Without a Prescription
Serevent evohalers, diskhalers and accuhalers all contain the active ingredient salmeterol, which is a type of drug called a long-acting beta 2 agonist.
Serevent is taken using an inhaler device. Inhaling Serevent allows it to act directly in the lungs where it is needed most. It reduces the potential for side effects in other parts of the body, as the amount absorbed into the blood through the lungs is lower than if it were taken by mouth. Serevent is available as three different types of inhaler device; the standard metered dose inhaler, which is now CFC-free and known as the evohaler, the breath-actuated accuhaler, and the diskhaler.
Serevent works by acting on receptors in the lungs called beta 2 receptors. When salmeterol stimulates these receptors it causes the muscles in the airways to relax. This allows the airways to open.
In conditions where there is narrowing of the airways, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it is difficult for air to get in and out of the lungs. By opening the airways, salmeterol makes it easier to breathe. Salmeterol doesn't open the airways as quickly as short-acting beta 2 agonists such as salbutamol or terbutaline, however, it does keep the airways open for much longer. The effects of salmeterol last for about 12 hours, whereas those of salbutamol or terbutaline last for about 3 to 5 hours. This means salmeterol is prescribed to prevent asthma attacks, wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath, rather than to relieve them.
In people whose asthma or airways disease is not controlled with short-acting bronchodilators and regular inhaled anti-inflammatories, such as corticosteroids, salmeterol is prescribed as an additional regular inhaler to help keep the airways open. It is particularly useful for preventing shortness of breath caused by exercise, and for taking before bed to prevent shortness of breath that is worse at night.
The evohaler is prescribed by inhaling through the mouthpiece at the same time as pushing down the canister. Some people may find this hard to coordinate and the accuhaler or diskhaler may be easier for these people to use. You can ask your pharmacist, asthma nurse or doctor to check your inhaler technique to make sure you are using your inhaler device correctly.
Serevent is prescribed for the treatment of:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
Serevent side effects that you should report to your health care professional or doctor as soon as possible:
- Abnormal heart beats;
- Awareness of your heart beat;
- Chest pain;
- Difficulty in sleeping;
- Faster than normal heart beat;
- Irritation of the back of the mouth and throat;
- Low blood potassium level;
- Muscle cramps;
- Severe swelling of lips, face or tongue;
- Shaking, usually of the hands;
- Unexpected narrowing of the airways;