Advair and Alcohol

by on July 22, 2012

Advair (salmeterol and fluticasone) is used for treating asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in certain patients. It may also be prescribed for other breathing conditions as determined by your healthcare provider.

Alcohol Use While On Advair

Healthcare providers often recommend avoiding or limiting alcohol use while using certain medications. In the case of Advair, it is not known whether alcohol affects this drug. Advair contains two active ingredients: fluticasone and salmeterol. Combining fluticasone, a steroid, and alcohol is not expected to cause adverse effects. Meanwhile, salmeterol, a bronchodilator may cause an increase in heart rate. Large amounts of alcohol along with this bronchodilator may increase the chances of rapid heartbeat or tachycardia.

Although adverse events due to mixing alcohol and Advair are rarely reported, the manufacturer recommends that patient taking this medication limit alcohol intake. In addition, consuming alcoholic beverages may increase the risk of drowsiness and dizziness due to Advair. For patients who are already experiencing these side effects, alcohol can make them even worse.

Alcohol Health Risks

While a alcohol and Advair combination does not cause adverse effects, your healthcare provider may recommend avoiding alcohol because of possible health risks. Patients taking Advair for treatment of asthma are advised to avoid drinking alcohol because it can worsen their condition or trigger asthma attacks. Alcohol has been associated with acid reflux. This condition is characterized by the backflow or regurgitation of stomach contents into the esophagus, sometimes small amounts of stomach acids find their way into the airways which can precipitate acute symptoms of asthma.

In some patients, the contents of alcohol, particularly preservatives known as sulfites, may increase symptoms of asthma. Furthermore, wine and beer contain various compounds that resemble histamine, possibly increasing the risk of allergic reactions. These histamine-like compounds can cause bothersome side effects particularly nasal stuffiness. In people with asthma, these compounds can aggravate asthma symptoms.

Since Advair is also used in patients with COPD, it is important to understand that drinking alcohol may not be safe for people suffering from this breathing condition. Too much alcohol can lead to slow breathing and can cause difficulty coughing up mucus.

Patients taking Advair also usually are taking other medications which can react with alcohol. Talk with your healthcare provider for specific guidelines about alcohol consumption. He or she may recommend avoiding or limiting alcohol intake.

If you decide to drink alcohol while being treated with Advair, you should avoid driving or operating machineries or appliances. As a matter of fact, drinking alcohol and driving is not safe, regardless of whether you are taking medications or not. Advair may also lower your tolerance to alcohol, therefore it is suggested that you limit your alcohol consumption. Although most people may be able to safely drink moderate amounts of alcohol, do not drink a large amount of alcohol in one instant. Drink small amounts gradually to see its effects on you.