If you are able to breathe everyday for most of the day without putting in too much effort, you should be grateful because that might not be the case for some people. In fact, it was reported that more than millions of people around the world do experience breathlessness or shortness of breath due to many factors such as respiratory diseases, heart diseases or psychological factors. Since breathlessness can be caused by many factors, treatment plans may vary to treat one disease to another. It is best to get medical advice by visiting a doctor if symptoms of breathlessness persists and you are unsure what is causing it. In this article, we will be learning more about a medication commonly used to help treat breathlessness known as SERETIDE 50.
SERETIDE 50 contains salmeterol and fluticasone propionate as its active ingredients. It is an inhaler. This medicine is used to help improve symptoms of breathlessness in those with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). Fluticasone belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids which works by reducing inflammation processes affecting the airways such as irritation and swelling of the airways. Salmeterol on the other hand belongs to a class of drugs known as long-acting beta agonists which works as muscle relaxant of the airways to widen the airways. Salmeterol is also known as a bronchodilator. Combination of these ingredients helps to prevent symptoms from occurring in the near future.
SERETIDE can be used for children as young as 4 years old and all other age groups. Dose may vary according to the age of people and the diseases. It is important to follow your doctor’s advice and always inquire if you are unsure of ways of using it. If you are using it for the first time or have not been using it for more than 1 week, you need to prime it first. To prime, spray it away from face and into the air until you can see fine mist evenly spread. Since the most recommended dose is two inhalation or two puffs, wait around 30 seconds between each puff. To avoid dry mouth after using this, you may try rinsing your mouth with water by gargling and spit out.
It is important to use this medication regularly. This is because the SERETIDE inhaler may take up to 7 days before you are able to feel any improvements. It is reported that symptoms are well controlled after 2 weeks of using SERETIDE compared to using an inhaler containing corticosteroid alone. It is worth noting that SERETIDE is often prescribed to those with serious breathing problems or when breathing symptoms are not well controlled with only one asthma-control medication. This medicine should not be used as a rescue inhaler or quick-relief when you experience breathlessness. You should not use other inhalers unless directed by doctors or after discussion with your healthcare provider.
Common side effects include hoarseness, sore throat, headache, muscle cramps and joint pain. If these side effects become worse, you should notify your healthcare provider. This medication may raise high blood pressure. Do let your doctor know if you experience high blood pressure especially if you have not been diagnosed with hypertension before. Certain other medications may cause drug interaction with SERETIDE. If you are taking other medication, do let your healthcare know about this especially if you are taking antihypertensive drugs, antibiotics or antivirus. These drugs may react with SERETIDE and lead to high risk for side effects.
In essence, SERETIDE inhaler is used to help control symptoms in asthma and COPD. It should be used regularly and best to use at the same time of the day. Do learn how to use quick-relief drugs and controller drugs for the right purpose and times.
Symptoms of breathlessness can be quite terrifying and living with one on a day to day basis can be quite worrying. It can get so bad that it begins to interfere with your daily life and ability to have a fulfilling life knowing breathlessness can occur again. However, you should know that the ability for you to adapt with this situation is going to be a big achievement and you should feel proud of it. While breathlessness such as asthma can be relieved with certain drugs, this might not be the case if you are experiencing it not because of the asthma. It can be frustrating knowing that doctors have said you are not experiencing any diseases causing breathlessness. In this case, you may want to try tips below on managing breathlessness:
- Do regular exercise to stimulate respiratory muscle to work more efficiently. Physical activity such as walking and doing housework should be good enough. Ironically, getting out of breath when you are active is actually good.
- Find simple ways to do chores and break down activities into smaller tasks.
- Pace activities throughout the day by making plans ahead of the day.
- Wear loose clothes and shoes that are easy to wear and take off.
- Keep items that you frequently use in easy reach.
- Practise relaxation techniques such as mindfulness or yoga.
- Never be afraid to ask for help or support when you need one.