My Drug Center

What are the side effects of Flovent HFA?

Friday 29 April 2022
4 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. Oral Thrush

II. Eye Problems

III. Delayed Wound Healing

IV. Mood Changes

Flovent HFA is a medication used to manage symptoms of chronic breathing disorders, most commonly asthma. Flovent HFA is a corticosteroid, a medication that can treat inflammatory, respiratory, and autoimmune disorders. Corticosteroids have three main uses:

  • Anti-inflammatory abilities: Corticosteroids prevent the production of prostaglandins in the immune system from triggering inflammation. When inflammatory substances are blocked, swelling and pain are reduced throughout the body or in a localized area.
  • Vasoconstriction: Corticosteroids block histidine, a natural substance that creates histamines in the body. The immune system creates histamines in response to foreign invaders in the body. Corticosteroids reduce mucus secretions that may congest airways by blocking histamines.
  • Immunosuppressant: Medications like Flovent can suppress the immune system when it mistakenly attacks the body, which is the case in autoimmune diseases. Corticosteroids impair the production of white blood cells to suppress the immune system. [1]

MyDrugCenter has a Flovent knowledge base to answer all your questions about this inhalation medicine. While the Flovent inhaler is a popular medication, it is important to know about all of the possible side effects of your medication. If you live with a breathing disorder like asthma, you may be prescribed Flovent HFA to improve breathing problems and reduce the risk of long-term complications. Read on to learn more about Flovent HFA side effects.

a woman breathing

Infection of the Tongue and Mouth

Inhaler users are at an increased risk of oral thrush, which is the growth of a fungus called Candida. When oral thrush occurs, white or yellow bumps can grow on the inside of the cheeks and top of the tongue. Those with a weakened immune system are more likely to develop thrush because their bodies have a harder time fighting infection. Other symptoms of thrush include: 

  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Loss of taste
  • Cottonmouth
  • Pain when you swallow
  • Redness in your mouth

Oral thrush and inhaler use are related because the corticosteroid medication may accumulate on your tongue and mouth. Most of the steroid medication reaches your lungs, but it can coat the inside of the mouth, so your doctor recommends rinsing your mouth after using Flovent HFA. [2] If you have questions about how to use Flovent HFA, ask your doctor. To prevent oral thrush while taking Flovent HFA, you can do the following: 

  • Brush your teeth after using your inhaler
  • Maintain good overall health
  • Use a spacer device with your inhaler

Eye Problems with Flovent

Researchers have found that the prolonged use of inhaled oral steroids like Flovent HFA can increase the risk of vision problems. Cataracts and glaucoma can occur over time with inhaler use, but eye problems most commonly occur in older adults who may already be at risk for these conditions.

a close up of an eye

Steroid use can increase the risk of glaucoma because it increases intraocular pressure and impedes the outflow of aqueous fluid from the eye. This pressure damages the optic nerve over time and causes symptoms of glaucoma, including:

  • Eye pain
  • Severe headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision

Cataracts are another serious long-term side effect of oral steroid use. Researchers have found that the development of cataracts may be accelerated when using medications like Flovent. Cataracts involve clouding of the eye lens and can cause light sensitivity, night blindness, and cloudy vision. These side effects do not commonly occur, but if you take high dosages of Flovent for a long period and experience eye problems, you should tell your doctor right away. [3]

Delayed Wound Healing

Researchers have found that steroid use may inhibit the enzymes necessary for wound healing. After a surgery, corticosteroid use may increase the risk of dehiscence of surgical incisions. Dehiscence is a surgical complication that occurs when the edges of a wound no longer meet, also known as wound separation.

Wound complications occur because steroids can interfere with connective tissue, collagen synthesis, and various growth factors necessary for healing. If you take Flovent HFA, you may want to tell your doctor before undergoing major surgery, especially if you experienced delayed wound healing. [4]

doctors performing surgery

Mood Changes & Flovent Anxiety

As more inhaler medications become available, further research is coming out about the possible mental changes associated with corticosteroid therapy. More research is needed for definitive proof, but you should tell your doctor if you notice a change in your mental condition. 

In one study published in the National Library of Medicine, researchers compiled studies about steroid use and mood changes. In the Profile of Mood States, patients were examined after a short course of high-dose steroids. After steroids, 26 percent of patients with ophthalmologic disorders who were initially free of psychiatric illness developed mania, and 10 percent developed depression during corticosteroid therapy. At the end of the study, researchers found that mania is more common than depression during a short course of high-dose steroids. [5] 

Mood changes may not occur in every patient, but corticosteroids may increase the severity if you are already experiencing a mood disorder. In general, a Flovent dosage is safe to use for most patients, but make sure to stay in contact with your doctor if you feel like you are experiencing persistent side effects. To fill your prescription and save on fluticasone, visit a Canadian pharmacy like MyDrugCenter today.

DISCLAIMER: The information in the article is not meant to be used for treatment or diagnosis. It is designed for general awareness and for information purposes only. Always consult a medical professional for your specific healthcare needs.