Flixotide is an inhaler available in both Accuhaler and Evohaler format. They include the anti-inflammatory steroid medicine fluticasone, which help to reduce any inflammation or mucus in the lungs that might be making it hard to breathe. This preventative treatment needs to be used every day for a patient to see results.
What is Flixotide?
Flixotide is one of the main treatment options available for asthma and other breathing conditions today. It is a form of inhaler, which includes medication in a powder or liquid, intended to help you deliver a drug straight to your lungs and airways when you breathe in. The advantage of inhalers such as Flixotide is that the medication does not get into the blood stream in high doses, which reduces your risk of side effects.
Steroids such as the active ingredient fluticasone in Flixotide work by reducing the levels of inflammation in your airways, making it easier to breathe. When the inflammation and mucus in your lungs and airways are gone, you are less likely to experience symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and general discomfort. Your breathing should begin to improve and the symptoms will begin to reduce between four and seven days after you start using a Flixotide inhaler. It is important to keep using this medication regularly, even if you are not experiencing common asthma symptoms, as if you stop using this medicine suddenly, there could be a risk of your symptoms returning.
When is Flixotide used?
Flixotide is a form of preventative inhaler which you need to use every day to reduce the risk of experiencing asthma symptoms. Doctors often prescribe this medication alongside another remedial inhaler that you can use in emergency situations. Flixotide is available in both Accuhaler and Evohaler form. These solutions both contain the active ingredient fluticasone propionate, a form of corticosteroid (a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in the body). Flixotide inhalers provide the lungs and airways with a man-made version of a natural corticosteroid hormone to reduce the inflammation in the lungs and other conditions that may make it difficult for people with asthma to breathe.
Flixotide inhalers are intended specifically for people who suffer from asthma. They are not recommended for treating people who experience trouble breathing as a result of anxiety or a panic attack. For an anxiety attack, you would need to take a medication that works at widening the airways, not preventing the symptoms of asthma.
How do you use Flixotide?
If is important that you know how to use your Flixotide inhaler before you leave your doctor’s office. Most doctors and nurses will be able to give you a demonstration of how to use an inhaler if you have never used one before. Crucially, Flixotide comes in two main forms.
The first form is an Evohaler: this is a metered dose inhaler that delivers your medicine as a fine mist. When you use this inhaler, you will need to breathe in and press down on the inhaler at the same time. The second type of Flixotide inhaler that you could use is the Accuhaler, a form of dry powder inhaler. Flixotide Accuhalers come with blisters of medication pre- loaded into the device.
To take a dose, you have to slide a lever on your inhaler to open a blister pack. Sliding the dose allows you to prepare the inhaler. After that, you can exhale and place your lips around the Flixotide inhaler. Breathe in steadily and deeply to get the medication into your lungs.
Your doctor will provide more details on how to use each type of Flixotide inhaler. Usually, the type of device you are given will depend on how comfortable you feel using either option. If you have any worries, then you can examine the patient leaflet included with your medication or talk to your pharmacist.
When using Flixotide inhalers, make sure that you rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth every time you take a dose of medication. This will help to reduce your risk of developing an oral thrush infection, which are common when you are using inhaled corticosteroids. It helps to use Flixotide inhalers at the same time every day, as this reduces your risk of missing a dose. If you do miss a dose of this medication, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, leave out the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take a double dose of Flixotide.
What dosages are available?
Flixotide is currently available in a wide range of different strengths. Your doctor will prescribe your dose based on your medical history and condition. Common doses include 50 mcg, 100 mcg, 125 mcg, 250 mcg and 500 mcg. The most common dosage for Flixotide, unless prescribed otherwise by your doctor, is one dose taken twice per day. You will not be able to take the 250 mcg and 500 mcg dose if you are younger than 18. Do not deviate from the dosage given by your doctor.
What are the side effects of Flixotide?
Most people will be able to use Flixotide inhalers without experiencing any negative outcomes. However, different people can respond to medication in unique ways. It is important to make sure that you tell your doctor if you experience any negative side effects when taking Flixotide if they do not go away by themselves. The most common side effect for Flixotide is oral thrush, which is a kind of infection in the mouth. It is possible to reduce your risk of having this infection by brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth immediately after using Flixotide. Other common side effects may include a hoarse voice, increased risk of bruising, and a cough after using the medication.
You may notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth when using Flixotide inhalers. Although corticosteroids can have many more side effects when taken in tablet form, those associated with these kinds of medications are much more limited when they are inhaled, as a very small portion of the medication gets into your bloodstream. When taken for extended periods of time however, corticosteroids in any form do have the potential to increase your risk of conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, osteoporosis and Cushing’s syndrome. Tell your doctor if you notice any changes in your behaviour or mood, slowed growth in children, or evidence of changing or blurred vision.
Flixotide may cause an allergic reaction. Seek emergency medical attention if you feel suddenly breathless or dizzy after using a Flixotide inhaler. Seek help also if you notice any swelling around the tongue, lips and throat.
When should you not use Flixotide?
There are many different kinds of treatment available for people with asthma. Your doctor will need to examine your medical history and symptoms carefully to determine if Flixotide inhalers are the best treatment option for you. In some cases, Flixotide can still be used by people with certain conditions if extra care is taken. Before you begin using a Flixotide inhaler, make sure that your doctor is aware if you:
- Are pregnant or trying for a baby: you will need to ensure that it is safe for you to use this medication during pregnancy;
- Are breast-feeding: most of the time, Flixotide will not be dangerous to use during breast-feeding, but your doctor may want to take extra precautions;
- Have an infection in your mouth, eyes or chest;
- Have ever had TB (pulmonary tuberculosis);
- Have ever had an allergic reaction to corticosteroids.
Does Flixotide interact with any other medications?
Sometimes, medications can have an increased risk of side effects if they are paired with other substances. This is true of all kinds of medicine, including inhaled substances such as Flixotide. It is important to tell your doctor which medications and products you are already using before you begin taking this drug. This includes any supplements or herbal medications you are using, as well as over-the-counter and prescription substances.
Check with your doctor before you begin taking any new medications when you are already using Flixotide to make sure that the new combination is safe. It is important to get approval from your doctor to take Flixotide if you are already taking other medications that contain corticosteroids as an active ingredient. This may include certain nasal sprays to prevent hay fever and creams intended to treat eczema.
There is a good chance that your risk of side effects will increase significantly if you are using more than one corticosteroid at the same time. Your doctor may need to monitor you more carefully to check that you are not suffering from any dangerous symptoms. Some medications such as ritonavir, telaprevir and ketoconazole can also change the way that your body processes Flixotide. This could mean that you end up with higher amounts of fluticasone in your blood, increasing your risk of corticosteroid side effects.
Where can you buy Flixotide?
Flixotide inhalers and other asthma medications are available to purchase from most registered pharmacies in the EU, either online or offline. Contact us if you would like us to arrange for this medication to be available for you to collect from a local pharmacy.
Can you get Flixotide without a prescription?
You will need a prescription to obtain Flixotide. Your doctor will need to ensure that this medication is safe and suitable for you by conducting a consultation. We can arrange for a consultation with a registered health professional on your behalf.
Medicines.org.uk, EMC, 2019, online, Flixotide 50 micrograms Evohaler, [accessed on 27 August 2019], Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/3824/smpc
Mims.co.uk, 2019, online, Flixotide Accuhaler, [accessed on 27 August 2019], Available at: https://www.mims.co.uk/drugs/respiratory-system/asthma-copd/flixotide-accuhaler