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Seretide (fluticasone and salmeterol)

What is Seretide?

Seretide inhalers contain a combination of two active ingredients: fluticasone and salmeterol. As an anti-inflammatory steroid medicine, fluticasone works by reducing inflammation and the secretion of mucus in the lungs, whereas salmeterol is a long-acting bronchodilator, and works by relaxing the muscles in the lungs. Both medicines work in different ways to make it easier to breathe.

Rather than being called an 'inhaler', Seretide products are known as 'Evohalers' and 'Accuhalers' in relation to the brand name. This is to reflect that they do not contain any CFC propellants and to signify that they are inhaled in different ways. You'll find the 'Evohaler' performs just like a normal inhaler, whereas the 'Accuhaler' is a circular inhaler containing dry powder – you may find this easier to use, as you don't have to synchronise your breathing with pressing the button.

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Seretide 100 Accuhaler Seretide 100 Accuhaler £22.50 per inhaler Prescription only Select
Seretide 250 Accuhaler Seretide 250 Accuhaler £43.75 per inhaler Prescription only Select
Seretide 500 Accuhaler Seretide 500 Accuhaler £51.15 per inhaler Prescription only Select
Seretide 50 Evohaler Seretide 50 Evohaler £22.50 per inhaler Prescription only Select
Seretide 125 Evohaler Seretide 125 Evohaler £43.75 per inhaler Prescription only Select
Seretide 250 Evohaler Seretide 250 Evohaler £74.35 per inhaler Prescription only Select

How does Seretide work?

As Seretide starts off by working slowly, it is very important you use it every day – even if you’re feeling fine and your breathing seems normal. Use every day alongside a separate fast-acting "reliever" inhaler when necessary.

Seretide is prescribed for asthma patients whose condition has not been controlled well enough by just a regular steroid inhaler, and should come together with a short-acting reliever inhaler whenever required. It may be prescribed for people who already have well-controlled asthma from using a regular steroid inhaler with a separate regular long-acting reliever (bronchodilator), because Seretide combines both types of medicine into one inhaler.

There is a recognised step-wise approach to the treatment of asthma; you'll already have been informed by your doctor or asthma nurse what to do if you have an asthma attack – if you still aren't clear, arrange another appointment with them to discuss your concerns. How to use Seretide

The Seretide (fluticasone and salmeterol) Evohaler is available in three strengths: each one contains 25 micrograms of salmeterol xinafoate, and either 50 micrograms, 125 micrograms, or 250 micrograms of fluticasone propionate, per inhalation.

The Seretide (fluticasone and salmeterol) Accuhaler is available in three strengths: each one contains 50 micrograms of salmeterol xinafoate, and either 100 micrograms, 250 micrograms, or 500 micrograms of fluticasone propionate, per inhalation.

For adults, the normal Seretide dosage is usually two inhalations twice a day. The strength of the inhaler that you are prescribed will depend on how severe your symptoms are. For children, the dosage may be lower, but Seretide is not recommended for children under four years old.

If your asthma symptoms are currently bad, or worsen in the near future, speak with a medical professional. Asthma that is poorly controlled can be managed more effectively.

Your doctor, asthma nurse or pharmacist will have already shown you, but it's important to use your inhaler correctly. Not using it correctly can make the inhaler less effective. Click here for Asthma UK's helpful guide to using your inhaler.

You should rinse your mouth out with water or brush your teeth after each inhalation. Some of the powdered medicine may be left behind in the mouth, which can increase the risk of a mouth infection if not removed.

If you are using a high dose of this or any other inhaler containing a steroid, do not stop using it suddenly without speaking with a doctor first – sudden withdrawal can cause side effects and make you feel unwell.

Is Seretide suitable for me?

Seretide inhalers may not be recommended or would be advised to be used with caution. Children or adolescents, pregnant or breastfeeding women and those with worsening asthma symptoms may not be recommended this inhaler. If you have heart disease, low potassium levels, thyrotoxicosis, diabetes, a reduced liver function or cirrhosis, or pulmonary tuberculosis, your doctor may advise a different treatment. Seretide isn’t recommended for people with an allergy to fluticasone or salmeterol, or any of the inactive ingredients.

Let the online doctor know if you are on any other medicines, either prescribed by your doctor or purchased from a pharmacy. The doctor should be made aware of treatments including ritonavir, ketoconazole, itraconazole, telithromycin, and steroids.

During your consultation, give a full picture of your health and your asthma. This will allow the doctor to decide how appropriate the treatment is for you.

What are the side effects of Seretide?

Although you may not experience them, all medicines can cause side effects – including Seretide. Common side effects include muscle or joint pains, sinusitis, bruising, low potassium levels, chest infections, voice hoarseness and oral thrush – the risk of this latter condition can be reduced by washing your mouth out after using the inhaler.

You may notice behavioural changes, depression and anxiety while taking Seretide, but these are considered less common side effects. A fast heartbeat (or palpitations of the heart), muscle cramping and a sore throat are also symptoms, but if you ever feel an unexpected increase in wheezing after using the inhaler, use a reliever inhaler straight away and seek the advice of your doctor or asthma nurse.

When taken in high doses, fluticasone can cause steroid-like side effects if you’re on a long-term prescription.

For a full list of potential side effects and other important information, read the patient leaflet provided. Before starting any course of treatment, please read the leaflet in full – it can also be viewed online below: