The reference site for Salmeterol

Salmeterol is a long-acting β2 adrenergic receptor agonist (LABA) used in the maintenance and prevention of asthma symptoms and maintenance of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) symptoms.

WHAT IS Salmeterol?

Salmeterol is a bronchodilator. It works by relaxing muscles in the airways to improve breathing.

Salmeterol inhalation is used to prevent asthma attacks but will not, however, treat an attack that has already begun. This medicine is also used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.


Brand Name(s): Serevent
CAS nº: 89365-50-4
(sal mee teh rall)


Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to salmeterol and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

Salmeterol was developed by the company GlaxoSmithKline in the 1980s and was released as Serevent® in 1990.

In November of 2005, the American FDA released a health advisory, alerting the public to findings that show the use of long-acting β2-agonists could lead to a worsening of symptoms, and in some cases death.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Salmeterol is a bronchodilator. It works by relaxing muscles in the airways to help improve breathing.

Salmeterol inhalation is used to prevent asthma attacks. However, it will not treat an asthma attack that has already begun.

This medication is also used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication has not been approved for any alternative uses other than those mentioned in the product information section.

Dosage and using this medicine

Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor.

Moreover, do not use salmeterol inhalation to treat an asthma attack that has already begun. It will not work fast enough to reverse your symptoms. Use another, faster-acting inhalation medication to treat an asthma attack.

Asthma is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor.

If you are using salmeterol inhalation to prevent exercise-induced asthma, use the medicine 30 minutes before exercising, or as directed by your doctor. Allow at least 12 hours to pass before you use the medicine again.

If you use this medication to treat COPD, do not use the medicine for longer than 6 months unless your doctor has told you to.

Serevent Diskus® is a powder form of salmeterol inhalation that comes with a special inhaler device preloaded with blister packs containing measured doses of the medicine. The device opens and loads a blister each time you use the inhaler. This device is not to be used with a spacer.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully and it is advised that you ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

It is important to use salmeterol inhalation regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Do not stop using salmeterol inhalation without first talking to your doctor. Your asthma symtoms may get worse after you stop using the medication.

Seek medical attention if you think any of your asthma medications are not working as well as usual. An increased need for medication could be an early sign of a serious asthma attack. If you use a peak flow meter at home, call your doctor if your numbers are lower than normal.

Do not try to clean or take apart the Diskus device. Throw it away 6 weeks after you have taken it out of the foil pouch, or if the dose indicator shows a zero, whichever comes first. Each Diskus device contains 60 doses.

What special precautions should I follow?


Tell your doctor if you have a food or drug allergy, heart disease or high blood pressure, epilepsy or other seizure disorder, diabetes, a thyroid disorder, or liver disease. If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use salmeterol inhalation, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Salmeterol is a drug that has been shown to increase the risk of asthma-related death. It is critical that you use only the prescribed dose of this medicine and follow all patient instructions for safe use of the medication. Talk with your doctor about your individual risks and benefits in using salmeterol inhalation.

This medication has been categorized in the FDA pregnancy category C, which means that this medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Additionally, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use salmeterol inhalation without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old.

Do not use a second form of salmeterol (such as Serevent®) or use a similar inhaled bronchodilator such as formoterol (Foradil®) unless your doctor has told you to.

Do not exhale or blow into the Diskus device. Do not take the device apart or allow it to get wet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Use the medication as soon as you remember, then wait 12 hours before using the medication again. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose.

Never use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Possible side effects from using salmeterol inhalation include:

fast heart rate
elevated blood pressure

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, or insomnia
nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
dry mouth or throat irritation

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

signs of an allergic reaction (hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat)
chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats, tremors, shaking, or restless feeling
wheezing, choking, or other breathing problems after using this medication
skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness
worsening asthma symptoms

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

It is advised that you throw away the inhalation device 6 weeks after you remove it from the foil overwrap or after every blister has been used (when the dose indicator reads 0), whichever comes first. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of an emergency/overdose

In the case of an overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call the local emergency services on 911.

Symptoms of a salmeterol inhalation overdose may include:

muscle cramps
dry mouth
sleep problems (insomnia)
chest pain
fast or irregular heartbeats
feeling light-headed
seizure (convulsions)

Product Images


Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of salmeterol that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes, manufacturers and/or distributors.

The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.

Strength(s):  50 MCG


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