What is Flovent Diskus?
Flovent Diskus (fluticasone propionate) is a prescription corticosteroid that is inhaled into the lungs for the treatment of asthma.
How does Flovent Diskus Work?
Flovent Diskus is a dry powder corticosteroid that is breathed into the lungs using an inhaler. It settles into the lung tissue, suppressing the chronic inflammation caused by asthma.
What are the Indications for Flovent Diskus?
Flovent Diskus is indicated for the treatment of patients with persistent asthma. It works to prevent and control shortness of breath and wheezing caused by asthma. It must be used regularly (for at least two weeks) before any effect is seen. Its slow onset of action means that it should not be used to treat acute asthma.
What is the Dose of Flovent Diskus?
In persons 12 years or older the dose of Flovent Diskus is 100 mcg taken twice a day. The dose may be increased every two weeks if there is an insufficient clinical response to the starting dose. The dose may be increased to a maximum of 1 000 mcg taken twice a day.
In children four to eleven years the starting dose is 50 mcg taken twice a day. The dose may be increased every two weeks if there is an insufficient clinical response to the starting dose. The dose may be increased to a maximum of 100 mcg taken twice a day.
Warnings & Precautions
Local effects on the mouth and throat
Flovent Diskus is a steroid that may cause the development of thrush (Candida Albicans) in the mouth and throat. Patients should rinse their mouths with water after inhaling their doses to prevent this from developing. Monitor patients regularly for the development of thrush.
Acute asthmatic deterioration
Flovent Diskus should not be used for the management of acute asthmatic deterioration. It has no intrinsic bronchodilatory effects and using it during an acute asthmatic deterioration will not help to relieve any symptoms.
Flovent Diskus is a corticosteroid that causes mild suppression of the immune system. This may worsen existing bacterial, fungal, or viral infections. Patients with tuberculosis, herpes simplex, measles or chickenpox can be seriously affected.
Transferring from oral steroids to Flovent Diskus
Flovent Diskus delivers steroid directly to the lung. As a result, there is a lower steroid concentration in the rest of the body. When transferring from oral steroids to Flovent Diskus, there is a risk that the body will have insufficient levels of corticosteroid available, leading to a clinical picture of adrenal insufficiency.
Suppression of the adrenal system
Flovent Diskus results in lower levels of steroids in the rest of the body than when taking oral steroids. However, this lower dose may still be enough to suppress the body’s own production of corticosteroids from the adrenal glands. This may lead to adrenal insufficiency during periods of severe stress, where additional corticosteroid is needed, or when Flovent Diskus is suddenly stopped.
Bone mineral density reductions
Patients taking Flovent Diskus are at risk of having a reduction in their bone density due to the long-term effect of the inhaled steroid. This may increase the risk of developing bone fractures.
Inhibition of growth in children
Children who take Flovent Diskus are at risk of having a lower growth rate. The lowest dose that can control the patient’s asthma should be used. Children taking Flovent Diskus should have their growth monitored.
Glaucoma and Cataracts
The long-term use of inhaled steroids can cause an increase in eye pressure (glaucoma). It also increases the long-term risk of developing cataracts.
Eosinophilia and Churg-Strauss Syndrome
Rarely long term inhaled corticosteroids can cause an increase of eosinophils in the body that presents with clinical features consistent with a Churg-Strauss Syndrome vasculitis
Flovent Diskus has not been tested extensively in persons under four years of age. As a result, its use is not recommended in this age group.
Flovent Diskus has not been extensively studied in pregnant women. However, some studies have shown that its use does not increase the risk of birth abnormalities. Pregnant women with asthma taking Flovent Diskus should be monitored closely, and medication adjusted as required.
The safety of Flovent Diskus has not been tested in breastfeeding mothers. Its active ingredient (fluticasone propionate) is found in breastmilk. The risk to the infant should be weighed up against the benefit for the mother. This should be discussed with a doctor.
Flovent Diskus is contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to milk proteins or fluticasone propionate
Common side effects of Flovent Diskus include:
- Thrush in the mouth and throat (Candida albicans)
- Back pain
- Chest infection
- Changes in voice
- Changes in taste
- Difficulty sleeping
Less common side effects include:
- Suppression of the immune system
- Reduction in bone density
- Inhibition of growth in children
- Glaucoma and cataracts
- Systemic eosinophilia
- Churg-Strauss syndrome
Certain drugs may interact with Flovent Diskus. These include:
- antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
- antiretrovirals (e.g., ritonavir, atazanavir, indinavir)
- antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, telithromycin)
- antidepressants (e.g., nefazadone)
Frequently Asked Questions