What is this medicine?
SALMETEROL (sal ME te role) is a slow-acting bronchodilator. It helps to open up the airways in your lungs and to make it easier to breathe. This medicine is used long term to treat asthma and to prevent bronchospasm in patients already taking inhaled or oral steroids. It should not be used alone. Do not use for an acute asthma attack.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
- are not taking a steroid asthma medicine
- heart disease or irregular heartbeat
- high blood pressure
- thyroid disease
- worsening asthma
- an unusual or allergic reaction to salmeterol, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
This medicine is inhaled through the mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice. Make sure that you are using your inhaler correctly. Ask you doctor or health care provider if you have any questions.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- anti-infectives like chloroquine, and pentamidine
- antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
- medicines for colds
- medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
- medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
- medicines for weight loss including some herbal products
- some antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, linezolid, and telithromycin
- some heart medicines
- steroid hormones like dexamethasone, cortisone, hydrocortisone
- thyroid hormones
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve. This medicine may increase the possibility of dying from asthma. If your symptoms get worse or if you need your short acting inhalers more often, call your doctor right away. Do not use more than every 12 hours. NEVER use this medicine for an acute asthma attack.
Keep a record of the number of inhalations you use. Throw away the canister when you have used 60 puffs.
If you are going to have surgery tell your doctor or health care professional that you are using this medicine.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions such as skin rash or itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips or tongue
- chest pain
- difficulty breathing or wheezing that increases or does not go away
- dizziness or fainting
- irregular heartbeat
- need for more doses of short acting bronchodilators
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- fast heart rate
- nervousness, trembling
- sore throat
- stuffy nose
- upset stomach