What is Serevent Diskus (Salmeterol) prescribed for?
Salmeterol is used as a long term maintenance treatment to prevent and decrease wheezing and troubles with breathing that is caused by asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (Which also includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema)
This medication should only be used long term if your asthma symptoms are not being currently controlled by your other asthma medications. It should be used alone to treat asthma. However it is used to prevent asthma brought on by exercise.
Serevent Diskus works in the airways by relaxing muscles and opening air passages to improve better breathing habits. Controlling these symptoms of breathing problems can decrease your time lost at work or at school.
This medication will not work right away, and it should not be used for any sudden attacks. Your doctor must prescribe a quick relief medication for shortness of breath and asthma attacks.
Inhale this medication by mouth, usually twice a day, in the morning and the evening, 12 hours apart. Or use as directed by your doctor. You may or may not taste or feel the drug as you inhale, either is normal. But never exhale into the device. Do not use with a spacer, and never wash the mouthpiece or any part of the device.
Remember the dosage is based on your medical condition and your response to the treatment. Use this medication regularly to gain the most benefit. Do not take this medication more often or increase your dose. Doing so can lead to various side effects. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor first.
Learn which of your inhalers you should use every day (controller drugs) and which you should use if your breathing suddenly worsens (quick-relief drugs). Ask your doctor ahead of time what you should do if you have new or worsening cough or shortness of breath, wheezing, increased sputum, worsening peak flow meter readings, waking up at night with trouble breathing, if you use your quick-relief inhaler more often (more than 2 days a week), or if your quick-relief inhaler does not seem to be working well. Learn when you can treat sudden breathing problems by yourself and when you must get medical help right away.
Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic Salmeterol; or to any other medications or allergies in general. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
It is best to inform your doctor of your medical history. Therefore, it is best to speak with your doctor if you have ever suffered from any of the following; heart problems (e.g., angina, irregular heartbeat), high blood pressure, diabetes, liver problems, seizures, thyroid problems (e.g., overactive thyroid).
Salmeterol may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using salmeterol, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using salmeterol safely.
While minor, some of these side effects may occur. They are as follows; Hoarseness, throat irritation, headache, rapid heartbeat, nervousness, cough, dry mouth/throat, or upset stomach may occur. However if any of these persist or worsen, it’s best to speak with your doctor right away.
Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, seizures.
An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Rarely, this medication has caused severe (rarely fatal), sudden worsening of breathing problems/asthma (paradoxical bronchospasm). If you have trouble breathing or experience sudden wheezing, use your quick-relief inhaler and seek immediate medical attention.
What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?
There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.
What is the best dosage to take?
The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.
What happens if I miss a dose?
You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.
What is the best way to store this medication?
This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.