Breo Ellipta

1 What is Breo Ellipta?

Brand: Breo Ellipta

Generic: Fluticasone and Vilanterol

Fluticasone – Vilanterol, also known and sold under the trade name of Breo Ellipta, is a product which contains two medications:

  • Fluticasone, which belongs to the group of drugs known as corticosteroids, that works by reducing the swelling of the airways in the lungs in order to make breathing easier
  • Vilanterol, which belongs to the group of drugs known as long-acting beta agonists, that works by opening the airways in order to make breathing easier. 

This product is used in the treatment and prevention of the symptoms caused by asthma and ongoing lung disease (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis). This medication is available in the form of a powder.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before the decision to start the treatment with this medication is made, it is essential to get informed about the expected beneficial effects, as well as, about the potential side effects and risks. 

For this decision to be made, the beneficial effects must outweigh the potential risks. This is a decision that you and your doctor, together, will have to make. During the consultations, it is important to inform the doctor about:

  • Allergies – Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. Also, inform the healthcare professional about any allergic reactions to any specific kind of food, dye, fabric and etc.
  • Pediatric – Proper studies done have confirmed that this medication is not recommended to be used within pediatric patients. 
  • Geriatric – There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used geriatric patients. This medication is not recommended to be used within geriatric patients. However, it could be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks. 
  • Pregnancy – Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy. It is unknown how would it affect the fetus. This medication is not recommended to be used during pregnancy. However, it could be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
  • Breastfeeding – Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used within nursing mothers. It is unknown if it is extracted in the milk, or how would it affect the infant. This medication is not recommended to be used during pregnancy. However, it could be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
  • Drug interactions – Inform the doctor if you are currently using any other medications, prescribed or no prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. This is important because certain medications are not recommended to be used in a combination with others, due to the possibility that certain interactions could occur. However, sometimes the doctor may decide to use a certain type of a combination, including two or more medications, to treat your condition, if he or she considers that combination as beneficial regarding your condition. 
  • Other interactions – Certain medications are not recommended to be used in a combination with specific type of food, tobacco and alcohol. Because of this, it is important to get informed if there is a need for you to follow a specific type of diet, and discontinue your use of tobacco and alcohol during the treatment. For example, avoid drinking grapefruit juice and eating grapefruit during the treatment, to help decrease the risk of potential side effects which are more likely to occur in a combination with grapefruit. 
  • Other medical problems – Inform the doctor about your medical history, any other medical problems and conditions from the past or at the moment. Especially, inform the doctor if there are any of the following conditions present – asthma attacks, bronchospasm, milk protein allergy, bone problems, cataracts, diabetes, glaucoma, heart or blood vessel disease, heart rhythm, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, hypokalemia, seizures, chickenpox, herpes simplex, measles, tuberculosis, infection, stress, surgery, trauma, or liver disease

3 Proper Usage

For proper use, follow the directions given by your doctor. This medication is available in the form of a powder. For the inhalation route, you will use an inhalator. 

The doctor or the healthcare professional will demonstrate you how to use the inhalator properly. The inhalator is usually used once a day. The dose is individual for every patient, prescribed by the doctor and based on your condition and the prognosis of the treatment. 

In order to get the most beneficial effects from its use, remember to use it regularly, as directed by the doctor. If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. This medication is harmful in case of an overdose. If an overdose is suspected, contact the doctor as soon as possible.

4 Precautions to Take

Visit your doctor regularly, at your scheduled appointments, so that he or she would be able to track your condition and make any adjustments if needed. These adjustments may refer to the dose – e.g. the doctor may decide to increase or decrease the dose, or to the treatment itself – the doctor may decide to discontinue the treatment if there are any serious side effects present, that would worsen your condition or if your condition does not improve. 

Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. This is important because this medication may contain inactive substances that could cause certain interactions to occur. 

Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. This medication is not recommended to be used during pregnancy, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used during pregnancy. 

At least two proven forms of birth control should be used during the treatment to help prevent pregnancy. Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. This medication is not recommended to be used within nursing mothers, due to the lack of studies that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used within nursing mothers. 

This medication is not recommended to be used within children.

5 Potential Side Effects

Along with the expected beneficial effects, there are potential side effects that could also occur. These side effects do not occur within all patients, also they could be mild or more serious. 

However, it is important to get informed about the potential side effects, so that you would be able to notice their presence and inform the doctor as soon as possible for further directions.

Common side effects:

  • headache
  • dry/irritated throat
  • hoarseness
  • runny nose
  • coughing

These side effects are common and are not considered as serious. However, if their presence persists or worsens, inform the doctor right away for further directions.

Serious side effects:

  • white patches in your mouth or on your tongue
  • weakness
  • puffy face
  • unusual weight gain
  • slow wound healing
  • tingling skin
  • bone pain
  • menstrual period changes
  • mood changes
  • easy bruising/bleeding
  • increased thirst/urination
  • vision problems
  • muscle cramps
  • shaking (tremor)
  • signs of infection
  • signs of pneumonia
  • fast/irregular heartbeat
  • severe dizziness
  • fainting
  • chest pain

If you notice any of these serious side effects, contact the doctor right away for further directions. 

A very serious allergic reaction to this medication is not common. 

However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, inform the doctor right away – skin rash, itching/swelling of the face/tongue/hands/feet, trouble breathing, or severe dizziness.

Top