Salmeterol Oral Inhaler


In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for salmeterol oral inhaler, trade name Serevent DiskusTM.

What it’s for & How to take

Salmeterol oral inhaler is a long-acting medication that is used to treat wheezing and shortness of breath caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (called COPD) or asthma. This medication is sometimes used to prevent these same symptoms when they are caused by exercise.

This medication works by relaxing the muscle in your lungs. By doing this, your coughing and wheezing may be decreased, and you can breathe much easier.

Salmeterol oral inhaler is used on a regular basis to prevent wheezing and shortness of breath symptoms. This medication does not work to treat a sudden asthma attack. Use your quick acting rescue inhaler to relieve your immediate symptoms.

If you have been using a rescue inhaler on a regular schedule, you may need to stop the regular use while using the salmeterol. The rescue inhaler may still be used as needed. Talk about this with your doctor or pharmacist.

Salmeterol is usually prescribed to be used one puff twice daily. When using this inhaler for breathing problems caused by exercise, it is prescribed to be used one puff 30-60 minutes before exercise. Never use more than one puff every 12 hours.

When you pick up your inhaler for the first time, make sure the pharmacist shows you exactly how to use it. If you have any questions on how to work your inhaler, call your pharmacist or doctor and ask for instruction.

The DiskusTM device delivers your dose in a fine powder that is inhaled. Each time the inhaler is activated by its clicking mechanism, it loads a single dose ready for inhalation. Do not use a spacing device with this inhaler. The DiskusTM device must be discarded 6 weeks after removal from its foil storage packet. Do not shake this device. Talk to your pharmacist if you have any questions about how to operate this DiskusTM.

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.

Keep your inhaler clean and keep count of the number of inhalations left in the container. If you have any questions about how to clean your inhaler or keep track of the number of doses, ask your pharmacist or doctor to explain it to you.

Take time to understand which inhalers are for urgent breathing episodes and which are to be used on a regular basis to prevent breathing problems.

If you have used your inhaler for two weeks and are not seeing any improvement or your symptoms are worsening, call your doctor.

Self-monitoring also includes the use of a Peak Flow Meter. This is a simple device which helps you measure, on your own, how well your lungs are working. If you don’t already use one, discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist.

Most Important Warnings

  • This medication may increase the risk of asthma-related death. This medication should only be used as additional therapy for patients not controlled by other asthma medications. Do not use salmeterol oral inhaler by itself to control asthma; it always needs to be in combination with another inhaled medication. Your doctor will evaluate your asthma control at regular intervals. Your salmeterol will be stopped when asthma control can be maintained with the use of other inhalers.

Other Warnings & Cautions

  • Salmeterol oral inhaler should not be used when breathing problems can be controlled with inhaled steroids and occasional rescue inhaler use. When your doctor feels, this medication is necessary, it must always be used in combination with an inhaled steroid, either as two separate inhalers or as a combination product that contains both the salmeterol and the steroid medication in the same inhaler.
  • If a child or teenager needs to use salmeterol oral inhaler, it should only be used in a combination inhaler along with a steroid medication.
  • This medication may make you dizzy, drowsy, or blur your vision. Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Limit alcoholic beverages while using salmeterol oral inhaler.
  • Let your pharmacist or doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking this medication.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever been told you have any heart rhythm problems. Rarely, salmeterol may cause your heart to beat fast and unsteady. If you feel any severe dizziness or feel like your heart is racing or beating too fast, get medical help right away.

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if salmeterol oral inhaler is safe for you to use.
  • Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
  • Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have a heart condition, including chest pain or irregular heartbeats, a history of high blood pressure, or a history of seizure disorders.
  • While using salmeterol oral inhaler, you may feel some shaking, nervousness or headache. You may also feel some throat dryness or cough. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
  • Call your doctor right away if you feel any chest pain or pounding heartbeat.

If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Updated 7/20