My wife is using three inhalers: Flovent, Serevent, and Albuterol. Is it safe to use all of these inhalers at once? How will this affect diabetes and high blood pressure medication?
Flovent is an inhaled corticosteroid. Corticosteroids offer long-term protection against attacks, by keeping airways from becoming inflamed and reducing airway sensitivity to triggers. Often, Flovent and Serevent are used in conjunction. Serevent is a longer-acting bronchodilator, not for rapid relief; its effects generally are sustained for 8-12 hours.
Albuterol is a fast-action bronchodilator which offers quick relief by opening blocked airways in the lungs. (It is strongly recommended that those with asthma have a quick-relief bronchodilator on hand at all times.) These three medications, whether individually or combined, are not at all unusual for the care of asthma.
In a person with diabetes mellitus, only Flovent deserves caution. Since corticosteroids can raise blood sugar (although much less with inhaled corticosteroids than with oral corticosteroids), blood sugar levels should be checked while on these medications. However, it is important to mention that side effects can occur with all inhaled corticosteroids and are not limited to Flovent.
After using any inhaled corticosteroids, rinsing one’s mouth with water is recommended, since these medications can cause a minor problem with oral fungal infection. However, a diabetic would be more likely than a nondiabetic to encounter this side effect.
Regarding high blood pressure, Flovent, Serevent and Albuterol will most likely not cause difficulty when used at physician-prescribed doses. However, if you have questions about the safety of your medications, you should discuss them with your physician.