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What does it do?

Salmeterol opens narrowed airways in the lungs. It helps to prevent asthma symptoms and breathing problems.

How should you use it?

Inhale salmeterol as directed by your healthcare professional.
Salmeterol works best when used every day.
If you need quick relief from asthma symptoms or breathing problems, use your ‘reliever’ medicine (e.g. salbutamol, terbutaline, ipratropium).

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and inhale your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, inhale the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not inhale two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Fast or irregular heartbeat, chest pain

Tell your doctor

Tremor, muscle cramps

Headache, dizziness

Nervousness, trouble sleeping

Dry mouth, hoarse voice, unpleasant taste, cough

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart problems or high blood pressure.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Some people with asthma may get short of breath after taking certain pain-relieving medicines such as aspirin (e.g. Aspec®), diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren®) or ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen®). Talk to your healthcare professional.
  • If you have asthma, salmeterol must be used with another ‘preventer’ (e.g. beclometasone, budesonide or fluticasone).
  • The use of inhalers can sometimes make breathing worse. Discuss this with your healthcare professional.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. March 2017

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed