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Serevent is a long-acting bronchodilator.

This asthma inhaler is gaining in popularity because of its convenience: it is usually prescribed for use just twice daily (morning and evening).

The long duration of action(up to 12 hours)a may help prevent night-time asthma attacks.

Serevent Inhalation Aerosol is prescribed for the prevention as well as the treatment of asthma attacks.

It may also be used to prevent exercise-induced asthma.

Side Effects and Interactions

One advantage of inhaled asthma medicine is that less is absorbed into the body than if one were to take comparable oral medication. However, inhaled Serevent can cause palpitations or rapid heart beat in some people.

Individuals with preexisting heart conditions, seizures, or over an active thyroid gland should use such medicine with great caution, if at all.

Other side effects include tremor, nervousness, headache, increased blood pressure, heartburn, nausea, digestive tract upset, cough, throat irritation, runny nose, dizziness, muscle pain.

There are rare reports of rash, itching, and allergic reactions that interfere with breathing.

There have been a few cases where Serevent has appeared to make asthma worse and there have even been deaths associated with use of the inhaler. Whether they were caused by the medicine or were coincidental to a rapidly deteriorating pulmonary condition unresponsive to Serevent is unknown at this time.

Report any symptoms to your physician promptly.

Serevent can interact with numerous other medications.

Do not use similar kinds of bronchodilating inhalers such as Ventolin, Berotec, Brethaire, Alupent, Metaprel, Proventil, or Tornalate simultaneously with Serevent unless directed to do so by a physician.

An acute asthma attack may respond better to these short acting bronchodilators, but only a physician can provide appropriate guidance in such situations.

Certain antidepressants may be very dangerous in combination with this asthma drug.

Beta blocker medications may counteract the effectiveness of Serevent.

Check with your pharmacist and physician before using any other medication in combination with this inhaler.

Special Precautions

In the event an asthma attack continues to get worse it is essential that a patient seek immediate medical attention.

A shorter acting bronchodilator is more appropriate than Serevent during acute attacks of bronchospasm.

There have been situations where Serevent has been associated with increased breathing problems during a deteriorating asthma condition. Whether they were caused by the underlying asthma or the use of Serevent remains a mystery.

Nevertheless, in any situation where a patient begins to increasingly use a bronchodilator and breathing continues to worsen it is essential he or she seek emergency treatment.

Never overuse a bronchodilator. There have been deaths associated with excessive reliance on such medications.

Serevent may affect the heart (causing increased heart rate and blood pressure). For this reason such medicine must be used cautiously in people with heart disease, heart rhythm disturbances, and hypertension.

Those who are prone to seizures or thyroid problems also require special medical supervision.

Taking the Medicine

The Serevent Inhalation Aerosol should be given a good shaking before each use.

The standard dose is two puffs in the morning and two puffs in the evening. Never increase the dose unless you are directed to do so by a physician.

The manufacturer recommends against higher doses as they are more likely to produce side effects and may not afford additional benefit.

If Serevent is used to prevent exercise induced asthma the usual dose is two puffs 30 to 60 minutes before the activity begins.

Patients who are already using Serevent on a regular daily schedule should not add additional puffs to prevent exercise induced asthma.

Always wait roughly 12 hours before using the Serevent Inhaler again.

Use of inhalers is not as easy as it may seem. Make sure your physician provides detailed instructions and demonstrates how to inhale the aerosol so that the medicine ends up in the lungs and not in the back of the throat.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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