Is Advair Inhaler A Steroid ?


Asked by Joanne

Is Advair Inhaler A Steroid ?

I was wondering if advair is a steroid?


Hi Joanne,

Advair is what's called a combination inhaler. That means it contains a combination of 2 different types of medicines in one canister. The two types are an inhaled steroid (fluticasone propionate, found in Flovent) and a long-acting beta agonist (LABA), or bronchodilator (salmeterol, found in Serevent).

You can find more information on Advair here:

Advair is generally prescribed when an inhaled steroid alone (the first treatment of choice for asthma) does not provide adequate control of asthma symptoms. It has been proved that many moderate to severe asthmatics who have trouble getting control with the inhaled steroid alone have success when an LABA is added to the mix.

What's important to understand are possible side effects. Inhaled steroids are considered generally safe for both adults and kids, although all medicines can have side effects. The side effects with inhaled steroids, though, are usually mild and short-term. And the kind of steroid used in an inhaled steroid is very similar to natural substances found in the human body and NOTHING like the catabolic steroids sometimes used by athletes to enhance performance.

Side effects from the salmeterol, though, could be more problematic, which is why the FDA issued a black box warning for Advair last year. A black box warning means that potential side effects are so serious (though they may not be at all common) that the patient and doctor need to weigh risks vs. benefits before taking.

Hope that addresses your concerns.


Answered by Kathi MacNaughton