Serevent is commonly prescribed to treat airway spasms caused by asthma or COPD. While the medicine cannot be used to treat or cure asthma, it can be taken twice a day to help prevent attacks from occurring. Using it 30 minutes before exercising can also help prevent exercise-induced asthma attacks. Side effects of Serevent include headaches, sinus congestion, and sore throat.
Normally, air moves easily into and out of the lungs through a network of airways. During an asthma attack, however, the muscles around these airways tighten. This narrows the airways and makes it harder to breathe. This is called bronchospasm.
Serevent is part of a class of drugs called beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, or beta agonists for short. Beta agonists stimulate beta receptors in the body, including those on the muscles around airways. This stimulation causes the muscles to relax, which opens up the airways and allows more air to get into and through the lungs. Serevent is a long-acting beta agonist. Because it does not work as quickly as short-acting beta agonists, it should not be used for treating an asthma attack. Rather, it is used twice a day in order to prevent attacks.
The medication also has some effects on decreasing the activity of mast cells in the lungs, which play an important role in inflammation and allergic reactions.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Serevent Diskus [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline;2010 June.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed August 14, 2009.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed April 5, 2007.
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