Seretide Diskus general information
What is Seretide Diskus used for?
Breathing difficulty is a feature of chronic airway diseases. These include asthma, which is caused by inflammation and narrowing of the small airways of the lungs called bronchioles. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is caused by permanent damage to the airways, which is not reversible. Seretide Diskus 50/500 is an inhalation powder that is used for regular long-term treatment and management of asthma. It is also used for long-term maintenance treatment of COPD to control symptoms and to prevent the damage from getting worse.
A combination of inhaled medications like Seretide Diskus 50/500 is helpful If you are already using two different types of inhaled medication, but your asthma symptoms are not adequately controlled, and you are still having symptoms. These include a preventer and a reliever that help control your asthma by reducing inflammation and relieving airway constriction. However, Seretide Diskus 50/500 is not suitable for immediate relief of asthma attack; for this, you should use a reliever inhaler.
Asthma symptoms and triggers
Symptoms of asthma include wheezing and coughing, tightness of the chest, and shortness of breath. Having asthma means you have sensitive airways that are reactive to specific triggers. These include triggers that cause an allergic reaction, such as pollen, dust, or mould, and this type of asthma is called allergic asthma. Non-allergic asthma triggers include irritants like inhaled chemicals, cigarette smoke, cold air, an infection, stress, exercise, or some medications. Exercise-induced asthma is a particular type of asthma that only happens after exertion but can last for over an hour after you stop exercising. Eventually, exposure to an asthma trigger causes inflammation of the sensitive bronchiole linings so that they become swollen and inflamed. Another sign of inflammation of the airways is the overproduction of mucus, usually produced to keep the airways moist, and this further blocks the airways.
Bronchioles are lined by bands of smooth muscle that are usually relaxed, allowing the bronchioles to expand and air to pass freely through into the air sacs or alveoli of the lungs. When the airways are inflamed, the smooth muscle contracts, which narrows the bronchioles making breathing more difficult. As the airways narrow, it becomes harder to inhale and requires more effort to blow air out of the lungs. This narrowing of the bronchioles is called bronchospasm. If the bronchioles are already in a state of chronic inflammation, an asthma trigger may cause sudden constriction and narrowing of the bronchioles, which can cause an asthma attack.
What causes COPD?
COPD causes breathing difficulties due to lung damage. Over time, inhaling irritants gradually damages the lung cells until a point is reached where the damage cannot be reversed. Smoking is the most common cause, also workplace chemicals. Untreated asthma can also cause scarring of the lung tissue that leads to COPD. Scarring results in airway remodelling, which means thickening of the airway walls and narrowing of the tubes. This causes the airways to be blocked, making breathing permanently and irreversibly difficult.
Symptoms of COPD
COPD symptoms are similar to asthma and include a chronic cough with the production of thick mucus or phlegm, wheezing, and tightness of the chest. Breathing is difficult, making you feel short of breath, and because COPD is not reversible, breathing difficulty gets progressively worse. At first, shortness of breath is related to exercise or mild exertion but eventually happens even when you are resting. You are more likely to get a chest infection and can feel tired and fatigued much of the time. COPD also includes lung conditions like chronic bronchitis, which is inflammation of the upper airways, including the bronchi (large airways) and the bronchioles (small airways). Emphysema is caused by damage to the air sacs of the lungs (alveoli), making it more and more difficult for the lungs to get enough oxygen into the blood. COPD in all its forms, limits daily activities, restricts exercise and exertion and reduces the quality of life.
How does Seretide Diskus work?
Seretide Diskus 50/500 contains a combination of two medications that work by different mechanisms of action to control obstructive airways disease in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Fluticasone in Seretide Diskus 50/500 is a corticosteroid and anti-inflammatory medication. It works by blocking the production of inflammatory chemicals produced by specific cells of the immune system, including leukocytes and macrophages. These cells are recruited to the site of inflammation, where they release chemicals into the airways, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Other cell mediators called cytokines are released to attract more inflammatory cells and prolong the inflammatory response.
Salmeterol is a long-acting beta2-agonist and bronchodilator. It works by dilating (relaxing) the muscles of the small airways of the lungs (bronchioles) to widen the airways. This reduces bronchospasm (constriction of the airways), relieving symptoms of asthma such as tightness of the chest, wheezing, and shortness of breath and provides relief for up to 12 hours.
Fluticasone and salmeterol in Seretide Diskus 50/500 are delivered as a dry powder directly into the bronchioles of the lung. They work together to improve lung function, which reduces symptoms and exacerbations of asthma and helps manage symptoms of COPD.
What does Seretide Diskus contain?
Seretide Diskus contains the active ingredients salmeterol xinafoate a bronchodilator (50mcg), and fluticasone propionate, a corticosteroid (500mcg), in a moulded plastic device with a foil strip with 60 blisters (or pockets) that contain the active ingredients in a dry powder. Each blister delivers a single dose into your lungs when you actuate (release) and inhale the dry powder. One diskus contains at least 60 actuations. Seretide Diskus also contains lactose (which contains milk protein).
What are the side effects of Seretide Diskus?
Most medications have some side effects, but they are not experienced by everyone. Some side effects are commonly experienced when taking Seretide Diskus 50/500, but others are not so common, and you should discuss any problems or concerns with your primary care physician.
Common side effects when taking Seretide Diskus include a sore throat or tongue, which may be due to candida infection (thrush), hoarseness or throat irritation, contusion in the skin (bruising), tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), tremor (shaky or tense feeling), palpitations, mouth or throat irritation, and muscle cramps.
When should Seretide Diskus not be used?
Have a talk with your primary healthcare physician before taking Seretide Diskus 50/500 so that you have a full understanding of what this medicine is for and how to use it. There are some reasons for not taking a medication; these are called contraindications, and for Seretide Diskus you should consider the following before taking Seretide Diskus:
- Have you ever had an unusual reaction or an allergy when taking Seretide Diskus?
- Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Do you have diabetes, as Seretide inhaler may increase your glucose levels?
- Do you have tuberculosis of the lung or other long term lung infection?
- Do you have a thyroid condition, high blood pressure, or a heart condition?
What are the health risks of Seretide?
Long term use of Seretide Diskus 50/500 may cause the adrenal glands, which produce endogenous (naturally occurring) corticosteroids, to stop working efficiently. This may slow down the growth rate in children and will need regular monitoring. Seretide Diskus may also cause decreased bone mineral density if used for long periods.
What is paradoxical bronchospasm?
All inhaled asthma medications can cause paradoxical bronchospasm. This is when the inhaled medication that is taken to relieve or prevent bronchospasm makes it worse, causing wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness of the chest. If this happens, you should inform your doctor and take their advice.
What medications interact with Seretide Diskus?
Some medicines interact with Seretide Diskus 50/500 and may affect the way it works, or are affected by Seretide Diskus or increase side effects; you should discuss possible interactions with your primary care physician. These may include beta-blockers, such as propranolol, the antifungal ketoconazole, ritonavir for HIV infection.
If other medications may interact with Seretide Diskus, your doctor will discuss these with you.
How should Seretide Diskus be taken and for how long?
You should take your Seretide Diskus 50/500 by inhaling two puffs twice a day, morning and evening. The dose you take and how often depends on what you are being treated for, the severity of your condition, your age, and your doctor’s recommendation. Seretide Diskus does not work immediately. It is intended as a long-term medication, which may take up to a week to start to work, and it may take several weeks before you feel the maximum benefit. You should not stop taking your Seretide inhaler, even if you feel better.
Follow the instructions provided when using your Seretide inhaler. You can use a spacer device to help you inhale correctly.
Missed dose of Seretide Diskus
If you miss a dose of Seretide Diskus 50/500 take it as soon as you remember, unless it is time to take the next dose, then skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose.
How should Seretide Diskus be stored?
You should store your Seretide Diskus 50/500 below 25°C in a cool dry place.