Advair, distributed by GlaxoSmithKline, is a fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder for use by those with asthma, or with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. Advair is inhaled through a purple inhaler called a Diskus.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is the result of a year 2000 merger between Glaxowellcome and SmithKline Beecham. It is a research based company that employs approximately 99,000 people in over 100 countries. This pharmaceutical, one of the top five largest pharmaceuticals in the world, can trace its roots back to an eighteenth century pharmacy in London. In 1715, the forerunner of Allen and Hanburys Ltd, the Plough Court Pharmacy, was founded by Silvanus Bevan. Today GSK develops and distributes vaccines, new medicines, and other healthcare products. Over the counter products such as Beano, BreatheRight, and Abreva cold sore medicine are all products of GSK. Abreva is one of the only over-the-counter prescription strength cold sore medications with FDA approval available. Other well-known, non-prescription products of GSK include Aquafresh dental products and Tums. Additionally, GSK produces Nicoderm and Nicorette, treatments for nicotine (smoking) addiction. They also make prescription drugs, including Amoxil, Paxil, and Zantac. Valtrex and Imitrex treat herpes and migraines, respectively. GlaxoSmithKline also produces vaccines that are used all over the world. GSK’s Advair is a combination of two other products, Flovent and Serevent. It is used to prevent asthma attacks, as well as for people suffering from COPD, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.
Some of GlaxoSmithKline’s drugs, such as the antidepressant Paxil and the diabetes medication, Avandia, have been controversial. Paxil is alleged to have lead to suicide in some patients. Avandia may increase the risk of heart attacks in diabetes patients. Both have been the subject of lawsuits.
GlaxoSmithKline in the Global Community
GSK donates medicines for underprivileged communities. Their vaccines are used in vaccination campaigns in 182 countries. They also provide medicines and vaccines at reduced prices for the poor in developing nations. According to GSK, 1.4 billion doses were delivered in 2009, over a billion of which went to developing countries. Also in 2009, GSK teamed up with Pfizer to launch ViiV Healthcare, designed to deliver advanced care to those suffering from HIV worldwide.
Advair Dosage and Risks
Advair is inhaled with a purple, dry powder inhaler called the Diskus. It should not be used with other inhalers. Advair is not meant for use with spacers. The Diskus combines an anti-inflammatory drug with a drug for opening constricted airways. These two drugs are fluticasone, known as Flovent, and Salmeterol, also called Serevent. Flovent is a steroid used as an anti-inflammatory. Serevent is a bronchodilator, which relaxes the airway muscles for easier breathing. The Diskus is a metered inhaler, which means that a measured amount of the drug is released each time the inhaler is used. Typically the dosage is one inhalation twice a day.
As with any medication, Advair is not without risks. People with COPD who are taking Advair may have a higher risk of developing pneumonia. The salmeterol in Advair may increase the risk of asthma-related death. Also, it is important to take the right dose. Inhaling a higher dose does not in any way increase the effectiveness of the drug. A Diskus does not replace an inhaler for sudden symptoms. Advair may be used to prevent asthma attacks, but it cannot be used to treat an asthma attack already in progress, because it works too slowly to be effective. The steroid, fluticasone, may increase the risk of osteoporosis in some people, particularly smokers. It is important to check with a doctor for a complete list of possible risks and side effects before using Advair, as it may not be the best drug for patients with certain allergies and conditions.
New FDA Recommendations
The FDA has recently issued new recommendations for asthma patients using Long Acting Beta Agonists (LABAs). The FDA recommends that these drugs be used in conjunction with long-term medication for the control of asthma. A LABA should not be used without an inhaled corticosteroid or other long-term medication. If the asthma is adequately controlled by a low or medium dose long-term medication, then use of a LABA may be contraindicated. For patients whose asthma is not adequately controlled by an inhaled corticosteroid or other long-term drug, the benefits of Long Acting Beta Agonists may outweigh the risks when used according to FDA recommendations. A complete list of recommendations may be found at www.fda.gov.
Advair Money-saving Discount Offers and Advair Coupon Codes
There are many ways to save money on Advair. Go to www.GSKforYou.com and sign up for the Breatheasier program. Through this program, one can receive money-saving offers by signing up for the 30 day free trial offer. This offer provides a 30 day supply of Advair free of charge. Those who do not wish to register for the program can go to the same website and print out a $10 coupon. Only one coupon can be redeemed per month. Coupons expire 15 days after printing. Occasionally, coupons may be found in health magazines or other magazines such as Parade Magazine.
Advair, produced by GlaxoSmithKline, is a medicine for the control of asthma, COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. If used properly, it can help control symptoms and improve the lives of patients suffering from these conditions. Patients should always check with their doctors for a complete list of potential risks and side effects for Advair, and to ensure that Advair is the right drug for their situation. Moneysaving offers and coupons are sometimes available in health magazines and other publications, but the easiest way to save money is to visit gskforyou.com for free trial offers and coupons.