Generic Name: Salmeterol (sal ME te role)
Brand Name: Serevent Diskus
Medically reviewed on September 5, 2018
- In people with asthma, long-acting puffers (inhalers) like salmeterol raise the chance of asthma-related deaths. Talk with the doctor.
- Long-acting puffers (inhalers) like salmeterol may raise the chance of asthma-related hospital stays in children and teens. Talk with the doctor.
- Do not use salmeterol to treat asthma if you are not using a long-term asthma-control drug like a breathed-in steroid. Do not use this drug to treat asthma if your asthma is well controlled by a long-term asthma-control drug.
Uses of Salmeterol:
- It is used to treat asthma.
- It is used to treat COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
- It is used to prevent exercise-induced breathing problems.
- This medicine is not to be used to treat intense flare-ups of shortness of breath. Use a rescue inhaler. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Salmeterol?
- If you have an allergy to salmeterol or any other part of salmeterol.
- If you have a milk allergy.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you are taking or will be taking another drug like this one.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Atazanavir, clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, or telithromycin.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with salmeterol.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take salmeterol with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Salmeterol?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take salmeterol. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), salmeterol may sometimes raise blood sugar. Talk with your doctor about how to keep your blood sugar under control.
- Have your blood pressure checked often. Talk with your doctor.
- Call your doctor right away if your breathing problems get worse, if your rescue inhaler does not work as well, or if you need to use your rescue inhaler more often.
- Do not take more of salmeterol or use it more often than you have been told. Deaths have happened when too much of this type of drug has been taken. Talk with your doctor.
- Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use salmeterol with care. You could have more side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using salmeterol while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Salmeterol) best taken?
Use salmeterol as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Follow how to use as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep using salmeterol as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- For breathing in only by a puffer (inhaler) into the lungs.
- Have your puffer (inhaler) use checked with your doctor at each visit. Read and follow facts on how to use the puffer. Make sure you use the puffer the right way.
- Do not take the device apart or wash it. Do not use it with a spacer. Do not breathe out into the device.
- Close the device after each dose. Do not open the device unless a dose is being used.
- If using to prevent exercise-induced breathing problems, use at least 30 minutes before exercise. Do not take another dose for at least 12 hours.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- Do not use more than 2 doses a day.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- Signs of low potassium levels like muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Very nervous and excitable.
- Very bad headache.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Very upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Not able to sleep.
- This medicine can cause very bad breathing problems right after you take a dose. Sometimes, this may be life-threatening. If you have trouble breathing, breathing that is worse, wheezing, or coughing after using salmeterol, use a rescue inhaler and get medical help right away.
What are some other side effects of Salmeterol?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Nose and throat irritation.
- Stuffy nose.
- Runny nose.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Salmeterol?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in foil pouch until ready for use.
- After opening, throw away any part not used after 6 weeks or when the indicator reads zero, whichever comes first.
- Protect from heat.
- Protect from light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time salmeterol is refilled. If you have any questions about salmeterol, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about salmeterol
- Salmeterol Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
- 3 Reviews
- Drug class: adrenergic bronchodilators
Other brands: Serevent Diskus