salmeterol, Serevent (cont.)

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Certain allergens (such as pollen) can cause airway narrowing by inducing release of histamine by mast cells. Histamine is a natural chemical that causes tissue swelling and other allergic reactions in the body when released into the tissue. Mast cells belong to a class of immune cells located around the airways. Salmeterol is an inhaled medication that blocks the release of histamine by the mast cells, thus preventing airway narrowing when exposed to allergens.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Salmeterol is used twice daily (morning and evening) for the maintenance treatment of asthma and in preventing spasm of the airways (bronchospasm) in patients 12 years and older. Salmeterol is also used for the prevention of exercise induced asthma. Salmeterol is a long-acting beta-2 agonist, its action starts within 15 minutes and can last more than 12 hours. Therefore, salmeterol is useful in patients that require frequent administration of short acting beta-2 agonists, such as albuterol, for control of their asthma symptoms. Salmeterol is generally not used in patients whose asthma symptoms can be easily controlled with infrequent administration of short acting inhalers. Some patients with chronic bronchitis and emphysema may also benefit from salmeterol when their symptoms are related to reversible airway narrowing.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects include:

Throat and upper airway irritation can occur.

Use of long acting drugs like salmeterol may increase the risk of asthma-related death. Therefore, salmeterol should only be used in patients uncontrolled by other agents and who are using other long-term asthma-controlling medications such as an inhaled corticosteroid.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/18/2015

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