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Among the common side effects of salmeterol are dizziness, sinus infections, and migraine headaches. In most cases, salmeterol side effects are minor and either don't require treatment or can easily be treated. Certain side effects, however, should be reported to a healthcare provider immediately. Some of these more serious side effects include a very fast heart rate, high blood pressure, and worsening breathing problems.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Salmeterol

As with any medicine, there are possible side effects with salmeterol xinafoate (Serevent®). However, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate the drug well. When side effects do occur, in most cases they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with salmeterol. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of salmeterol side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Salmeterol

Salmeterol has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and are then compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, the most common salmeterol side effects included:
  • Headaches -- in up to 17 percent of people
  • Bone or muscle pain -- up to 12 percent
  • Nasal or sinus congestion -- up to 9 percent
  • Irritation or infection of the airway, including bronchitis -- up to 7 percent
  • A sore throat -- up to 7 percent
  • An irritated or runny nose -- up to 5 percent
  • The flu -- up to 5 percent
  • Cough -- up to 5 percent.
Some other common side effects, occurring in 1 percent to 4 percent of people, included:
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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