors are found in lungs, and activation of these receptors causes widening the bronchi, which consequently facilitates breathing. Activation of beta 2 receptors in bronchi leads to following effects:

  • Relaxation of bronchial smooth muscles (bronchodilation)
  • Inhibition of mediators release from inflammatory cells
  • Stimulation of mucociliary clearance

The basic molecular mechanism involved in dilating airways is stimulation of adenylate cyclase and increased cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) production.

On the other hand, fluticasone belongs to the family of medicines known as corticosteroids and it prevents releasing of inflammatory mediators. Corticosteroids stimulate the production of a protein called lipomodulina which inhibits an enzyme called phospholipase A. This enzyme is responsible for releasing two main group of inflammatory mediators (prostaglandins and leukotrienes).

As you can see these two medicines act in very different ways which makes combination of these medicines very effective.

It is used to prevent asthma attacks.

Precautions

Fluticasone and salmeterol is used only to prevent asthma, but it should not be used if an asthma attack has already started.

It should be avoided in patients with heart diseases.

It should be avoided in patients allergic to any of active substances.

Side effects

This medicine may cause following side effects:

  • Tremor
  • Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing problems
  • Cough
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth

Contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of these side effects.

Use with other medicines (Interactions)

It should be avoided in combination with following medicines:

  • Amiodarone
  • Atazanavir (Reyataz)
  • Ritonavir (Norvir)
  • Indinavir (Crixivan)
  • Nelfinavir (Viracept)
  • Saquinavir (Invirase)
  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Rasagiline (Azilect)
  • Selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam)
  • Smitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Nefazodone
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • Telithromycin (Ketek)
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • Itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • Lekoatenolol (Tenormin)
  • Carvedilol (Coreg)
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol).

Brand names: Advair Diskus and Advair HFA.