Advair Side Effects

by on December 20, 2011


Though uncommon, patients taking Advair (Fluticasone, Salmeterol) may experience an increase in respiratory infections and throat irritation. Headaches, dizziness and nausea are also common side effects on Advair. Children especially should take care to monitor their health on this medication to catch any developing problems as early as possible.

Common Advair Side Effects

The most common side effects of Advair include the following:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Throat irritation
  • Mild bone and muscle pain
  • Nervousness
  • Tremors

These side effects are not considered to be serious. However, if you are experiencing severe discomfort, you should contact your doctor.

Do not cease taking Advair on your own as this can cause a rapid increase in your symptoms. Upon first taking this medication, patients may also experience sudden breathing problems. These often occur as a side effect immediately after the medication has been inhaled.

Another side effect is increased susceptibility to respiratory infections. Up to 27 percent of patients experience instances of the common cold while taking Advair. Bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections and thrush may also occur. Seek out treatment from a medical professional if you experience symptoms of a serious upper respiratory infection or mouth infection such as thrush.

Serious Advair Side Effects

Some patients have an allergic reaction to this medication. If you experience any of the following, you should contact a doctor immediately as they may be a sign of a severe allergic reaction. Get help immediately if you experience side effects such as:

  • Rash and/or hives
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Itching
  • Unusual hoarseness
  • Swelling of the face and mouth

Serious Advair side effects that are not indicative of an allergic reaction include:

  • Chest pain
  • Irregular or quickened heartbeat
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Severe muscle cramps, spasms or weakness
  • Unexplained changes in behavior
  • Changes in vision
  • Severe bone pain
  • Extreme nervousness or overexcitement
  • Severe or persistent headaches or dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Choking or swelling and tightness in the throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Sores or discoloration of the tongue or mouth
  • Vaginal discharge or odor

Other severe side effects that should be addresses immediately include any signs of high blood sugar such as extreme thirst, confusion, frequent urination, unexplained hunger, weakness, drowsiness and confusion. Flu-like symptoms including fever, sore throat, ear pain, cough, chills and an increase in mucus or change in mucus color should be noted as well. Though these seem like the onset of a common flu bug, they should be brought to the attention of a physician.

Any indication that asthma is worsening such as shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness in the chest and coughing are reasons for concern. These, too, may be a sign that Advair is not the right solution for your symptoms.

Consult your doctor right away if you experience any of the above side effects. Do not attempt to stop the medication on your own.

Effects on the Immune System

Advair lowers the immune system’s ability to fight off illness and therefore makes patients more susceptible to all types of diseases. Patients with any type of existing infection may experience worsening of the infection as one of the side effects. All patients taking Advair should be vaccinated and avoid exposure to measles and chickenpox as these can be very serious with a weakened immune system. If exposure does occur, contact a doctor as soon as you are aware of it.

Effects on the Eyes

Advair makes patients more susceptible to cataracts and glaucoma. Though eye exams should always be a part of regular heath care, this is especially important for patients on Advair. To keep appraised of any side effects pertaining to the eyes, patients taking this medication should get regular eye exams.

Use in Children

Advair is approved for use by children, but special care should be taken to keep abreast of any developing Advair side effects in these cases. Children’s growth should be carefully monitored on Advair as slowed growth can be a side effect. Children are also more likely to have ear, nose and throat infections while using Advair.

Used correctly, Advair should be able to drastically decrease symptoms of asthma and COPD. It is important to monitor progress on this medication to determine its effectiveness. Patients who need a rescue inhaler more often or who experience a decrease in their peak flow meter results may need adjustments to their treatment plan.