This low dose contains 50 micrograms of salmeterol and 100 micrograms of fluticasone propionate, and may be used as an introductory treatment.
This dose contains 50 micrograms of salmeterol and 250 micrograms of fluticasone propionate. It may be issued after a period of treatment with a lower dose.
With 50 micrograms of salmeterol and 500 micrograms of fluticasone propionate, this is the highest dose, and may be recommended if weaker doses have not sufficiently reduced symptoms.
This dose consists of 25 micrograms of salmeterol and 50 micrograms of fluticasone propionate, and may be indicated as an initial course for first-time users.
The middle dose contains 25 micrograms of salmeterol and 125 micrograms of fluticasone propionate. Your doctor may increase your treatment to this strength after an initial period.
Containing 25 micrograms of salmeterol and 250 micrograms of fluticasone propionate, this dose may be issued if lower doses have proved less than effective.
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Seretide is an inhaler treatment for asthma, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. The medicine is available in two forms: as an Evohaler and as an Accuhaler. The Evohaler is a conventional canister inhaler; while the Accuhaler is a dry powder version. Both contain fluticasone and salmeterol, and are preventer treatments.
- Available in two types of inhaler
- Branded medicine
- Proficient at reducing inflammation
Around 5 million people in the UK are currently treated for asthma, making it a very common condition. The illness is a chronic one, although some younger people with it may find that they ‘outgrow’ their symptoms over time. It is characterised by coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. While these are most typically experienced early in the morning and late at night, they can manifest in sharper episodes called asthma attacks, which can often require medical attention.
The condition is the result of inflammation in the airways, including the trachea (windpipe) and bronchi (small branches connecting the windpipe to the lungs). In many cases, this inflammation can cause muscle walls in these areas to tighten, creating an obstruction and making it difficult to breathe.
It isn’t fully understood why people get asthma. However, certain factors are known to trigger the condition, such as airborne irritants (pollen, dust) and exercise. Some think that childhood exposure to cigarette smoke can also increase a person’s susceptibility to the condition.
Medicines for asthma concentrate on reducing the severity and likelihood of symptoms. Many use relievers, which are so called because they are applied when symptoms are active, and relief is required. Preventer treatments, however, such as Seretide, decrease the chances of symptoms occurring by easing the inflammation which causes them, and are designed to be taken every day.
The active constituents of Seretide are fluticasone and salmeterol, which tackle asthma in slightly different ways. Fluticasone is a corticosteroid, and works by limiting the activity of a chemical, which the immune system can release in response to certain triggers as described above. This immune response can often lead to inflammation and the increased production of potentially obstructing mucus. Fluticasone treats asthma by preventing this from taking place, and removing the grounds for symptoms to develop.
As a long acting beta-2 agonist, Salmeterol works by relaxing the muscles which line the trachea and bronchi. This soothes tension and creates space for the passage of air, making it easier for the user to breathe. It is not used for the immediate onset of symptoms, like short acting beta-2 agonists; but does provide a longer lasting effect, keeping the airways open for as long as 12 hours.
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How to use Seretide
Always make sure you follow the directions issued by your prescriber, and adhere to the instructions outlined in the patient information leaflet. This will help you to get the most out of Seretide and reduce the likelihood of side effects.
Apply the treatment as prescribed.
- Depending on the dosage you are issued, your prescriber may recommend a starting dose of one or two puffs twice a day. For more severe cases of asthma, this might be increased to four puffs twice a day.
- Take off the covering and make sure that there is no debris inside.
- Shake the inhaler around 4 or 5 times.
- Breathe out as far as you can comfortably do so.
- Place the mouthpiece in between your teeth and position your lips around it so it does not move.
- Breathe in deeply and steadily, and as you do so, press the Seretide canister down to release the medicine.
- Hold your breath for as close to ten seconds as possible.
- If you are applying more than one puff, wait for one minute before repeating the above.
- It may be advisable to rinse your mouth with water after use to reduce the risk of soreness in the throat.
- The typical dose may be one application, twice a day. This may be reduced to one dose a day if symptoms become well-controlled.
- Slide the outer casing so that the mouthpiece becomes visible.
- Press the lever until it clicks.
- Exhale as far as you comfortably can.
- Position the mouthpiece between your lips.
- Inhale a deep and steady breath through the Accuhaler.
- Hold your breath for ten seconds (or as close to this as possible).
- Slowly breathe out.
- Close the outer case on the Accuhaler.
- Rinse your mouth after use to prevent throat irritation.
For both treatments:
- Never exceed the prescribed dose.
- Do not make up for a missed dose with a double dose. If you forget to take your inhaler, simply carry on your treatment plan as scheduled.
- Ask your doctor for help if you are unsure how to use this medication.
Detailed instructions can be found in the patient information leaflet. Make sure you read these before using this product.
Seretide side effects
If you experience any side effects, let your doctor know, and seek medical attention immediately if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, or worsening of your asthma symptoms after using this treatment.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Muscle cramps, palpitations, shakiness.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Rash, increased heart rate, nervousness.
Rare (1 in 1000 people or less):
Dizziness, insomnia, decreased levels of potassium in the blood.
Very rare (1 in 10000 people or less):
Sore mouth or throat, aching, swollen joints or chest pain.
Very common (1 in 10 people or more):
Headache, increased susceptibility to colds.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Hoarseness, thrush, aching, swollen joints, muscle pain,
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Raised blood sugar, increased heartbeat, shakiness, chest pain, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, skin rash.
Rare (1 in 1000 people or less):
Hormonal changes resulting in the thinning of the bones or glaucoma.
This is not a complete index of the side effects associated with this medicine. Consult the leaflet supplied for more comprehensive information.
Taking it with other medicines
Make sure your prescriber is informed during consultation of any other treatments you are currently using. Seretide may affect or be affected by: treatments for fungal or viral infections; beta-blockers; diuretics; or other corticosteroids.
Conditions to look out for
Disclose any information relating to other conditions to your prescriber before using this treatment. It may not be suitable for you if you have or have had the following in the past: heart disease, or an irregular or fast heartbeat; an overactive thyroid gland; high blood pressure; diabetes; low blood potassium levels; or tuberculosis.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Check with your doctor before using Seretide if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to become pregnant.
Driving and using machinery
This treatment is not likely to affect your capacity to use machines or drive.
Seretide Accuhaler contains lactose, so you should tell your prescriber during consultation if you have any sugar intolerances.
Q&A: our Seretide discussion forum
Can I still drink alcohol?
Yes. This treatment is not known to interact with alcohol.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes. Your ability to drive should not be affected. But, if you notice any side effects which could make driving dangerous, avoid doing so and notify your doctor.
Can I use this medicine while pregnant?
Speak to your doctor before using these treatments if you are pregnant or trying for a baby. You should also let your prescriber know if you are breastfeeding.
How do I store it?
In a safe place, below 30 degrees and out of the reach of children.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
Seretide Evohaler contains salmeterol, fluticasone propionate, and norflurane (HFA 134a).
Seretide Accuhaler contains salmeterol xinafoate, fluticasone propionate and lactose monohydrate.
Do not use these treatments if you are allergic to any containing ingredients.
Is it available over-the-counter?
You can only buy Seretide if you have a prescription.
Is it right for me?
The treatment you use will be determined during consultation with your regular GP or respiratory nurse. They will start a prescription for the most appropriate treatment, after reviewing your condition and symptoms.
See your GP to have your prescription renewed for this product.
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