Relvar Ellipta is a form of combined bronchodilator and corticosteroid inhaler intended to reduce the inflammation that occurs in the lungs with conditions like COPD and asthma. The active medications are fluticasone and vilanterol.
What are Relvar Ellipta inhalers?
Relvar Ellipta is a common medication for COPD and asthma. This inhaled medication contains two active ingredients, a bronchodilator called vilanterol and a corticosteroid known as fluticasone furoate. Together, these two medications can help to reduce the symptoms of COPD and asthma.
Corticosteroids are hormones that the human body can produce naturally through the adrenal gland. These hormones control inflammatory responses to triggers in the world around you. The fluticasone in Relvar Ellipta is a man-made version of the natural hormones in your body, and it works to decrease the inflammation in the lungs that makes it difficult to breathe.
When you inhale Relvar Ellipta, fluticasone is absorbed into the lining cells of your airways and lungs, preventing these cells from releasing the chemicals that cause allergic and immune responses.
Used regularly, this medication is excellent at preventing asthma attacks, shortness of breath and wheezing. Relvar Ellipta also includes vilanterol, which is a long-acting beta-2 agonist. This medication works by helping the muscles in the airways to relax, reducing your risk of asthma attacks and making it much easier for you to breathe naturally.
What are Relvar Ellipta inhalers used for?
Relvar Ellipta is prescribed for people who cannot control their COPD or asthma, by using a standard corticosteroid inhaler. Usually, is recommended for people over the age of 18 who have severe COPD and suffer from issues like breathlessness, despite the use of regular bronchodilators.
Relvar Ellipta can also be used for the treatment of asthma when this condition causes problems like tightness of the lungs and throat, shortness of breath, inflamed airways and problems with coughing and wheezing. It is important to note this medication is not intended to relieve anxiety attacks that cause trouble with breathing, like some other inhalers.
You will need to use this treatment every day to control your condition, even when you do not have any symptoms of asthma or COPD.
How to use Relvar Ellipta inhalers to treat asthma and COPD
Read the instructions provided by your doctor carefully before using the Relvar Ellipta inhaler. One dose is required every day, even if you do not have symptoms. You should use the inhaler either in the morning or the evening, but it is a good idea to take your medication at the same time each day, as the effect of inhalation should last for 24 hours.
Relvar Ellipta comes with a dose counter on the inhaler which will let you know when you need to get another prescription. You should not shake this inhaler before using it, but you will need to prepare a dose for inhalation. To do this, open the cover of the inhaler and slide it down until it clicks. This will show that you have a dose ready. Before you take the dose, breathe out as much as you can. Place your lips around the inhaler and ensure that the air vents in the device are not blocked.
Inhale deeply through your mouth and hold your breath for as long as you can, before gently and slowly breathing out again. If needed, you should clean the inhaler before closing the cover again. You will also need to rinse your mouth with water after using your inhaler to reduce your risk of catching oral thrush.
What is the correct dosage for Relvar Ellipta inhalers?
Unless your doctor advises otherwise, the typical dose for a Relvar Ellipta inhaler is one inhalation taken at the same time each day. It is important to take your Relvar Ellipta at the same time, as each dose lasts for 24 hours.
If you forget to take a dose of the Relvar Ellipta asthma inhaler, take your next dose when it is due. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed dose. Do not stop using this medication suddenly, even if you no longer have breathing problems. This medication is not suitable for children.
Does Relvar Ellipta have any side effects?
Although many people will be able to take Relvar Ellipta without experiencing any side effects, you may have some negative symptoms when taking this medication. Remember that medicines and side effects can affect different people in unique ways. If you notice any strange results after taking Relvar Ellipta, including those not listed below, contact your doctor immediately.
The most common side effects of Relvar Ellipta include headaches and inflammation in the nose and throat. These conditions will often go away as you get used to your new medication.
Other common side effects might include:
- An increased risk of oral thrush which presents with white spots in the mouth. You can often avoid this problem by rinsing your mouth after using your medication;
- Hoarse voice or cough;
- Sore throat and mouth;
- Inflammation of the nose or sinuses;
- Blocked or runny nose;
- Upper respiratory tract infections;
- Pneumonia (more common with people with COPD);
- Back pain or joint pain;
- Bone fractures;
- Abdominal pain.
In rare cases, you may notice blurred vision or changes in your vision when using Relvar Ellipta, contact your doctor immediately if this happens. You should also speak to an emergency health professional if you feel anxious, shaky or have a faster than usual heartbeat.
Corticosteroids delivered via inhalation usually have fewer side effects than steroids in pill form. However, if you take these medications for a long period at a higher dose, then you may have a higher chance of side effects like osteoporosis, cataracts, glaucoma and Cushing’s Syndrome. There is also a slight chance that this medication could suppress the functioning of the adrenal gland, cause changes in mood or behaviour and harm the way your natural hormones work.
When should you not use Relvar Ellipta inhalers?
Relvar Ellipta is not suitable for everyone. It is important to discuss your medical history and condition with your doctor in- depth to find out whether this medication is right for you. If Relvar Ellipta is not the right treatment for your condition, your doctor may be able to prescribe or recommend an alternative medicine.
You should not use Relvar Ellipta if you have hereditary problems like galactose intolerance – which affects the way that you absorb glucose and lactose. This inhaler contains lactose. Do not take this medication if you are allergic to any ingredient in Relvar Ellipta. It is not recommended to use Relvar inhalation if you are under the age of 12.
If you have certain health conditions, your doctor may need to closely monitor your health while you are using Relvar Ellipta. This is often the case with people who have an irregular heartbeat or heart disease. Your doctor may also want to monitor you if you have high blood pressure or an overactive thyroid. Make sure your doctor is aware if you have liver problems, a low level of potassium in your blood, or you are prone to fungal or viral infections in the airways. Your doctor may not want you to use Relvar Ellipta if you have tuberculosis.
People with diabetes will need to monitor their blood sugar carefully when using Relvar Ellipta as it can affect blood glucose. If taking this medication makes it harder for you to control your blood sugar, tell your doctor immediately.
Does Relvar Ellipta interact with any other medications?
Medications like Relvar Ellipta can interact with other drugs that you are already using. Make sure that you tell your doctor about any herbal medications that you are using, as well as any over the counter or prescription drugs. You should also tell your doctor before you take any new medications when you are using Relvar Ellipta.
It might not be safe to use Relvar Ellipta with other medications that contain corticosteroids, such as nasal sprays for hay fever or eczema steroid creams. Sometimes, you may be more likely to suffer from side effects if you are using several steroid medications at once.
Certain beta-blockers like propranolol and atenolol should not be used by people who are taking Relvar Ellipta. This is because a beta-blocker will have the opposite effect to Relvar Ellipta and might cause your airways to narrow again, which causes more breathing difficulties. Medicines that are in the same class as vilanterol may also cause a serious decrease in the potassium levels in your blood, which could also have adverse effects.
Where can you purchase Relvar Ellipta?
You can buy Relvar Ellipta from a registered EU pharmacy or arrange for us to deliver this medication to your EU pharmacy for you. With medications like Relvar Ellipta that need a prescription, we will also be able to arrange a consultation with a registered doctor for you too.
Can you purchase Relvar Ellipta without a prescription?
Currently, it is not possible to buy Relvar Ellipta in the EU without a prescription. Your doctor will need to make sure that this is the right treatment for you based on your condition and medical background. If Relvar Ellipta is not suitable for you, then your doctor may be able to recommend an alternative treatment. For an up to date Relvar Ellipta price see the order page.
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Drug Ther Bull, 2014, online, Relvar Ellipta for asthma, [Accessed on the 22nd of August 2019], Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25125553
Nice.org, 2019, online, Asthma: Fluticasone Furoate/ Vilanterol Relvar Ellipta combination inhaler, [Accessed on the 22nd of August 2019], Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/advice/esnm34/chapter/Key-points-from-the-evidence