Fluticasone Propionate

By Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, MPH

What is fluticasone propionate?

Fluticasone propionate (brand name: Flovent®) is a glucocorticoid used most commonly as an inhaled treatment for asthma or other chronic respiratory diseases involving the trachea and bronchi (airways).

Its use in cats and dogs to treat airway disease is 'off label' or 'extra label'. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully as their directions may be significantly different from those on the label.

How is fluticasone propionate given?

Fluticasone propionate is most often given as an inhaled treatment via an aerosol canister and approved delivery device (AeroDawg or AeroKat). Before using, shake well and if possible, administer this medication at room temperature. Pre-load the chamber with a puff of the medication and place snuggly over your pet’s muzzle. Allow your pet to breath 7-10 times before removing the mask. Do not puncture or expose the canister to heat or fire.

This medication should take effect within 1 to 2 hours.

An acclimation and training period may be required before using the delivery device with the medication. Slow introduction to the device with positive rewards such as praise, treats, petting, etc. may encourage acceptance.

What if I miss giving my pet the medication or my shipment is late?

If you miss giving your pet a dose, give the next dose as soon as you remember, but if it is close to the next scheduled dose, either:

  1. skip the dose you missed, give it at the next scheduled time, and continue with the regular dosing schedule, OR
  2. give the missed dose and then wait the recommended interval before giving the next dose (continue giving it regularly at that new time).

Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.


Are there any potential side effects?

Few studies have been done in animals, but in humans, the most common side effects include inflammation and infection of the upper airway (such as a sore throat). The effects of this short-acting drug only last approximately 24 hours.

While ‘Cushingoid effects’ (signs associated with Cushing’s disease) have not been reported in small animals, if increased thirst, urination, appetite, or weight occur, or if hair loss, weakness, or skin or coat changes occur, contact your veterinarian.

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

Fluticasone should not be used in pets that are hypersensitive or allergic to it. It should not be used during an acute bronchospasm event (wheezing or shortness of breath).

Fluticasone should not be used in pets that are pregnant or breeding, but studies in cats and dogs are limited. It is unknown if this medication is excreted in milk, so fluticasone should be used cautiously in lactating and nursing animals.

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

The possibility of drug interactions is low since only a small amount of the drug enters the bloodstream. However, use caution when using fluticasone with drugs that inhibit certain liver enzymes, such as ketoconazole.

Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

Is there any monitoring that needs to be done with this medication?

There is no specific monitoring that needs to be done while your pet is taking this medication. Your veterinarian may monitor your pet to be sure that the medication is working.

How do I store fluticasone propionate?

Fluticasone aerosol should be stored between 2°C – 20°C (36°F – 86°F). Protect this medication from direct sunlight and from freezing. Store the canister with the mouthpiece down.

What should I do in case of emergency?

If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

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