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Salmeterol (By breathing)

Salmeterol Xinafoate (sal-ME-ter-ol zye-NAF-oh-ate)

Prevents asthma attacks or exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB). Also treats chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.

Brand Name(s):

Serevent Diskus

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to salmeterol or milk proteins. Do not use this medicine to treat an asthma attack or a COPD flare-up.

How to Use This Medicine:

Powder Under Pressure, Disk

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed. Use this medicine only in combination with an inhaled corticosteroid. Never use more medicine than your doctor prescribed.
  • To use the Serevent® Diskus®:
    • This medicine is a powder that is used with its own special inhaler device. Individually measured doses of the powder are held in a foil blister package that is placed into the Diskus®. The Diskus® pierces each blister one at a time when you push the lever.
    • Do not use the Diskus® with a spacer.
    • Keep the inhaler closed when you are not using it. Keep it dry at all times. Do not blow into it.
    • Before inhaling your dose, breathe out fully, trying to get as much air out of the lungs as possible. Hold the Diskus® level and away from your mouth.
    • Open your mouth and breathe in quickly and deeply through the Diskus®. Do not breathe in through your nose.
    • Remove the Diskus® from your mouth. Hold your breath for about 10 seconds or as long as possible, then breathe out slowly.
    • Do not take an extra dose, even if you did not taste or feel the powder.
    • The inhaler has counter on top that shows the number of doses remaining. This tells you when you are getting low on medicine. The doses counting down from 5 to 0 will show up in red to remind you to refill your prescription.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at your usual time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.
  • Keep the medicine in the foil pouch until you are ready to use it. Store at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed. Throw the medicine away 6 weeks after it is removed from the foil pouch or after all the blisters have been used (dose indicator reaches "0")

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use this medicine together with similar inhaled medicines, including arformoterol, budesonide/formoterol, formoterol, indacaterol, or salmeterol/fluticasone.
  • Tell your doctor if you are using or have used medicine for depression (including an MAO inhibitor, TCA) within the past 2 weeks.
  • Some medicines can affect how salmeterol works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Blood pressure medicine (including a beta blocker)
    • Diuretic (water pill)
    • Medicine to treat HIV/AIDS (including atazanavir, indinavir, nefazodone, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir)
    • Medicine to treat an infection (including clarithromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, telithromycin)

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, heart or blood vessel disease, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy or seizures, or thyroid problems.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Increased risk of asthma-related hospital stays, intubations, and death
    • Increased trouble breathing right after use (paradoxical bronchospasm)
    • Heart or blood vessel problems, including chest pain, changes in blood pressure, or heart rhythm problems
    • High blood sugar
  • If you use a corticosteroid medicine to control your asthma, keep using it as instructed by your doctor. Take all of your asthma or COPD medicines as your doctor ordered. Do not change your doses or stop using your medicines without first asking your doctor.
  • This should not be the first and only medicine you use for your asthma or COPD. This medicine will not stop an asthma or COPD attack that has already started. You should have another medicine to use in case of an acute asthma attack or COPD flare-up. Tell your doctor right away if your condition gets worse or you need to use your other medicine more often than usual.
  • If any of your asthma medicines do not seem to be working as well as usual, call your doctor right away. Do not change your doses or stop using your medicines without asking your doctor.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, troubled breathing
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Increased asthma attacks or worsening of breathing problems
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Cough, fever, chills, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches
  • Headache
  • Muscle or bone pain

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 10/6/2020

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