Seretide accuhaler and evohaler both contain two active ingredients, fluticasone and salmeterol. They are ‘preventer’ inhalers, used for asthma that is not sufficiently controlled by using a regular steroid inhaler with a reliever inhaler.

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Like any other prescription medication you must consult a doctor before using Seretide.

PrivateDoc offers a confidential free consultation service that may result in you receiving a prescription for Seretide if it is deemed appropriate and Seretide can prescribed safely.

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What is Seretide

Seretide Accuhaler and Evohaler both contain two active ingredients, Fluticasone and Salmeterol.

Fluticasone is a type of medicine known as a corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are hormones that are produced naturally by the adrenal glands. They have many important functions, including control of inflammatory responses. Fluticasone is a synthetic corticosteroid and is used to decrease inflammation in the lungs.

When Fluticasone is inhaled into the lungs it is absorbed into the cells of the lungs and airways. Here it works by preventing the release of certain chemicals that are important in the immune system. These chemicals are normally involved in producing immune and allergic responses that result in inflammation. By decreasing the release of these chemicals in the lungs and airways, inflammation is reduced.

In asthma, the airways tighten due to inflammation and can also be blocked by mucus. This makes it difficult for air to get into and out of the lungs. By reducing the inflammation and excess mucus formation, fluticasone helps prevent asthma attacks.

Salmeterol is a type of medicine called a long-acting beta 2 agonist. It 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 and 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 used to prevent asthma attacks, wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath, rather than to relieve them.

Seretide inhalers are a prescription only medicine, like any other prescription medication you must consult a doctor before using it.

Private Doc offers a confidential free consultation service that may result in you receiving a prescription for Seretide Inhalers if it is deemed appropriate and can prescribed safely.

Complete a 100% free and secure consultation to explore your treatment options.

Who can use Seretide

Private Doc will prescribe Seretide inhalers where they are suitable. People qualify for Seretide if:

  • They have been using Seretide inhalers for the last year.
  • They have had no problems with Seretide inhalers in the last year.

They have had a face-to-face check-up with an Asthma Nurse or Doctor in the last year.

How to take Seretide

Fluticasone and Salmeterol are taken using an inhaler device. Inhaling the medicine allows it to act directly in the lungs where it is needed most. It also 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 the medicines were taken by mouth.

Seretide inhalers are usually used regularly twice a day, sometimes reducing to once a day if your asthma is well controlled. However, you should follow the instructions given by your doctor regarding when to use your inhaler and how many inhalations you should use each day. Don't exceed the prescribed dose.

It is very important to learn how to use your inhaler correctly, as otherwise you won't be breathing the right dose of medicine into your lungs. Instructions will be provided with your inhaler. However, your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can also show you how to use your inhaler and can check that you are using it correctly.

Seretide is available as two different types of inhaler device; the Evohaler and the Accuhaler.

  • Seretide Evohaler is a metered dose inhaler that delivers the medicine as a fine spray or mist. With this inhaler you have to co-ordinate pressing down the canister and breathing in the spray. Seretide Evohaler can also be used with a spacer device such as the Volumatic or AeroChamber Plus. If you do use a spacer it is important that you always use the same make of spacer with Seretide Evohaler, because changing makes can change the amount of medicine that is delivered to your lungs.
  • Seretide Accuhaler is a dry powder inhaler. It comes pre-loaded with blisters containing individual doses of the medicine as a powder. To take a dose you have to slide the lever on the inhaler. This opens a blister inside the inhaler, making a dose ready for you to inhale. You then breathe out fully, put the mouthpiece to your lips and breathe in steadily and deeply through your mouth. More detailed instructions are provided with the Accuhaler.

Inhaled corticosteroids can sometimes cause a fungal infection in the mouth called Oral Thrush. To minimise the chances of this you should rinse your mouth with water or clean your teeth after inhaling each dose. Using a spacer device can also help avoid this problem. Consult your doctor if you develop white patches in your mouth or throat, as these are symptoms of thrush and it may need to be treated.

If you forget to take a dose, just take your next dose when it is due. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.

Do not stop using your inhaler regularly, even if you don't have any symptoms, unless advised to by your doctor.

Possible side effects

  • Seretide is known as a preventer and it should be taken regularly to prevent asthma attacks or wheezing. It should not be used to relieve an asthma attack or breathing difficulties, as it won't work quickly enough. An asthma attack needs to be treated with a medicine that quickly opens the airways, such as Salbutamol or Terbutaline. These are known as relievers, and you should make sure you carry your reliever inhaler with you at all times to relieve an asthma attack if it happens.
  • Consult your doctor if you need to use your reliever more frequently than normal, or if it becomes less effective at treating attacks, as this may indicate that your asthma is getting worse and your doctor may need to prescribe you another medicine.
  • Do not exceed the dose of this medicine that your doctor has prescribed for you.
  • Inhalers may cause an unexpected increase in wheezing and difficulty breathing, paradoxical bronchospasm, straight after using them. If this happens, don't use the inhaler again, use your reliever inhaler to open your airways and consult your doctor.
  • Inhaled corticosteroids have considerably fewer side effects than steroids taken by mouth. However, when taken for long periods of time at high doses, inhaled steroids do have the potential to cause side effects such as Glaucoma, Cataracts, thinning of the bones - Osteoporosis, slowed growth in children and adolescents, Cushings Syndrome, changes in mood or behaviour, and to suppress the functioning of the adrenal glands, glands that produce natural steroid hormones. For this reason your doctor will prescribe the lowest effective dose to control your symptoms, and monitor for these side effects. It is recommended that children receiving long-term treatment with corticosteroids have their growth monitored. If a child's growth appears to be slowed your doctor may refer them to a specialist respiratory paediatrician. For further information talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • If you need to take high doses of Seretide for a long time, your body may become temporarily reliant on the medicine. This is because long-term use of corticosteroids can cause the adrenal glands to stop producing natural steroids. For this reason treatment must not be suddenly stopped. If your doctor wants you to stop treatment your dose should be tapered down gradually, to allow the adrenal glands to start producing adequate amounts of natural steroids again. People taking high doses of Seretide for a long time may also need to take extra steroid medicines during times of physical stress, for example illnesses, serious accidents or surgery. This is because your adrenal glands would normally produce more steroid hormones to cope with these situations, however, if the action of your adrenal glands is suppressed, this increase in hormones won't happen naturally. For more information talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • People with severe asthma should have regular blood tests to monitor the amount of potassium in their blood. This is because low oxygen levels in the blood, hypoxia, and various asthma medicines, including this one, can lower blood potassium levels.

Seretide should be used with caution by people with:

  • A history of Tuberculosis
  • Heart Disease
  • Irregular Heart Beat
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Over Active Thyroid
  • Diabetes

Seretide should not be used by

  • People with known sensitivity or allergy to any ingredient.
  • Children under 4 years old

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • It is important that asthma is well controlled in pregnant women because severe asthma attacks can be dangerous to the pregnancy. Wherever possible, asthma medications should be taken by inhaler, as this minimises the amount of medicine that enters the bloodstream and crosses the placenta. The manufacturer states that Seretide should be used with caution during pregnancy. However, it is generally considered that asthma inhalers can be taken as usual during pregnancy. For further medical advice talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Salmeterol may pass into breast milk in small amounts. It is not known if fluticasone passes into breast milk. However, in general, asthma inhalers can be used as normal during breastfeeding, because the amount of medicine that passes into the breast milk after using an inhaler is negligable and unlikely to harm the baby. Seek further medical advice from your doctor.

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