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How to Use Advair Diskus

Tuesday 7 May 2024
5 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. What is Advair Diskus?

II. Advair Doses

III. How to Use Advair Diskus

IV. How Long Does it Take for Advair to Work?

V. Advair Medication Options

VI. Conclusion

Using an inhaler properly is crucial for managing asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Inhalers like Advair Diskus allow patients to receive medication directly into their lungs, where it can provide relief from symptoms. However, if you don't use your inhaler properly, you may not receive the full benefits of the medication. 

In this article, we will provide key information about Advair Diskus, including common dosages for COPD and asthma. We will also walk through step-by-step instructions for proper inhaler technique and discuss how long it takes for the effects to kick in. 

What is Advair Diskus?

Advair Diskus is an FDA-approved inhaled medication used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). [1]

  • Asthma: Advair Diskus improves lung function in patients four years and older.
  • COPD: Advair Diskus is used for long-term maintenance to open airways and reduce flare-ups. [1]

Advair contains two medications in one inhaler that work together to improve lung function.

  • Fluticasone propionate is a corticosteroid that reduces inflammation in the lungs. 
  • Salmeterol is a long-acting bronchodilator (LABA) that relaxes the muscles around the airways to keep them open. [1]

Advair Diskus combines these medications in a powder formulation and is known as a dry powder inhaler (DPI). The powder is released when you inhale through the device and can reach even the smallest airways. The small particles mean you likely won't taste or feel the medication. [2]

However, it's important to note that Advair Diskus contains lactose like other dry powder inhalers. If you have a milk allergy, talk to your healthcare provider about suitable alternatives. [2]

Advair Doses

Finding the right Advair dose is important in managing your asthma or COPD. Advair comes in three different strengths that contain set amounts of the two active ingredients: fluticasone propionate and salmeterol. [1]

The first number listed on your Advair inhaler is the dose of fluticasone propionate, while the second number is the dose of salmeterol. For example:

  • Advair 100/50 provides 100 mcg of fluticasone and 50 mcg of salmeterol per inhalation.
  • Advair 250/50 gives you 250 mcg of fluticasone and 50 mcg of salmeterol per inhalation.
  • Advair 500/50 delivers 500 mcg of fluticasone and 50 mcg of salmeterol per inhalation. [1]

Your doctor will base your Advair dose on factors like age, the severity of your symptoms, and your response to treatment.

  • Asthma treatment in adults and children over 12: One inhalation of Advair Diskus 100/50, 250/50, or 500/50 twice daily depending on asthma severity.
  • Asthma treatment in children ages 4 to 11: One inhalation of Advair Diskus 100/50 twice daily.
  • COPD maintenance treatment: One inhalation of Advair Diskus 250/50 twice daily. [1]

The most important thing is that you use your Advair inhaler exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Taking the right dose with the right technique will help ensure you get the maximum benefits.

How to Use Advair Diskus

advair diskus and advair hfa

Using your Advair Diskus correctly can significantly improve the effectiveness of your medication. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that you get the full dosage of your medication and maximize its benefits.

  • Hold your Advair Diskus in a horizontal position, like you’re holding a sandwich.
  • Place your thumb on the thumb grip and push away from you until you hear a click. This opens the device.
  • Put your thumb on the dose lever and push away from the mouthpiece until you hear a click. This loads your medication dose.
  • Breathe out away from the device.
  • Seal your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
  • Take a quick, deep breath in.
  • Remove the inhaler from your mouth and hold your breath for 10 seconds.
  • Breathe out away from the device.
  • Rinse out your mouth to prevent oral thrush. [3]

How Long Does it Take for Advair to Work?

overlay of lungs illustration on a person

Advair is a long-term controller medicine, meaning it needs to build up in your system over time to reach its full effects. You may notice some initial improvement in your COPD or asthma symptoms within 30 minutes of taking a dose. However, it can take one week or longer of regular use for Advair to provide maximum benefits. [1]

That said, if you've been using Advair as directed for two weeks and have not experienced any symptom improvements, be sure to let your doctor know. [1] They may reevaluate your treatment plan and explore other options, such as:

  • Increasing your Advair dosage to a higher strength.
  • Adding an additional inhaled corticosteroid to your regimen.
  • Starting oral corticosteroids to help get your symptoms under control. [1]

Advair Medication Options

Advair comes in two types of inhalers: Advair HFA and Advair Diskus. Both contain the same active ingredients (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol) but are administered differently and approved for different conditions.

  • Advair HFA is an inhalation aerosol similar to a traditional inhaler. It is approved to treat asthma in patients 12 and older.
  • Advair Diskus is an inhalation powder that comes in a disk-shaped inhaler. It is approved to treat COPD and asthma in patients four and older. [1]

If you have COPD, Advair Diskus is your only option. If you have asthma, you can use either Advair Diskus or Advair HFA. [1] Both effectively control asthma symptoms, but you may find one more preferable.

  • Advair HFA offers the advantage of being small and quick to use. However, it requires hand-breath coordination, which can pose challenges for individuals with low grip strength or arthritis.
  • Advair Diskus is breath-actuated, eliminating the need for hand-breath coordination. However, sufficient respiratory force is required to inhale the powder, which may be problematic for elderly individuals or during flare-ups. [2]


Using Advair Diskus properly is essential for optimum relief from asthma and COPD symptoms. By understanding your dosages and how the inhaler works, you can ensure you receive the full benefits of the medication.

If you are ever unsure about any part of using your Advair Diskus inhaler, don't hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist for a demonstration or to clarify the instructions.

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.