Medications

Serevent® Diskhaler® disks   

This product is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline using the ingredient salmeterol xinafoate.

This product is taken via Diskhaler®.

Why is it prescribed?

Salmeterol is used on a regular basis to prevent bronchospasm associated with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema and other pulmonary disorders where bronchospasm is a complicating factor.  In asthma, salmeterol is an optional add-on therapy for those having poor asthma control despite an optimal dose of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and short-acting bronchodilators.   Salmeterol may also be used as first-line therapy in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


  • Serevent® disks are intended for inhalation only, and must only be used with a Serevent® Diskhaler®.
  • To ensure administration of the proper dosage, your doctor or pharmacist should instruct you on the proper use and care of this delivery system.

Instructions for Use:

1. Remove the mouthpiece cover and check inside and outside to ensure that the mouthpiece is clean.
2. Hold the corners of the white tray and pull out gently until you can see all the plastic ridges on the sides of the tray.

3. Put your finger and thumb on the ridges, squeeze inwards and gently pull the tray out of the Diskhaler® body.
4. Place the disk on the wheel with the numbers facing up. Then slide the tray back fully into the Diskhaler® body.
5. Hold the corners of the tray and rotate the disk by gently pulling the tray out and pushing it in until the number '4' appears in the indicator hole. The Diskhaler® is now ready for use.

6. Raise the lid as far as it will go into the fully upright position. Both surfaces of the blister must be pierced. Some resistance will be felt as the upper, and especially the lower surfaces of the blister, are pierced. Then close the lid.

7. Breathe out as far as is comfortable. Keeping the Diskhaler® device level, raise it to your mouth and gently place the mouthpiece between your teeth and lips but do not bite the mouthpiece. Do not cover the air inlets on either side of the mouthpiece. Breathe in through your mouth steadily and as deeply as you can. Hold your breath and remove the Diskhaler® device from your mouth. Continue to hold your breath for as long as is comfortable.

8. Rotate the Serevent® Disk to the next blister by gently pulling the tray out once and in again. Do not pierce the blister until immediately before inhalation.

9. Replace the mouthpiece cover.

10. Each disk consists of 4 blisters containing medication. When the number '4' reappears in the indicator hole, the disk is empty and should be replaced with a new disk by repeating steps 2 to 5.

 

  • The Diskhaler® should be kept clean and dry at all times.
  • Remember that each disk contains only 4 doses.
  • The Diskhaler® should be cleaned and cared for according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • You may need to replace your Diskhaler® after about 6 months of use.
  • Store the disks at room temperature (15 to 25 degrees centigrade). Protect from direct heat, sunlight and humidity.

Alternatives

Other products that have the same ingredient as Serevent® Diskhaler® disks are •Advair® Diskus® •Advair® MDI •Serevent® Diskus® •

See other products used in the treatment of •asthma •bronchitis •bronchospasm associated with COPD •chronic bronchitis (COPD) •COPD •emphysema (COPD) •

The usual dose in adults and children over 4 years of age is 1 blister (50 mcg) used by oral inhalation twice daily (1 blister in the morning and 1 blister in the evening).


Salmeterol is a long-acting bronchodilator that acts at specific receptors called beta2-adrenergic receptors. It works by relieving spasm or narrowing in the small air passages in the lungs causing chest tightness and wheezing. This helps to open up the airways and makes it easier for air to get in and out of the lungs. When it is taken regularly, it helps the small air passages stay open.


Along with its needed effects, salmeterol may cause some unwanted or undesirable effects. Often, salmeterol users who use their medication properly, never experience any unwanted effects. The severity and duration of these effects are dependant on many factors including duration of therapy, dose, route of administration and individual response.Possible unwanted effects include:

  • headache
  • feeling a little shaky
  • slight palpitations (awareness of heart beat)

Uncommon:

  • increased heart rate
  • increase in the amount of sugar (glucose)
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • muscle cramps
  • trouble sleeping
  • weakness
  • drowsiness
  • flushing


Rare:

  • restlessness
  • irritability
  • vertigo (whirling sensation)
  • unusual taste
  • chest discomfort
  • angina (chest pain)


Many of these unwanted effects, especially the most common ones, may disappear with continued use. Check with the doctor or pharmacist if any of them continue or become bothersome.

 


  • In asthma, salmeterol must be used together with an appropriate dose of inhaled corticosteroid and salmeterol should never be used as rescue medication.
  • Maximum benefit cannot be achieved if the device is not used correctly. Even if you have used the device before, you should have your technique reassessed by your pharmacist and read the patient instructions that are provided with each product.
  • Salmeterol's bronchodilating effect lasts 12 hours. It should be used on a regular basis, every morning and evening (every 12 hours) and never more frequently than this. Breakthrough symptoms should be treated with a short-acting (rescue) bronchodilator.
  • If your rescue medication isn't working as well as it used to, or if you need more inhalations than usual to control breakthrough symptoms, your asthma may be worsening and your condition should be reassessed by your doctor.
  • Never adjust doses of salmeterol or any other asthma medications you are taking without consulting the doctor.
  • Using 2 or more inhaled medications can lead to confusion. Ensure that you know what each one is for and when they should be used.
  • Salmeterol is intended for long-term treatment and should not be started in people whose asthma is worsening or unstable.

Drug Interactions: Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking in order to avoid any potential drug interactions. The following drugs and drug classes have been known to interact with salmeterol:

  • MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitors (e.g. phenelzine, tranylcypromine)
  • tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline)
  • some beta-blockers (e.g. propranolol)
  • other bronchodilators


Use is not recommended in the following situations:

  • allergy to salmeterol or any component of the preparation
  • allergy to lecithin, soya or related products (e.g. soyabeans), milk or lactose
  • cardiac arrhythmia (irregular hear beat) associated with tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
  • people whose asthma is managed by occasional use of short- acting bronchodilators
  • children under 4 years of age


Caution recommended in the following situations:

  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • seizures (history)
  • elderly
  • sensitivity to sympathomimetics (drugs that stimulate the central nervous sysytem)


Use in pregnancy: Data is limited. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before use.
Use while breastfeeding: Data is limited.  Consult your doctor or pharmacist before use.


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Page Last Updated: 05/10/2016