Medically reviewed on July 16, 2018
What is salmeterol inhalation?
Salmeterol is a bronchodilator. It works by relaxing muscles in the airways to improve breathing.
Salmeterol inhalation is used to prevent asthma attacks or exercise-induced bronchospasm.
Salmeterol inhalation may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use salmeterol inhalation to treat an asthma attack that has already begun.
Salmeterol may increase the risk of asthma-related death. Use only the prescribed dose of this medication, and do not use it for longer than your doctor recommends. Follow all patient instructions for safe use. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks and benefits of using salmeterol inhalation.
If you use salmeterol inhalation for asthma, you must use it together with another long-term asthma control medication. Seek medical attention if you think any of your asthma medications are not working as well as usual.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to salmeterol or to milk proteins.
To make sure salmeterol inhalation is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a food or drug allergy;
heart disease or high blood pressure;
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
a thyroid disorder; or
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether salmeterol inhalation will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether salmeterol inhalation passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using salmeterol.
Salmeterol can increase the risk of asthma-related hospitalization in children and teenagers. It is very important that children using salmeterol inhalation for asthma use it together with another long-term asthma control medication.
Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old.
How should I use salmeterol inhalation?
Salmeterol may increase the risk of asthma-related death. Use only the prescribed dose of this medication, and do not use it for longer than your doctor recommends. Follow all patient instructions for safe use. Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 1 week of treatment.
Do not use salmeterol inhalation to treat an asthma attack that has already begun. It will not work fast enough. Use only a fast-acting inhalation medication.
Asthma is often treated with a combination of different drugs. If you use salmeterol inhalation to treat asthma, you must use it together with another asthma control medication. Use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Talk with your doctor if your medications do not seem to work as well in treating or preventing attacks. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor.
Serevent Diskus is a powder form of salmeterol inhalation that comes with a special inhaler device preloaded with blister packs containing measured doses of the medicine. The device opens and loads a blister each time you use the inhaler. This device is not to be used with a spacer.
Use salmeterol inhalation regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Do not stop using salmeterol inhalation without first talking to your doctor. Your asthma symptoms may get worse after you stop using the medication.
If you also use a steroid medication, do not stop using the steroid suddenly or you may have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk with your doctor about taking less and less of the steroid before stopping completely.
Seek medical attention if you think any of your asthma medications are not working as well as usual. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack. If you use a peak flow meter at home, call your doctor if your numbers are lower than normal.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and sunlight.
Do not try to clean or take apart the Diskus device. Throw it away 6 weeks after you have taken it out of the foil pouch, or if the dose indicator shows a zero, whichever comes first. Each Diskus device contains 60 doses.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the medication as soon as you remember, then wait 12 hours before using the medication again. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using salmeterol inhalation?
Do not use a second form of salmeterol (such as Advair) or use a similar inhaled bronchodilator such as formoterol or arformoterol (Foradil, Perforomist, Symbicort, or Brovana) unless your doctor has told you to.
Do not exhale or blow into the Diskus device. Do not take the device apart or allow it to get wet.
Salmeterol inhalation side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
worsening asthma symptoms, or other breathing problems after using this medication;
muscle cramps, sleep problems (insomnia), tremors;
chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeats, feeling light-headed, fainting, or seizure (convulsions);
low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
Common side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect salmeterol inhalation?
Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with salmeterol inhalation, especially:
an antibiotic--clarithromycin, telithromycin; antifungal medication--itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole; a beta blocker--carvedilol, labetalol, nadolol, metoprolol, penbutolol, pindolol, propranolol, sotalol, timolol;
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with salmeterol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 13.04.
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