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Ask the Allergist

Is Taking Two Inhalations of Advair Diskus 250/50 the Same As One Inhalation of 500/50?

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Can you explain the different doses of medicines (steroid/bronchodilator) in Advair and why you need to fill a new prescription if your doctor changes your dose? Is there a reason you can't just double up on the 250/50?

This is a great question. Taking two inhalations of Advair diskus 250/50 is NOT the same as one inhalation of 500/50. The answer to your question is no.

Advair contains two medicines, fluticasone and salmeterol. Fluticasone is a corticosteroid, and salmeterol is an inhaled long-acting bronchodilator. These medications are both controller medicines. They help to control or prevent asthma symptoms.

The amount of fluticasone would be the same with 2 puffs of the Advair diskus 250/50, and 1 puff of the 500/50. Both doses would provide a total of 500 micrograms of fluticasone.

However, the amount of salmeterol (50 micrograms per puff) would be doubled for two puffs of the Advair 250/50 diskus. This is too high of a dose of salmeterol. It could lead to adverse side effects.

Use your Advair diskus as prescribed and outlined in the package insert. All forms of Advair diskus should be generally given 1 puff every 12 hours. Discuss this with your healthcare provider and make sure the instructions are clear to you on your asthma action plan.

Asthma, Medicines, Treatment
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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