Salmeterol is the active ingredient of Serevent Accuhaler (Nappi
code: 818496-002) and Serevent CFC inhaler (Nappi code:
Salmeterol is a bronchodilator. Bronchodilators are drugs that relax the
muscles around the airways, helping the airways to open up, making it easier to
In South Africa salmeterol is registered for the treatment of long-term
reversible airway obstruction in asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In
children it is also used to prevent exercise-induced asthma.
Salmeterol should not be confused with salbutamol. Its advantage over
salbutamol is that it is longer-acting.
Salmeterol takes longer to start working compared to some other
bronchodilators (its effects last longer than that of most of the others,
though). Because of this, salmeterol is not intended for treating acute asthma
attacks - instead, it should be used regularly each day to keep the airways open
and help prevent breathing difficulties.
Do not exceed the recommended dose. If your usual dose does not provide
relief, or if relief does not last, medical advice should be sought.
How does salmeterol work?
Salmeterol relaxes bronchial smooth muscle by stimulating beta2 receptors.
When fenoterol stimulates these receptors, it causes the muscles in the airways
to relax, making breathing easier.
Drug schedule: schedule 2
Available as: salmeterol is available as accuhaler and inhaler.
What does it do? Salmeterol widens/opens the airways to make breathing
Overdose risk: low
Dependence risk: low
Is salmeterol available as a generic? no
Is salmeterol available on prescription only? no
Onset of effect: within 20 minutes
Duration of action: up to 12 hours
Stopping this medicine: do not stop treatment with this drug without
consulting your doctor. The original symptoms may recur.
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:
- you have a thyroid problem
- you have diabetes
- you have a heart disease
- you have high blood pressure
- you have epilepsy
- you have glaucoma
Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported.
Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: presumed safe - speak to doctor before use.
Porphyria: this medication is safe for use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in
children under the age of 4 years.
The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.
Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be
Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.
Possible side effects
| Side effect
|| Consult your doctor
|| Only if severe
|| In all cases |
||may reduce the effect of salmeterol and worsen bronchoconstriction |
||blood potassium levels may be lowered|
blood potassium levels may be lowered
||a dangerous rise in blood pressure may occur|
||increased risk of cardiac-related side effects|
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large
overdose, seek emergency medical attention.
Adults: use twice daily as directed.
This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for
informational purposes only.
Please consult a physician for specific treatment and