Info on Clinical Trials and Treatment Tips for Salmeterol
Salmeterol has been studied in clinical trials for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Salmeterol for Asthma
In clinical studies, salmeterol was shown to improve breathing and to decrease the need for rescue inhalers. The medication also decreased the chance of waking up at night due to asthma. In other studies, when salmeterol was given to people who were also taking steroid asthma medications, it further improved asthma symptoms. When taken 30 minutes before exercise, it was shown to help prevent exercise-induced asthma attacks.
Salmeterol for COPD
In studies of salmeterol for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the drug was given to people with chronic bronchitis (with or without emphysema). People taking it showed improved lung function, compared to those not taking it.
Following are some general considerations for when and how to take the medication:
- Salmeterol is inhaled into the lungs, usually twice daily, with about 12 hours between doses.
- In the past, salmeterol came as a typical inhaler. However, now it comes as Serevent Diskus®, which contains dry powder.
- The Serevent Diskus is used differently than older inhalers. It contains small foil pockets which are filled with the powder. These pockets are punctured (by sliding the lever until it clicks), and the powder is inhaled using your own breath.
- Be sure to keep the Serevent Diskus horizontal while using it (otherwise the powder can spill out). Never exhale into the inhaler, as this will also disrupt the powder.
- Some people may not taste or feel the fine powder, even if they could taste the old salmeterol inhaler. Most of the taste is due to propellants (which are not used in the new Serevent Diskus).
- It is important to learn exactly how to use salmeterol. Make sure your healthcare provider shows you the steps needed to use it.
- Salmeterol should be taken at the same time each day to maintain even levels of the drug in your blood.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.