Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate and vilanterol inhalation powder)

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: February 2022 | Last updated: March 2022

Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate and vilanterol inhalation powder) for oral inhalation is used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. Breo Ellipta is a maintenance therapy. It is not used to relieve sudden breathing problems and will not replace a rescue inhaler.1

What are the ingredients in Breo Ellipta?

The active ingredients in Breo Ellipta are fluticasone furoate and vilanterol trifenatate.1

How does Breo Ellipta work for COPD?

Vilanterol is a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA). LABAs help to ensure the muscles surrounding the airways are relaxed. If those muscles become too tight, the airways can become narrow. This makes it difficult to breathe, causing COPD symptoms such as breathlessness, wheezing, and cough.1

Fluticasone furoate is an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS). Corticosteroids work by reducing inflammation and swelling and increasing airflow in the airways.1

What are the possible side effects of Breo Ellipta?

The most common side effects include:1

  • Runny nose, sore throat, cough
  • Headache
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Thrush in the mouth or throat
  • Back pain
  • Bronchitis
  • Mouth and throat pain
  • Joint pain
  • Flu
  • Fever
  • Increased blood pressure

Breo Ellipta may also cause serious side effects, including:1

  • Pneumonia
  • Weakened immune system
  • Reduced adrenal function
  • Sudden breathing problems after inhaling your medicine
  • Allergic reactions
  • Heart issues like fast heartbeat or chest pain
  • Bone thinning or weakness
  • Eye problems like glaucoma
  •  High blood sugar
  • Low potassium levels

These are not all the possible side effects of Breo Ellipta. Talk to your doctor about what to expect or if you experience any changes that concern you during treatment with Breo Ellipta.

Things to know about Breo Ellipta

After each dose of Breo Ellipta, people should rinse their mouth with water and spit the water out. This helps prevent getting a fungus infection in the mouth and throat.1

Seek medical attention if:1

  • Your breathing problems get worse
  • You need your rescue inhaler more often than usual or it does not work as well to relieve your symptoms
  • Your peak flow meter results decrease

Breo Ellipta should not be used:1

  • To relieve sudden breathing problems. Always have a rescue inhaler with you to treat sudden symptoms.
  • In children or adolescents.
  • If you have a severe allergy to milk proteins or are allergic to any of the ingredients in BREO. Ask your doctor if you are not sure.
  • With other drugs that contain a LABA for any reason.

Before using Breo Ellipta, tell your doctor if you have:1

  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Thyroid problems
  • High blood sugar
  • Liver problems
  • Weak bones
  • Immune system problems
  • Eye problems
  • Any type of infection
  • Been exposed to chickenpox or measles

There is not enough data to know if Breo Ellipta is safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding. Before taking this drug, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.1

Before beginning treatment for COPD, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Breo Ellipta.

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