Articles, DRUGS

Salmeterol – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Interactions

Salmeterol brand name Sereves Diskus, is a long term medicine usually used for maintenance treatment for the prevention or reduction of symptoms like wheezing, breathing troubles, asthma, lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, which involves bronchitis and emphysema as well. It is not recommended for initial use and is only prescribed for asthma that cannot be controlled by your primary medicines like inhalers with corticosteroids. It never serves as the only medicine to treat asthma. It prevents asthma that is brought about by exercising as well. Salmeterol works by relaxing the muscles in the airways. It benefits the patient by improving their breathing and enlarging the blocked opening of the air passage.

As mentioned before, it is not an initial treatment as it does not work on the patient right away, and should not be used for breathing troubles and sudden attacks. An inhaler should be prescribed for situations like that. The doctor only prescribed Salmeterol dosage to improve your condition over time. Which is why, the medicine is used along with other combinations of medicines like beta agonists. For children and young adults who are prescribed Salmeterol for asthma, they should also use Fluticasone alongside. Your doctor should prescribe the right dosage for both the long term medicine and the quick-relief inhaler to be used alongside.

salmeterol DRUG USES

HOW TO USE:

In case you have been using corticosteroids like Prednisone for your medicine, do not stop it unless your doctor advises you to. To use Salmeterol, activate the device and use it in a horizontal leveled position. Inhale by your mouth and if the dosage is daily twice, use it once in the morning and then in the evening, trying to keep a 12 hours difference between the two doses. Do not exhale into the device or try to use it with a spacer. Never even try washing the mouthpiece or any other extension of the device for that record.

In case you have been prescribed other inhalers as well, do maintain a minimum of a minute’s gap between each dose of medicine. Depending on your response and condition, the dose might be altered. Do remember the change and don’t inhale the same amount as you did before out of sheer habit.  Take the medicine at the same time each day and do not inhale more than twice a day as this may lead to Salmeterol side effects. Stop your quick-relief inhaler and stick to using it only when needed after suffering from a sudden attack of asthma.

If using Salmeterol for Bronchospam, the asthma by exercise, use your medicine at least half an hour before you begin to exercise and the next dose should not be entertained before a 12 hour mark. In case an asthma attack sets in within the threshold, use your quick relief inhaler instead. The medicine usually doesn’t stop working, however if you find yourself using the quick relief inhaler more often that is 4 or more puffs each day, seek medical attention right away, as this means your asthma is only getting worse, which is of course not a good situation to be in.
Do check for your quick-relief inhaler and ask your doctor for one compatible with your medical history and allergies.

DOSAGE:

Salmeterol isn’t usually to be used for treating an acute form of bronchospasm. Patients who consider Salmeterol is to be taken before exercise even if you use additional dosage otherwise, should not. Only two doses are to be taken each day. If you already are taking those, Salmeterol dosage will not be effective even if taken during or before your jogging session.

  • On the other hand, for long term asthma, the dose of beta-2 agonists should be made use of along with inhaled corticosteroids.Usual Adult Dose for Asthma – Maintenance:
  • The inhalation powder is to be taken as 1 puff every 12 hours. Each dose consists of Salmeterol 50 mcg.
  • Usual Adult Dose for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – Maintenance:
  • Inhalation puff of Salmeterol 50 mcg is to be inhaled every 12 hours alternatively.Usual Adult Dose for Bronchospasm Prophylaxis:For the prevention of exercise induced asthma in adults, a puff of Salmeterol 50 mcg is to be taken at least half an hour to an hour before exercising.Usual Pediatric Dose for Asthma – Maintenance:
  • For children of at least 4 years of age, 50 mcg is given every 12 hours, for children below 4 years, 25 mcg is administered with adult supervision.
  • Usual Pediatric Dose for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – Maintenance:
  • Salmeterol 50 mcg is inhaled by the patient twice a day under adult supervision.Usual Pediatric Dose for Bronchospasm Prophylaxis:For children above 4 years, 50 mcg is inhaled 60 minutes before exercise.

PRECAUTIONS:

Being an asthma drug in basic along with improved functionality, the main usage remains the same, much like the precautions that are to be exercised. Let us take a look.

  • The drug should be weighed out for benefits, especially if being administered to a child or a young adult. Irrespective of the clinical need, it is hard to deny that there is an increased risk when given to a child below 12 or an adult above 65, although for the latter it’s mostly because of their health. For cases like this, visit the doctor for frequent checkups.
  • Tablet should not be chewed or split unless advised. In such cases, a score line in the tablet is where the split should be done to make sure the dose stays even.
  • Your medical history should be made known to the doctor, especially if there is a history of mental illness like bipolar disorder, suicide attempts or so on.
  • The medicine might make you drowsy, hence do not drive or stay around machines. Limit all activities when under the influence of the drug, along with alcohol intake.
  • Salmeterol may lead to increased heartbeat which should be brought to medical attention right away to avoid risks of QT prolongation.
  • Let your doctor know of your medicine in case you are about to undergo surgery as it might tamper with the condition that needs to be achieved.
  • Do mention about the Salmeterol intake before drug tests as it might lead to a false positive otherwise.
  • Pregnancy is a hard time for you and the risks cannot be ignored. Talk to your doctor about your condition to know if it will cause risks. Also check if it is okay to breastfeed your baby while on the medication.
  • Light and moisture should be entirely avoided when it comes to corticosteroids. Neither should medicines like Salmeterol be stored in the bathroom nor where there’s too little light. Medicines should be kept away from children and pets.
  • Do not flush medicines and discard them properly once the expiry date has arrived. You can always contact the local disposal company personally for added precaution. Do not burn off the medicine or throw it at a place where it can easily be picked up.

INTERACTIONS:

  • Drug interactions interact with the way your medicine work and hence put you to risk for serious side effects. Not all drug interactions can be listed, however, Salmeterol being a prescription drug is relatively high on interactions, which is why it is advisable that you don’t change the dosage or add new medication with the drug without consulting your doctor and getting an approval.
  • A few of the many drugs that are to be avoided are Dofetilide, Pimozide, Quindine, Solatol, Marcolide antibiotics like Erythromycin,Procainamide among others. That is because, these drugs may essentially affect your heart rhythm, a phenomenon known as QT prolongation.
  • Some other medicines usually don’t affect the heart rate but instead lead to increased side effects. The examples of such drugs are medicines like Cobicistat, Nefazodone, Telithromycin, Azole antifungals like Itraconazole, Macrolide antibiotics and HIV protease inhibitors. These drugs can cause serious drug interactions and problems internally if taken along with Salmeterol. Which is why you will probably be advised against inhibitors if you are about to begin a Salmeterol dosage. Other corticosteroids have composite ingredients that might interact with the composition of Salmeterol and should not be taken together. It might also get difficult to identify the source of all side effects since all the medications have almost same issues. There is also a chance of overdose if you take more than one medication to treat the same condition without consulting your doctor. Try talking to your therapist or counsellor first as well to check if they suggest you need the medicine or you are better off without it. There is no requirement for useless treatment for a cause that is already improving after all.
  • Talking of overdose and missed doses, if adverse reactions are noted after an overdose, a call to the poison control center should be carried out right away. The center will work on the dose and try to reverse it as effectively as other. To prevent overdose, do not give away your medicine dose to others. It might so be your condition is different and needs a varying dose much like the other person needs a different dose.
  • On the other hand, for a missed dose, the medicine should be taken right away when remembered. However, there is no choice but to skip if you are close to your next dose. Resume the next dosage and talk to your doctor about when to catch up with the previous dose. Do not double up the dose as Salmeterol side effects can get out of hand, when it comes to a case of an over dosage.

SALMETEROL SIDE EFFECTS:

  • Of the many side effects that we speak of the most common ones triggered by Salmeterol are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, issues with vision, weight changes, a stuffy nose, tastelessness, constipation, loss of sexual interest, dry mouth.
  • To relieve your dilemma with these Salmeterol side effects, lay low for a while and make sure to suck on ice chips and drink lots of water. Your pharmacist will see to it that you get rid of your side effects before you can make you fall sick, thereby increasing the depression. Light-headedness is a common complaint received as well for this medication and the answer to it should be resting for a while.
  • The more severe serious side effects that needs the doctor’s attention right away are shaking tremors, nightmares, urinating problems, infections, shortness of breath, chest pain, eye redness, fainting. These can get worse if left untreated and should hence be taken care of in the early stages of manifestation itself. Keep your doctor informed about side effects and allergies as and when they show up. This would make it easier to keep it in control later, so you only get better without the hassle.
  • Medical attention is also advisable if you are using more than one drug at one time, since it can be an issue of another medicine that you are having. There is no certain way to tell except tests from your physician. Let your doctor know of all the side effects in detail so it is easy for them to recognize your condition and why the side effects are being triggered. You might have to take medications to reduce the side effects such as constipation or so, but never do so without the approval of your doctor.

Side effects of no drug is desirable, however trying to avoid the risks by keeping a measure of the dose and an eye out for the precautions takes a patient a long way to treat his condition more efficiently.

Salmeterol, as it has been established by now, is a medication for wheezing and asthma and is trusted by many doctors and patients alike. Some see its benefits right away, while it takes longer for some to reap the results. Irrespective, if it has been prescribed by your doctor for you, he must have your best interests in mind. Take the dosage as instructed and you are good to go.

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