Serevent is primarily prescribed for managing asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It belongs to a class of drugs known as long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs). Serevent works by relaxing the muscles around the airways, making breathing more accessible for individuals with asthma or COPD.

This medication is not intended for the relief of acute symptoms or sudden asthma attacks. Instead, it is typically used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include other medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids.

Forms of Serevent

Serevent is available in two primary forms: Diskus and Inhaler. Both forms of Serevent contain the same active ingredient, salmeterol xinafoate, and provide long-lasting relief of asthma and COPD symptoms.

  • Diskus: Serevent Diskus is a dry powder inhaler device that delivers a measured dose of medication when activated. It is designed for easy use and convenient storage. The Diskus is breath-activated, meaning the medication is released when the user inhales through the device.
  • Inhaler: Serevent Inhaler, also known as a metered-dose inhaler (MDI), delivers the medication in aerosol form. It requires coordination between pressing the inhaler and inhaling the drug to ensure proper lung delivery. The Inhaler is often used with a spacer device to help improve medication delivery and reduce the risk of side effects.

Precautions and Warnings With Serevent

Before using Serevent, it is essential to be aware of certain precautions and warnings to ensure safe and effective use of the medication:

  • Risk Factors: Serevent may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with a history of heart conditions, high blood pressure, seizures, thyroid disorders, or diabetes should use Serevent with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
  • Contraindications: Serevent should not be used by individuals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to salmeterol xinafoate or other ingredients in the medication. It is also contraindicated for the treatment of acute symptoms or asthma attacks.
  • Black Box Warning: Serevent carries a black box warning due to the increased risk of asthma-related death observed in some patients. It is not recommended as a sole therapy for asthma and should be used with an asthma controller medication, such as inhaled corticosteroids.
  • Worsening Symptoms: If asthma or COPD symptoms worsen or fail to improve with Serevent use, medical attention should be sought immediately.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: The safety of Serevent use during pregnancy or breastfeeding has not been established. Women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding should consult their healthcare provider before using Serevent.

Side Effects With Serevent

While Serevent is generally well-tolerated, like any medication, it may cause side effects in some individuals. It is essential to be aware of potential side effects and to seek medical attention if they occur. Common side effects of Serevent may include:

 Common Side Effects

  • Agitation
  • Coughing or other bronchial irritation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Dryness or irritation of mouth or throat
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Increased frequency of cold symptoms or sinus infections
  • Irritation of throat or mouth
  • Muscle cramps or twitching
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Palpitations (pounding heartbeat)
  • Restlessness
  • Trembling
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting

 Serious Side Effects

  • Feeling of choking, irritation, or swelling in the throat
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat that does not go away
  • Increased shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, or wheezing
  • High blood pressure (e.g., headache or severe dizziness)
  • Joint pain
  • Signs of low potassium levels in the blood (e.g., weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat)
  • Symptoms of high blood sugar (e.g., frequent urination, increased thirst, excessive eating, unexplained weight loss, poor wound healing, infections, fruity breath odor)

Drug Interactions With Serevent

When using Serevent, it’s essential to be aware of potential interactions with other medications, as these interactions can affect the effectiveness or safety of Serevent. Everyday drug interactions with Serevent may include:

Type of MedicationExamples
AntibioticsClarithromycin (Biaxin), Telithromycin
Antifungal MedicinesItraconazole (Sporanox), Ketoconazole
Antiviral Medicines for HIV/AIDSIndinavir, Nelfinavir (Viracept), Ritonavir, Saquinavir
Heart or Blood Pressure MedicinesDiuretics, Beta-blockers (e.g., Tenormin)
MAO InhibitorsIsocarboxazid, Linezolid, Phenelzine, Selegiline

Strengths and Dosages of Serevent

Serevent has various strengths and dosages to accommodate individual patient needs and treatment regimens. The recommended dosage of Serevent may vary depending on the severity of the underlying condition, previous treatment history, and other personal factors.

The typical dosage of Serevent for asthma and COPD management is as follows:


  • For adults and adolescents (12 years and older): The usual recommended dose is one inhalation (50 mcg) of Serevent Diskus twice daily, approximately 12 hours apart. Serevent should be used concurrently with an inhaled corticosteroid for asthma control.
  • For pediatric patients (4 to 11 years old): The safety and efficacy of Serevent in this age group have not been established.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

The recommended dose of Serevent for COPD management is one inhalation (50 mcg) of Serevent Diskus twice daily, approximately 12 hours apart.

Alternatives to Serevent

While Serevent is a commonly prescribed medication for managing asthma and COPD, alternative medications may be available that can be considered based on individual patient factors, treatment goals, and preferences. Some alternatives to Serevent may include:

  • Other Long-Acting Beta Agonists (LABAs): Medications such as formoterol (e.g., Foradil) and indacaterol (e.g., Arcapta Neohaler) are LABAs similar to Serevent and may be used as alternatives for bronchodilation in asthma and COPD management.
  • Combination Inhalers: Combination inhalers containing a LABA and an inhaled corticosteroid, such as fluticasone/salmeterol (e.g., Advair Diskus) or budesonide/formoterol (e.g., Symbicort), offer both bronchodilation and anti-inflammatory effects and may provide comprehensive treatment for asthma and COPD.
  • Short-acting beta Agonists (SABAs): Short-acting beta agonists, such as albuterol (e.g., ProAir, Ventolin), are commonly used as rescue medications for the relief of acute asthma symptoms or bronchospasm and may be used as alternative to Serevent for acute symptom relief.
  • Other Maintenance Medications: Inhaled corticosteroids (e.g., fluticasone, budesonide), leukotriene modifiers (e.g., montelukast), and long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs) (e.g., tiotropium) are other classes of medications used in the management of asthma and COPD and may be considered as alternatives or adjuncts to Serevent therapy.

Questions and Answers of Serevent

What is Serevent used for?

Serevent is primarily used to manage asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the long term. It helps to prevent bronchospasm and improve breathing in individuals with these conditions.

How should I use Serevent?

Serevent should be used exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Typically, it is inhaled orally twice daily, with approximately 12 hours between doses.

What should I do if I miss a dose of Serevent?

If you miss a dose of Serevent, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Please don’t take extra doses to make up for the missed one.

Can Serevent be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

The safety of Serevent use during pregnancy or breastfeeding has not been established. Women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding should consult their healthcare provider before using Serevent.

Are there any dietary restrictions while taking Serevent?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Serevent use. However, it is essential to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, as your healthcare provider recommends optimizing asthma or COPD management.

How long does it take for Serevent to start working?

Serevent starts working within 10 to 20 minutes of inhalation and provides long-lasting bronchodilation for up to 12 hours. It is essential to use Serevent regularly, even if you do not notice immediate symptom improvement.

Can Serevent be used as a rescue inhaler during asthma attacks?

No, Serevent should not be used as a rescue inhaler to treat acute asthma symptoms or sudden asthma attacks. It is a long-acting medication intended for daily maintenance therapy to prevent bronchospasm.

How long should I continue using Serevent?

It is essential to use Serevent regularly as your healthcare provider prescribes, even if you feel well. Do not stop using Serevent without consulting your healthcare provider, as sudden discontinuation may lead to worsening of asthma or COPD symptoms.

Can Serevent be used in children under four years old?

The safety and efficacy of Serevent in children under four years old have not been established. Serevent is generally not recommended for use in this age group.

What should I do if I experience difficulty breathing or chest tightness after using Serevent?

If you experience difficulty breathing, chest tightness, or worsening of asthma symptoms after using Serevent, seek immediate medical attention. These symptoms may indicate a severe allergic reaction or bronchospasm.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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