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Serevent Diskus (inhalation)

Generic Name: salmeterol (inhalation) (sal MEE ter all)
Brand Name: Serevent Diskus

Medically reviewed on July 17, 2017

What is Serevent Diskus?

Salmeterol is a bronchodilator. It works by relaxing muscles in the airways to improve breathing.

Serevent Diskus is used to prevent asthma attacks or exercise-induced bronchospasm.

Serevent Diskus is also used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Serevent Diskus may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Do not use Serevent Diskus 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 Serevent Diskus.

If you use Serevent Diskus 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 Serevent Diskus is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Serevent Diskus 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 Serevent Diskus passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Salmeterol can increase the risk of asthma-related hospitalization in children and teenagers. It is very important that children using Serevent Diskus 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 Serevent Diskus?

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 Serevent Diskus 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 Serevent Diskus 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 Serevent Diskus 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 Serevent Diskus regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Do not stop using Serevent Diskus 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 Serevent Diskus?

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.

Serevent Diskus 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

  • high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss).

Common side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • flu symptoms;

  • joint or muscle pain;

  • throat irritation, cough; or

  • stuffy or runny nose.

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 Serevent Diskus?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Serevent Diskus, especially:

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.

Further information

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.

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