Fluticasone and vilanterol (Inhalation)
Generic Name: fluticasone/vilanterol (floo-TIK-a-sone FURE-oh-ate, vye-LAN-ter-ol trye-FEN-a-tate)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Nov 8, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Breo Ellipta
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Corticosteroid Combination
Pharmacologic Class: Fluticasone
Uses for fluticasone and vilanterol
Fluticasone and vilanterol combination is used to help control the symptoms of asthma and improve lung function. It is used when a patient's asthma has not been controlled sufficiently on other asthma medicines, or when a patient's condition is so severe that more than one medicine is needed every day. Fluticasone and vilanterol will not relieve an asthma attack that has already started.
Fluticasone and vilanterol is also used to treat air flow blockage and reduce the worsening of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Inhaled fluticasone belongs to the family of medicines known as corticosteroids or steroids (cortisone-like medicines). It works by preventing certain cells in the lungs and breathing passages from releasing substances that cause COPD and asthma symptoms.
Inhaled vilanterol is a long-acting bronchodilator. Bronchodilators are medicines that are breathed in through the mouth to open up the bronchial tubes (air passages) in the lungs. It relieves cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and troubled breathing by increasing the flow of air through the bronchial tubes.
Fluticasone and vilanterol is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using fluticasone and vilanterol
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For fluticasone and vilanterol, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to fluticasone and vilanterol or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Use of fluticasone and vilanterol combination is not recommended in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of fluticasone and vilanterol combination in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more sensitive to the effects of fluticasone and vilanterol than younger adults.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking fluticasone and vilanterol, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using fluticasone and vilanterol with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using fluticasone and vilanterol with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Aripiprazole Lauroxil
- Inotuzumab Ozogamicin
- Lutetium Lu 177 Dotatate
Using fluticasone and vilanterol with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using fluticasone and vilanterol with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use fluticasone and vilanterol, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
- Grapefruit Juice
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of fluticasone and vilanterol. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Asthma attack, acute or
- Bronchospasm (difficulty with breathing), acute or
- Milk protein allergy, severe—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Bone problems (eg, osteoporosis) or
- Cataracts, history of or
- Diabetes or
- Glaucoma, history of or
- Heart or blood vessel disease (eg, coronary insufficiency) or
- Heart rhythm problems (eg, arrhythmia, prolonged QT interval) or
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) or
- Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) or
- Ketoacidosis (high ketones in the blood) or
- Seizures, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Chickenpox (including recent exposure) or
- Herpes simplex (virus) infection of the eye or
- Infections (eg, virus, bacteria, or fungus) or
- Measles (including recent exposure) or
- Tuberculosis, active or history of—Inhaled fluticasone can reduce the body's ability to fight off these infections.
- Infection or
- Stress or
- Surgery or
- Trauma—Supplementary oral corticosteroids may be needed. Check with your doctor.
- Liver disease, moderate to severe—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper use of fluticasone and vilanterol
Inhaled fluticasone and vilanterol combination is used to prevent asthma attacks and treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is not used to relieve an asthma attack that has already started. For relief of an asthma attack that has already started, you should use another medicine. If you do not have another medicine to use for an attack or if you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
Use fluticasone and vilanterol only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it and do not use it more often than your doctor ordered. Also, do not stop using fluticasone and vilanterol without telling your doctor. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
Inhaled fluticasone and vilanterol combination comes with a patient information leaflet and patient instructions. Read the directions carefully before using fluticasone and vilanterol. If you do not understand the directions or you are not sure how to use the inhaler, ask your doctor to show you what to do. Also, ask your doctor to check regularly how you use the inhaler to make sure you are using it properly.
Use fluticasone and vilanterol at the same time each day.
Do not stop using fluticasone and vilanterol or other breathing medicines that your doctor has prescribed for you unless you have discussed this with your doctor.
To use the inhaler:
- Fluticasone and vilanterol comes in a foil tray. Peel back the lid to open the tray.
- Slide the inhaler cover down until you hear a clicking sound. The inhaler is now ready to use. Do not open the cover of the inhaler until you are ready to use it. If you open and close the inhaler without inhaling the dose, you will lose the medicine.
- Turn your head away from the inhaler and breathe out fully. Do not breathe into the inhaler.
- Put the mouthpiece between your lips and close your lips around the mouthpiece. Do not block the air vent with your fingers.
- Breathe in through your mouth as deeply as you can until you have taken a full deep breath. Do not breathe through your nose.
- Hold your breath and remove the mouthpiece from your mouth. Continue holding your breath as long as you can up to 3 or 4 seconds before breathing out slowly. This gives the medicine time to settle in your airways and lungs.
- When you are finished, you may clean the mouthpiece with a dry tissue, if needed, before closing the inhaler cover.
- The inhaler has a window that shows the number of doses that are left. This tells you when you are getting low on medicine. When the inhaler has less than 10 doses left, the left half of the counter will show up in red to remind you to refill your prescription.
Rinsing your mouth with water after each dose may help prevent hoarseness, throat irritation, and infection in the mouth. However, do not swallow the water after rinsing.
The dose of fluticasone and vilanterol will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of fluticasone and vilanterol. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For inhalation dosage form (powder):
- For treatment of asthma:
- Adults—One inhalation once a day. Each inhalation contains 100 or 200 micrograms (mcg) of budesonide and 25 mcg of formoterol.
- Children—Use is not recommended.
- For treatment and prevention of worsening attacks of COPD:
- Adults—One inhalation once a day. Each inhalation contains 100 micrograms (mcg) of budesonide and 25 mcg of formoterol.
- Children—Use is not recommended.
- For treatment of asthma:
If you miss a dose of fluticasone and vilanterol, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Do not take more than 1 inhalation per day.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Keep fluticasone and vilanterol in a dry place away from heat and sunlight. Throw away fluticasone and vilanterol 6 weeks after it has been opened or when the counter reads 0.
Precautions while using fluticasone and vilanterol
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that fluticasone and vilanterol is working properly and to check for any unwanted effects. You may need to have your eyes checked at regular visits. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Tell your doctor what other medicines you are using for your asthma or COPD. Follow your doctor's instructions on how you should take these medicine.
Fluticasone and vilanterol should not be the first and only medicine you use if you are having an asthma or COPD attack, or if symptoms of an asthma or COPD attack has already started. Your doctor will prescribe another medicine for you to use in case of an acute attack. If the other medicine does not work as well, tell your doctor right away.
Fluticasone and vilanterol may increase the chance of asthma-related problems. Be sure to read about these risks in the patient information leaflet and talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any questions or concerns that you have.
Talk with your doctor or get medical care right away if:
- Your symptoms do not improve after using fluticasone and vilanterol for 1 week or if they become worse.
- Your short-acting inhaler does not seem to be working as well as usual and you need to use it more often (eg, you use 1 whole canister of the short-acting inhaler in 8 weeks time, or you need to use 4 or more inhalations of the short-acting inhaler for 2 or more days in a row).
- You have a significant decrease in your peak flow when measured as directed by your doctor.
Fluticasone and vilanterol should not be used together with similar inhaled medicines such as arformoterol (Brovana®), budesonide/formoterol (Symbicort®), formoterol (Foradil®, Perforomist®), indacaterol (Onbrez®), or salmeterol (Serevent®).
Fluticasone and vilanterol may weaken your immune system and increase your risk for infection. Tell your doctor about any immune system problems or infections, including herpes in your eye or tuberculosis. Tell your doctor right away if you have been exposed to someone with chickenpox or measles.
Fluticasone and vilanterol may cause fungus infection of the mouth or throat (thrush). Tell your doctor right away if you have white patches in the mouth or throat, or pain when eating or swallowing.
Patients with COPD may be more likely to have pneumonia when taking fluticasone and vilanterol. Check with your doctor right away if you start having increased sputum (spit) production, change in sputum color, fever, chills, increased cough, or increased breathing problems.
Using too much of fluticasone and vilanterol or using it for a long time may increase your risk of having adrenal gland problems. Talk to your doctor if you have more than one of these symptoms while you are using fluticasone and vilanterol: darkening of the skin, diarrhea, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting, loss of appetite, mental depression, muscle pain or weakness, nausea, skin rash, unusual tiredness or weakness, or vomiting.
Your doctor may want you to carry a medical identification (ID) card stating that you are using fluticasone and vilanterol and that you may need additional medicine during times of emergency, a severe asthma attack or other illness, or unusual stress.
Fluticasone and vilanterol may cause paradoxical bronchospasm, which may be life-threatening. Check with your doctor right away if you have coughing, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath after using fluticasone and vilanterol.
If you develop a skin rash, hives, or any allergic reaction to fluticasone and vilanterol, check with your doctor right away.
Fluticasone and vilanterol may decrease bone mineral density when used for a long time. A low bone mineral density can cause weak bones or osteoporosis. If you have any questions about this, ask your doctor.
Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
Fluticasone and vilanterol may affect blood sugar and potassium levels. If you have heart disease or are diabetic and notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar or potassium tests, check with your doctor.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Fluticasone and vilanterol side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Body aches or pain
- difficulty with breathing
- ear congestion
- loss of voice
- muscle aches
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
- blurred vision
- chest pain
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- joint or muscle pain
- loss of appetite
- pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
- pounding in the ears
- slow or fast heartbeat
- tightness of the chest
- tingling of the hands or feet
- trouble sleeping
- troubled breathing
- unusual weight gain or loss
Incidence not known
- Fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
- muscle spasms
- noisy breathing
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
Symptoms of overdose
- Arm, back, or jaw pain
- chest discomfort
- chest heaviness
- decreased urine
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- fruit-like breath odor
- increased hunger or thirst
- increased urination
- loss of appetite
- muscle cramps
- numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
- rapid, deep breathing
- shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- stomach cramp or pain
- unexplained weight loss
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Creamy white, curd-like patches in the mouth or throat
- difficulty with moving
- muscle stiffness
- pain when eating or swallowing
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Frequently asked questions
More about fluticasone / vilanterol
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 191 Reviews
- Drug class: bronchodilator combinations
- FDA Alerts (1)
- Other brands
- Breo Ellipta
Related treatment guides
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