fluticasone furoate and vilanterol inhalation powder (Breo Ellipta)

Medical Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: fluticasone furoate and vilanterol inhalation powder

BRAND NAMES: Breo Ellipta

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Breo Ellipta for oral inhalation is a combination of fluticasone and vilanterol and is used for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Fluticasone is a man-made steroid of the glucocorticoid family which is related to the naturally-occurring steroid hormone, cortisol or hydrocortisone, produced by the adrenal glands. Glucocorticoid steroids have potent anti- inflammatory actions. When used as an inhaler, fluticasone travels to the airways in the lung. In COPD patients, the suppression of inflammation within the airways reduces the inflammatory-stimulated spasm of the smooth muscle cells surrounding the airways that narrows the airways and makes getting air into and out of the lungs more difficult. When used in lower doses, very little fluticasone is absorbed into the body. When higher doses are used, fluticasone is absorbed and may cause side effects elsewhere in the body.

Vilanterol is a bronchodilator of the beta-2 agonist type. Beta-2 agonists are medications that stimulate beta-2 receptors on the smooth muscle cells that surround the airways, causing these muscle cells to relax and thereby opening the airways. It is similar to salmeterol (Serevent). Breo Ellipta opens the airways and increases air supply to the lungs of COPD patients. The FDA approved Breo Ellipta in May 2013.

PRESCRIPTION: yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: no

STORAGE: Breo Ellipta should be kept at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F) and stored in a dry place away from light.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Breo Ellipta is used for long-term treatment of COPD (emphysema or chronic bronchitis). Breo Ellipta is not used for acute episodes of bronchospasm or treatment of asthma.

DOSING: The recommended dose is one inhalation once daily by mouth. Following administration, the mouth should be rinsed thoroughly with water without swallowing to reduce risk of fungal infections.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Ritonavir (Norvir), atazanavir (Reyataz), clarithromycin (Biaxin), indinavir (Crixivan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole, nelfinavir (Viracept), and telithromycin (Ketek) may increase levels of fluticasone and vilanterol in the body by reducing the breakdown of fluticasone and vilanterol by liver enzymes. This may increase side effects of Breo Ellipta.

Beta blockers (for example, atenolol [Tenormin]) can block the effects of vilanterol and cause bronchospam in patients with COPD.

Combining or using Breo Ellipta within two weeks of stopping monoamine oxidase inhibitors (for example, phenelzine), tricyclic antidepressants (for example, amitriptyline [Endep, Elavil]), or other drugs that affect heart rate and rhythm, may increase risk of heart-related side effects.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/12/2013



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.


Back to Medications Index