Advair is approved to prevent airway spasms due to asthma and to treat these spasms in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The medication is called a "controller medication," which means that it is used to prevent asthma attacks. Advair does not, however, work quickly enough to treat asthma attacks once they occur. There are currently no universally accepted off-label Advair uses.
What Is Advair Used For?Advair® (fluticasone and salmeterol) is a prescription medication used to prevent airway spasms (called bronchospasms) caused by asthma and to treat these spasms in people who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Advair comes in two forms, the Advair Diskus® and the Advair HFA inhaler. The Advair Diskus is approved for both asthma and COPD, while the Advair HFA inhaler is approved only for treating asthma.
Advair for Asthma or COPDAsthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs. When you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating. When the airways react, they narrow and constrict the airflow to your lungs. This is called a bronchospasm. It causes asthma symptoms like wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), coughing, tightness in the chest, and trouble breathing.
While there is no asthma cure, asthma can be controlled. There are many different asthma treatments, including fast-acting "rescue medications" for treating an asthma attack and longer-acting "controller medications" used to prevent asthma attacks. Advair is a controller medication, used to help prevent asthma attacks (but not to treat an attack). Everyone who takes Advair should also have a rescue medication available (such as an albuterol inhaler) for emergency situations.
Asthma is not the only cause of bronchospasms. The Advair Diskus (but not the Advair HFA inhaler) is approved to treat bronchospasms due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) associated with chronic bronchitis.