Alternatives to Advair
Although most people tolerate Advair well, it is possible that side effects will occur during treatment with Advair or that the medication may not work as well as needed. In these situations, a healthcare provider may recommend Advair alternatives. There are several alternatives to Advair for treating airway spasms due to asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A few of these alternatives include bronchodilators, steroids, and combination medications.
Advair® (fluticasone and salmeterol) is a prescription medication used to treat airway spasms (called bronchospasms) caused by asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Advair comes in two forms, the Advair Diskus® and the Advair® HFA inhaler. The Advair Diskus is approved for treating both asthma and COPD, while the Advair HFA inhaler is approved only for asthma treatment.
For most people, Advair is effective at treating COPD or asthma symptoms, and most people also tolerate the medication well. However, as with all medicines, it is possible that side effects will occur during treatment with Advair. Also, in some situations, the medicine may not adequately control a person's symptoms. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to Advair for bronchospasms (airway constriction) due to asthma or COPD, including:
- Combination medications
- Other miscellaneous asthma and COPD medications.
Bronchodilators are medications that directly relax (or "dilate") the muscles of the airway. Salmeterol, one of the active ingredients of Advair, is a long-acting bronchodilator. Bronchodilators used for asthma or COPD treatment can include:
- Albuterol (Proventil HFA®, Ventolin HFA®, Proair HFA®, Vospire ER®)
- Albuterol and ipratropium (Combivent®, DuoNeb®)
- Formoterol (Foradil®)
- Ipratropium (Atrovent®, Atrovent HFA®)
- Levalbuterol (Xopenex®, Xopenex HFA®)
- Metaproterenol (Alupent®)
- Pirbuterol (Maxair®)
- Salmeterol (Serevent®)
- Terbutaline (Brethine®)
- Tiotropium (Spiriva®).
Inhaled corticosteroids, or steroids for short, go directly into the lungs and help to decrease the inflammation of the airways that makes asthma attacks more likely. Because steroids do not work quickly, they should not be used for treating an asthma attack. Rather, they are used on a daily basis to help prevent asthma attacks. These medications can include:
- Beclomethasone (Qvar®)
- Budesonide (Pulmicort®)
- Ciclesonide inhaler (Alvesco®)
- Flunisolide (Aerobid®)
- Fluticasone (Flovent®)
- Mometasone (Asmanex®)
- Triamcinolone (Azmacort®).
Oral steroids, such as prednisone (Deltasone®) or methylprednisolone (Medrol®), are also used to treat asthma. Oral steroids are best used to control severe asthma symptoms in the short-term.