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  1. #1
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    Jul 2007
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    Advair: weight gain & appetite?

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    Hi Ladies. I searched some of the old threads, and there are some posts of Advair users on here.

    In essence, it's an inhailed steriod. I took predizone in an oral pill form years ago and it gave me the side effect of weight gain (awful to shake#s), uncontrolable increased apetite, and hair loss. I asked my asthma/allergy doc if the Advair would give me these issues like the oral pill. He said that was not likely.

    The side effects of the drug are scary if you have read them. However, it doesn't really list the weight and appetite like an oral steriod. I just can't fiugre it out though.

    Had some major things going on over the winter that my exercise didn't make the list. I have some pounds I'm struggling to get off, and the scale seems to be going the wrong way. I didn't regularly take Advair before. Just my albuterol inhailer pre-ride to open things up. Worked fine.

    Then, with the stress, my body just got so run down, bad upper respiratory infections of sinuses and pneumonia set in. I'm hopefully shaking it after months of different meds.

    I don't really know if the Advair is helping or not. When I went off all the meds about a month ago (including Advair), the sickness crud came right back. So, new stuff and more Advair.

    I'm kinda scared to go off of it since I'm actually "about" well. But, I just can't help but think it's making me gain weight, as well as some other side effects. I so badly want to be well, and stay well. It's very depressing when things you love are taken away... like riding.

    Any thoughts from first hand experience with this? Thanks! Miranda

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    I used Advair for about 6 years. I don't think it caused any weight gain. I've been taking Depakote for migraines for over 15 years and that definitely affects my weight/appetite, but I didn't notice any difference when I started with the Advair.

    This is going back a few years so I don't remember all the details, but I suspected that the Advair caused some minor and very short-lived throat irritation (my voice sounded slightly different) when I started to use it and later increased the dosage. Also I had a series of colds at one point that I thought might have been related to increasing the dosage. But that was also a short-term thing and since then I've definitely gotten fewer upper respiratory infections than I used to get.

    Last year my doctor switched me to Pulmicort which contains only one medication and is a corticosteroid. (Advair is two meds.) I've been pretty much the same since making the switch, i.e., no changes either in asthma symptoms or side effects.

    My father has been using various asthma meds for 15+ years, including Advair for at least 5 years, and he hasn't mentioned any negative side affects from it.

    In general you shouldn't stop taking medications without talking to your doctor first. Also try asking your pharmacist if weight gain is a side affect of Advair -- pharmacists are a great resource for information on meds.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    I used Advair for about 6 years. I don't think it caused any weight gain. I've been taking Depakote for migraines for over 15 years and that definitely affects my weight/appetite, but I didn't notice any difference when I started with the Advair.

    This is going back a few years so I don't remember all the details, but I suspected that the Advair caused some minor and very short-lived throat irritation (my voice sounded slightly different) when I started to use it and later increased the dosage. Also I had a series of colds at one point that I thought might have been related to increasing the dosage. But that was also a short-term thing and since then I've definitely gotten fewer upper respiratory infections than I used to get.

    Last year my doctor switched me to Pulmicort which contains only one medication and is a corticosteroid. (Advair is two meds.) I've been pretty much the same since making the switch, i.e., no changes either in asthma symptoms or side effects.

    My father has been using various asthma meds for 15+ years, including Advair for at least 5 years, and he hasn't mentioned any negative side affects from it.

    In general you shouldn't stop taking medications without talking to your doctor first. Also try asking your pharmacist if weight gain is a side affect of Advair -- pharmacists are a great resource for information on meds.

    Good luck.
    Thx for your help. I know exactly what you are saying about the throat/voice changes. It's like you have a gurly frog in your throat. Like a soar throat sound, but not the normal full soar throat feeling of pain. It's good to know that it did subside with time. Also, about the weight loss. Maybe it's another one of the meds. Think I'll have to pull a full review. The doc was on vacation last time I checked in. His NP and I talked a bit about it. She said it's hard to figure out which med is doing what when there are diff ones. The pharm is a good tip. We have one really good guy at ours. Think I'll have to seek him out. Thinking the doc will be back soon from travel.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    MD
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    The label for Advair has nothing about weight gain and I just did a cursory look at the medical review for it when it was approved and I didn't see anything in there. I would think the systemic levels of the steroid should be lower with the inhalation than with oral, again, just my thinking. There is a reason the Advair label does say to use caution when switching from an oral steroid to Advair. This is because when you are taking the oral steroid, your adrenal gland notes the steroid in your blood and shuts down making more, so then the corticosteroid in your system is from the pill and not from your natural system of making it. You taper off a pill like that to allow your adrenal gland to note less corticosteroid in the system and ramp up production again. If the Advair supplied as much corticosteroid to the blood, then you wouldn't have to worry when switching from oral steroids to Advair. And for you to have increased appetite, the steroid has to be in the blood to get to your brain to stimulate your eating. That's my take on it. I was looking for some comparative pharmacokinetics, but couldn't find any or at least not in the timeframe I had in my schedule.

    and the throat changes and hoarseness are in the label as some of the most common side effects of the drug.

    Always ask your pharmacist, usually they know the most about these things.
    Last edited by Possegal; 05-27-2008 at 02:23 PM.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Bedford, MA
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    212
    Like nybiker, I took Advair and had throat irritation to the point where my doc changed my med to Qvar which is similar to Pulmocort. It is a steroid inhaler without the extra albuterol. I didn't have weight gain from the Advair or Qvar from what I can tell.

    Good luck with figuring out the meds. I know that can be quite a process. I am *still* working to fully control my asthma.
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  6. #6
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    Oct 2007
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    MD
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    For clarification purposes - Advair does not have albuterol in it. Albuterol is a fast acting beta agonist which quickly dilates the bronchioles. Advair contains salmeterol, a long-acting beta agonist that works over time, not rapidly. This is why the label for Advair tries to alert people to the fact that it is not a 'rescue inhaler', as we often call albuterol. It should not be used in the event of an attack.

    The recommendation for Advair also states that if you can be controlled on an inhaler that is just the steroid component, then you should do that. Glad to hear that switching has helped you. I think at my next dr. appt I'm going to look to switching myself, as I think something like Pulmicort would work fine for me and be better for me.
    You too can help me fight cancer, and get a lovely cookbook for your very own! My team's cookbook is for sale Click here to order. Proceeds go to our team's fundraising for the Philly Livestrong Challenge!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Possegal View Post
    The label for Advair has nothing about weight gain and I just did a cursory look at the medical review for it when it was approved and I didn't see anything in there. I would think the systemic levels of the steroid should be lower with the inhalation than with oral, again, just my thinking. There is a reason the Advair label does say to use caution when switching from an oral steroid to Advair. This is because when you are taking the oral steroid, your adrenal gland notes the steroid in your blood and shuts down making more, so then the corticosteroid in your system is from the pill and not from your natural system of making it. You taper off a pill like that to allow your adrenal gland to note less corticosteroid in the system and ramp up production again. If the Advair supplied as much corticosteroid to the blood, then you wouldn't have to worry when switching from oral steroids to Advair. And for you to have increased appetite, the steroid has to be in the blood to get to your brain to stimulate your eating. That's my take on it. I was looking for some comparative pharmacokinetics, but couldn't find any or at least not in the timeframe I had in my schedule.

    and the throat changes and hoarseness are in the label as some of the most common side effects of the drug.

    Always ask your pharmacist, usually they know the most about these things.
    Quote Originally Posted by Possegal View Post
    For clarification purposes - Advair does not have albuterol in it. Albuterol is a fast acting beta agonist which quickly dilates the bronchioles. Advair contains salmeterol, a long-acting beta agonist that works over time, not rapidly. This is why the label for Advair tries to alert people to the fact that it is not a 'rescue inhaler', as we often call albuterol. It should not be used in the event of an attack.

    The recommendation for Advair also states that if you can be controlled on an inhaler that is just the steroid component, then you should do that. Glad to hear that switching has helped you. I think at my next dr. appt I'm going to look to switching myself, as I think something like Pulmicort would work fine for me and be better for me.

    Thx for that info! I wondered what the diff was between the short acting beta agonist, and long acting. I knew that the albuteral was the quick acting drug for rescue, but didn't realize the Advair has this component long term. DD takes Pulmacort via the nebulizer. The doc tried to give me the newest stuff out, Simbacort. Pulmacort PLUS a short acting dialator--made me feel really wigged out. My albuterol does that to me short term, then passes.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by hirakukibou View Post
    Like nybiker, I took Advair and had throat irritation to the point where my doc changed my med to Qvar which is similar to Pulmocort. It is a steroid inhaler without the extra albuterol. I didn't have weight gain from the Advair or Qvar from what I can tell.

    Good luck with figuring out the meds. I know that can be quite a process. I am *still* working to fully control my asthma.

    Thx for your reply. It is a puzzle to figure out the meds. It's frustrating sometimes having athletic passions, and your body doesn't want to join in the passion correctly (like breath right).

    My docs have told me before that this is actual in our favor as asthmatics. I guess the more sedentary you are, the less physical exertion it takes to trigger the asthma.

    I hate it when they do that stupid lung capacity test in the office. The mini-machine (like a peak flow meter, but it's electronic, and produces a graph) breathing test. The RN showed me last time: "well... for your age etc., your average normal range of lung capacity is X... and you are ok, or above that".

    OK, that's a good thing. But I don't think it compares apples to apples when you consider endurance athletes and what our lung capacity is (or needs to be for the sports performance)... compared to a coach potatoe.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2
    Hi - This is my FIRST post here. Hehe. I have taken Advair for 3 years and have had no side effects though I do "lose" my voice once or twice a year. I also take Singulair. Advair has really helped me as Albuterol gave me wicked insomnia.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Another Advair user here...

    I've been on Advair for ~2 years now at the lowest dosage (100/50) and weigh the same as when I started, no increase in appetite. I have noticed increased hair loss, but that may be an aging-related thing (I'm 47) and the the hoarse voice that others mention (some days but not others). I rarely catch a cold, but that was the same pre-Advair. I do think it has helped my lung function/endurance for cycling and running, though my lung capacity (as measured by a peak flow meter) is still lower than I would like. It improved a little with Advair, but not as much as I'd hoped.

    Emily
    Emily

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