This medication is used to prevent and decrease symptoms (wheezing and trouble breathing) caused by asthma and ongoing lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema). This inhaler contains 2 medications: fluticasone and vilanterol. Fluticasone belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It works by reducing the swelling of the airways in the lungs to make breathing easier. Vilanterol belongs to a class of drugs known as long-acting beta agonists. It works by opening airways in the lungs to make breathing easier. When used alone, long-acting beta agonists (like vilanterol) may rarely increase the risk of serious (sometimes fatal) asthma-related breathing problems. However, combination inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta agonists, such as this product, do not increase the risk of serious asthma-related breathing problems. For asthma treatment, this product should be used when breathing problems are not well controlled with one asthma-control medication (such as inhaled corticosteroid) or if your symptoms need combination treatment. Before using this medication, it is important to learn how to use it properly. This medication must be used regularly to be effective. It does not work right away and should not be used to relieve sudden asthma attacks. If an asthma attack occurs, use your quick-relief inhaler (such as albuterol, also called salbutamol in some countries) as prescribed.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet and Instructions for Use provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. Follow the illustrated directions for the proper use of this medication. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Inhale this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Do not use more than 1 inhalation daily. If you open and close the cover without inhaling this medication, you will lose the dose. If this happens, you should load a new dose and inhale it. If you have been using a quick-relief inhaler (such as albuterol, also called salbutamol in some countries) on a regular daily schedule (such as 4 times daily), you must stop this schedule and only use it as needed for sudden shortness of breath. Contact your doctor for details. If you are using other inhalers at the same time, wait at least 1 minute between the use of each medication, and use this drug last. To prevent dry mouth, hoarseness, and oral yeast infections from developing, gargle and rinse your mouth with water after each use. Do not swallow the rinse water. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day. Do not increase your dose, use this medication more often, or stop using it without talking to your doctor. Also, do not use other long-acting beta agonists while using this medication. If this medication stops working well, or you need to use your quick-relief inhaler more often than usual (4 or more puffs daily or use of more than 1 inhaler every 8 weeks), get medical help right away. It may be a sign of worsening asthma or COPD, which is a serious condition. Learn which of your inhalers you should use every day and which you should use if your breathing suddenly worsens (quick-relief drugs). Ask your doctor ahead of time what you should do if you have new or worsening cough or shortness of breath, wheezing, increased sputum, waking up at night with trouble breathing, if you use your quick-relief inhaler more often, or if your quick-relief inhaler does not seem to be working well. Learn when you can treat sudden breathing problems by yourself and when you must get medical help right away. If you are regularly taking corticosteroids by mouth (such as prednisone), continue to follow your doctor's instructions on taking them. Do not stop taking them. Your doctor may want you to reduce your dose gradually. It may take several weeks or longer before you get the full benefit of this drug. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
See also Precautions section. Headache, dry/irritated throat, hoarseness, runny nose, and coughing may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: white patches in your mouth or on your tongue, weakness, puffy face, unusual weight gain, slow wound healing, thinning skin, bone pain, menstrual period changes, mental/mood changes (such as depression, nervousness, mood swings, agitation), easy bruising/bleeding, increased thirst/urination, vision problems, muscle cramps, shaking (tremor), signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, chills, cough). Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fast/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, chest pain. Rarely, this medication has caused severe (rarely fatal), sudden worsening of breathing problems (paradoxical bronchospasm). If you have trouble breathing, use your quick-relief inhaler and get medical help right away. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Different brands of this medication have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not remove the inhaler from its original foil package until ready to use. Discard the inhaler 6 weeks after you remove it from the original foil package or when the counter reads "0," whichever is sooner. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Other medications can affect the removal of fluticasone from your body, which may affect how fluticasone works. Examples include boceprevir, HIV protease inhibitors (such as lopinavir, ritonavir), some azole antifungals (such as ketoconazole), among others.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: chest pain, fast heartbeat, shaking (tremor).