Fluticasone propionate/salmeterol

Fluticasone propionate/salmeterol

Fluticasone propionate (top)
and salmeterol (bottom)
Combination of
Fluticasone propionate Glucocorticoid
Salmeterol Long-acting β2 agonist (LABA)
Clinical data
Trade names Advair, Seretide
AHFS/Drugs.com advair
MedlinePlus a699063
  • AU: B3
  • US: C (Risk not ruled out)
Routes of
ATC code R03AK06 (WHO)
Legal status
Legal status
PubChem (CID) 9811567
ChemSpider 7987322 YesY

The combination preparation fluticasone/salmeterol is a formulation containing fluticasone propionate and salmeterol xinafoate, used in the management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Patent protection in the US expired in 2010, and European patent protection expired in 2013. However, the availability of a generic form of Advair in the United States may be significantly delayed because the Food and Drug Administration has not determined a standard for the bioequivalence of inhaled steroids in multi-dose inhalers or dry powder inhalers.

Fluticasone, a corticosteroid, is the anti-inflammatory component of the combination, while salmeterol treats constriction of the airways. Together, they help prevent symptoms of coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Side effects

The common and minor side effects of this combination are those of its individual drugs. For instance, the use of inhaled corticosteroids is associated with oral candidiasis (commonly known as yeast infection, or thrush). It is recommended to rinse and gargle with water after inhaling the medication. This decreases the risk of developing a candidiasis infection.

Whilst the use of inhaled steroids and long acting beta-adrenoceptor agonist (LABA) are recommended in asthma guidelines for the resulting improved symptom control,[1] concerns have been raised that salmeterol may increase the small risks of asthma deaths and this additional risk is not reduced with the additional use of inhaled steroids.[2] Other side effects from this drug combination may include increased blood pressure, change in heart rate, an irregular heartbeat, increased risk of osteoporosis, cataracts, and glaucoma.[3]

Generic equivalents

Although Advair lost US patent protection in 2010, no generic equivalent is imminent in the US. On November 8, 2010, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries said the regulatory hurdles were too high for a US generic. Teva said they would work on a branded competitor that should be ready by 2014 and might receive US approval by 2016.[4]

Civil settlements

In 2012, Advair was part of a larger civil settlement agreement between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the United States, in which GSK agreed to pay $1.043 billion; the United States said that GSK promoted off-label uses of Advair and paid kickbacks to healthcare professionals to sell this drug, among others.[5]

See also


  1. "Guideline 101: British Guideline on the Management of Asthma". British Thoracic Society & Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN).
  2. Salpeter SR, Buckley NS, Ormiston TM, Salpeter EE (June 2006). "Meta-analysis: effect of long-acting beta-agonists on severe asthma exacerbations and asthma-related deaths". Ann. Intern. Med. 144 (12): 904–12. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-144-12-200606200-00126. PMID 16754916.
  3. "US futicasone propionate/Salmeterol label" (PDF). FDA. April 2016.
  4. Biospace.com 11/8/2010
  5. "GlaxoSmithKline to Plead Guilty and Pay $3 Billion to Resolve Fraud Allegations and Failure to Report Safety Data". Department of Justice: Office of Public Affairs. July 2, 2012.
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