My Drug Center

How to Use Flovent HFA

Friday 29 April 2022
5 minute(s) read

Table of Contents

I. What is Flovent?

II. Using Flovent HFA Effectively

III. How Many Puffs of Flovent Should I Take?

IV. Is Flovent a Rescue Inhaler?

What is Flovent?

Flovent HFA is a brand-name aerosol inhaler approved for the maintenance of asthma symptoms. It contains fluticasone propionate to help widen the airways and alleviate breathing difficulties over time. As a long-term asthma therapy, Flovent HFA should not be used to treat asthma attacks. 

Flovent HFA is often prescribed to asthma patients who require oral corticosteroid therapy. Due to side effects associated with long-term steroid use, doctors generally prescribe Flovent HFA for only as long as it takes to help the patient regain control over their symptoms.

a woman taking a puff from her inhaler

When taken properly, Flovent HFA can open up the lungs and reduce inflammation, alleviating discomfort caused by excess mucus and swelling. Flovent generally takes one to two weeks for benefits to become noticeable. [1] Your doctor may increase your starting dose if you do not respond well to your initial dosage. Doctors may reduce the dosage once Flovent stabilizes your asthma symptoms. Read on to learn how you can maximize the effectiveness of Flovent HFA.

Using Flovent HFA Effectively

Before using Flovent HFA, it is important to inform your doctor of all your health conditions, including liver problems, osteoporosis, impaired vision, and a history of viral infections. Children should have guidance from an adult when taking Flovent HFA. 

To use Flovent effectively, you should follow your doctor’s prescribed dosage strength. The Flovent HFA inhaler is available at a Canadian pharmacy like MyDrugCenter in three dosage strengths: 44 mcg, 110 mcg, and 220 mcg. Once your doctor determines the best dosage strength for you, it is up to you to use Flovent regularly to ensure your symptoms improve.

animation of doctor giving instructions to patient

Make sure the inhaler is at room temperature before using it. If you have not used this particular inhaler before, prime it by taking the cap off the mouthpiece and shaking it well for five seconds. Continue priming the inhaler by spraying the inhaler once away from your face. Finish priming the inhaler by repeating this process three times. Also, remember to prime the inhaler if you have not used it for more than seven days.

When the inhaler is primed and ready for use, follow these steps for taking Flovent HFA correctly:

  • Step 1: Fit the canister firmly in the actuator so that the counter is visible.
  • Step 2: Shake the inhaler well for five seconds, then remove the mouthpiece cap and remove any foreign objects.
  • Step 3: Breathe out thoroughly through the mouth, pushing out as much air from the lungs as possible.
  • Step 4: With the mouthpiece down, bring the inhaler to your mouth and close your lips around the mouthpiece.
  • Step 5: Push down all the way on the top of the canister as you take a deep but slow breath in through the mouth. Take your finger off the top of the canister once the spray is administered.
  • Step 6: Hold your breath for approximately 10 seconds, then exhale slowly. For more than one dose, wait at least 20 seconds between doses and repeat these steps.
  • Step 7: When your dose is complete, rinse your mouth with water, then spit the water out. Do not swallow the water. Rinsing your mouth lowers your risk of throat irritation and sores in the mouth. Always remember to put the cap back on the mouthpiece by snapping it into place.

How Many Puffs of Flovent Should I Take?

The recommended number of inhalations depends on your asthma condition and any previous forms of therapy used to treat your asthma. In patients over 12 years old, 88 mcg twice a day is the usual starting dose. To take 88 mcg, you will likely need to take two puffs of Flovent HFA 44 mcg each time. However, if you previously required treatment with oral corticosteroids or your asthma condition is poor, your doctor may start you at a higher dose of 440 mcg twice a day. For younger patients between the ages of four and 11, twice daily, 88 mcg is also the starting dose. [2]

For a prescription of 440 mcg, you will need to take two puffs each dose if you have an inhaler with 220 mcg and four puffs if your inhaler contains 110 mcg. Often, your doctor may start you on a moderate dose, even if your symptoms are severe. This is because studies show that starting with a moderate dose is similarly effective to starting at a higher dose and lowering it from there. [3] Starting with a moderate dose is also preferable because it has the added benefit of a lower risk of side effects.

a woman using an asthma inhaler

Is Flovent a Rescue Inhaler?

It is not possible for Flovent HFA to be effective as a rescue inhaler. Flovent contains fluticasone, which has anti-inflammatory benefits over time. Corticosteroids like fluticasone do not improve symptoms of asthma right away. The benefit of long-term asthma treatment with fluticasone is that patients may experience stabilized symptoms for days after stopping the medication. However, fluticasone takes seven to 14 days to improve symptoms, so it will not work effectively for emergency relief during an asthma attack. [4]

Speak to your healthcare provider if you have any questions about using Flovent HFA. Alternatively, you may visit our Flovent blog to find out relevant information like the side effects of Flovent. Fluticasone offers a way to control severe symptoms of asthma when taken properly. Speak with your doctor to discuss if Flovent HFA is right for you.

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.