Fostair is a pink asthma inhaler, and can be used as both a reliever and preventer inhaler. Fostair can be used daily to prevent asthma symptoms, and can also be used to relieve the symptoms of asthma when they happen. It works by relaxing the muscles in your airways, while also reducing swelling and inflammation.
|100 mcg - 1 inhaler(s)
How it Works
What is Fostair?
Fostair is a pressurised inhaler, sometimes called a puffer, used to treat asthma. It is a combination inhaler with 2 medicines – beclomethasone dipropionate (a steroid) and formoterol fumarate dihydrate (which opens your airways).
The 2 medicines help to relax the muscles in the airways, and reduce inflammation and swelling. Fostair is a pink inhaler that is prescribed to adult asthma patients who need more medication than a reliever (or blue inhaler) alone.
When it is used daily, Fostair can be used as a preventer inhaler to reduce symptoms in the long term. Sometimes it is also prescribed to be used as a reliever inhaler.
The Fostair inhaler is also used to treat the symptoms of severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults. COPD is a long term condition, often caused by smoking.
Is Fostair a steroid?
Yes, Fostair contains beclomethasone dipropionate, a corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are an anti-inflammatory medicine and used to treat inflammatory conditions, like asthma. It also contains another ingredient to open up the airways, so it has a dual action.
What is the difference between Seretide and Fostair?
Seretide and Fostair are both examples of combination inhalers because they both contain 2 active medicines, which work differently to help treat your asthma or COPD. However, the active ingredients they contain are different.
Fostair contains a corticosteroid called ‘beclomethasone dipropionate’ and a long-acting bronchodilator called ‘formoterol fumarate’. Seretide contains a corticosteroid called ‘fluticasone propionate’ and a long-acting bronchodilator called ‘salmeterol’. Even though the active ingredients are different, both types of inhalers work in the exact same way.
How does Fostair work?
The Fostair Inhaler contains 2 active ingredients that work together to relieve and prevent asthma symptoms. One active ingredient is beclomethasone dipropionate, which is a corticosteroid and reduces swelling and inflammation in the airways.
The other active ingredient is formoterol fumarate dihydrate, which is a long acting bronchodilator and works by relaxing the muscles in the airways, making it easier to breathe. It can be prescribed to prevent or relieve asthma symptoms.
How it works to prevent asthma symptoms
If you are using Fostair to prevent asthma symptoms, you will use the inhaler every day to treat asthma alongside a separate reliever inhaler to treat symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath when they become worse.
How it works to relieve asthma symptoms
If you are prescribed Fostair for use as a reliever, you will use it every day to prevent and also treat sudden symptoms, like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
How to use your Fostair inhaler
To use your inhaler, you should either stand or sit in an upright position, then follow the instructions below:
- Remove the protective cap from the mouthpiece. Check the mouthpiece is clean and free from foreign objects including dust and dirt.
- Breathe out slowly and deeply.
- Hold the canister vertically so the body is pointing upwards.
- Place lips around the mouthpiece – do not bite it.
- Breathe in slowly and deeply through your mouth.
- Just after you start to breathe, press down firmly on the top of the inhaler to release one puff, while continuing to take a deep breath in.
- Hold your breath for as long as possible and remove the inhaler from your mouth and breathe out slowly.
- Do not breathe into the inhaler.
If you need to take another puff, keep the inhaler in the vertical position and wait for 30 seconds before repeating.
When should I use my inhaler?
You should use your inhaler how and when your doctor has advised you to.
If you are using the Fostair inhaler along with a reliever inhaler, you should follow the dosage advised by your doctor. The usual dose is 1 puff twice daily.
You should also take one puff if you have asthma symptoms. It may take a few minutes for the medication to work. If they do not improve, take another puff.
How long does a Fostair inhaler take to work?
If you are using Fostair to prevent your asthma symptoms, you should notice them getting better after a few days of using it. After a few weeks, the inhaler should have reduced the inflammation in your airways and you should start to feel the benefit.
If you are using the Fostair inhaler as a reliever, it can take several minutes for it to work. You should wait a few minutes before taking another puff to see if your symptoms improve.
How often can I use my Fostair inhaler?
If you use Fostair with a separate reliever inhaler the maximum daily dose is 2 or 4 puffs, depending on why you were prescribed Fostair. Remember, you should always carry your reliever inhaler with you to treat a sudden asthma attack or symptoms getting worse.
If Fostair is your only inhaler, the maximum reliever puffs per day is 6. The maximum daily dose of the Fostair inhaler in this case is 8 puffs.
How many puffs of Fostair is safe?
If you use Fostair with a separate reliever inhaler, it is likely you will be advised to use 1 to 2 puffs twice daily. The maximum dose is 4 puffs per day.
If Fostair is your only asthma inhaler, then the recommended dose is 1 puff in the morning and 1 puff in the evening. If you have asthma symptoms, take 1 puff of the Fostair inhaler, and wait a few minutes to allow the medication to work. If you do not feel better, take another puff. The maximum reliever puffs per day is 6. In total, you should not exceed 8 puffs per day.
How long does my Fostair inhaler last?
Each Fostair pressurised inhaler contains 120 puffs. If you use another reliever inhaler and use 2 puffs of Fostair per day, the inhaler should last you 60 days. If you use 4 puffs per day, it will last 30 days.
When the counter on the back of the inhaler shows the number 20, you should get a replacement.
Do not use the inhaler when the counter displays 0 as the device will not give you a full dose.
How to maintain your Fostair inhaler
To keep your Fostair inhaler clean and well maintained, you should clean it once per week. You should not remove the canister from the actuator or use liquid (including water) to keep it clean.
To clean your inhaler:
- remove the protective cover from the mouthpiece
- wipe the inside and outside of the mouthpiece using a clean, dry cloth or tissue
- replace the protective mouthpiece cover
How to store your Fostair inhaler
Before using the inhaler, store it in the fridge (2 to 8oC) until you want to use it.
After you have used the inhaler for the first time, do not store it in temperatures above 25oC. If it has been exposed to severe cold, warm it in your hands for a few minutes. Do not use man made heat sources. Always keep the inhaler out of sight and reach of children.
Where can I get Fostair?
The Fostair inhaler is available online or on the NHS.
Can I get Fostair online?
Yes, you can get the Fostair inhaler from Superdrug Online Doctor. However, you will need to have already been diagnosed with asthma, and prescribed Fostair by a GP. You will also need to have been taking it for at least 3 months before getting it from Superdrug Online Doctor.
If you meet the criteria, the process of getting Fostair from Superdrug Online Doctor is convenient and entirely confidential. Simply:
- Complete our short online medical assessment.
- One of our doctors will review your responses and decide whether it is safe and appropriate to prescribe Fostair to you.
- If it is, then you can choose to have your treatment posted to an address of your choice or you can arrange to collect it from a local Superdrug store.
Can I get Fostair over the counter?
No, the Fostair inhaler is a prescription-only medication. That means you must get a prescription from a registered doctor before you can get it from a pharmacy.
Can I get Fostair on the NHS?
It may be possible to get Fostair on the NHS. You will need to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss whether this is possible for you.
What are the side effects of Fostair?
Common side effects include:
- fungal infections in the mouth and throat
- hoarse voice
- sore throat
Uncommon side effects include:
- abnormal taste
- asthma attack
- burning lips
- changes to blood test results, like low white blood cells, increased platelets, increased blood sugar levels, increase in insulin, ketones, or free fatty acids.
- cough or productive cough
- difficulty swallowing
- excessive sweating
- flu-like symptoms
- inflamed sinuses
- irritated throat
- reddening of the face
- unusually fast heartbeat
- vaginal fungal infections
Rare side effects include:
- tightness in the chest
- feeling like you missed a heartbeat
- high or low blood pressure
- kidney inflammation
- swelling of the skin and mucous membranes
Very rare side effects include:
- worsening of asthma
- shortness of breath
- swollen hands and feet
Tell your doctor straight away if you have:
- skin allergies
- skin itching
- rash or reddening of the skin
- swelling of your eyes, face, lips, or throat.
Like all asthma inhalers, there is a small risk that Fostair will make shortness of breath or wheezing symptoms worse. If this happens you must stop using Fostair straight away and use your quick acting reliever inhaler straight away to treat shortness of breath and wheezing. You should also contact your doctor straight away.
Can you overdose on Fostair?
Yes, you can overdose on Fostair if you take more than you should. Taking more formoterol than you should can cause:
- heart palpitations
- increased heart rate
- changes in heart rhythm
- feeling sleepy
- low blood potassium levels
- high blood sugar levels
Taking too much beclometasone than you should, can cause short term issues with your adrenal glands. Consult your doctor if you have taken more Fostair than you should.
Does Fostair cause weight gain?
Weight gain is not listed as a side effect of taking Fostair.
However, some research suggests that inhaled corticosteroids may cause weight gain in some groups. One study suggested that the use of high inhaled corticosteroid doses could have been linked with an increase in body weight in women after one year. However, the researchers stated more research was needed to see whether the relationship was influenced by sex hormones, diet, exercise, and other medication.
Who shouldn’t take Fostair?
Fostair should not be used by children or teenagers under the age of 18 years. You should not take Fostair if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant or are breastfeeding, unless otherwise advised by your doctor.
Do not use Fostair if you are or think you might be allergic to any of the ingredients it contains, or if you are allergic to other medicines or inhalers used to treat asthma.
You should tell your doctor if you are taking any medicines used to treat:
- an abnormal heart rhythm
- high blood pressure
- depression or mental health disorders
- nausea and sickness (vomiting)
- Parkinson’s disease
- an underactive thyroid gland
- heart disease
- water retention
- alcohol dependence
You should also tell your doctor if you are using antihistamines or any other medications and if you’re taking Fostair if you have an operation.
Do not use beta blockers with this medicine. Beta blockers are often used to treat conditions affecting the heart and circulatory system, like:
- high blood pressure
- abnormal heart rhythms
- heart failure
Beta blockers can also come in eyedrop form and be used to treat conditions such as glaucoma.
Side effects of long term use
If you use high dose corticosteroids for a long period of time it can increase the risk of systemic effects, such as:
- adrenal suppression – a problem affecting how your adrenal glands work
- glaucoma – increased pressure in the eyes
- growth retardation – slowed growth in children and adolescents
- thin bones – reduction in bone mineral density
Beclometasone Inhalers (2020) NHS [Accessed 27 May 2021]
Combination Inhalers (2021) Asthma UK [Accessed 27 May 2021]
Corticosteroids (2021) NHS [Accessed 27 May 2021]
Fostair 100/6 Patient Information Leaflet (2020) Chiesi Ltd [Accessed 27 May 2021]
Fostair 200/6 Patient Information Leaflet (2018) Chiesi Ltd [Accessed 27 May 2021]
Inhaled Corticosteroids and Weight Gain (2012) ISRN Pulmonology [Accessed 27 May 2021]
Seretide 250 Accuhaler (2020) EMC [Accessed 27 May 2021]