Are Advair Diskus and Advair HFA the Same?

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Advair Diskus and Advair HFA contain the same active ingredients, fluticasone and salmeterol. However, they are not the same.

That's because of how they're delivered: Advair Diskus is delivered via an inhalation powder, while Advair HFA is delivered via an inhalation aerosol.

Additionally, Advair Diskus is used to treat both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), while Advair HFA is only approved to treat asthma.

Ahead, we'll talk about the similarities and differences between Advair Diskus and Advair HFA.


As mentioned, both Advair Diskus and Advair HFA contain the same active ingredients, fluticasone and salmeterol.

Fluticasone is a steroid medication that can be used to treat a variety of conditions in the airways. These include asthma, COPD, hay fever, nasal polyps and more.

Salmeterol is a bronchodilator that can be used in combination with corticosteroids like fluticasone to treat asthma and COPD.

When it comes to inactive ingredients, Advair Diskus and Advair HFA are very different.

The inactive ingredient in Advair Diskus is lactose monohydrate, a type of sugar that's found in milk and contains milk proteins. So, people with severe milk allergies should not use Advair Diskus.

On the other hand, the inactive ingredient in Advair HFA is a propellant called HFA-134a, a type of hydrofluorocarbon.


Both Advair Diskus and Advair HFA are commonly prescribed to treat asthma, a condition affecting the airways and lungs that may cause wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing or chest pain.

However, Advair Diskus is also approved to treat COPD, while Advair HFA is not. COPD is a chronic lung condition that makes it hard to breathe. Like asthma, COPD can also cause wheezing and coughing.

How are asthma and COPD different? Asthma is a condition that is frequently diagnosed at an early age, regardless of external factors.

By contrast, COPD frequently affects adults that are middle-aged or older and is often caused by long-term exposure to lung irritants like tobacco smoke, air pollution, chemical fumes and dust.

Both asthma and COPD affect millions of Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 25 million Americans have asthma, and 16 million suffer from COPD.


Advair Diskus and Advair HFA are manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, commonly referred to as GSK.

GSK is a British pharmaceutical company that was created through the merging of various other companies. The first of those companies was founded in England in 1848.

Today, GSK employs nearly 100,000 people globally and in 2019 earned revenue of £33.754 billion.

As such, GSK is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, taking ninth place as of 2019.

Average Cost in the U.S.

In the U.S., Advair Diskus costs $340.50 for 60 doses of 100mcg/50mcg powder ($5.67 per dose).

Advair HFA costs $420.77 for 12 grams (or 120 doses) of 115mcg/21mcg aerosol, or $3.51 per dose.

However, Americans can purchase Advair Diskus for as little as $42 for 60 doses of 100mcg/50mcg powder, or $0.70 per dose, from reputable online sources that sell prescription drugs from countries such as Canada and England.

Shoppers can also purchase Advair HFA for just $112 for 12 grams (or 120 doses) of 115mcg/21mcg aerosol, or $0.93 per dose, from those same online sources.

From My Drug Center, for example, brand-name Advair Diskus is available for as low as $0.47 per dose, and brand-name Advair HFA is available for as low as $0.79 per dose.


Advair Diskus and Advair HFA take action in the same amount of time.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that with Advair Diskus, improvement may occur as soon as 30 minutes after starting treatment, though the full benefits may not be observable until the treatment has been administered for at least one week. 

The FDA also reports that the same is true for Advair HFA.

If you're wondering how long the effects of Advair Diskus and Advair HFA last, you'll be glad to know that with continued treatment their effects can last indefinitely. 

That's because both Advair Diskus and HFA maintenance inhalers. In other words, they're meant to be used long-term. By the same token, neither are designed to be used as rescue inhalers, which take effect almost immediately.

Which One Should You Choose? 

Whether you should use Advair Diskus or Advair HFA depends on your personal needs. There are a few clear-cut guidelines, though:

      If you have COPD, you cannot use Advair HFA.

      If you have a severe milk allergy, you should not use Advair Diskus.

Beyond that, Advair Diskus and HFA have similar potential side effects for people with asthma. According to GSK, common side effects for asthmatics include:

      Upper respiratory tract infection.

      Throat irritation

      Hoarseness and voice changes.


      Nausea and vomiting.

When prescribed to treat COPD, the common side effects of Advair HFA also include viral respiratory infections and bone and muscle pain.

Ultimately, you'll need to talk to your doctor to determine whether Advair Diskus or Advair HFA is right for you.

Once you've decided which medication to take, you can save money on either Advair Diskus or Advair HFA by purchasing your next refill from a trustworthy online pharmacy or pharmacy referral service.


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