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Hello,

I have had allergies and asthma my whole life but have never had to use a maintenance inhaler.

Within the last four years of moving to Texas (love living here but apparently one of the worst places to live if you have allergies/asthma) I now need to use a maintenance inhaler or my asthma is too problematic to where I can't function, or go to work, without it. I am on Zyrtec, Advair and a prescription nose spray every day.

My question is: Is there an alternative, cheaper and maybe non-steroid, to Advair?

Thank you for reading. :wave:
There are some non steroid inhalers on the market but because they are new, they are very expensive if you don't have insurance coverage. If you main problem is the cost, it's possible to purchase Advair cheaper from Canada.
Ah, thank you so much. I do have insurance, so thinking maybe I shouldn't complain about the $50.00 copay I spend for the Advair. I do wish to one day phase out the steroid based medicine if possible. :)
The patents for Advair and it's delivery device have expired and hopefully a less expensive generic will be on the market within the next couple of years. One company has already applied to the FDA to test a replacement and I believe a generic form is already available in Europe. All the other brand name combo drugs similar to advair will be under patent for many more years to the best of my knowledge.

As for an alternative maintenance inhaler, you could also ask your pharmacist what else might work for you. That said the usual replacement downgrade is a steroid alone without the long acting bronchodilator. Of those, Qvar is what I remember being the least expensive.

I don't know why you want to stop the steroids but for what it's worth, the dose of most inhaled steroids are considered small ones. The dose delivered in my strength of Advair (250/50) is only a quarter mg/dose which amounts to half a mg /day. Much less is needed when inhaled than if taken orally so side effects are minimized. It generally doesn't even require weaning when discontinuing as you might expect when on oral steroids, but that said, don't discontinue without the advice of your doctor.

It's also the bronchodilator in Advair and similar combo drugs that's thought responsible for the more serious problems users may experience with these types of inhalers, not the steroid. The bronchodilators in these combo inhalers are the reason for the black box warning the FDA requires.





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